To all Muslims: "You persistently closed your mind to this promise" (of the Resurrection)!


Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Quran
The Message of the
Quran by M. Asad
"This is the first time i have come across the true translation of Al-Rum 30:56. Only now is it possible to warn Muslims directly that"you were wont not to know"- i.e.," you persistently closed your mind to this promise"of the Resurrection. Earlier, all one could say is that"This is the Day of Resurrection: but ye - ye were not aware!" The difference between both translations is obvious, almost contradictory. Muhammad Asad's translation is more clear and truthful as it warns of a willful and deliberate rejection by Muslims (Christians, Jews and others) of the Great News and promise of the Resurrection -"This, then, is the Day of Resurrection: but you - you were determined not to know it." Yusuf Ali onthe other hand claims innocent, ignorant unawareness -"This is the Day of Resurrection: but ye - ye were not aware!"


Dear Believers of the Resurrection,

i am stunned that the Quran prophesied that those who have knowledge and faith of the Resurrection (messengers amongst themselves) will remind Muslims (Christians, Jews and others) about this Great Event, and that despite its declaration they will persistently close their mind to this promise, determined not to know about the General Resurrection and eternal afterlife as the spirit! That is the true translation of Surah Al-Rum 30.55-56:

Wa yawma taqumus-sa'tu yuqsimul-mujrimuna ma labithu ghayra Sa'tin-kadhalika kanu yu'fakun
Wa qalal-ladhina utul-ilma wal-imana laqad labithtum fi Kitabil-lahi ila Yawmil-Ba'thi fahadha Yawmul-Ba'thi wa lakhinnakum kuntum la ta'lamun. (Al-Rum 30:55-56)


Muhammad Asad's translation of Al-Rum 30:55-56:
55. And when the Last Hour dawns, those who had been lost in sin will swear that they had not tarried longer than an hour: thus they were wont to delude themselves!
56. But those who [in their lifetime] were endowed with knowledge and faith will say: "Indeed, you have been tardy in [accepting as true] what God has revealed,52 [and you have waited] until the Day of Resurrection: this, then, is the Day of Resurrection: but you - you were determined not to know it!53
(Al-Rum 30:56)

Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation of Al-Rum 30:55-56:
55 On the Day that the Hour (of Reckoning) will be established, the transgressors will swear that they tarried not but an hour: thus were they used to being deluded!
56 But those endued with knowledge and faith will say: "Indeed ye did tarry, within God's Decree, to the Day of Resurrection, and this is the Day of Resurrection: but ye - ye were not aware!" (Al-Rum 30:56)

Note: To tarry means"A: to delay or be tardy in acting or doing; b: to linger in expectation: wait." In verse 55 the Last Hour (Al Qariah- The Striking Day) catches the condemned unbelievers/transgressors, who then proceed to swear that they did not delay too long in believing the Resurrection (Al Qadr- The Night of Destiny). In verse 56 the Believers of Resurrection entering Paradise reject their claims outright. The condemned are accused of delaying acceptance of what God had revealed i.e. His Call to witness the Resurrection, His self-reproaching Spirit, His Al Naba and His Al Qadr. In fact the condemned are told: "you were determined not to know it!" So it is obvious that those who reject the present Resurrection (Al Qadr- The Night of Destiny) will be condemned to the Last Hour (Al Qariah- The Striking Day). And the kaffirs (non-believers) will claim in the Hereafter that they were just a little late (an hour) in accepting God's revelations! i.e., they knew that Al-Qiyamah had commenced but just tarried a little in obeying.

Muhammad Asad's footnotes of Al-Rum 30:55-56:
52. Lit.," with regard to (fi) God's revelation (kitab)", i.e., that the dead shall be resurrected and judged by Him. It is to be noted that the verb labitha signifies"he waited [for something] or he was tardy [with regard to something]"As well as"he stayed [in a place]"or"he remained." Evidently, in verse 55 ma labithu has the meaning of "They had not stayed"or"remained", while in verse 56 labithtum denotes"you have been tardy"or"you have waited."
53. Lit.," you were wont not to know"- i.e.," you persistently closed your mind to this promise."

Ummah, indeed in the Hereafter you will be accused by us of being tardy if you do not accept as true what God has revealed now, at this present time. So be again forewarned!

