HOW THE TRANSLATORS ARE PLAYING WITH PREPOSITIONS
WHILE TRANSLATING THE BOOK QURAN?
A preposition is a
word—and almost always a very small, very common word—that shows direction (to
in "a letter to you"), location (at in "at the door"), or
time (by in "by noon"), or that introduces an object (of in "a
basket of apples"). Prepositions are typically followed by an object,
which can be a noun (noon), a noun phrase (the door), or a pronoun (you).
In Arabic a preposition (حَرْفُ الْجَرِّ- called /harf ul ĵarr) is a single letter or a word which connects two nouns, or a verb and a noun to form a sentence. As above this is generally showing the position of one word to another. It always precedes a word and never follows the word. A preposition always comes before a noun and it does not come before a verb.
We cannot change the
meanings of the prepositions according to our preconceived context of our
tutored mind. If we have to manipulate the meanings of the simple prepositions
that means we have failed to relate another word or element in the clause. I
understand the evolution of the languages but prepositions don’t evolve along
with the other meanings of the words or elements of the language. Prepositions
are very important part of the sentence we cannot manipulate its meaning to
suit our mind. The meanings of the prepositions will always remain the same as
they show the direction or location of the subject and the predicate otherwise
everything will be lost in translation.
For example – 1) فِي الْأَرْضِ is usually translated or perceived as ON THE
EARTH. The manipulation of the preposition happens due to a parallel story
running in our mind that Adam was installed / made as a KHALIFA ON EARTH – 2:30
and if we translate فِي as IN THE EARTH it won’t make any
sense to English knowing audience or those who think the word الْأَرْضِ
signifies EARTH. The reason for manipulating the preposition is that most of
the translators think الْأَرْضِ in the context
of the Quran means THE EARTH so it is hard for them to translate فِي as [IN] in English. Most of the
translators of the book Quran are from subcontinent of India so they translate
Quran in English but through their lens of Urdu language. The Author of the Book
Quran knows that there is a Arabic word for ON [ عَلَى ] and the Author used the word for ON too in
the book Quran so why they translate فِي الْأَرْضِ as عَلَى
الْأَرْضِ [18:7], this
only because the translators have failed to understand the meaning of related
word in the theme and context of the book Quran.
Example 2) فِي النَّاسِ in 6:122 and 22:27 – In these
verses the preposition فِي is
manipulated as ‘AMONG’ and ‘TO’ – This is done to fit in their preconceived notion
that AN-NAAS means men, mankind or people.
Example 3) هَاجَرُوا فِي اللَّهِ in verse 16:41 – The simple honest translation
would be those MIGRATED IN ALLAH –
But the translators added the word ‘CAUSE’ / ‘PATH’ to
the sentence to make sense to their preconceived idea of Allah as GOD / DIETY.
They could not conceive how one can migrate IN ALLAH as the interpreters are unaware
about the real essence of the term Allah in the context and theme of the book
Quran. So finally هَاجَرُوا فِي اللَّهِ is conveniently translated as MIGRATED IN
THE PATH / CAUSE OF ALLAH.
Example 4) أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولًا 2:151 – Here
again the phrase فِيكُمْ is translated as among you because many
among us are not aware of the crux of word Rasul in the context and theme of
the book Quran. We relate the mentioned word Rasul with the honorable figure of
Mohammed bin Abdullah, therefore IN YOU [فِيكُمْ] becomes ‘AMONG YOU’ [بَيْنِكُمْ] [5:106] and nobody dares to question it.
23:32 - فَأَرْسَلْنَا فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ
3:101 - وَفِيكُمْ رَسُولُهُ
Example 5) – Now come
to preposition ‘FROM’ - مِنْ
3:164 - إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ
9:128 - لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ
Here the poor preposition
مِنْ whose actual meaning is ‘FROM’ but
adjusted to become ‘AMONG THEMSELVES’ because it was difficult to digest the Quranic
concept that Rasul is FROM OUR NAFS / SELF / PSYCHE.
background Hadith narration of Mecca / Madina events pertaining to historical
figure Mohammed bin Abdullah are regularly playing in our minds and that
hinders our thinking process to translate the book Quran on the merits of its
actual context, connotations and language.
So translators are playing with the words of the book Quran according to what suits their understanding of the message. There is no rule, only whims and fancies.
SALAM / PEACE