View Full Version : Preface to the translation

05-18-2009, 11:56 AM
Allah – in the name of – the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
All Praise to Allah, the Lord Of The Creation, and countless greetings of peace and blessings upon the Noble Messenger of Allah, the Last Prophet, our Master, – Prophet Mohammed.
With the deepest sense of gratitude and humility, I praise and thank Allah for granting me the guidance and opportunity of the unique service of translating the Holy Qur’an into English. May Allah keep accept this humble service – Aameen.
This translation of the Holy Qur’an is adapted from the best translation in the Urdu language, called "Kanz-ul-Imaan" - by Maulana Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (1272-1340 H - May Allah have mercy upon him). The reasons for using Kanz-ul-Imaan as the basis of translation are outlined in latter paragraphs. The translation is therefore named "The Treasure of Faith".
Since there are already quite a few English Translations of the Holy Qur’an readily available, I believe it would not be out of place to outline the unique features of this translation.

First of all, as mentioned above, it is based on the most authentic and universally acclaimed Urdu translation of Maulana Imam Ahmed Raza Khan, who was accepted by the Ulema of his time as the Renewer (Mujaddid) of Islam, for the 14th Century Hijri. We have tried to retain the excellent qualities of the Urdu Translation, in the English one.
Extreme care has been taken to use the right words and expressions, according to Islamic faith and doctrines.
Special attention has been taken to ensure that words used while speaking of Allah and / or His Noble Prophets and / or the Muslims, are according to their rights, status and dignity, and that the words are not derogatory. (This has been dealt with at length under the topic "Why Kanz-ul-Imaan?")
The language used by most translators was usually archaic and difficult to understand. This translation attempts to render the meanings in the most simple, modern day English. The structure of the sentences is simple and easy to understand, leaving no ambiguity in the minds of the reader.
The meanings conveyed in the translation are in accordance with generally accepted meanings by the majority of Muslim scholars.
Wherever it is difficult for the common reader to understand the meanings of any word or phrase, explanations have been given in brackets to further simplify the meanings and remove ambiguities.
Wherever it was felt that a particular Ayah (verse) needed some explanation, a small explanation has been inserted at its end. This is particularly effective and reduces the chances of misinterpretation. It is also easy for the reader. A special "Ready Reference’ table is also inserted at the beginning.
The translation has been checked and rechecked several times over, paying special attention to the meanings, as well as to grammar and spellings.
Although human expertise has its own limitations, we have exercised full care to the best of our abilities to present it to the reader without any errors. Suggestions for improvements are most welcome.

The idea of rendering the Holy Qur’an into the English language came into my heart a long time ago, and work finally began when my spiritual guide and Shaykh, Hazrat Allama Syed Abdul Aleem Qadri (May Allah increase his stature) gave me the permission (Ijazah) to go ahead - and he constantly prayed for its success. Allah created ease for me by providing me enough spare time and providing assistance from learned friends in February 1998. I am truly deeply indebted to my friends their exemplary dedication, effort and advice during the entire course of rendering the translation. By the grace of Allah, the translation was completed in May 2000, in a span of over 2 years.

Reason # (1) – The Writer of Kanz-ul-Imaan, himself.
There is hardly any learned Muslim in the Indian sub-continent, who has not heard the name of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (May Allah have mercy upon him). An exemplary genius and an extremely gifted personality, the Imam has authored almost 1200 books. An outstanding achievement indeed, if one considers just this one aspect of his services to Islam. Born in the Indian sub-continent in the year 1856, he lived for about 65 years and was laid to rest in 1921. During his lifetime, the entire fraternity of Muslim Ulema (scholars) of the Indian sub-continent recognized him to be the Renewer (Mujaddid) of Islam of the 14th Century Hijri.
The Imam was imbibed with profound love for Allah and the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). His entire life was devoted to Islam. His knowledge was so vast and deep, that it is not possible for normal human beings to achieve it even through utmost effort. It cannot be but Allah’s gift to him. This is reflected in his books, in which to prove a single point he quotes several references from the Holy Qur’an, various books of Hadith, Qur’an exegesis done by earlier Ulema, books of earlier and contemporary Ulema. He cites the Ayah number, the full wordings of the Ayah / Hadith, the name of the Book, the name of the author, the exact text – and sometimes out of memory, extempore he quotes the name of the publisher, the year of publication and also the page and line number where the text can be found!
His services to Islam are so varied and their effects so long lasting, it is impossible to mention them all in a few pages of the preface. Some of his most notable achievements are listed below: -

