ALLAH’S QURAN – Untranslatable

ALLAH'S Quran, Axial Text of Islam [1], The True Word of God [2], God’s Personal Letter to Mankind [3], “is God’s miraculous, matchless message that has been sent to all humanity via His last Messenger. With the Qur’an, God has shown humanity, one last time, a short-cut to His good pleasure. He has communicated to us about His Essence, Attributes, and Names. He has expressed in the most explicit way, leaving no room for any misunderstanding, His will to be known and recognized in the correct way, to be believed in and worshipped. Almighty God has put emphasis on the duties and responsibilities of believers, while enthusing hearts and agitating souls with His promise for punishment and reward. He has presented the Qur’ān as a sign for perfection and completion and as an orbit to rotate around for His good pleasure, while condescending to offer this gift to us as a compliment greater than any that has been or will ever be granted to anyone else" [4].

“Having come from the Supreme Throne of God, and originated in His Greatest Name, and issued forth from the most comprehensive rank of each Name, and as is explained in The Twelfth Word, the Koran is both the word of God as regards His being the Lord of the worlds, and His decree in respect of His having the title of the Deity of all creatures, and a discourse in the name of the Creator of all the heavens and earth, and a speech from the perspective of the absolute Divine Lordship, and an eternal sermon on behalf of the universal Sovereignty of the All-Glorified One, and a register of the favours of the Most Merciful One from the viewpoint of the all-embracing Mercy, and a collection of messages some of which begin with a cipher, and a holy book which, having descended from the surrounding circle of the Divine Greatest Name, looks over and surveys the circle surrounded by the Supreme Throne of God" [5].

[Quran - 39:27-28 – Abdel Haleem] "In this Qur'an, We have put forward all kinds of illustrations for people, so that they may take heed—an Arabic Qur'an, free from any distortion."

That quotation from Surah 39, Verses 27-28, of the Qur'an was rendered into English by Muhammad A. S. Abdel Haleem, Professor of Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. It emphasizes a basic yet far-reaching fact about the holy book of Islam: It was received and recorded in the Arabic language. Muslims believe that the Qur'an is inseparable from the language in which it was revealed, and for this reason, all Muslims worldwide recite it in Arabic, even though today the vast majority of Muslims are neither Arabs nor native speakers of Arabic. Many Muslims also regard the eloquence of the Qur'an as evidence of its divine provenance.

A popular story recounts how, in the time of Muhammad, the most famous poet of Makkah converted to Islam after reading one of its verses, convinced that no human could ever produce a work of such beauty.

This makes any attempt to render the Qur'an into another language a daunting task, and explains why Muslims prefer to call non-Arabic versions of the Qur'an "interpretations." The difficulties are compounded further by the interpretive problems inherent in all translations, that is, the word-by-word demand for decisions about the intended meaning of the original and the most suitable equivalent in the target language. These issues the Qur'an itself seems to anticipate:

[Quran - 3:7 – Abdel Haleem] "Some of its verses are definite in meaning—these are the cornerstone of the scripture—and others are ambiguous. The perverse at heart eagerly pursue the ambiguities in their attempt to make trouble and to pin down a specific meaning of their own: only God knows the true meaning."

Most modern-day "translators" of the Qur'an explicitly engage these issues and explain their particular approach and decisions. While there will never be a definitive Qur'an in any language other than Arabic, these days English readers are able to choose from among a wide selection of careful "interpretations" [6].

ALLAH, The Exalted, Has, Informed The Mankind thus:
“And no one knows its [true] interpretation except ALLAH
[Quran - 3:7 – Umm Muhammad].”

“No human being can ever be acquainted with all the knowledge embedded in the Holy Qur’an, for it is the speech of the Almighty, the Praised and the Glorified One, Who has said, “Say: If the sea were ink for the words of my Lord, the sea would surely be consumed before the words of my Lord are exhausted even if We were to bring the like of it to add thereto [18:109] [7].

