Islam Newsroom - June 29, 2023
We have questions about translating the Quran. It is important to note the original language of the Quran is Arabic, and is still in use today. It means we can get pretty accurate meanings (if the English is able).
*If you know Arabic and know Quran, it's probably already known to you, a lot of things are not right in translations.
*For instance, the word "SAIF" (sword) - is in Bible over 200 times. How many times are any of the words, meaning a weapon of the times, like swords or daggers mentioned? (none).
*And the word, "Taqwa" - does it mean "piousness"? Actually, it means to guard yourself against the Wrath of Allah (with your SHEILD).
*Another one is "Salat" - does it mean "Prayer" (Nope). From the same root as "sila" - means connection.
For translations of meanings of Quran - Check our website QTafsir.com.
Words may change with time. Example - [gay: happy, jolly, fun loving and merry].
1970 Webster's dictionary ⁃ gay: adjective; happy: We had a gay time at the dance. › gay: › a bright and attractive place: The streets were gay and full of people.
Today the Cambridge dictionary says - [gay: adjective (SEXUALITY) sexually attracted to people of the same sex. Ex: Mark knew he was gay when he was fourteen; the lesbian and gay community].
This means you would have to know if this was expressed before or after the 1980's.
We acknowledge many imams and reciters don't speak Arabic, but this does not imply a lack of understanding of Quran or Islam.
The example of understanding expressions from over 1,400 years ago, could be like the meaning of "a gay man."
Muslims often advise critics to read the Quran, but translations often reinforce negative opinions. Some claim the Quran can only be understood in Arabic.
However, translations were attempted for over 900 years, and many respected individuals have found value in them.
Dismissing all translations can hinder intellectual critique and compromises Islam's claim as a universal religion. It is impossible to learn a language untranslatable. Therefore an argument saying one must learn Arabic to understand the basics of Quran is flawed.
A claim for Arabic not being able to be translated into other languages is not realistic. Arabic, like Aramaic and Hebrew, is a Semitic language, making it possible for someone familiar with one of these languages to understand the others to some extent.
Languages are systems of communication, expressions interpreted by receivers. Not all words will translate exactly, but most can generally be understood or interpreted. Languages are ways of communication through expressions interpreted by receivers.
The Quran is generated by sounds and interpreted through hearing, was also written down based on what people heard, sometimes seeking clarification from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
The existence of books, courses, and programs designed to understand various languages contradicts the notion that all languages must translate exactly.
The idea that every language must translate exactly into others is not factual. The Quran can be interpreted in many ways, including sign language for the deaf.
The skeptic questions why Arabic is the only language with untranslatable words and phrases, and why Allah would choose a language not everyone understands.
The article suggests translations can be influenced by personal interpretations and emphasizes the importance of understanding meanings directly from the source.
A recent linguistic "discovery" is suspicious as it coincides with the rejection of Islamic practices in Western liberalism.
The argument of hidden meanings in Quranic passages related to slavery, the status of women, gluttony, warfare, wife-beating, and religious discrimination aligns with the discomfort modern scholars have about these verses.
The intention behind questioning Islam using incorrect statements in English is dubious. It's important to note the Quran and hadith expressly forbid oppression and rights violations.
Slavery is acknowledged but not justified, and Islam played a role in granting rights to women, as evidenced by Umar bin Khattab's rule.
Women's suffrage took place in various countries at different times, with New Zealand granting adult women the right to vote in 1893. Other countries followed suit, including Australia in 1895 and Finland in 1907.
Full women's suffrage was granted in Norway in 1913, and progress continued after World War II in many countries like the United States, France, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Wife-beating and religious discrimination are not accepted at all in Islam.
Islam forbids gluttony and considers war as only permissible when defending rights. Islam has a history of protecting diverse religious communities, including Jews, Christians, and Hindus, against external threats throughout centuries.
Look up "crusade" and "inquisition" in any encyclopedia or dictionary. Then you understand the historical context of Catholic actions. The Quran gives a clear guide to deal with combative enemies - Chapter 2, verses 189-193.
No other world religion insists on knowledge of a specific language to understand its holy texts, nor does it require extensive efforts to reinterpret politically-sensitive passages.
While various Christian groups distribute the Bible as is, the Quran often includes a commentary to provide additional context. The statement remains - accurate understanding requires insight into the original language. We rely on the Quran and authentic narrations for guidance.
When responding, we should seek truth and clarify the real question. If we don't know the answer, we can seek help. Islam means submission to One God without partners. Understanding and guidance depend on Allah.
Don’t be fooled, don’t trust your life here and Hereafter to anyone unable to understand our offer for rebuttal to the nonsense being circulated as if it were true. After clarifying, we can answer or suggest resources like www.SearchForIslam.com
Allah Guide them, and open their hearts to worship Him, alone without partners, ameen.
For "Meanings of Quran" check our website: QTafsir.com