- What is your concept of marriage?
- Have you been married before?
- Are you married now?
- What are you expectations of marriage?
- What are your goals in life? (long and short term)
- Identify three things that you want to accomplish in the near future.
- Identify three things that you want to accomplish, long term.
- Why have you chosen me/other person as a potential spouse?
- What is the role of religion in your life now?
- Are you a spiritual person?
- What is your understanding of an Islamic marriage?
- What are you expecting of your spouse, religiously?
- What is your relationship between yourself and the Muslims community in your area?
- Are you volunteering in any Islamic activities?
- What can you offer your zawj (spouse), spiritually?
- What is the role of the husband?
- What is the role of the wife?
- Do you want to practice polygamy?
- What is your relationship with your family?
- What do you expect your relationship with the family of your spouse to be?
- What do you expect your spouses relationship with your family to be?
- Is there anyone in your family living with you now?
- Are you planning to have anyone in your family live with you in the future?
- If, for any reason, my relationship with your family turns sour, what should be done?
- Who are your friends? (Identify at least three.)
- How did you get to know them?
- Why are they your friends?
- What do you like most about them?
- What will your relationship with them after marriage be?
- Do you have friends of the opposite sex?
- What is the level of your relationship with them now?
- What will be the level of your relationship with them after marriage?
- What type of relationship do you want your spouse to have with your friends?
- What are the things that you do in your free time?
- Do you love to have guests in your home for entertainment?
- What are you expecting from your spouse when your friends come to the house?
- What is your opinion of speaking other languages in home that I do not understand? (with friends or family)
- Do you travel?
- How do you spend your vacations?
- How do you think your spouse should spend vacations?
- Do you read?
- What do you read?
- After marriage, do you think that you are one to express romantic feelings verbally?
- After marriage, do you think that you want to express affection in public?
- How do you express your admiration for someone that you know now?
- How do you express your feelings to someone who has done a favor for you?
- Do you like to write your feelings?
- If you wrong someone, how do you apologize?
- If someone has wronged you, how do you want (s)he to apologize to you?
- How much time passes before you can forgive someone?
- How do you make important and less important decisions in your life?
- Do you use foul language at home? In public? With family?
- Do your friends use foul language?
- Does your family use foul language?
- How do you express anger?
- How do you expect your spouse to express anger?
- What do you do when you are angry?
- When do you think it is appropriate to initiate mediation in marriage?
- When there is a dispute in your marriage, religious or otherwise, how should the conflict get resolved?
- Define mental, verbal, emotional and physical abuse.
- What would you do if you felt that you had been abused?
- Who would you call for assistance if you were being abused?
- Do you suffer from any chronic disease or condition?
- Are you willing to take a physical exam by a physician before marriage?
- What is your understanding of proper health and nutrition?
- How do you support your own health and nutrition?
- What is you definition of wealth?
- How do you spend money?
- How do you save money?
- How do you think that your use of money will change after marriage?
- Do you have any debts now? If so, how are you making progress to eliminate them?
- Do you use credit cards?
- Do you support the idea of taking loans to buy a new home?
- What are you expecting from your spouse financially?
- What is your financial responsibility in the marriage?
- Do you support the idea of a working wife?
- If so, how do you think a dual-income family should manage funds?
- Do you currently use a budget to manage your finances?
- Who are the people to whom you are financially responsible?
- Do you support the idea of utilizing baby sitters and/or maids?
- Do you want to have children? If not, how come?
- To the best of your understanding, are you able to have children?
- Do you want to have children in the first two years of marriage? If not, when?
- Do you believe in abortion?
- Do you have children now?
- What is your relationship with your children now?
- What is your relationship with their other parent?
- What relationship do you expect your spouse to have with your children and their parent?
- What is the best method(s) of raising children?
- What is the best method(s) of disciplining children?
- How were you raised?
- How were you disciplined?