“It is even more proper to confess one’s inability of expressing any of the virtue of the holy Quran, one’s words may fall far behind what the holy Quran, in fact, deserves [8].

"Acknowledging the complete impossibility of adequately conveying the meanings of the Qur'an in English or indeed in any other language, Allah, may He be exalted, chose pure, classical Arabic as the linguistic vehicle for His final Revelation to mankind because of its unique capacity of retaining and conveying great depth of meaning in a multi-faceted way which is beyond the scope of any other language, particularly in the debased form which they have arrived in at the time in which we live" [9].

The True Meanings of ALLAH'S Quran are beyond human perception. Only ALLAH, The Exalted Knows The True Meanings of The Quran. Muslim and non-Muslim Scholars agree; QURAN IS UNTRANSLATABLE.

Translating ALLAH'S QURAN - SCHOLARS’ Opinions

[1] MUSLIM BELIEF - "Muslim scholars believe that any translation cannot be more than an approximate interpretation, intended only as a tool for the study and understanding of the original Arabic text" [10].

[2] IMAM SHAFI’I - “Imam Shafi’I affirmed that nothing can compare or compete with the Qur’nic text (in terms of its significance) other than something that is equal to it (i.e., another verse from the Qur’an” [11].

[3] IBN ATIYAH - “The correct opinion, and the one held by the majority of scholars in regard to the Qur’an’s inimitability, is that it is due to the Qur’an’s syntax and its veracity. This is because the Almighty’s knowledge encompasses everything and His knowledge encompasses all forms of discourse. Thus in arranging the Qur’an’s wording, the Almighty knew exactly which word was best suited to follow the one before it, and which word best yielded the intended meaning. The Book Of Allah is such that if a word were removed from it and the entire Arabic lexicon were searched for a better word, it would never be found” [11].

[4] ABDALHAQQ AND AISHA BEWLEY - “"Acknowledging the complete impossibility of adequately conveying the meanings of the Qur'an in English or indeed in any other language, Allah, may He be exalted, chose pure, classical Arabic as the linguistic vehicle for His final Revelation to mankind because of its unique capacity of retaining and conveying great depth of meaning in a multi-faceted way which is beyond the scope of any other language, particularly in the debased form which they have arrived in at the time in which we live” [12].

[5] MARMADUKE MUHAMMAD PICKTHALL - “It is the belief of traditional shaykhs and the present writer that the Qur’an cannot be translated. Although I have sought to present an almost-literal and appropriate rendering worthy of the Arabic original, I cannot reproduce it’s inimitable symphony, the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy“ [13].

[6] ARTHUR J. ARBERRY - “Since the Koran is to the faithful Muslim the very word of God, from earliest times orthodox opinion has rigidly maintained that it is untranslatable, a miracle of speech which it would be blasphemous to attempt to imitate. This very characteristic feature – ‘that inimitable symphony’, as the believing Pickthall described his Holy Book, “the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy” – has almost been totally ignored by previous translators; it is therefore not surprising that what they have wrought sounds dull and flat indeed in comparison with the splendidly decorated original. I have called my version an interpretation, conceding the orthodox claim that the Koran (like all other literary masterpieces) is untranslatable;” [14].

[7] A. R. KIDWAI - “Despite the historical fact that the early Muslim community's stand on the translation of the Arabic text of the Qur’an was ambivalent, as indeed, the general Muslim attitude remains so to this day, the act of translation may be logically viewed as a natural part of the Muslim exegetical effort. However, whereas the idea of interpreting the Qur’an has not been so controversial, the emotional motives behind rendering the Qur’anic text into languages other than Arabic have always been looked upon with suspicion” [15].

[8] YAHIYA EMERICK - “Translation of the meaning of the Qur’an is not the same as the original Arabic Qur’an. You can use the book [Translation] to get at the meanings and the message of the Qur’an, but it is the original Arabic Text where the message truly resides” [3].

[9] STEFAN WILD - Why Translate the Untranslatable?
Ritual prayer in Arabic or translated?
If we go back to the earliest period of Islam – and I’m now going to talk about the recitation of the Quran in Arabic and the related problems of translating it.

