Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Syed Qutub: Lost in translation

“Wahdatul Wujood” in “In the Shade of the Qur’aan”

بـسـم الله والحـمـد لله والـصلاة والـسـلام عــلى رسـول الله، وبـعـد

The following is a small example to inform our English speaking brothers and sisters on how the book “In the Shade of the Qur’aan” by Syed Qutub is being “mistranslated”, to hide some of Syed Qutub’s deviancy and errors especially in the matters of `Aqeedah (Creed).

The purpose here is not to talk about Syed Qutub, but rather to do justice to the scholars who have warned against him, and have informed the Ummah not to read his books, especially his book “In the Shade of the Qur’aan”. But when one reads the English translation, he will not find some of these mistakes.

The mistakes were so glaring that even the translators had to make adjustments to the original. Hence, the precise cover-up of these mistakes by intentionally “mistranslating” the words, or by simply ignoring it and not translating it at all, so that the non-`Arabic speaking mass does not know these mistakes.

The following is an extract from Surah al-Ikhlaas (112) from the book “In the Shade of the Qur’aan” which was translated by Adil Salahi in English. (And this is the official translation which they sell and is all over the internet). The `Arabic text has also been mentioned so that those who know `Arabic can verify:

«قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ» .. وهو لفظ أدق من لفظ «واحد» .. لأنه يضيف إلى معنى «واحد» أن لا شيء غيره معه. وأن ليس كمثله شيء.
Original Translation: The Arabic term, aĥad, used here to refer to God’s oneness is much more precise than the more frequently used term, wāĥid, which means ‘one’. Aĥad has the added connotations of absolute and continuous unity and an absence of equals.

إنها أحدية الوجود.. فليس هناك حقيقة إلا حقيقته. وليس هناك وجود حقيقي إلا وجوده. وكل موجود آخر فإنما يستمد وجوده من ذلك الوجود الحقيقي، ويستمد حقيقته من تلك الحقيقة الذاتية.

Original Translation: God’s oneness is such that there is no reality and no true and permanent existence except His. Moreover, every other being acquires whatever power it may possess from God who rules over this world.

The Correct Translation: It is the unity of existence.. For there is no reality except His reality. And there is no true existence except His. And every other thing that exists derives its existence from that True Existence, and it derives its reality from that Real Self.

Note: The difference between the cover-up translation and the correct translation is:

a. The sentence, “it is the unity of existence”, was not translated into the English language by the translators. (Allaah knows best if they did it intentionally or they forgot).

b. The word “permanent existence” and “power” is not there in the original `Arabic text. These words have been added by the translator(s), so that the English reader never recognizes that Syed Qutub was in fact talking about “Wahdatul Wujood” (Unity of Existence).

c. Syed Qutub used the word “yastamid” which means derives/acquires. He did not say all things are created by Allaah, but instead he said: “They derived their existence from that True Existence.” This is another way of saying “All that exists is Allaah”.

وهي- من ثم- أحدية الفاعلية. فليس سواه فاعلا لشيء، أو فاعلا في شيء، في هذا الوجود أصلا.

Original Translation: Nothing else whatsoever plans anything for the world nor, for that matter, decides anything in it.

The Correct Translation: And it is – there after – “Unity of Action”. There is no one other than Him who does a thing, or is active in something. And this is the true existence.

Note: Another mistranslation. The word “Faa`il”, “the one who does”, has been wrongly translated to “the one who plans”. This is the false aqeedah of the Jabariyyah (those who say that Allaah does everything and that man is not responsible for his action because he is coerced into doing things).

وهذه عقيدة في الضمير وتفسير للوجود أيضا..

Original Translation: This is the belief that should be entrenched in us. It gives us a full explanation of human existence.

Note: Syed Qutub is encouraging the people to have the aqeedah of “Wahdatul Wujood”.

ومتى استقر هذا التصور الذي لا يرى في الوجود إلا حقيقة الله، فستصحبه رؤية هذه الحقيقة في كل وجود آخر انبثق عنها- وهذه درجة يرى فيها القلب يد الله في كل شيء يراه.

Original Translation: When a concept that sees nothing in the world but the reality of God establishes itself in our hearts and minds, we begin to see this genuine and permanent reality in everything He has made. This is when our hearts feel the hand of God in everything.

ووراءها الدرجة التي لا يرى فيها شيئا في الكون إلا الله. لأنه لا حقيقة هناك يراها إلا حقيقة الله.

Original Translation: There is only one level beyond this and that is when our hearts feel nothing but God’s reality in the whole universe.

The Correct Translation: There is only one level beyond this, in which one does not see anything in the universe except Allaah. Because there is no reality thereafter except the reality of Allaah.

Note: As per Syed Qutub, there are two realities, the one which everyone sees with their own eyes, as said in the paragraph before this one. And then in this paragraph he confirms that there is another reality, which the Sufees know and follow. (See next point)

وهذه هي مدارج الطريق التي حاولها المتصوفة، فجذبتهم إلى بعيد! ذلك أن الإسلام يريد من الناس أن يسلكوا الطريق إلى هذه الحقيقة وهم يكابدون الحياة الواقعية بكل خصائصها، ويزاولون الحياة البشرية، والخلافة الأرضية بكل مقوّماتها، شاعرين مع هذا أن لا حقيقة إلا الله. وأن لا وجود إلا وجوده. وأن لا فاعلية إلا فاعليته.. ولا يريد طريقا غير هذا الطريق!

Original Translation: These are the steps of the way some mystics, or Sufis, tried to climb, but they deviated too far from it. For Islam wants people to follow this route struggling with the realities of life, and leading a human life in which they exercise the role God has assigned to human beings on earth, using all their resources and fulfilling all the obligations laid upon them.

The Correct Translation: These are the steps of the way some mystics, or Sufis, tried to climb, but they deviated too far from it. For Islam wants people to follow this route struggling with the realities of life, and leading a human life in which they exercise the role God has assigned to human beings on earth, using all their resources and fulfilling all the obligations laid upon them, while realizing with it that there is no reality except that of Allaah. And there is no existence except His. And nothing happens except that He does it.. And not taking the path except this path!

Note: Another cover-up to hide the aqeedah of Syed Qutub of Wahdatul Wujood. He is not condemning the Sufees for their false aqeedah of “Wahdatul Wujood”, but he is blaming them for not involving and contributing much in this worldly life.

 من هنا ينبثق منهج كامل للحياة، قائم على ذلك التفسير وما يشيعه في النفس من تصورات ومشاعر واتجاهات:
Original Translation: From this concept of God’s oneness stems a perfect way of life based on an explanation of human existence and whatever outlooks, feelings, and traits it stimulates:

منهج لعبادة الله وحده. الذي لا حقيقة لوجود إلا وجوده، ولا حقيقة لفاعلية إلا فاعليته، ولا أثر لإرادة إلا إرادته.
Original Translation: This way of life is based on the worship of God alone whose will is the only effective power in the world.

The Correct Translation: The path of worshiping Allaah alone. There is no real existence except His. And nothing real happens except what He does. And there is no influence of anyone’s will, except His Will.

These were some but very serious mistakes in one Surah alone. There are so many other mistakes which still persist in the book.

One can read the book “المورد الزلال في التنبيه علي اخطاء تفسير الظلال” by the noble Shaikh `Abdullaah bin Muhammad al-Duwaish رحمه الله.

And Shaikh al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said: “Shaikh `Abdullaah al-Duwaish رحمه الله has pointed them out (i.e. the mistakes) and a written book about them wherein he has pointed them out. Thus it is good for you to refer to it.”

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