- Do you believe in spanking children? Under what circumstances?
- Do you believe in public school for your children?
- Do you believe in Islamic school for your children?
- Do you believe in home schooling for your children?
- What type of relationship should your children have with non-Muslim classmates/friends?
- Would you send your children to visit their extended family if they lived in another state or country?
- What type of relationship do you want your children to have with all their grandparents?
- If there are members of my family that are not Muslim, that are of different race or culture, what type of relationship do you want to have with them?
May Allah bless Shaykh who has with his advices saved many young men and women from committing fornication before marriage, by pointing out the whole truth in such a manner that the youth of today find it palatable and adhere to his advices. Once Shaykh very candidly called out to the youth of the community:
“When young men and women date with each other (before marriage), they think that by doing this I am going to get to know the person well and then I can then decide whether we will be compatible or not. Remember that this is a deceit. When a young man and young woman go out together they usually only show a front and their best side, and most faults are concealed. Therefore after a ‘love marriage’ people face problem immediately [because ‘they don’t seem to know that person anymore’].
One can also make a assumption that perhaps these types of marriages face furthermore problems than other marriages [without pre-marital relations] because one has an already fixed an expectation that this person was such before and should be so now. Where as a couple whom have not had pre-martial relations will be open-minded and become willing to face any problem that come their way”.
Another time Shaykh said “A young man came to me and said ‘Shaykh I don’t find my wife attractive any more, and neither does she find me attractive. I don’t understand’, he said ‘before marriage we were extremely attracted to each other’. I replied [said Shaykh] to this young chap. ‘It’s quite simple. The love that you had was actually an infatuation, and Shaytaan deliberately put that attraction in the both of you so that you went on committing sin before marriage. It was favourable for him to do so because you were both in grave loss. However, after you got married, your interaction became Halal and lawful, so in fact, instead of sin you were now gaining reward, so Shaytaan removed that attraction, because you were evidently in gain!”
Source: In Shaykh’s Company
It is a Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to visit the sick. We should always visit those who are sick because it helps us to reflect and take heed, as those who are ill are close to Allah Ta’ala. We have only to consider that the sick person has no one to call but Allah, nothing to reflect on but Allah, and his condition reminds us of the blessing of health.
Hadrat Abu Moosa رضى الله تعالى عنه reports that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Visit the sick, feed the hungry and free the one who is imprisoned (unjustly).’ [Sahih Bukhaari]
Hadrat Abu Hurairah رضى الله تعالى عنه reports that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “On the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah Ta’ala will announce: O son of Aadam, I was sick yet you did not visit me. He will reply, ‘O Allah, how could I have visited You since you are Rabbul ‘aalameen? Allah Ta’ala will say: Did you not know that so and so slave of mine was sick, and yet you did not visit him? Should you have visited him you would have found Me by him.” [Sahih Muslim]
Hadrat Ali رضى الله تعالى عنه reports that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘When a Muslim visits his sick Muslim brother in the morning, seventy thousand angels make dua for his forgiveness till the evening. And when he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels make dua for his forgiveness till the morning, and he will be granted a garden for it in Jannah.’ [Timizi, Abu Dawood]
Hadrat Anas رضى الله تعالى عنه reports that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘When a person performs a proper wudhu (observing all its etiquette) and then goes to visit his sick Muslim brother with the intention of gaining sawaab, then he will be kept far away from the Fire of Jahannam by a distance equivalent of Sixty years.’ [Abu Dawood]
Our Beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم also said, ‘Whoever visits a sick person (for the pleasure of Allah), a Caller from the skies announces: You are indeed blessed and your walking is blessed and you have (by this noble act) built yourself a home in Jannah.’ [Ibn Maajah]
Hadrat Ibn Abbaas رضى الله تعالى عنه relates: It is part of the Sunnah that when you visit a sick person, you should shorten your visit to him and make the least amount of noise by him. [Mishkaat]
Once our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘The best type of visit to a sick person is when the visitor gets up to leave without delay.’ [Bayhaqi]
If we act upon these simple teachings, then the visitors to a hospital will no longer remain a problem for those who are in charge of the administration of hospitals.
