Fifth Point: It is not possible to translate the phrases of the Quran like “Alhamdulillah”.


For example, “All praise be to Allah” [al-hamdulillah] is a Qur’anic phrase. Its briefest meaning, required by the rules of grammar and rhetoric, is this: “Each individual instance of all the sorts of praise that has been offered by whatever to whatever since pre-eternity and will be offered to post-eternity is particular to and due to the Necessarily Existent One alone, Who is named Allah.” It is as follows: “Each individual instance of all the sorts of praise” is the consequence of the definite article “al” in “al-hamd.” As for the qualification of “that has been offered by whatever,” since “praise” (hamd) is the verbal noun and the active participle has been omitted, it expresses generality in that sense. And by omitting the passive participle it again expresses universality and generality, and therefore expresses the qualification “to whatever.” As for the qualification of “from pre-eternity to post-eternity,” it expresses this meaning because the rule of transposing from a verbal clause to a noun clause indicates continuity. The prepositional “lam” in “lillah” [to Allah], expresses the meaning of sole possession and worthiness. As for the qualification of “the Necessarily Existent One, Who is named Allah,” since necessary existence is the necessary requisite of the Godhead and a term signifying the All-Glorious Essence; comprising all the Divine Names and attributes and being the Greatest Name, the Name of “Allah” necessarily indicates both the necessaary existence and the title of “Necessarily Existent One.”

If the shortest apparent meaning of the phrase “All praise be to Allah” on which all the scholars of Arabic are agreed is thus, how could it be translated into another language with the same miraculousness and power?

Furthermore, among all the languages of the world, there is only one which can compare with Arabic in being ‘the language of grammar,’ and that can never achieve the comprehensiveness of Arabic. Is it possible for translations made by means of other composite and inflectional languages by people whose understanding is partial, comprehension short, ideas confused, and hearts dark, to take the place of the sacred words of the Qur’an, which have emerged in miraculous fashion in that comprehensive and wondrous grammatical language within an all-encompassing knowledge which knows all its aspects at once and wills them. I can even say, and perhaps prove, that each of the Qur’an’s words is like a treasury of truths, with sometimes a single letter teaching a page of truths.

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