Translation: Holding Fast to the Rope of Allah

More
4 months 1 week ago - 4 months 1 week ago #884 by Imam Rassi Society
As salaamu alaykum all!

Praying this finds you in great health and iman! We have completed one of our short term projects, alhamdulillah! It is a translation of the Introduction and Ritual Purity sections of Al-I'tisaam by Imam al-Mansuur Billah al-Qasim b. Muhammad (d. 1620 CE). This text was a valid attempt to consolidate the differences of opinion among the Ummah regarding fiqh matters. His basic thesis was that if all Muslims were to adhere to the methodology of the Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet's Progeny) as well as the agreed-upon narrations amongst various schools, we would all be firmly grasping to the "Rope" of Allah, and sectarian division and differences will be minimised.

Feel free to share and distribute this text to any individuals, forums or pages that you deem beneficial. You can find the translated text here . We also welcome feedback as well as any corrections and suggestions!

And Allah knows best!

IRS
Last edit: 4 months 1 week ago by Imam Rassi Society.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 months 1 week ago - 4 months 1 week ago #885 by 7osam
As-Salamu Alaikum,

jazakum Allahu khairan for this new translation. I've been reading your translations for a couple of years and appreciate very much the effort you put in this work. I consider it very benefical to learn about different opinions regarding so many islamic topics. And I'm really glad to see that you have new translation projects that you are working on.

Regarding this new translation I have two observations I like to share with you. The first observation is regarding the lack of any hadith authentification. Almost the whole first part of the book is written on different approaches regarding hadith authentification of the different schools. The second part of the book then lists a lot of hadiths to prove the soundness of the Zaidi approach. There are hadiths from all kind of sources, sunni books, zaidi books, imami books, general shia books (e.g. Nahjul Balagha) but not one of the hadiths has any authentification. Even all transmission chains of the hadiths have been left out! What's the point doing that? You just cannot convince anybody that a certain approach is the soundest because it has the highest authentification standards and then try to prove that with hadiths without showing the authentification according to these allegedly sounder standards.

The second observation is regarding translation errors. As i was reading this new translation I wanted to crosscheck a hadith in Musnad Ahmab ibn Hanbal about Imam Ali asking the people in Kufah to witness what the Prohet (sas) said about him in Ghadir Khum. By chance i noticed your translation of another hadith wich caught my eye beacuse i found it hard to belive that the original hadith said what your text offered as translation. So i crosschecked that too. The hadith is in the Amali of Ahmad bin Isa.

I am aware that you are translating from the book "Holding Fast to the Rope of Allah the Mighty" where the hadith is quoted. So you are not translating directly from the Amali of Ahmab bin Isa. I haven't checked the original text of  "Holding Fast to the Rope of Allah the Mighty". Maybe the hadith is misquoted there and you have translated correctly from a misquoted hadith. Either way, there's a inconsistency between your translation and the original arabic wording of the hadith in the Amali of Ahmad bin Isa.

Here's what your translation says (until the point where Imam Ali starts explaining the purification method):

During the government of Umar, a group from Kufa came before him. He [i.e. Umar] said: “Who are you people?” They said: “We are a group of Iraqis.” He said: “[Did you come] with permission or without permission?” They said: “No. With permission.” He said: “If that weren’t the case, then I would kill you because that is the punishment for a breach.” They said: “We came to ask you about something.” He said:“Go ahead.” They said: “We want to ask you about the purification wash from major ritual impurity and the matters related to it.” He replied: “Woe unto you! Are you bewitched? You asked me about thingswhich I had not asked Allah’s Messenger,  peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, about! Are you not present, O Abul-Hasan?” I said: “Indeed.” He said: “Then answer with that which Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, replied with. You are better at remembering that than I.

Here are the two mistakes that I have found:
 
1) He said: “If that weren’t the case, then I would kill you because that is the punishment for a breach.”
 
That's not what the original hadith says. The wording of the hadith in arabic is: فقال: لوغير ذلك قلتم لأنكلتكم عقوبة
 
The correct translation is "if you would have said something other i would have imposed a severe punishment on you". It's quite comprehensible that Umar would ask somebody coming from Kufa if he left with or without permission as Kufa was build during his reign  as a garrsion town. So if somebody would leave, it was expected that he doesn't do that without permission from his chief in charge. If somebody left without that permission, then a punishment would have been the natrural consequence, but of course not the death penalty.
 
