تَدَبُّرٌ:   Critical thinking: Follow an enquiry based process:  use prior and background information


The whole purpose of reading is comprehension. And the whole purpose of reading and comprehension is to know the ultimate truth; truth warped in time-space; the whole truth not affected by time-space. Man has discussed at length about truth and has propounded many theories; like substantive theories: correspondence theory; coherence theory. Logic is the tool for reasoning about the truth and falsity of statements. The correspondence theory of truth states that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined only by how it relates to the world and whether it accurately describes (i.e., corresponds with) that world. It states that true statements correspond to the actual state of affairs. For coherence theories in general, truth requires a proper fit of elements within a whole system. Very often, though, coherence is taken to imply something more than simple logical consistency; often there is a demand that the propositions in a coherent system lend mutual inferential support to each other. So, for example, the completeness and comprehensiveness of the underlying set of concepts is a critical factor in judging the validity and usefulness of a coherent system. A pervasive tenet of coherence theories is the idea that truth is primarily a property of whole systems of propositions, and can be ascribed to individual propositions only according to their coherence with the whole.

  • [why do they behave as such] Is it because they do not personally study the Qur’ān critically, logically and coherently pursuing its text?

  • And had it (Qur’ān) been authored by someone other than Allah the Exalted, they would certainly have found, what to say of one, many mutual variations - contradictions - conflicts within it. [4:82]

The topic of the Ayah relates to academic rule of studying a book. The Grand Qur’ān has laid down an enquiry system and criterion to determine the veracity of a lengthy text. It is denoted by Arabic verbal Noun: تَدَبُّرٌ: Critical and logical thinking: an enquiry based process and pursuit: linking background information given before to determine cohesion and coherence. Lane's Lexicon says that: تَدَبُّرٌ signifies the thinking, or meditating, upon a thing, and endeavouring to understand; he looked into it, considered it, examined it, or studied it, repeatedly, in order to know it, or until he knew it. Its Root is: د ب ر  that signifies the tail end of a thing and of back - rear in contrast to front.

Since the Verb choice is Form-V, which has reflexive causative meanings and the subject receives back the impact of action, the act is to be done personally. It generally depicts such actions where the subject honestly and sincerely performs it diligently.

If they would have self studied the Qur’ān critically in academic manner of studying the book keeping  in mind the background information mentioned earlier they would have certainly realized that it is the Intellectual Property of Allah the Exalted and not of its elevated Publisher. What is the reason and argument?

  • And had it (Qur’ān) been authored by someone other than Allah the Exalted, they would certainly have found, what to say of one, many mutual variations - contradictions - conflicts within it. [4:82]

: Verbal Noun: Indefinite; accusative; [Form-VIII]. It is the direct object of preceding verb "certainly they would have found". Form-VIII has the added connotation of reciprocity. It stems from Root: خ ل ف  which signifies the coming or happening of a thing after another thing rising and holding the position and status that was once held by the other one. It signifies that something mentioned later in the book is inconsistent, contrary, conflicting, contradicting to the one mentioned earlier.

This approach of studying is the key for evaluating and verifying the whole truth. No further element should be at variance and conflict with the whole body of text. Grand Qur’ān is suggesting that its reader should be active and a strategic reader. Answer this question and you will become an active reader. It sets a purpose for reading and establishes motivation. It moves the reader away from passively accepting the text which limits comprehension.

  • Is it for reason that they have not critically cross-examined the contents of the Verbal Communication: the Discourse (Qur’ān?

  • Or that has come to them like of which had not come to their earliest forefathers: [Iebra'heim and Iesma'eile alaihis'slaam] [23:68]

The purpose of a book is not for passive reading and gleaning from the surface. Such passive reader is never sincere to himself and with the expressed ideas, thoughts, concepts, realities and facts.

  • This is the Book; its peculiarity is that Our Majesty has compositely sent it to you the Messenger (Muhammad [Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam]). Its characteristic is that it has permanence and perpetuation.

  • The purpose is that they (people) may personally study its verbal passages critically, logically and coherently pursuing the information mirrored by them.

  • Moreover, the objective is that the Men of Understanding: those who look into matters and conduct objectively without overlapping with emotions-prejudices-biases-whims-caprices, may at their own save it in memory, frequent it for reference-lesson and relate it. [38:29]

 

  • [why do they behave as such] Is it because they do not personally study the Qur’ān critically, logically and coherently pursuing its text?

  • Or is it the reason that the locks of hearts have become blockade upon their hearts?  [47:24]

تَدَبُّرٌ: Critical and logical thinking: an enquiry based process and pursuit: linking background information given before to determine cohesion and coherence is not only the advised mode of reading and comprehending Grand Qur’ān, but is also an evaluation criterion to assess the accuracy of translations and exegeses.

This approach of studying also provides the Key to the Translators for checking the accuracy of their effort before making it public. If there are contradictions and conflicts in the target language text; that work is faulty, erroneous, inaccurate and unreliable. I have not yet found a translation and exegesis which is void of contradictions and conflicts.