At the time of the prophet the partial or complete liturgical recitation of part of the Quran was performed in Arabic and in Arabic only. Recitation of the Quran is at the very heart of the prayer rite. And that is why according to traditional Muslim theology the ritual prayer of the salat that contains as its most important element the first sura must be recited in Arabic and only in Arabic. But already in the first centuries of the Muslim expansion there were dissenting voices. Two of the most venerable religious authorities of Islam taught contrary doctrines.

AL-SHAFI'I (died 820 CE) opined that for the ritual prayer to be valid it had to be spoken in Arabic.

ABU HANIFAH on the other hand (died 767 CE), equally famous, taught that those new Muslims who did not know Arabic could recite the ritual prayer in a different language.

How could a person who had just converted to Islam communicate with God in a lanuage that this person did not understand? We do not know whether that was Abū Ḥanīfah’s reasoning. But in any case according to him reciting the first sura in the ritual prayer in Persian did not make the prayer invalid.

Al-Shafiʿī’s contrary opinion prevailed in the end but more by a twist of history, than by a better argument. And the element of mystery in reciting the holy text is not necessarily impaired by the fact that the reciter does not completely understand what he is reciting.

For the Muslim community, Arabic was in many ways what Latin was for the Roman Catholic church for more than a millenium. And in view of the fact that the Quran so clearly links its Arabic character to the divine origin of the text it is easy to understand that for most Muslims recitation of the Quran was, and is, valid only in Arabic. [16]

[10] LAMAAN BALL - Use of Parentheses, Brackets and Insertions
"Being what it is, there have been many great efforts to interpret the Qur’an. These have employed other additional sources to justify their interpretations. For example, in the explanation of the Qur’an (tafsir) by Tabari, many sayings attributed to the prophet (pbuh) are employed as well as quotes from the Bible. Some translations try to take these sources into account too, however in my opinion the translations which do this tend to distort the meanings of the words of the Qur’an by using other material which is less authentic. This is very dangerous in translation because it sets other material as equal to the Qur’an. That other material can even be easily misunderstood as being part of the Qur’an when, in fact, it is not.

An Example is The Translation “The Noble Qur’an” (A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan ). This one doesn’t actually change the translation as such but it adds large sections in brackets within the translation within which are meanings derived from classical commentaries. This confuses the text of the Qur’an with text from other sources. Usually, text in brackets within a translation is used to give some implied word which is missing, but the meaning of which is clearly in the Qur’an. This is the way it is used in pretty much all translations" [17].

Some QURAN, Translation Examples for Reflection:

[1] EXAMPLE [1:1]
[ALLAH’S Quran 1:1]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
[Transliteration] Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi

[PICKTHALL] “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful”
[YUSUF ALI] “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”
[ASAD] “In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace”
[ABDEL HALEEM] "In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy!"
[TAQI USMANI] "With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful."
[UMM MUHAMMAD] "In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful."
[KAMAL OMAR] "With the name of Allah - the Bestower of unlimited mercy, the continuously merciful"

COMMENT: The renderings by more than 40 scholars [Muslims, non-Muslims, Sectarians, Apostates], whose works are displayed at:
show that Scholars are NOT UNANIMOUS even in the rendering of Quran [1:1], let alone the whole of The Noble Quran which contains 6236 Noble Verses.