The translation of the Holy Qur’an into the Urdu language, according to the most widely accepted meanings by the fraternity of Islamic scholars, according to the Ahle Sunnah school of thought. Islamic centers of learning all over the world have certified its authenticity, including the famous Jamiah Al Azhar University of Cairo, Egypt.
An encyclopedic collection of decrees (Fatawas) issued by him, which runs into 11 volumes, called "Al Ata’a alNabawiyyah Fi Fatawa alRazwiyyah". He did this alone. It is more voluminous than the famous "Fatawa Alamgeeri", which was compiled by 300 scholars in early 18th Century.
The Imam has authored close to 1200 books, on various topics ranging from the science of Qur’an and Hadith, Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic ideologies & doctrine, Mathematics and Science – to name a few.
He imbibed in an entire generation – and in generations to come – the true love for the Holy Prophet and the Holy Prophet’s traditions.
His Jihaad against various trouble makers – most notably the imposter prophet G. A. Qadiani, the various heretic sects of his time, the Hindu Arya Samaj, and the British Raj. His writings are a long-standing challenge against them, which none has been able to refute.
An extremely beautiful collection of poetry in praise of Allah, (Hamd) and the Holy Prophet (Naat), called "Hadaek – e- Bakshish" (The Gardens of Forgiveness). His "Salaam" for the Holy Prophet echoes in thousands of mosques every Friday.
He left behind several "Khalifas" (Deputies) to carry on the work and mission of Islam. They too have done exemplary service to Islam.

The main reason of selecting "Kanz-ul-Imaan" has been outlined above – others are as follows: - Reason # (2) The meanings rendered in Kanz-ul-Imaan.
The Holy Qur’an is itself a witness that it is the source of all knowledge. It is therefore impossible for a translator to ever put forth all the interpretations by his own. Kanz-ul-Imaan has been widely accepted as the best and closest in meaning to the words conveyed by the Arabic Text of the Holy Qur’an, as was understood and taught by the Holy Prophet and the Noble Companions.
It can safely be deduced that Imam Ahmed Raza, being gifted with extraordinary knowledge, used all the knowledge available to him to render the best translation in the simplest manner possible, while not deviating from the Arabic text.
Reason # (3) A brief exegesis (tafseer) – not only a translation.
The translation rendered by the great Imam removes a lot of doubts and ambiguities with the use of right words in the right places. It therefore serves the purpose of a short exegesis, while conveying the true meanings of the Holy Qur’an.
Reason # (4) Words and phrases used.
The words and phrases used in Kanz-ul-Imaan, are simple and easy to understand, while having a very high standard of Urdu.
Reason # (5) Proper judgement and choice in use of words.
It is worthwhile to note that words which the Holy Qur’an has used to describe or speak about Allah / the Holy Prophets / Muslims, have been given a respectful meaning – whereas the same words when used by the Qur’an for hypocrites and enemies of faith, have been given the suitable meaning. I too have tried my best to reflect this in the English translation.
Reason # (6) A comparative study with other translations.
It would be proper here to point out some major differences between Kanz-ul-Imaan and other Urdu translations, to highlight the superiority and correctness of the former. A few examples are as follows, which I trust will suffice: -
Example # 1. (Surah Al Imraan – verse 142)

…and until now Allah has not known who among you will fight. (In Urdu, by Shah Abdul Qadir)
…whereas Allah has not yet fully known those among you who will fight. (In Urdu, by Fateh Mohammed Jalandhari)
…whereas until now Allah has not yet known those among you who have fought. (In Urdu, by Abdul Majid Daryabadi)
…and until now Allah has not yet found out who among you will fight. (In Urdu, by Mahmood ulHassan)
…while Allah has not yet tested your warriors. (Kanz-ul-Imaan, by Imam Ahmed Raza)