Hadrat Umm Salmah رضى الله عنها relates that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘When you visit a sick person or (go to the home of) someone who has died, then speak only what is good, for the angels say ‘aameen’ to whatever you will say.’ [Sahih Muslim]
Hadrat Abu Sa’eed Khudri رضى الله تعالى عنه reports that Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘When you visit a sick person, speak in a reassuring way to him (about his age and his life).’ (For instance, tell him, ‘Alhamdulillah, your health has improved’ or ‘Inshaa Allah you will get better soon.’) Saying this will not delay what is predestined, but it will certainly make him feel happy.’ [Tirmizi, Ibn Maajah]
Source: Sickness- also a Mercy from Allah
Based on the advices of Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat
prepared by Brother Aslam Patel
“You have never seen anything better than marriage for those who love.” (Ibne Mãjah)
Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat dãmat barakãtuhum advises:
1. Every action is dependant upon intention. When marrying, both partners should therefore make a firm intention to accomplish the following objectives:
- Following the Sunnah of our beloved Nabee Muhammad s.
- Safeguarding oneself from sins.
- Parenting pious children.
2. When marrying, each becomes the other’s lifetime companion. Each should understand and appreciate that Allah S has brought them both together and that their destiny in life has now become one. Whatever the circumstances: happiness or sorrow; health or sickness; wealth or poverty; comfort or hardship; trial or ease; all events are to be confronted together as a team with mutual affection and respect. No matter how wealthy, affluent, materially prosperous and “better-off” another couple may appear, one’s circumstances are to be happily accepted with qanã‘at (contentment upon the Choice of Allah S). The wife should happily accept her husband, his home and income as her lot and should always feel that her husband is her true beloved and best friend and well-wisher in all family decisions. The husband too should accept his wife as his partner-for-life and not cast a glance towards another.
3. Nowadays, the husband reads about, and is well-informed of his rights and demands them. Similarly, the wife reads of her rights and expects them. However, both should concentrate on being aware of each other’s rights and then strive to fulfil them. This is the prescription for a prosperous marriage and everlasting love.
4. During the first year of marriage, the couple must try and spend as much time as possible together. This is especially true for the first two months as it provides an opportunity to understand each other’s temperaments and establishes a firm foundation which contributes towards securing a prosperous marriage.
5. The couple (especially the husband) must make a point to arrive home early after ‘Ishã Salãh and scrupulously avoid the habit of socialising with friends late into the evening. Wherever possible, business, employment and other activities should be concluded beforehand or curtailed in order to set aside time for spending together.
6. Mutual respect between husband and wife should not be lost. They should each be very particular about following the Deen right from the initial stages of married life. This will also ensure a religious environment for the children to be nurtured in, contributing greatly towards their successful upbringing.
7. True and everlasting prosperity is only possible for Muslims when they follow the Sunnah of Rasoolullah s in all affairs. The couple too, should adhere to the teachings of Rasoolullah s in all their matters and abstain from anything which contradicts them. Careful attention should be given to this in their intimate relationship too. Inshã’allah this will be an assured approach to acquiring the blessing of pious offspring.
8. In the initial stages of marriage, the love between the couple is a physical bond, wherein emotional changes take place all the time. Despite great passion and physical love for each other, affection between the couple is not yet well established or on a rational basis. Such rational love comes after many years together. It is therefore extremely important for the husband not to succumb to emotional weaknesses at the onset and let the marriage waver towards an irreligious direction. Both the husband and wife should make a pledge to each other to steadfastly follow the Deen, especially in the performance of Salãh and in avoiding all sins.