[2] EXAMPLE [2:54]
“And mention when Moses said to his folk: O my folk! Truly, you did wrong to yourselves by your taking the calf to yourselves to worship, so repent to One Who is your Fashioner and kill yourselves. That would be better for you with One Who is your Fashioner. Then He will turn to you in forgiveness. Truly, He, He is The Accepter of Repentance, The Compassionate.” [2:54 – Laleh Bakhtiar]

“And recall what time Musa said unto his people: my people! verily ye have wronged your souls by your taking the calf, wherefore repent unto your Maker, and slay yourselves: that were best for you with your Maker. Then He relented toward you; verily He! He is the Relentant, the Merciful” [2:54 – Daryabadi]

“And when Musa said to his people, ´My people, You wronged yourselves by adopting the Calf so turn towards your Maker and kill yourselves. That is the best thing for you in your Maker´s sight.´And He turned towards you. He is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful.” [2:54 – Bewley]

“When Moses said to his people, O my people, you have indeed wronged yourselves by worshipping the calf; turn in repentance to your Creator and slay [the culprits] among you. That course is best for you in the sight of your Maker. He relented towards you. He is the Forgiving One, the Merciful.” [2:54 – Wahiduddin]

COMMENT: Had ALLAH, The Exalted Commanded the Followers of Prophet Moses (pbuh) to “kill themselves”, we, the mankind, today would have no Followers of Torah. Indeed, the rendering by Wahiduddin, clears any misconceptions and we can safely understand that the command was for Bani Israel to punish the guilty among themselves, who had taken the calf as their “god”. Wahiduddin's rendering also finds support from The Bible:

“Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.” [Exodus 32:27]

[3] EXAMPLE [2:61]
"And (remember) when, you said: "O Musa (Moses)! We cannot endure one kind of food (always); So pray to your Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth grows— Its pot-herb(s), and cucumber(s), its garlic, lentils, and onions." He said: "Will you exchange the better for the worse? You go down to Misr (any town), and you shall find what you want!" They were covered with humiliation and misery; They drew the anger of Allah on themselves. That was because they kept rejecting the Signs of Allah and killing His Messengers without just cause. That was because they rebelled and went on transgressing." [2:61 - Syed Vickar Ahamed]

"Remember [instead of being grateful for receiving <i>mann</i> and <i>salva</i> from heaven] you grumbled: “O Moses, we can not stand this monotonous food ask “your” Lord to give us a variety of earthly 11crops such herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, onions [etc]. Moses said: “Do you wish to substitute the worse for the best? Then follow the order of God and go conquer the town [Jerusalem] wherein God will give you whatever you want. [In account of this ungrateful attitude], little by little, God sent upon them his wrath, humiliation and misery. That was the consequence of their disobedience, rejecting God’s revelations and killing God’s Messengers for no good reason." [2:61 - Moeinian]

"And when you said, `Moses! (we are weary of one kind of food so) we will not at all remain content with one and the same food, pray, therefore, to your Lord for us that He may bring forth for us some of that which the earth produces, of its vegetables, of its cucumbers, its corn, its lentils and its onions.' He (- God) said, `Would you take in exchange that which is inferior (- delicious food) for that which is superior (- the realisation of the noble object of your life)? (If this is so) then go to some town and you will certainly have (there) all that you have demanded.' And lo! it so happened, they were smitten with abasement and destitution and they incurred the displeasure of Allah. That was because they denied the Messages of Allah and sought to kill His Prophets unjustly and that was because they disobeyed and had been transgressing."
[2:61 - Amatul Rahman Omar]

"And [remember] when you said: "O Moses, indeed we cannot endure but one kind of food; pray, then, to thy Sustainer that He bring forth for us aught of what grows from the earth - of its herbs, its cucumbers, its garlic, its lentils, its onions." Said [Moses]: "Would you take a lesser thing in exchange for what is [so much] better? Go back in shame to Egypt, and then you can have what you are asking for!" And so, ignominy and humiliation overshadowed them, and they earned the burden of God's condemnation: all this, because they persisted in denying the truth of God's messages and in slaying the prophets against all right: all this, because they rebelled [against God], and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right." [2:61 - Asad]

COMMENT: Respected Scholar Vickar Ahamed Translates Misr (any town), Moeinian renders the Noble Verse as ALLAH'S Command to the followers of Moses (pbuh) to conquer Jerusalem whereas Rahman Omar is of the view, the exchange is between God and Followers of Moses and other Translators feel the exchange is between Moses and his followers.

Given the Historical background of the Children of Israel, rendering by respected Scholar Asad, appears to be faithful.

