- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Present Islam in People's Understandable Language
If you are presenting the Quran to people who know English, then you must translate it into English. You need to prepare a translation of the Arabic Quran into English and then give it to people. Moreover, the people of a certain language do not just want a literal translation from Arabic into their own language, but they would also require you to take into consideration the idiom, the manner of speech, etc. This becomes a very difficult task – understanding and studying the language of the addressee.
People must prepare themselves according to their local area. If you are in a place where people speak Hindi, you will have to learn Hindi. If people speak some other language, you will have to learn that language. You ought to be very serious for this task. The more serious you are the more you will prepare yourselves for this. Being serious is very necessary.
Question and Answer Session
Q1. Is observing and thinking over the creations is helpful to build the right mindset for the discovery of the truth?
A1. Yes, this is true. When you are in the midst of people and want to present the Quran to them, you will think for yourself what language they understand. Then you will prepare a translation which is understandable to them. For example, according to research there are more than 50 English translations of the Quran, but English readers do not find them easy and convenient to read. This is because they were literal translations and did not take into account the English idiom. If you present the Quran to someone, it should be in his or her understandable language. If you are serious, you will think about all this. You will meet people and question them to understand them, their language, and their idiom. I will give you my own example. When I was in Lucknow, an acquaintance of mine took me to meet another person who lived in a market there. When we met, he asked me some questions. I noted down his questions and tried to understand them in depth. I tried to know why he was questioning and what was it that he wanted to know. Then I prepared a translation of the Quran in an understandable language. People all across the world acknowledge that our translation is understandable and easy to read.
Q2. Who is a soul at peace (al-nafsul mutmainnah)? How to achieve this state?
A2. Nafs-e-mutamainnah means a mind which reads the Quran, reflects on it and achieves satisfaction at what has been stated in the Quran. Reading is not enough. One will have to ponder over the Quranic verses. Unless one understands with depth, he or she will not become nafs-e-mutmainnah. First you have to make yourself nafs-e-mutmainnah. If you can understand the Quran, doors will open up to you. You will think more and more.
Q3. How to make unseen God seen?
A3. You don’t have to make God visible, rather you have to make Him understandable for yourself. Moses had asked God to show Himself to him. God replied: “You cannot see Me.” We cannot see God with our eyes. We will have to make God understandable for ourselves rather than see Him directly.