And what has Allah (SWT) revealed and want all His Ummah to accept as true? Those of us who have been endowed with knowledge and faith have unconditionally surrendered to (what you have so far persistently closed your mind to):

i) His Call to witness Al-Qiyamah (The Resurrection);
ii) His Call to witness His Ruh (self-reproaching Spirit);
iii) His Call to heed Al Naba (The Great News);
iv) His Call to participate in Al Qadr (The Night of Power and Destiny);
v) His Call to confirm His Revelations, Signs, and Warnings (of i-iv).

"Say"See ye if the (Revelation) is (really) from Allah, and yet ye reject it? Who is more astray than one who is in a schism far (from any purpose)? Soon will We show them Our Signs in the Regions (of the earth) and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth."- Quran 41:52-53

The Resurrection is a universal Message for all humanity. To confirm the absolute truth and evidence of its commencement Allah (SWT) and His Ruh have already shown ample and irrefutable Signs on Earth (exoteric/physical/external/ macrocosm) and souls (esoteric/spiritual/ inner/microcosm). Abdullah Yusuf Ali's footnotes of surah 41:52-53 exhort human beings to deeply examine and introspect those Signs and Revelations: "Examine your own souls. See if you do not really find something unusual in Allah's Revelation! If you do, and yet you reject it, what a terrible responsibility fastens itself on you? Could anything be more foolish or more misguided than to reject a Message which is transforming the whole world?"

But many will reject it as they are waiting for the graves to open up! The Believers have this charge against the Unbelievers (Al Kafirun) in the Hereafter:

"[you have waited] until the day of graves opening up: but this, then, is the Day of Resurrection which we knew was Allah's Decree: but you - you were determined not to know it! Instead you waited for what the ulema have for centuries always locked and conditioned your mind with - graves opening up and skeletons coming to life!

"[Then it will be said]: "O ye who disbelieve (Ya ayuhalathina kafaru)! Make no excuses for yourselves this day."Quran 66:7

So how is it possible for the Believers to take part in the Resurrection while the tardy non-believers waited, were wont not to know, and persistently closed their minds to this promise!!!? The reason the Believers were able to attain everlasting life in the promised Paradise is because [in their lifetime] they were endowed with knowledge and faith of Al-Qiyamah, His Ruh, Al Naba and Al Qadr! The incarnation of His Ruh, Shri Mataji, spent more than three decades circling the globe every year without fail to spread His Message of the Last Judgment and Resurrection. (Only in July 2008 at the age of 85 did She finally retire.) Out of the thousands of lectures and speeches spanning the decades that endowed the Believers with faith and knowledge, a quote:

"We are now in the Blossom Time, as I call it, because many flowers are born and they are to become the fruits. This is the Resurrection Time, which is described in all the scriptures. But it's not like this, the way they had described us. Something wrong with them that all the dead bodies who are in the graves will come out of the graves. I mean, how much is left out of them, God knows. Must be some bones or maybe some skulls there. So they'll come out of the graves and they will get their Resurrection!!!? This is a very wrong idea.

Once I happened to meet a fellow, a Muslim from Bosnia and he told Me," I want to die for my religion, for God's sake."I said," But why? Who told you to die?"He said," Now, if I die in the name of God, I'll be resurrected."I said," It's all wrong. That's not the way it is going to work out. Resurrection is going to work out this way that at this time, all these souls will take their birth. All these souls will take their birth and they will be resurrected. As human beings they'll have to come."

That's why we find all kinds of funny people these days, all kinds of cruel, criminal, all kinds of idiotic, stupid, I mean very queer, weird, funny ideas which find such, such a variety of people and such a tremendous population that we should understand they have to have their chance of Resurrection. But how many will come? That's the point. How many are going to come?"

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Philadelphia, USA — October 15, 1993


Asad's translation of Al-Rum 30:56 is indeed a breathtaking revelation as the Ummah is charged of being kaffirs (non-believers) themselves! Since he has extensive footnotes in his book"The Message of The Qur'n"I ordered it right away. i hope to use his notes as Allah (SWT) exhorts the believers of the Resurrection to use the Qur'n to admonish and warn:

Fully aware are We of what they [who deny resurrection] do say;
and thou canst by no means force them [to believe in it].
Yet none the less, remind, through this Qur'n, all such as may fear My Warning!

surah 50:45 (Qaf)
(Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qur'n, 2003)

Other than Muslims who else can you admonish with the Qur'n such as fear His Warning that the Resurrection has begun? Who else but to the disbelieving ulema can you say: "You persistently closed your mind to this promise" (of the Resurrection)? Only now in this modern age of universal education, mass media and publishing technology—after 14 centuries and unlike the illiterate past—is it possible to own a Qur'n in The Mother-tongue language and read for oneself the very Warning of surah 50:45 too!