[4] EXAMPLE [3:7]
"It is He who sent down to you the Book. In it are verses of obvious wisdom. These verses are the mother of the Book. Still there are other verses containing esoteric wisdom. Those in whose hearts is deviation, they only follow the esoteric verses, seeking disharmony and seeking its hidden meaning. But none has the understanding of their interpretations except God and those well-grounded in the knowledge. They say, 'We believe in it; all of it is from the presence of our Guardian Evolver." But none will remember this, except the possessors of insight and a penetrating intellect." [3:7 - Bilal Muhammad]

"He it is Who has revealed to you this perfect Book, some of its verses are definite and decisive. They are the basic root (conveying the established meanings) of the Book (- Ummal Kitab) and other (verses) are susceptible to various interpretations. As for those in whose hearts is perversity follow (verses) that are susceptible to different interpretations, seeking (to cause) dissension and seeking an interpretation (of their own choice). But no one knows its true interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge. They say, `We believe in it, it is all (- the basic and decisive verses as well as the allegorical ones) from our Lord.' And none takes heed except those endowed with pure and clear understanding."
[3:7 - Amatul Rahman Omar]

"He is the One who sent down to you the Book, from which there are lawgiving revelations; they are the essence of the Book; and others which are of a similatude. As for those who have a disease in their hearts, they will follow that which is of a similitude, seeking to confuse, and seeking to derive an interpretation. But none know its interpretation except God, and those who are well founded in knowledge; they say: "We believe in it, all is from our Lord." And none will remember except those who possess intelligence." [3:7 - Monotheist Group]

"He it is who has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ, containing messages that are clear in and by themselves - and these are the essence of the divine writ - as well as others that are allegorical. Now those whose hearts are given to swerving from the truth go after that part of the divine writ which has been expressed in allegory, seeking out [what is bound to create] confusion, and seeking [to arrive at] its final meaning [in an arbitrary manner]; but none save God knows its final meaning. Hence, those who are deeply rooted in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer - albeit none takes this to heart save those who are endowed with insight." [3:7 - Asad]

COMMENT: Respected Scholars Bilal, Rahman Omar and Monotheist Group render the Noble Verse "except God", and then in the same sentence add "and those who are well founded in knowledge;" This rendering is a contradiction in itself. Respected Scholars have paid no attention to ALLAH'S Command [2:115 and numerous other Verses] which clearly inform the mankind that Only ALLAH is All Knowing. Respected Scholars appear to disregard ALLAH'S Declaration "Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth" [2:255 - Yusuf Ali]

Respected Scholar Asad's rendering is unequivocally clear and is consistent with The Message of The Quran and The Teachings of The Prophet.

[5] EXAMPLE [4:34]
"MEN SHALL take full care of women with the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly on the former than on the latter, and with what they may spend out of their possessions. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the intimacy which God has [ordained to be] guarded. And as for those women whose ill-will you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great!" [4:34 - Asad]

"Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great." [4:34 - Pickthall]

"Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all)." [4:34 - Yusuf Ali]

"Husbands should take good care of their wives, with [the bounties] God has given to some more than others and with what they spend out of their own money. Righteous wives are devout and guard what God would have them guard in their husbands’ absence. If you fear high-handedness from your wives, remind them [of the teachings of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them: God is most high and great." [4:34 - Abdel Halim]

"Men are responsible for the welfare of women since God has given some (of you) more wherewithal than others, and because they must spend of their wealth (to maintain the family). Therefore pious and devout women safeguard the private matters that God would have them safeguard. As for those (women) from whom you fear aggressive defiance, caution them (to piety). (If they remain unmoved by your words), then leave them alone in their beds, and finally (if they continue in their aggressive defiance), then separate from them. However, if they accede to you (by abandoning their aggressively defiant behaviour), then you have no (legitimate) grounds to act against them (any further), and God is full of knowledge and greatness."
[4:34 – Yahiya Emerik]

