God’s word is supreme over his messengers word;

Written by Ijaz Chaudry

 

All believers understand the fact that the word of God is supreme and is the ultimate reference.  And that the word of God is alive with us in the shape of the Quran.

Recently I came across a situation where Dr. Rashad Khalifa translated the word Quloob and its extensions not as heart or related to heart as it should have been in the Quran but mind or minds.  This made me investigate what difference would it make to the message of the Quran because of this and if really we should be sticking with heart or heart related translations of these Arabic words.  The results of the investigation are as follows;

 

The following are all the verses where heart or related word is used in Arabic but was translated as mind or minds;

 

(2:7,10,88,118,4:155,6:46,110,113,7:179,14:43,15:12,17:46,21:3,22:46,23:63,24:37,34:23,40:19,41:5,46:26,63:3,79:8)

 

First let me distinguish between the words “mind” and “heart”;

 

Mind; The faculty of thinking, reasoning, and applying knowledge: Follow your mind, not your heart.

 

Heart; Love; affection: The child won my heart

 

Generally speaking heart related issues are to do with emotions while mind related issues with decision based on knowledge.

 

Right from the onset of this article we can see how much different the meanings are when “heart” is compared to “mind”, this could certainly change the meaning of the verse if not translated correctly.

 

[6:110] We control their minds and their hearts. Thus, since their decision is to disbelieve, we leave them in their transgressions, blundering.

 

(6:110) is the only verse in the entire Quran where “minds” is mentioned in the Quran in the context of decision making.  The, context of this verse directly correspond to the definition of “mind” above which is to do with reasoning based on knowledge.  This highlights a point that if Rashad had used “mind” instead of “heart” in his translation than there is a danger that it could be misconstrued to mean that the matter in that verse has been considered based on reason and knowledge and it is not merely a “heart” over “mind” scenario.  And this is exactly what has happened, most of the above mentioned verses refer to “heart” over “mind” issue by using the Arabic word Quloob and its extensions to describe heart, which have been translated as “mind” or “minds”.

Let’s go through some examples;

 

[2:7] GOD seals their minds and their hearing, and their eyes are veiled. They have incurred severe retribution.

[2:10]  In their minds there is a disease. Consequently, GOD augments their disease. They have incurred a painful retribution for their lying.

 

In both above verses “minds” has been used instead of “hearts” which has changed the whole meaning of the verse.

 

In (2:7) because Rashad has used word “minds” it means that the disbelievers have lost sense of reason because their “minds” are sealed by God.  If we change the word “minds” to “hearts” then the ability of reasoning stay intact for the disbelievers.  Similarly in (2:10) the disease is not of the mind but of the heart, (22:46) clearly states that the real blindness is not of eyes but of the heart.  The disbelievers are in full control of their minds but they do not use it to receive any new message because of their “heart” rules over their “mind”.  One can go through each of the above verses in the light of what has been said here and see what the real reason is for the disbelievers for not believing. I have just taken just a few examples, because of the brief scope of this article.

 I would just like to side track a little and talk about (4:155) which also is one of the verses mentioned above which were translated by Rashad as mentioned earlier.  Since we now understand the reasons for the correct translation it would be appropriate to find out what this verse means;

 

[4:155] For breaking their covenant and their disbelief in the revelations and their killing of prophets without justice and their saying, “Our hearts are wrapped” Rather God has sealed them because of their disbelief, so they believe not, except for a few.

 

In (4:155) the statement “Our hearts are wrapped” seems bit ambiguous, this could be one of the reasons why Rashad translated the way he did, perhaps he could not comprehend the impact of such statements.  But looking through the eyes of what “heart” is and what it could mean it is not at all ambiguous.  Besides heart being source of emotion and blind love, it is also source of life, the central part of circulation of blood through the body which nourishes the body with oxygen and food to sustain.  If you look at “heart” in this light then the meaning of this statement appear to be clear.  When you wrap something one reason for the wrapping could be for safety.  Indeed this statement is referring to safety of heart by wrapping.  If you read the preceding verses before (4:155) you will see that these verses are referring to Christians and Jews.  Christians and Jews are mentioned to believe in;

 

[2:111]  They have said, "No one will enter Paradise except Jews or Christians!" Such is their wishful thinking. Say, "Show us your proof, if you are right." 

 

Thus when in (4:155) it says, “Our hearts are wrapped” this is direct reference to (2:111).  The Christians and Jews believe that they are privileged i.e. their hearts are protected.  Thus Christians and Jews believe that they will be saved on the Last Day.  How do we know this? Because of the following code;

 

Take the verse numbers and add them you get complete multiple of 19.  111 + 155 = 266 = 19 x 14 and 266 / 190 = 1.4

 

Position 4 describes Act of righteousness, here Act of righteousness is taken in negative sense that is both Christian and Jews believe they are righteous hence they will go to Heaven, which is described as untrue in (4:155).  The Level is 2 which is Theme “Related to righteousness” trend which confirms what the Position was telling us above.

 

So in conclusion we can say that one messenger can supersede another messenger with new revelations while the main message of worshiping God alone remain the same for both messengers. Thus Rashad’s translation was correct for his time but now under the new messenger (Al-Muzzammil) new information has come to light therefore Rashad’s revelations have been superseded by these (regarding translation of this matter).  Also the essence of this article is that the disbelievers do not use their minds to reason and question what their belief is and what message they are receiving from the messenger, instead they are blindly in love with their idols hence their hearts are sealed (because God is in control and God knows they are idol worshippers hence they will not be guided).