Comments in this book numbered by 3 numbers (included 00 or 0) a few places followed by one small letter = clear cases. Comments numbered by 00 or 0 followed by 1, 2 or 3 letters (big or small) = likely cases.
Contents in this chapter:
Some of the 450+ examples of vague language, difficult to understand language, or language with more than one meaning – up to at least 5 – and thus a guesswork what it really means, may not be the most interesting stuff if you are not looking for such things. We all the same have chosen to be thorough (to a degree) because one of the things Muslims really boast about is the clear and easily understood language in the Quran.
Muslims for one thing claim that the clear and easy language is a proof for that it is made by a god, and for another that the perfect language is a proof for the existence of Allah (no such proofs exist, so they try to find some).
Both claims are very clearly wrong as you will see, as the language all too often is neither clear, nor distinct or specific, nor easy to understand.
Muslims and the Quran alike tells that the text in the Quran is easy to understand and not possible to misunderstand. If an omniscient god had made it, that should have been the case.
But in reality many things and many points are unclear. We have mentioned many points here and there in this book, and this just is a short summary:
We mention some verses where Muhammad Asads “The Message of the Quran”, certified by Al-Azhar Al-Sharif Islamic Research Academy in Cairo and printed by an Islamic academy, says the text or parts of the text are unclear or possible to understand in more than one way: 4/1, 4/3, 4/11, 4/16, 4/19, 4/25, 4/29, 4/31, 4/31, 4/34, 4/43, 4/51, 4/94, 4/102, 4/105, 4/117, 4/148, 4/153, 4/160, 4/171 (This just from one surah chosen by change - there are 114 of different lengths).
If you meet a Muslim saying that the Quran it totally clear and not to be misunderstood at any point, he either does not know much about the Quran or he is lying to you to defend his religion. (Lying to “infidels” are under some circumstances permitted in Islam - even oaths are not absolute. They call it al-Taqiyya (the lawful lie) or Kitman (the lawful half-truths) - expressions that only Islam of the large religions has.
Abraviations in this chapter: A= Muhammad Azad: “The Message of the Quran". The following number (f. ex. A17) = the footnote number. YA = A. Yusuf Ali in his "The meaning of the Quran".
001 1/7 (A4): “- - - those whose (portion) is not (Allah’s*) wrath - - -.” To whom does “those” refer to here? F. ex. Al- Ghazali and Muhammad Abduh mean it is those that have left Islam. Others have other definition. It is still debated after 1400 years. Clear speech? (An extra point: You meet claims that no-one leaves Islam. Here it is confirmed by Islam that it do happen - and especially Al-Ghazali was and is a real heavy-weight in Islam, "the greatest Muslim after Muhammad".)
002 2/25 (A17): “- - - for they shall be given something that will recall that (past).” The exact translation: “something resembling it”. “Various interpretations, some of them quite esoteric and highly speculative, have been given to this passage. - - - (A likely meaning is*) ‘It is this that we (Muslims*) have been promised during our life on earth as a requital for faith and righteous deeds”. But a number of other interpretations are possible.
003 2/34 (A26): “- - - they (the angels*) all prostrated themselves, save Iblis (the future Devil*) - - - and thus he became one of those who deny the truth”. There is an added mystery here: It is indicated here that Iblis was an angel, but angles were created from light, whereas it many places in the Quran is said that Iblis was created from fire = Iblis was a Jinn. Also the fact that he was able to refuse Allah’s order makes Islamic scholars question his being an angel, because angels are totally obedient. That aside:
(It is) “absolutely clear that at the time of that command he (Iblis*) was indeed one of the heavenly host. Hence we must assume that his “rebellion” has a purely symbolic significance and is, in reality, the outcome of a specific function assigned to him by Allah.”
This is a touchy point for some Muslims: If Iblis was able to refuse to obey, Allah is not omnipotent. If on the other hand Hell is part of Allah’s design, Allah far from is a pure and benevolent god. Muhammad Asad tends to believe it is part of Allah’s design – the omnipotence is more essential than benevolence – but we have never seen a clear answer to the enigma. The real significance of this scene is unclear.
004 2/35a (A27): “O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in this garden - - -.” Exact translation: “the garden”. “There is a considerable difference of opinion among the commentators as to what is the meaning here by ‘garden’: a garden in the earthly sense, or the paradise that awaits the righteous in the life to come, or some special garden in the heavenly regions?” The text is not specific, and the meaning unclear.
005 2/35b (YA49): “Not so Iblis (the later Devil*).” But the Arab text actually says: “They (the angles*) bowed down, except Iblis.” This in case means that Iblis was an angel, whereas the Quran several other places tells he was a jinn (made from fire, whereas angles were made from light). Clear text?
006 2/36 (A30): “- - - on earth you shall have your abode and your livelihood for a while!” We quote from “The Message of the Quran”: “With this sentence the address changes from the hitherto-observed dual form (a grammatical form for plural that exists in some languages, included Arab, which means the subjects are 2*) to the plural: A further indication that the moral of the story relates to the human race as a whole.” An indication, but not clear language. Another comment: Muhammad Asad has the same tendency like many Muslims explaining or promoting their religion: This sentence is an order to Adam and perhaps to his descendants that they will have to live on Earth for some time. If you want to include a moral aspect in Allah’s words, this in case is an interpretation that may be right or wrong, but which is not part of the words.
+007 2/53a (A38): Does the Arab text here mean: “- and (thus) a standard (the 10 Commandments*) by which to discern the true from the false - - -”? Or perhaps: “- - - and (thus) human reason by which to discern the true from the false - - -“? And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
008 2//53b (YA68): “- - -the Scriptures and the Criterion - - -.” The scriptures must mean the 10 commandments (and the Law, that Islam says he got at the same time, but in the Bible it is said he was told the law and wrote it down himself later – not given as a scripture), but is the “Criterion” just another word for the Commandments or is it something else – miracles or some other signs or scriptures? Islam does not know. Clear texts?
+009 2/54 (A39): Moses said: “- - - turn, then, in repentance to your (the Jews’) Maker and mortify yourselves - - -.” Or may be “- - - kill yourself - - -.” Or may be “- - - kill one another - - -.” The language is too unclear to tell what is the real meaning – at least 3 different ones. (M. Asad has preference for the first meaning, because of other texts in the Quran). And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
+010 2/61 (YA74): “Go ye (Jews*) to any town - - -.” But the Arab word “Misr” (town) here also may mean “the Egypt of Pharaoh” = in this case “any country fertile like Egypt.”
011 2/101 (YA102): “They (Jews*) threw away the Book of Allah - - -.” Does this in this special case indicate the Quran or the Bible (OT)? – it is not clear. Both meanings are possible.
+012 2/102 (A83): “- - - and such things as came down at Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut.” This meaning you get if you among the consonants in the Arab original text use the vowels a-a-a-y and get the word “malakayn” = the two angels. If you instead guess that the correct vowels are a-i-a-y and get the word “malikayn” = the two kings, you get this meaning: “- - - and such things as came down to the two kings Harut and Marut.” There is a difference between 2 angels and 2 kings. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning. Facts and problems like these Muslims strongly deny when they say the Quran is exact and correct “to the last comma” (the comma did not exist in Arab at the time of Muhammad).
+013 2/146: “The people of the Book (Jews, Christians*) know this as they know their own sons.” But “this” instead may mean “him” – the Arab word has double meaning. Then the meaning becomes: “- - - know him (Muhammad) as - - -.” A tiny wee bit different.
+014 2/148 (YA153): “- - - a goal to which Allah turns him (a person*) - - -.” Or – depending on how you understand the Arab pronoun “huwa” in the original – may be: “- - - To each is a goal to which he turns”. Clear and not to be misunderstood?
015 2/158 (A128): “Behold! Safa and Marwah (2 hillocks or rocks in Mecca*) are among the symbols of Allah. So if those who visit the House (Kabah*) in the Season or at other times should encompass them around, it is no sin in them”. These two hillocks (now inside the mosque complex) were religious symbols also in pagan times before Islam, and Hadiths (f. ex. Al-Bukhari) explains this verse with that, many Muslims thought that if they followed the old rituals and visited them, they paid tribute to the old gods, but that Muhammad then in this verse told them that it was no sin – on the contrary it is to pay respect to Allah. The ritual simply is to hasten between (not around) them 7 times symbolizing Hagar’s claimed search for water after Abraham had left her and their son Ishmael (Islam claims it was here it happened).But the question is: Is this ritual obligatory or a “supererogatory act of piety”? (Zamakhshari and Razi). The text on this point is unclear. Today it is reckoned to be an integrate part of the pilgrimage, but the text is unclear.
016 2/178 (A148): “But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain - - -.” But the literal text only says “and he to whom (something) is remitted by his brother”. Then the question is: Whom does the word “his” really refer to? – the brother of the victim or the brother of the murderer? – or for that case a “brother” in faith? Islam is still debating it – quite naturally, as the question and its answer can have really serious effects in a murder case. This one honestly should have been clearly stated, and it is most unlikely that a god would leave this as unclear as is the case here.
017 2/184: “But he that will give more, of his own free will – it is better for him.” But the Arab expression “alladhina yutiqunahu” may be “able to do it” or “can afford it”. In this translation it tends towards "ability to afford". But if one thinks the other one is the correct, the meaning may be this: “Whoever does more good than he is bound to do do good unto himself thereby - - -.” To do god is a much wider word than to give.
+018 2/187 (YA196): “- - - the black thread - - -“ – does it indicate “- - - all three things (eat, drink, sex*) must stop during fast - - -“? – or: “What is permitted is well enough, but seek the higher things ordained for you.” Just choose you’re the meaning.
019 2/194 (YA209): “The prohibited month - - -.” But Arabia had 4 prohibited months, when f. ex. warfare was prohibited – not one. Can here be meant the month of Hajj – the pilgrimage (“Dhu al Hijjah”) – or may be the following month (“Muharram”) that often was called “al Haram” = the prohibited or sacred? Islam does not know. Clear language?
020 2/196 (YA215): “This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque (Kabah*) - - -.” To quote Yusuf Ali: “There is disagreement among jurists whether residents of Mecca are allowed to make 'tamattu’ or not.” Very clear.
021 2/197(A180): “For Hajj are the months well known.” The three forbidden/holy months around the time of the pilgrimage? – or the month of Hajj each year? Nobody knows even after 1400 years of study.
022 2/200 (A185): “- - - celebrate the praise of Allah, as ye used to celebrate the praises of your fathers - - -.” Like the praise of your fathers/parents? – or like the praise of their forefathers like was the custom in pagan times there? Impossible to know.
023 2/204a (A187): “There is the type of man whose speech about this world’s life may dazzle you - - -.” Some person(s) contemporary with Muhammad? – a general picture? Islam does not know, but debates it?
024 2/204b (A189): “- - - yet he is the most contentious of enemies.” Here Islam simply is guessing wildly about who "he" is. The text is too unclear, and the possibilities are too many.
025 2/208 (A191): “O ye who believe! Enter into Islam wholeheartedly; and follow not in the footsteps of Satan - - -.” Is it the Muslims that shall follow the religion wholeheartedly? – or people who believed in the Bible that should enter Islam? (Zamakhshari, Razi). Muslim scholars are guessing.
026 2/221 (A208): “- - - a slave woman - - -.” Does it in this special case mean an ordinary slave woman? – or a slave woman of Allah = a Muslim woman? – or a slave woman that is Muslim? In this case the distinctions may count quit a lot - - - but the book is silent.
+027 2/233a (A219): “If they both decide on weaning - - -.” But the Arab word here – “fisal” – also may mean separation, a meaning “The Message of the Quran” uses here – separation of the child from its mother. Both meanings are "correct" in this very distinct language.
028 2/233b (A220): “- - - provided ye paid (the mother) what ye offered - - -.” Or does it mean “- - - provided you ensure, in a fair manner, the safety of the child - - -“? Or perhaps “- - - provided you, in a fair manner, surrendered the child - - -“? Just go on guessing – Islam is guessing, too.
029 2/238 (YA271): “- - - the Middle Prayer - - -.” Muslim authorities differ as to the correct meaning, as the Arab expression “al Salat al wusta” as well may mean “the best or most excellent prayer” and thus may indicate the Asr prayer in the middle of the afternoon.
030 2/243 (A232): “Didst thou not turn thy vision to those who abandoned their homes, though they were thousands (in number) for fear of death?” Where? Who? When? – a lot of questions and no answers, as this is the total of information the Quran gives, and there is no known connection – not even to a fairy tale. Clear information in the book?
031 2/255a (A247): “He (Allah*) knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) Before or After or Behind them.” That is how A. Yusuf Ali understands what literally means: “- - - that which is between their hands and that which is behind them”. Islam does not have the faintest idea about the real meaning, and the scholars makes guesswork in many – and contradicting and conflicting – ways. “- - - between the hands - - -“ may f.ex. mean this world - - - or may be the next. And what “- - - is behind them” may mean this world because it is to be left - - - or may be it means the next live because it is an allusion to the hidden world. And a number of other unclear ideas. And it is heavyweights like Mujahid, ‘Ata, Ad-Aahhak, Al-Kalbi, Razi, Zamakhshari and others who are guessing. Clear language, easy to understand?
032 2/255b (A248): “His (Allah’s*) Throne dothe extend over the heavens and the earth - - -.” Literally: “His seat (of power) - - -.” But what is the intended meaning? – “His dominion” or “His sovereignty”? (Zamakhshari). – or “His knowledge”? (Muhammad ‘Abduh), - or “His majesty and glory”? (Razi), - or something else? Who knows?
033 2/258-260 (YA302): This is too much to quote, but we quote some of A. Yusuf Ali’s remark, that is very enlightening as to the Islamic claim that the language in the Quran is crystal clear: “The three verses 258 – 260 have been the subject to much controversy as to the exact meaning to be attached to the incidents and persons alluded to, whose names are not mentioned. In such matters, where the Quran has given no names and the Prophet has himself given no indication, it seems to me useless to speculate - - -.” Yes, the Quran always is crystal clear.
034 2/259 (YA304): “- - - by a hamlet, all in ruins - - -.” Does this refer to Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones (Bible: Ezekiel 37/1-10), to Nehemiah’s destroyed Jerusalem (Bible: Nehemiah 2/11-20), to one of the legends concerning Uzayr/Ezra, or to something else? Islam does not know. Clear texts?
035 2/260 (A257): “Take four birds; tame them to turn to thee (Abraham*); put a portion of them on every hill, and call to them - - -.” But the Arab expression “surhunna ilayka” simply means “make them incline towards thee”. And then the meaning really is: “- place them (separately) on every hill, and call to them - - -.” And that is a very different story. Clear (fairy) tale?
036 2/275 (YA324): “- - - those who devour usury”. That usury is prohibited is most clear. But what is the definition for usury? “When it comes to the definition of usury there is room for differences of opinion” – even when it comes to a topic that is so central in real life, the texts in the Quran is not clear “as the Prophet left this world before the details of the question were settled” – and Islam has no real moral philosophy,only Muhammad’s (sometimes quite immoral) words. And here there are no such words.
037 2/286 (A278): ”O our Sustainer! Lay not on us (Muslims*) a burden like that which Thou didst lay on those before us - - -.” Muslims like to tell this refers to heavy burdens placed on the Jews by the Law of Moses. But in reality the Quran neither says about whom it is speaking or what kind of burden (f. ex. forefathers’ burden of paganism and/or sins).
038 3/3: “It is He (Allah*) Who sent sown to thee (Muhammad*) - - - the Book, confirming what went before it - - -.” Here is indicated that it confirms the Bible. But the Arab original is more cloudy: “- - - ma baynayadayhi - - -“ – literally “- - - that which is between its hands - - -“. Is it correct to guess that is means “- - - what went before - - -“? Or is it more correct to guess it means “- - - what is left now - - -.”? Muslim scholars dispute about it – most agree to the first alternative, but some to the other. And the literal meaning is yet another. Clear language?
00a 3/7 (YA347): “- - - in verses basic and fundamental (of established meaning); They are the foundation of the Book: others are not of well-established meaning - - -.” Comments necessary? The Quran is to be understood literally if nothing else is indicated. But some of it has established meaning and some not.
039 3/49 (A37): “- - - I (Jesus*) make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave - - -“. But is this a real story or an allegory? Muslim scholars debate it. (Actually the story is from one of the apocryphal (made up legend) “child gospels”.) Clear speech?
+040 3/118: “- - - they (non-Muslims*) will not fail to corrupt you.” But the exact text says (translated from Swedish): “- - - they love all that can distress you - - -.” And that is not the same meaning by far.
041 3/142: “Did you think ye would enter Heaven without Allah testing those who fought hard (in His Cause) and remained steadfast?” But the literal meaning of the original text is: “- - - while Allah has not yet taken cognizance of those of you who have striven . . . and those who are patient in adversity.” Islam explains that as Allah knows everything, this in reality means that nothing – no test – has taken place. But if Allah is omniscient, there does not exist one single reason for a test of anybody. And if Allah does not know how each and everybody will behave, he is not omniscient and clairvoyant. Islam’s explanation here is logically invalid. Do they have something better – not the (sorry) usual stuff where they “explain” one piece of a complex question, and then tell “this is why” – and silently skip the other parts of the complex, that shows that the claim(s) is/are wrong or invalid? – there is too much of that in Islam.
042 3/172 (A130): “Of those who answered the call of Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad*) even after being wounded - - -.” Who? Where? In what situation? Nobody knows – the book is silent, and Muslim scholars’ debate. After Uhud? To Badr as-Sughra? Or some other incident? Anyone is free to guess.
043 3/179 (A136): “Allah will not leave the believers in the state (f. ex. of being the loosers*) in which ye are now - - -.” (After the in reality lost battle of Uhud – though Mecca did not follow up the victory in time). Is this the right meaning of Arab “ma antum alayhi” (exact meaning: “that upon which you are”)? Or does it mean “the (economic, etc.*) condition in which you are”? (Rezi and others). Text not clear.
044 4/1 (A1): ”- - - created you from a single Person (”nafs”) - - -.” Is this the correct meaning? Or f.ex. ”- - - from humankind - - -” (Muhammad ’Abdu)? Or ”- - - from a soul - - -.” Or “- - - from a spirit - - -”? Or ”- - - from a living entity - - -.”? Or ”- - - from a vital principle - - -”? Or “- - - from self - - -.”? Etc. The word ”nafs” is very vague and has many meanings – far from the clear language Muslims claim. At least 7 possible meanings.
+045 4/3 (A3): “- - - marry women of your choice, two or three or four - - -.” Is this the correct meaning? (Exact literal meaning: “- - - such as are good for you - - “). Or “- - - as are lawful for you - - -“ (Muhammad Asad)? Or (“- - - you must apply the same consideration to the rights and interest of the woman you intend to marry (as to the orphan*) - - -.” (Sa’id ibn Jubair and others)? Or does it simply mean “- - - such as are good for you - - -.”? Here either the Quran or the Muslim scholars have made at least 4 meanings. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
046 4/12 (YA520): “- - - Their share is a fourth - - -.” But the Arab word used here “kalalah” had no fixed meaning at the time of Muhammad (it is one of the 3 words Umar wished Muhammad had defined before his death – the other two being “khilafah” and “riba” = usury). Has Islam guessed correctly? Nobody knows.
047 4/19 (A17): “Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will.” Can this mean you cannot inherit from what she owned after she died, if she protested before she died? Hardly – not with the Islamic laws for inheritances. Zamakhsharif proposes that it may mean it is prohibited to force an unwilling or not loved wife to stay with you, in the hope of inheriting her. Other authorities say it means that you are not permitted to inherit the woman as a person – for an extra wife or for your harem (it of course is permitted if she is a slave) against her will” (to inherit free women in this meaning, is prohibited also by other laws). This is about very essential points in human life – no omnipotent god had used so vague words in their law.
048 4/25 (A29): “If any of you have not the means - - -.” The Arab expression says: “lam yastadi’ tawlan” literally means: “cannot afford” – but do this in this case mean “have not money”, or does any hindrance count (Muhammad ‘Abduh)? The book gives no answer, even if this concerns central happenings in a human’s life.
049 4/29 (A38): “Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity”. But is that the correct meaning? “The Message of the Quran” has: “Do not devour one another’s possessions wrongfully – not even by way of trade based on mutual agreement” – which roughly says the same (something like “do not cheat each other” or worse) in a few more words. But the Arab word “illa” in front means “except” or “unless it be”, which means that the literal meaning in reality is “do not eat up one another’s possessions wrongfully, unless it be (an act of) trade based on mutual agreement” - - - which means that wrongful profit is ok if the parts agree on it – f. ex. by a swindle where the buyer believes he/she gets a fair deal. This strongly contradicts other Islamic laws. It takes some highly advanced verbal gymnastics to explain it away. Every scholar agrees that the literal meaning must be wrong, but words have to be used in special meanings to make that meaning disappear. At very best very unusual use of the language – in spite of that the Quran itself boasts of that the language it to be understood literal, and that it is easy to understand. More likely it simply is a big mistake a la 6/151.
+050 4/31 (A40): “And admit you to a Gate of great honour” = admit you in an honourable way. This is among other Razi’s interpretation. But what is the real meaning of the Arab word “mudkhal”? It may as well mean “- - - enter an abode of glory” = a glorious place. Clear?
051 4/33 (YA543): “To (benefit) every one, We (Allah*) have appointed sharers and heirs - - -.” But the Arab word used her may mean: A. Closely related. B. Heir. C. Sharer or partner. D. Neighbour. E. Friend. F. Protector. G. Client. H. Lord or master. At lest 8 different meanings. Clear?
052 4/34a (A43): “- - - the righteous woman - - - guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard.” But what? – is it a warning about unlawful sex? – has it to do with felicity in the wider sense? – to guide her husband’s property? Who knows – it is one of the unclear points for Muslims, even though it is a central point in life.
+053 4/34b (YA547): “- - - spank them (lightly) - - -.” But the Arab word used here – “daraba” – “is used in the Quran with about 17 different meanings - - -.” Has Allah so limited a vocabulary that he has to use such a diffuse speech? At least it is very clear that the texts in the Quran frequently are very unclear.
054 4/51 (A69): “They believe in Sorcery and Evil - - -.” But the Arab (in reality unlikely to be Arab according to Lisan al-Arab) word “al-jibt” that A. Yusuf Ali says mean sorcery and evil, is an unclear word. This sentence in reality may mean: “They believe in baseless mysteries” (M. Asad). Or: “They believe in something in which there is no good” (Baydavi, Qamus). Or: “They believe in enchantment” (Umar ibn al-Khattab). Or: “They believe in anything that is worshipped instead of Allah” (Zamakhshari). And a number of other possibilities included “soothsaying”, “fanciful ideas”, “superstitious divinations” and more. Very unclear language to use for a god making a book that is “clear and easy to understand.”
055 4/57 (A74): “We shall admit them to shades, cool and deepening.” One thing is that here is one more of the innumerable cases of “only Arabian references” in a claimed world religion from a god for the entire world. More down to earth is: Is the sentence correctly understood? Today the Arab word “zill” mainly means “shade” and “zill zahil” something like “dense shadow” (no good thing for one from cold countries that dreams about good sunshine). But all languages changes – so also Arab. In old Arab it also meant “a covering” or “a shelter” or “protection” or even “a state of ease, pleasure and plenty” or “happiness” (Lane 1915) – and the “zill zahil” that is used here “aboundant happiness” (Razi). There is a difference between “deep shade” and “aboundant happiness” – except perhaps for home-grown dwellers of hot deserts.