COMMENT: Respected Scholars, Asad, Pickthall and Yusuf Ali believe ALLAH'S Command [4:34] allows husbands to beat their wives. This despite Yusuf Ali's declaration “In Islam the equal status of the sexes is not only recognised but insisted on.” [3:195 - Commentary - Yusuf Ali]

Prophet of Islam (pbuh) has said:
[Sunan Abudawud, Book #11, Hadith #2138] “Narrated Mu'awiyah ibn Haydah: I said: Apostle of Allah, how should we approach our wives and how should we leave them? He replied: Approach your tilth when or how you will, give her (your wife) food when you take food, clothe when you clothe yourself, do not revile her face, and do not beat her."

Sunan Abudawud, Book #12, Hadith #2220] “Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: Habibah daughter of Sahl was the wife of Thabit ibn Qays Shimmas He beat her and broke some of her part. So she came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) after morning, and complained to him against her husband. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) called on Thabit ibn Qays and said (to him): Take a part of her property and separate yourself from her. He asked: Is that right, Apostle of Allah? He said: Yes. He said: I have given her two gardens of mine as a dower, and they are already in her possession. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Take them and separate yourself from her."

It would appear that the rendering by respected Scholar Emerik "separate from them" is consistent with the Message of The Quran and the Teachings of The Prophet (pbuh) of Islam.

[6] EXAMPLE [4:157]
"And for their saying, "Surely we killed the Masih, Isa son of Maryam, (The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary) the Messenger of Allah." And in no way did they kill him, and in no way did they crucify him, but a resemblance of him was presented to them (i.e. the matter was made obscure for them through mutual resemblance). And surely the ones who differed about him are indeed in doubt about him. (Or: it, "that") In no way do they have any knowledge about him except the close following of surmise, and in no way did they kill him of a certainty." [4:157 - Ghali]

"and their statement that they murdered Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God, when, in fact, they could not have murdered him or crucified him. They, in fact, murdered someone else by mistake. Even those who disputed (the question of whether or not Jesus was murdered) did not have a shred of evidence. All that they knew about it was mere conjecture. They certainly could not have murdered Jesus." [4:157 - Muhammad Sarwar]

"And because of their (falsely) claiming, `We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the (false) Messenger of Allah,' whereas they killed him not, nor did they cause his death by crucifixion, but he was made to them to resemble (one crucified to death). Verily, those who differ therein are certainly in (a state of) confusion about it. They have no definite knowledge of the matter but are only following a conjecture. They did not kill him, this much is certain (and thus could not prove the Christ as accursed)." [4:157 - Amatul Rahman Omar]

"And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain." [4:157 - Pickthall]

COMMENT: Renderings by respected Scholars Ghali, Sarwar and Rahman Omar, disregard ALLAH'S Limitless Knowledge, Glory and Power from amongst HIS Attributes and produce a translation based upon their personal thoughts rather than the Divine Text. Scholar Rahman Omar even attributes (False Prophet).

Rendering by respected Scholar Marmaduke Muhammad Pickthall appears to be faithful in intent, content and expression.

[7] EXAMPLE [5:38]
"NOW AS FOR the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off the hand of either of them in requital for what they have wrought, as a deterrent ordained by God: for God is almighty, wise." [5:38 - Asad]

"And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise."
[5:38 - Shakir]

"As to the thief, Male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power."
[5:38 - Yusuf Ali]

"[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise." [5:38 - Umm Muhammad]

COMMENT: Respected Scholars have given LITERAL Rendering, without any consideration of:
[1] The crime of Theft (Stealing) is a REVERSIBLE Crime.
[2] ALLAH, The Exalted, Has Provided a Merciful way even for an IRREVERSIBLE Crime [2:178]
[3] Not to forget ALLAH'S Command for Mercy for the Thief [5:39]

And ALLAH'S Command: " Yearn ye not that Allah may forgive you?" [24:22]