9. Marriage is like the weather, forever changing. Sometimes it is cloudy and rainy, life appears gloomy, then the sun appears and rays of happiness break through bringing joy. At times, one experiences rain, wind and sunshine all in one day. Such is life, and like the seasons, we go through different experiences. The secret is to remain devoted and steadfast to one’s Deen and spouse.
10. The husband should be sympathetic to the fact that his wife has left her parents, brothers and sisters to start a new life with him. Her sacrifice and her feelings should be respected and joy should be felt by both partners at the expansion of their families.
Just as the wife should treat her husband’s parents as her own, he should also extend affection, courtesy and respect to his new in-laws.
11. As soon as one experiences a problem, no matter how trivial, which remains unresolved for more than three days, consult a person who is both knowledgeable and your sincere well-wisher.
Source: Islamic Da’wah Academy
Nowadays, the general trend governing marriages is that the husband views his responsibility towards his family as being a purely materialistic one i.e. to provide financially for them (a house, car, clothes, etc). This attittude is resulting in many marriages breaking down since many husbands are seriously deficient in not spending sufficient time with their families – in communicating and interacting with the family and children. Islam presents a different view of the role of the husband, where he is made responsible for the Islamic nurturing and development of his wife and children as well as their psychological and moral welfare.
In actual fact the time which he spends with his family is not only a responsibility but an act of Ibaadat for which he will be rewarded. Sad to note that despite this, many husbands become restless and seek every opportunity to withdraw from their families by, among other things:
- Spending a great deal of time watching sports on TV
- Spending many afternoons and evenings ‘with the boys’ at THE CLUB
- Going off at weekends to play golf or fishing.
It also often transpires that if the wife (reluctantly) agrees to an arrangement allowing the husband regular time ‘with the boys’ the opportunity is used for other purposes e.g. conducting illicit relationships (adultery), etc.
He seeks more and more to be away from his family and should the wife raise even the mildest objection, he usually reacts with a great temper tantrum. Sadly, many wives endure this torture of loneliness and neglect with a great deal of bitterness and sorrow, tolerating their miserable condition because they have no where else to go. How often have you heard a tearful wife say, ‘He’s got more time for his friends than for me’.
BROTHER HEED THIS WARNING:
If you are guilty of this type of behaviour then you will have no one but yourself to blame if your marriage hits the rocks. CHANGE NOW! There can never be a limit to the love and attention that you can give to your wife and children. Aside from Deeni activities and basic business activities, devote yourselves towards your wife and children. It will pay excellent dividends.
Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu layhi Wasallam) said, ‘The best of you is he who is best to his family’. (Mishkat)
Source: Right Islam
Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Umar (Radiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“The person who is invited amongst you by his brother should accept the invitation whether it is a wedding invitation or anything similar to it.” [Muslim]
Hadhrat Jabir ibn Abdullah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“If anyone of you is invited to partake of meals, he should at least accept the invitation. Thereafter he may partake of it if he desires or he may totally abstain from it.” [Muslim]
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“If anyone of you is invited for meals, he should accept the invitation. If he is fasting, he should make Duaa (of goodness and blessing) for the inviter (some maintain that he should set out and perform salaah at the host’s house), and if he is not fastin he should partake of the meal.” [Muslim]
No excuse will be entertained in declining an invitation. However, if wine and other intoxicants are provided at the invitation or food will be eaten out of gold and silver utensils or there is a fear of any other evil, one should on no account accept the invitation.
If uninvited people accompany one who is invited, he should firstly seek the host’s consent so that he is not annoyed and disheartened (by the arrival of an uninvited guest).
Hadhrat Abu Masood Badri (radiallahu anhu) narrates: A certain person invited the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم over for meals. Including the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, food was prepared for 5 people. On the way to the invitation, a sixth person joined them. When the group arrived at the door of the host, the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
“This person has also joined us. if you wish to, you may permit him or else he will return.”
