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 Post subject: Verses 7:145-147
PostPosted: 06 Jun 2009, 09:03 
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Suggested translation1,2:


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1This translation may have been updated from the original suggested translation as a result of the discussions that follow.
2Click on the {verse number} of a translation to see other good translations of the verse.

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 Post subject: Re: Verses 7:145-147
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2009, 05:15 
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Quote:
{7:145} And We wrote for him on the tablets [something] of all things - instruction and explanation for all things, [saying], "Take them with determination and order your people to take the best of it. I will show you the home of the defiantly disobedient."

The translation, "take the best of it" may look correct but it actually isn't. The Arabic style means "take from them, they are good." It is not a superlative, i.e., there aren't some commandments that are better than the other; they are all good for people. This expression style is used often in the Quran, for example,


Here we are not asked to follow only the best of what God has revealed to us! We are to follow all of it for all of it is good.
Another example is,

Here God is not saying that He will reward only the best deeds but all the deeds that are good.

So, I suggest,

{7:145} And We wrote for him in the tablets [something] of everything - advice and explanation of everything, [and We said], "Take them with fortitude and order your people to take to their finest goodness. I will show you the home of the deviant."

Quote:
{7:146} I will turn away from My signs those who are arrogant upon the earth without right; and if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. And if they see the way of consciousness, they will not adopt it as a way; but if they see the way of error, they will adopt it as a way. That is because they have denied Our signs and they were heedless of them.

Good translation, except that I don't see "consciousness" as a translation for الرشد. I suggest,

{7:146} I will divert away from My signs those who arrogate in the earth without right; and if they should see every sign, they do not believe in it. And if they see the way of forthrightness, they do not take it for a way; but if they see the way of allurement, they take it for a way. That is because they have belied Our signs and were of them heedless.

Quote:
{7:147} Those who denied Our signs and the meeting of the Hereafter - their deeds have become worthless. Are they recompensed except for what they used to do?

I suggest,
{7:147} Those who belied Our signs and the meeting of the Hereafter - their deeds have sunk. Are they recompensed except for what they have been doing?

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 Post subject: Re: Verses 7:145-147
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2009, 00:48 
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Linguistic wrote:
Quote:
{7:145} And We wrote for him on the tablets [something] of all things - instruction and explanation for all things, [saying], "Take them with determination and order your people to take the best of it. I will show you the home of the defiantly disobedient."

The translation, "take the best of it" may look correct but it actually isn't. The Arabic style means "take from them, they are good." It is not a superlative, i.e., there aren't some commandments that are better than the other; they are all good for people. This expression style is used often in the Quran, for example,


Here we are not asked to follow only the best of what God has revealed to us! We are to follow all of it for all of it is good.
Another example is,

Here God is not saying that He will reward only the best deeds but all the deeds that are good.

This is significant, so I'd like to make sure. Although you make compelling cases in the two examples you gave, they are based on interpretation, albeit a meritorious interpretation. Can you, from a purely linguistic point of view, justify the translation you are suggesting?

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 Post subject: Re: Verses 7:145-147
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2009, 04:41 
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Pragmatic wrote:
This is significant, so I'd like to make sure. Although you make compelling cases in the two examples you gave, they are based on interpretation, albeit a meritorious interpretation. Can you, from a purely linguistic point of view, justify the translation you are suggesting?

I made an error. It is a superlative as opposed to a comparative.

As you may know, comparatives in Arabic (اسم التفضيل) have four cases:
  1. Indefinite and not added to a noun or a pronoun, e.g.,

    In this case, the comparative article من (than) follows. This is the typical way we think of comparatives. This is not the case we have here in 7:145.
  2. Definite, e.g.,

    This is the typical way we think of superlatives. Not the case here either.
  3. Added to an indefinite noun, e.g.,

    This too is a comparative. Not the case here.
  4. Added to a definite noun or a pronoun, e.g.,

    This too is a superlative. It is the case here :)

Thus, the linguistic translation of يأخذوا بأحسنها is "take from the best of it." However, for the reasons I explained, that would be a misleading translation. I clearly read it "take from its superior goodness." I am open to suggestions from the readers.

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