056 4/88 (A105 – in 2008 edition 107): “Why should ye be divided into two parties about the Hypocrites?” Who were they? Muslim elite scholars like Ibn ‘Abbas and Tabari have speculated a lot, but the only result is “various conjectures”. And when top Islamic thinkers through 1400 years ends up with “various conjectures – yes, then the language in the Quran is “clear and easy.”
057 4/94 (A118 (A120 in the 2008 edition)): “Even thus were ye yourself before - - -.” Literal meaning: “thus have you (too) been aforetime”. Does this refer to the feeble start of Islam in Mecca? – or to you personally before you became a Muslim or Allah helped you in other ways? – or the same for a community? – or for a country? The context favours the first meaning, but it is far from clear. And if that is the meaning: Why does Allah make a purely Arab religion based on Arabia 600-650 AD + legends and contorted stories picked up in Arabia during the same period of time about neighbouring religions, etc., if he is omnipotent, omniscient and clairvoyant and wants to create a universal, timeless religion?
058 4/102 (A130 – in 2008 edition A132): “But there is no blame on you if ye put away your arms because of the inconvenience of rain - - -” – i.e. if your weapons could be damaged by rain according to “The Message of the Quran”. But the only weapons they had that could be damaged by rain, were things made from iron that could rust – mainly the sword (arrows were for use and perhaps only once, and a little rust did not matter much) and coats-of-mail – and from skin that could grow soft (on shields + coats of leather – not as good a defence as coats-of-mail, but much cheaper). But they knew ever so well that use a little fat on iron, and it does not rust, and impregnate skin/leather with fat, and it repels water. Then why this sentence? Well, there also are other meanings of the Arab word “matar” (= rain), as it also means (translated from Swedish) “duress”, “dire need”, “accident”, “an affliction”. The real meaning may thus be very different - f. ex.: “But there is no blame on you if you put away your arms if you suffer from an affliction”. Not “a clear and easy to understand” language used by this god (?). At least - at least - two very different meanings. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
+059 4/103 (YA619): “When ye, pass (congregational) prayers - - -.” 2 meanings possible: “When ye have finished congregational prayers”, or “When (because of grave danger) ye have to pass over congregational prayers - - -.” Pick your choice.
060 4/105 (A131 – in the 2008 edition A133): “We (Allah*) have sent down to thee the Book (the Quran*) - - -.” The word thee/thou/ye/you often is used in ways that makes it difficult to decide who “you” is (f. ex. you have the same in 4/113). Here it is likely, but far from sure, that it means Muhammad. But it may also mean “you Muslims” or “you people”, etc. – and some places the guesswork is more difficult and the answer more unsure than here. Far from a “clear and easily understood” language” – any omniscient god should be able to do better than this.
061 4/117 (A138 – in the 2008 edition A140): “(The Pagans) leaving Him (Allah’), call but upon female deities - - -.” This may be correct, as Arab “inath” may mean “a female being”. But is also may mean “inanimate things” (Lance I, 112) or “lifeless symbols”. May be the real meaning is something like “- - - call but on your lifeless (wooden) idols - - -.”? Not a language “clear and easy to understand.”
062 4/127: “Concerning the children who are weak and oppressed - - -.” The original Arab text here says “orphans of women”. Does this mean orphans after widows that have died? – or female children? Islam does not know. A clear (?) language “doctored” by the translator – there is too much of that in translations of the Quran (though A. Yusuf Ali is not too bad.).
+063 4/142 (A157 – in 2008 edition A158): “The hypocrites – they think they are overreaching Allah, but He will overreach them (non-Muslims*) - - -“. Literal meaning: “He is their deceiver”. But f. ex. Rezi has: “He (Allah*) will requite them for their deception.” There is a clear distinction here: In the first case Allah deceits the non-Muslims so that may be the plans crumble before they give any Muslims problems. In the other case he avenges what they did. 2 different meanings. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
We also add that this sentence: “He (Allah*) is their deceiver” is one of the moral alibis Islam uses for its doctrines of “al-Taqiyya” (the lawful lie) and “Kitman” (the lawful half-truth) – a kind of permitted dishonesty included in Islam but in no other of the major religions. Al-Taqiyya and Kitman can be used without sinning in a number of cases – f. ex. to save your life, to get you out of serious problems, to save your money, to cheat women – and it shall be used if necessary to promote or defend the religion. (It only is guesswork how many proselytes who have been influenced by al-Taqiyya and/or Kitman when wondering if Islam is a true and good religion or not. Or how many non-Muslims who have been cheated to believe that the Quran is not the basis for a teaching of suppression, inhumanities and blood, but a peaceful and benevolent book promoting peace.)
064 4/148 (A160 – in 2008 edition A161): “Allah loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech - - -.” What does this mean? As it is said in a context where the book has been talking about sinners who repent and become Muslims and getting absolution (4/146-147), f. ex. Rezi says this concerns slander about former, but now repented and forgiven sins. Others say it means to talk about all things evil. (Do they also mean even if what said is true?) Unclear text.
065 4/150 (A161 – in 2008 edition 162): “Those who deny Allah and His Messengers, and (those who) wish to separate Allah from His Messengers - - -.” Or does it mean: “We believe in some and we deny the others” – we believe in Allah but not in his apostles (Zamakhshari)? Or: “- - - we believe in some of the apostles, but not in others - - -“ (Tabari)? Unclear language.
+066 4/153 (A164 – in 2008 edition 165): “The people of the Book (in this case the local Jews*) ask thee (Muhammad*) to cause a book to descend to them from heaven - - -” – as a proof for his prophethood. Alternatively: “- - - that thou (Muhammad*) causes a revelation to be sent down to them (the Jews*) from heaven” (M. Asad) The result would be the same – a proof (but Muhammad never was able to prove even the famous comma) – but there would be quite a difference in the means used. Very indistinct language – two very different meanings of the sentence. And these variants like all the others also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
067 4/158 (YA664): “Nay, Allah raised him (Jesus*) up unto Himself - - -“. There is difference among Muslims what this exactly means: Was Jesus raised up to heaven bodily and never died? Or did he die later than the crucifixion Islam denies and spared the indignities the Jews intended for him? Muslims will give you different answers, because the text is not clear. (But none we have ever met has given a clear answer to where Jesus disappeared if he lived on on Earth – a person like Jesus would have left traces no matter where he fled – if he fled, which he absolutely did not do according to the Bible).
068 4/159 (YA665): “And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death - - -.” Does “his death” refer to Jesus or to the individual “Person of the Book”? Who knows? – the text is too unclear.
069 4/160 (A174 – in 2008 edition 175): “- - - in that they (the Jews*) hindered many from Allah’s way - - -.” “The Message of the Quran:”- - - for their (the Jews’*) having so often turned away from the path of Allah - - -.” But the Arab verb “sadda” and the corresponding noun “sadd” both may be transitive or intransitive. If you guess that they are meant transitive, you get the meaning written above. But if you guess they are intransitive, the meaning becomes: “- - - for their having (so) often (themselves*) turned away from the path of Allah - - -.” Allah (?) does not exactly use a “clear language, easy to understand”.
070 5/1 (A2): “Lawful (as food*) for you (Muslims*) are all four-footed animals, with the exceptions named - - -“. But the literal meaning of Arab “bahimat al-an’am” is “four-footed cattle” or “beast of cattle”. But “cattle” is something very different to “all four-footed animals”. To add to the mystery Rezi and others say: “- - - all animals that resembles (domesticated) cattle insofar as it feeds on plants and is not a beast of prey.” (One essence of this is that Muslims should not eat marine mammals – not 4-footed and most of them are beasts of prey. Also most fishes are "beasts of pray.) The main essence of this verse is that no Arab scholar really is sure how to understand exactly what it means, but that they agree on that “four-footed cattle” is a tautology that must be wrong – one more case where the majority agrees on that some text in the Quran is wrong (there are a few like this – see separate small chapter. And when not even the greatest Muslims scholars understand what the text really means, it is not “a clear and easily understood language”.
It must be added to the defence of the Muslims scholars who try to “adjust” the meaning of this verse, that the Quran clearly permits hunting, and mostly they did go hunting for food - - - and you do not go hunting for cattle. It thus is very clear that they are right when they say this tautology is wrong.
+071 5/8 (A19): “- - - and not let the hatred of others (non-Muslims*) to you (Muslims) make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice.” The alternative meaning is (translated from Swedish): “- - - the hatred against a people - - -.” And that is the directly opposite meaning: In the first case you are hated by one or more persons, in the second it is you who are hating, and not only a few persons, but “a people”. Clear and impossible to misunderstand language?
00b 5/20 (A32): “- - - (Allah) made you (the Jews) kings - - -.” This is the correct literal meaning of the Arab text. If it means that Moses told his people that the god had given them kings, it is historically wrong, as there was still some 200 years to wait for the first Jewish king, Saul. (Moses lived ca. 1400 to 1300 before Christ, Saul before/around 1100 BC). And if Moses meant the god had made each and every Jew (to behave like) a king, we do not even bother to comment that way of understanding this sentence - - - and almost anybody in the world will agree with us. To circumvent and hide the mistake you find this translation in “The Message of the Quran: “- - - and (Allah*) made you your own masters - - -.” Honesty in religion? – al-Taqiyya? - - - a language “clear and easy to understand”?
072 5/29 (YA732): “- - - my sin as well as thine - - -.” The obvious meaning is that the murderer also carries the sins of the victim – as the victim was robbed his possibility to regret his sin (this is one of the dogmas in Islam). But there also is another possible meaning: “my sin” may mean the sin against me who is murdered, and “thy sin” may then be the committing of the murder or “thy sin against yourself by committing such a grave deed and rob yourself for Paradise.”
073 5/38 (YA742): “- - - cut off his or her (the thief’s*) hands - - -.” One hand or both hands? Islam normally says one hand first time, but the text is not clear as it here is used plural. Besides: Does this go also for petty theft? – Muslims disagree, yes or no? - and the text is not clear. Would a benevolent god not be clear as daylight in a question as serious as this?
+074 5/41 (YA745): “- - - (some*) came to thee (Muhammad*) - - -“. But the Arab words can just as well mean “- - - came for thee - - -“ which sounds a lot more ominous. Clear?
075 5/42 (YA747): “- - - devouring anything forbidden.” Does this refer to food or to deeds – f. ex. taking usury ("devouring usury" is used several timed in Islam)? No-one knows – perhaps both?
076 5/60 (A78 – in 2008 edition A77): ”- - - those of whom (non-Muslims*) He (Allah*) transformed into apes and swine - - -.” A number of Islamic scholars say this is literally meant – another number that it is just a figure of speech, referring to moral degeneration to the moral level of apes and swine (Mujahid). The real meaning is impossible to decide. A “clear and easy to understand” language?
077 5/62 (YA771): “- - - eating of things forbidden.” See 5/42 above.
078 5/66 (YA775): “- - - they (good Muslims*) would have enjoyed happiness from every side.” But the literal meaning of the Arab text is: “They would have eaten from above them and from below their feet”. It is clear that it means something positive, but the exact meaning is impossible for anyone to guess, and any interpretation just is guesswork. Clear as blueberry juice at least.
+079 5/107 (YA813): “- - - from among those who claim a lawful right - - -“. The Arab word “istahaqqa” (= deserved having something – good or evil – attributed to one) gives 2 meanings: (Deserved to be found guilty as he/she*) had committed or was guilty. Or: Had or claimed a lawful right (to property). Clear?
080 5/112 (A138 - in 2008 edition A137): “Can thy (Jesus’*) Lord (Yahweh*) send down to us a Table set (with viands) - - -.” This is based on the use of vowels etc. to give the Arab words “hal yastati rabbuka” (something like “is your Sustainer able to”). But if you use other letters, etc. – and Hadith tells that close co-workers of Muhammad read it like this (Ali, ibn Abbas, ibn Jabal, Aishah (wife of Muhammad*)) – you may get “hal tastati’u rabaka” (translated from Swedish): “Can you make your Lord send down - - -.” In the first case one questions the god’s ability to make such a miracle. In the second one questions Jesus’ influence with the god, and Jesus’ ability to make the god do such a thing. There is not a little difference here – and even after 1400 years the Islamic scholars do not agree as to what is the correct meaning.
+081 6/1 (YA834): “- - - hold others as equal (“adala”) with their Guardian-Lord (Allah*).” But the Arab word “adala” has many meanings: A: Hold as equal. B: Balance nicely. C: Deal justly. D: To give compensation or reparation. E: (Hold) something as equivalent to something else. F: To give a just bias or proportion. G: To turn the balance the wrong way. Etc. Twist the text a little and get nearly what meaning you want. The text here is nearly as crystal clear as texts come.
+082 6/2 (A2): “- - - and then (Allah*) decreed a stated term (for you). And there is in His Presence another determined term - - -.” But these stated terms – do they refer to the end of the world (Day of Doom)? Or to the time for your personal death? Or is the first the time of your death and the second the Day of Doom? Nobody knows and Muslim scholars disagree. A “clear and easily understood” language not possible to misunderstand? At least 3 possible meanings. And these variants as usual also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
+083 6/13 (YA845): “- - - all that dwelleth (or lurketh) in the Night and the Day.” But the Arab word “sakana” has many meanings: A: To dwell. B: To rest. C: To be still. D: To stop. E: To lurk. F: To quiescent. And may be more. Any comments needed about clarity?
084 6/20 (YA850): “Those to whom We (Allah*) have given the Book (Jews, Christians*) know this as they know their own sons.” But “this” instead here may mean “him” – the Arab word has double meaning. Then the meaning becomes: “- - - know him (Muhammad) as - - -.” A tiny wee bit different.
+085 6/23 (YA851): “- - - no subterfuge (“fitnah”) for them - - -.” But the Arab word “fitnah” has many meanings: A: Trouble. B: Tumult. C: Oppression. D: Persecution. E: Discord. F: Subterfuge. And more. To find an interpretation you like, just choose the meaning you like. Then all becomes crystal clear.
086 6/36 (YA857): “Those who listen (in truth), be sure, will accept - - -.” Here is a double meaning: “If people listen to the truth sincerely and earnestly, they must believe.” Or: “The sincere will believe”. Clear speech like so many times before.
+087 6/70 (A58 – in 2008 edition A60): “Leave alone those who take their religion to be mere play and amusement - - -.” But the Arab words “attakhadu dinahum la’iban wa-lahwan” also can mean the exact opposite: “They have made play and fun their religion”. Which meaning is the correct one? – nobody knows, not even a top ayatollah. Clear speech that is impossible to misunderstand in the Quran? And these variants as usual also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
+088 6/91 (A71): “- - - but ye (the Jews*) make it (the Book of Moses*) into separate sheets for show - - -.” Alternative meaning according to “The Message of the Quran” (translated from Swedish): “- - - that you value/look at only like sheets of paper - - -.” A small, but significant difference in the meaning. In the first case you have the texts of the Book of Moses that you disuse, in the second you have something you reckon to be valueless paper. And these variants as usual also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
089 6/98 (A82 – in 2008 edition A83): “- - - here is a place of sojourn and a place of departure - - -.” But the word “mustaqarr”, literal meaning (translated from Swedish): “destination”, “decision”, is a source for wild disagreement among the Muslim scholars. It may be meant a place to live, it may be meant the womb of your mother (as a foetus), it may mean a point where things reach its end or fulfilment. Just pick your choice. Allah uses a clear and distinct language easy to understand and impossible to misunderstand?
090 6/114 (A99 – in 2008 edition 101): “They know full well, to whom We (Allah*) have sent the Book (in this case: The Bible or the Quran?), that it hath been sent down from thy Lord in truth.” Well, is it here the Bible or the Quran that is sent down in truth? Who knows?
091 6/128 (A110 – in 2009 edition 112): “O ye assembly of Jinns - - -“. Normally the word “al-jinn” refers simply and directly to these supernatural beings – and here to the bad ones among them. But here the full expression is “ma’shar al-jinn”, and that complicates the situation, as “ma’shar” means someone close to you or, good friends, something like that, or simply your family. It instead may address bad or misguided people: “You who have lived in close contact to the bad groups of Jinns”. You simply have to guess the real meaning.
092 6/135 (A116 – in 2008 edition 118): “- - - soon will ye (people*) know who it is whose end will be (best) in the Hereafter.” Literal meaning: “- - - to whom the (happy) end of the abode (“dar”) shall belong”. This is the meaning if you guess that the word “dar” refers to “dar al-akhirah” = “the abode in the life to come”. But it only is said “dar”, and then it can as well refer to “dar ad-dunya” = “the abode in this life” - - - and in that case the sentence from the Quran indicates that you will have a rich and good future in this world. Pick your choice or guess. Allah is using clear and distinct words? At least 2 meanings. And these variants as usual also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
093 6/137 (A120 – in 2008 edition A122): “- - - their (the Pagans’*) partners made alluring - - -.” Literal translation (translated from Swedish): “- - - their (presumed) helpers/partners measured out for them - - -.” It is clear that for the early Muslims the “partners” according to f. ex. Razi meant bad beings or forces. But what does it mean today for people that do not any longer believe in black magic and the corresponding beings? Like the Quran really did not tell the Muslims of that time what it actually meant with “partners”, it is as silent today – nobody really knows – everybody have to guess.
094 6/149 (A141 – in 2008 edition 143): “With Allah is the argument that reaches home (= the decisive arguments = it is Allah that decides*): if it had been His Will He could indeed have guided you”.
“The Message of the Quran” has this comment:
“In other words, the real relationship between Allah’s knowledge of the future (and,therefore, the ineluctability of what is to happen in the future) on one side, and man’s free will, on the other – two propositions which, on the face of it, seem to contradict one another – is beyond man’s comprehension; but since both are postulated by Allah, both must be true.
Predestination contra man’s free will actually is a version of “the Time Travel Paradox”, which is long since proved unsolvable. There is no way Allah can even be fully clairvoyant, nor to mention deside everything on beforehand, and man at the same time have free will. (More in the chapter about predestination.)
The ultimate clear and easy to understand claim.
095 7/3 (A3): “Follow (O People!) the revelations given onto you from your Lord (Allah*), and follow not, as friends or protectors other than Him”. So far so well. But the unclear point is: How wide is this prohibition? Does the Quran here only mean in religious questions? Or are f. ex. earthly laws included? Many Islamic thinkers claim so – f. ex. Ibn Hasm and Ibn Tamiyyah. They say that laws not given in the Quran have no legal validity. But does this also go for laws supplementing laws given in the Quran? – f. ex. concerning inheritance where the rules in the Quran far from always add up to 100% of the inheritance? (In praxis real life has forced Islam to make such rules, but is that strictly in accordance with the religion”. And what about modern life and necessary laws – f. ex. concerning road traffic? – do such laws have real legal validity (it is a serious problem if not, for you cannot demand that people respect invalid laws – or accept to be punished for breaking them.) And what about facts mentioned in revelations, but all the same are wrong? – it just is some few years since clergy in Saudi Arabia told it was wrong to accept the belief that Earth is spherical, because according to the Quran it is flat).
These are points that are unclear because of unclear and not specific texts in the Quran.
+096 7/16 (A10 – in 2008 edition A11): “Because Thou (Allah*) has thrown me (Iblis – the Devil*) out of the Way - - -.” But is this really what Muhammad meant? Because the Arab word “aghwahu” that is used here, is an unclear word with many meanings. This sentence at least can have these meanings:
As said before: Also Arab language – like all other languages - has words with more than one meaning. And in such cases Arab is not one millimetre more exact than other languages, even if you find only one word (with multiple meanings) in the Quran, but have to use different words in another language to cover the different meanings. To claim that Arab in such cases is more clear and/or exact, is just hypocrisy or dishonesty - - - or al-Taqiyya.
+097 7/17 (A11): “Then will I (Iblis - the Devil*) assault them from before them and behind them - - - .” But according to “The Message of the Quran” the Arab sentence also may mean (translated from Swedish): “- - - I will assault them openly and lead them on hidden roads - - -.” At least 2 different variants of that sentence. And these variants also are in the Arab text, too, as the relevant word there like so often has more than one meaning.
098 7/34 (YA1017): “To every People (nation*) is a term appointed - - -.” But the Arab word here used for “people” – “ummah” - also may mean “generation”. In that case the meaning is: “To every generation is a tern appointed - - -.” Not quite the same to use an understatement.
+099 7/38 (A28): “Saith the last about the first”. “The last” may mean “the ones who arrived last”, or “the followers (of leaders*)” whereas “the first” may mean “the first of them to arrive” or “the leaders”. 2 meanings. And these variants as normal also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
+100 7/39 (A30): “No advantage have ye (the latest arrivals in Hell*) over us (the earlier arrivals*) - - -.” But according to “The Message of the Quran” the Arab text also may mean: “You are not superior to us because you have learnt nothing from our mistakes.” At least 2 meanings. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
+101 7/40 (A32): “- - - nor will they (non-Muslims/sinners*) enter the Garden (Paradise*), until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle - - -“. But here is a wrong translation according to “The Message of the Quran” – wrong even if it is widely used. And the claim is so strongly stressed and under built (Zamakhshari, Rezi, and others), that it is likely to be true – this even more so as the book is certified by Al-Azhar Al-Sharif Islamic Research Academy, General Department for Research, Writing and Translation prior to the 2008 edition (this academy is part of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, one of the 2-3 foremost Islamic universities in the world). The Arab word “jamal” (jumal, juml, jumul – variants) in this case clearly means “a thick rope” or “a twisted cable” or “a thick, twisted rope” (Jawhari).This is even more clear as Muhammad’s co-workers clearly used this meaning, and Ibn Abbas also according to Zamakhshari very clearly stated that this was what was meant here. Ergo the real meaning is: “- - - nor will they enter the Garden until a twisted rope can pass through a needle’s eye”. Clearly unclear language – or use or (mis)understanding of the language.
But there is a small but in addition:
Abdullah Yusuf Ali was a learned man. He may have known little known facts. He also was a man who clearly placed his religion before his own intellectual integrity, before the absolute value of facts and before the value of the full truth – f. ex. his book “The Meaning of the Quran” shows this not infrequently, and one finds traces of the same in this his translation of the Quran. (Just sue us for the statement – it is easy to find enough examples to satisfy any free court. And the same goes Muhammad Asad and his “The Message of the Quran”). May be he and other learned scholars used the wrong translation on purpose:
One of the little known facts he may have known, is that the expression “needle’s eye” also have another meaning. The old walled cities had strong, heavy gates. In or beside the gate there often was a small door to make it possible for people to pass in and out even if the main gate was closed for the evening. Many places this small door was called the “needle’s eye”.
No adult camel could pass this needle’s eye - but a baby camel could. And any thick rope could.
102 7/46 (A37 – YA1025): “Between them (in Heaven*) and on the Heights (Arab “a’raf”) will be those who would know every one by his marks: - - - They will not have entered, but they will have an assurance (thereof).” But the primary meaning of “’urf” (plural “A’raf”) is not “high”, but “acknowledgement”, “discernment”, synonymous with “the faculty of discernment (between right and wrong*)”. Many Muslim scholars (Al-Hasan, Al-Basri, Az-Zajjaj, Rezi) therefore mean that the ones outside Heaven, but wanting to come in are the lukewarm that knew the difference between good and bad (- every one by his marks (marks of good and bad*)” but did not care very much this or that way – the ones not quite deserving Heaven, but neither deserving Hell. The Question here is: Do the word “a’raf” here mean “heights” or does it mean “the ones able to discern, (but not caring – the indifferent ones)”? In the last case the meaning simply will be something like: “- - - and the lukewarm (from this life*) who would know every one (good and bad*) by his marks - - -.” A minor, but significant difference. And these variants as always also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
+103 7/47 (YA1026): “- - - their eyes shall be turned towards the Companions of the Fire - - -.” But who are “they”? – the ones waiting for their “case” to be finished? – or the good Muslims in Heaven? Your guess is as good as anybody else’s.
