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Written by Ijaz Chaudry

The Reformist Translation of the Quran and the use of word Acknowledge instead of believe;

Excerpts have been taken from the book “Quran A Reformist Translation” translated and annotated by Edip Yuksel, Layth Saleh al-Shaiban, Martha Schulte-Nafeh…

The reason for this article is to guide the believers and make them aware of the pitfalls of this translation…

Before I start I just want to make clear why I am a believer and why I believe. I believe contrary to acknowledge, because when you acknowledge you are saying that you know something and you understand something, in the religious sense you are saying I know God, knowing God means understand and know all about what God does and how He does it. Quran is quite clear that no creature can do that;

[6:103]  No visions can encompass Him, but He encompasses all visions. He is the Compassionate, the Cognizant.

Whilst when you believe you are saying you have faith in God who does reveal knowledge to the believers, but you do not know all about God. You are hopeful that God will increase your knowledge because of the fact that you have believed in God and have faith in Him.

The justification of this word “acknowledge” used in the Edip’s translation of the Quran is as follows a quote taken from its appendix “belief in something, according to its common usage, may not need reasoning or acknowledgement of truth, but by acknowledgement implies an intellectual process to search for and find the truth (Reformist)”.

If the above justification is true why then one cannot acknowledge the “unseen” as mentioned in (2:3) Those who acknowledge the unseen… (Reformist) surely it should say (2:3) Those who believe in the unseen… (Rashad).

Edip tried to validate his argument by saying the following;

Quote from Reformist translation of the Quran by Edip “The majority of the people , according to the Quran do not YuMiNun “believe (11:17, 12:103, 13:1, 40:59) knowing that majority of the people do “believe in God” or believe in some form of religious teachings, choosing to translate the appropriate Quranic phrase, say in 12:103, as “the majority of people do not believe” creates a contradiction… (Reformist).

His validation falls on its face when one looks at each of the verse mentioned above individually;

     The Quran's Mathematical Code

[11:17]  As for those who are given solid proof from their Lord, reported by a witness from Him, and before it, the book of Moses has set a precedent and a mercy, they will surely believe. As for those who disbelieve among the various groups, Hell is awaiting them. Do not harbour any doubt; this is the truth from your Lord, but most people disbelieve.

     The Majority of People Do Not Believe

[12:103] Most people, no matter what you do, will not believe.

[12:106] The majority of those who believe in GOD do not do so without committing idol worship.

 [13:1]  A. L. M. R. These (letters) are proofs of this scripture. What is revealed to you from your Lord is the truth, but most people do not believe.

[40:59]  Most certainly, the Hour (Day of Judgment) is coming, no doubt about it, but most people do not believe.

None of the above verses are talking about being believer in Islam except (12:103) but there is no contradiction because later in (12:106) it qualifies (12:103). When you read (12:103 & 12:106) one after the other it confirms the fact there are believers but most of them are idol worshippers.  (11:17) is talking about not believing in the miracle of 19, (13:1) is talking about not believing in God’s revelations, and (40:59) is talking about not believing in the day of Judgement.

The correct word to use in the translation is “believe” and not acknowledge.  One has to believe in God and its scripture the Quran before the reciting of the Quran comes in and the investigation and searching of the truth.  Thus in conclusion “belief” is the key.

Believing in God is, believing and following the Quran;

[34:31]  Those who disbelieve have said, "We will not believe in this Quran, nor in the previous scriptures." If you could only envision these transgressors when they stand before their Lord! They will argue with one another back and forth. The followers will tell their leaders, "If it were not for you, we would have been believers."

[41:26]  Those who disbelieved said, "Do not listen to this Quran and distort it, that you may win."

[41:44]  If we made it a non-Arabic Quran they would have said, "Why did it come down in that language?" Whether it is Arabic or non-Arabic, say, "For those who believe, it is a guide and healing. As for those who disbelieve, they will be deaf and blind to it, as if they are being addressed from faraway."

Because Quran is the word of God and the word of God is true. We know that the Quran is word of God because the Quran says so and because of the validation of the Quran with the use of Miracle of 19. All we need is better understanding of it which we can achieve by asking God’s help, following the messengers or those in charge and using our senses.  But in all this belief is the main part.  Otherwise how can one acknowledge this verse, for, instance;

[46:15]  We enjoined the human being to honour his parents. His mother bore him arduously, gave birth to him arduously, and took intimate care of him for thirty months. When he reaches maturity, and reaches the age of forty, he should say, "My Lord, direct me to appreciate the blessings You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You. Let my children be righteous as well. I have repented to You; I am a submitter."

How could we verify and find out if anyone dying before the age of forty goes to Heaven.  One has to believe in this verse and what the interpretations given by the messenger…

Also there are born believers who have not read the Quran or the Bible but they have belief in some power which we call God…  These people can be called believers but not acknowledgers because they have not intentionally acknowledge, God but they are guided by God.  Once again the better suited word in this instance for that person is believer.

Let me give you an example where within Reformist Translation Edip did not practice what he preaches .i.e. Acknowledge.

In Appendix 1 under the title “belief Faith” where he quoted verses from the Quran mid page 511, and he explains in his own words what those verses mean. He said describing the attributes of the acknowledgers “Are free individuals, do not follow crowds…” I read the verses he pointed out which he referred to. None of those verses suggested that we should not follow the crowed in any way or form, directly or implied it never said that. The reason for it not saying that is that sometimes we need to follow crowds. For example the crowd follow the well-known scientific facts and I am sure so does Edip.

So I ask Edip “where had he come to conclusion that we should not follow crowds”, God’s words did not say that, the science has proven that majority (crowd) believe in science.

Edip has over emphasised how important is to acknowledge, however he forgot himself to acknowledge, this seems more like an attribute of a Hypocrite, then acknowledger.

Let me give you example from the Quran where knowledge of the scientific facts based on concept known by the crowd come handy;

[10:5]  He is the One who rendered the sun radiant, and the moon a light, and He designed its phases that you may learn to count the years and to calculate. GOD did not create all this, except for a specific purpose. He explains the revelations for people who know.

As suggested by the argument that there is no harm in following the crowds in certain fields it equally harmful by following the religion of the many, because we know from (12:103 & 106) that very few people believe in God Alone, so we need to be careful what we follow. It is only wise to follow the Quran alone.

And there are many more examples like this in the Quran.