tahir jhangvi and his translation of the qur'an

Discussion in 'Ulum al-Qur'an' started by abu Hasan, Sep 8, 2020.

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  1. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

  2. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

  3. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    i was under the impression that the gloating of the professor of his translation of this one verse ended in that clip. apparently not as it continues to the next clip:


    before i comment on the professor's fantasies, i would like to add one more thing to my previous post. consider the following: suhbat se nawazney waley (ya'ani apne fayz e suHbat se SaHabi bananey waley Rasul). it is as if, suHbah is a tangible thing handed out to the SaHabi; read the absurd construct once again, but let us not quibble on smaller issues when bigger issues stare us in the face. [suhbat se nawazna is an urdu idiom to mean 'granted company'; while it is true that such an idiom holds good in cases where some people are 'granted company' it also indicates exclusivity].

    this means that RasulAllah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam chose some folk for his suhbat and granted them suhbat, making them sahabi; and (implicitly) withheld from some; and those whom he did not give suhbat remained kafirs. [according to tahir's trans]

    even though his suhbah was not selective; and those who accepted and remained in his blessed suHbah became SaHabi and those who did not, became kafirs; but the fayD of RasulAllah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam was general and the invitation was open for all.

    i cannot understand how redundant phraseology (for example: a mufassir who does tafsir of the quran) can be considered a mark of eloquence.

    in the next clip, tahir sahib confidently dismisses alahazrat's translation:
    na bahkey na bhatkey, ye tarjumah durust nahiN hai.
    professor sahib probably does not know that the correct pronunciation is tarjamah. but let it pass. i do not understand how tahir can fault alahazrat for getting his tenses right; but that is how megalomania works. someone should forward the dunning-kruger paper to him as well. [this seems to be the theme of some other incompetent speechmakers, who cannot get the basics right, but try to fault alahazrat for subtlety].
    aur na kabhi rah se bhaTkey,
    where alahazrat's na bahkey keeps it open (neither in the past nor now, nor in the future); the cardinal's qualifier clearly fixes the past, thus rendering the present and future uncertain: which could lead someone to ask:
    kabhi nahiN bhaTkey, magar kya ba'ad meiN bhaTkey? (ma'adhAllah)
    now juxtapose this with alahazrat's beautiful and precise translation:
    na baHkey na bey raaH chale
    which has all the answers: na pahle, na ab, na aayindah.

    i am not a specialist in arabic like mawlana jalali sahib and i am sure he will expose the professor's ignorance adequately; but as far as i know, the professor does not seem to even know the basic qasam- jawab al-qasam; and probably does not realise that a lengthy chapter on 'maa' exists.

    the rest of his speech is nonsense. the general consensus about the background of this verse is that it refutes false accusations and slanders of kuffar. suppose, we take tahir's fanciful idea; one could ask, if there is no road, then how is there a possibility of going astray? so, if there is no road, then how apt is the following translation?
    na (kabhi) raah bhooley na (kabhi) raah sey bhaTkey. [irfan e tahiri, emphasis mine]
    when there is no raah, what does raah bhooley mean? and what value does your gloating have in this case? don't blame me, the prof. is himself explaining the context why he did his translation.

    and another thing professor: the word is samt, not simt. feel free to look up a dictionary.

    i watched the fifth clip, and the shamelessness of the professor in it is not surprising anymore. chori aur seena zori. he shamelessly lifts from alahazrat, but does not acknowledge it; instead, he tries to smudge it.

    we will see - in sha Allah - how chashm e zadan meiN shab e miyraj uupar jaakar niche utrey, beats eloquence to death. the professor probably does not know miyraj by definition means 'to ascend to the skies'; the journey until jerusalem is 'israa'. in tahiri dictionary, eloquence is being repetitive and stating the bleedingly obvious. anything that comes down, as far as i know is from above; in both english and urdu. i do not know if anybody can say these:
    niche se niche utrey
    bayeN se niche utrey
    dayeN se niche utrey
    in fact, utrey itself includes the meaning of down.

    what a humbug!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  4. chisti-raza

    chisti-raza Veteran

    In my view, this is without doubt one of the most important points relating to our blessed Imam that people need to understand and acknowledge. Something that I have been trying to explain to people for a while now.
  5. Taalib-e-Ilm

    Taalib-e-Ilm Well-Known Member

    I think he will be remembered along with the likes of thanvi, gangohi, nanotwi, ambethwi and co
  6. Noori

    Noori Senior Moderator

    masha Allah.

    tahir has really gone mad, running blindly after worldly fame, what an incredible loss he is earning for his akhirah.