104 7/59 (A45 – in 2008 edition A46): “- - - the Punishment of a dreadful Day”. Islam still does not know if this means the day of the big flood or the Day of Doom. 2 meanings – and a clear language used by Allah. And these variants as always also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there loke so often has more than one meaning.
00c 7/64 (A46): Muslims – even scholars and Al-Azhar University - do not need difficult language to get troubles with the true meanings and the Truth and reality. 7/64 “do not support the theory of a world deluge” – gallantly omitting the fact that Islam and the Quran claim the ark stranded on a 2089 m high mountain in Syria (not Ararat in Turkey), which is impossible if the deluge was not universal – as the water then had streamed away to lower, not flooded places. And “The Message of the Quran” – also in the 2008 edition!! – as gallantly explain it with the filling up of the Mediterranean Basin “during the Ice Age” (ended some 10ooo - 15ooo years ago), this in spite of that this filling up happened 4-5 million years ago, and also for several other reasons – f. ex. wrong place and by far wrong way of filling up – cannot explain the deluge. A typical al-Taqiyya (lawful lie - here to explain away a clear mistake and thus defend Islam) as the time for the filling up of the Mediterrenean Sea is a well known scientific fact. The filling up of the Black Sea could be an explanation with some extra explanations - - - but it cannot explain the stranding of the Ark on a high mountain in Syria, and neither the terrible weather and the enormous waves, as that too was a slow filling up (at least months of a slowly raising water level.) As said: Some Muslims – even elite scholars – do not need difficult language to get different meanings – at least different from well known facts.
+105 7/71 (YA1041): “Punishment and wrath have already come upon you (the people of Ad*) from your Lord (Allah*) - - -.” 3 different meanings possible: A. Reference to a terrible famine shortly before. B. The insolence and sin they had fallen into was a warning. C. Allah had already decided what was to come. Very unclear language.
106 7/79 (YA1048): “So Salih left them (the people of Thamud*) saying: ‘O my people - - -.” But was his speech a last warning before the catastrophe? – or was it lamentation and sorrow for his lost people? Who knows? – the text does not divulge it.
+107 7/89 (A70 – in 2008 edition A72): “- - - Thou (Allah*) art the best to decide.” But the Arab word “fataha” also have another meaning, which makes this sentence sound like this: “- - - Thou art the best to lay open the truth!” Which is something entirely different. The Quran has a clear and distinct language easy to understand and not possible to misunderstand? And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
108 7/110 (A84 – comment omitted in 2008 edition): “His (Moses’) plan is to oust you (Pharaoh*) from your land: then what is your counsel?” But it is unclear in the Arab originals who really said the last part of the quotation. “The Message of the Quran” has: “(Said Pharaoh.) “What, then, do you (his advisers*) advice?” In the first case it is the advisers who asks the Pharaoh, in the second one it is exactly the opposite. 2 possible and very contradicting meanings – in this case from sheer unclear language. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word there has more than one meaning.
109 7/145 (YA 1109): “Soon I (Allah*) shall show you the home of the wicked - - -.” The question Muslims ask: The home where they lived or used to live? – Muhammad told the ruins scattered around in the Middle East all were from people punished by Allah for sins. Or the claimed terrible spiritual condition inside them? Or perhaps their future home Hell? At least a clear statement?
00d 7/155 (A120): “- - - when they were sized with violent quaking (“radjfah”) - - -.” The Arab word “radjfah” normally means earthquake. But here A. Yusuf Ali most likely is right when indicating that it was the men that started quaking – because they were afraid.
110 7/175 (YA1149): “Relate (Muhammad?*) to them (people*) the story of the man We (Allah*) sent Our Signs, but he passed them by - - -.” The problem no-one has a clue what man Allah (?) spoke about. No-one. A most clear text.
+111 7/187 (YA1160): “- - - if thou were eager in search of - - -.” But the Arab text also may mean something like “- - - if thou were well-acquainted with - - -.” Clear?
112 7/193 (A156 – in 2008 edition A158): “- - - if you call them to (Allah’s) guidance - - -.” This is the literal meaning and normal translation according to the 2006 Swedish edition of “The Message of the Quran.” But Zamakhshari, Razi, Ibn Kathir - - - and Muhammad Asad mean that “- - - if you pray to them for guidance - - -“ more correctly brings across the real meaning. Well, it in case is one more case of clear Arab language in the Quran. A minor, but distinct difference. And these variants naturally also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has more than one meaning.
113 7/203 (A165): “If thou (Muhammad*) brings them (sceptics*) not a revelation, they say: ‘Why hast thou not got it (a revelation/miracle*) together (yourself*)?’”. But “The Message of the Quran” tells that the Arab words “law la ‘djtabaytaha” makes troubles (this is omitted in the 2008 edition) as it has several meanings, and they instead say a more likely meaning is: “Why doest thou (Muhammad*) not seek to obtain it (from Allah*)?” Rather a different detail – and at least two different meanings. A clear language in the Quran? And these variants naturally also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has more than one meaning.
114 8/4 (A5): “Such in truth are the Believers: they have grades of dignity with their Lord (Allah*), and forgiveness, and generous sustenance - - -.” Yes, generous sustenance – but where? Many or most scholars say “in Paradise” – this has the extra benefits that the promises of luxury can be bigger, and one does not have to explain why pious people often are not very well off. But others – like Razi – claims it is in this world, with the good feelings one have when one believes strongly, as the main benefit. The text itself is silent about the mystery. And these variants also - as always - are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has more than one meaning.
115 8/6 (A6): “- - - (some of your followers are*) disputing with thee (Muhammad*) after it was manifest (that there would be a battle at Badr*), as if they were driven to death - - -.” But it is unclear what the Arab word “kama” (“just as” or “even as”) points to, and then there is at least one more possible meaning (Mujahid, Tabari): “Just as some of the believers were adverse to going forth from Medina to fight the Quraysh (Mecca*), so, too, they would argue with thee as to whether it was really willed by Allah.” Unclear language = more than one possible meaning. A clear and impossible to misunderstand text in the Quran? And these variants naturally also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has more than one meaning.
116 8/9 (YA1184): “I (Allah*) will assist you with a thousand of angels (f. ex. in battle)” But Islam itself questions if the numbers are exact or figurative. Another question: If Allah is omnipotent and just can say “be, and it is” to quote the Quran, why then does he have to send angels? He just can deside the outcome of any battle, or how - ? And actually: Why did he need any battle at all? - he just could deside how he wanted the world.
+117 8/13 (A16): “This because they contended against Allah and his Messenger - - -.” But the Arab word “shaqqahu” in reality means “he separated (or cut) himself off from him”. Is the correct meaning: “This, because they have cut themselves off from Allah and his Appostle - - -“? The meaning wary and the texts in the Quran is as unclear here as so many other places.
118 8/19 (A22 – in 2008 edition A21): “(O Unbelievers!) if ye prayed for victory and judgement, now hath the judgement come to you: if ye desist (from wrong), it will be best for you: if you return (to the attack) so shall We (Allah*).” This seems to be a clear-cut warning to the enemy (the Quraysh/Mecca at Badr). But remember that what is written in ( ) is put there by the translator to explain or to make things more clear – and if the translator has guessed wrong, the explanations are wrong. F. ex. Razi thinks the meaning is this: “If you have been praying for victory (O believers) – victory has now indeed come onto you. And if you abstain (from sinning), it will be for your own good; but if you revert to it, We (Allah*) shall revoke (Our promise of aid).” Unclear language opens for many ways of understanding verses. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
119 8/50 (A57): “If thou ((Muslims*) couldst see, when the angels take the souls of the (unbelievers) at death - - -.” This is the meaning if you guess that the Arab word “yatawaffa” refers to the angels. But if you guess it refers to Allah, the sentence becomes like this: “- - - when He (Allah*) causes (them) to die - - -”. A detail in difference for the one who dies. But for a text that is “correct and identical to Muhammad’s and Allah’s words to the last comma”, even this is a significant proof for that this claim is wrong. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
+120 9/2 (YA1247): “- - - for four months - - -.” The 4 forbidden months? Or the 4 months following the declaration”? Nobody knows. Clear speech.
121 9/3 (A3): “- - - the day of the Great Pilgrimage - - -.” Islam does not know which day it here refers to. Most likely to the one in 631 AD or the one in 632 – but in case which one? A detail – but if the language in the Quran had been perfect like from a god, also the details had been taken care of, and especially details so significant that they get a name – and a proud name.
+122 9/10 (A16): “It is they (the non-Muslims*) who have transgressed all bounds”. But as so often also Arab words have more than one meaning. Another meaning of the word “al-mu’tadun” gives this meaning: “It is they who are the attackers”. Clearly and easily understood, and with no doubt about the exact meaning? And these variants naturally and like always also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
123 9/24 (A32): “- - - then wait (ye who are not good enough Muslims*) until Allah brings about His Decision - - -.” Islam still debates what Allah means here – some bad day or some decline for them here on Earth, or the Day of Doom? And when Muslim scholars have to debate a sentence, that means that the meaning is not “clear and easy to understand".
124 9/27 (A36): “Again will Allah, after this, turn (in mercy) to whom He will - - -.” What does this refer to? – Razi believes to the Muslims who fought badly shortly before at Hunayn in 630 AD. Tabari and others believe it means “infidels” generally. Another small detail that had not been unclear if a god had made the book. And a detail much bigger after all than “the last comma.”
125 9/29 (YA1282): “Until they (non-Muslims) pay jizya with willing submission (“an yadin”)”. But the Arab word “an yadin” – literally “from the hand” - has more meanings and it “has been variously interpreted” in Islam.
126 9/34 (A50 – in the 2008 edition A51): “There are indeed many among the priests and anchorites, who in falsehood devour the substance of men - - -.” This is directed towards the rich parts of the Mosaic and the Christian religious establishment. But is it in reality addressed to everyone who makes much money without giving to “just causes”? Islam still debates this after 1400 years - - - because it is not clear in the text. And actually this is an at least semi-central point in a society and for religious people – so much so, that it should not have been left standing like an open question. Had an omniscient god really used this kind of unclear speech on this topic?
+127 9/49 (YA1312): “- - - draw me (a man*) not into trial (fitnah”*) - - -“. But the Arab word “fitnah” has many meanings - see 6/23 above. Which gives many possible variants of the meaning. And these variants inevitably also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
+128 10/4 (A9): “- - - but those who reject Him (Allah*) will have draughts of boiling fluids - - -.” Or: “- - - draughts of burning despair - - -.” Both ways of understanding is possible from the Arab text – and both are used, because nobody knows which the correct one is. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
+129 10/40 (A64): “There are some who believe, and some who do not - - -.” But the Arab word “yu’minu” can be understood both in the present tense – and in that case A.Yusuf Ali is right in the line above – and in the future tense. In the last case the meaning will be: “There are those who will come to believe and those who will not.” A detail, but we still are far from “the last comma” - but Islam does not know the exact text all the same. And these variants naturally also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
+130 10/54 (YA1445): “They would declare (“asarru”*) (their) repentance”. But the Arab word “asarru” also may mean to “conceal” or “hide”. Which will give this meaning: “They would give anything to escape the penalty - - -.” Clear language in the Quran, yes.
131 10/83 (YA1466): “But none believed in Moses except some children of his People - - -.” Whom does the word “his” in this sentence refer to? Most Muslim scholars believe to Moses, but not a few to the Pharaoh. And a study of the text will not make you any wiser.
132 11/3 (A3): “(Say): ‘Verily I (Muhammad*) am (sent) unto you - - - .” This word “Say” does not exist in the Arab text. “The Message of the Quran” uses the expression “Say, O Prophet and explains: “The interpolation, between brackets, of the words “Say, O Prophet” is necessitated by the first-person construction of this sentence”. That means that either we here have one of the places where Muhammad himself is speaking (there are something like 8 places where that is the case in the Quran), or we have one more place in the Quran where Islam confirms in writing that the text in the Quran is not always clear and correct. Clear texts easy to understand – and perfect because it is made by a god?
133 11/18 (A33 – in the 2008 edition A35): “They (sinners at the Day of Doom*) will be turned back to the presence of their Lord (Allah*) and the witnesses will say - - -.” But who are the witnesses? Many or most Muslim scholars think it refers to the reporting angles that stay with each human and note down everything the person does. Others – like an authority like Ibn Abbas – said it meant the prophets that according to the Quran will be called forth to give witness on the Day of Doom. What is the right answer, nobody knows – the book does not make this clear.
But an extra reason for mentioning this detail: Why do Allah arrange a “court” and why the witnesses, and why the writing down - in this case and in some other cases in the Quran? If Allah is omniscient, he knows everything and this all is just theatre – a farce. Or is he not omniscient?
But it may be an efficient tale to tell followers on Earth if they are not trained in thinking. And these variants of coutse also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
134 11/34 (A53 – in 2008 edition A56): “Of no profit will be my (Muhammad’s*) counsel to you, much as I desire to give you (good) counsel, if it be that Allah willeth to leave you astray - - -.” Literal translation of the Arab word “yughwiyakum”: “that He (Allah*) shall cause you to err.” This then should be Allah’s exact words. But even in Islam one tries to find out what Allah really means. Al- Hasan al-Basri tells it means: “- - - that He shall punish you for your sins.” Tabari: “- - - that He shall destroy you - - -.” Al-Jubba’i: “- - - that He shall deprive you of all good - - -.” What does it help if the text is the very words of Allah, if they are too unclear to enable even Arab-speaking top scholars agree on what exactly does it mean?
135 11/35 (A54 – in 2008 edition A57): In a new repetition of the story about Noah – it is repeated many times in the Quran – comes this: “Or do they (people*) say, ‘He (Muhammad*) has forged it?’ Say: ‘If I (Muhammad*) had forged it, on me were my sin! And I am free of the sins of which ye are guilty.” Does this refer to the story of Noah? – that he had forged that story? Or does it refer to the entire Quran? – or both? The disposition of the texts in the book is so bad with bits and pieces strewn around in a mix and repetitions and repetitions of the same stories and arguments and conclusions, so anything is possible when it comes to the possibility to find loose bits of tale or argument at “funny” places. In this case Islam simply is at a loss to know what to believe. One tends to think the verse is a passage inserted in the story, and Muhammad is talking both the story of Noah and about the complete Quran (Ibn Kathir, Tabari). But it is impossible to know. Such “quoting in wrong context” or inserting of text where it does not belong is very usual in the Quran – so usual that Islam has a special name for it: “A parenthetic inclusion” or similar. It is pretty confusing sometimes, and absolutely does not result in “a clear language easy to understand” – f. ex. like here where it is impossible to be sure of exactly he is talking about.
Another story is that if Muhammad forged the Quran, the resulting sins were very far from being only on him.
136 11/38 (A57 – in 2008 edition A61): Noah said to the surrounding people: “If you ridicule us now (for building the ark*), we (in our turn) can look down on you with ridicule likewise”. But according to Islam Noah was a prophet, and it is impossible to think that a prophet may be human enough to ridicule or scoffing anyone. Therefore the text must be wrong and I reality mean something else – yet another place where Islamic scholars say the text in the Quran must be wrong, though a small wrong this time. Noah must mean “ignorant” – “If you think us ignorant now, we think you ignorant who do not accept our story” to make a longer quotation short (Zamakhshari, Baghawi). Honestly it may be enough confusing to understand unclear text, but one also has to “mend” clear text Islam does not like.
**137 11/40a (A58 – in 2008 edition A62): “- - - and the fountains of the earth gushed forth - - -.” Literal meaning (also see 11/40b just below) in the Arab text: “- - - the face of the earth boiled over - - -.” To quote “The Message of the Quran”: “This phrase has been subject to several conflicting interpretations.” And it really is a confusing sentence, among other reasons because only liquids can boil. And to make the confusion complete, modern Islam even in 2008 once more resort to the filling up of the Mediterranean basin, which happened 4-5 million years ago – nearly at the time of the first traces of the first possible forefathers of Homo Sapiens 5 – 6 million years ago, and LONG before Homo Sapiens (modern man) ever existed, not to mention some million years before a possible Noah a few thousand years ago. To be impolite: What the in Islam respected “The Message of the Quran” writes about this, is goblydegogh and as wrong and meaningless as that word. But when texts in the Quran are so confusing that even the top Islamic thinkers often are at a loss understanding and agreeing on what the texts really mean, and other times only agree that it cannot mean what it says – how then can Muslims repeat and repeat and repeat that everything in the Quran is clear and easy to understand, and demand to be believed?
And how can top learned men in Islam use so wrong facts – to seduce naïve and uneducated people? – that are so well known and so easy to check and even not too infrequently mentioned in media, and then demand to be believed when they claim to have written it in good faith? Especially so as it just is not the first – and neither the last – time they “bend” scientific and other facts to fit their wishes.
+138 11/40b (YA1533): “- - - and the fountains of the earth gushed forth - - -.” But the Arab expression “far al tannur” has two literal meanings (see also 11/40a just above): The one already mentioned and “- - - the oven (of Allah’s Wrath) boiled over - - -.” Which one do you like best? And is the language as clear as Islam claims?
139 11/46 (A 65 – in 2008 edition A68): (Allah said): “O Noah! He (your son*) is not of thy family: for his conduct is unrighteous.” This is if the Arab words “innahu ‘amal ghayr Salih” is meant to relate to the unnamed son of Noah (according to the Bible he only had 3 – Shem, Ham and Japheth) (Zamakhshari). But Noah had just made a prayer to his god – Allah according to the Quran – for his son, and if the mentioned words are meant to relate to that prayer, the meaning changes to something like: “Verily, this prayer is unrighteous conduct of you” (Razi, Tabari). Clear and easy and not to misunderstand? And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
140 11/52 (YA1547): “He (Allah*) will send you the skies, pouring abundant rain, and add strength to strength - - -.” The question Muslim scholars ask, is if this refer to added (political/military) strength because of the rich land? – or because a growing population from plenty of food? – or something else? Your guess is as good as ours.
141 11/67 (A97 – in the 2008 edition A98): “The (mighty) blast took the wrongdoers (the Thamud people*) - - -.” But here Islam has to solve a problem: In 7/78 it is told that Thamud were killed when an “- - - earthquake took them unawares - - -.” How to explain this in a book that itself states that what it tells is to be understood literally and that what it says is in a clear and easily understood language? We quote from “The Message of the Quran” (2008): “- - - it is possible that the ”vehement sound” (the blast*) mentioned here and in several other places describes the subterranean rumbling which often precedes and accompanies an earthquake and/or the thunder like noise of a volcanic eruption. - - - However, in view of the repeated use of this expression in varying contexts, we may assume that it has the more general meaning of ‘the blast of punishment’ or - - - of ‘final blast’”. No doubt: "The Quran uses a clear language that is easy to understand". Or - - - ?
But would a god use such difficult or not understandable or unclear language?
142 11/71 (A102): “And his (Abraham’s*) wife was standing (there), and she laughed - - -.” Why did she laugh? Nobody knows for sure, and Islam still is debating the problem: Zamakhshari means the reason was that she understood the visitors were angels, and thus not dangerous. Ibn Kathir and others say the reason was that she was glad because the people of Sodom (and Gomorrah) would be destroyed. A minor detail – but one of the many details that contradicts the claimed clear and easily understood language in the Quran. Any god could have made much better. Any god.
+143 11/78 (A108 – in 2008 edition A109 + YA1575): (Lot said): “Here are my daughters - - -.” But was it in reality: “- - - these young girls from your town - - -“? Impossibly to say for sure. The first one is used in most written translations, the second one is nearer the real meaning, according to “most of the commentators” (“The Message of the Quran”). And these variants naturally also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
144 11/80: (Lot said): “Would that I had power to suppress you (the men of Sodom and Gomorrah*) or that I could betake myself to some powerful support.” Was he longing for support from his tribe that was far back in the distant Ur in Chaldea in what is now is south Iraq? Or was he longing for help from a strong god? – but according to the Quran, Lot was a prophet, so why did he not rely on his god? “The Book that explains everything” has this kind of unclear tales and language – Muslim scholars (f.ex. Tabari) have not been able to find a definite answer even after 1400 years of debating it. And as said before these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
145 11/82 (A114): “- - - We (Allah*) turned (the cities) upside down, and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay - - .” Literally: “hidjarah min sidjdjil (or sijjil)” = “stones of sidjdjil (or sijjil)”. The problem is that nobody understands what “sidjadjil/sijjil” means. It may derive from Persian “sang-i-gil” = “stone of clay” or “petrified clay” (Camus, Taj al-‘Arus) which (“The Message of the Quran, 2008) “would be more or less synonymous with ‘brimstones’ (an archaic name for sulphur), which in turn would point to a volcanic eruption” - - - which is a severe reason why you should not read Islamic literature unless you have enough knowledge to look through at least some of the dishonest use of facts – there honestly is a bit too much of it. In this case: There is only one way to get clay, which is the material for stones of clay, and that is by means of water. Clay is a sedimentary product, and sedimentation only happens in water. Not one single place in the world and not one single time in history or pre-history will you find clay or clay stone that is the result of a volcanic eruption. And what is worse: This is such a well known fact that no person with brain enough to complete university – no matter what subject – do not know this (sedimentation belongs in secondary school in most countries, and not later than tertiary/”university-preparing” school). One may suspect that this is written as an (untrue) “explanation” for the raining of stones – meant for naïve or uneducated persons.
Besides: Clay is not "more or less synonymus with" sulphur. Normally you do not even find sulphur in clay - clay is extremely fine grains of stone, whereas sulphur is a a chemical matter. And sulphur do not even remind you of the main properties of clay.
And a question: Why use the archaic word "brimstone"? - because more readers would see something is wrong if one uses the correct word "sulphur"?
But there is at least one more possible meaning of the Arab text: “The word “sidjdjil” or “sijjil” may derive from Arab “sijill” = “a writing” or “something that has been decreed”. In this case the Arab expression may mean: “- - - stones of all the chastisement laid down in Allah’s decree”. (Zamakhshari, Razi). But how does a metaphor destroy 2 towns?
Clear language. And easy to understand everything.
And these variants naturally also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
146 11/83 (YA1581): “- - - nor are they far from those who do wrong!” Who or what are “they”? – the revenging brimstones? – or the destroyed cities, meaning punishment is not far off for sinners? The book does not give an answer.
147 11/107a: “They (the sinners*) will dwell therein (Hell) for all time that the heavens and the earth endure - - -.” More or less identical to 11/108a below.
148 11/107b (A133 – in 2008 edition A134): (Sinner shall stay in Hell forever), ”except as thy Lord (Allah*) willeth.” This sentence is one of the big enigmas in the Quran and in Islam – you meet the same curious and cryptic message in 6/128: All the Quran tells that sinners are to stay in Hell forever, but this mean there all the same may be a way out – at lest for some? It has been debated for days and months and years and centuries in Islam – no sure answer is found. Yes, the Quran uses a clear and distinct language – everything is easy to understand, just like Muslims claim.
We may add that some Muslims scholars speculate on that one possible meaning is that the Muslim sinners will be let out from Hell after enough aeons - but quite likely only the Muslim ones.