Allah is the All Knowing. How then can He not know those who will fight or not? The translations made by others tend to show that Allah does not have this knowledge, whilst Kanz-ul-Imaan is according to proper Islamic faith. Further examples of the same kind are found in Surah Mohammed (verse 31), Surah Maidah (verse 94) and in Surah Ankabut (verse 11). Example # 2. (Surah Anfal – verse 30)

And they were plotting and Allah too was plotting, and Allah’s plot is the best. (In Urdu, by Shah Abdul Qadir).
And they were conspiring and Allah was also conspiring – and the best conspiracy is that of Allah. (In Urdu, by Mahmood ulHassan)
And the state of affairs was that the disbelievers were deceiving, and Allah too was deceiving – and Allah is the best of those who deceive. (In Urdu, by D. Nazeer Ahmed)
And they were scheming, and Allah was making His secret plan; and Allah’s secret plan is the best. (Kanz-ul-Imaan by Imam Ahmed Raza)

Allah is Pure, and Independent of all shortcomings. It is obvious that other translators have carelessly faltered and used the same words for Allah as they used for the disbelievers. At this juncture, Kanz-ul-Imaan uses the proper words befitting Allah’s Majesty, while also conveying the proper meaning. Further examples of the same kind are found in Surah Ale Imran (verse 54), Surah Nisaa (verse 142), and in Surah Yunus (verse 21) Example # 3 (Surah Duha – verse 7)

And found you wandering then guided you? (In Urdu, by Shah Abdul Qadir)
And found you lost astray, therefore showed you the way?(In Urdu, by Shah Rafiuddin)
And found you unaware (of the path) so showed you the way? (In Urdu, by Abdul Majid Daryabadi)
And Allah found you unaware (of Islamic laws), so He showed you the way (of Islamic laws)? (In Urdu, by Ashraf Ali Thanvi)
And (He) found you deeply engrossed in His love, so directed you? (Kanz-ul-Imaan by Imam Ahmed Raza).

The Holy Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) has been sent by Allah as a Prophet for the entire world, and as a guiding light from Allah. Umpteen references are available to show that the Holy Prophet was rightly guided since birth. How then can one who is supposed to be the ideal of entire mankind, be misguided or lost himself? How would Allah guide mankind through such a person? It is quite clear that the translation must use the most suitable meaning of the Arabic text and not necessarily the most common meaning. Kanz-ul-Imaan correctly interprets the Arabic word "Daallan" to mean "deeply engrossed in His love", and not "astray" as some translators have done. Another example of the same kind is found in Surah Shura (verse 52). Example # 4 (Surah Fatah – verse 1 & 2)

We have pronounced a decision for you – a firm decision – so that Allah may forgive you the sins you committed in the past, and those that remain behind. (In Urdu, by Shah Abdul Qadir).
Indeed We gave you a victory, a clear victory, so that for you Allah may forgive the past sins of yours, and those that remain. (In Urdu, by Shah Rafiuddin).
We have indeed given you a very clear victory, so that with it Allah may forgive all your mistakes of the past and the future. (In Urdu, by Ashraf Ali Thanvi).
We have indeed, for your sake (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him), bestowed a clear victory. So that Allah may forgive, for your sake, the sins of those before you and those after you. (Kanz-ul-Imaan by Imam Ahmed Raza)

The same reasons given in example # 3 also apply here. And it is very clear who has used proper reasoning and shown true respect for the Leader of the Pious, the Holy Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him). Other translators have not shown proper respect. Example # 5 (Surah Baqarah – verse 120)

And if you ever follow what pleases them, after this knowledge which has come to you, then you have no one to support you against the "hand" of Allah, nor any aide. (In Urdu, by Shah Abdul Qadir)
And if you, after this knowledge which has come to you, follow their desires so for you there will be no supporter nor any aide against the seizure of Allah. (In Urdu, by Abdul Majid Daryabadi).
And if you follow their wrong beliefs, after the coming of true knowledge through the revelations, then you will have neither any friend nor any aide to save you from the wrath of Allah. (In Urdu, by Ashraf Ali Thanvi).
Were you (the followers of this Prophet) to follow their desires after the knowledge has come to you, you would then not have a protector or an aide against Allah. (Kanz-ul-Imaan by Imam Ahmed Raza).