One such example of contradiction in almost all translations is the word: used in Ayah 2:234 and 2:240 with exactly same collocates and same structure in the independent clause of the sentence:

  • This is about those men who are caused detachment - parting from amongst you people (because of natural-accidental death, incidental-planned murder, or slaughter in the cause/war of Allah the Exalted) in circumstances that they are leaving behind their wives. [Refer 2:234]

  • Those Husbands should take note who are being separated - detached - parted from the company of you people while they are leaving behind Wives [for taking part in the war-to kill or be killed for the cause of Allah the Exalted] [Refer 2:240] 

Grammatically and semantically it is an explicitly vivid sentence. It is self explanatory. Its words render each other explicit so that reader perceives but the intended meanings. It is strange and unexplainable as to what made the pioneer translators to firstly substitute the source text word: with: and then to render it in target language text as:

George Sale: Such of you as die, and leave wives,

John Rodwell: If those of you who die leave wives,

The later translators mostly merely plagiarized:

Yusuf Ali: If any of you die and leave widows behind
Pickthall: Such of you as die and leave behind them wives,
F. Malik: As for those of you who die and leave widows behind,
M. Asad: And if any of you die and leave wives behind,

Rashad Khalifa: Those who die and leave wives,

Ahmad Ali: Wives of men who die among you should wait...

Sher Ali (Ahmadi - Qadiani): And as for those of you who die and leave wives behind

The source can be traced back to: تفسير الجلالين

والذين يتوفون= يموتون منكم ويذرون= يتركون

Were the pioneer translators really naive that they did not notice the poles apart difference between both the verbs? : It is a Passive third person plural imperfect verb, indicative mood of Form-V; Root "و ف ى"; while Arabic verb is Active voice third person plural imperfect verb, indicative mood; Form-I; made from Root "م و ت". Both the verbs are neither synonym nor are interchangeable.

Form-V verbs are formed by prefixing ت (ta-) to form II. The meaning this Form imparts is the reflexive or passive of form II. Learned W. Right in his famous book A Grammar of the Arabic Language wrote: Quote:

48. Out of the original reflexive signification arises a second, which is more common, namely the effective. It differs from the passive in thisthat the passive indicates that a person is the object of, or experiences the effect of, the action of another; whereas the effective implies that an act is done to a person, or a state produced in him, whether it be caused by another or by him. [unquote]

The Proxy Subject pronoun of Passive Verb: and Subject pronoun of active voice verb: refer to the same persons. Those who are affected by the action denoted by the passive verb are simultaneously the doer of the active voice verb. That affect upon them is causing them the action denoted by the active voice verb: . Its Root is "و ذ ر ". The basic perception infolded is that of a small piece of flesh which is detachedmoved awayisolated from the bone, or that which does not contain bone. Its primary signification is to leave or abandon a thing. Its use with reference to wives left behind,  in case of natural death or killed by the enemy while engaged in war in the cause of Allah the Exalted, seems quite pathetic. Thereby wife becomes "a piece of flesh" without or detached/isolated from the bone which is reflective of strength like husband.

The difference between the two is made evident in Qur’ān:

  • This restriction be kept till the natural death might render them segregated - alienated [Refer 4:15]

: It is the subject/doer of the action signified by the preceding verb which is in verbal meanings by the preceding genitival particle. Translating: by substituting it with another verb ; meaning "they who die" is patently incorrect approach. Such erroneous practice is never adopted while translating any book in another language. Such erroneous approach might result in portraying as if contradictions exist in the original text. This erroneous practice and resultant translation has contradicted information in another Ayah. Men also alienate from the company of people leaving behind their wives when they leave for battlefield and get killed in the cause of Allah the Exalted. But they do not die: stop living: to cease to be alive:

  • Take note that you people should not say; in respect of those who get murdered-slain while engaged in the cause of Allah the Exalted, "they are dead".

  • The fact is that they are not dead but are alive. However, you people are in a state that you cannot pursue and perceive that life by senses. [2:154]

 

 

  • And take note that you people must not henceforth even consider and presume in respect of those who were slain in the way of Allah the Exalted that they are dead.

  • They are not dead; the fact is that they are alive. [but you people can not perceive that life-2:154]

  • They like all other living people are continuously getting sustenance from their Sustainer Lord. [3:169]

Getting killed in the cause of Allah the Exalted is neither synonym nor synonymous to Root: ""م و ت"" meaning "dead, death, matter void of life, the antonym of life". The result/out come of natural death and martyrdom in the cause of Allah the Exalted is that such person is physically separated apart from the company of other people for reason of his body burial into the grave. Notwithstanding such alienation in both cases, both are not sameone is dead while the other is NOT dead but still living as told by Allah the Exalted Who knows each and every thing while we do not know many things.

Therefore, as an active reader we must follow the prescribed manner of reading the Qur’ān, i.e., تَدَبُّرٌ and discard the translated text as patently incorrect whenever it is in conflict with and incoherent to the whole text of Qur’ān. To err is human. It will not jeopardize the respect of the translator or exegete.