Penjihad's Blog

"To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable"

Condemning Quran Translation?

When can we condemn a translation of the Quran?

A simple answer is, when it is misleading or false like the one “The Jews” have created in order to mislead Muslims. Yes, I am sure such a mistranslation and its authors should be roundly condemned. A lot of people have mentioned a certain Quran translation produced by “The Jews” but in spite of searching for one, I haven’t seen such a copy and nobody who tells me about it can say they have seen one either. How to condemn a bad translation of the Quran or its supposed authors when it can’t be found?

So far, I have seen almost two dozen translations of the Quran (Arabic/English) and they all seem to say much the same thing in their translations. I have checked  http://quranbrowser.org/ where they compare five translations simultaneously and there too, I have found much the same verbiage for all.

I have seen and I own one translation, called “The Noble Quran” translated by Al-Hilali & Khan and produced at the King Fahd Press in Arabia.

I cannot understand how the authors and the publishers can get away with such a vile mistranslation as I have seen in “The Noble Quran”. While the Arabic half is accurate, the translation takes extreme liberties with language and inserts words into the translation that completely distorts the words of God. The translation spews violence and creates an understanding of Islam that would persuade people that violence, cruelty, intolerance and murder are what God demands at the slightest infraction.

Some claim that Al-Hilali & Khan have offered an interpretation of the Quran and while this may be possible, the supposed interpretation is presented in such a way that it appears to be a translation of the original words of God and thus, would mislead millions of sincere and innocent people down the path of intolerance and violence.

The House of Saud gives away MILLIONS of copies of “The Noble Quran” free in all languages…every year. It should not be surprising when naïve readers embrace such a terrible mistranslation as the word of God and why not? It is coming from the Holiest of Holy places, it is translated in Arabia and just how much closer to God can one get? Of course it must be completely genuine, they believe.

The two co-translators Al-Hilali & Khan, have taken liberties with language and created a hate-filled document. Where the Quran talks about mercy and forgiveness, they talk about harsh sentencing, death and condemnation. The greatest tragedy is that these copies are forming the mindsets of Muslims all over the world because nobody dares speak out against the translation….because it would, it COULD be misconstrued as offending the actual Arabic Quran. Those who are insecure with their own faith, dared not question the words of “scholars” such as Al-Hilali & Khan. In fact, it has become an established tradition among most Muslims that one may not question a “scholar” unless one is a scholar oneself. This effectively silences all thoughtful questioning and forces acceptance even in the hearts of the most reasonable people.

What is so terrible about “The Noble Quran” and what is the false translation?

The very first chapter (Al-Fatiha) is only seven lines long. It is rather like The Lord’s Prayer and it says:

  1. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
  2. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,
  3. The Beneficent, the Merciful.
  4. Master of the Day of Judgment,
  5. Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help.
  6. Show us the straight path,
  7. The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.

Al-Hilali & Khan’s version of the seventh verse is:

  • “The way of those on whom you have bestowed you grace, not (the way) of those who have earned your anger (such as the Jews), nor those who went astray (such as the Christians).”

With the very first page and chapter, the naïve but sincere Muslim is informed that Jews deserve God’s wrath and therefore should be hated and Christians have gone astray and should not be respected. This completely ignores the many verses in the Quran itself such as:

  • “Say ye: “We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them; And we bow to God (in Islam).” (2: 136, 3:84)
  • Those who believe (in the Quran) and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures) and the Christian and the Sabians; Any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (2:62)

In the 24th chapter (An-Nur), the punishment for adultery is flogging but again, Al-Hilali & Khan have decided to insert exceptional punishment of death by stoning for married people. There is no mention of stoning for adultery in the Quran.

If this is the “guidance” the House of Saud would like to spread disguised as Islam, they ought to be challenged on it but who will challenge the House of Saud?

Poor countries from the Philippines to India, Bangladesh, Ceylon, Pakistan and countries of Africa send hundreds of thousands of workers to Arabia and that bring billions of annual dollars to the home country. The House of Saud has demonstrated that they can and will expel all the citizens of a country that offends them for any reason. No country would like to lose all those foreign dollars nor would they like to face the wrath of the jobless people returning home.

Rich countries make hundreds of billions of dollars in sales of expendable goods such as weapons and projects that do more for the egos of the leaders in Arabia than they do for the people. No developed country wants to lose those hundreds of billions of yearly dollars.

So the House of Saud gets a free ride to spread as much venom as they please, creating ever-growing cadres of ignorant and misinformed Muslims who only help create more chaos in their own home country when they return. It is safe to say that all violent Muslim movements draw their inspiration from “The Noble Quran” by Al-Hilali & Khan. The tragedy is that Western countries are fully aware of this fact but they dared not put the House of Saud in their cross-hairs…even as they show their resolve against extremist violence by ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram etc.,

Not only does the House of Saud distribute millions of copies of this mistranslation every year and in every language, they also bring “scholars” and imams (many of whom are practically illiterate themselves) to teach them about Islam at their instructional universities. After proper instructions, these imams get certified, adding to their credibility, then their return and preaching is financed by the House of Saud.

There needs to be an affirmative movement encouraged among Muslims to question, understand and then embrace their faith because that is what God has instructed people to do:

  • You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them. (17:36)

Unfortunately, the policies against Muslims in the West are such that they actively discourage independent thought among Muslims who, upon seeing the persecution by different Western government agencies, seek to go deeper in their faith, draw closer, ask fewer questions and look upon Arabia as the source of inspiration.

 

 

 

 

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July 22, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Jafar. The Hilali-Khan “translation” of the Qur’an, with its bizarre footnote commentaries, must be retired in America on a mosque-by-mosque basis. Shortly after 9/11, on behalf of the Center for Understanding Islam, I obtained a written statement from the Saudi Embassy in Washington that the Hilali-Khan translation would no longer be distributed to mosques in America, In 2003, I checked a few mosques and found that their copies of this Qur’an were still on their shelves.

    Perhaps you could start a project to find out what has happened to these copies, so that, if any mosque still has any of them, the local Muslim community can remove them. I would recommend that one copy be retained in the mosque library for research purposes.

    The four-volume textbook, Islam and Muslims: Essence and Practice, which I completed when I was a professor at the Qatar Foundation’s Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies and Director of its Center for the Study of Islamic Thought and Muslim Societies, is to be published now, in sha’a Allah, by my new Holistic Education Center based in Kerala (India), Indonesia, and Dubai. Check out its new journal at http://www.armoniajournal.org.
    Fi aman Allah, Bob Crane

    Like

    Comment by Robert D Crane | July 24, 2017 | Reply

    • Assalam alaikum Dr. Crane,

      I tried very hard, to get the masajid to retire their copies but to no avail. I tried to help educate the local Muslims so they may add to the pressure to retire the Hilali & Khan copies out but not a peep from our fellow stalwarts. There are prevalent attitudes that say Muslims should not argue about Islam unless they are themselves “scholars” and that Muslims should help hide the faults of their brethren. Put these two together and we find our collective heads buried deeper in the sand than the oil well of Arabia.

      I have seen “The Noble Quran” (Hilali & Khan) being sold outside the masajid by private vendors and my objections went nowhere.
      We must each do our best and leave the rest to God.

      Like

      Comment by penjihad | July 24, 2017 | Reply


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