The learned scholars know that in umpteen instances in the Holy Qur’an, while addressing the Holy Prophet, the actual address is towards the entire Muslim nation. Kanz-ul-Imaan makes it very clear from the above that the reminder and warning is in fact for the Muslim nation, for truly the Holy Prophet is himself an announcer of warning. Another example of the same kind is found in Surah Baqarah (verse 145). Example # 6 (Bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem)

Beginning with the name of Allah who is Most Gracious, Most Merciful. (In Urdu, by Shah Abdul Qadir).
I begin along with the name of Allah, the Forgiver, the Merciful. (In Urdu, by Shah Rafiuddin).
I begin with the name of Allah who is very gracious, extremely merciful. (In Urdu, by Ashraf Ali Thanvi).
Allah – in the name of – the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. (Kanz-ul-Imaan by Imam Ahmed Raza).

Readers will note the beauty of Kanz-ul-Imaan. It keeps the name of Allah at the beginning. It also does not have any reference to one’s self. Other translators have either not kept the word "Allah" in the beginning or have wrongly inserted references to the "self" – which is not present in the Arabic text.I trust the above reasons and examples cited, will convince the readers of the need to have an English Translation based on the Urdu Translation rendered by Imam Ahmed Raza (May Allah have mercy upon him).

I wish to express here my sincere gratitude to all those who helped me in this project, a few of whom I mention here: -

Hazrat Allama Mufti Akhtar Raza Sahab (of Bareilly - India), Hazrat Allama Peer Alauddin Siddiqui Sahab (of Islamabad – Pakistan), Hazrat Allama Syed Shah Turab-ul-Haq Qadri Sahab (of Karachi – Pakistan) (May Allah increase their stature), and other Ulema who prayed for its successful completion.
I re-mention the name of Hazrat Allama Peer Hazrat Alauddin Siddiqui, (may Allah increase his stature), who is a beacon of guidance for a large Muslim population across the world. He recognized the importance of this work and graciously accepted to make full arrangements for its publication and distribution, through the Mohiuddin Islamic University, of which he is the Chancellor. Along with him, I also thank his student and deputy, my close friend Khalifa Abdul Majeed Siddiqui, who first came to know of the translation and encouraged me to complete it in the best possible manner.
The learned scholar, Dr. Ishaq Qureshi (Vice Chancellor of Mohiuddin Islamic University) and his team of professors who painstakingly checked and verified the entire translation.
My family, close friends and associates who constantly helped me in one way or the other facilitating my work, and who also prayed for its completion.
Lastly, although I did mention them earlier, all my sincere friends who dedicatedly strove and checked the translation word by word, at every stage, throughout the span of over two years. May Allah reward them immensely for their efforts.

I pray to Allah to accept this humble offering, and to forgive discrepancies that may have unintentionally crept in. O Allah, accept this effort, and make it a source of guidance for generations to come – Aameen. O Allah, bestow an immense reward upon all those who participated and assisted in the process. O Allah, dedicate its reward, which You may choose to bestow, to my Master the Holy Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him), to all the Prophets, to the entire Muslim Ummah and among them particularly to Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Imam Ahmed Raza, my Shaykh and guide Syed Abdul Aleem Qadri, and to my parents (may Allah have mercy upon them the way they nurtured me in my infancy) and to all the Shuyukh of the Qadri / Naqshbandi / Chishti / Suharwardi orders. O Allah, forgive me, my parents and all Muslim men and women, on the day when the account will be established - Aameen.
Readers are requested to pray for my salvation and for the salvation of the entire Muslim Ummah. I end my prayer with All Praise to Allah. And countless blessings upon the Holy Prophet Mohammed, his progeny, his companions and all his followers.

Mohammed Aqib Qadri

05-21-2009, 12:21 PM

James Blair
05-23-2014, 12:15 AM
Sometimes the arrangement of words that we get to see in translation sounds different then what it is written in Arabic.That is why its very important to use it after knowing a bit about it and if someone can actually know about it or do something about it they know how to do better.