149 11/108a (A133 – in 2008 edition A134): “They (the good Muslims*) will dwell therein (heaven) for all the time that the heavens (plural and wrong*) and the earth endure”. What does this mean? The heaven is forever and the Earth until the Day of Doom according to many verses in the Quran. Will they dwell there only as long as the Earth exists, or - - -? In old Arab – so old that f. ex. Tabari had to explain – (translated from Swedish): “- - - as long as heaven and Earth exists - - -“ means forever. And that is good and well - - - except for that Islam then has to explain if this means that also Earth will exist forever, and in case how the Earth can exist forever, when the Quran tells that Earth as we know it, will be finished ad the Last Day. The Quran has a most complicated way of using such “a plain and easily understood language that no-one can misunderstand it.” And, yes, these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
150 11/108b (A134 – in 2008 edition A135): (Good Muslims will stay in heaven forever), “except as thy Lord (Allah*) willeth - - -.” Exactly nobody knows or understands what this means. Can it come to an end? Can it change? Can it become ever better? Or what? Islamic scholars are bound by duty and indoctrination – and by lack of training in critical thinking - to be optimists, and promises that nothing will happen “unless Allah wills to bestow on them a yet greater reward (which will not take much – the Muslim heaven only is materialism and sex, and for women only materialism mostly)” (Razi). But not one single soul has ever been able to do anything but guessing and hoping when it comes to this sentence. And as said before these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning – or here: No clear meaning.
151 11/118-119 (151 – in 2008 edition 152): “If thy (peoples'*) Lord (Allah*) had so willed, He could have made mankind one People: but they will not cease to dispute, except those on whom thy Lord hath bestowed His Mercy, and for this (“li-dhalika”) did He create them - - -.” But to what do the Arab word “li-dhalika” (= “for this”, “to this end”) refer? Hardly to “they will not cease to dispute”. The sentence simply hangs in the air, without pointing to anything or being connected to anything. Some (like Mujahid and ‘Ikrimah) believes it refers to Allah’s grace upon man. Some (like Al-Hasanand ‘Ata) tell it refers to man’s ability to have meanings different from others’ (this has some relevance to the previous sentence). Others (like Zamakhshari) mean it refers to man’s freedom to make moral choices. Just pick your guess – every Muslim scholar also is just guessing here. As said before: A clear and unmistakeably easy to understand language. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning – or here: No clear meaning.
+152 12/1 (A2) “These are the Symbols (or Verses (already 2 meanings in the text*)) of the Perspicuous (Arab: “mubin”) Book.” But the word “mubin” may refer either to the noun’s quality (then “mubin” literally means something that is clear, obvious, manifest, etc.) or to its function (then “mubin” literally means something that is making something clear or obvious or -“. Most Islamic scholars mean it refers to Joseph’s ability to give interpretations of dreams. “The book makes the story it tells clear”. There is no small distinction between those two meanings. Muslims will tell you both meanings are included. But the language is unclear (and no less than 2 places).
+153 12/3 (A3 – in 2008 edition A5): “We (Allah*) do relate unto thee (Muslims*) the most beautiful of stories - - -.” But with a linguistic-technical reasoning that simply is too complicated for lay persons, so we do not quote it here, according to f. ex. Zamakhshari a more correct meaning is something like “- - - a story with the best explanations - - -.” There is a wide river between these two meanings. But to repeat it: The language in the Quran is clear and easy to understand – and impossible to misunderstand. And these variants like always also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
154 12/6 (A10): “Thus will thy (Joseph’s*) Lord (Allah according to the Quran*) teach thee the interpretations of stories (“ahadit”*) - - -.” The literal meaning of “ahadit” ( singular “hadith”) is “sayings” or “tidings” – "things you are told -“. Most Islamic scholars mean it refers to Joseph’s ability to give interpretations of dreams. But with just a slightly different pronunciation of “hadith” you get the meaning “a happening”, “an event” – and this in case gives the sentence the meaning that Joseph was thought how to understand the real meaning of or behind what was really said and done in real life according to M. Azad, based on Razi. Asad also thinks this is the more correct meaning. Two very different skills, in case. And these variants naturally also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
155 12/19 (YA1654): “Ah there! Good news (“bushra”*)”. But the Arab word “bushra” also may be a proper name. Then in case the exclamation was: “Ah there, Bushra!” A detail – but does an omnipotent and omniscient god make even the details unclear?
156 12/30 (A27 – in 2008 edition A28): “- - - she (the wife of the Aziz (in reality a title = “the mighty one”, not a name – the name in the Bible is Potiphar*)*) sent for them (the slandering ladies*) and prepared a banquet for them - - -.” What the Arab texts really tells she did, was “to prepare a place where one reclines – (“muttaka’”)” – or “a cushioned couch”. But this is not clear enough language – hence the “explaining translations”; “banquet”, “sumptuous repast”, or similar used by translators. Clear language?
157 12/49 (A44 – in 2008 edition A48): “Then will come after that (period) a year in which the people will have aboundant water - - -.” Here the language in the Quran is so unclear – read “directly wrong” - that A.Yusuf Ali’s religion has subdued his moral and intellectual integrity. The Arab verb that is used – “yughath” – derives either from the noun “ghayth” = “rain”, or from another noun “ghawth” = “deliverance from distress”. There is no way that it can mean “water”. The “clear language” offers 2 choices – one wrong, one not a good description, so the pious Muslims used a 3. and dishonest one as Egypt did not get rain but flooding of the Nile (or actually a “kitman” – a lawful half-truth – as the rain much further south in Africa causes the flood - - - but that is not what the Quran is talking about.) Well, to be polite and forget the dishonesty – al-Taqiyya (which kitman is a version of) – the lawful lie - after all is lawful in Islam, and even a duty to use if necessary to defend or promote Islam (and curiously enough also permitted to use to cheat women – something for women to remember sometimes - - - f. ex. that a marriage is a possible way for a Muslim man to get residence permit in a rich country – it happens now and then - and that it is permitted to use al-Taqiyya to cheat women). And these variants inevitably also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
158 12/52 (A47 – in the 2008 edition A51): “This (say I), in order that he (the Aziz*) may know that I have never been false to him in his absence, and that Allah will never guide the snare of the false ones. Nor do I absolve my own self - - -.” All this is well and good. But who says this? Is it the wife, like f. ex. Ibn Kathir and Rashid Rida guess? – or is it Joseph, like among others Tabari, Baghawi, and Zamakhshari believe? The clear (?) language in the Quran does not give one single reliable clue – it is anybody’s guess. Clear and unmistakeable texts?
159 12/75 (A70 – in 2008 edition A74): ”They said: ’The penalty should be - - -.” But who said this? If it was the Egyptians, that was the law one had to follow. If it was Joseph’s brothers, it was an offer to the Egyptians, but not a consequence of a law one had to obey. The Quran does not give a clue – and some Muslim scholars guess this, others that. Would an omniscient god use a language that so often is unclear, has double or even multiple meanings, and that so frequently demands guesswork? – at least anyone who use this language as a proof for a god, is far out in the wilderness.
160 12/99 (A 92 – in 2008 edition A96): “(Joseph*) provided a home for his parents - - -.” What does this mean? The Bible tells and the Quran does not object to that his mother Rachel died in childbirth when Benjamin was born, and he only had his father Jacob. Muslims “may, therefore, assume that the “mother” implied in the term “parents” was another of Jacob’s wives - - -.” It is not uncommon to call a foster mother for “mother”. In some cultures it even is common to use the words “mother” and “father” as a respectful title when speaking with old people. But a pet name, a respectful name/title, does not make someone your parent. The very least that should have been done by Allah if he claimed to use a language “clear and easy to understand” was to say “his father and step-mother”. (The likely explanation is that Muhammad when he told this, forgot that Joseph’s mother was dead).
161 12/100 (A95 – in 2008 edition A98, A99): “- - - and they Jacob and his family*) fell down in prostration, (all) before him (Joseph*) - - -.” Here is a big conundrum inside a riddle surrounded by a puzzle for Islam. A pious prophet like Jacob impossibly could prostrate himself before a human. And an as pious prophet like Joseph impossibly could have accepted it. Something has to be wrong in the text. This even though the Arab text “wa-kharru lahu sudjdjadah” literally means “- - - and they fell down before him in (alternatively “like in”) prostration (or “praying to him” according to the Swedish copy)”. Islam has no good explanations that we have found. According to ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas the “him” in “before him” must refer to Allah – which it most clearly does not do. Razi explains that Joseph’s dream was not fully fulfilled, etc. Actually here the text is very clear – and the only thing Muslim scholars agree on, is that the literal meaning must be wrong, and this without having a good alternative meaning.
162 13/1 (A2): “These Verses are the Signs (or Verses (or messages of revelation*)) of the Book (the Quran*) - - -.” Multiple meanings already here. But the main problem for Islam: What do “These Verses” refer to? Many scholars mean just the verses in this surah. Others like Ibn Abbas/Baghawi emphasise that it must mean all the verses in all the Quran. The Quran itself is unclear on also this small point – but big enough to cause debate for 1400 years.
+163 13/2a (YA1800): “Allah is He who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see - - -.” Or does it mean that it is the heavens you cannot see? – pick your choice (though it is the first one we most often meet). A. Yusuf Ali here explains the pillars with forces – interesting as it is an explanation we have not met before. But it is meaningless all the same: For one thing no force field has ever been registered (shall we guess that Muslims will explain this with a loose and convenient claim about forces only Allah can register?) But the main thing is that there are no 7 heavens that are “raised” and kept in their places – not by pillars, nor by anything else.
164 13/2b (A5): “Each one (sun and moon*) runs (its cause) for a term appointed”. According to Islam “a term appointed” may refer to The Day of Doom - - - or to their passing through the zodiac “mansions” (‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas/Baghawi/Razi). Quite some differences in the meanings for a clear language. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
+165 13/7 (A17 – in 2008 edition A17): “But thou (Muhammad*) art truly a warner, and to every people a guide.” But Islam itself tells that there are more meanings possible from the Arabic text: “Thou art only a warner; and every people have had a guide like thee - - -” Two significant nuances in the meaning. Or: “Thou art only a warner – but (at the same time) also a guide unto all people” – at least one clear difference in nuances compared to each of the 2 above.” Or: “Thou art only a warner bound to do no more than deliver the message entrusted to thee, while it is Allah alone who can truly guide men’s hearts towards faith.” Far more than nuances in the meanings. A clear language? – not possible to misunderstand?
166 13/17-18 (A39): “Thus doth Allah set forth parables.” Clear and easy language: Here Allah has explained how he sets forth parables. But it is not that clear – because it is unclear if this belongs to the same context. In that case one gets another meaning: “Thus Allah set forth parables for those who respond to their Lord - - -.” Or to quote M. Asad: “For those who have responded to their Sustainer (Allah*) there is the ultimate good (al-husna) (in store) - - -.” Not quite the same. Clear text?
167 13/22 (A43 – in 2008 edition A44): “- - - and turn off Evil with good - - -.” What does this mean? F. ex. Ibn Kaysan/Zamakhshari: “if they have committed a sin, they repel it (= its effect on themselves*) by repenting”. Or Razi: You have to say and/or do things to set evil situations right. Or others, f. ex. Tabari: “You repay evil with good.” Just pick your choice, as the Arab text can mean any of these. Muslims claim the texts and the language in the Quran are so clear, that it is part of the proof for that the book must be sent down from Allah. We agree to that it proves something – but not an omniscient god. Definitely not. And these variants also inevitably are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
+168 13/26 (YA1841): “- - - the life on this earth is but little comfort in the Hereafter” = it means little in the next life. Or: “- - - it is a stepping stone (or something*) for the life to come.” Both meanings are possible from the crystal clear Arab text.
+169 13/38 (YA1863): “For each period is a Book (revealed.)” But two other correct translations will be: “For each period is a Law (revealed)”, and “For each period is a Decree established”. Just pick and choose.
170 13/41 (A79 – in 2008 edition A80): “See they (“infidels”) not that We (Allah*) gradually reduce the land (in their control) from their outlaying borders?” (= we conquer more and more bits and pieces from them.) But the Arab word that here is translated with “sides” or “borders” – “atraf” – has many meanings. The sentence also may mean: “We take their best men”, or:” - - - the best part of (the Earths) people and fruits”. What choice do you prefer? And these variants maturally also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
171 13/43 (YA1868): “Enough for a witness between me (Muhammad*) and you “non-Muslims*) is Allah, and such as have knowledge of the Book (the Quran*)” = the Quran is a witness for that I am a prophet, and the ones who study it, sees that and bear witness. Or: “- - - as all knowledge in the Book comes from Allah, the Quran also bears witness to me” = the Quran is a direct witness. What is your choise?
+172 14/4 (A4): “Now Allah leaves straying those whom He pleases.” Or may be “- - - Allah lets go astray him that wills - - -”? The first one is the literal meaning, though both are possible from the Arab text. But it paints a truly unsympathetic picture of the benevolent god Allah, so Muslim scholars to a large degree agrees on that something like the second meaning must be the true one. If it is clear, but do not fit the picture one likes, then explain that it is unclear and in reality means something else. And as said many times before; these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
173 14/5 (A5): “Bring out thy (Moses’*) people (the Jews*) from the depth of darkness into light, and teach them to remember the Days of Allah”. What is meant by the Days of Allah? – the Exodus from Egypt? – or the Day of Doom? – or for that case some other day? Nobody knows. But when a god gives an order like this, it is far from unimportant that his followers get a chance to understand what he is talking about. Would a god forget that information?
174 14/22 (A32): “I (the Devil*) cannot listen to your cries (for help*), nor can ye (sinners in Hell*) listen to mine”. Or does it really mean: “I cannot respond to your call for help, just as you should not have, in your lifetime, responded to my call”? Islam simply does not know. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
175 14/48 (A64): “And thou (Muslims*) will see the sinners that day (of Doom*) bound together in fetters - - -.” In real fetters? Or is it a metaphor for their evil deeds (Razi)? Or perhaps a picture of the chain reaction their bad deeds caused in this life (Asad)? Your guess is as good as ours and theirs, and neither the Quran nor Islam can answer – but would a real god leave so much of his holy book to sheer guesswork? Any topic in the Quran Muslims still after all these centuries are unable to understand or agree on are proved insufficiently or not clearly enough explained – and any omniscient and clairvoyant god had long before he sent down (?) the book, known which points needed better or clearer explanation.
176 14/51 (YA1930): “And verily Allah is swift to call into account.” Does this mean: Even if the “infidels” do well in life, it only means that Allah is waiting, and will react swiftly when his time comes? Or: Allah will work swiftly with the “infidels” at the Day of Doom? No Muslim can tell you the answer for sure.
177 15/4 (A4): “Never did We (Allah*) destroy a people that had not a term decreed and assigned beforehand”. Here Mr. Yusuf Ali once more seems to have translated a bit freely – may be because he knew the real meaning impossibly could be correct. According to Muhammad Asad, “The Message of the Quran”, the literal meaning is: “Never did We destroy a people unless it (the community) had known a divine writ - - -.” Perhaps Mr. Yusuf Ali knew the rules for ”al-Taqiyya” (the lawful lie – a duty when it comes to defending Islam). Homo Sapiens is something like 200ooo – 160ooo years old. Writing has existed just some thousands of years. But thousands and thousands of tribes and peoples disappeared before that. Can thousands of peoples – not persons, but peoples – have died out without Allah’s knowing it, before writing was invented? Here something is wrong to say the least of it.
178 15/24 (YA1965): “- - - those of you who hasten forward, and those who lag behind”. Another cryptic sentence Muslims are not sure what means. The first to accept Islam, and the later ones? Those of the earlier times and those who will come later? The first in war and the reluctant ones? Who knows?
+179 15/70 (YA1993): “They (the men from Sodom and Gomorrah*) said 'Did we not forbid thee (Lot*) (to speak) for all and sundry?’” – or may be the meaning is “- - - to entertain any strangers.” – the Arab text is open to both meanings. As mentioned before: Clear language in the Quran.
180 15/78 (YA2000): “- - - the Companions of the Wood - - -“. Who were they? Another name for the people of Madyan?. A group within the Madyanites? Neighbours of the Madyanites? Or some other tribe or group? Unclear in the Quran.
181 15/91-92: (YA2013): “(So also such) as have made the Quran into shreds (as they please). Therefore, by thy (Muhammad’s*) Lord (Allah*), We (Allah*) will, of surety call them to account.” This seems to be about the same culprits – but may a Muslim scholar think the first part is about the Jews and the Christians (that Islam claims uses bits and pieces of their holy book), and the last part they think is about the pagans in Mecca. The answer is unclear.
182 16/4 (A5): “He (Allah*) has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer.” This may be figurative – the development of man from the very start till adult and ability to dispute for himself. Or it may mean that man has a tendency to oppose against the wishes of Allah. Not a clear point exactly, but definitely a distinction. And these variants - once more - also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
183 16/41 (A42 – in 2008 edition 43): “To those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah - - - We (Allah*) will surely give a goodly home in this world; but truly the reward in the hereafter will be greater. If they only realises (this)!” This concerns the strained situation before Muhammad fled Mecca. Some followers fled to Africa, some preferred to risk staying in Mecca – flight was too dangerous for them. And then there were the non-Muslims. The last sentence in this verse concerns one of the two latter parts – but which? Baghawi, Zamakhshari, Razi and others mean the Quran here talks about the non-Muslims. Ibn Kathir and others mean it here is meant the Muslims that preferred to stay on in Mecca. Just pick your choice, because nobody knows what is right. A clear text not possible to misunderstand?
+184 16/69 (YA2099): “(The bees*) find with skill the spacious paths (“dhululan”) of its Lord (Allah*) - - -.” But as the Arab word has at least two meanings, the correct may be a reference to “the idea of humility and obedience in them”. Which do you prefer?
185 16/77 (A88 in 2008 edition A90): “To Allah belongeth the Mystery of the heavens (plural and wrong*) and the earth, And the Disition of the Hour (of Judgement) - - -.” But is this what the Arab word “ghayb” really means? The literal meaning is “hidden reality”. Does it simply mean: “And Allah’s (alone) is the knowledge of the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth”? – or does it refer to Allah himself as a hidden reality? – or what? Nobody knows.
186 16/80 (A91- in 2008 edition A93): “- - - and (Allah*) made for you, out of the skins of animals, (tents for) dwellings for you.” But Arab tent are not made of skins – they are woven. How come? (Actually this is a strange one, because here Caliph Utman knew very well that the tents were woven – is the meaning something different? – or is it the wool that is described in this very clear and obvious way – this even though wool is mentioned later in the verse, and thus should prohibit this interpretation? An enigma.
187 16/81 (A95 – in 2008 edition A98): “He (Allah*) made you - - - coats of mail to protect you from your (mutual) violence.” But the Arab word “sarabil” simply means “clothes” or in a wider meaning “coverings”. It simply may mean any kind of clothes or coverings protecting you from something. Any god had used the (Arab) word for coats of mail if that was what he meant and used a clear language.
188 16/110a (YA2147): “To those who leave their homes after trials and persecutions – and thereafter strive and fight for the Faith and patiently persevere - - -.” Well, who are the “those” in this? Pagans that became Muslims? Or whom? Muslims guess, as the text is not clear. (Also see 16/110 just below).
189 16/110 (YA2147): “To those who leave their homes after trials and persecutions – and thereafter strive and fight for the Faith and patiently persevere - - -.” (Also see 16/110a just above). But may be there are used wrong vowels in the central word (remember; in the old Arab alphabet one has to guess the vowels) and it is not the Arab word “futinu” that is meant, but “fatanu”. Then the meaning changes to: “- - - after inflicting trials and persecutions (on Muslims” – more or less 180 degrees the opposite. It is not the only place this is the case in the Quran – a nice and clear and impossible to misunderstand language.
190 17/52 (YA2236): Is this verse part of the answer to the sceptic in the previous verse? Or is it a separate, proud statement to Muslims. Who knows?
00e 17/59 (A70): “And We (Allah*) refrains from sending the Signs, only because the men of former generations treated them as false - - -.” This is one of the places in the Quran where Muhammad knew he was lying – miracles do have effect (see f. ex. Pharaoh’s magicians). But there is an interesting remark in Asad’s note and explanation: “His (Muhammad’s*) only miracle was and is the Quran itself”. This is an accepted fact among Muslim scholars and Islamic religious leaders. AND ALL THE SAME THEY CONTINUE AND CONTINUE TO TELL THEIR CONGREGATIONS ABOUT THE (MADE UP) MIRACLES CONNECTED TO MUHAMMAD THAT THE HADITS TELL ABOUT – AND NOWHERE IN THE HADITH COLLECTIONS DO YOU FIND A WARNING THAT “THE QURAN PROVES THAT THESE MIRACLES ARE MADE UP LEGENDS. An honest religion? Honest “priests” Honest professors? (These are among the reasons why it is impossible to rely on Islamic literature – you all the time know you have to check the “facts” before you can use the information (or disinformation or wishful thinking)).
191 17/60 (YA2249): “We (Allah*) granted thee (Muhammad*) the Vision which We showed thee - - -.” A conundrum for Islam: Which vision? The big one to heaven? Or one of the may other claims? Not possible to know. A. Yusuf Ali has an interesting comment to this point: That “such visions are miracles, and become a stumbling block to unbelievers”. Has he forgotten that the Quran time and again and again tries to explain away the total lack of miracles connected to Muhammad, with that miracles would have no effect anyhow? But he is right – miracles had had a large effect if there had been as much as a single one. That explaining away of the lack of miracles, is one of the places where an intelligent man like Muhammad knew he was lying each and every time he said it. (But then al-Taqiyya is ok).
+192 17/71 (YA2266): “One day We (Allah) shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams - - -.” Once more an Arab word – “imam” - without a definite meaning, as it has many meanings. In this case it at least can mean: “- - - each People or Group will appear with its Leader.” Or: “- - - - the Imam = their revelation = the Quran”. Or: “- - - the Imam is the book of record of deeds (made by the angles*).” Simply more guesswork.
193 17/80 (A98): “Say: ‘O my Lord (Allah*)! Let me enter by the Gate of Truth and Honour, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honour; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me).” This is a cryptic one. Islam seems not really to understand its meaning. M. Asad from 2002 (translated from Swedish): “Lord (Allah)! Let me go down into my grave as a true and honest believer and let me get up from it as a true and honest believer, and give me from Your own power strength to be victorious.” And that book says that the literal meaning (translated from Swedish) is: “Let my entrance be in the sign of the truth and my exit be in the sign of the truth - - -.” M. Asad in English (2008): “(O my Sustainer (Allah*)! Cause me to enter (upon whatever I may do) in a manner true and sincere, and cause me to leave (it) in a manner true and sincere, and grant me out of Thy grace, sustaining strength.” This new edition simply has dropped all comments concerning this verse that was in the older editions. Too cryptic for the new edition? What at least is sure is that it is not 100% sure that the claims about how clear and easy to understand the text in the Quran are correct.
194 17/104 (YA2314): “- - - the second of the warnings (for the Jews*) - - -.” The Jews have had such a chequered history, that nobody has a clue to what is meant. One guesses – but it only is educated guesses. Even the Day of Doom is proposed as one of the warnings, this even though the sentence is in the past tense. Clear language?
195 18/4-5 (A2): “Further, that He (Allah*) may warn those (also) who say, ‘Allah hath begotten a son’: No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers.” But the pronoun “hi” in “bihi” – does it point to “Allah hath begotten a son” or to “Allah”? In the last case the meaning here according to “The Message of the Quran” (that even stresses that this must be the right one, even though the one above is the usual one) is: “’Allah has taken unto Himself a son’. No knowledge whatever have they of Him (Allah*).” 2 choices – chose which one you think is best. And; these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
+196 18/9 (YA2336): “- - - and the inscription (“raqim”) - - -.” Arab “raqim” means inscription. But it also may be the name of the dog, according to some Muslim scholars. The book does not specify.
