Is Translating and Comprehending Qur’ān very difficult?

No, Qur’ān is rendered facilitator for reading and comprehending.


Another palaver about Qur’ān is the widespread opinion, almost to the level of belief, that translating and comprehending Qur’ān is a difficult task. This conjectural and opinionated propaganda is so strong that perhaps almost more than ninety percent of believers never thought of learning the skill for self translating and comprehending the Qur’ān. A fear has been generated that any attempt of self-interpreting Qur’ān might astray the person. A belief has been created that for learning Qur’ān the prerequisite is acquiring the knowledge of more than a dozen of disciplines.

The moment we critically analyze these opinions we realize that it is not demeaning the intelligence quotient, the cognitive intelligence of people at large but in fact it amounts to casting a subtle doubt against the scholarship of the Author of Qur’ān.

Qur’ān is a book and every book is for certain audience. An author writes and compiles a book keeping in mind the intellectual level of his intended audience. If that not be the case, authoring a book is a waste activity. Author is always on higher level of intelligence than his audience. But the author has to communicate at the level of cognitive intelligence of reader because without it there can be no communication. In its absence the only thing the author and reader will share would be words sprinkled on a piece of paper.

Therefore, the best Author and the best Book is that who is affectionately concerned about the convenience of its audience in comprehending and understanding the communication with little effort. The Author of Qur’ān proclaims which is a unique and unprecedented declaration in the history of books: 

  • Thereby, for reason of its universality and permanence, Our Majesty have certainly rendered it (Qur’ān) easy, open and facilitator for reading and comprehension by transcribing it in the mother tongue - dialect of you Muhammad [Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam]

  • The purpose of rendering it facilitator is that people might at their own sincerely comprehend, make their selves enlightened, recall and relate it. [44:58]


  • Know the certain fact: Our Majesty have simplified-rendered the Qur’ān easy, open and facilitative for reading, comprehension and saving in memory to recall, take lesson and to relate.

  • Thereat, is there one who consciously and purposely saves it in memory, comprehends and recalls to mention-takes lesson and admonition? [54:17;22;32;40]

; : Both are complete verbal sentences: Verb - Subject - Direct Object. The Subject is Allah the Exalted speaking in majestic tone and the object of verb is the Qur’ān. Verb is Perfect; Form-II; مصدر-تَيسِيرٌ Verbal noun. Form-II verb represent causative shift in the meanings from Form-I and special meanings that are added is making an attribution to direct object; to consider someone or something to be something. Its Root is:  "ى س ر".  Basic perception infolded in the Root and the verb is to render something facilitative, easy and smooth; open and light. It also signifies to divide a thing into parts or portions. Qur’ān is divided in distinctly split parts [17:106].

Facilitator means somebody who enables a process to happen, especially somebody who encourages people to find their own solutions and tasks.

Qur’ān is the book that gives information first and then asks the reader to use intellect, reflect and enlighten himself. But the par excellence feature is that it does not even tax much the intellect of reader. Immediately after the declarative statement of rendering Qur’ān as facilitator the objective of so doing is mentioned: . The predicate of verb-like-particle is verbal sentence. The verb is of Form-V which has reflexive causative meanings. The subject receives back the impact of action. It generally depicts such actions where the subject honestly and sincerely tries to transform himself, and performs that action diligently. It has transformative meanings, Noun-ized; make oneself to be Noun. The meanings of Form-V are simply the meanings of form II plus the word "himself".

It stems from Root: ذ ك ر. The basic perception infolded is to preserve something in the memory; to retain ideas, perceptions and events in memory. Information saved and recorded in memory becomes memoir-history, a source of reference; a link that can be retrieved or recalled for reviewing-visualizing and to relate. It thus conveys the meanings of recalling information, knowledge, and events, and mentioning - narrating it and to remind. This activity renders a person enlightened.

The ultimate purpose of authoring a book is to let the reader have a feel of the presence and to listen the Voice of the Living behind the words. Written Words develop a relationship between the Living behind the words and the recipient of the words. The best written words are those which enable the recipient reader not only to listen the sounds inherent in individual words and in their peculiar arrangement and assembly; but he may also feel the presence of the Living Who organized that text.