He (the host) said:
“O Prophet of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, I don’t mind him partaking of the meal.” [Muslim]
Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Masood (radiallahu anhu) says that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Accept the invitation of he who invites you. Avoid declining a gift and refrain from annoying the Muslims.” [Muslim]
Source: The 40 Pathways to Jannah by Sheikh Khalid Sayyid Ali
This means that one should accompany the deceased up to his grave. On this he will be granted entry into paradise together with a reward of 2 Qeerats.
Hadhrat Thawbaan (R.A.) narrates that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The one who observes salaah on the deceased receives the reward of one Qeerat whilst he who takes part in the burial as well will be entitled to two Qeerats and each Qeerat is equivalent to Mount Uhad.” [Muslim]
Therefore he who wishes to proceed with the Janazah should wait until the end of the burial so that he may earn the reward of two Qeerats. Together with this, the greater the number of people attending the Namaaz, the more beneficial it is for the deceased.
Hadhrat Ayesha (R.A.) narrates that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “There is no mayyit (deceased) upon whom a group of one hundred Muslims perform the Janazah Salaah and intercede in his favour but the intercession will be accepted.” [Muslim]
Source: The 40 Pathways to Jannah by Sheikh Khalid Sayyid Ali
There are two ways of recognizing how to value and appreciate ilm,
(1) Become a seeker of knowledge (taalibe ilm).
(2) Do not restrict this knowledge to knowing only.
Mufti Mohammed Shafi (r.a.)
O! You Muslims who are…
- Desirous to drive large, shiny cars,
REMEMBER: You will be driven one day as a horizontal passenger.
- Wild and crazy over expensive clothes,
REMEMBER: You will end up in just a ‘KAFN.’
- Recklessly sacrificing everything to construct beautiful homes and palatial mansions,
REMEMBER: the graveyard ‘PIT’ – one’s real home.
- Greedily devouring tasty dishes and all types of extravagant delicacies,
REMEMBER: one day YOU will be the meal for ants, worms and other insects.
- Aspiring for fame, fortune, and bright lights.
REMEMBER: the awaiting darkness and loneliness in the grave.
Source: ‘DEATH’ by Husainiyah Publications Estcourt
FOREWORD by Justice Maulana Muhammad Taqi Usmani
Ma’ariful-Qur’an is the name of a detailed Urdu commentary of the Holy Qur’an written by my father Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi’. He was one of the eminent scholars who served as a professor and as a grand Mufti of Darul-Uloom Deoband, the well-known university of the Islamic Sciences in the sub-continent of India. In 1943, he resigned from Darul-Uloom, due to his active involvement in the Pakistan movement, and when Pakistan came into existence, he migrated to Karachi where he devoted his life for this new homeland of the Muslims and served the country in different capacities. He also established Darul-Uloom Karachi, an outstanding institute of Islamic Sciences on the pattern of Darul-Uloom Deoband, which is regarded today as the biggest private institute of higher Islamic education in Pakistan.
He was a prolific writer who left behind him about one hundred books on different Islamic and literary subjects. Ma’ariful-Qur’an was the last great work he accomplished four years before his demise.
The origin of Ma’ariful-Qur’an refers back to the third of Shawwal 1373 A.H. (corresponding to the 2nd of July 1954) when the author was invited to give weekly lectures on the Radio Pakistan to explain selected verses of the Holy Qur’an to the general audience. This invitation was accepted by the author on the condition that he would not accept any remuneration for this service and that; his lectures would be broadcast without any interference by the editing authorities. The permanent title of this weekly program was “Ma’ariful-Qur’an” (The Wisdom of the Holy Qur’an) and it was broadcast every Friday morning on the network of Radio Pakistan.
This series of lectures continued for ten years up to the month of June 1964 whereby the new authorities stopped the programme for reasons best known to them. This series of lectures contained a detailed commentary on selected verses from the beginning of the Holy Qur’an up to the Surah Ibrahim (Surah no. 14).
