Before I ask any questions on the following, do let me know if you agree with the following translation. Although I have tried to be specific about the verses by consulting the Urdu translation there may be some shortcomings. Here they are:
Verses 3: 38-40
Thereupon Zacharias prayed to his Lord, saying: – “Lord, grant me of Your own grace upright descendants. You hear all prayers.’ And as he stood praying in the Shrine, the angels called out to him, saying: – “God bids you rejoice in the birth of John, who shall confirm the Word of God. He shall be princely and chaste, a prophet and a righteous man.’ – “Lord,’ said Zacharias, – “how shall I have a son when I am now overtaken by old age and my wife is barren?’ – “Such is the will of God,’ He replied. – “He does what He pleases’.
Verse 3: 81
When God made His covenant with the prophets, He said: – “Here are the Scriptures and the wisdom which I have given you. An apostle will come forth to confirm them. Believe in him and help him. Will you affirm this and accept the burden I have laid on you in these terms?’ They replied: – “We will affirm it.’ – “Then bear witness,’ He said, – “and I will bear witness with you’.
Verse 3: 118
Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people. They will spare no pains to corrupt you. They desire nothing but your ruin. Their hatred is evident from what they utter with their mouths, but greater is the hatred which their breasts conceal. We have made plain to you Our revelations. Strive to understand them.
Verse 3: 155
Those of you who ran away on the day the two armies met must have been seduced by Satan on account of some evil they had done. But now God has pardoned them; God is forgiving and gracious.
To make it brief, I am writing only the changes that, in my opinion, should be made to make the translations more accurate, as I understand them:
If it is in any way confusing… let me know, I ll write down the whole verses, as I understand them.
When God took the covenant of (i.e., regarding) the prophets: as I gave you of Divine Law and Divine Wisdo1, then when a prophet comes to you, according to what is with you2, you will surely believe in him and help him….
“Burden” should be replaced with “Responsibility”
“In these terms” may be delete.
“We will affirm it” should be replaced with “We affirm it”.
“Do not make friends” should be replaced with “Do not trust with your secrets”
“… ran away” (though not absolutely incorrect) should be translated as: “turned their backs”
“… must have been seduced” should be: “They were only seduced”
“…. on account of” should be “because of”
I await your questions.
5th November 1997
- “Al-Kitaab” and “Al-Hikmah” are terms of the Qur’an. When they come side by side, as is the case in the verse under consideration, they do not simply imply “the Book” or “the Scriptures”, on the contrary, they mean “The Law” and “The Wisdom”, respectively. “Al-Kitaab” covers the Shari`ah or the legal teachings (whether relating to individuals or to the collectivity) entailed in divine revelation; while “Al-Hikmah” stands for the philosophy or the philosophical teachings, including the elements of beliefs as well as the ethical and moral teachings, in the divine revelation. [↩]
- i.e., according to the prophecies of the books that you already have. [↩]