they the aberrant/astray - the unaware - the unmindful - engrossed in deep thinking

Active Participle; definite; masculine; sound plural; genitive; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun.  It occurs once in ayah: (1)01:07=1

Another five times it occurs as object of preposition: (1)2:198(2)6:77(3)26:20(4)26:86(5)56:92=5; reproduced in the end.  

  • This High Road is the Course which was followed by those upon whom You the Exalted have showered blessings  - bestowed lifetime achievement award.


  • This Course is other than of those upon whom culpability for criminal cognizance/arrest has become incumbent;

  • And it is also not of aberrant: those who dissolutely move out of the bounds and restraints. [01:07]


It stems from Root:  ض ل ل. About its perception, Ibn Faris [died-1005] stated:

الضاد واللام أصلٌ صحيحٌ يدلُّ على معنىً واحد، وهو ضَياع الشيء وذهابُهُ في غيرِ حَقِّه

That it leads to the perception of a thing getting lost, missing or vanished; and departure-adopting a course other than of justice, certitude, truth, light.

Lane's Lexicon quotes its uses and meanings in different contexts. However, as is the principle of Arabic Roots, the basic perception remains dominant and visible. It states: "a thing became lost---He, or it, was, or became, unperceived or imperceptible, unapparent, latent, hidden or concealed, or absent,----absent from her memory----unmindful". 

The words stemming from this Root are mostly translated by the exegetes by English verb "stray". But they naively ignored that blameworthiness gets attached to its agent. It is accepted norm that the degree of one's blameworthiness for unjustified wrong doing varies with the mental attitude he has at the time of action. The higher degree of blameworthiness attaches to purposely wrong-doing when the agent intends to commit wrong.

However, most cases of negligence do not involve conscious advertence to the risk of wrong; in such cases agent's mental attitude is lack of awareness. Allah the Exalted does not hold lack of awareness as culpable.

Therefore, it is important to take care of the context while translating the words of this Root to differentiate between negligence and purposely straying which is blameworthy and culpable.

This Root is one of 47 Roots which have more than 190 occurrences in Grand Qur'aan. It is used 191times in different contexts and with such collocates that render the meanings of words explicit. We will study the concept in detail herein below.

Form-I Active Participle: is derived from verb: - . Other participles, elative noun, verbal nouns, and verbs of Form-I occurring in the Discourse are the following:

Active Participle; definite; masculine; sound plural; nominative مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun. (1)3:90(2)15:56(3)56:51=3 

Emphatic Particle-distanced + Active Participle; Indefinite; masculine;  sound plural; nominative مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun. (1)68:26(2)83:32=2

Active Participle: Indefinite; Sound plural; Masculine; accusative. (1)23:106 (2)37:69=2 

Active Participle: Indefinite; Singular; Masculine; accusative. (1)93:07=1

Elative Noun (comparative and superlative-Verbal noun: ضَلاَلٌ Indefinite; singular; masculine; nominative. (1)5:60(2)7:179(3)17:72(4)25:34(5)25:42(6)25:44(7)28:50(8) 41:52(9)46:05=9

Verbal Noun: Definite; accusative. (1)2:16(2)2:175(3)4:44=3 

Verbal Noun: Definite; nominative. (1)7:30(2)16:36=2

Verbal Noun: Definite; genitive. (1)19:75=1

Verbal Noun: Indefinite; nominative. (1)7:61=1

Possessive Phrase: Verbal Noun: definite; genitive + Possessive  Pronoun: Third person; masculine; plural, in genitive state. (1)27:81(2)30:53=2

Verb: Perfect; third person; singular; masculine; [هُوَ] Subject pronoun hidden; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun. (1)2:108(2)4:116(3)4:136(4)5:12(5)5:105(6)6:24(7)6:94(8) 7:53(9)10:30(10)10:108(11)11:21(12)16:87(13)16:125(14)17:15(15)17:67(16)18:104(17)27:92(18) 28:75(19)33:36(20)37:71(21)39:41(22)41:48(23)53:02(24)53:30(25)60:01(26)68:07=26 

Verb: Perfect; First person; Singular; Suffixed Subject pronoun, in  nominative state; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun. (1)6:56(2)34:50=2

Verb: Perfect; First person; Plural; [Masculine]; [نَا] Suffixed Subject  Pronoun; nominative state; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun ((1)32:10=1

Verb: Perfect; Third person; plural; masculine; [و ] Subject Pronoun, in nominative state; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun (1)4:167(2)5:77(3)5:77(4)6:140(5)7:37(6)7:149 (7)25:17(8)40:74(9)46:28=9

Verb: Perfect; Third person; plural; masculine; [و] Subject Pronoun, in  nominative state, with prolongation sign; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun (1)20:92=1

Prefixed conjunction فَ which shows cause/reason and effect + Verb: Perfect; Third person; plural; masculine; [و] Subject Pronoun, in nominative state, with  prolongation sign; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun  (1)17:48(2)25:09=2

Verb: Imperfect; First person; singular; masculine; Mood: Indicative;  [Form-I]; Subject pronoun hidden; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun. (1)34:50=1

Verb: Imperfect; third person; singular; feminine; Mood: Subjunctive;  مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun. (1)2:282=1

Verb: Imperfect; second person; plural; masculine; Mood: Subjunctive by Subjunctive Particle; و Subject pronoun in nominative state; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal  noun. (1)4:44(2)4:176=2

