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Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. Alhamdulillahi rabbil-'alamin. Was-Salatu was-Salam 'ala Sayyidina wa Azimina, Wa Habibi Qulubina wa Shafii Nufusina, Abul Qasim Muhammad. Wa 'ala Ahli Bayti tayyibina tahireen.


What is the correct translation of 75:5?

According to www.hubeali.com, which is Shia source, it is

But, the human being wants to undermine his Imam

But at quran.com, which gives only Sunni translations, I couldn't find any translation alike. All translations there are similar to

But man desires to continue in sin. (Sahih international)

The Arabic text is

enter image description here

It is ending with the word "Amama" (resembles "Imam") which gives impression that Shia translation is correct.

So, What is the correct translation of 75:5 into English? Is the word Imam there in the original Arabic text?


Edit

I did following comparison between Uthmani text of the verse and Riyaz's dictionary screenshot of which he posted. And according to this comparison Shia translation is correct.

enter image description here

And in comments section user @The Z said

The verse clearly says Amamah (in front of him), not Imamah (his Imam). Meaning he wants to sin in the future I.e. continue sinning.

I hope he will give additional comment on this.

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  • Please understand that translators are not stupid that many of them they will give a 'wrong' translation. The meaning conveyed by the second translation is also mentioned in many Shia tafsirs (e.g. Tafsir al-Mizan page 204 , page 205 etc. ) and translations (see e.g. Ali Quli Qarai etc. ).
    – UmH
    Jun 28 at 6:08
  • My friend, I am not blaming anyone in stupidity. Do not hurry with your conclusions. I am well aware these translators are experts of Arabic.
    – Muslim
    Jun 28 at 8:34
  • In fact most of the translations are not necessarily translations. They are interpretations.
    – Muslim
    Jun 28 at 8:34
  • You say many of them which sounds like justification. Let me remind that according to 6:116 those many potentially can mislead you from the way of Allāh. And Allāh does not lie.
    – Muslim
    Jun 28 at 8:34
  • @UmH, are you Arab? Do you speak Arabic? Can you explain if the first translation is correct or wrong?
    – Muslim
    Jun 28 at 8:44

2 Answers 2

2

enter image description here means "in front \ ahead of him"

enter image description here means "his Imam (leader)"

enter image description here means "Imamate (leadership)"

As an example of the usage of the first word in ahadith, see:

فَلَيْسَ شَىْءٌ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِمَّا أَمَامَهُ

At that time nothing is dearer to him than what is in front of him

نَهَى أَنْ يَبْزُقَ الرَّجُلُ عَنْ يَمِينِهِ أَوْ أَمَامَهُ وَلَكِنْ يَبْزُقُ عَنْ يَسَارِهِ أَوْ تَحْتَ قَدَمِهِ الْيُسْرَى

He forbade a man to spit to his right or in front of him, rather he should spit to his left or beneath his left foot.

فَنَظَرَ إِلَى الْمُشْرِكِ أَمَامَهُ فَخَرَّ مُسْتَلْقِيًا فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ فَإِذَا هُوَ قَدْ خُطِمَ أَنْفُهُ وَشُقَّ وَجْهُهُ كَضَرْبَةِ السَّوْطِ فَاخْضَرَّ ذَلِكَ أَجْمَعُ

He looked at the Mushrik in front of him, who had fallen down on his back, and saw that he had been struck on the nose, and his face was cut as if with a whip

The verse 75:5 uses the first word, as such it means what has been conveyed by most of the translations (see here).

Many Shia tafsirs and translations that I have checked also agree with this. For example Tabataba'i when commenting on the verse 75:5 in his tafsir writes:

و { أمام } ظرف مكان استعير لمستقبل الزمان، والمراد من فجوره أمامه فجوره مدى عمره وما دام حياً، وضمير { أمامه } للانسان

Amām (ahead, front, before) is a ẓarf makān (locative container, adver- bial noun of place) which is used metaphorically for future. “Sinning ahead” means continuing to sin as long as one lives. The antecedent of the pronoun “him” is man.

Tafsir al-Mizan

As for the second translation, that is based on a Shia tradition, a possible explanation that is given by their scholars for it is as follows:

بيان: لعله عليه السلام قرأ: (إمامه) بكسر الهمزة

Perhaps he recited إمامه with a Kasrah on the Hamza

Bihar al-Anwar

This would be a deviant recitation which uses the second of the three words that I have list at the top of this answer. It is also possible that they have given other explanations for the tradition as the words are similar and are linked in their etymology.

1
  • Jazakallahu khairun!
    – Muslim
    Jul 1 at 8:25
1

Look at the context. Verses 1-6. The context here is "day of judgement" which kuffar deny. Look at the name of surah. And look at what comes in verse 6.

Verse 1 and 2 Allah swears to highlight the significance of what comes in the following verses.

Verse 3 Allah is challenging the disbelievers who think they shall not be resurrected.

Verse 4 Allah is confirming that he can even resurrect the fingertips.

Verse 5 Allah is informing disbelievers that they are denying the what is ahead.(Day of judgement) and desires to continue committing sins.

You need to understand arabic to understand word Amamah. Please the screenshot of dictionary. It comes from the root word أ م م which means "In front of", "Forward", "Ahead". It also has meaning Imam(Leader/Guide). Why? Because Imam is always in front leading and guiding. But in this context Allah is not referring to an Imam. Allah is pointing to what comes ahead after death.

Dictionary

10
  • But in this context Allah is not referring to an Imam. Allah is pointing to what comes ahead after death. So both translations are incorrect?
    – Muslim
    Jun 28 at 14:48
  • Sunni translation is correct. "This means that he(man) wants to proceed ahead following his own whims rejecting day of judgement.''
    – Riyaz
    Jun 28 at 15:12
  • My friend, This means means it is interpretation. Not a translation. Apparently you are Sunni. Then of course for you Sunni interpretation is correct.
    – Muslim
    Jun 28 at 15:29
  • 1
    Can you prove sunni translation is wrong? I have given you clear translation with evidence pointing to dictionary and interpretation within the context.
    – Riyaz
    Jun 28 at 15:54
  • No I cannot prove as I don't speak Arabic. And you haven't given me the translation yet. You gave interpretation which I didn't ask for.
    – Muslim
    Jun 28 at 16:08

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