+197 18/21 (A31 – in 2008 edition A30): “Let us (people*) surely build a place of worship over them (“the 7 sleepers”*)”. Or is the more usual translation correct? – that they should build a wall to close the cave. Who knows?
198 18/50 (A53 – omitted in 2008): “Behold, We (Allah*) said to the angels,’ Bow down to Adam’: they bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns - - -.” But here is a clear mistake – or more likely; A. Yusuf Ali’s religion and al-Taqiyya may have suppressed his honesty: The original Arab text here do not say he was a jinn: It says something like (translated from Swedish): “He (Iblis*) belonged to the multitude of invisible beings”. The text here honestly and clearly indicates that he was an angel before he became the Devil. On the other hand the Quran other places tells he was made from fire, which in case means he according to this book in reality was a jinn. This is one more place where the Muslim scholars agree that the text in the Quran is wrong (though they never say this in clear words) as it here most clearly indicates that Iblis was an angel.
+199 18/55 (A61): “- - - or the Wrath be brought to them face to face?” But the Arab word “qubulan” has 2 meanings: “face to face” and “in the future”. The alternative meaning then is something like: “- - - or the (ultimate) suffering should befall them (sinners*) in the hereafter.” To say the least of it: There is a certain distinction between meting something face to face – which on top of all has the underlying meaning fast – and to meet it sometimes in the future or in the next life. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
200 18/58 (YA2402): “But they (non-Muslims*) have their appointed Time, beyond which they will find no refuge.” But the meaning of the Arab “min duni hi” may not point to the time, but to “your Lord” at the beginning of the verse. Then you get the meaning: “- - - and except with Allah, they will find no refuge.” Same Arab words – different meaning. Clear language?
00f 18/84 (A84 – in 2008 edition A85): “Until, when he (Dhu'l Quarnayn/Alexander the Great*) reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water”. In this case A.Yusuf Ali – like mostly – has a correct translation. The Arab word “ayn” normally means a spring. Muslims has a tendency to claim that “many philologists” also tell it can mean “abundance of water”, “a large body of water” or similar. This even though if he had seen even a murky Pasific Ocean, it only had been a tea-spoon compared to the real size of the sun - far, far too smaal. Not to mention the real sun far, far too hot close up. Then they - “forgetting” the word “murky” (there exist no murky ocean and hardly any murky really big lake) - happily go on to explain that he must have seen the reflexion of the sun in the sea or ocean, a sight Alexander had seen hundreds of times before and never had mistaken for what he was looking for according to the Quran. When religious people have to choose between truth or reality and religious “Truth”, both truth and reality can walk west singing a song. Here the text is clear – but Muslims make up other meanings to flee from an obvious mistake in the Quran. It is not the only place in the book.
201 19/9 (YA2462): “He said - - -.” Who said? – the angel or Zachariah? The book is unclear on that point.
00g 19/30-33 (A24) – in 2008 edition A23): A similar case as 18/84 above: As baby Jesus impossibly could be a prophet, this even according to Islam. There has to be other explanations, according to the Muslim scholars.
202 19/71a (A56 – in 2008 edition A55): “Not one of you but will pass over it (Hell*) - - -.” Whom do the word “you” refer to? Islam does not know. Either all sinners or all humans most likely, but the text is unclear about which. Like too often before.
+203 19/71b (YA2518): “Not one of you but will pass over it (Hell*) - - -.” 3 possible interpretations: A: Every soul (person? – they are resurrected in flesh according to Islam) must pass over/through/by the fire. Or B: Possibly it only refers to the wicked ones if the word “you” is only directed to them. Or C: May be it refers to the bridge Sirat (not mentioned by name in the Quran) over Hell and the march across that one. The book is this unclear.
+204 20/15 (YA2546): “My (Allah’s*) design is to keep it (the Day of Doom*) hidden - - -.” But the Arab word “ukhfi” may mean “hidden” or “manifest”. Then you get the alternative meaning: “My design is to make it manifest”. Choose what you like.
205 20/69 (YA2591): “And the magician thrives not, (no matter) where he goes”. An unclear sentence with at least 2 possible meanings according to Islamic scholars: A: Falsehood and trickery may win sometimes, but often not. Or B: Trickery and magic must come to an evil end.
206 20/96 (A82): “He (the Samari*) replied: ‘I saw what they saw not: so I took a handful (of dust) from the footprint of the Messenger, and threw it (into the calf) - - -.” But is this literal translation correct? Muslim scholars tend to understand it more figuratively. F. ex. “The Message of the Quran” (Swedish 2006): “- - - (I), therefore, took a handful of what the Messenger had left behind and threw it away - - -.” And the 2008 English edition (that seems to have made small “corrections” in dogmatic direction and are slightly less honest than Muhammad Asad himself, even though he, too, sometimes is more dogmatic than honest): “- - - so I took a handful of the Apostle’s teachings and cast it away.” What is the true interpretation? It seems that one has to learn Arab to be sure – honesty is not always part of a religion. Especially the differences in the text between the 2006 and the 2008 edition of “The Message of the Quran” may be telling something about Muslims and about Islam.
00h 21/4 (A5): Variation in explanations: In the 2006 Swedish edition “The Message of the Quran” tells that the Arab word is spelled “gul” in the “way of reading” = variety of the Quranic texts - after Warsh, used in much of North Africa, whereas in the variety after Hafs, used in the rest of the Muslim area, it is spelled “qala” (in the original old manuscripts is was written just q-l , so both are possible). The first means imperative of “say”, the other “he (Allah) said.” 2 varieties. But the main thing here is not this minor variety. The main thing it that “The Message of the Quran” here confirms that there are varieties of the book - something any Muslim scholar know, but all the same the lay people are told there never is or was more than one variety. Only 2 today remain in daily use – the 2 mentioned – but once there were 14 accepted varieties (and before that many more). Well, there is one more – and ominous – as interesting fact: This little known, but most essential, fact has “disappeared” from the 2008 edition. The fiction that there only is and always was only one Quran, is more essential than honesty in Islam it seems. But if a religion is true, it should not be necessary to lie about it - remember the IT-slogan RIRO: Rubbish In = Rubbish Out.
207 21/10 (A13): “We (Allah*) have revealed for you (O men!) a book in which is a Message for you”. But the Arab word “dhikr” has a number of meanings. F. ex. in ”The Message of the Quran”: ”(O men!) We (Allah*) have now bestowed upon you from on high a divine writ containing all that you ought to bear in mind”. The statement that the Quran contains all the knowledge you need gives a large and interesting difference to the meaning. And there are more possible meanings. Yes, a book with very clear texts, easy to understand and not possible to misunderstand. The information that all knowledge you need is to be found in the Quran, also is interesting in itself. An extra omnious meaning when you remember Islam's suppression of all "non-Islamic thoughts" through history.
208 21/19 (A22 – in 2008 edition A23): “- - - even those who are in His (very) Presence are not too proud to serve him - - -“. Does this only mean the angles, or also devoted believers? Islam does not know. But the text in the Quran is clear, they say.
209 21/51 (A55 – in 2008 edition A59, but some is omitted): “We (Allah*) bestowed aforetime on Abraham his rectitude of conduct - - -.” But the Arab expression “min qabl” that here is translated to “aforetime”, also may mean “already in young years”. “The Message of the Quran”, 2006 has (translated from Swedish): “Already in his youth We (Allah*) gave Abraham - - -.” Interestingly the ones who have revised the 2008 edition in his name (Muhammad Asad is as far as we know dead – the book is at from at least not later than 1980), has omitted some of his information and changed the text to this: “And, indeed, long before (the time of Moses) We vouchsafed unto Abraham - - -.” Also the information about alternative meanings is omitted in the 2008 edition. To make the text more clear? – or out of honesty?
210 21/64 (A58 – in 2008 edition A62): “Surely we (Abraham’s contemporaries*) are in the wrong”. But because they did wrong not guarding their god pictures or because they suspected Abraham? Islam does not know (this point is left out in 2008).
211 21/69 (A61 – in 2008 edition A64): “We (Allah*) said, ‘O fire! Be thou cool, and (a means of) safety for Abraham”. But there is nowhere in the Quran actually said that Abraham was thrown into the fire, so even today Islam is at a loss what to believe – some say yes and some no. Clear language?
212 21/105 (A100 – in 2008 edition A101): “Before this We (Allah*) wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses) - - -.” But the Arab word “zabur” just means “scripture” or “book”. Hence f. ex. understandings like this: “And, indeed, after having exhorted (man), We (Allah*) laid down in all the books of divine wisdom - - -.” Quite different – from the same easy to understand Arab text. And these variants as always also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
+213 22/15 (A15, YA2786): “If any think that Allah will not help him (his Messenger) in this world and the hereafter, let him stretch out a rope to the ceiling and cut (himself) off (hang himself*) - - -.” But the word used for “ceiling” also can mean “the heaven”, and then the Arab “fal-yamdud bi-salabin ils ‘s-sama thumma l’yaqta” may be translated: “- - - let him reach out unto heaven by any (other) means (a rope?*) and (thus try to) make headway - - -.” Quite a different meaning – from the clear language in the Quran. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
214 22/16 (A17): “- - - Allah doth guide whom He will.” Or is the meaning: “- - - for (thus it is) that Allah guides him who wills (to be guided)”. Quite a difference – in the first case Allah decides, in the second case it is the person who decides (if free will exists). Both in the same clear text that is easy to understand. And these variants as mentioned also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
215 22/27 (A37): “And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men - - -.” As Allah was speaking about – not to, but about – Abraham in the previous verse, many Muslim scholars think this was told said to Abraham. But there is no reason at all to believe Abraham institutionalized pilgrimage to Mecca to Abraham – neither in the Bible nor in the Quran there is any hint about that. So many Muslims – f. ex. Al-Hasan al-Basri – believe the words were meant for Muhammad. Believe what you like – the text is clear enough for both meanings.
216 22/29 (A42): “Then let them (the pilgrims*) complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and (again) circumambulate the Ancient House (Kabah*).” This is what A. Yusuf Ali believes the Arab “thumma l-yaqdu tafathahum” means – to complete the rites. Others think like this: “- - - let them fulfil the vows which they (may) have made - - -.” Not even so central a subject for Muslims as what to do during the central part of the pilgrimage, does the clear text in the Quran make clear. Had a god been so slobby in his speech on essential themes?
+217 22/65 (A80 YA2847): Two translations of the same Arab words:
This Arab word “sama” may mean: A: “something high”. B: ”a roof, a ceiling”. C: “the sky, the canopy of heaven” (not “the universe”*). D: “cloud or rain”. The ones who have revised the 2008 edition really has done a good work. But is it an honest work? Clear at least?
+218 23/1 (YA2865): “The Believers must (eventually) win through - - -.” Or perhaps “- - - obtain salvation from sorrow and all evil.” The Arab word “aflaha” can give at least 2 meanings. Clear language?
219 23/17 (YA2876): We simply quote: “Thara’iq, tracts, roads, orbits, or paths in the visible heaven. These seven are clearly marked to our eyes (??*), in the immense space that we see around us. We must go to astronomy to form any plausible theories to these motions. But their simplest observation gives us a sublime view of beauty, order, and grandeur in the universe. The assurance given in the next clause, that Allah cares for us and all His Creation, calls out attention to Allah’s goodness, which is further illustrated in the subsequent verses.” A lot of words to avoid explaining anything about the 7 material heavens with the stars fastened to the lowest, that the Quran in reality is speaking about. Here things are clear, but is made unclear and wrapped up in verbal wool to tuck away what the Quran clearly states many places.
220 23/32-41 (A17): “And We (Allah*) sent them a messenger from among themselves - - -.” Who are “they” and who is the messenger? Islam does not know. Some guess it may be Hud – sometimes mentioned in the Quran. It may perhaps be Muhammad. Or it may be a vague general description. Clear words?
+221 23/55-56 (A32): “Do they (people*) think that because We have granted them abundance in wealth and sons, We would hasten them on in every good?” Another possible translation of the Arab text: “- - - We (but want to) make them vie with one another in doing (what they consider) good works?” 2 very different meanings from one and the same clear (?) Arab text. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
+222 23//77 (A47): “Until We (Allah*) open on them a gate leading to a severe Punishment: then lo, they will be plunged in despair therein.” An alternative understanding of just the same clear Arab language: “- - - they will despair all hope.” As you see in the Quran the texts are so clear and obvious, that they have to be made by a god – if not, things had been possible to misunderstand or there would be double and multiple meanings here and there.
+223 23/112 (YA2948): “He (Allah*) will say - - -“. Here is an interesting small – or big – detail when you think about all the claims about how exactly like Muhammad’s words the Quran is: A. Yusuf Ali refers directly to the difference between 2 “ways of reading”. One is the Hafs version after Kufah, the other is after Basrah – Islam uses the expression “ways of reading” (“qira’ah”) and pretends that that is something different from versions, which it is not. Islam just use another word to conjure away the fact that there exist and existed different versions of the book – there once were 14 “canonized” ones + a lot of others. We quote: “The Hafs reading is “Qala”, “He will say”. This follows the Kufah Qira’ah. The Basrah Qira’ah reads “Qul”, “Say” (in the imperative).” In itself this is a minor detail – though far more than “correct to the last comma” like Muslims often claim – but it documents that the different versions of the Quran still exist and are used. (Actually the two that are in daily use today, are Warsh in parts of Africa, especially in North Africa, and Hafs in the rest of the world.)
224 24/35 (A54): “Allah doth guide whom He will to his Light”. But others (inkl. Zamakhshari) means the same clear and not mistakable text says: “Allah leads unto His light him that wills (to be guided)”. 180 degrees different meaning (in the first Allah decides, in the other the person) – both "correct", as the text can be understood both ways. Would a god use a language so careless and difficult to understand clearly? And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
225 24/46 (A64): Like 24/35 just above.
226 24/60 (A84): “Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage - - -.” A nuance different from the exact meaning: “- - - who do not desire (or hope for) sexual intercourse - - -.” 2 rather different meanings at least formally?
+227 24/63 (YA3048): “Deem not the summons of the Messenger (Muhammad*) among yourself like the summons of one of you to another: Allah doth know those of you who slip away under shelter of some excuse - - -.” But the old consonant alphabet also gives 2 more possible variants: “Do not think that the prayer of the Prophet of Allah is like your ordinary requests to another: the Prophet’s prayers will be about serious matters and will be accepted by Allah.” And: “Do not address the Prophet familiarly as thou would address one another: use proper terms of respect for him.” These meanings vary wildly – but all are correct according to the unfinished Arab alphabet of ca. 650 AD. Clear and distinct language in the Quran?
+228 25/1 (YA:3054): “Blessed is He (Allah*) Who has sent down the Criterion to His servant - - -.” The pronoun in “yaquna” may refer to Furqan (= The Criterion = the name of this surah) or to the “’Abd” (“the Holy Prophet” (Muhammad*)). In the last case it will mean: “- - - sent down the Holy Prophet - - -“.
229 25/30 (A23-24): “Truly my (Muhammad’s) people took this Quran for just foolish nonsense.” Or (translated from Swedish): “My people looks at this Quran as something outdated (that may be put away).” There is a distinction between foolish nonsense and something that may have been ok, but now is outdated (most of Muhammad’s stories in the Quran, were “borrowed” and “adjusted” from older stories.)
230 25/34 (YA3094): “- - - the Companions of the Rass - - -.” “The Rass may mean “an old well” or “a shallow water-pit” or be connected to “the burial of the dead” or it may be the name of a town or a place. Islam is at a loss what people here is meant – the Quran simply is too unclear.
231 25/59: (A46 – in 2008 edition A47, but alternative “disappeared”): “- - - ask thou (man*), then, about Him (Allah*) of any acquainted (with such things)”. Is this “any” Allah? – or Muhammad? – or the Quran? Many Muslims guess it is Allah, but it only is guessing – the others are quite possible. Clear text?
232 26/20 (YA3149): “Moses said: ‘I did it then, when I was in error.” 3 possible implications: “I was wrong in doing it in a temper and in being hasty,” or “I was wrong in taking the law into my own hands, but repented and asked Allah’s pardon,” or “That was a time when I was under your influence, but since then I am a changed man, as Allah has called me.” The exact meaning unclear.
233 26/57-58 (A31 – the alternative explanation left out in the 2008 edition): “So We (Allah*) expelled them from gardens, springs, treasures and every kind of honourable positions - - -.” Is it here the Egyptians that over time have robbed the Israelis? – or is it Allah that punishes the Egyptians afterwards? Islam is still debating this unclear point.
+234 26/58-59 (YA3169): “Treasures, and every kind of honourable position; Thus it was, but We (Allah’*) made the Children if Israel inheritors of such things”. But the alternative meaning of these two verses is: Verse 58 “We (Pharaoh*) have dispossessed the Israelis from everything good in the land, and made them our slaves”. Verse 59 (Allah comments): “Poor ignorant man (Pharaoh*)! You may oppress those who are helpless, but We (Allah) have declared that they shall inherit these things”. As one understands the language in the original Quran is clear, distinct and impossible to misunderstand (!). 2 very different meanings.
+235 26/129 (A57): “And do you get for yourselves fine buildings in the hope of living therein (for ever)?” – or: “- - - that you might gain immortal renown for having built them?” It is anybody’s guess what the Quran really means here, too. Clear speech? And these variants - as always - also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
236 26/137 (A59 – in 2008 edition A60 but the alternative explanation omitted): “This is no other than a customary service of the ancients”. The old pagans defend their religion with that it is the reliable religion of our forefathers (Ibn Abbas, ‘Ikrimah, Qatadah). Or may be it vas the other way around? – that they accused the Muslims (in this case the presumed prophet Hud) for telling just old nonsense? – “This that you tell us just (is*) repetition of old and outdated ideas.”
237 26/176 (YA3214): “- - - the Companions of the Wood - - -“. Who were they? Another name for the people of Madyan? A group within the Madyanites? Neighbours of the Madyanites? Or some other tribe or group? Unclear in the Quran.
238 26/189 (A77 – in 2008 edition A78): “Then the punishment of overshadowing gloom sized them (the people of Madyan, and that was the Penalty of a Great Day.” Does this refer to physical darkness? – but Madyan was destroyed by an earthquake according to the Quran (7/91), and earthquakes are not accompanied by darkness. Or does it refer to spiritual darkness caused by regret – but there was nobody left to feel regret if everybody was dead (a fact that is not mentioned)? Islam does not know the answer – the text does not make it clear.
Another thing: “The Message of the Quran” here comments the catastrophe that killed the Madyan people, and the connected darkness told about in the Quran, in this way: “This may refer either to the physical darkness which often accompanies volcanic eruptions and earthquakes (which as shown in 7/91, overtook the people of Madyan) - - -“. This is not – repeat: NOT – true connected to earthquakes. It is not unusual if a volcano blows out a lot of ash that it becomes dark, but unusual if it only or mainly emits lava, and it is totally untrue for earthquakes. Dishonesty or al-Taqiyya (the lawful lie - here in case to defend the religion).
If we check 7/91, the footnote number 73 says: “Like the harrah once inhabited by the Thamud tribe, the adjoining region of Madyan shows ample evidence of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes”. This is everything that is said about volcanic activity. The main volcanism stopped some 400ooo years ago, but there has been a little activity later.
Then if you go to 7/91 itself, it says: “Thereupon an earthquake overtook them: and they lay lifeless, in their very homes, on the ground.” Not one single word about volcanism.
They started with earthquake. But as earthquakes never kills 100% (normally max 10% and hardly ever more that 30% except combined with low quality high-rise buildings), the footnote added a hint of the possibility of a volcanic eruption. Then in footnote A78 to 26/189 this has evolved to “- - - volcanic eruptions and earthquakes (which, as shown in 7/91, overtook the people of Madyan.)”.
This is a kind of dishonesty and a kind of intellectual corruption that one meets far too often in Islamic religious literature, included in literature pretending to be on a scientific level.
The next life – if it exists – is a far too serious topic to cheat people about. And if you have to cheat or “al-Taqiyya” or lie – or use pressure or threats - to attract people to your religion, or to make its members stay inside, it is height time to stop up and start thinking why you have to lie or cheat or use pressure. In such cases the chances are high for that something is seriously wrong and the religion not true. A true religion can afford to be honest, so if you have to cheat or make lies or use pressure, that indicates that something is wrong to use an understatement.
If your religion cannot afford total honesty, it is a clear indication for that it is not a true religion. And this alone is nearly a proof for that you are heading a wrong way – if there is a next life. (If not, the way you are heading does not matter – except as a cheap way to a good earthly life for your religious leaders.)
And there is a final, nearly as serious fact: If the persons writing – or like “The Message of the Quran” 2008, revising it – such literature are intelligent ones (and they clearly are), there is no way they do not themselves see that they are manipulating the truth. They are doing this in a cold and psychologically well planned way – efficient to lure and to cheat the naïve and the little educated and the ones who on beforehand wants to believe, but a method easily recognizable for persons trained in critical thinking. Why do they have to use such methods?
239 26/193 -196 (A85 – in 2008 edition A83): “With it (the Quran) came down the Spirit and the Truth – to thy heart and mind, that thou mayst admonish in the perspicuous Arabic tongue. Without doubt it is (announced) in the revealed Books of former peoples.” But is it the Quran that is announced, like it is indicated here, and that is the most widely held view in Islam (even though the Quran definitely is not mentioned, not to say announced, in the Bible)? – or is it the contents that has been sent before (but claimed by Islam to be falsified), like f. ex. Zamakhshari and Baydawi thinks? Impossible to know – the text is not clear on this point.
+240 26/218: “- - - Who seeth thee (Muslims*) standing forth (in prayer).” Or may be (Mujahid/Tabari): “- - - Who seeth you wherever thou mayst be.” Both meanings are possible from the Arab text. And these variants - like before - also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning.
241 27/8 (A7): “But when he (Moses*) came to the (fire) - - -.” But according to early commentators, referred by Tabari, the Arab word “nar” (fire) in this context is synonymous with another Arab word “nur” (light) as the vowel is to be guessed. Then you get: “- - - came to the light - - -.” A third alternative is that the original text here – “man fi ‘n-nar wa-man hawlaha” is referring to Allah’s own light. All these three meanings are possible from the Arab text. And these variants - like before - also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
+242 27/37 (A29): “Go back to them, and be sure we shall come to them (Sabah*) with such a host (army*) as they will never be able to meet: we shall expel them from there in disgrace, and they will feel humbled (indeed).” It is very clear from both the previous and the following verse that here it is Solomon speaking. But this is no logical answer to a peaceful embassy. The Quran also formally says that a war of attack is never permissible (though Muslims have found many ways around that formality.) So Muslim scholars have found it has another meaning: This is Allah warning the Sabeans to become Muslims – Solomon of course was a devout Muslim according to Islam. In this case the second meaning clearly is made up – but it is real for Islam. And linguistically it is possible.
243 27/38 (A31): “Ye Chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in surrender.” There is no logical meaning for surrender at this stage of the story – and especially not for such a distant country. May be therefore – or may be to keep up the pretension that good Muslims like Solomon (!) never starts a war – Islam has found another meaning: It means surrender to Islam. Well, the explanation is not quite as impossible as in 27/37 just above. But it is not what the book says. “Surrender” is a political and military word with a clear meaning. It also is used in other connection, but then it is made clear what connection – like “surrender to Allah”, or “she will surrender to me” which implicates further details, articulated or not, to the word “surrender”. That is not the case here.
