The task of the Arabic language academies is not only to approve what is present, to describe and analyze the uses of the language that people speak, the language as it is created in markets and roads, in addition to the language of dictionaries and dictionaries.
But also language guidance and the substitution of expressions.
A linguist is a social reformer who in turn, like a politician, religious reformer and organic intellectual, contributes to social change by deciphering it and redirecting the linguistic path.
Expressions age and age, and sometimes they are unable to express new meanings, changed realities, and change the level of cultures.
For example, the permissible and the forbidden are two legal terms in ancient jurisprudence, and they have their sources in the first Sharia evidence.
And since Islam is the religion of innateness, the popular perception of these two inherited terms means that they are not intended, which resulted in a process of language replacement such as natural and abnormal, innate and non-innate.
Halal is an innate natural behavior, and what is prohibited is an unnatural and non-innate behavior.
Another example is the old inherited term “religion”, despite its presence in the first legal evidence, but it has become loaded with meanings that contradict its intent.
Religion in the cultural heritage has become equivalent to beliefs and peremptory, ritual and ritualistic, so religion is a belief and law.
Beliefs became sacred things and not human endeavors in their understanding, and the Sharia became external aspects (rituals). Creed was separated from thought, and rituals were separated from action.
Here the linguist comes in order to contribute to the process of linguistic substitution, to solve “ideology” or thought as a general conception of the universe, society and the individual in politics, economics, morals, law, sociology and beauty.
In this way, the sharp conflict between the proponents of the old language and the proponents of the new language may be reduced, and the linguist becomes the trustee in the renewal of the language and the one responsible for the unity of culture.
There is another group of terms imposed by our contemporary life and used frequently during the Arab liberation movement, even if they are now reduced in the prevailing political discourse, such as: land and homeland, freedom and independence, democracy and pluralism, justice and equality, struggle and struggle, human rights …
And since it is in its origin an immigrant in the last two hundred years, that is, since the dawn of the Arab renaissance, it has not been able to dig its way into the culture, given that well-known expressions represent an impenetrable block in the national conscience that prevents it from penetrating it.
Here, the linguist appears to renew the meanings of the inherited expressions, and make them more able to accept modern meanings.
Freedom is an ancient term that is said in exchange for slavery in a society in which slavery was prevalent, but it now benefits individuals and peoples’ freedom from exploitation and colonialism.
The concepts of justice and equality express the needs and demands of people, and clash with concepts inherited from religion or popular culture.
Thus, old terms prevent social change, and new terms are surrounded by foreign and hostile terms.
Here comes the linguist to reduce the distance between the two languages, inherited and imported, showing the new meanings contained in the old terms as much as possible.
It also shows the extent to which the new expressions express the requirements of the age and their conformity with the renewed meanings of the old expressions until the siege on them is lifted, and their implantation begins in popular culture, just like the old ones, and until the new planting takes the place of the old one.
The same applies to expressions of the homeland and the people, and to raise the collective memory of the uses of the word homeland and its heritage, such as the message of Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi in nostalgia for the homelands and aphorisms, and such as “love for the homeland is from faith.”
So that the distance between the inherited concepts of the Ummah, the community, and the homes becomes less, and between contemporary concepts that have spread and are still trapped from the roots.
The linguist also extracts the literature of Egypt, the Levant, Palestine and Jerusalem about the virtues of places and peoples, such as the “virtues of Egypt” by al-Kindi, in order to remove it from its throne, revive it from its suppression, and so that the Levant, Palestine and Iraq remain alive in the nation’s consciousness through the use of words.
* Professor of Philosophy – Cairo University