Interpretation of verse 53:13
Fatwa No: 337024

  • Fatwa Date:9-1-2017 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 11, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum, Sir. I am having problems regarding Quran translation. I have downloaded several Quran apps and PDFs on my phone (approximately seven) and I cannot determine which one has good meanings in interpretation. So I took a verse from all of those [4:3], which I read in a Bengali translation of the Quran in my home some days ago. So when I read the meaning of that verse at that time, some part of [4:3] says something like, "orphan ... marry the woman among women whom you like," but when I look at it now in my apps and PDFs, the meaning is something like, "who is lawful for you," instead of, "whom you like," and some of those state the same meaning that I found at home in Bengali, i.e "whom you like." This morning, however, I downloaded another Quran app called "The Glorious Qur'an", and its states the meaning, "then marry the woman you like and who is lawful for you" both at the same place, so I became kind of satisfied. After some time, I went to the verse [53:13], which means, "and assuredly he saw Him (Allaah unveiled) the second time [these meanings are based on the sayings of eminent luminaries like Ibn 'Abbaas, Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari, Ikrima the successor, Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri the successor, and so on]" I am confused regarding their saying '(Allaah unveiled)', because, as I know from childhood, our prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, met Him from behind a veil and did not see Him (Allaah) directly. Other apps and PDFs state that the meaning is only like, "he met Him". They do not try to clarify the meaning like my new app "The Glorious Qur'an," which is quite similar with the "interpretation of meaning" that you use in your fatwas, like when, for example, it says, "guard your private parts (from illegal sexual acts and so on). "The Glorious Qur'an" does not only clarify it like by saying "(from illegal sexual acts and so on)," but it also mentions the persons who clarified the meaning. So 'The Glorious Qur'an' seems to be the best one, but I remain confused about [53:13]. So please help me to choose; which one should I use? May Allaah bless you always!

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

We advise you to take it easy upon yourself. The difference of translations is like the difference of the interpreters of the Quran in their sayings and their style. Some of them provide details and state the difference of opinions and views, and some of them are brief. We have mentioned in fatwa 90680 the best translations of the meanings of the Quran in English are the following:

1. Dr. Muhammad Taqiyy-ud-Deen Al-Hilaali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khaan, published by Dar-us-Salaam publications, Riyadh, K.S.A.

B. The translation prepared by Al-Muntada Al-Islami, published by Saheeh International – Riyadh; which is the adopted translation in Islamweb in translating the fatwas.

Both translations are available on the Internet.

It should be pointed out that the most preponderant opinion about the verse in Soorah An-Najm [Quran 53:13] is that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saw Jibreel (Gabriel), may Allah exalt his mention, in his real image.

Masrooq, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated:

I was resting at the house of 'Aa'ishah, and she said, 'O Abu 'Aa'ishah (nickname of Masrooq), there are three things, and the one who affirms even one of them, he has indeed fabricated the greatest lie against Allah.' I asked what they were. She said, “The one who claims that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saw his Lord, he has fabricated the greatest lie against Allah.' I was reclining but then sat up and said, 'Mother of the Faithful, wait a bit and do not be in a haste. Has not Allah, the Almighty and Majestic, said: {And he has already seen him in the clear horizon} [Soorah at-Takweer, 81:23] and {And he certainly saw him in another descent.} [Soorah an-Najm 53:13]?' She said, 'I am the first of this Ummah (community) who asked the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) about it, and he said, 'Verily, it is Jibreel. I have never seen him in his true image in which he was created except on those two occasions (to which these verses refer); I saw him descending from the heaven and filling (the space) between the sky and the earth with the greatness of his bodily structure.'' She said, 'Have you not heard Allah saying: {Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted.} [Soorah al-An’aam 6:103]? Have you not heard that Allah says: {And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a veil or that He sends a messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High and Wise.} [Soorah ash-Shoora, 42:51]' She added, 'The one who claims that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) concealed anything from the Book of Allah, he has indeed fabricated the greatest lie against Allah. Allah says: {O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message.} [Soorah al-Maa'idah, 5:67] And the one who claims that he would inform about what was going to happen tomorrow, he has indeed fabricated the greatest lie against Allah. Allah says {Say, “None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected.} [Soorah an-Naml, 27:65]' [Muslim]

Allah knows best.

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