    ala-hazrat said

    bay-nishanoN ka nishaN mit-taa naheeN
    mit-tay mit-tay naam ho hi jaay gaa

    tq is dying to make a name, but alas that he won't be remembered.
  7. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    here from the mule's mouth blowing his own trumpet:


    a jahil who still doesn't know the wrong or right of ikram/kiraam muqam/maqam lecturing alahazrat on the suitability of using sahib. one who cannot even pronounce the qaaf properly - kurb/qurb (so he must be reciting kalb for all the qalb) strutting his ware. the idiot should first learn arabic - and read taj al-arus, i had translated s-h-b here some time ago though i was not thinking of tahir at that time..

    as if sahib is not a urdu word at all! in fact, the word saHib in urdu has a more specific meaning than its arabic original which is superior to "suhbat se nawazne waley." if tahir did not know the meaning of a simple word like sahib, whose fault is it? of the urdu reader?


    let us put the eight criteria to test; don't take my word for it, you decide:

    'sahib' [kanzul iman] compared to 'apni suhbat se nawazney waley' [irfan e tahiri]

    kanzul iman: tumhare saHib na bahke na bey-raah chaley

    irfan e tahiri: tumheN (apnee) suhbat se nawazney waley (ya'ani tumheN apne fayz e suHbat se SaHabi bananey waley Rasul sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) na raah bhooley aur na (kabhi) raah sey bhaTkey.

    1.salasat o rawani(simplicity and fluid prose)
    alahazrat's one succint line, compared to three lines and three parantheses which also include complex constructs like : 'fayz-e-suhbat se SaHabi bananey wale' instead simple word like 'sahib.' and three parantheses (try reading it quickly and if your tongue is not in a knot, rawani is verified)
    2.andaz e bayaN
    alahazrat's 3 clauses:
    tumhare saHib
    na bahke
    na bey-raah chaley

    tahir's (approximately) 13
    suhbat se nawazney waley
    apne fayz e suHbat se
    SaHabi bananey waley
    Rasul sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam)
    na raah bhooley
    raah sey bhaTkey.

    3.mahabbat o aadab e risalat
    saHib to mean one who grants companionship, but in urdu also includes the meaning of lord, chief, possessor, owner, [see tafsir kabir: "saHib means sayyid; the second meaning is: companion"]

    restrictive meaning: suhbat se nawazney waley (ya'ani tumheN apne fayz e suHbat se SaHabi bananey waley..)

    notice who uses a more inclusive word to highlight the grand status of RasulAllah SallAllahu alayhi wa sallam and who restricts it to just 'make them companions' in spite of verbosity?

    we need to ask whether 'bey raaH chaley' is more conservative or 'bhaTke'?

    4.saleeqah e kalaam
    compare the verse:
    ma Dalla SaHibukum wa ma ghawa

    ma: not / na
    Dalla: amiss / bahkey [zamakhshari, dalal: naqiDu'l huda]
    SaHibu: Master / saHib
    kum: your (assimilated pronoun) / tumhare
    wa: and
    ma: not / na
    ghawa: astray / bey-raah chaley [zamakhshari, ghayy: naqiDu'r rushd]
    ma / Dalla / SaHibukum / wa / ma / ghawa
    na / bahkey / saHib tumhare / / na / bey-raah chaley

    look at the dexterity of the imam, that when you reorder the words to match one-for-one, they still remain valid (indeed, this may not hold true for every verse, but since tahir chose this verse to prove superiority, it is a karamah of alahazrat, that he is soundly refuted - wa lillahi'l Hamd). but because of salasat and rawani, alahazrat has slightly reordered this.

    i won't correlate the tahiri tarjama as it is pointless.
    5.ilm ul afkar
    6.fasahat o balaghat
    no of words: 7 in kanz vs. 25 in irfan-e-tahiri (excluding the salawat).

    one word: sahib
    compared to fifteen words to describe the same thing: (apnee) suhbat se nawazney waley (ya'ani tumheN apne fayz e suHbat se SaHabi bananey waley Rasul

    if this is not balaghat, i do not know what else it is. indeed, alahazrat's choice of bahke and bey-raah chaley is another master stroke of how profound his command of both languages but i will not get into that now. just know, that ulama of tafsir discussed Dall and ghawa and alahazrat captures the tafsir of both in his impeccable choice of words. [see tafsir al-kabir]

    secondly, there is a consensus among mufassirin that the verse is addressed to the kafirs among quraysh; otherwise, this would cast suspicion on companions that they doubted that RasulAllah SallAllahu alayhi wa sallam was not guided! (ma'azAllah).

    tahir's translation clearly is miles off the mark, casting aspersions, in spite of the many parantheses and verbal circus.