This weekly programme of Radio Pakistan was warmly welcomed by the Muslims throughout the globe and used to be listened to by thousands of Muslims, not only in Pakistan and India but also in Western and African countries.
After the programme was discontinued, there was a flood of requests from all over the world to transfer this series in a book-form and to complete the remaining part of the Holy Qur’an in the shape of a regular commentary.
These requests persuaded the esteemed author to revise these lectures and to add those verses, which were not included in the original lectures. He started this project in 1383 A.H. (1964) and completed the commentary of Surah al-Fatihah in its revised form and started the revision of Surah al-Baqarah. However, due to his numerous involvements he had to discontinue this task, and it remained unattended during the next five years.
In Shawwal 1388 (1969) the esteemed author suffered from a number of diseases, which made him restricted to his bed. It was during this ailment that he restarted this work while on bed and completed Surah al-Baqarah in the same condition. Since then he devoted himself to the “Ma’ariful-Qur’an”. Despite a large number of obstacles in his way, not only from the political atmosphere of the country and the difficult responsibilities he had on his shoulders in different capacities, but also from his health and physical condition, he never surrendered to any of them and continued his work with a miraculous speed until he accomplished the work in eight volumes (comprising of about seven thousand pages) within five years only.
After appearing in a regular book-form, Ma’ariful-Qur’an was highly appreciated and widely admired by the Urdu-knowing Muslims throughout the world. Thousands of copies of the book are still circulated every year, and the demand for the book is so increasing that it has always been a problem for its publisher to satisfy the demand to its optimum.
A Few Words about the Present English Translation of Ma’ariful-Qur’an
Let me say a few words about the present English translation of the Ma’ariful-Qur’an.
Although a large number of English translations of the Holy Qur’an are available in the market, yet no comprehensive commentary of the Holy Qur’an has still appeared in the English language. Some brief footnotes found with some English translations cannot fulfill the need of a detailed commentary. Besides, they are generally written by the people who did not specialize themselves in the Qur’anic sciences, and their explanatory notes do not often reflect the authentic interpretation of the Holy Qur’an. Some such notes are based on an arbitrary interpretation having no foundation in the recognized principles of the exegesis of the Holy Qur’an, and are thus misleading for a common reader.
On the other hand, during the last few decades, the Muslim population has increased among the English speaking countries in enormous numbers. These people and their new generations need a detailed commentary of the Holy Qur’an which may explain to them the correct message of the last divine book with all the relevant material in an authentic manner which conforms to the recognized principles of tafsir (the exegesis of the Holy Qur’an).
Since Ma’ariful-Qur’an was the latest book written on these lines and was proved to be beneficial for a layman as well as for a scholar, it was advised by different circles that its English translation may fulfill the need.
It made me look for a person who might undertake the task, not only with his professional competence, but also with his commitment to serve the Holy Qur’an.
Fortunately, I succeeded in persuading Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari, the well-known scholar of English literature and criticism, to undertake the translation. In the beginning he was reluctant due to his strong sense of responsibility in the religious matters, but when I assured him of my humble assistance throughout his endeavor, he not only agreed to the proposal, but also started the work with remarkable devotion. Despite my repeated requests, he did never accept any honorarium or a remuneration for his service. He was a chain-smoker. But he never smoked during his work on Ma’ariful-Qur’an, which sometimes lasted for hours.
In this manner he completed the translation of about 400 pages of the original Urdu book and 156 verses of the Surah al-Baqarah, but unfortunately, his sudden demise discontinued this noble effort. Strangely enough, the last portion he translated was the commentary of the famous verse:
“And surely, We will test you with a bit of fear and hunger and loss in wealth and lives and fruits. And give good tidings to the patient who, when they suffer a calamity, say, ‘We certainly belong to Allah and to Him we are bound to return.”
