Refuting misconception about different translations of Quran
Fatwa No: 343429

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. One of my friends asked me this question, and I need your help, Scholar, to convince him regarding Islam, so please tell me how to respond to his query. His wording goes like this:
“You nor anyone can provide the answer to my challenge for the Bible; answer that question clearly, but I will give you sufficient time to answer the question and you can ask all your Islamic scholars for their help. You state that ‘the Muslims have just a single version of the Quran for all of the people, it does not matter which part of the world they live in, they have the same Quran with no other alternative.’ I will now easily prove to you that the Muslims do not have a single version of the Quran. Let us look at Surah 19, verse 19, and notice the many names that Jesus is given as a boy. Sam H. says, ‘pure boy,’ Pickthall says, ‘faultless son,’ Yusuf Ali says, ‘holy son,’ Shakir says, ‘purified son,’ Mohsin Khan says, ‘Righteous son,’ and Arberry says, ‘a boy most pure.’ It is impossible to have so many different titles describing Jesus as a boy. Sahih International says, ‘He said: I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a PURE boy.’ Pickthall says, ‘He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a FAULTLESS son.’ Yusuf Ali says, ‘He said: Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a HOLY son.’ Shakir says, ‘He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a PURE boy.’ Muhammad Sarwar says, ‘He said: I am the Messenger of your Lord. I have come to give you a PURIFIED son.’ Mohsin Khan says, ‘(The angel) said: I am only a Messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a RIGHTEOUS son.’ Arberry says, ‘If thou fearest God ... He said: I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a BOY MOST PURE.’”
May Allaah guide all of us.

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. 

First of all, we ask Allah to guide that man to the right Path so that he can enjoy the goodness of this world and the Hereafter. We have many fatwas that clarify that Islam is the true religion, some of these are the following: 86091, 88906 and 173389

We also have many fatwas on the falsehood of Christianity and the contradictions and distortions that are in the Bible, of which some are as follows: 3050690449 and 8210.

So please show him these fatwas so that he may benefit from them.

Secondly, this misconception is far from being a challenge. It was better for him to refer to the content of the above fatwas and others so that he may benefit from them and be guided to the Truth, and Allah may guide others at his hands [if he embraces Islam].

Thirdly, it is unfortunate that he does not differentiate between the Quran and the translations of the meanings of the Quran. The Quran is the word of Allah, Almighty, and it is protected by Him, and falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; it is a revelation from a Lord Who is Wise and Praiseworthy.

As regards the translations of the Quran, they are written by humans, who differ in understanding the meanings of the Arabic language, which is the language of the Quran, or who do not master the language into which the meaning of the Quran is translated; therefore, these translations are susceptible to be right or wrong. It should also be noted that not all translations are certified and acceptable to the Muslims. For more benefit, please refer to fatwas 81646, 88411and 281005.

Fourthly, the statement of that man revolves around the meaning of one single word, which is the Arabic word Zakiyya (pure or righteous), and the phrases which were mentioned about its meaning are all correct. This is what is called interpretation by diverse expressions for the same meaning, which is something acceptable and significant. However, what is not accepted is contradictions, when one meaning contradicts the other, which is found in those distorted Bibles as we have already highlighted in the fatwas we referred you to above. Therefore, that man, instead of preoccupying himself with challenging the Quran, it is better for him to ponder about those contradictions in the Bibles to know that they are distorted and that they are not true.

Finally, all what that person mentioned has been refuted, praise be to Allah. However, you should take note that the scholars have heighligted the importance of being careful not to expose oneself to debating with people of falsehood unless the one who does so has enough religious knowledge that could protect him from being affected by their misconceptions. 

Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book Miftaah Daar As-Saʻaadah (The Key to the Abode of Happiness):

Shaykh-ul-Islam (Ibn Taymiyyah), may Allah be pleased with him, said to me when I started to report one misconception after another to him, ‘Do not make your heart, when exposed to such misconceptions, absorb them like a sponge that soaks up water (soaking up the various misconceptions that are presented to it), but let it be like an impermeable glass vessel, misconceptions pass by it but do not remain in it. Such a vessel sees the misconception with its [the vessel's] clearness but repels it [misconception] with its firmness. Otherwise, if your heart absorbs every misconception that passes by it, then, in that case, your heart becomes a settling place for misconceptions,’ or as he said. So I do not see that I have ever benefited from any advice in repelling misconceptions more than I benefited from this advice, since a misconception is called as such because the truth is confused with falsehood in it, as it puts the garment of truthfulness over the body of falsehood…” For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 298936.

Allah knows best.

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