Letters to the Editor

Qu'ran in English

Ghazala Anjum, via email

Most of the time I read the Qur’an in English. Is it as authentic as reading Qur’an in Arabic? Suppose I read the Qur’an in English; will it be equally valid?

YMD

The Qur’an came down in chaste Arabic. It asserts that it is in Arabic, meaning, it should be read in Arabic alone.

It is also a miracle and miracles cannot be imitated.

Therefore, the Qur’an cannot be translated to the same accuracy and ends as the original.

Accordingly, a Qur’anic translation is at best, “an interpretation” of what it says in its Arabic original. No translation can be referred to as “the Qur’an.”

It can be recited, as a highly recommended ritual. But it can never be understood in a language other than Arabic.

Therefore, if you read its translation, you are neither reading the original Arabic version, nor are you getting the accurate meaning the original contains.

Kindly see this month’s editorial for further understanding.

It is said that one should repeat the entire Qur’an seven times.

YMD

That is not correct. The Qur’an should not be repeated 7 times, or 70 times, or 700 times; but rather, one should recite it every day of the week, and when finished with one round, start with another, and go on during the whole life; but never finishing the whole Qur’an at any time, in less than three days.

A Dilemma

Junaid Hussain Yetoo, via email

I am confused about one thing. I will be thankful to you if you will clarify it. I’m from AMU ALIGARH and I’m preparing for AIIMS. In our hostel there are two groups: one is Tablighi group who go to nearby Masjid every month and spend there three days in Tabligh and they also read Fazail-e-A’mal. The other group is that which condemns the Fazail-e-A’mal saying that it has inappropriate content (Daeef Hadeeth). Now what happens at the end is that whenever there is Dars-e-Qur’an the first group never attends it and whenever there is Dars of Fazail-e-A’mal, the latter group never attends it. Now when new students enter the hostel, they get confused as they don’t know what to do like me.

YMD

But you have the answer to the dilemma. You seem to realize that there is no need for a Jewish wall of Palestine. They can co-exist. (It is Jews who cannot co-exist). And so, on your part you could attend both.

If there are Da`eef Ahadeeth with one group, there are Da`eef Aqwaal with another. None can claim to be absolutely right and free of any error or discrepancies.

While you attend both, you will have to chart out your own program of self-development. In this effort, you might not get much support from either. They would both like you to give all your time and energies to them because, as said above, both believe that they are absolutely on the right course; and, if there are failures, it is because of the individual himself.

So, ultimately, if you get the blame laid on you, why not take the case in your own hand? Why not develop yourself, through your own methods?

As for which group to go with, both are not kufr parties, both are not saint parties. You be with both, benefit from both, but depend not on any for full growth and development except on Allah and your own personal efforts.

Also tell me what is the Sahih method of Islamic hostel life?

YMD

Hostel life is different from home-life in one sense: You have life and time in control in the hostel, while at home distractions are greater. In a way these are golden days of your life. You will perhaps never enjoy such free time as now in the hostel, ever in your life. You will discover that life after education is too demanding. Those who will employ you, even if your father employs you in his business, will allow you no time for anything but service to the employers – even if your father. The nature of life and the struggle to win daily bread is such that it demands all your time and all your energies. Therefore, if you did not develop your personality now, you will not at any time later. In fact, the personality you develop now, will be gradually nibbled away by the rats in the race during employment and business, and leave you clean of all your humanity barring robotic qualities.

Read the Qur’an (the text and translation), everyday; repeating the whole of the Qur’an several times. Study the hadith (say, Riyad al-Saleheen) graduating to larger works. The Sihah Sittah are now available on the Net. Study the Kitab al-Aadab and Kitab al-Fitan of Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. Do not attempt to read the portions dealing with rituals. This is because these are more or less already in practice.

When you are finished with above topics, you may proceed to Kitab al-Iman.

Grievance

Mudassir Raoof, via email

I am a regular reader of your magazine YMD. I read it with enthusiasm especially your editorial. It would have been better if you have your own team of columnists instead of choosing readymade articles from internet.

YMD

Ours is a ‘digest’ which endeavors to present good quality material from every possible source. We do not wish to have our own columnists producing the stuff that many newspapers and magazine produce. Unless highly intelligent and well educated, columnists are prone to produce banal stuff of little interest and no influence.

Further, the articles we present, balancing well the needs of a variety of readers: from children to those in their prime maturity, are carefully selected from a vast numbers available. They are scrutinized, modified, and abridged before they appear on our pages. Quite good efforts go into the process. They are no space-fillers, but rather designed to live long in the shelves.

Today, two topics are of extreme importance: Western politics and its economics. The first is hell-bent on dominance of the world even if it means its destruction, and, ironically, the second is its goading, yet restraining factor. The third major problem is Zionism, which also threatens to destroy the world. But its root cause is not the Western love of Jews, rather, fanatical hatred of Islam and Muslims. This is leading it to self-destruction. This is the reason why we give so much space to these topics and why we wish to present the most intelligent analysis, which comes from the Western thinkers themselves, who, from within, understand it pretty well, although they are given a hoot by the Western ruling classes, and even give them a boot whenever they can (e.g., refusal to renew Finklestein’s professorship). Run of the mill columnists do not understand the situation as well.