244 27/40 (A32): “Said one who had knowledge of the Book - - -.” Who was this? Islam is unable to agree on it. Razi says it is Solomon himself – but the context clearly shows that this person speaks to Solomon. Clear text?
+245 27/42-43: “- - - and we (the Queen of Sabah – in Arab tradition called Bilqis*) have submitted to Allah (in Islam). And he (Solomon*) diverted her from the worship of others besides Allah - - -.” The alternative possible meaning of the book that is clear and not possible to misunderstand: “And we (Solomon*) had knowledge of Allah’s Message and accepted it before her - - - and the worship of others besides Allah diverted her (from the true Religion).” Clear or confusing? – 2 very different meanings.
246 27/48 (A47): “There were in the city nine men in a family that had made mischief - - -.” But the words “in the family” seems to be added by someone, and the Arab word “raht” may here as well mean clan. There is a lot of difference between 9 men doing mischief in a city, and 9 clans doing the same. Besides may be it was not really a city, but a whole region – Al-Hirj in northern Hijaz (“county” in Arabia). Several meanings possible – from a clear (?) text.
00i 27/82: ”And when the Word is fulfilled against them (the unjust), We shall produce from the earth a Beast to (face) them - - -.” What is this beast? Nobody knows – but A. Yusuf Ali did propose it was a symbol for materialism (YA3313). Muslims f. ex. proved to be very materialistic in all their wars and raids for stealing/robbing. Who knows?
+247 28/38 (A37 – YA3371): “(Pharaoh said*) “O Haman (minister for Xerxes several hundred years later and hundreds of km further east – in Persia - and not an Egyptian name either*)! - - - build me a lofty place, that I may mount up to the god of Moses - - -.” Muslims like to tell this does not refer to something like the tower of Babylon (built from bricks), but to a pyramid - - - and without mentioning a single word about well known facts like it took some 20-30 years to build a big pyramid (and Ramses II at the time science believe this happened if it happened, was not young), or that the pyramids in Egypt was built from natural stones, not from brick, so a kiln has no connection to them.
But the real question here is, is this the correct meaning of the Arab word “ittali’u”. Or did Pharaoh wish that “- - - haply I may have a look at the god of Moses - - -”? Or (translated from Swedish): “- - - that I may get some information about the god of Moses - - -.” Not too big variations in the meanings, bit far from “exact to the last comma” like Muslims like to boast of.
Another open question: Is this sarcasm or a seriously meant order? – the Quran does not tell.
248 28/68 (A74): “Thy Lord (Allah*) does create and choose as He pleases: no choice have they (in the matter) - - -.” A clear message and in full compliance to Allah’s power of predestination. But predestination collides with man’s presumed (partly?) free will (predestination and free will is mutually excluding each other. The combination of the two is even theoretically impossible, and Muslims goes to a lot of pain to reduce both (“not real predestination” and “partly free will”) to make space for a little of both, but no matter: It still is even theoretically impossible to combine them - - - except in religious wishful thinking. Can that be the reason why this explanation is preferred by many Muslims (Zamakhshari, etc.): “(Allah) chooses (for mankind) whatever is best for them.” Then the problem of predestination is omitted – and both are possible from the Arab text “ma kana lahum al-khiyarah”. (Al-khiyarah or khirah (depending on what vowels you place there) = “choice” or “freedom to choose”). Just choose.
249 28/85 (YA3416): “- - - the Place of Return.” Does this mean Mecca or Paradise? Nobody knows.
250 29/5 (YA3427): “- - - for the Term (appointed) by Allah is surely coming - - -“. Does this refer to the time appointed for death and thus the end of this life, or to the time left of this life and thus the possibility to prepare for the next life?
251 29/29 (YA3450): “Do ye (the men of Sodom and Gomorrah*) indeed approach men, and cut off the highway - - -.” Does the “- - - cut off the highway - - -“ refer to attacking and raping homosexually the travellers, or does it refer to robberies? Islamic scholars disagree and the Quran does not make it clear.
252 29/45-46 (A40): “Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee - - -.” But who is or are “thee” in this case? Muhammad? – or Muslims generally? In the last case the meaning of Arab “ma uhiya ilayka mina ‘l-kitab” may be “- - - whatever of the divine writ has revealed itself to thy understanding”. Islam has to guess what is really meant here – you do the same. Yes, the Quran is a very clear scripture.
253 30/9 (A7): “- - - they (earlier pagans*) tilled the soil and populated it in greater number than these (the peoples at the time of Muhammad*) have done - - -.” But the Arab word “akthar” that here has been translated to “greater (numbers)” in reality only means “more”, and the phrase also can be translated like this according to Islam: “Greater were they (the pagans of older times*) in power than they (the people contemporaries to Muhammad*) are, and they left a stronger impact on the earth, and built it up even better - - -.” In the first case they were more people (and thus more powerful), in the other case they richer and because of that more powerful. Like so often before: Pick your choice because the very easy to understand Arab scripture permits both meanings. And these varieties also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
+254 31/10 (YA3587): “He (Allah*) created the heavens without any pillars that ye can see - - -.” Or does it mean that it is the heavens you cannot see? – pick your choice (though it is the first one we most often meet). A. Yusuf Ali here explains the pillars with forces – interesting as it is an explanation we have not met before. But it is meaningless all the same: For one thing no force field has ever been registered (shall we guess that Muslims will explain this with a loose and convenient claim about forces only Allah can register?) But the main thing is that there are no 7 heavens that are “raised” and kept in their places – not by pillars, nor by anything else.
+255 32/23 (YA3657): “We (Allah*) did indeed aforetime give the Book to Moses: be not then in doubt of its reaching (thee) - - -.” But the Arab pronoun “hi” can be translated either “its” or “his”. In the last case the meaning here is: “- - - be not then in doubt of his (Moses’*) reaching (thee) (it must in case mean Moses’ thoughts or example or deeds*) - - -“.
An interesting extra piece: In connection with mentioning the Book of Moses, A. Yusuf Ali refers to “- - - his (Moses’) Injil or Gospel - - -.” (YA3656). The Gospel (or really Gospels – there are 4) are the history of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and consequently could not be written before after Jesus’ death (he died 33 years old). Science tells the Exodus – if it happened – took place ca. 1235 BC and both the Bible and the Quran say he got the Commandments (and the Quran adds the book, whereas the Bible tells he was just told the law – and only that – and that he himself wrote it down later). If Moses got the Gospels together with the 10 Commandments, he got them some 1268 years before they could be written. Also no-one outside Islam, included science, has ever run across even the weakest trace of Moses’ Gospels.
256 33/35 (A36 – in 2008 edition A38): “- - - the men and women who fast (and deny themselves) - - -.” But is it only denying themselves what the fast demands? The Arab word “sa’im” really means “one who denies himself from or abstains from anything”. Then the meaning changes to: “- - - all the self-denying men and self-denying women - - -.” In a way the same, but the meaning is much wider. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
257 33/52 (A64 – in 2008 edition A65): “It is not for thee (Muhammad*) (to marry more) women after this - - -.” Does this relate to no more than the 4 categories women that he in verse 52 was told were lawful for him? Or does it refer to all women – except slaves? Islam tends to believe the last, but f. ex. Tabari said the first. And no-one will ever know. Clear language? (This verse is from 629 AD or later according to Islam. Muhammad then was nearly 60. May be he felt the pressure from having to satisfy a dozen wives and concubines?)
258 33/55 (A71 – in 2008 edition A72): “- - - or their (believing women*) women - - -“. To what women does this relate? – as slaves are mentioned separately later in the sentence, it cannot be slave women. Close relatives? Other close or not very close? Or all women? Islam tends to believe the last, but the verse is open for all those meanings. And these variants as normal also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
259 33/72 (A86 – in 2008 edition A87): “We (Allah*) did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens (plural and wrong) and the Mountains - - -.” But what is the meaning of the Arab word “amanah” which here is called “trust”? The plain reality is that nobody knows. And the as plain truth is that no matter how grandiose a translation you will ever meet (“the trust of reason and volition” f. ex.) it is nothing but guesswork. But Muslims have the gall of using the claimed “clear and easily understood language in the Quran” as a proof for that the book is not made by humans. And worse: Many a Muslim with little education really believes it himself.
260 34/4 (A3): “That He (Allah*) may reward those who believe and work deeds of righteousness - - -.” Yes – but where? Many or most scholars say “in Paradise” – this has the extra benefits that the promises of luxury can be bigger, and one does not have to explain why pious people often are not very well off.. But others – like Razi – claims it is in this world, with the good feelings one have when one believes strongly, as the main benefit. The text itself is silent about the mystery. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has more than one meaning.
261 34/11 (A13): “Make thou (David*) coats of mail, balancing well the rings of the chain armour, and work ye righteousness, for be sure I (Allah*) see (clearly) all that ye do.” This is a quite traditional translation. But Muhammad Asad strongly argues for another interpretation, and it runs like this in the 2008 edition: “Do good deeds lavishly, without stint, and give deep thoughts to their steady flow. And (thus should you all, O believers,) do righteous deeds: for, verily, I see all that you do!” We can well understand if you refuse to believe that written word can be so unclear that one and the same verse can give so different interpretation. But the quotes are exact, and both books are freely available in English (Abdullah Yusuf Ali: “The Holy Quran” and Muhammad Asad: “The Message of the Quran”, certified by Al-Azhar al-Sharif Islamic Research Academy, Cairo). But remember the problem of the translation of the Quran from old Arab scripture with only some of the letters written, and the rest you have to guess. As we have said before: When you meet Muslims claiming that the clear language in the Quran is a proof for that it is sent down from a god, or similar claims – or that it is an exact copy of the words of Allah or Muhammad – then do not laugh, as it is impolite - - - and if they have little education in the religious field, they may even believe what they say. We repeat: And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
262 34/16 (YA3813): “- - - the flood (released) from the Dams - - -.” But the Arab word “arim” – is it a name, or does it mean dams or embankments? Nobody knows.
263 34/51-54 (YA3867): We simply quote A. Yusuf Ali in “The Meaning of the Holy Quran”: “- - - the verses 51 – 54 may be understood in many meanings: (1) The description applies to the position in final Hereafter, as compared with the position in this life. (2) It applies to the triumphant Islam in Madinah (=Medina*) and later, as compared with the position of persecuted Islam in its early days in Makkah (= Mecca*). (3) It applies to the reversal of the position of right and wrong at various phases of the world’s history, or (4) individual history.” Very clear and distinct text.
00k 35/14 (A14 – in 2008 edition A13): “If you invoke them (your “home made” gods*) they do not hear your call; and even if they could hear, they would not (be able to) respond to you. And (withal,) on the Day of Resurrection they will utterly disown your having associated them with Allah.” This is a contradiction one finds several places in the Quran: The gods made from wood or stones (and saints) naturally cannot hear or react to or answer you. But all the same they talk at the Day of Doom. For the saints to talk, is one thing, for wood and stone and metal it is quite another. Muslims must feel that themselves, because the most common “explanation” is not claims of miracles or something supernatural, but that it is meant symbolically - one of the famous last ditch defences against the unexplainable in Islam.
264 35/30 (A22 – comment omitted in 2008): “- - - He (Allah*) will grant them their just rewards, and give them (even) more out of His Bounty; for He is Oft-forgiving, Most ready to appreciate (service).” “The Message of the Quran” (2008) has it like this: “- - - for, verily. He is much-forgiving, ever-responding to gratitude.” What the literal meaning is according to the less “revised” 2006 edition, is (thanslated from Swedish): “He (Allah*) forgives much and He shows great gratitude.” May the different ways of “understanding” the text derive from the fact that it cannot be correct that the great god Allah can show gratitude towards mere humans?
265 36/1 (YA3943): “Ya Sin”. Many of the surahs start with some letters where it is impossible to understand any meaning. They sometimes are called the “abbreviated letters” and have been an enigma for Islam and Muslims for some 1400 years. In this chapter about not clear language in the Quran – in spite of Islam’s using the clear language in the book as an indication for that the Quran is made by Allah – we have mostly chosen not to quote these, but in this surah it is just possible that the letters can have a meaning - - - real or just wishful thinking. And real meaning or dreamt up meaning – nobody knows. In this case it is possible that it means “O man!” – if it is not just a coincidence. And Islam claims it in case is directed not to men generally, but to the special man: Muhammad.
But once more: Nobody knows.
266 36/28 (A17 – comment omitted in 2008): “And We (Allah*) sent not down against his People, after him (a man that came running in 36/20*) - - -.” The literal meaning of the Arab “hi i min ba’dihi” is “after him” (like said here) or after “this”. But does it refer to “after what he did in this situation” or – as it is told he went to heaven in 36/26 (2 verses earlier) – does it refer to “after his death”. Islam does not know and in 2008 the “revised” “The Message of the Quran” does not even want to inform its readers about the uncertainty any more.
267 36/32 (YA3976): “Not to them will they return - - -.” What does this mean? Nobody knows, but many are guessing. Who are “them”? And who are “they”? 1300 – 1400 years of guessing among Muslim scholars have brought no answer. This indicates that the Quran is blessed with a divinely language, divinely clear and divinely easy to understand?
268 36/38a (A21 – in 2008 edition A19): “And the sun runs his course for a period determined for him - - -.” But the Arab expression “li-mustakarrin laha” is unclear. The normal translation of this expression when the Quran is explained, is “And the sun runs to its place of rest - - -“ which is something very different (and which in surah 18 is a pond of murky water). Muslims frequently tells that here is meant the place of sundown, but the sun does not rest there. To mention a 3. translation in the 2008 edition of “The Message of the Quran” this passage is changed from the above mentioned normal translation, to “- - - it (the sun*) runs in an orbit (!!*) of its own - - -.” Except for the fact that the sun does not orbit Earth, they have managed to adjust the text to nearly modern astronomy – honesty or no honesty concerning the real meaning in the text. And to make the enigma of this clear and unmistakeable text crystal clear: If you change a few letters and read the above quoted Arab text like this: ”la mustaqarra laha” the meaning changes to “- - - it runs without having any rest - - -.” (One of the old authorities, ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud is reported to have quoted it like that – an essential fact it seems like, because that is less wrong than the text in the Quran. In the mentioned 2008 edition this is used as an excuse for making the Quran look more correct than the normal translation does. Honesty and intellectual integrity?) At least: Some clear text! And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language. Also see A. Yusuf Ali’s comment in 36/38b just below.
269 36/38a (YA3983): “And the sun runs its course for a periode determined (“mustaquarr”) for it - - -.” According to this comment, it is possible to read at lest 5 meanings:
All these meanings are correct according to the original Arab Quran – and its unfinished alphabet.
Clear? Or just very clear?
+270 36/46 (A27 – in 2008 edition A25): “No Sign comes to them (non-believers*) from among the Signs of their Lord (Allah*) - - -.” But another translation: “- - - - no message of their Sustainer’s (Allah’s) messages - - -.” Message is a wider word than sign. A sign can be a message, but a message can mean a lot more information than a sign. Which one did Allah (?) mean? And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
271 36/75: “They (different gods*) have not the power to help them (man?*): but they (whom?*) will be brought up (before Our (Allah’s) judgement Seat) as a troop (to be condemned.” To quote A. Yusuf Ali: “There is some difference of opinion among Commentators as to the exact meaning to be attached to this clause.” To be blunter: Islam just is guessing at what it can mean. Unclear language simply.
+272 36/77 (A47 – in 2008 edition A45): “Yet behold, he (man*) (stands forth) as an open adversary (to Allah?*).” But then we are back to the Arab words. Razi and Zamakhshari sets “khasim” = “natiq” and then you get this meaning: “- - - he (man’) shows himself endowed with the power to think and to argue.” Choose what you like.
273 37/1 (A1 and YA4031): “By (= Allah (!) is swearing by*) those who range themselves in ranks - - -.” But does these mean by the angles or by the Muslims? Islam does not know the answer – the language is not clear on this point. The same goes for: Are it the same ones who are mentioned in verses 2 and 3?
274 37/130 (A48 and YA4114A): “Peace and salutation to such as Elias!” But the name used in the Arab text is Il-Yasin, which can mean (the Jewish prophet) “Elias” (also written Elia or Elijah), or “Elias and the ones that followed after him” (according to Tabari and Zamakhshari). A detail – but a god also makes the details clear, and here it is unclear. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
275 38/1a (YA4146): “Sad”. Many of the surahs start with some letters where it is impossible to understand any meaning. They sometimes are called the “abbreviated letters” and have been an enigma for Islam and Muslims for some 1400 years. In this chapter about not clear language in the Quran – in spite of Islam’s using the clear language in the book as an indication for that the Quran is made by Allah – we have mostly chosen not to quote these, but in this surah it is just possible that the letters can have a meaning - - - real or just wishful thinking. And real meaning or dreamt up meaning – nobody knows. In this case it is possible that it is short for “Qisas” = stories – if it is not just a coincidence.
But once more: Nobody knows.
+276 38/1b (A3): “- - - by (= swearing*) the Quran, full of Admonition - - -.” But once again the presumed and claimed clear text uses an Arab word with multiple meanings: “dhikr” may mean “reminder”, remembrance”, “that which is remembered”, (or the reason why one remembers), “renown”, “fame”, “eminence”, “eminent traits”, etc. That means it has many meanings – f. ex. “- - - wherein is found all that you ought to bear in mind.” A wonderfully clear and distinct language, yes. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
277 38/7 (A9 – in 2008 edition A10): “We (non-Muslims*) never heard (the like) of this among the people of the latter days”. The literal meaning of the Arab text is (translated from Swedish): “- - - among (the followers of) the last (or latest*) belief - - -.” The Arab words “al-millati ‘l-akhiriah” – does it refer to the Christians or to any religion? – Islam does not know, as the Quran is not specific. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
278 38/13 (YA4161): “- - - the Companions of the Wood - - -“. Who were they? Another name for the people of Madyan?. A group within the Madyanites? Neighbours of the Madyanites? Or some other tribe or group? Unclear in the Quran.
+279 38/32 (A29): “Truly do I (Solomon*) love the love of good, with a view to the glory of my Lord (Allah according to the Quran*) - - -.” But the small Arab word “’an” is joking with any translator her, as it gives the expression “’an dhikri ‘llah” more possible meanings, f. ex. “- - - the thought about my Lord has installed in me great love to - - -.” Clearly a clear language that is used in this book. And these variants as usual also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
280 38/31 (YA4183): A. Yusuf Ali here tells straight out: “The passages about David and Solomon have been variously interpreted by the Commentators”. The language is so vague that various interpretations are possible. Is a god that vague when making his holy book – and the “mother book” to be revered in his own “home”? If not: Who made the Quran?
+281 38/32 (YA4185): “Truly do I (King David*) love the love of good, with a view to the glory of my Lord - - -“. But it is as linguistically correct to follow other Muslim scholars who say that is means: “Truly did I prefer the good things (of this world) to the remembrance of your Lord”.
In the case of the last interpretation A. Yusuf Ali indicates that the reason for David’s remorse may be that he had forgotten his Asr prayer (one of the 5 Muslims at least should pray each day). But how is that possible? – according to Hadiths it was Muhammad that made Allah decide on 5 prayers a day (Allah originally wanted 50). The rule of 5 prayers thus could not exist some 1600 years earlier (David was king 1007 – 971 BC, give or take maximum 10 years).
282 38/34 (A32): “And We (Allah*) did try Solomon: We placed on his throne a body (without life) - - -.” This story all Islam has hitherto been unable to explain in a good way. Most “explanations” are so far out that even Muslims skip them. And even the ones that remain are far out in the shadowy realms of speculations, claims of allegories, etc. No doubt: Allah uses a language impossible to misunderstand, and one that is crystal clear, in the Quran.
+283 39/7 (A11): “If ye (people*) reject Allah - - -.” Or: “- - - if you are ungrateful - - -“. Not exactly the same meaning?
284 39/18 (A22): “Those who listen to the Word, and follow the best in it - - -.” Does this mean those who follow the best in the Quran? – or those who listen to every religious proposition and chooses what his brain tells him must be the best (Razi)? It is not said any clearer.
285 39/23 (A27 – in 2008 edition A29): “He (Allah*) guides therewith (the Quran*) whom He pleases - - -.” But if you read the Arab text this interpretation is exactly as correct: “He guides - - - him that wills (to be guided)”. Exactly the 100% opposite meaning. Clear language?
286 39/65 (A63 – in 2008 the text is “corrected”): “But it has already been revealed to thee - - -.” Who is “thee” here? From the text it seems to be Muhammad. But Islam says the contents impossible can be meant for him – he would never join gods with Allah, like it is said in the next line. Is it then said to the Muslims or to others? Just pick your choice.
287 40/15 (All – in 2008 edition A12): “Raised high above ranks (or degrees), (He (Allah*) is) the Lord - - -.” Literal meaning: “He of the throne of the almightiness - - -.” Alternative meaning according to A. Yusuf Ali “The Glorious Quran”, note 4376 (Translated from Swedish): “He that raises his created beings to high esteem (in the realm of the spirits).” If you look through all the Quran, you find lots and lots of varieties made from unclear language.
288 40/55 (YA4429): “- - - Praises thy Lord in the evening and in the morning.” Quoting from “The Meaning of the Holy Quran”: “But the phrase ‘evening and morning’ also mean ‘at all times’”. Clear.
289 40/70 (YA4447): “- - - the Book - - -.” But does the sentence here refer to the Quran or to the so-called “Mother Book” in Allah’s heaven? Unclear.
+290 41/10 (YA4473): “- - - those who seek (sustenance)”. But even if the Arab word “sa’ilin” may mean “those who seek”, it also may mean “those who ask or enquires” - - - and then the meaning changes – like so often in the Quran.
291 41/25 (A): “And We (Allah*) have destined for them intimate companions (of like nature), who made alluring to them (negative things*) - - -.” But the Arab word “quarana/quarin” is better translated with: “We assigned to them (their own evil impulses as their) other self - - -.” There are a lot of “to the last commas” between the two meanings.
292 41/1-2 (YA4527): “Ha Mim” – “Ain Sin Qaf”. This surah has double set so-called ”Abbreviated Letters”. Nobody understands why – or what they mean. A clear book – easy to understand.
293 42/8 (A7): “- - - He (Allah*) admits whom He will to His Mercy - - -.” Or “- - - He guides whom He will to His Mercy - - -.” The Arab text “Allahu yahdi man yasha’ wa-yudillu man yasha” it open for both ways of understanding it – and the possibility is around 50-50 for each to be correct. A clear language in the Quran? – and the distinct clarity of a god’s speech?
294 42/40 (A41 – in 2008 edition A40): “The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree) - - -.” The literal meaning of the Arab words are “- - - is (or “may be”) an evil like it”. And the “modernized” 2008 edition of “The Message of the Quran” has exactly the same Arab words interpreted like this for the West and others: “But (remember that an attempt at) requiting evil may, too, become an evil - - -.” No comments.
295 43/12 (A9 – in 2008 edition A10): “(Allah*) has created pairs in all things - - -.” Or does it mean “- - - (He*) has created all things - - -“? (Baghawi, Zamakhshari, Baydawi, Ibn Kathir). Or that “- - - everything is created in opposites - - -“? (Razi). In the Quran one seems to have plenty of choice. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
296 43/38 (YA4641): “Would that the distance between you and me were the distance of East and West!” Well, actually the distance between east and west is zero – on one side of me is east an on the other is west. It is clear, though, that the Quran here means “a great distance” – and in a way it is using an expression that really is wrong. But the main thing here, is that the real meaning of the Arab text is: “- - - the distance of the two Easts”. One believes that this means the distance between the summer and the winter solastices – at least one believes so. A clear language in this book?
