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My translation of Qur'an 3:54 is correct

Reader comment on item: Counting Islamists
in response to reader comment: Our dear Keith and his bogus translation of Q3:54

Submitted by Keith Williams (United States), Oct 29, 2008 at 16:08

Hi,

My translation is not bogus.

And (then unbelievers) plotted and planned, and God too planned, and the best of planners is God. (Qur'an 3:54)(Abdullah Yusef Ali)

I got this translation from, The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an by Abdullah Yusef Ali. You are right that the translation is not word for word from the Arabic to the English and that is why it is called the meaning of the Qur'an being a mixture of Tafsir al Qur'an (Qur'an commentary and meaning) to help in understanding the Arabic idioms which we can't perceive when it is translated straight into English. When we translate the text from Arabic to English some of the meaning gets lost. That is why we have scholars to help us not only to translate but also to interpret what is being said in the Qur'an. You and I can translate it but it is hard for us to interpret because like you said we have not gone to one of the Islamic schools to learn tafsir al-Qur'an . I have not been schooled on tafsir al-Qur'an so I am not an expert and so I am sorry that I can't break it down for you but I can give you some websites to help. http://www.altafsir.com/

Also, some of the words that we find in the Qur'an are not used anymore in colloquial speech as well as some of the Arabic words have changed meaning thru the years and may not mean the same thing as they did 1400 years ago. So, even though I know MSA (modern standard arabic) does not mean that I can interpret what the Qur'an says even though I can recite it and translate it into English. For an analogy if I may. And I know you have been upset when I quote from the Bible but I only do that to help in your understanding and benefit as an analogy and/or compare and contrast. One comparison is with the Bible. The King James Version is a good example if you follow my logic. I know English but when I read the old English I don't really know some of the meaning. Also, the King James is a translation from Latin, Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic therefore the same problems with the real meaning may get confused from 2000 years ago due to changes in the meaning and idioms from time to time. That is why we have Priests, Imams, Rabbis, etc... People who train their hold lives in the art and science of interpreting the holy books.

From my understanding, Makara مَڪَرَ in Arabic has a good and a bad meaning, that of making an intricate plan to carry out some secret purpose. When God plans of course it is always for the good. All believers know that. Now when man makes a secret plan, it could be good or bad but it is still makara in Arabic. The purpose of the Makara is what you don't understand and what I was trying to explain to you. You got so wrapped up on the translation of the word that you could not see the purpose and meaning. You automatically assumed that since the plan is secret it must be bad. That is jumping to conclusions. We don't know God's purpose but he knows more than we do and we have to have faith and trust in him and know that his plan is always good and always for our benefit unless of course you are an unbeliever. Even so, he causes good on the believers and unbelievers as we see around us but that is where we don't know for sure why that is and why it seems that bad people reap well sometimes. We are told in both the Qur'an and Bible that all will receive what we have earned. We will reap what we sow.

Also, remember that this beautiful Qur'an in its beautiful Arabic prose has a very beautiful sound and melody like the Pslams of David but is still packed with deep meaning. That is something isn't it. Praise God. If you would like to hear some very beautiful Qur'an recitation that will make your heart melt and make the tears flow from your eyes also with the english subtext and if you wish english recitation, please go to: www.quranexplorer.com

peace

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