[8] EXAMPLE [9:122]
“And the believers should not go forth to war all together. But why should not a party from every community of them mobilize to acquire profound, correct knowledge and understanding of religion and warn their people when they return to them so that they may beware (of wrongful attitudes)?” [9:122 – Ali Unal]

"With all this, it is not desirable that all of the believers take the field [in time of war]. From within every group in their midst, some shall refrain from going forth to war, and shall devote themselves [instead] to acquiring a deeper knowledge of the Faith. and [thus be able to] teach their home-coming brethren, so that these [too] might guard themselves against evil." [9:122 - Asad]

"Not all believers have to become specialists in religious learning. Why do not some people from each group of believers seek to become specialists in religious learning and, after completing their studies, guide their group so that they will have fear of God." [9:122 - Sarwar]

“Nor should those who conformed to Islam go forth all at once to the Messenger, but only a group from each community should go to learn from him practical divinity and jurisprudence and convey back such divine knowledge to their people and caution them against provoking Allah's indignation that they may heed.” [9:122 – Al-Muntakhab]

COMMENT: Respected Scholars Ali Unal and Asad are of the view that the Command [9:122] is to restrain believers from going to war all together instead leave a party of them behind to gain knowledge of Faith, which they, then can share with their returning Brethren. Whereas respected Scholar Sarwar holds that it is not necessary for all believers to become Specialists in Religious knowledge.

Respected Scholar Al-Muntakhab is of the view that not all the Believers should go, together to The Prophet (pbuh) for perfecting the understanding and practice of Faith, instead a small party should go to The Prophet (pbuh) and upon their return from The Prophet (pbuh), they should then share their knowledge with those who did not go to The Prophet (pbuh).

Al-Muntakhab's rendering appears to be more appealing.

[9] EXAMPLE [30:52]
"So verily, you (O Muhammad SAW) cannot make the dead to hear (i.e. the disbelievers, etc.), nor can you make the deaf to hear the call, when they show their backs, turning away."
[30:52 - Hilali & Khan]

"For you do not make the dead hear nor make the deaf hear the call when they flee, turning back. (The disbelievers are referred to as dead and deaf.)" [30:52 - Ahmed Raza Khan]

"(O Beloved!) Surely, you make neither the dead (i.e., the disbelievers deprived of the vitality of faith) hear your call nor the deaf (i.e., deprived of hearing the call of truth) whilst they are getting away (from you) turning their backs.* [30:52 - Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri]

"And, verily, thou canst not make the dead hear: and [so, too,] thou canst not make the deaf [of heart] hear this call when they turn their backs [on thee] and go away," [30:52 - Asad]

COMMENT: Respected Scholars Hilali & Khan, Raza Khan and Qadri, claim "dead" mean unbelievers. Such renderings are understood to provide justification for Grave Worship.

Rendering by respected Scholar Asad appears to be clear and faithful.

The rendering, "dead cannot hear" also draws support from Quran and Ahadith.

[Quran - 35:14 - Shakir] "If you call on them they shall not hear your call, and even if they could hear they shall not answer you; and on the resurrection day they will deny your associating them (with Allah); and none can inform you like the One Who is Aware."

[1] it was narrated from Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet stood at the well of Badr and said: "Have you found what your Lord promised to be true?" he said: "They can hear what I am saying to them now". Mention of that was made to 'Aishah and she said: "Ibn 'Umar is mistaken. Rather the Messenger of Allah said: "Ibn 'Umar is mistaken. Rather the Messenger of Allah said: 'Now they know that what I used to say to them is the truth.' Then she recited: So verily, you (O Muhammad) cannot make the dead to hear., until she recited the verse." [Sunan an-Nasa'i, Book #21, Hadith #260]

[2] Narrated Hisham's father:
It was mentioned before `Aisha that Ibn `Umar attributed the following statement to the Prophet (pbuh) "The dead person is punished in the grave because of the crying and lamentation Of his family." On that, `Aisha said, "But Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said, 'The dead person is punished for his crimes and sins while his family cry over him then." She added, "And this is similar to the statement of Allah's Messenger (pbuh) when he stood by the (edge of the) well which contained the corpses of the pagans killed at Badr, 'They hear what I say.' She added, "But he said now they know very well what I used to tell them was the truth." `Aisha then recited: 'You cannot make the dead hear.' (30.52) and 'You cannot make those who are in their Graves, hear you.' (35.22) that is, when they had taken their places in the (Hell) Fire. [Bukhari, Book #64, Hadith #31]