Also I get annoyed on seeing rude and sensual letters from a certain quarter on the front page. You should not give any place to such irrelevant queries from these people. There are other forums for them where from they can get their answers. If YMD is a pure Islamic magazine, then these useless questions should be avoided from publishing. Otherwise the taste of the magazine gets adulterated.

YMD

We agree with you but another opinion is that today’s youth is completely misguided, disoriented, and disinvested. If it is not listened to, and offered some sort of guidance to corrective action, it is ready to trip to kufrdom. Its knowledge of Islam and its application of what little it knows, equals to those of the slum-dwellers, both of whom are on the borders. Their neglect will bring on tremendous calamity to the Muslims.

So, Beware

I’m a 22 yr old girl. I was in a relationship with someone for 3 years. I’m really ashamed that I indulged in fornication. Due to some family issues the boy has refused to marry me and we broke up by Allah’s grace. I did Umrah and even repented over my sins. I’m really worried about my future. My parents want me to get married. Would it be a sin if the truth about my past is not known to the person I’ll marry? If I tell him he will not marry me and my family respect will be at loss. Also I’m not able to forget my ex-boyfriend. Is asking for that same person in dua allowed in Shariah?

Farheen, via email

YMD

So, in truth you have not repented, and are not sorry for the past. Your inability to forget the evil man signifies this.

You say you “broke up by Allah’s grace,” but you want to pray for the man. So, you are not true in saying, “by Allah’s grace.”

Your Hereafter is more important than your family’s honor. You need to sincerely repent to regain Allah’s approval. Such repentance would require hatred of the partner to sin.

If you sincerely repent you will be as clear of sin as bodily you are after a bath. However, it has to be a true repentance, not a word of mouth, but of a clean heart; clean of all desires for sin.

Of course, you need not speak of your past to anyone, including your future husband. If you have repented sincerely enough to gain Allah’s forgiveness, He will shield you; and, if exposed to your husband or others, one way or another, He will save you from destructive consequent happenings.

But if you are not honest about your sins, inwardly enjoy them, then, you could be exposed with dire consequences such as loss of respect for you, hatred for being a double, and doubtful of your present, even if you act saintly outwardly.

But matters do not end here. Without a since repentance, you are liable to questioning and exposure before all. That will be the true humiliation, and a true chastisement.

So, beware.

Tanzil

I came across a website which claims to translate the holy Qur’an accurately. The interface of the website is by far one of the best I’ve seen. However the name of the site appears ambiguous to me. “Tanzil” means “Lessening or Rebate” this is the term used to refer depreciation. If we are translating the Holy Qur’an then I wonder what depreciation has to do with it. Translation will enhance the knowledge. I don’t know if I’m interpreting it in the right sense.

I’m skeptical about using this website. I doubt if someone is trying to mislead the people, we’ve had plenty of such instances in the past. I would request you to kindly check this website and let me know if the translation is accurate or misleading. In case if it’s misleading, please make sure you highlight this issue in your next edition.

Here is the website link: http://tanzil.info/

Md. Ishtiyaq Ahmed, via email

YMD

The word “tanzil” has another meaning which stands for “revelation.” The word of this sense is derived from the Qur’an.

Comparative Religion

I am a regular reader of YMD, and its article History of Islam is very good and informative, and provides good knowledge to the young readers. The article misconceptions about Qur’an is also very good. My advice to you people is to provide the history about other religions like Hinduism and Judaism and how they are different with regard to the faith and beliefs.

Yousuf Roushan, via email

YMD

Islam is a straight-forward religion. It is an open house for anyone to visit, exit, or stay in. There is no complication in it and everything in it, whether pertaining to law or practice, follows logic. You can show its every detail from atop the Everest with no one who follows his intellect, raising any objection to any of its parts. This comes from the preservation of the Revelation (the Qur’an) pure, as it was revealed, uncorrupted by the humans. The Qur’anic logic is unchallengeable.

Such is not the case with many other religions to which their followers adhere simply because it is the religion of their forefathers. Their attachment is emotional, rather than rational. The origins are obscure, the beliefs are questionable, and practices are objectionable. These are facts that are known to their adherents themselves. But if someone other than a follower of another denomination speaks out the same truths openly, they are deeply upset and are ready for violence.

No serious discussion over the nature and origins of their beliefs and practices is possible. They shy away from stating their beliefs in public and are deeply offended if someone does it realizing fully well that an open discussion will be deeply embarrassing. Even an exposition of what their Scriptures in truth say, is considered an invasion of their private affairs and criticism of, what they call as, universal truths. Opening a discussion will be opening a wound. Islam does not allow us that. It gives religious freedom to one and all, and prevents that the sentiments of any people be hurt. To hurt in the name of God would be more a crime more distasteful.