+297 43/44 (YA4647): “The (Quran) is indeed the Message (“dhikr”*) for thee (Muhammad*) and thy people - - -.” But the Arab word “dhikr” has many meanings, which results in at least 2 different meanings of this sentence. 1) “The Quran gives a Message of Truth and Guidance to the Messenger and his people”. 2) “The revelation of the Quran raises the rank of the messenger, and the people among whom, and in whose language, it was promulgated, making them worthy of remembrance in the world’s history for all time”. – in case a kind of confirming the old Arab Muslims'claims of being better than others (for one thing Muslims are better than non-Muslims, but for another Arab Muslims are (or at leasr were) better than other Muslims – this haughty point of view made much trouble through the centuries).
+298 43/61 (A48): And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgement) - - -.” Or does it mean “And, behold, this (divine writ (the Quran*)) is indeed a means that the Last Hour is bound to come - - -“ (Qatadah, Al-Hasan al Basri, Sa’id ibn Jubayr)? The text itself makes both possible. Clear and distinct text? And these variants - yes, they also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
+299 44/3 (YA4690): “During a blessed night - - -.” This may refer to a night in (the last third of) the month of Ramadan. Or it may not refer to any specified night at all. Clear speech.
300 44/10a (YA4695): “Then watch thou (Muhammad or Muslims) for the Day - - -.” But which day? Normally one would believe it referred to the Day of Doom, but Muslim scholars tell that the following verses – especially 44/12 – tells that this cannot be the case here (time was to pass after this day, they say). Unclear – nobody knows.
301 44/10b (YA4696): “- - - the Day that the sky will bring forth a kind of smoke (or mist) plainly visible.” Which day? – this is anybody’s guess. There was a periode of hunger in Mecca ca. 618 AD (this surah is believed to be from 614 – 618 AD) and another ca. 630 AD – both of which lasted for years, though, not for days. They – and especially the last one – at times were so severe that it could influence the sight of people. On the other hand the Quran clearly speaks about something concrete, not fictions. Nobody knows the real meaning.
+302 44/18 (A11 – in 2008 edition A10): “Restore to me (Moses*) the Servants of Allah - - -.” Or “Give in unto to me, O Allah’s’ bondmen - - -.” The first means that Pharaoh should set the Jews free, the second the Egyptians – also they Allah’s bondmen - should accept Allah and become good Muslims. Pretty big difference in the meanings. Clear language?
+303 45/21 (YA4759): “What! do those who seek after evil ways think that We (Allah*) shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous deeds - - -?” Here 3 different meanings are possible: 1) The evil ones are not in Allah’s sight like the righteous ones. 2) The evil ones and the good ones are not the same in this life and in the next life – the evil ones may flourish in this life, but the good ones in the next. 3) The real life of the righteous is not like the one of the evil ones – their spiritual life is different.
+304 46/9a (A10): “I (Muhammad*) am no bringer of newfangled doctrine - - -.” = I bring no new religion – the religion I bring is an old one. Or: “I am not the first of (Allah’s) apostles - - -“ = there have been apostles before me. Or “I am no innovator among the apostles - - -“ = not unlike the first alternative, but with added stress on the meaning that he does not change the old religion. Or: “I am but a human being like all of Allah’s message-bearers who preceded me” = quite different meaning from the other 3. Clear language in the old Arab scriptures? And these variants as so often before also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
305 46/9b (A11): “- - - nor do I (Muhammad*) know what will be done with me or with you (people*).” Ok – but in this world (Tabari, Al-Hasan al-Basri), or in both this and the next (Baydawi)? To guess is free. And also to guess is child’s game when the language is vague and there is no-one who knows the answer.
+306 48/4 (YA4824): “But those who are slain - - -“. But as the original Arab alphabet was incomplete, this word in Arab is possible to read in 2 ways: “qatalu” = “those who fight”, and “qatilu” = “those who are slain”. For us there is a difference between to be fighting and to be dead.
307 48/5 (YA4825): “Soon will He (Allah*) guide them and improve their condition - - -.” But who does “them” refer to? If it is the dead ones (see 48/4 just above), it here means a good life in the hereafter. If it is the ones fighting, it simply may refer to riches and money and loot and slaves and raping women. Pick your choice.
308 48/15 (A14): “- - - when ye (Muslims*) (are free to) march and take plunder (in war) - - -.” Or: “As soon as you (O Muslims!) are about to set forth on a war that promises booty - - -.” For some strange (?) reasons in none of our different translations are used the literal meaning of the Arab text (translated from Swedish): “- - - leaves on a raid to take plunder - - -.” May be sometimes the varieties in the understanding of the Quranic texts are because one does not want what really is said in the book. According to Islamic information or disinformation all Muhammad’s raids (we have the names of some 60 of the raids) were in self defence, and then it may as well be wise for “the Religion of Peace” to “mend” the text a little and make it more tasteful and correct? - instead of translating the Quran correctly and have to admit that Muhammad made "raids to take plunder" - not very holy jihads.
309 48/20 (A23 – in 2008 edition A22): “Allah has promised you many gains that ye shall acquire - - -.” Booty. A good and cheap way to get warriors. But does it here only talk about “gold and slaves and a few rapes” in this life (may be Khaybar in this case), or also in the next life like among others Ibn Abbas thought?
310 48/21 (A26 – in 2008 edition A25, but most omitted): “And other gains (there are) which are not within your power, but which Allah has compassed - - -.” Is this about the then future conquest of Mecca like many Muslim scholars believe? – or about some other future conquests? – or about the next life? Who knows? – but at least promises about a nice next life was (and is) cheap money to attract warriors and terrorists. May be the unclear language is convenient for Islamic leaders?
311 50/21 (YA4957): “- - - with each will be an (angel (?*)) to drive, and an (angel (?*)) to bear witness.” Several interpretations are possible: 1) It may refer to the 2 angels Islam claims are at your right and left side to note down good and bad deeds. 2) It may not be angels, but your evil deeds that “drive you like a task-master. 3) “His misused limbs and faculties will drive him to his doom, where his well-used limbs and faculties will witness for him” – to quote “The Meaning of the Holy Quran” exactly.
312 50/23: “And his Companion (a person at the Day of Doom*) will say - - -.” And once more a difficult Arab word: “qarinuhu” – literal meaning “his intimate companion”, or something like thatA.Yusuf Ali writes. But the part of it “qarin” may be read as “(one’s) other self” – and then this meaning emerges: “And one part of him will say - - -.” Literally another meaning.
313 51/1-4 (A1): “By the (Winds (?*)) that scatter broadcast; And those that lift and bear heavy weights; And those that slow with east and gentleness; And those that distribute and apportion by Command - - -.” Anyone – anyone – that can give real and reliable information about what is meant here, will be famous all over the Islamic world, at least among the religious scholars. Nobody knows or understands anything – except that perhaps wind is included – but many guess. An exemplary clear language used by Allah (?) here.
314 51/2 (YA4988): “- - - and those who lift and bear away heavy weights - - -“. What does it mean? – rain? – clouds? – or whatever? Nobody knows.
315 51/3 (YA4989): “- - - and those that flow with ease and gentleness - - -.” Meaning ??? It may be the wind – it is just guessing, but a reasonable guess. “Clear like ink and darkness.”
316 51/4 (YA4990): “- - - and those that distribute and apportion by command - - -“. See 51/3 just above – and 51/1-4 and 51/2 above.
317 51/35-36 (A23 – omitted in 2008 edition): Who is talking in these two verses? – is it the angels who continues from 51/34, or is it Allah that has that has started speaking? Islam guesses.
318 52/2 (YA5038): “- - - by a Decree Inscribed - - -“. Is this figurative or mysticism? That is anybody’s guess.
319 52/4 (YA5039): “- - - by a much-frequented Fane - - -“??? One guesses that this may mean the Kabah, or any mosque, or the Tabernacle, or the temple in Jerusalem - - - one guesses.
320 52/6 (A4): “And by the Ocean filled with Swell - - -.” But the Arab original “al-bahri ‘l-masdjur” means: “By the flaming sea”. If there is something you can never say about water, it is that is aflame – ok, at sundown and sunrise a bit of it may look slightly like aflame, but as Islam after 1400 years – with good reason as it just is a mirage or reflection – has not embraced that “answer”, it clearly is meant something else. But what? Again: Clear speech?
321 52/28 (A15 – in 2008 edition A16): “Truly, we (Muslims in Paradise*) did call unto Him (Allah*) from of old: truly it is He, the Beneficient, the merciful.” But here we run into the troubles with the old Arab consonant alphabet: Have we guessed the correct vowels? There are two Arab words: “annahu” (“that he is”), favoured by f. ex. the Medina school, and “innahu” (“he is” or “verily, he is”), favoured by f. ex. Kuhfa and Basrah. One gives the above quoted meaning, the other: “Verily we did invoke Him (alone) ere this: (and now He has shown us) that He alone is truly benign - - -.” The first case; it is he, the second; that he (alone) is benign. A small detail, but significant enough to make debates. Would not a god be clear also on details?
322 52/35 (YA5069): “Were they created of (“min”*) nothing - - -“. But the Arab preposition “min” has more meanings: “of”, “by”, “with”, “for”. Which give at least these extra interpretations: 2) “Were they created by nothing - - -“. 3) “Were they created for nothing (for no purpose) - - -“. Would a god use so indistinct a language?
+323 52/49 (YA5082): “- - - while thou (Muhammad or Muslims*) standest forth (in prayer*) - - -.” But the Arab word “taqumu” normally means “rising up from sleep” – a meaning Muslim commentators often interpretate here. Not a clear language.
324 53/1a (YA5085): “By the star - - -“. The Arab word “najm” has many meanings – it f. ex. may mean a star (any star) or it may mean the Pleiades (the “7-stars”). Also see 53/1b just below.
325 53/1b (A1): “By the star as it goes down - - -.” But the Arab word “najm” may also mean “unfolding” – something that appears gradually. And then another meaning appears: “Consider this unfolding (of Allah’s message (the Quran*)), as it comes down from the high!” The “down-to-earth” scholars mostly go for the first one, some others for the second one – wishful thinking may sometimes have strong influence.
326 53/1c (YA5085): “By the star as it goes down - - -.” But even if the Arab word “hawa” may mean “go down” or “set”, it also may mean “rise”. A pretty confusing language used by Allah – or by someone.
327 53/28 (A21): “But they (humans*) have no knowledge therein (the gender of angels, etc.*).” But the Arab pronoun “hi” perhaps do not point to the angels. Perhaps it point to Allah (M. Asad). In that case the sentence means: “But they have no knowledge whatever about Allah.” Clear speech?
328 54/1 (YA5128): “- - - the moon is cleft asunder.” This is not explained. It may refer to 1) A tale about once the moon appeared to be cleft asunder at the time of Muhammad (mentioned in the Hadiths). 2) A future sign of the approaching Say of Doom (the likely meaning). 3) Just a metaphorical statement. Rather unclear speech from a god?
+329 54/2 (YA5129): “This is (but) transient magic”. But the Arab word “mustamirr” may also mean “powerful” = “- - - powerful magic”. 2 meanings.
330 55/13 (A4): “Then which of the favours of your Lord (Allah*) do you deny?” Part of the question here does not appear in English, as “you” is the same in singular and plural. But Arab has both singular and plural and in addition dualis – when speaking to two. And in this case it is used dualis, so it is clear the question is asked to two. But which two? – after all it is a very essential question, and one should know who are the addressees. Islam guesses for the two groups, jinns and men, or may be men and women. But it only is guesswork as the text as so often in the Quran is far from clear.
331 55/16: Similar to 55/13 just above.
332 55/17: "(He (Allah*) is) Lord of the two Easts and Lord of the two Wests". Most cryptic to most Muslims - you even will meet Muslims saying this is a proof for that the Quran knew Earth is sperical!! Learned Muslims believe - believe - it indicates the eqvinoxes. Clear?
334 55/18: Similar to 55/13 above.
335 55/21: Similar to 55/13 above.
336 55/23: Similar to 55/13 above.
337 55/25: Similar to 55/13 above.
338 55/28: Similar to 55/13 above.
339 55/30: Similar to 55/13 above.
340 55/32: Similar to 55/13 above.
341 55/34: Similar to 55/13 above.
342 55/34: Similar to 55/13 above.
343 55/36: Similar to 55/13 above.
344 55/38: Similar to 55/13 above.
345 55/40: Similar to 55/13 above.
346 55/42: Similar to 55/13 above.
347 55/45: Similar to 55/13 above.
348 55/47: Similar to 55/13 above.
349 55/49: Similar to 55/13 above.
350 55/51: Similar to 55/13 above.
351 55/53: Similar to 55/13 above.
352 55/55: Similar to 55/13 above.
353 55/57: Similar to 55/13 above.
354 55/59: Similar to 55/13 above.
355 55/61: Similar to 55/13 above.
356 55/63: Similar to 55/13 above.
357 55/65: Similar to 55/13 above.
358 55/69: Similar to 55/13 above.
359 55/71: Similar to 55/13 above.
360 55/73: Similar to 55/13 above.
361 55/75: Similar to 55/13 above.
362 55/77: Similar to 55/13 above.
363 55/31 (A14): “O both ye worlds”. Men and jinns? Men and women? Or something else? Who knows? See 55/13 above. And these variants - as usual - also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
+364 55/37 (A18): “When the sky is rent asunder (at the Last Day*), and it becomes re like ointment”. But the Arab word “dihan” has more meanings (Tabari), and the sentence may end “- - - like (burning) oil”, or “- - - like freshly tanned leather”, or “- - - like red leather” (Zamakhshari), or “like the dregs of olive oil” (Raghib). A detail – even a small detail. But would a god leave even small details to guesswork? At least it is far from “clear language”.
365 55/44 (A21): “In the midst of boiling hot water will they wander round!” But once more: Arab words may have more than one meaning. “Boiling water” – “hamim” – also may mean f. ex. “burning despair” or “biting cold”. Allah’s (?) correct meaning may be f. ex. “- - - in the midst of burning despair will they wander to and fro”. Anyone can pick the meaning they prefer. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
366 55/46 (A22): “- - - there will be two Gardens (two Paradises*) - - -.” This is one of the mysterious mysteries in the clear-spoken Quran, and Islam has for 1400 years been guessing at what it means. F. ex. “a Paradise for their (good Muslims’*) doing good deeds, and another for their avoiding of sins” (Zamakhshari), or “a Paradise comprising both spiritual and physical joys, as if it were two Paradises” (Razi), or a wandering between the two gardens the Paradise is said to contain. Yes, it is a very clear and concise language you find in the Quran.
+367 55/48 (A23): “- - - Containing all kinds (of trees and delights) - - -.” But we are back to the concise and distinct Arab language: The word “fann” (plural “afnan”), has many meanings: “kind”, “mode”, “manner”, colour”, “hue”, “a wonderful thing” and more, and the plural form “afnan” may also mean “branch of a tree”, etc. which gives associations to a rich nature, cool shade, lots of different fruits, etc. Just go on guessing – this sentence has a number of possible meanings, so just guess for what kind of paradise you prefer. But remember that is only is guesswork. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
368 55/62 (A28): “And besides these two, there will be two other Gardens - - -.” Another conundrum for Islam: What for? There also should have been a “Why”, but that we have not run across. So “What for?” May be for the lower quality good Muslims – the ones who have obtained less merit? – or may be a symbol for “many gardens” – but the Quran only mentions these 2 + 2, and do not even hint about more ones. Or - - -? Your guess is as good as anybody’s because nobody knows. As indicated before: The Quran leads of clear and concise language giving only exact information.
+369 55/76 (YA5220): “- - - reclining on green Cushions - - -“. But the Arab word “rafraf” may also mean “meadows” = “- - - on green meadows”.
370 56/10 (A3 – omitted in 2008 edition): “And those Foremost (in Faith (this inclusion is added by A. Yusuf Ali and not part of the original text*)), will be the foremost (in the Hereafter (also added*))”. But the Arab word “as-sabiqun” – here translated by “the foremost” - has more meanings, which has lead to different interpretations of this sentence, and those interpretations (translated from Swedish): “all are god and can be accepted” (Ibn Kathir). It has to be admitted that also here the clear and concise language in the Quran is not concise - and unclear. And these variants also - as we have said many times - are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
371 56/28 (YA5238): “- - - among lote trees - - -.” This is in case a kind of trees, that flowers profusely. But the Arab word “talh” – may it instead mean banana tree (even though the normal Arab word for banana tree is “mawz”), like some Muslims understands this?
+372 56/37 (A15): “- - - equal in age - - -“. Your wives (and concubines and slave women?) will be resurrected as forever young virgins (it is nowhere said for how long) women equal of age to you, who also are resurrected as a young adult. But the Arab word that here is translated to “forever young”, “atrab” – plural “tirb” – also may mean “well-matched”. Also good – perhaps even better – but not the same meaning. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
+273 56/75a (A26): “Furthermore I call to witness the setting of the stars”. The Arab word “mawqi” – plural “mawaqi” – literally means “the place (or time) where (when) something falls down”. And the Arab word “nudjum” – here “stars” – also may mean something like “chapters”. “Ergo” and “voila”: A more pious translation: “I call to witness the coming-down in parts (of this Quran)”. Do not omit the possibility that wishful or “correct” thinking may influence interpretation. Here at least are two meanings – though the first one is the most accepted one.
374 56/75b (YA5258): “- - - the setting of the stars - - -.” Here are a number of possible mystic meanings in addition to the literal varieties (see 56/75a just above). Here are 3 of the possibilities: 1) A symbol for humility. 2) Figurative speech for the Day of Doom. 3) The bright things we like may disappear. “Clear speech”, yes.
375 57/8 (YA5283): “- - - your Covenant - - -“. Does this refer to the covenant that is the result of accepting Islam? – or to one of the covenants mentioned in the Bible or indicated other places in the Quran?
376 57/18 (A26): “For those who give in Charity - - -.” This is the standard interpretation if you use the version of the Quran named after “Asim from Kufa after Hafs” – or for short only “the way of reading after Hafs”. (There once were 14 accepted versions of the Quran – and more in reality. Over the centuries most of them has fallen into disuse, and today only 2 are in daily use: This one (which is the dominant) and “Nafi from Medina after Warsh” (used in large parts of Africa) – or just “the way of reading after Warsh”. Islam never uses the word “versions” for these 14 and more varieties, and mostly pretends they do not exist – they call them “ways of reading”; a hypocrite’s way of hiding the true reality – call it a lie, call it al-Taqiyya, call it a flight from a dangerous truth.) But depending on so miniscule details as the vocalization of the consonants that are transcribed to Latin letters like “sad” and “dal”, the meaning is transformed to: “Verily, as for the men and women who accept the truth as true” (Zamakhshari, Asad). A clear and concise language in the Quran? Any god had been much more exact to make sure that everybody could understand – and that everybody agreed to the meanings and did not split up in cults and sects - - - like has happened to Islam all through its history (it is said that around 3000 sects exist or have existed in Islam).
377 58/4 (YA5337): “- - - he should feed sixty indigent ones - - -“. We quote from “The Meaning of the Holy Quran”: “There is (still after 1400 years*) a great deal of learned argument among the jurists as to the precise requirements of Cannon (Sharia*) Law under the term “feeding” the indigent.” Would a god use so unclear speech that even experts never are able to understand what he really means even about such presumably easy to explain problems like this?
378 58/11 (A18): “When ye are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and) make room - - -.” In throngs around Muhammad? – in the mosques? – in life? Muslims tend to believe it refers to alternative 2 – but it is only a guess. Clear speech?
+379 59/21: “Had We (Allah*) sent down this Quran on a mountain - - -“ (= to the mountain). But the Arab text permits you to change one of the words – and get another meaning: “Had We sent down this Quran from on high upon a mountain - - -.” Here it means sent to someone – man? – from a place high on a mountain. Just make a choice.
00l 59/23 (YA5402): Here we just want to quote “The Meaning of the Holy Quran”: “How can a translator reproduce the sublimity and the comprehensiveness of the magnificent Arabic words, which means so mush in a single symbol?” But this is just another and glorified way of saying: “How can one translate from a language where the words are so little precise and so vague in meaning, that it is difficult to know what is really meant”.
380 61/2 (A1): “O ye who believe! Why say ye that which ye do not?” Is this to Muslims who left Muhammad before the battle of Uhud? – or to hypocrites? – or to others? Your guess is as good as anybody else’s. Clear language.
381 61/6 (A7 – omitted and the text changed in 2008 edition): “But when he came to them with Clear Signs - - -.” Who is this “he”? In verse 61/6 the book tells about Jesus, and the natural interpretation is “he” = Jesus, but it is not clearly said. An alternative according to Islam, is “he” = Muhammad (as they claim he had clear signs). Both options are possible (but typical for the less honest 2008 edition of “The Message of the Quran”, they only mention the Muhammad alternative – “good” arguments are more essential than moral integrity and honesty also in religion.
382 61/13 (A13): “- - - help from Allah and a speedy victory.” Is this pep-talk? (No Muslim will agree). Is it hope for capturing Mecca? – this was said 4 – 5 years earlier. Is it referring to one or more of the raids the Muslims had started to make a few years before? – or raids to come? Or a general hope for the future? Make your guess – nobody knows unless they judge from wishful thinking or “correct” meanings, as the book says nothing. Very clear speech.
+283 62/4 (A3): “Such is the bounty of Allah, which He bestows on whom He will - - -.” Or: “He grants it to anyone who is willing (to receive it).” These two interpretations are equivalent compared to the Arab text. Clear speech? – the meanings so definitely are different. And these variants naturally also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
+384 64/11 (A9): “- - - if anyone believes in Allah, (Allah) guides his heart (aright) - - -.” Or something like “- - - the belief in the heart of the believer, steers him towards Allah - - -.” Both are possible from the Arab clear text.
385 66/12 (A26): “- - - We (Allah*) breathed into (her (Mary’s*) body) Our spirit - - -.” Does this refer to how Jesus was created? – or does it refer to the normal transfer of spirit that according to Islam makes a foetus to a human, and which according to Islam happens 5 months before the baby is born? Nobody knows – and this honestly spiritually is an essential question in just this case. But the text is not clearer than this.
386 67/5 (A5 – omitted in 2008 edition): “We (Allah*) have, (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven (out of the 7 the Quran frequently tells about, and which Muhammad even visited*) with lamps (stars*), and We have made such (lamps) (as) missiles to drive away the Evil Ones - - -.” But the disagreement concerns: Is it the stones in the shooting stars that chase jinns, etc. away? – the Arab word “rudjum” – plural of “radjm” means “throwing of stones” or “stoning” (one name for the Devil f. ex. is “ar-radjim” = “the stoned one”). Or is it the fire? – the Quran really mention the fire. Once more: Start guessing. (The 2008 edition of “The Message of the Quran” even has got a new one – at least new to us: The Quran is not talking about stars used like shooting stars, but used as objects for divination by the bad astrologers. They need a lot of easy words to reach that conclusion, but so what? – as we have indicated before: Sometimes the religion is more essential than honesty and intellectual integrity. Though we have touched this theme before, we ask again: What does it indicate that a religion has to resort to cheating and dishonesty? Normally such methods mean that one does not have real arguments. In religion there also is the serious fact: If there is a next life, and if a religion needs to base its life on lies – even only partly – that is a strong indication for that that religion is not based on the truth. And in that case its believers will not wake up in any Paradise.)