Hearing of the voice by a reader is dependent upon the author's honesty, sincerity of purpose and affectionate care for the intended audience. Only this author will render his work facilitative to read and comprehend; and will enable its reader to hear the voice to grasp the purpose of communication, and get convinced about practicability of what is advised therein. Only such author then shifts upon the reader the responsibility and burden to act.

Our topic is book. A book is for reading. And reading is for learning. Learning means to gain more information and coming to understand what we did not understand before. The important difference between these two kinds of learning is that gaining information is merely to know that something is the case. Coming to understand more and getting more enlightened is to know all about the information; to know different aspects of why, what and how. In the first case it is being able to remember while enlightenment means to become able to explain it. We become enlightened when we know what the author meant by giving that information and why did he say it.

We have heard a unique and tall claim which most of us have not heard from any other author of books. We have understood what was said and why aspect of doing it. But a critical reader may raise the question as to what was the necessity of doing it. And still more important question is that should a critical reader accept the claim without knowing how this book has been rendered facilitative?

What was the necessity of rendering Qur’ān facilitative?

We can instantly realize the reason and necessity of rendering Qur’ān facilitative the moment we think about learning process. We all know what is learning and the difference between learning by discovery and learning by instruction.

We are talking about translating and comprehending Qur’ān which is learning by instruction. We need to have a teacher for learning by instruction. We learn by listening to a teacher who is present  - a living teacher. And reading is learning from one who is absent or who has died. Alternatively we can say that while we are reading the book we are learning from a teacher as an absentee student who is not in the presence of the teacher.

Who is our teacher? Qur'an answers:

  • Conclude My Favour/Grace/boon like the obliging beneficence that We sent among you as a Messenger who has been a perpetual Monotheist Believer-Muslim amongst you

  • He recites word by word upon you people Our Aa'ya'at: unitary verbal passages of the Book

  • And he makes you people intellectually uplifted and sanctified (by removing shackles of conjectural myths- distortions in belief)

  • And he (Messenger Mohammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam) educates you to read and write the Book (Qur’ān) and teaches you to attain the wisdom-enlightenment-insight to perceive information about invisible realities

  • Realize it; he (Messenger Mohammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam) imparts you that information-knowledge which hitherto you people did not have (expository text of Qur’ān). [2:151]

Did our Teacher write the Qur'an?

Before another palaver disturbs ours minds that how can a person, popularly believed to be illiterate, teach reading and writing and impart knowledge, let me quote the statement of his contemporary but hostile aristocrats who knew that he is a very well educated person:

  • How the Awakening be of benefit for them?

  • While indeed manifestly recognized Messenger has come to them [44:13]

  • Thereafter, having known the Messenger, they about-faced from him and they (the elite) said to people, "He is an educated person, who has become obsessed with delusions." [44:14]

A student learns to utter a word after the teacher has pronounced it and he writes a word after seeing how is it written by the teacher. Did our Teacher write the Qur’ān?

  • And look those-elite ruling elders who had disavowed said to people

  • "This *Qur’ān) is nothing but a falsity defying hitherto accepted beliefs

  • He (Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam) has purposely compiled - authored it on his own

  • And some other people have assisted him on his desire in that compilation."

  • -- Thereby, they have now adopted an attitude - course of impropriety-slander-distortions and blatant falsification --. [25:04]


 

  •  Moreover, they- the ruling elite further said to people; "The contents of it (Qur’ān which he has authored) are the fairy tales of the ancients; He (Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam), of his own accord, has purposely and diligently written them

  • Thereby, in response to his seeking assistance these (tales) are frequently - off and onmorning and evening being dictated to him for his writing in black and white".  [25:05]

The above statements of the elite of his contemporary society declaring him an educated person and writer of Qur’ān are quoted verbatim. These statements are original evidence. Primary Source is defined:

In the study of history as an academic discipline, a primary source (also called original source or evidence) is an artefact, a document, a recording, or other source of information that was created at the time under study. It serves as an original source of information about the topic. Similar definitions are used in library science, and other areas of scholarship.