    7.jadeed science aqayid se tatbeeq
    8.jadeed embryology
    but i waste my time with the above analysis needlessly. tahir has no idea of the generic and the specific. or that which sounds specific but is in reality generic. nor the asbabu'n nuzul or the tafsir of the verse or the khitab/address. tahir bases his whole argument on the premise that 'kum' is meant for the companions.

    in fact, in a more specific version, this was addressed to abu lahab. so according to tahir, abu lahab is a sahabi - read his irfan version and weep.

    the verse is generic; RasulAllah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam is our SaHib, our master - of companions, non-companions and even kafirs. he is the master, sallALlahu alayhi wa sallam.


    1. tabari:
    your master, O people (ayyuha'n naas)
    2. kash'haf / zamakhshari:
    this is addressed to quraysh [aH: as the discussion follows, the kafirs among quraysh]
    3. al-baydawi
    this is addressed to quraysh [kafirs] and its meaning is to negate what they used to attribute RasulAllah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam with.
    4. baHru'l ulum / samarqandi
    because the quraysh use to say, you have forsaken the religion of your forefathers.
    5. al-baghawi
    because they (the quraysh kafirs) used to say that Muhammad sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, was bringing the qura'n from his own self.
    6. ibn al-jawzi
    similar to al-baghawi
    7.tafsir madarik / imam nasafi:
    this is addressed to quraysh
    8. baHr al-muhiT / abu hayyan
    [SaHibukum]: that is Muhammad sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam; addressed to quraysh - that is, he is guided, and one who guides; and he is not like what you claim that he is amiss, astray.
    9. abu's su'uud
    this is addressed to quraysh
    10.ruH al-bayan
    this is addressed to quraysh
    because the next verse, "he does not speak of his own volition" is a continuation, most verses mention implicitly that the verse is addressed to quraysh, similar to what is said by imam baghawi. it can be found in almost all other tafasir.

    Allah ta'ala knows best.
  8. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.


    the others may be high and mighty claims but at least it can be rationalized that they are reasonable claims for hucksters to come up with, but where on earth did they manage to get these two!

    seriously, that's some fine weed they're smoking there!

    it's times like this i wished i had opted for the life sciences, only so i could question this bunch on stem cell research and cloning and stuff.

    i believe our good ol' naqshbandijamati is a life sciences guy. maybe he should write a paper exposing them.
  9. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    a brother forwarded me the link.

    part 1
    part 2
    part 3
    part 4

    shaykh asif jalali sahib mentions an article from minhajul qiraan magazine which lists the following 8 reasons why - according to the minhaji claim - irfanu'l qur'an of tahir jhangvi is superior to alahazrat's kanzu'l iman sharif.

    1.salasat o rawani
    2.andaz e bayaN
    3.mahabbat o aadab e risalat
    4.saleeqah e kalaam
    5.ilm ul afkar
    6.fasahat o balaghat
    7.jadeed science aqayid se tatbeeq
    8.jadeed embryology

    either all minhajis are brain dead zombies, or they are active participants in building the cult of tahir.

    prof.tahir simply plagiarised alahazrat's translation (it can be proved) and instead of acknowledging the farsightedness of the imam and his immense knowledge that helps all future 'translators' to avoid pitfalls, tahir and his bunch assail the imam's translation!
    hum ko un sey wafaa ki hai ummeed
    jo nahiN jaantey wafaa kya hai

    in his bid to be a mujaddid (the prof. probably doesn't know - yeeN sa'adat ba zor e baazu neest) he wanted to be a translator without the associated sciences. the reason alahazrat's translation is superior is because of his extensive knowledge and his magisterial command of both arabic and urdu.

    isn't it ironic that tahir, whose urdu is heavily accented, and who routinely stumbles and makes silly mistakes native speakers claiming superiority over alahazrat's urdu? fasahat and balaghat above alahazrat? i should have asked in urdu or arabic, because prof. tahir's arabic is pretty amusing with his very fasih and baleegh constructs; for example here and here. [both have weird explanations and the second clip smells of shirk - prof.tahir doesn't seem to have read basic books of aqidah, tsk,tsk.]

    the only reason this man is not laughed off or dismissed summarily as a fraud is because of the collective ignorance of the nation. if he is really a mujaddid, the least he should be able to do is accept mawlana asif jalali's challenge to do iyrab of hadith.

    does anybody have that minhaji article? please post link if anybody knows this. also, if shaykh asif sahib's maqalah is available, please post the link.
  10. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

  11. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    which he calls it 'irfanu'l qur'an'.

