My Opinion of Yusuf Ali’s Translation.

Had a discussion on Quranist Reverts and Converts Support Group where I gave an opinion about Yusuf Ali’s translation, for whatever it’s worth:

I’m not a big fan, I’m afraid. To me, Yusuf Ali’s language embodies a sort of a post-Christian spirituality which isn’t bad in itself but not congruent with what I percieve to be the religious philosophy of the Quran. I will show you a…n example:

If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to allah., never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good). (3/85)

There is no ‘all spiritual good’ there and Yusuf Ali knew this hence why he put the phrase in brackets. The thing is, what made him think that it was the implication anyway? The Quran doesn’t operate in the realm of the spiritual only. In fact, it makes no distinction between the spiritual and material at all.


58/2: Our current situation

One thing I love about about us is that we have no fear revising our views when the evidence comes. Have a look at 58/2, Yusuf Ali’s translation:

If any men among you divorce their wives by Zihar (calling them mothers), they cannot be their mothers: None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact they use words (both) iniquitous and false: but truly Allah is one that blots out (sins), and forgives (again and again)

In short, this is a disgraceful translation. The word ‘wives’ (azwaj) isn’t there. The word ‘divorce’ (talaq) isn’t there. Obviously the phrase ‘calling them mothers’ isn’t there, it’s in brackets.

So where does that leave us? Mushu is doing some work on this so we shall probably see some ‘Mushu’s thoughts’ soon.