Is Kanzul Iman of Maulwi Ahmad Rida Khan al-Barelwi reliable?

By Mawlana Zameelur Rahman

Question

(1)My question is that can we read Quran translation by AHMED RAZA KHAN? (2) As a hanafi (deobandi) can we say him Aalim, Mujadid etc? or just curse him for his Bida’ah?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh.

A Muslim should always maintain lofty character, and not be abusive of others. Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

ليس المؤمن بالطعان ولا اللعان ولا الفاحش ولا البذيء

“A believer is neither abusive, nor profane, nor offensive, nor ill-mannered.” (Jāmi‘ at-Tirmidhī)[1]

As such, one should not curse the author of the translation in reference.

At the same time, it is important for Muslims to adopt caution with respect to their sources of religious instruction. Imām Muhammad ibn Sīrin (d. 110 H), the great Tābi‘ī, said:

إن هذا العلم دين فانظروا عمن تأخذون دينكم 

“Verily, this knowledge is religion, so be mindful from whom you take your religion.”

With this in mind, we advise caution in reading this translation of the Qur’an. The translation, called Kanzul Imān, contains many errors. We will list a few examples of these errors here:

  • Part of verse 2:259 of the Qur’an is translated as:

اور اپنے گدھے كو دیکھ جس كى ہڈیاں تك سلامت نہ رہیں

“And look at your donkey, which has not been preserved right until the bones.”[2]

This interpretation contradicts the explanation of the verse recorded from the authorities of Tafsīr that the bones of the donkey in reference were preserved.[3]

  • The word taj’arūn in 16:53 of the Qur’an is translated as:

پناہ لے جاتے ہو

“You take refuge.”[4]

In fact, the correct translation of this word is “to cry out in humility and fear.”

  • Qur’an 5:60 is translated as:

وہ جس پر اللہ نے لعنت کی اور ان پر غضب فرمايا اور ان میں سے کرديے بندر اور سور اور شيطان کے پجاری

“[Shall I tell you about the ones whose retribution with Allah is worse than that?] The one who Allah has cursed and has subjected to His curse and He made moneys and swine and shaytān worshippers from them.” [5]

This translation implies that just as Allah Ta‘ālā made some people turn into monkeys and swine as punishment for their evil deeds, He made some of them worship shaytān, na‘ūdhu billāh. In fact, the translation has confused a verb “‘abada,” which means “one who worshipped,” for a noun, “worshippers.” The verse in fact means, “Shall I tell you about the ones whose retribution with Allah is worse than that? They are those whom Allah has subjected to His curse and to His wrath; and He has turned some of them into apes and swine; and those who worshipped shaytān”.

  • In Qur’an 33:45, shāhid (witness), a description of the Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), is translated as “حاضر وناظر” (present and watching) [6]. However, shāhid does not mean “present and watching,” but means “witness.” The authorities of Tafsīr have various explanations of how this witnessing takes place, and these do not always entail being present and watching.
  • Qur’an 85:15 is translated as:

عزت والے عرش کا مالک

“Owner of the glorious throne.” [7]

Here the attribute “glorious” is in actual fact an adjective of “Owner” and not “throne.” Hence the correct translation is “Glorious Owner of the throne.”

Note: This is according to the famous variant of the Qur’an which was used by the author in his translation. There are other variant readings that allow for his translation.

From this small sample of errors found in Kanzul Imān, we can deduce that the translation is unreliable. This translation should therefore be avoided.

Instead, for a reliable Urdu translation, we advise you to read the translation of Shaykh al-Hind Mawlānā Mahmūd Hasan Deobandī and for a reliable English translation, the translation by Muftī Muhammad Taqī Usmani. And for Tafsīr, we recommend Ma‘āriful Qur’an by Mufti Muhammad Shafī‘, available in both Urdu and English.

And Allah Ta‘ālā Knows Best

Zameelur Rahman

Student Darul Iftaa
UK

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net


[1] ليس المؤمن بالطعان ولا اللعان ولا الفاحش ولا البذيء، رواه الترمذي وقال: هذا حديث حسن (الجامع الكبير، دار الغرب الإسلامي، ٣:٥٢٠)

[2] كنز الايمان كا تحقيقي جائزه، ص. ١٠٠

[3] قال السدي و غيره: تفرقت عظام حماره يمينا وشمالا (تفسير ابن كثير، دار ابن حزم، ص. ٣٢٤)

[4] كنز الايمان كا تحقيقي جائزه، ص. ١٠٠

[5] كنز الايمان كا تحقيقي جائزه، ص. ١٢٢

[6] كنز الايمان كا تحقيقي جائزه، ص. ١٣١

[7] كنز الايمان كا تحقيقي جائزه، ص. ١٦١

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