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The Untranslatable Qur’an
And the Contradictions in My Writings [Quote – 932]

Quote-Unquote: Dr. Pasha on Islam,
Muslims and the World

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“You should let Allah handle things for you.
You really don’t need an advocate or agent other than Allah to handle your affairs for you.”

Now, this is a paraphrase — only one among many that could be attempted — of the aayah karimah that says:

Wa Tawakkal Alallah.
Wa Kafaa Billahi Wakeelaa!

Others have translated this most amazing Aayat, and every Aayat of the Qur’an is most amazing, in all kinds of other ways. And they are all within ballpark as translations go. 

Except for one thing: No Translation of the Qur’an is really a Translation, whatever that expression may really stand for, but only a Paraphrase masquerading as Translation.

I have been saying things about the fundamental untranslatability of the Qur’an that may strike some as contradictory. And, on surface, they are.

I say Transliterations of the Qur’an are Haram. Transliteration of course means writing the original Arabic of the Qur’an in English (Roman) script. I have argued that this is an impossibility and a nullity.

And yet I use Transliteration in my writings for the Aayaat (plural for Aayat) I cite — often as my only reference.

I have also argued quite vehemently that the Qur’an cannot be translated in English language. And yet every time I produce an Aayat in my writings, I also provide what looks like a translation.

The only thing is that I call my translation a Paraphrase, which is a lot more liberal and broad-based than what most people would consider a Translation to be.

But I will repeat what I said earlier: All Translations are Paraphrases.

This is my home-made Linguistic Theory of sorts if you will.

As for the contradictions in my writings, the only reason I resort to them is necessity. Short of using Transliteration and Paraphrase in my writings, I have no means to communicate to my readers in the English language a sense of what I am trying to say. 

Either about how to make an attempt to say the aayat as best as you can or with regard to getting a grasp of the basic meaning and thrust of the aayat.

None at all.

END

 

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