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Re: Assistance please?

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Sunday, November 4, 2001, 16:25
Frank George Valoczy wrote:
>The seventh verse of the 8th Sura has me doing mental acrobatics,
and>falling off the trapeze repeatedly. In English it is (roughly):
> >And when Allah promised one of the two bands of the enemy to you, that it >should become yours, and you were hoping that it will be other than the >armed one. And Allah willed that He should cause the Truth to triumph by >His words, and to cut the roots of the disbelievers. > >Well, here is how I've worked it out, but I don't know how right this is, >in other words, does it make sense? >
Well, your translation is certainly accurate; but to my view the problem is in the original, whether in the Arabic or the Engl. translation I can't say. The first sentence makes perfect sense (moreso with a little judicious editing-- like, get rid of the "and" before "you"-- as it stands, it's not a complete sentence). The second sentence makes perfect sense (though that "cut the roots" bit is a little odd-- maybe the translator didn't think of "extirpate" ?). But what's the connection between the two? Not immediately obvious IMO. My _guess_ would be: while we might hope for one outcome over the other, it's not up to us. Allah knows the truth of the outcome, and His will will prevail-- whether it's what we want, or not. (Who then are the disbelievers? The enemy bands? Or those on our side who presumed that Allah would do _our_ will, not His own?) Whether a translator has the right to impose an interpretation on an unclear passage, is of course another matter. Now that I think about it, the whole passage becomes clearer if it's edited to become a single sentence: "When Allah promised....., and [when] you were hoping.....the armed one COLON OR DASH _then/but/nevertheless_ Allah willed...... " All those sentence-initial "ands" are surely just a rhetorical device, and need not be slavishly translated. (The KJV is guilty here too.)