: This is Possessive Phrase. It is Subject of the Nominal Sentence. The manner and tone of their expression, while talking to people, is also evident from the verbatim quote of their words. It is understood to the people listening them face-to-face that they are declaring the contents of the Qur’ān  as "the fairy tales of the ancients" that have been written by him, Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam.

: This verbal sentence comprises of Perfect Verb; third person; singular; masculine; [Form-VIII]; Subject pronoun hidden; referring to Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam. Suffixed Object pronoun هَا ; third person; singular; feminine in accusative state refers to ; مصدر-اِكْتِتَابٌ Verbal noun.

The members of the elite-class who had refused to accept Grand Qur’ān firstly slandered before people that it is a false lie which he has meticulously fabricated on his own accord and by seeking assistance from other unknown people. Thereafter, they opined to people about the contents of that compilation as "the fairy tales of the ancients". Thereby, they informed them further: .

The speakers and the audience both were Arabs of the same society and city. Had the Last Messenger Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam been enjoying reputation of unlettered personnot capable of writing, the instant response of the listeners would have been, "What nonsense you people are talking, he does not know writing".

: It is a Form-VIII Verb. It has reflexive causative meanings and indicates a stronger role of the Subject as performer of the action involving painstaking, meticulous effort. The Form of Verb used by them is very restrictive denoting that the action contained in the verb is done EXCLUSIVELY and SOLELY by himself. Form-VIII verbs have, no doubt, the connotative signification of reciprocity. But Arabic Grammar books state that connotative signification of reciprocity in Form-VIII verbs needs to be reflected, otherwise its basic meanings of reflexive nature remain intact with emphasis of great effort on the part of the subject of verb. The act signified by the verb is "writing-inscribing on paper" and what he wrote is signified by the suffixed object of verb which is Qur’ān, declared by the slanderers as compilation of "the tales of the ancients".

A person cannot make himself present teacher to interested-to-learn population even during his life. And after his death the teaching process would end. In these circumstances the best way is to organize the book in such way that it facilitates the learner to self comprehend in the absence of the teacher,

The advantage to the students who learn by listening the present teacher is that they can ask question to obtain information about a fact. Similarly such student can ask for explanation if he wants to save himself the trouble of thinking.

But if a learner learning through the book has a question he has to find the answer himself in the book and book will answer only to that extent he has done the work of thinking and analysis.

People who were in the presence of the Teacher did ask questions and got answers from him. Interestingly the questions that were asked are recorded and what answer was given to them by the Teacher are also recorded verbatim in the book. Thus he is a unique teacher who is present in time and space. However, if today I have some new question, I will have to find the answer in the book myself.

The Teacher has told us in simple and straight forward words that since the book has reached us it is our own responsibility to get enlightened. 

  • You the Messenger [Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam] pronounce: "It is a fact; evocative luminous enlightenments: Verbal descriptive passages (of Grand Qur’ān) imaging the past and the future have since reached you people; a communication from your Sustainer Lord.

  • Thereby, whoever envisioned it, he in fact visually perceived it for his personal good.

  • However, whoever displayed blindness to it, thereby its effect will be on his self.

  • Remain cognizant that I [Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam] am not at all corporeally the guard-onlooker upon you people in time and space." [6:104]

This was the reason of rendering the Qur’ān as facilitator because its Publisher and the Teacher did not have the responsibility of individually guarding people and to be corporeally there as disposer of their affairs.

It is thus evident that in the absence of the Teacher, Qur’ān has to play the role of the teacher. The teacher facilitates the learning process and Qur’ān is rendered facilitator for its students to self accomplish learning process and to become enlightened and aright guided.

  • You the Messenger [Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam] pronounce: "O you the Mankind! Listen;

  • The Infallible Doctrine-Discourse (Qur’ān) has since reached to you people, rendered easy to comprehend, from your Sustainer Lord

  • Thereby, whoever in response (the Qur’ān having reached) endeavoured getting aright guided, thereat, he is guiding-leading on the way only for his own self.

  • Similarly, whoever remained neglectful-indifferent (towards Qur’ān having reached him), thereby the consequential fact is that his strays-neglect has effect upon his self.