Prof. Askari passed away in 1977, and due to my overwhelming occupations during the next 12 years, I could not find out a suitable person to substitute him. It was in 1989, that Prof. Muhammad Shamim offered his services to resume the translation from where Prof Askari had left it. I found in him the same sincerity, commitment and devotion I had experienced in the late Professor. Moreover, he had decided to devote the rest of his life to the service of the Holy Qur’an without any financial benefit. Here again I tried my best to persuade him to accept some kind of honorarium, but it was in vain. He started his work from the Verse 158 of Surah al-Baqarah and has now completed the translation of the first two volumes of the original Ma’ariful-Qur’an and is working on the third volume. (Now five volumes have been produced and work is going on the remaining three volumes.)
Both Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari and Prof. Muhammad Shamim have insisted that their translations must be revised by me from the religious point of view. For this purpose, I have gone through the typescript of the translations of both of them and suggested some amendments where it was necessary.
The translation of Prof. Askari had been started at a time when the esteemed author of Ma’ariful-Qur’an was still alive. We were fortunate to receive some guidelines from the author himself. He had advised the translators not to be too literal in translation to sacrifice the natural flow of the text. Moreover, he had emphasized that while rendering his book into English, the requirements of English readership must be kept in mind. Some discussions may be dispensed with. Similarly, many paragraphs may be condensed in the English version in order to avoid repetition.
The esteemed author had authorized me for suitable decisions in these matters. Both the learned translators, despite their earnest effort to reflect the original text as accurately as possible, have followed, in consultation with me, the said advices of the author himself. However they have never tried to sacrifice the original concept of the text for the beauty of language alone. Particularly, in the juristic discussions of the book, they have been very strict in the translation, lest some change in the style should creep in and distort the accurate connotation of the Islamic injunctions. In such places, the reader may feel some difficulty. However, a more concentrate reading can easily remove it.
Translation of the Holy Qur’an
The original Urdu Ma’ariful-Qur’an had not given a new translation of the Holy Qur’an itself. Rather, the esteemed author had adopted the Urdu translations of Maulana Mahmoodul-Hasan (Shaikhul-Hind) and Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi on which he based his commentary. While rendering the book into English, we had three options about the translation of the Holy Qur’an:
(a) To adopt any one of the already available English translations of the Holy Qur’an, like those of Arberry, Pickthall or Abdullah Yousuf Ali.
(b) To translate the Urdu translations used in the Ma’ariful-Quran into English.
(c) To provide a new translation of our own.
After a great deal of consideration and consultation, we elected to work on the third option, i.e. to prepare a new translation of the Holy Qur’an. The reasons behind this decision were manifold which need not be detailed here. In short, we wanted to prepare a translation, which may be closer to the Qur’anic text and easier to understand. For this purpose, we formed a committee with the following members:
1. Prof. Muhammad Shameem.
2. Mr. Muhammad Wali Raazi.
3. This humble writer.
This committee has accomplished the translation of the Holy Qur’an up to the Surah Yusuf and is still going on with this project.
The committee has all the famous available translations of the Holy text before it, and after a deep study of the relevant material found in the classical Arabic commentaries, lays down the new translation in as simple expressions as possible. While doing so, we have tried our best that the different possible interpretations of the Qur’anic text remain undisturbed, and the new translation accommodates as many of them as practicable. We have tried not to impose on our reader a particular interpretation where several interpretations were equally possible. However, where the translation could not accommodate more than one connotation, we have followed the one adopted by the majority of the classic commentators including Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi on whose translation the Ma’ariful-Qur’an is based.
Despite all these sincere efforts, one cannot avoid the admission that the exact translation of the Holy Qur’an is impossible. One cannot convey the glory and the beauty of the divine expression in any other language, let alone the English language, which, despite its vast vocabulary, seems to be miserable when it comes to the expression of spiritual concepts.
Therefore, even after observing all the precautions at our command, we feel that we were trying to translate a text, which is – as Arberry has rightly put it – totally untranslatable.