The Ummah is being reminded that Al-Qiyamah (The Resurrection) has begun, and the kaffirs (non-believers) to fear Allah's Warning! Muhammad Asad's scholarly work will only make it easier. From the Amazon.com Customer Reviews i know i will not be disappointed as the 1200-page "The Message of The Qur'n" is highly praised.

As an example of how Asad's interpretation ennobles and broadens the Quranic terminology consider his transformation of 'fear of God'—one of the most frequently recurring phrases of the Quran—into 'consciousness of God.'

Fear is external, consciousness is internal. Fear instills fanaticism, consciousness blossoms love. Fear paralyzes the mind, consciousness heals it. Fear is medieval, consciousness is contemporary. Fear is ignorance, consciousness is knowledge. Fear is human, consciousness is divine.

regards to all

jagbir


A more tolerant, more spiritual and more meaningful Quran

The Message of the Quran
Commendable, December 8, 2000
By Vir"Virtus Sola Nobilitas" (USA)

This is the most beautiful rendition of the Quran in the English language that I have come across so far. There are two broad approaches that one can take with the Quran or any other religious text for that matter. Either one can try to translate it verbatim or interpret it in light of what one believes to be its core message. Asad has done well to take the latter path. Of course much of Asad's inspiration comes from the modernist Muslim reformer Muhammad 'bduh, as a result of which we have a more tolerant, more spiritual and more meaningful Quran than the one that seems to inspire violence, exclusivity and intolerance in Muslim communities throughout the world.

As an example of how Asad's interpretation ennobles and broadens the Quranic terminology consider his transformation of 'fear of God', one of the most frequently recurring phrases of the Quran, into 'consciousness of God.' Thus a Muslim is one who is not just a 'God fearing' individual, but a 'God conscious' individual. But then this is just one instance of how Asad's interpretation scores against mere translations.




Absolutely the best!, October 22, 2005
By Architect

Wow!! I just finished reading The Message of The Qur'n and am blown away by the amazing quality of this translation. It took Muhammad Asad 17 years to produce this work, and it shows in the depth of the translation, notes and appendices. He has an incredible talent for taking any obscure passage and explaining its meaning and significance in a plausible, logical, and moderate way. This edition contains extensive footnotes, with liberal alternative explanations of key passages from other leading Islamic scholars. Every surah also has a brief introduction into the historical context and/or the significance of the revelation. This is BY FAR the best translation I've read, and has given me a greater depth and understanding of the Qur'n than I've ever had. If you want to learn more about the Qur'n, I'd highly recommend this edition to anyone.




The spirit of the Quran..., January 15, 2002
By A. Ort"Aorto" (Youngstown, Ohio)

This review is from: The Message of the Quran (Hardcover) ...from a western point of view. I was astounded upon reading this translation. I continue to revisit. Rather than doing a literal translation as many author translators do (Pickthall, Ali, etc.), Asad seeks the true 'spirit' of the Quran. This is not to say he strays from the letter (at least not that I am aware of) but to say that he wants the deeper and truer meaning of the words to come through.

It is said that there are seven layers of meaning to every verse of the Quran. Asad is seeking this depth in his translation.

The extensive commentaries are remarkable and the insight he provides as a scholar on some of the verses do differ quite a bit from the more 'common' understandings but I firmly believe they are more in the 'spirit' of Islam and less influenced from the outside than many translations and subsequent commentaries such as Ali's.

While Pickthall and Ali are quite literal in their interpretation, by remaining so close to the text, something is often missed. And unless one knows Arabic and is familiar with how the various verses, as a whole, are understood in the light of the Sunnah of the Prophet, the Quran, in English, can be a challenging text, especially from a Western point of view.

Asad's translation bridges this gap quite well and continued to leave me baffled as the Islam I thought I had come to know appeared much brighter in his translation.




The Best Translation I've read, September 2, 2008
By Superwizard (Stanford Ca)

Last year I was looking for a translation of the Quran that was both faithful to its spirit and yet still clear. I read many different translations and unfortunately I found them all unsatisfactory. They either used confusing archaic language, translated in an extremely partial way (without even noting where interpolations were used!) or else translated in such simple language that much of the spirit of the Quran was lost. Luckily one of my friends recommended this translation and from the first moment I read it I knew that it fit my needs exactly. I definitely recommend this translation for everyone.