2) He replied: “Woe unto you! Are you bewitched? You asked me about thingswhich I had not asked Allah’s Messenger,  peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, about! Are you not present, O Abul-Hasan?”

Again this is not what the original hadith says. The wording of the sentence in arabic is ما سألني عنهنَّ أحد منذ سألت رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم- عنهنَّ

The correct translation is: Nodody has asked me about them since I have asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, about them. 

So are this sloppy translation mistakes or is the hadith misquoted in the original of "Holding Fast to the Rope of Allah the Mighty"? 

Jazak Allahu kairan

Salamat
7osam

PS: As reference, here's the original arabic hadith in the Amali of Ahmad bin Isa:
باب صفة الغسل من الجنابة
وبه قال حدثني أحمد بن عيسى، عن حسين، عن أبي خالد، عن زيد، عن آبائه، عن علي -عليه السلام-
قال: لما كان في ولاية عمر، قدم عليه نفر من أهل الكوفة، فقال: من القوم؟
فقالوا: نفر من أهل العراق.
فقال: بإذن أو بغير إذن؟
قالوا: لا، بل بإذن.
فقال: لوغير ذلك قلتم لأنكلتكم عقوبة.
قالوا: جئنا نسألك عن أشياء.
قال: هاتوا.
قالوا: نسألك عن الغسل من الجنابة، وعن أمور ذكروها؟.
فقال: ويحكم، أسحرة أنتم؟ ما سألني عنهنَّ أحد منذ سألت رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم- عنهنَّ، ألست شاهداً يا أبا الحسن؟
قال: قلت: بلى.
قال: فأدِّ ما أجابني به رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم- فإنك أحفظ لذلك مني.
فقلت: سألته عن الغسل من الجنابة.
فقال -عليه السلام-: ((تصبُّ على يديك قبل أن تدخل يدك في إنائك، ثم تضرب بيدك إلى مراقك فَتُنَقّ ما ثم، ثم تضرب بيدك إلى الأرض، ثم تصبُّ عليها من الماء، تمضمض وتستنشق وتستنثر، ثلاثاً، وتغسل وجهك وذراعيك ثلاثاً، وتمسح برأسك، وتغسل قدميك، ثم تفيض الماء على رأسك ثلاثاً، وتفيض الماء على جانبيك، وتدلك من جسدك ما نالت يداك)).
وبه قال: حدثنا محمد، قال: حدثنا جعفر، عن قاسم بن إبراهيم: في غسل الجنابة كيف هو؟

 
 
 
 
Last edit: 4 months 1 week ago by 7osam.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 months 6 days ago #886 by Imam Rassi Society
wa alaykum as salaam wa rahmatullahi!

Thank you so much for your feedback! It is indeed valuable to us! As for your points, I will address them below:

Re: Lack of authentication
The basic premise and thesis of the book (esp. the introduction) is that much of the divergences and differences of opinions amongst the Muslims are due to a non-uniform method of authentication. This is the reason why the imam (as) mentioned the various conditions of acceptance amongst the compilers of the so-called Sahiih Sittah. The imam (as) also began the text quoting the primary textual sources regarding the prohibition of assumption and conjecture in the deen. He is basically saying that the various methods of authentication that exists incorporate conjecture as well as inconsistent and faulty methods. This is why he proposes that we primarily focus on those narrated traditions that are narrated from the Prophetic Progeny (whose authority he established) and those agreed-upon traditions across various schools. If one were to incorporate the opinions of the various authenticators, it would contradict the main tenet and argument of the text. That is to say that if the imam (as) were to state that adh-Dhahabi authenticated a hadith, the next thing he would have to do is establish the exclusive authority of adh-Dhahabi. Hopefully this is clear.

As for the absence of listing the chain of narrators, we were insistent on avoiding them for a couple of reasons. First of which is that if the person reading the translation had the capacity to check the names of sub-narrators in the books of biography (rijaal), the person could just refer to the original Arabic text. That is to say that since the books of rijaal are all in Arabic, the reader could simply read the original Al-I'tisaam in Arabic and this would defeat the purpose of translating it into English. The second reason is that we found it tedious to translate the various names of sub-narrators when the main purpose was to relate the matn of the hadith itself. It would have been a tiring effort that would have made the work and text longer than necessary.