  • Remain aware that I-Muhammad [Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam] am not assigned the responsibility to act as disposer of affairs and caretaker upon you people." [10:108]

The concept and debate about Present and Overlooking (Hazir-o-Nazir) with reference to the elevated Universal Messenger and the First Publisher of Qur’ān is already resolved in the statements in aforementioned two ayahs he was advised to pronounce in simplest words understandable exoterically. The Author and Publisher of a book containing their statements never dies so long the book survives in unadulterated form. Corporeal presence is not of relevance. The role and function of the Universal Messenger, who is the Publisher of Qur’ān, is described three times as: a person who is the bearer - guarantor of glad tidings, and the one who cautions, briefs and makes aware to put the fear of harmful and horrible effects of something before hand. Its purpose is to make people in a state of cautiousness-awareness-alarmed of imminent-potential threat and its consequence if proper guards are not taken. 

  • It is a fact; Our Majesty have sent you [Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam], to meet the exigency and along with Infallible Discourse (Qur’ān) to act as bearer of glad tidings-guarantor and  Warner-Revivalist-Awakener[Ref 2:119 and 35:24]


  • People should realize that Our Majesty have not sent you (Muhammad [Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam]) but to solely act as the universal Messenger for the Mankind

  • As Guarantor-Conveyor of glad tidings and Revivalist-Warner-Awakener for the Mankind.

  • However, the fact remains that many of the people do not intend to recognize this fact. [34:28]

In his corporeal absence at various places during his life-time and after natural death, the published Qur’ān was and is Personified as: :

  • It (Qur’ān in Arabic) is a book of characteristic that it's Aa'ya'at: Verbal Passages are organized in distinct enclaves [Surat-chapters]- and are rendered distinct

  • It (the book-Qur’ān) is a compilation having characteristic of transcription in Arabic: a perspicuous, eloquent, distinctive and precisely expressive language; the language of the sons of soil of Arabian peninsula. It is for people in pursuit of obtaining and learning knowledge. [41:03]

  • It (Qur’ān) serves as guarantor-conveyor of glad tidings and revivalist-Warner-awakener. [perpetually present in time and space]. [Refer 41:04]

Thereby, in academic parlance, the publisher and Teacher of Qur’ān ever survives as: for the Mankind; and he was specifically asked to pronounce it:

  • And this Qur’ān has verbally been communicated to me so that by it I admonish and awaken you people in my presence; and to admonish and awaken him to whom this (Qur’ān) has reached in time and space. [Refer 6:19]

Grand Qur’ān intermittently evocates the painful end of civilizations of the past, and imminent threats of awful phenomenon present in the nature around the people. And it elaborates the painful consequences of certain acts that are bound to happen in future.

Fear is a fundamental aspect of survival. All living has to protect themselves from dangerous situations in order to survive. Fear is an ability to recognize or perceive danger resulting in urge to confront it or flee from it or a freeze or paralysis response is possible. The Survival Brain-Stem reacts to danger and threats of imminent danger. Brain death occurs when a person no longer has any activity in their brain stem and no potential for consciousness, even though their heart kept beating and oxygen circulating through their blood. Therefore, a truly living person is he who responds to warning and alarm of imminent danger:

  • This is not poetry; it is but the Memoir-Revivalist and compiled discourse (Qur’ān) characteristically explicit: conveyor of information in succinct, individuated, distinct and crystallized manner. [36:69]

  • The objective is that he (Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam) may alarm him who resembled a truly alive person. [Refer 36:70]

The Warner, awakener, admonisher is perpetually present, the appropriate question for reflection is whether we are truly alive, and are taking heed by perceiving the danger and threat we are being cautioned by him? If we are truly alive, we can feel the presence of the elevated universal Messenger and Publisher of Qur’ān amongst us:

  • And you people realize that the Messenger [Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam] of Allah the Exalted is present among you—can be imagined as if he is among you [Refer 49:7]

Next we will study how the Qur’ān is rendered facilitator for reading and comprehending which in itself signifies that it is easy to translate and interpret exoterically and esoterically.