Could first humans talk? If they could, what kind of language did they use?

The Details of the Question
Could first humans talk? If they could, what kind of language did they use?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Information in Islamic and Western sources argued that the language Hazrat Adam spoke served as a source for all languages until Doomsday. In the Qur’an Allah (SWT) says: “And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels and said: "Tell Me the names of these if ye are right." (Al-Baqara 2/31).

Elmalılı M. Hamdi Yazır interpreted this verse as follows; all variations and development of languages by human race until today actually owe to the talent of teaching of the names that was given to Hazrat Adam… “The talent related with language, has a place in human soul peculiar to it.”1 This statement argues that the languages that will be used till Doomsday originate from the names that were taught to Hazrat Adam. According to a hadith reported by Abu Qatada, “Allah taught the name of everything to Adam and Adam described everything by their names.”

It is said that everything was offered to Hz. Adam all at once.”2 Badiuzzaman explains the word of all at once that can expound it in his work, the Twentieth Word, as follows: “It is Prophet Muhammad (BBUH) who manifested in detail with all their degrees all the Names which were taught in brief to Adam (PBH).”

After Hazrat Adam, mankind scattered around various places of the earth. Geographical characteristics, social conditions and the differences in human nature brought differentiation in the field of languages just like in all of the other fields. It can be said that the languages which are used on the earth at the moment came into existence from the names that were taught to Hazrat Adam.

A verse in the Old Testament caused many linguists from East and West to comment differently on the subject of the emergence of different languages.

On this subject, there is broad information in the book of Umberto Eco, “The Search for the Perfect Language in the European Culture”

No matter what the reason of multilingualism is the following is true: Today and throughout history, there have been different associations of the same words among people who use the same language in terms of feeling, thought and terms. The meaning of the talks is generally very different from the meaning of the individual words. As it is stated in the definition of the language, speech is only a means.   

What he tries to say is the original source. “That is, the indicator of the language is not the words but the beings themselves.”3 Therefore, the meaning of the words in us is their associations in us. The meaning of the National Anthem is not in the words but in the world that is its counterpart. Mehmet Kaplan explains the issue as follows: Words are not the reality. With a strong reflex, we think that words exactly correspond to things and we are wrong. A person who believes the language is always deceived because the truth is not in the language but in the being that the language indicates.


1- M. H. Yazır, Hak Dini Kur'an Dili, Volume 1, p.267
2- Ibn Kathir, Hadislerle Kur'an Tefsiri, Volume 2, p.279
3- Umberto Eco, Avrupa Kültüründe Kusursuz Dil Arayışı, p.28
4- Mehmet Kaplan, Kültür ve Dil, p. 16

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