A wonderful translation for non-Muslims and Muslims alike, June 14, 2003
By Sinan (Westborough, MA United States)

This review is from: Message of the Quran (Paperback) I have read the translations by Yusuf Ali, Arberry, and Dawood. Muhammad Asad's translation and interpretations stands above all. It is the Quran translation I recommend to non-Muslims to get a true (in my view) understanding of Islam.

I am an American born Muslim (Pakistani descent). I have been raised here, and schooled here, and so have a western perspective of events and history. What I like about Asad's translation is that it is written by a"Westerner," who was formerly a Viennese Jew. As such, he carries the gestalt of the West (rationalism, the Enlightenment, evolution, etc.).

In contrast, Yusuf Ali, carries a certain cultural baggage derived from his experiences in India. The effects of British colonialism probably colored his world view, and my recollection (I read his translation many years ago) is that this coloring displays itself in his translation. I guess I would characterize his translation and commentary consistent with liberation theology-which is fine, but is of a certain view that many in the West may not identify.

Asad's translation and commentary, on the other hand, incorporates many of our modern understandings of the world into his explanation. So for example, evolution is considered a natural process operating as part of the ordered universe just as the laws of gravity, electricity, etc. These are the signs of God, that Muslims are required to believe. Many Muslims who are not from the West, cannot reconcile modern understandings of science with faith. Just like the fundamentalist Christian community, they cannot integrate evolution (and its theological ramifications) into their faith (as a corollary, it is worthy to note that many scientists-call them darwinian fundamentalist- cannot integrate religion into science). In Islam, there is no separation between science and religion. All of your actions in physical reality are part of your Islam, and an expression of your religious faith. Obtaining knowledge through science is also part of your submission to God's will-your Islam. Asad's interpretation repeatedly affirms this.

Asad's explanations and commentary are illuminating. He explains phenomenon, like miracles, in a way that don't require the reader to suspend his belief in the normal physical laws of daily experience. You are not required to believe in phenomenon that run contrary to objective experience. For example, in the Bible, Jesus is said to have healed the blind and raised the dead to the living. Ordinary experience tells us that physically these things are impossible, but you are required to have faith that these suspended laws of physical reality actually occurred. Asad's explanation is that in Islam, people who are closed to the God's spiritual message as relayed through the prophets, are blind to the obvious truth of God. They are spiritually dead. Jesus's miracle, was to pass his grace onto his followers, and make those whose hearts were hardened against God (blind and spiritually dead), to see the truth and to become spiritually alive. I find this explanation much more satisfactory than having to believe in a miracle. The explanation is far more simple and straightforward.

I highly recommend reading the Asad translation in conjunction with William Chittick's book Visions of Islam, and the Self-Disclosure of God, to really appreciate the sublime spirituality inhering to Islam. To my mind, it bestows on the reader how your conduct today carries with it spiritual and metaphysical dimensions.

In this post 9/11 world, where every"expert"on Islam opines on the violent nature of Islam as revealed through Quran, Asad's translation dispels these absurdities. Extremists in the Islamic world and the Western world would do well to read this, as well. For all reasonable people seeking to truly understand what Islam is about, read Asad's translation over any other.




The Best Interpretation I've Read....., August 13, 2008
By Joey J. (Savannah, GA USA)

Amazon as usual was able to give me this beautiful Qur'n that honestly is the best interpretation I have ever read. Though rare, this translation has been touted as the best english approximation to the Arabic that has been written. I have to agree. Even the pages are decoratated with beautiful calligraphy that truly accentuates the already present beauty within the pages of this translation. I am very excited to be reading it. Thank You and God Bless!!




Unsurpassed English Interpretation, June 18, 2007
By Magus"Magus" (NE ME)

Just a short review as others have expressed better than I the unsurpassed job of interpretation of the Holy Qur'n into English which Asad was able to achieve - his interpretation and footnotes are far, far better than any before.

The layout of the book is also a gift to those who are learning Qur'nic Arabic: with English, Arabic, and a transliteration on one page (along with the all-encompassing guide to pronouncing the transliteration) Asad has provided a powerful tool to those who are students of Arabic.

