Mishkat Al-Anwar - The Niche of Lights

Discussion in 'Links' started by Juwayni, May 9, 2019.

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  1. Juwayni

    Juwayni Well-Known Member

    As Salamu 'Alaykum,

    I got a recent translation of it done by BYU, here are some extracts.

    P.S. Why aren't more of our own publishing critical editions with translations of these texts yet these Mormons are? (BYU also did an edition of Tahafut al Falasifa)

    Attached Files:

  2. abu nibras

    abu nibras Staff Member


    jazakallah khair for pointing out the problems with the translation.

    I have the same translation from a 1997 publication and that is exactly what I felt and still feel. Though over the last years I have tried to understand some parts that i did not before.

    perhaps if Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad or someone with an understanding of Islam and an insight into the style of Imam Ghazzali :ra: take up this work for translation it will be nice.

    till then all of us who cant make much of the original text have this to break our heads with, however i think that this translation atleast gives us an idea about the basic thought behind the book.

    i wait anxiously for your insights.


    abu nibras
  3. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    the translation is not bad, but not the best either. it is an outsiders rendition of islamic beliefs. imagine a time warp and an engineer from the 1920s encountering a porsche 911. (for the conspiracy theorists - why didn't they blame porsche for the 9-11 bombings? after all it made these numbers so popular). how would he describe it to men in his time?

    i first read it in english and didn't understand half of it; i imagined that it was one of the difficult works of imam ghazali. but when i read the original again in arabic, it turned out to be so simple.

    the translator fails utterly in his attempt. it is neither a critical appreciation without prejudice (the t'tor has a christian bias) nor a literal translation that remains faithful to the text. the t'tor distorts a few meanings - which may not be deliberate but owing to the author's little understanding of the faith itself. there are sweeping generalizations and distortion by oversimplification. to give the author due credit there are parts which are excellent. one gets the feeling that it is a collage of two authors!

    i don't recommend THIS translation to anyone not familiar with the nuances of belief. particularly in a post-salafi world where corporealism is now being considered as another viewpoint in islam rather than outright heresy.

    inshaAllah, if i find the time i will try to point out the places where *i* find it problematic. i might be mistaken. wa billahi't tawfiq.

    my 2 fils.

    when i checked out the site (after i wrote the review) i found that a disclaimer has been wisely added to the translation. http://muslim-canada.org/niche1.html

    i wish someone else might translate this sublime speech. it is indeed a marvel to behold in ghazali's words.
    Aqdas likes this.
  4. abu nibras

    abu nibras Staff Member


    <a href ="http://muslim-canada.org/niche0.html">


    Mishkat Al-Anwar </a>

    (The Niche of Lights)


    Hujjat al-Islam Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazali
    an Online adaptation from the translation by
    W. H. T. (William Henry Temple) GAIRDNER [b. 1873, d. 1928]
    Published in 1924


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