[10] EXAMPLE [96:1]
[96:1 – Abdel Haleem] “Read! In the name of your Lord who created:”
[96:1 – Muhammad Ghali] “Read: In the Name of your Lord Who created,”
[96:1 – Maulana Ali] “Read in the name of thy Lord who creates”
[96:1 – Laleh Bakhtiar] “Recite in the Name of thy Lord Who created.”

COMMENT: If one was to study Haleem, Ghali and Ali Translations on their own, it would imply that the Prophet (pbuh) was Literate and was asked by Angel Jibril to read out a written Message. Whereas ALLAH, The Exalted, has informed mankind [7:158] that the Prophet (pbuh) was Unlettered (Illiterate). This is further confirmed by the History. Immediately after Prophet’s death (pbuh), the Companions did not carry out any searches for any heavenly sheets which Angel Gabriel might have given to the Prophet (pbuh) for reading nor did they search for any iPad which Angel Gabriel might have left behind for all to read. Instead, the Companions relied upon the memorised Quran (oral transmission) and they collected all materials, palm leaves, sheets of leather, shoulder blades of large animals and whatever else had been used for writing the revelations as they were revealed to The Prophet (pbuh) and dictated by the Prophet (pbuh), during his Prophethood. The result was the Compiled Quran which is now widely known as Uthmanic Recension.

Thus it is clear that the rendering of [96:1] by Laleh Bakhtiar is consistent with the Message of the Quran and the History of Islam.

And Those Whose Hearts Tremble at The Mention of The Merciful say:

“... And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah....”
[Quran - 3:7 – Umm Muhammad]

No human being can comprehend and convey with power, style, expressiveness and inimitability of The Divine Writ [ The Creator's Words]. Human beings are, The Creator's Creation and as such it is not within their capabilities to understand ALLAH'S Words to the same extent as ALLAH, The Exalted. The claimed Translations of The Holy Quran, are indeed the translations of the meanings of The Quran [in short TMQ], as understood and rendered by individuals, to the best of their understandings, ability and possible sectarian or intellectual bias.

Only ALLAH, The KNOWER of all, Knows The True Meanings of The QURAN.

-the humble ones-

[1] - [Tarif Khalidi – Introduction to The Qur’an, A New Translation – 2009]
[2] - [Muhammad Asad – Introduction to the Message of the Quran – 1980]
[3] - [Yahiya Emerick – Preface to The Holy Quran – Guidance for Life, 2000]
[4] - [Excerpted from:]
[5] - [Excerpted from -]
[6] - [Excerpted from:]
[7] - [Yasin T. al-Jibouri – Preface to The Quran Translation – M. H. Shakir – 2002]
[8] - [Shaikh Muhammad Sarwar – Appendix to, The Holy Quran, English Translation – 1981]
[9] - []
[10] - [see M. Ayoub, 'Translating the Meaning of the Quran: Traditional Opinions and Modern Debates', in Afkar Inquiry, Vol. 3, No. 5 (Ramadan 1406/May 1986), pp.34 9).]
[11] - [Preface, Variant Readings of The Quran, Ahmad Ali Al-Imam, 2006]
[12] - [Abdal Haqq Bewley and Aisha Bewley, The Noble Quran: A New Rendering of Its Meaning in English (Norwich: Bookwork, 1999).]
[13] - [Translator’s Foreword, Marmaduke Muhammad Pickthall, 1930]
[14] - [The Koran, Introduction, A. J Arberry, 1956]
[15] - [Translating the Untranslatable – Kidwai, 1987 -
[16] - [Stefan Wild -]
[17] - []

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