    someone gave me a copy a few years ago and i had taken it (though letting him know that i do not respect tahir and consider him out of ahlu's sunnah) for critical study sometime. for some reason, i took it out and read some sections, last week. i started from reading the first eighty verses of aal-imran, and compare it with alahazrat's kanzu'l iman sharif.

    the ignorance of the professor is quite apparent. here i am, an ordinary student of islamic sciences, with a cursory knowledge of tafsir, hadith and arabic language and i was picking out mistakes even before comparing it with alahazrat's kanz! that urdu is not the professor's mother tongue may count as an excuse for mistakes of ka-ki etc. see 3:7 here for an example.

    i was told recently that minhajis claim that alahazrat's translation is old fashioned and cannot be understood by urdu speakers in our time. if i find time, in sha Allah, i will point out the number of words not used commonly, (but used by the professor; why daraN-haal-e-ke, for whereas?) instead of simple urdu words used by alahazrat. true, some words have become archaic, but the flavour cannot be captured in other words. notice how often the professor's translation uses the word 'so' which is universally considered as archaic.

    if the professor's claim that it his translation is 'current' then there should not be archaic words nor flowery prose, where simple and plain words suffice. and the translation should 'flow'; but the professor's translation is clunky, where alahazrat's translation is lucid.

    this apart from the various howlers where the professor cannot discern who is saying what, and the context, because of not knowing tafsir. take verse 3:36 here.

    here is the minhaji translation of tahiri urdu:
    But Allah knew best what she had given birth to. (She said: ) And the boy (that I prayed for) could never (be) like the girl (that Allah has blessed me with)
    it may look innocuous, but anyone with a basic education will quickly see that the middle clause is addressed TO the mother of mariam and not said by her. allow me to explain.

    in the verse, it is said: 'waDa'at' وضعت means 'she gave birth' and the same letters, when read as 'waDa'atu' means 'i gave birth'.

    now, the latter is a sha'dh (ibn `aamir, shu`bah and ya`qub) or an uncommon recitation - and the former is the famous recitation and also the HafS that it recited in the urdu speaking world. and most tafsirs, mention it thus:

    'Allah ta'ala knows what she has given birth, and no boy can be like this girl'

    in some places, if i remember correctly, alahazrat chooses other recitations to avoid confusion for the common folk. always mindful of the audience, and they should not be confused with established aqidah. but in this verse, there is no reason to choose this meaning. in many verses, tahir adds words for no reason - and cannot be justified either.

    in surah masad, for example: وامرأته 'and his woman'.

    alahazrat translates: aur uski joroo, which is the mot-juste and only a native urdu speaker can fully appreciate the subtle difference. joroo is used for 'wife' in an irreverent tone; whereas aurat (which is the literal translation of imra'ah) and biwi or zawjah are indicative of mentioning someone's wife with respect and mindful of modesty.

    given that the woman being mentioned is a kafirah, a hag who hurt the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, it was appropriate that she be mentioned disdainfully - and rightly so - that does not show even accidental respect. but what is most interesting is, that the usage of the word joroo imparts scorn on abu lahab in an undertone.

    therefore, when alahazrat translates the same word imra'at (woman) for two kafir women elsewhere, 66:10, he translates it as aurat. because those women were married to righteous men (prophets alayhima's salatu wa's salam) and using joroo, would be disrespectful to their righteous husbands. such is the meticulousness of alahazrat.

    speaking of the same ayah, tahir sahib cannot even copy properly. most of the translation is similar to alahazrat, but he includes an extra so:
    hamarey bandoN meiN sey do saliH bandoN ke nikah meiN theeN; so donoN ne un sey khiyanat ki. [irfanu'l qur'an]
    i mean, how dumb can you get? this needless so, transforms the meaning to:
    among our slaves, they were under two righteous slaves in their marriage; therefore, those two (women) were unfaithful.
    in urdu, it means, the women were unfaithful because they were married to righteous men. there are other awkward constructs and poor urdu, but we will leave it for another day.

    as is the hallmark of alahazrat's translation, it is close to the literal word, as much as it conveys the context and tone (as far as possible). alahazrat deviates from the literal translation only in places where a translation could confuse or apparently contradict the established aqidah of ahlu's sunnah.

    such instances are numerous in kanz, and language aficionados will relish the undertones of the urdu words/idioms chosen by alahazrat to convey the context of the arabic expression. certainly, no human can reach the apex of eloquence of the quran. alahazrat's translation, however is the closest (among other urdu translations) to the spirit of the quran and eschews extra words unless such additions are inevitable.

    [btw, tahir jhangvi translates it as (khabees) aurat, even though khabees is not found in the original text]

    wAllahu a'alam wa `ilmuhu atam. wa billahi't tawfiq.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012

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