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Offline Areebuddin

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Translation error?
« on: October 24, 2019, 12:56:13 PM »
Salam everyone

[18:27] You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord's scripture. Nothing shall abrogate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it.  (RK's translation)

   AND CONVEY [to the world] whatever has been revealed to thee of thy Sustainer's writ. There is nothing that could alter His words; 35  and thou canst find no refuge other than with Him. (Asad's translation)

I have checked other translations as well but only RK's translation says "not to find any other source beside it (Quran)" where as the rest of translations speak about not finding any helper other than Lord. Anyone who knows Arabic point out the mistranslation please, thank you.

Offline MaHa

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Re: Translation error?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2019, 02:58:59 PM »
Salam Brother,

I am not good in Arabic, but I will still take a little attempt, if it helps you. I am directly, quoting from the the book "Lughat-Ul-Quran" (Dictionary of Quran).

The word used here (18:27) is, "Multahada" from root lam-ha-dal. It indicates a sanctuary/place of safety where people goes by shunning his usual way. It also means a underground bypass/tunnel.

A similar word from same root is used in 7:180 -"And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation ("yulhidina") concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing."

According to the book I am referring, Quran defines each attributes of Allah and also describe the balance between those (for example, he is forgiver also he is the one who does justice. He does it in most balanced way). We need to not only practice Allah's attributes in our behavior but also in the proper proportion. Thus we can be a good human being as well as we will not disrupt the proper balance of society as a whole. "mulhid" is NOT someone who denies the existence of the God. But it is he, who upsets the balance of any of his attributes.

This part is from me: Just read the previous verse. 18:26- "... No guardian have they apart from Him, since He allots to no one a share in His rule ("hukum")!"[Muhammad Asad's translation]. This is the attribute of Allah. He has the whole share of "hukum". "Hukum" means command/authority/jurisdiction/rule etc. So, he described his attribute here ("authority of command") and also the proportion of this authority that he will not share it with anyone. Then, read the verse you quoted-

18:27--"AND CONVEY [to the world] whatever has been revealed to thee of thy Sustainer's writ. There is nothing that could alter His words; and thou canst find no "mul'taḥadan" other than with Him." [Muhammad Asad's translation]

So, if anyone takes any book other than what he revealed, it will be like deviating from usual way or taking an underpass. It will be deviating from the "proportion" of his this attribute (the solo authority of giving commandment). So, you will go to a sanctuary (the other book you will follow), that is not what Allah revealed as sanctuary (Quran). Quran is the source of comfort, as said in-

20:2-"We did not bestow the Qur'an on thee from on high to make thee unhappy/distressed"

I think, RK's translation is not a literal word to word translation, but gives the proper meaning.

And Allah knows the best. I hope, someone more knowledgeable will give you more accurate answer. 

N:B: I am not follower of Rashed Khalifa.

Offline Areebuddin

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Re: Translation error?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2019, 05:43:05 PM »
Right now I am reading RK's translation because of his choice of words and it is easy to understand but I do feel like his translation is not literal word to word translation. Your reply helps, I think other translations are more accurate on this particular verse. Salam

Offline Truth Seeker

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Re: Translation error?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2019, 11:43:58 PM »
Salaam Arabeedudin,

I think there are so many other translations out there to choose from. If it's easy reading you are after, to start off with you could try 

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)
Reissue Edition:
ISBN-13: 978-0199535958, ISBN-10: 0199535957

Overall I think it's a good translation

Offline Areebuddin

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Re: Translation error?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2019, 12:19:26 PM »
Salam bro and thank you for suggesting I'll check it out.

Offline Athman

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Re: Translation error?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2019, 01:41:57 AM »
Dear Areebuddin


In addition to what has been hitherto shared, I would like to present a brief overview of the interpretation of 18:27 and why I would theologically and syntactically push for the majority translation.

From my humble perspective, to corroborate the majority translation of verse 18:27 over Rashad Khalifah's rendition, I would argue (1) the syntactical flow of the verse - with respect to the pronoun 'hi' (him/ it) as well as (2) the meaning of 'multahada' and its Qur'anic usage.

(1). In my view, the pronoun 'hi' in 'likalimaatihi (in His word) refers back to the immediate preceding noun 'rabbika' (your Lord) as well as the subsequent 'hi' in 'duunihi' (apart from him/ it). From its flow, it is clear that the verse takes a bearing to centralize the theme of its injunction on God. Thus, I find no syntactical reason to append the reference of the second 'hi' to its immediate preceding noun 'kalimat' in 'likalimaatihi' but rather, it continues the original syntactical reference to 'rabbika.'

(2). 'multahada' is a noun from the Form VIII verb form of the root 'LAM-HA-DAL.' See the citation below.

"...lahad, INF. lahd, dig a niche in an older tomb and bury the dead in it, bury; lean towards; II. INF. talhid, id.; —IV. INF. ilhad, id.; swerve from the right way, from faith, become a heretic; —VIII. INF. iltihad, lean to." [1]

Basically, it would refer to 'that which one would 'incline/ lean/ resort/ take recourse/ turn aside to.' In religious terms, and for matters of faith, this would apply to God as well as it would for His word - Qur'an. See the following citation from Lane's lexicon as regards the term.

"...A place to which one has recourse for
refuge, protection, concealment, covert, or lodging; a place of refuge; an asylum: (S, Msb, K :  )
so called because one turns aside to it. (S.)
" [2]

Thus, from a theological perspective, the 'multahada' referred to by the second pronoun 'hi' in 18:27 could as well be God's word (kalimatihi) as it is God Himself. However, the Qur'an does not only define the context in which the 'multahada' in 18:27 is used by the preceding verse 18:26 (ma lahum min duunihi min waliyyin) to refer to God Himself but also confirms it in 72:22 where the same term 'multahada' is used specifically for God. 'walan ajida min duunihi multahada' - 'and I will not find besides Him any refuge/ protection (multahada)' (72:22) would be hammering the  preceding remark 'innii lan yujiirani mina Allahi ahadun' - 'I, no one can protect me (yujiira) from God.'

Therefore, in view of the above observations, I find the following English translation to best generally literally capture the Arabic of the Qur'anic verse 18:27. Thus, I would in this case respectfully find Rashad Khalifah's rendition somewhat wanting.

"And convey what has been revealed to you of the Book (of) your Lord. None can change His Words and never will you find besides Him a refuge." [Qur'an, Al-Kahf 18:27]

Hopefully that helps. And God knows best.



. F. STEINGASS, Ph.D., The Student's Arabic-English Dictionary 1884; London Crosby Lockwood and Son, Pp 911-912
[2]. LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 7, Page 2654