You know, you really got to have a completely “other” experience to perceive how certain terms in a language brings comfort and normalcy to the masses.
Case and point: Listening to an ad today about working out. The guy easily, casually, and quickly says: “Well, this workout program became your new bible”, meaning this workout program is everything and the only thing you need to succeed. The term “bible” is a way to define the best standard by which he is describing his program.
I had a thought. What if this dude switched it up and said: Well this workout program became your new Qur’an. Honestly, it would sound kind of weird and wrong. But the point is, it’s not even thought to be said because the Qur’an is a minority term in a majority that does not follow it, which makes sense. But then again, there are many other terms absorbed into English that also come from cultures that are minorities. E.g. guru, bazaar, kosher, pajama, Algebra, etc.
But what’s more interesting if it was used, it would likely cause some immediate reactions and eyebrows to be raised. People might feel “Islam is being imposed on us,” OR, “why on earth is this term even being used?” OR “the Moooooooslims, they’re herrrrrrrrre!” or who knows what else. I’m saying the term “Qur’an” would probably be heard and detected whereas “bible” isn’t even noticed in any threatening way by the majority. It just goes to show that it depends on who you are and how a situation is seen in more than one way, including how words feel to different people.
I wonder if bible is spelt as “bible” or “Bible” in such conversations. If it was indeed to be spelt as “bible” with a lower “b” which I suspect, it shows that in common language, we aren’t specifically talking about the religious book per se, but rather a word that has crossed-over in every day culture, and has become so normal that it’s lost its formality.
Using “Qur’an” is also telling (even for the sake of discussion). It illustrates how minorities live in a majority culture, that otherwise, goes undetected my the majority. It’s the fact of having a different experience (minority) that creates alternative realities that are often times invisible to the majority.