 Verb: Imperfect; Third person; singular; masculine; Mood: indicative;  Subject pronoun hidden and ; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun. (1)6:117(2)10:108(3)17:15(4) 20:52(6)20:123(7)39:41=7

Verb: Imperfect; Third person; singular; masculine; Passive;  Mood:  indicative;  مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun. (1)9:37=1

Verb: Imperfect; Third person; plural; masculine; Mood: Indicative evident by نَ; and [و] Subject pronoun in nominative state; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal  noun  (1)38:26=1

The basic perception infolded in the Root is about something, real or abstract, getting lost, missing or vanished whereat it becomes imperceptible and ceases to exist. For conveying this sense of the Root. Form-I third person, singular, masculine perfect verb: is employed in the following ayahs:

In the aforementioned ayahs what was stated to have vanished were in fact non-existing even in the first instance and were mere fabrications and conjectures. However, this verb is also used in real-world experience:

: Elative Noun (comparative -Verbal noun: ضَلاَلٌ: Indefinite; singular; masculine; nominative, Root: ض ل ل ; meaning more indifferent, lost in their-selves than those with whom they are compared. This word is paired with: those who are unmindful of the environment. In this context it does not mean unaware or ill-informed which has passive connotation but signifies heedlessness since it is neglectful behaviour. It occurs in ayahs: (1)5:60(2)7:179(3)17:72(4)25:34(5)25:42(6)25:44(7)28:50(8) 41:52(9)46:05=9

Francs Bacon once remarked that "some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested," Reading a book analytically is chewing and digesting it. It is the moral, professional and intellectual duty of a person who intends to translate a book for public that he must critically read the entire source text before embarking upon rendering it in target language text. When we study their works even with reference to only these two Roots: ض ل ل and:  غ ف ل it becomes apparent as if they had not read the Grand Qur'aan critically and had not analyzed the semantic features embedded in the words emanating from these roots and their naturally pairing collocates which restrict general meanings to specific meanings. Getting more information is learning, and so is coming to understand what we did not understand before. But there is an important difference between these two kinds of learning. To be informed is to know simply that something is the case. To be enlightened is to know, in addition, what is it all about: why it is the case, what its connections are with other facts, in what respects it is the same, in what respects it is different, and so forth. A translator must first enlighten himself and then start translating.

Natural behaviour of mammals is that they keep regurgitating lost in their selves unmindful of their environment. The conduct of some people is compared with the behaviour of mammals:

The important thing is that such people are contrasted with mammals - livestock with regard to: and not with animals of wilderness. All such translations are patently incorrect who rendered its meanings as "more astray, more misguided". Livestock are neither astray nor misguided. They are instinctively indifferent - unmindful to their environment while busy in regurgitating their food. None of the animals can ever be described as astray or misguided since they all submit to Allah the Exalted:

the aberrant - the unaware - the unmindful - engrossed in deep thinking

It denotes a cognitive state of a person. As we have seen above, people of such cognitive state are described by participle: which stems from Root: غ ف ل. Ibn Faris [died 1005] stated: That it leads to the perception: to leave, overlook, disregard, forsake and neglect a thing inadvertently, or it may be intentional.

Though such behaviour seems flawed and also the cognitive state with regard to a belief may be morally flawed because of the falsity of the belief but Allah the Exalted has devised par excellence judicial system which does not inculpate agents with such cognitive state. In the Superb System of Justice, Ignorance of law is a valid plea.

Criminal culpability is not in the state of ignorance, inadvertence but for purposeful heedlessness after having duly been informed and warned:

Those who were in the state of: manifest negligence and un-mindfulness are: unwary - failing to be alert and cautious. Once they are warned and it is made explicit for them what to do and avoid, they will become stray and deviant of the prescribed course in case they purposely remain heedless.


In view of the foregoing, care must be exercised in choosing appropriate word of target language to render the sense in which it is used in the context. This active participle is also used to portray a person and an action done in the state of "lost in thought" when he is unaware of what is happening around him because he is deeply thinking about something else.

A man was accidentally killed on the night he had come back to city after meeting with a man bestowed with knowledge. At that time he was in such frame of mind that he was unmindful of the surroundings:

: Translating it by English word "lost" is inappropriate if not erroneous. "Lost" as verb is the past tense of loose and as adjective denotes: unable to find way; unable to find the way to a place; confused by something complicated; confused or bewildered by something complicated or poorly explained.

Though "lost" also means preoccupied or completely absorbed or involved in something but most people generally do not know it and also because of this denotation we need to qualify the adjective.

The Arabic word is Active Participle, therefore, as its equivalent "lost" is not appropriate and rather might be misleading the perception.

When a man is in habit of deep reflection, he is unmindful of his surroundings. Such type of reflection is possible only when man becomes absolutely independent of all chains of relationships and secludes himself for sometime, better if seclusion can be at a secluded place.

  • Active Participle; definite; masculine; sound plural; genitive; مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun.  It occurs six times in ayahs: (1)01:07(2)2:198(3)6:77(4)26:20(5)26:86(6)56:92=6; reproduced below:.

    Active Participle: Indefinite; Sound plural; Masculine; accusative. (1)23:106 (2)37:69=2

    Active Participle; definite; masculine; sound plural; nominative مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun. (1)3:90(2)15:56(3)56:51=3 


    Emphatic Particle-distanced + Active Participle; Indefinite; masculine;  sound plural; nominative مصدر-ضَلاَلٌ Verbal noun. (1)68:26(2)83:32=2


    Progressive number of grammatical units: = 12,012 + 1= 12,013