I'm starting to read the Quran and I've found many theologians argue about God referring to himself in the plural, mainly claiming it is a plural of majesty (example: M. A. S. Abdel Haleem's translation, page xx). Does linguistics agree with this interpretation or is this construction similar to the answer found here where pronouns do not have a plural of majesty? Do we have any examples from pre-Islamic Arabic or evidence from historical linguistics?

  • Fyi, linguists are not translators. This is better posted under the religion forum.
    – Lambie
    Feb 1, 2023 at 15:26
  • 1
    @Lambie whether Pre-Islamic Arabic had a plural of majesty seems like a perfectly acceptable linguistic question. Whether specific examples of plural pronouns in the Qur'an are plurals of majesty would be a religious question
    – Tristan
    Feb 1, 2023 at 15:56
  • @Tristan Actually, it is not linguistics. It's about Arabic and translation of Arabic to English. That is not really linguistics per se.
    – Lambie
    Feb 1, 2023 at 16:38
  • 4
    @Lambie no. The question is not asking about translating particular texts, but the presence or absence of a linguistic feature in a given stage of the language
    – Tristan
    Feb 2, 2023 at 9:34


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.