Translation of Dhalikal Kitabu
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST BENEFICENT, THE MOST MERCIFUL.
In Surah 2 - Al Baqarah - Verse 2 - Allah Subhanahu says 'Dhalikal Kitabu La Raiba Fi'. The translation by Sheikh Abdulla Yusufali says 'This is the Book and in it is guidance'. However, a certain community believes that this verse actually means 'That is the Book and in it is guidance'. My question is, what is the correct translation of this verse?
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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 2: (translation by Brother Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
This is the Book; in it is guidance sure without doubt to those who fear Allah.
Brother, we are very well aware that a ‘certain community’ try to use this Aayah of the Glorious Quran to suit their own self-made beliefs!
First, they challenge the translation and say that ‘Dhalikal Kitaab’ should be translated into ‘That Book’ in English; but it does not end there! For then, they say that the ‘kitaab’ that is referenced in the Aayah “dhaalikal kitaab….” is not the Glorious Quran, but is in fact, Hadrat Ali ibn Abi Taalib (r.a.), and they call him the ‘Speaking Book’!
Beloved brother, to believe that Allah Subhanah has called Hadrat Ali (r.a.) a ‘Book’ in the Quran, is absolute and thorough misguidance; and a fiction of the imagination of this ‘certain community’….who try to justify and suit their own self-made beliefs from the Holy Quran, rather than believing in the Truth of the Holy Quran, and aligning their beliefs with the clear guidance and teachings of the Quran!
The simple argument to annul their misguided belief is to declare that the Glorious Quran is in absolute context; and although Allah Subhanah has mentioned the term ‘Kitaab’ in excess of a hundred times in the Glorious Quran: NOWHERE ELSE IN THE WHOLE OF THE QURAN, DOES THE ALMIGHTLY LORD CALL A PERSON A BOOK, OR A BOOK A PERSON!
This ‘certain community’ tries to distort a clear Aayah of the Glorious Quran, seeking to decipher its ‘hidden meaning’ when there is none, and create chaos, discord and fitnah in the Ummah through their allegorical and ambiguous searches of the real meanings!
Allah says in the Holy Quran in Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 7:
It is Allah, Who sent down this Quran to you. (There are two kinds of verses in the Book.) In it are verses Basic or Fundamental (of established meanings which can be easily understood), and they are the essence or foundation of the Book. And the other verses are Allegorical or Ambiguous. Those in whose hearts is perversity will always go for the Allegorical or Ambiguous verses, seeking discord and trying to search for their hidden meanings. None, except Allah, knows their real meanings(Ta’aweel)! In contrast to them, those who are firmly grounded in knowledge, say: “We believe in them all, because all of them are from our Lord.
Glory be to Allah Subhanah! How He exposes the tricks and plays of these false people in the above Aayah!
Now to come to the grammar and translation of the term “'Dhalikal Kitabu”. ‘Dhalika’ indeed can be translated ‘That’; for the Arabic term of ‘This’ is ‘Haza’. But, one who knows even basic Arabic grammar will confirm that if the Aayah said ‘Hazal-Kitabu’ it would be the usage of wrong grammar!
When the Quran was being revealed, it was revealed verbally, and not in a book form. And when something is not present when speaking verbally, it cannot be called ‘haza’ (this), but rather has to be called ‘dhalika’ (that)!
The correct literal translation of ‘dhalikal kitaab’ would indeed be ‘that Book’; and since the Book referred to in the Aayah is, without an iota of a doubt, the Holy Quran, the eminent translators have, in trying to stay closest to the meaning of the Holy Quran have translated it ‘this Book’, meaning the Glorious Quran.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,