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Offline munir rana

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meaning of `bal fa'alahu'
« on: July 12, 2016, 02:35:52 PM »
Salam Brothers and Sisters

21:63 He said, `Rather, this - the largest of them- did it, so ask them, if they should (be able to) speak.

I know this issue is already discussed in this forum. (titled Abraham lied three times) . I am agreed to a great amount with Brother Joseph's view that `What prophet Abraham was doing was to manifest a particular truth.' There was a wider plan and an end goal. so telling a `lie' does not matter. Its o.k.

But I just want to know the meaning of two words here. Some say that  `bal fa'alahu' should be translated as `Surely, (some doer) did it.'  fa'alahu -third person masculin singular perfect verb. so it indicates that some other one did it. Is it ok?

sorry, if i bothered you with a superfluous question.

Offline Hamzeh

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Re: meaning of `bal fa'alahu'
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2016, 05:55:32 PM »
Asalamu Alykum brother Munir rana

From my limited knowledge in arabic and from my humble perspective I would say that:
"Bal" can simply mean "rather" or "nay"
"Fa'alahu" would mean "He did it"

In arabic one word needs to be expressed sometimes by 3 or more words in english

A word in arabic tells who is the subject is and what the action is and more. So sometimes its basically impossible to translate one word in arabic to one word in english. So translators are forced to use many words. And in english a phrase at times can be said in many ways. Which thats why we may see differences in translations. And sometimes they can be all correct and give the basic meaning at least.

Here is a list of translations

Sahih International
He said, "Rather, this - the largest of them - did it, so ask them, if they should [be able to] speak."

Pickthall
He said: But this, their chief hath done it. So question them, if they can speak.

Yusuf Ali
He said: "Nay, this was done by - this is their biggest one! ask them, if they can speak intelligently!"

Shakir
He said: Surely (some doer) has done it; the chief of them is this, therefore ask them, if they can speak.


If I was to make a translation using the least possible words and capturing the subjects and in the same order as the arabic I would say " Said he: Rather, he did it, the biggest of them! Lets ask them, if they can speak"

But of course sometimes translating words from arabic to english in the same order may not make sense to the english reader because the order of speaking is different in both languages. Insha'Allah it was some help i'm sure there is better explanations.

Salam




Offline munir rana

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Re: meaning of `bal fa'alahu'
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2016, 06:56:45 PM »
Salam Brother Hamzeh

Thanks for your response. It helps. Actually I was thinking that if we take the meaning of `bal' as `rather' or `on the contrary' then it is unnecessary to say that the prophet lied. Though, I presume, in most cases, in translation of the word `bal' in Quran is `Nay'.

best regards.

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Re: meaning of `bal fa'alahu'
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2016, 12:35:31 AM »
If you'd like to cross reference the use of the word 'بَلْ':

2:88, 2:100, 2:116, 2:135, 2:154, 2:170, 2:259, 3:169, 3:180, 4:155, 4:158, 5:18, 5:64, 6:28, 6:41, 7:81, 7:179, 10:39, 11:27, 12:18, 12:83, 13:31, 13:33, 15:15, 15:63, 16:75, 16:101, 18:48, 18:58, 20:66, 21:5 (x2), 21:18, 21:24, 21:26, 21:40, 21:42, 21:44, 21:56, 21:63, 21:97, 23:56, 23:63, 23:70, 23:71, 23:81, 23:90, 24:11, 24:50, 25:11, 25:40, 25:44, 26:74, 26:166, 27:36, 27:47, 27:55, 27:60, 27:61, 27:66 (x2), 29:49, 29:63, 31:21, 31:25, 32:3, 32:10, 34:27, 34:32, 34:33, 34:41, 25:40, 36:19, 37:12, 37:26, 37:29, 37:30, 37:37, 38:8 (x2), 38:60, 39:29, 39:49, 40:70, 43:22, 43:29, 43:58, 44:9, 46:24, 46:28, 48:11, 48:12, 48:15 (x2), 50:2, 50:5, 50:15, 51:53, 52:33, 52:36, 54:25, 56:67, 67:21, 68:27, 74:52, 74:53, 75:5, 75:20, 82:9, 83:14, 85:21, 87:16, and 89:17
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Offline munir rana

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Re: meaning of `bal fa'alahu'
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2016, 01:35:27 PM »
Dear eliiah

Salam. Thank you very much.

Regards.

May God bless you.

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Re: meaning of `bal fa'alahu'
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2016, 08:41:34 PM »
Peace. And to you too. :)
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