However, this is another humble effort to convey the basic message of the Holy Qur’an to a common reader in a simple manner. How far we have succeeded in this effort? Allah knows best.
The Scheme of the Translation
Now, here are some points to be kept in mind while consulting the translation.
1. Although the translators have tried their best to preserve not only the literal sense of the Holy text, but also the order of words and sentences, yet, while translating the idiomatic expressions, it is sometimes felt that the literal translation may distort the actual sense or reduce the emphasis embodied in the Arabic text. At such places effort has been made to render the Qur’anic sense into a closer English expression.
2. Both in the translation of the Holy Qur’an and in the commentary, a uniform scheme of transliteration has been adopted. The scheme is summarized in the beginning pages of the book.
3. The names of the prophets have been transliterated according to their Arabic pronunciation, and not according to their biblical form. For example, the biblical Moses has been transliterated as Musa, alayhi salam, which is the correct Arabic pronunciation. Similarly, instead of biblical Abraham, the Qur’anic Ibrahim, alayhi salam, and instead of Joseph, the Qur’anic Yusuf, alayhi salam, has been preferred. However, in the names other than those of prophets, like Pharaoh, their English form has been retained.
4. A permanent feature of the original Urdu Ma’ariful-Qur’an is its “Khulasa-e-Tafseer” (Summary). Under every group of verses, the esteemed author has given a brief summary of the meaning of the verses to help understand them in one glimpse. This summary was taken from Bayan-ul-Qur’an, the famous commentary of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi, rahmatullah alayh. He has set up this summary by adding some explanatory words or sentences within brackets to his Urdu translation. The esteemed author of Ma’ariful-Qur’an has reproduced this summary (after simplification in some places) with the heading of-Khulasa-e-Tafsir before his own commentary to the relevant group of verses.
While translating Ma’ariful-Qur’an into English, it was very difficult, rather almost impossible, to give that summary in the same fashion. Therefore, the translators have restricted themselves to the commentary of Ma’ariful-Qur’an and have not translated the Khulasa-e-Tafsir. However, where they found some additional points in the summary, which are not expressly mentioned in the commentary, they have merged those points into the main commentary, so that the English reader may not be deprived of them.
It is only by the grace of Allah Almighty that in this way we could be able to present this first volume of this huge work. The second volume is already under composing, and we hope that Allah will give us tawfiq to bring the next volumes as soon as possible.
Acknowledgments are due to all those who contributed their efforts, advices and financial support to this work. Those deserving special reference are Prof Abdul-Wahid Siddiqi, Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari, Mr. Abubakr Varachia and Mr. Shu’aib ‘Umar (both of South Africa) Dr. Muhammad Ismail (of U.S.A), and Mr. Altaf Barkhurdaria.
My elder brother Mr. Muhammad Wall Raazi has been associated with the work right from its beginning, and has always been a great source of guidance, support and encouragement. He is a member of the committee set up for the translation of the Holy Qur’an and his remarkable contribution, not only to the translation of the Holy Qur’an, but also to the translation of the commentary is unforgettable. He, too, has been contributing his valuable time and effort to this project for years just for the sake of Allah. May Allah approve his contributions with His pleasure and bless him with the best of rewards both here and hereafter.
As for Prof. Muhammad Shameem, the original translator of Ma’ariful-Qur’an after the demise of Prof. Muhammad Hasan ‘Askari, all the formal words of acknowledgment seem to be miserably deficient for the valuable service he has rendered to this project. He has not only translated the book with precaution and love, but also devoted his whole life to the Holy Qur’an and spared no effort to bring this volume into light. Out of his commitment to the cause, he did not restrict himself to the work of a translator, but also undertook the function of an editor and a proofreader and supervised all other minute details of the publishing process. His devotion, sincerity, and hard work are beyond any amount of admiration. May Allah grant him the best reward of His absolute approval for his noble work. Amin.