A Defending Crusader…

The best defense is to be good and offensive…or something like that.

More on the theme

Posted by Godefroi on July 13, 2007

Mumin Salih has some interesting comments about the Qur’an today at Islam Watch

He starts:

In the past I used to read the Quran fairly regularly, but I do not do it anymore. The Quran is not an interesting, or an easy book to read or understand. Muslims rely on repetition to help them to recite and to familiarize themselves with its unfamiliar words. Because the Arabic language happened to be an area of special interest to me, I rarely needed to read the Quran in English. However, referring to the English translations is unavoidable when debating with non Arab Muslims. I am afraid the degree of inaccuracies found in the various English translations is too conspicuous to go unnoticed. We are not talking about mistakes in translations. It is about the deliberate efforts made by the translators to change the meaning of the verses with the intention of presenting the Quran in an acceptable form to the western readers.

I have seen this assertion several times in my reading – that is, that the translators of the Qur’an (particularly Yusuf Ali) left out or glossed over the ugly parts in order to make it more appetizing to infidels (I can’t cite any right now…I’ll look).  Regarding the rewards for martyrdom (which is why I’m putting this here), he has this tidbit:

Example one from surat Al Nabaa (Q-78)

Q. 78: 33 Companions of equal age

Arabic: Kawa’eba atraba

In this Surat, the Quran describes the pleasures to be expected in paradise with its gardens, grapes, drinks and women. In the above verse, the Quran describes to the Muslims (men of course) the kind of women they might expect to enjoy. The Arabic word ‘Kawa’eba‘ means young virgin women whose breasts are firm and well shaped, as opposed to the sagging breasts of older women. The word ‘atraba’ means ‘of equal age’. Therefore an appropriate translation would be: ‘Young women whose breasts are firm and well shaped and all of equal age’. The translator decided to skip completely the erotic description of the women’s breasts; instead used the word companions, which can hardly mean women at all!

As a side note, these wonderful women that martyrs are to be rewarded with are often referred to as houri.  Interestingly, new scholarship has the word houri (from Open Encyclopedia):

actually not an Arabic, but an Syro-Aramaic word and that it does not mean “virgin of paradise” at all but rather “white raisins” or “juicy fruits”.

Someone should publicize this to all the would-be shahid in Gaza, Iraq, Pakistan, etc.  It would certainly make killing oneself for Allah less attractive to the hormonally suppressed young males there.

Anyway, the article is recommended reading.

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