387 68/1 (YA5592): “Nun”. This is one of the so-called “abbreviated letters” that you find at the top of 29 of the surahs – and which no-one understands anything about. They are a total enigma. In a few cases they can be intepretated as words – by design or by coincidence also nobody knows. This is one of those cases as the Arab letter that is pronounced “nun” also may mean a fish or an ink holder. Nobody knows what this in case means, but you may find a lot of speculation. As said many times in this chapter: Allah or someone else really has used a language that is clear and easy to understand in this book.
388 68/13 (A8): “Violent (and cruel) – with all that, base-born (“zanim”) - - -.” The trouble is that nobody knows what the Arab word “zanim” means – it seems to be constructed by the maker of the Quran. There have been many guesses. Zamakhshari, Razi, and others argues for that it may mean “born out of wedlock”. Clear language?
389 68/14 (YA5602): “- - -because he possesses wealth and (numerous) sons”. But whom do this “because he” point to? – the violent and cruel one in 68/14 (see just above) or the despicable liar in 68/10? Unclear.
390 68/41: “Or have they (“infidels”*) some ‘partners’ (in Godhead)?” Zamakzhari and Razi thinks “partners” refer to wise humans (“uqala”) of the same belief. Ibn Kathir and others that it refers “lower” deities. The Quran is unclear on this point.
391 69/17 (A11): “And the angels will be on its sides, and eight will, the Day (of Doom*) bear the throne of thy lord (Allah*) above them.” But if Allah is something diffuse that is everywhere, how can he use a throne? – and how can just 8 angles carry it if he is that huge? Islam still does not know. On the other hand: You can be absolutely sure the Muslims to whom this was told originally – naïve and uneducated and wanting to believe – believed this was an exact picture. Clear language?
392 69/36 (A20): “Nor hath he (the sinner in Hell*) any food except the corruption from the washing of wounds (‘ghislin’)”. The problem is that once more there is an Arab word nobody understands, or have ever understood; “ghislin”. What meaning an interpreter puts into that word, is just guesswork about something detestable. Very clear language!
+393 70/28 (YA5693): “For their Lord’s displeasure is the opposite of Peace and Tranquillity”. But this Arab text may also instead mean “And their Lord’s displeasure is one against which there is no security". Once more different meanings in the glorified language – or alphabet – of old Arabia.
394 71/7 (YA5710): “- - - (non-Muslims*) cover themselves up with their garments - - -.” But is it literally or figuratively meant here? – vanities, evil habits, customs, traditions, and their ephemeral interests and standards? It is anybody’s guess.
395 71/13 (YA5713A): “- - - place - - - your hope for kindness and long-suffering in Allah.” But another meaning of the same original Arab text is: “- - - that ye fear Allah’s message”. Clear?
396 72/8 (A6): “And we pried into the secrets of heaven: but found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires (shooting stars*)” The majority of Muslims thinks this refers to jinns trying to spy on Heaven. But then there are the other possible explanations according to Muslims: That it refers to the Jews and their “haughty” belief in security and special treatments because the belief that they were “Yahweh’s chosen people” (why do the Quran – and Muslims – never mention that the real reason for this belief was the fact that they believed they had a covenant with Yahweh? – a covenant mistreated and broken, but never ended.) Or to the Jews’ special interest for astrology – a special interest not known to anyone but Muslims. This is one more place where multiple meanings may have come into existence more from wishful slander-like thinking, than from real linguistic problems - - - but they are as real as long as Muslims believe in them.
397 73/1 (YA5754): “O thou (Muhammad?*) folded in garments!” But the Arab word “muzzammil” may also give the meaning: “- - - properly dressed for prayer”, and “- - - folded in a sheet”. There also is possible to find mysticism here - - - and finally “Muzzammil” was a name used for Muhammad (= "O thou, Muhammad!"). Chose what you think is the most likely meaning Allah intended, but seems to have been unable to express clearly.
398 74/1 (A1): “O Thou wrapped up (in a mantle)!” But the Arab expression “muddaththir” does not mean “wrapped up in a mantle”. It simply means “wrapped up” (in something). So again there are speculations because of unclear language. The main competing interpretation is: “O Thou (in solitude – or loneliness) enfolded!” Any of them can be correct. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
399 74/4 (A2): “And thy (Muhammad*) garments keep free from stain!” (literally correct: “- - - thy garments purify!”) But is this meant literally or not? Razi, Zamakhshari and many others think it is figuratively meant – some thing like “- - - purify thy heart from all that is blameworthy”. Your choice is free.
+400 74/11 (A5): “Leave Me (Allah*) alone, (to deal) with the (creature) whom I created (bare) and alone!” Or: “- - - whom I alone created.” Both meanings are correct, depending only on whether you think the word alone – “wahid” in Arab – refers to Allah or to what he did create (man). And these variants naturally also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
401 74/30 (A15): “Over it are Nineteen.” Nineteen what? Nobody knows!! One guesses for angels or powers or guards or whatever. But nobody knows. A clear language in the Quran? – impossible not to understand? Impossible to misunderstand?
402 76/5 (A7): “As the Righteous, they shall drink a Cup (of Wine (wine in Paradise is not intoxicating, according to the Quran*)) mixed with kafur - - -.” And then what is “kafur”? Nobody knows simply. If you open a lexicon you will find different answers – mostly sweet parts of plants, but also camphor – but nothing is really sure, not to mention which of the proposals is the correct one in the Quran. Clearly unclear language.
+403 76/8 (A11 – in 2008 edition A10): “And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive - - -.” Or: “- - - and who give food – however great be their own want for it – unto the needy, the orphan, and the captive - - -.” The Arab expression “ala hubbihi” may mean both. Clear and unmistakeable?
404 76/21 (A20): “- - - their (Muslims in Paradise*) Lord (Allah*) will give them to drink of a Wine Pure and Holy”. But some Muslims mean that this part of the sentence which has been about material things, here has changed to spiritual, and it means “purifying their inner selves - - -.” It is possible to defend such an interpretation – which once more underlines how clear and distinct language Allah (?) has used in the book.
405 77/1a (A1): “By the (Winds) sent forth one after another - - -.” Or is the meaning in reality: “Consider (or “by”*) these (messages) sent forth in waves - - -“? Islam is guessing amid such clear words. Also see 77/1a just below.
+406 77/1b (YA5864): “By the (Winds) sent forth one after another - - -.” See 77/1a just above. But it may also perhaps instead mean: “By the angels sent forth - - -“ or: “By the Messengers sent forth.”
+407 77/33 (A12): “- - - As if there were (a string of) yellow camels (marching swiftly).” But it is quite unclear what the Arab word “djimalat” really means, though most interpretators believe it means camels. The trouble is that it also can mean a twisted rope or a thick rope, and you get interpretations like this: “- - - like giant fiery ropes.” – or (translated from Swedish): “- - - like it was yellow twisted ropes.” - or even (also translated from Swedish): “- - - in a continuous stream) like a rope twisted from fire.” A most wonderful clear and distinct language in this book, yes. And these variants also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
408 78/19 (A10): “And the heavens (plural and wrong*) shall be opened as if they were doors.” But is this meant literally or figuratively? – in the last case you get: “The heavens’ mysteries will be opened to man’s understanding.” There is quite a difference between these two. The language in the Quran sometimes seems “clear as ink”.
409 78/23 (A12): “They (sinners*) will dwell therein (Hell*) for ages.” This is a not too well known, but deep enigma in Islam: The Quran is unclear about if you are to stay in Hell forever, or only for a limited time – a kind of Purgatory simply. Many places the book says clearly and unmistakeably that it is forever. Other places it uses words that indicate a limited time – perhaps a long time, but a limited time, or that Allah can do something at least for Muslims in Hell (see also f. ex. 6/128). In this case the Arab word that is used, “huqb” or “hiqbah” (remember that some of the letters have to be guessed) have vague meanings as for how long time, but definitely not “for ever”. Also some Hadiths clearly indicate that Hell may be is not for ever. Clear?
+410 79/1-5a (A1-3 – YA5916-5919): This is one of the really (un)clear ones in the Quran: “By (= swearing by*) the (angles) who tear out (the souls of the wicked) with violence; by those who gently draw out (the souls of the blessed); and by those who glide along (on errands of mercy), then press forward as in a race, then arrange to do (the command of their Lord (Allah*) - - -.” Then compare it to this – a translation of exactly the same Arab original text: “Consider those (stars) that rise only to set, and move (in their orbits (!!)) with steady motion, and float (through space) with floating serene, and yet overtake (one another) with swift overtaking, and thus they fulfil the (Creator’s (Allah’s*)) behest!” Is it from the same book? Or something from the aborigines in Australia? Also note all that is added in ( ) to arrive at the meanings one wishes – that is permitted in Islam (NB: Such inclusions far from always are “leading one by the nose” – it often is correct additional explanations). But anyone who believe in the claim about the very clear language used in the Quran, either has no – zero – knowledge about it, or is very naïve, or goes by wishful thinking only, is lead by his nose - - - or needs a “head shrink”. Sorry, but that is how it is.
411 79/1-5b (YA5917) (continued from 79/1-5a): “There is much difference of opinion among the commentators as to the five things or beings mentioned in these verses.” Clear language?
412 79/14 (A6 – omitted in 2008): “- - - they (the dead ones*) will be in the (full) awakening (to Judgement).” This is the most usual meaning of the Arab expression “bi-‘s-sahirah”. Many of the first generations of Muslims explained it like this: “- - - they will be on the surface of the earth (= raised from the graves*)” (Ibn Kathir). Clear to you?
413 79/20 (YA5931): “Then did (Moses) show him (Pharaoh*) the Great Sign”. But nobody knows what the book refers to. The Quran (17/101) refers to 9 signs (the Bible 11 – the staff + 10 plagues), but none of them are indicated to be the Great Sign – they are on not too different level (in the Bible it would have been the last, terrible plague, but that one is not mentioned in the Quran). More guesswork among Muslim scholars.
414 80/17 (A5): “Woe to man! What hath made him reject Allah?” But this is not a good translation, as the verb used here – “qutila” – means “to kill”. Even if one reads that verb figuratively, the translation is not good. Another is: “(But all too often) man destroys himself: how stubbornly does he deny the truth!” Yet another (translated from Swedish): “(But) by his (man’s*) thorough denial of the truth, man call down (Allah’s) doom and excludes himself from His goodness.” And even yet another (also translated from Swedish): “Would that man will be doomed (by Allah) for his denial!” A clear language in the Quran? Clearly no.
+415 82/1 (YA5997): “When the sky is cleft asunder - - -.” A literal reference to the Day of Doom? – or metaphorically to your death? – or as metaphorically to “the awakening of the Inner Soul”. Once more: Nobody knows.
416 83/18 (YA6019): “- - - Illiyin - - -.” Literally this word means “the High Place”, but what does it mean here? One guess is “The Place where is kept the Register of the Righteous”. But it only is an “educated guess”. (And why does an omniscient god need a register? - at least he has a PC? - - - if his brain is not good enough.)
417 83/25-26 (A8): “Their (the Muslims in Paradise*) thirst will be slacked with Pure Wine sealed; the seal thereof will be musk - - -.” But once again: An Arab word - “kithamuhu” - with more than one meaning. Which clearly means that there may be more meanings to the original Arab text. F. ex.: “They will be given a drink whereon the seal (of Allah) will have been set.” Then: Is Allah’s or Muhammad’s real and exact meaning clear to you? And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language.
418 85/3 (YA6054): “By the one who witness - - -“. Nobody understands exactly who – Muhammad and the prophets (3/81), Allah (3/81 and 10/61), the recording angels (50/21), the sinners own misused limbs (24/24), the sinner’s record of deeds (17/14), or the sinner himself (17/14)? There is quite a choice in this exact language.
419 86/1 (A1): “By (indicating an oath*) the sky and the Night-Visitant (therein) - - -.” But the Arab word “at-tariq” (= “that which comes in the night”), derived from the verb “taraqa”, is a most vague one. Muslim scholars have interpretated it also like “the morning star”, “the stars”, “heavenly solace”, “the sudden, intuitive enlightenment”. If you search, you may find more. Yes, a clear and distinct language.
420 86/3 (YA6068): “- - - the Star of piercing brightness - - “. Here Islam is guessing again. The Morning Star? Saturn? Sirius? The Pleiades? Shooting stars? It is not possible to know what the Quran means here.
+421 88/17 (A5): “Do they (the non-Muslims*) not look at the Camels, how they are made?” But the Arab word for camel – “ibil” – also means “clouds”. Then you get the meaning from exactly the same text and an absolutely correct interpretation: “Do, then, they (who deny resurrection) never gaze at the clouds pregnant with water, (and observe) how they are created?” Well, sometimes to study the Quran is funny.
422 89/1 (A1): “By (indicating an oath*) the break of Day”. But the Arab word “fajr” – does it only mean the literal daybreak? Hardly. And thus Muslims have found at least one more meaning: It “apparently symbolizes man’s spiritual awakening - - -.” Pick you choice.
423 89/2 (A1): “By (indicating an oath*) the Nights twice five (= 10*)”. Does this refer to the ten last days of the lunar month Ramadan when Muhammad is said to have had his first revelation? – or the ten first days of the lunar month “dhu ‘l-hidjejah” when the hajj rituals take place? Or perhaps something else? Islam does not know. But they state very strongly that the language of the Quran is so distinct and clear, that the very clarity is a proof for that it is made by a god. In that case: What do all the hundreds of unclear points in the book prove?
424 89/3 (A2): “By (indicating an oath*) the Even and the odd (contrasted) - - -“: Or another translation: “Consider the multiple and the One!” – already some difference. Literal meaning: “The even and the odd” or “the one” – both are possible. But the main thing is that Muslims and Islam do not know what it is talking about. They guess for this or that, but it is just educated guesswork – sometimes rather “elevated”. Is that “clear talk”?
425 89/4 (A3): “And by the Night when it passeth away - - -.” Is this talk about the literal night or the enlightenment from spiritual “darkness”? Islam does not know – but prefer the last interpretation as an educated guess. But does all this guesswork indicate a clear and distinct language in the Quran? There is only one possible answer: No. What is worse: All Muslim scholars have to know this, as it is very easy to see for any intelligent person with some knowledge about the Quran, that many, many points are unclear (and absolutely all Muslim scholars know that the real meaning of many, many points in the book are debated) And all the same they tell their “flocks” and the world that the language in the Quran is clear, exact, easy to understand and impossible to misunderstand. Honesty in religion? – and what if all these irregularities add up to that Islam is a made up religion (all the mistakes, etc. makes it 100% clear that it at least is not made by any omniscient god) and all the Muslims have been cheated or threatened and thus prevented from looking for if there exist a real religion and one or more real god(s)? The misled followers in case are in for a rude waking up in the possible next life. And the misleaders? Well, at least many of them have had a good life here on Earth.
+426 89/7 (YA6114): “- - - Iram - - -“. Is this the name of a city? – the capital of Ad in case? Or is it the name of a man – an old hero (from Ad?)? There is a difference between a city and a man.
427 90/1-2 (A1): “I (Allah?*) do call to witness this City (Mecca?*) – and thou (Muhammad?*) art a freeman of this City - - -.” This is the most common interpretation according to Muslims. But it also is possible to read it like this: “I (Allah or Muhammad*) call to witness this land (may be all the Earth*) in which thou (Muslims or man) art free to dwell - - -“. A clear and distinct language in the Quran?
428 91/1-2 (A1): “By (indicating an oath*) the Sun and his (glorious) splendour; By the Moon as she follows him - - -.” This looks ok, as the literal meaning of the Arab expression is “- - - as it follows it - - -.” But then we are back to “interpretations”. “The Message of the Quran”, 2008, has it like this: “- - - and the moon as it reflects the sun!” Scientifically correct!! And a proof for Allah as Muhammad could not know this!!! But is it permitted to ask questions about honesty in religion, personal integrity, wishful thinking, and a few other impolite questions? At least it is a good demonstration of the methods top Muslim scholars use – and it is certified by the top Muslim Al-Azhar University in Cairo. (The Arab word normally used to tell ligh is reflected, is nowhere used in the Quran.) Also see 89/4 above.
429 91/15 (A10): “And for Him (Allah*) is no fear for its consequences.” But does this verse really talk about Allah? Another interpretation goes like this: “- - - for none (of the ones that slaughtered the camel) had any fear of what might befall them.” Not exactly the same meaning from the same clear (?) original Arab text. And these variants of course also are in the Arab text, as the relevant word(s) there has/have more than one meaning. Allah (?) really uses a clear language. A. Yusuf Ali (YA6158) means that “him” may refer to Allah, or to the claimed prophet Salih, or to the man who slaughtered the camel mentioned in 91/12. Who knows what is the correct meaning of the Quran here?
+420 92/11 (A6): “Nor will his (a sinner’s*) wealth profit him when he falls head along (into the Pit).” A statement. Or: “- - - what will his wealth avail him when he goes down (to his grave)?” A question - one of the minor consequences – but does a god make even small things unclear?
431 93/6 (A3): “Did He (Allah*) not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter (and care)?” Who is “thee” in this sentence? – Muhammad, who lost his parents early? – or man who found Islam? – or - - -? Impossible to say. Clear speech?
432 95/7 (YA6201): “Then what can after this, contradict thee - - -“. This is one of the not few places in the Quran where it is unclear whether “thee” or similar words refer to Muhammad or to Muslims generally. This point a number of places is unclear in the Quran.
433 96/17 (A9): “Then, let him call (for help) to his council (of comrades) - - -.” Does this refer to a special council? – f. ex. the “dar an-nadwah” (the council of the elders in Mecca)? Or is this a better interpretation: “- - - let him summon (to his aid) the counsels of his own (spurious) wisdom.”? It is no use asking Islam – one does not know, as the text is not clear on this point either.
434 97/1 (YA6217): “- - - the Night of Power”. This is something mystic in Islam. It may be one of the nights late in the month Ramadan (23., 25. or 27. are often mentioned), or it may be another night – or it may be pure mysticism.
435 98/1-2 (A2): “Those who rejected the (Truth), among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians - as Muhammad did not know also the Zoroastrians in a way had one god and a book*) and among the Polytheists, where not going to depart (from their ways) until there should come to them Clear Evidence – a messenger from Allah - - -.” But this collided with facts. Then finally Ibn Taymiyyah found another way of understanding it: “- - - they were not abandoned (by Allah’) until - - -.” Would an omniscient god use such an unclear language?
436 100/2: “By the (Steeds) that runs (into the midst of the foe*) - - -.” The Arab word “al-‘adiyat” no doubt means a war-horse or charger. But is the meaning literal? Or is the charges symbol for the good Muslim fighting for Muhammad/Allah? Or is it symbol “beyond any doubt” for “the erring human soul or self”? Muslim scholars find the text unclear, and are still debating – after 1400 years.
+437 103/1 (YA6262): “By (the token of) time (through the Ages) - - -.” But then we are back to the unclear old Arab alphabet – this Arab word “al ‘Asr” instead may mean “- - - through the afternoon”. A bit of a reduction of the time aspect.
+438 107/1 (YA6281): “Seest thou (Muhammad or Muslims*) one who denies the Judgement (“din”*) (to come)?” But the Arab word “din” may also give this meaning: “Seest thou one who denies faith (or religion*)?”
+439 113/1 (YA6302): “- - - the Lord of the Dawn - - -“. At least 3 meanings according to Islamic scholars: 1) The daybreak. 2) The (possible) escape from religious ignorance. 3) Non-existence contra existence.
In addition there are the 29 enigmatic and totally not understandable “abbreviated letters”. We have commented 3 – 4 of them, which means there at least are 25 more unclear points in the Quran = at least 464 points where Muslim scholars disagree what things mean, or simply do not understand – in a book where the elegance and clearness of the language is the only “real” proof for that it is made by a god.
In reality there are many more. If you go to the scholars – and some lawyers – that debate the fine points in the book, you will find that there are many, many more points that are unclear in the Quran.
NB: If you find any mistakes anywhere, please inform us. If it is a real mistake, it will be corrected.
NB, NB, NB:
1. Read first the 2 small chapters "Some Essentials for how the Quran is to be read and understood" (VII-10-1) and "The Quran is to be understood literally if nothing else is indicated" (VII-10-2).
2. http://www.1000mistakes.com is blocked by many Muslim authorities. To debate with persons in such areas, cut and paste what you want from the pages and send it under titles different from http://www.1000mistakes.com.
3. http://www.1000mistakes.com is one of 9 pages which Muslim organisetions warned especially against in 2008 and 2009 - it could make especially procelytes lose their belief in Islam; correct and "down-to-the-earth" information works. In this connection it is worth noting that in the "warning" http://www.1000mistakes.com was one of 3 which neither was accused of bringing wrong facts, nor of being a hate page.
4. Comment 141 (to verse 6/149) in “The Message of the Quran” (see point 5) explains (translated from Swedish) about Allah's claimed omniscience vs. man's claimed free will:
“With other words: The real connection between Allah’s knowledge about the future (and consequently about the unavoidable in what is to happen in the future*) on one side and man’s relatively (!!*) free will on the other – two statements that seems to contradict each other – lies outside what is possible for humans to understand, but as both statement are made from Allah (in the Quran*) both must be true”. Unbelievable. Blind belief is the only correct and intelligent way of life, even in the face of the utterly impossible!!
5. And an afterthought: In the book “The Message of the Quran”, certified by Al-Azhar Al-Sharif Islamic Research Academy in Cairo (one of the 2-3 top universities in the Muslim world on such subjects) in a letter dated 27. Dec. 1998, it is admitted rather reluctantly that there are no proofs for Allah, and that it is not possible to prove him. An additonal point here is that if there is no proof for Allah and impossible to prove him, automatically there also is no proof for, and impossible to prove Muhammad's claimed connection to a god. And if there is no Allah and/or no connection between Muhammad and a god, what then is Muhammad? - and what than is Islam? - a made up, invalid religion?
6. Further: All the mistakes, contradictions, etc. in that book prove 100% that the Quran is not made by an omniscient god - no god makes such and so many mistakes, etc. If then Islam is a made up religion, what then about all the Muslims who have been prohibitted from looking for a real religion (if such one exists)? And where will they in case wake up after living and practising such an inhuman war religion like Islam is according to the Quran (and to Hadiths), if there is a second life somewhere? - Hell or Paradise?
7. NB and PS: No matter how sure you are about something, if it is not proved, it is not knowledge, only belief or strong belief, and can be wrong. Only what is proved or possible to prove is knowledge.
(As http://www.1000mistakes.com is blocked in many Muslim areas - which shows they are afraid of it and lack arguments (if they had real arguments for http://www.1000mistakes.com is wrong, blocking was unneccessary) - "cut and paste" whatever you want from it and send if you want to inform or to debate there. Remember to omit the name http://www.1000mistakes.com).
PS: If we are blocked centrally - f. ex. by spam (there is too much at times already from unfriendly sources) we will reopen with new address somewhere else, and announce the new address om f. ex. http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/islam. Also if your comments to us do not reach us, any comments posted on a thread with "1000 mistakes" in the title on that forum will be read by us - it is a big international debate page. We cannot answer on that page, though, as it is not safe enough - we have had death threaths (better to kill an opponent, than to check if a religion brainwashed into you only on the word of a man who even practised lies (f. ex. "war is deceit") and advocated breaking even your oaths if that gave a better result, is true ot made up - old beliefs are hard to question).
Please inform all and everybody and all relevant fora - f. ex. Internet pages for debate or information - about the address http://www.1000mistakes.com. It is information that is urgently needed by many, not least by Muslims. No god made a book with so many mistakes and other wrongs - and if the Quran and Islam are made up by humans or dark forces, where are the followers of this inhumanly dark and brutal war religion heading for in a possible next life?