A wonderful, wonderful work. The best interpretation of the Holy Qur'n in English that I've read, and a book of beauty printed on fine paper and with exceptional typography. This should be the standard text for all English speaking Muslims as well as any English speaking person desiring to read the Qur'n in the very best interpretation.




The best translation for non-Arabic readers, November 5, 2006
By Margaret Williams"Tome Raider" (Los Angeles, CA United States)

If you're sincerely after an understanding of the Qu'ran, either learn Arabic and read it (translations are not technically"The Qu'ran"), or buy this book! Like many of the translators of the Qu'ran, Asad was not born into the religion and was not a native speaker, but unlike the rest, he spent many years living among the Bedouin who are the only ones still speaking the Arabic in which the Qu'ran was written down. Modern Arabic is taught in schools and spoken by millions, but many of the words in the Qu'ran have fallen out of common usage, so even the best of scholars may almost be forgiven for not always getting it quite right. But in translatin the Qu'ran, it HAS to be right. The multiple meanings of the original words of the Qu'ran make faulty translations and confusion altogether too prevalent for Western readers. Asad was born a Polish Jew who discovered Islam and spent most of his life researching Qu'ranic language. He became a highly respected scholar, even in the Islamic world. He was a close friend of King Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud), a confidant of the Indian poet Iqbal, and was appointed to represent Pakistan to the United Nations after India's partition. His translation and abundant footnotes are invaluable to anyone who is really looking to penetrate this 1400 year-old text. The Prologue by the English Islamic scholar Charles Le Gai Eaton is fascinating, the footnotes are a joy to read and extremely helpful in understanding the nuances of the words and context in which the verses were brought forth, and the book itself, with its gorgeous insertions of calligraphic art, is beautiful to look at. In many footnotes, Asad compares his own translations to that of Pickthall and several other translators and explains his choices and leaves the decision to the reader to accept or reject them. I never enjoyed reading introductions or footnotes until I got Asad's book. It's not exactly portable, since the original Arabic, as well as transliterations are presented along with the English, but it's worth its weight in gold. If you're trying to get an idea of what the Qu'ran is all about, this is the one for you.




Best Translation of the Qur'n I've read, January 22, 2002
By A Customer

This review is from: The Message of the Quran (Hardcover) I have five different translations of the Qur'n at home, and this is the best in conveying the meaning of the Qur'n. The poetry and rhythm of the Qur'n is absent here, and Asad himself says that he makes no attempt to try to capture that at all. So in reading this, realize that the real Qur'n is in unmetered verse, often rhyming, and thrilling in its accents. But if you want the meaning of the verses, this is excellent. It's modern, easy to read, reasonable and scholarly in its explanatory footnotes, and it makes more sense to the modern Western mind than any other translation. In contrast to Dawood's translation (by far the worst), Asad tells you not only the meaning of the words, but the context, and the way the verse should be read against the background of the entire Qur'n. It's expensive, but really really worth getting.




Elegant translation with an informed and reliable commentary, August 21, 2001
By A Customer

A superb translation of the"untranslatable." Redacted in elegant English entirely suited to the register of a sacred text, Asad does more than any translator before him to make the Arabic text come alive to the non-Arabic speaker. The translation is coherent, lucid and felicitous. The commentary is impeccably researched if idiosyncratic and Asad is in complete command of the language, the sources and the references. Undoubtedly the best translation of the Quran in English available, leaves others far behind and is the model to be followed.




Commendable, December 8, 2000
By Vir"Virtus Sola Nobilitas" (USA)

This is the most beautiful rendition of the Quran in the English language that I have come across so far. There are two broad approaches that one can take with the Quran or any other religious text for that matter. Either one can try to translate it verbatim or interpret it in light of what one believes to be its core message. Asad has done well to take the latter path. Of course much of Asad's inspiration comes from the modernist Muslim reformer Muhammad 'bduh, as a result of which we have a more tolerant, more spiritual and more meaningful Quran than the one that seems to inspire violence, exclusivity and intolerance in Muslim communities throughout the world.

As an example of how Asad's interpretation ennobles and broadens the Quranic terminology consider his transformation of 'fear of God', one of the most frequently recurring phrases of the Quran, into 'consciousness of God.' Thus a Muslim is one who is not just a 'God fearing' individual, but a 'God conscious' individual. But then this is just one instance of how Asad's interpretation scores against mere translations.


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