As for the translation errors, it is quite possible that some of the errors are attributed to the text we translated (which was a scan of a handwritten manuscript and not type-printed). It is also possible that it was an oversight of the translator. As for the first possibility, we did encounter examples of the translated text in which it differed from the text it referred to. We even found examples of missing words in one text that existed in the referred text. Such is common in the realm of translation of old texts.

Unfortunately, we did not have the time to proofcheck the translated text against the referred text. We simply sought to faithfully relate that which was in the translated text. Also, the variations in translation that you mentioned does not affect the meaning in any major way.

As for our rendering of Umar's threat, it is quite possible that he threatened them with death as it is widely-known that Umar often threatened the lives and well-being of those whom he differed. However, we can re-consult the original text to check.

And Allah knows best!

IRS

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 months 6 days ago #887 by 7osam
Wa Alaikum Asalam wa Rahmatullah,

dear brother, thanks for your kind reply. I don't want to make this a long discussion. I just wanted to share my main observations regaring the new translation with you, what I have done. That being said, let me just quickly comment on your reply:

"The basic premise and thesis of the book (esp. the introduction) is that much of the divergences and differences of opinions amongst the Muslims are due to a non-uniform method of authentication. This is the reason why the imam (as) mentioned the various conditions of acceptance amongst the compilers of the so-called Sahiih Sittah. The imam (as) also began the text quoting the primary textual sources regarding the prohibition of assumption and conjecture in the deen. He is basically saying that the various methods of authentication that exists incorporate conjecture as well as inconsistent and faulty methods. This is why he proposes that we primarily focus on those narrated traditions that are narrated from the Prophetic Progeny (whose authority he established) and those agreed-upon traditions across various schools. If one were to incorporate the opinions of the various authenticators, it would contradict the main tenet and argument of the text. That is to say that if the imam (as) were to state that adh-Dhahabi authenticated a hadith, the next thing he would have to do is establish the exclusive authority of adh-Dhahabi. Hopefully this is clear."

Yes that's clear, but it would add credibility if the reader would see that the quoted hadiths are authentic according to the standard that is postulated by the author himself (mass-transmission, universally agreed-upon and which agreed with the book of Allah – see chapter „The last word concerning the authentic hadith“). Otherwise it's only a listing of hadiths without the reader knowing if they are authentic according to the imams postulated standard or not. There's no need to establish the authority of Scholars like adh-Dhahabi, al-Hakim or Ibn Babawayh. Their authority is well known. But it's also well known that they transmit both, authentic as well as weak reports.

"As for the absence of listing the chain of narrators, we were insistent on avoiding them for a couple of reasons. First of which is that if the person reading the translation had the capacity to check the names of sub-narrators in the books of biography (rijaal), the person could just refer to the original Arabic text. That is to say that since the books of rijaal are all in Arabic, the reader could simply read the original Al-I'tisaam in Arabic and this would defeat the purpose of translating it into English. The second reason is that we found it tedious to translate the various names of sub-narrators when the main purpose was to relate the matn of the hadith itself. It would have been a tiring effort that would have made the work and text longer than necessary."


ok, I understand your point.

"As for the translation errors, it is quite possible that some of the errors are attributed to the text we translated (which was a scan of a handwritten manuscript and not type-printed). It is also possible that it was an oversight of the translator. As for the first possibility, we did encounter examples of the translated text in which it differed from the text it referred to. We even found examples of missing words in one text that existed in the referred text. Such is common in the realm of translation of old texts.

Unfortunately, we did not have the time to proofcheck the translated text against the referred text. We simply sought to faithfully relate that which was in the translated text. Also, the variations in translation that you mentioned does not affect the meaning in any major way."


Of course it's true that different version of old manuscripts often differ in wording, as they were all hand-written. Quoted Passages in these manusripts often differ from the original source. That's why often different versions are consulted if available and quoted pasages are rechecked against the original source. I don't expect you to do all of that. But if by chance you get to know that there's an error, you should mention that in a footnote in your translation by indicating, that the wording of the original source is such and such.

As for our rendering of Umar's threat, it is quite possible that he threatened them with death as it is widely-known that Umar often threatened the lives and well-being of those whom he differed. However, we can re-consult the original text to check.

This may or may not be the case. But it has nothing to do with the hadith we're talking about. So yes, please check the original text. Otherwise readers could come to the conclusion that this is a distorted work with sectarian biases against certain individuals. That would be exactly the opposite of the goal this work is trying to achieve, which is to overcome sectarianism.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.272 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum