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Offline Reader Questions

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Asking for Verification
« on: January 30, 2012, 01:22:00 PM »
Dear Mr. Joseph,


- 2:260  - From various translation, I get two meanings -  Either ALLAH ( ST), has informed Abraham to take four birds , train them to fly from four hills OR  four pieces from one bird which will fly back to Abraham , which was not clear to me.  Which one is correct translation so that Abraham gets his reply clearly to his queries/proof  from Allah (ST)? 

16:43 / 2:260 - From various translation, I get two meanings - Either ALLAH tells Prophet Muhammad to ask people of previous scripture to clarify his doubts of his messenger-ship OR  Unbelievers to ask people of previous scripture of any doubts.  Which one is correct translation so that Prophet Muhammad too required to get proof of his messenger-ship?

(as some translators have put their understanding in brackets, which has made different meanings to me)

Please assist to clarify what do you make out from these verses (pertaining to proof?)

Best Regards

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Asking for Verification
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 01:23:43 PM »
Salamun Alaikum

The Arabic of 2:260 clearly imparts the instruction to take four of the birds (arba'atan mina-tayri). 'kulli jabalin' is clearly a reference to 'each mountain'. So the inference would be to take four birds to separate mountains and then to put a 'juz' on each of the them. A 'juz' is basically a part or a portion of something.

As the theme of the verse is resurrection and juz strongly suggests parts of the bird, hence it is usual to find renderings which mention cut pieces of the bird.

With regards 16:43, it is clear that God is instructing the Prophet to ask people of previous scriptures with a view to clarify a claim. The subject address is clearly the Prophet (min qablika - before you) and the instruction to verify is clearly directed to him (fasalu - so ask). I personally feel that any other translation is based on theology influenced from Islamic secondary sources and not on a strict interpretation based on the Quran.

I have an article which might prove relevant.


I hope this helps, God willing.

'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell