English translation of Quran by Rashad Khalifa, Ph.D.
Dr. Rashad translated the Quran to English giving its title, “Quran, The Final Testament (Authorized English Version)”, which has been claimed to be more authentic and immune to any influence of fabrications of hadith/sunnah. But there is inappropriate translation of certain verses that may be found if his translated Quran is carefully reviewed and compared with the Arabic Quran. In his translation it is found that he has escaped many Arabic words in the Arabic text, has exaggerated the messages in certain verses to make them sound good to be acceptable to the common people and has also overlooked basic Arabic grammar in translating many verses, even there is a difference between his two renditions of the Quran:
- Insertion in the translation of the verse 2:187
[2:187] Permitted for you is sexual intercourse with your wives during the nights of fasting. …You may eat and drink until the white thread of light becomes distinguishable from the dark thread of night at dawn. Then, you shall fast until sunset. Sexual intercourse is prohibited if you decide to retreat to the masjid (
during the last ten days of Ramadan). These are God’s laws; you shall not transgress them. God thus clarifies His revelations for the people, that they may attain salvation.
Note: There is no corresponding Arabic text of “during the last ten days of Ramadan” mentioned in the parentheses which is the reflection of tradition or hadiths in connection with the Night of Destiny to stay in the masjids during the last ten days of Ramadan. According to tradition, this night is so elusive to some that they try to stay up all nights during the last ten days of Ramadan so as not to “miss out” any chances of experiencing it. However, this night is a historical event and the exact date of this night now we know was on the 27th of Ramadan in 13 B.H (609 A.D.) when Muhammad, the soul not the body was taken to the highest Heaven and the whole Quran was placed into his soul.
- Addition of footnote on verse 89:2
[89:1] By the dawn.
[89:2] And the ten nights.*
The last ten nights of Ramadan, wherein many believers retreat to the masjids (2:187).
Note: Here is no reference of staying in the masjids during the last ten days of Ramadan every year except an oath of God consisting of (1) the dawn, (2) ten nights, (3) the even and odd, (4) the night as it passes, and (5) in which there is lesson for the intelligent, even there is a mismatch of nights in (89:2) with days in (2:187). The reference of ten nights can be linked to the event of thirty nights’ appointment of Musa with God completed by adding ten to it found in (7:142) being a very significant historical event to be one of the items of God’s statements of oath mentioned below:
[89:1] By the dawn. [89:2] And the ten nights. [89:3] And the even and the odd. [89:4] And the night as it passes. [89:5] In this oath, (there is a lesson) for the one who possesses intelligence.
- Insertion in the translation of verse 3:18
[3:18] God bears witness that there is no god except He, and so do the angels and those who possess knowledge. Truthfully and equitably,
He is the absolute god; there is no god but He, the Almighty, Most Wise.
Note: There is no corresponding Arabic text of “He is the absolute god” in the verse. There are two instances of “Laa ilaaha illaa huwa” and its mention in the ending phrase of the verse indicates the pattern of the statement of our faith even if it is extended to detect any corrupt form of the statement of our faith. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse for better understanding it:
[3:18] God bears witness that there is no god except He, and (so do) the angels (wal-malaa’ikatu) and the knowledgeable standing with justice (wa-uloo al-`ilmi qaa’iman bil-qis’ti). There is no god except He, the Almighty, the Most Wise.
- Insertion in the translation of verse 44:4
[44:3] We have sent it down in a blessed night, for we are to warn.
[44:4] In it (
the scripture), every matter of wisdom is clarified.
Note: The Arabic phrase “feehaa” in the verse (44:4) does not refer to the scripture but to the blessed night being feminine form in the Arabic grammar when the whole Quran was placed into the prophet’s soul in 13 B.H (609 A.D). Dr. Rashad failed to make a logical decision even Arabic being his mother tongue. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse for better understanding it:
[44:4] In it (the blessed night), every matter of wisdom is clarified.
- Inserting in the translation of verse 97:4
[97:4] The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by their Lord’s leave,
to carry out every command.
Note: There is no corresponding Arabic of “to carry out” in the verse, which is the root cause of the annual observance of “the Night of Power” for the misinterpretation of the verse. While the angels who have been referred in the verse are the message bearing angels, i.e., those who communicate God’s message to His chosen ones and the Arabic phrase, “feehaa” refers to the night when the whole Quran was placed into the prophet’s soul in 13 B.H (609 A.D). Dr. Rashad failed to understand that there is no ritual around “the Night of Power” but he advocated it by inserting extra word in his translation to follow the ritual introduced by tradition/hadiths. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse for better understanding it:
[97:4] The angels and the Spirit (the Gabriel) descend therein (feehaa), by their Lord’s permission with every command.
- Exaggerating the message in the translation of verse 17:36
[17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.
Note: The Arabic word “taqfu” in the verse (17:36) is an imperfect verb and thus, the message is not a commandment from God but a recommendation for us to be righteous to use our wisdom as given by Him. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse to reflect the message in the verse:
[17:36] And you are not to follow what you have no knowledge of it. Indeed, the hearing, and the vision, and the understanding – each of those will be asked about it.
- Exaggerating the message in the translation of verse 54:17
[54:17] We made the Quran easy to learn. Does any of you wish to learn?
Note: This verse is repeated 4 times (54:17, 54:22, 54:32 and 54:40) around the events of destruction of the disbelieving people of Noah, Huud (`Aad), Saleh (Thamud) and Lot that we may reflect to the consequences in the earth and the Hereafter of those who were destroyed in the past because of their disbelief and evil behavior, are warnings for us to make our efforts not to be like those to avoid such consequences. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse to reflect the message in the verse:
[54:17] And certainly, we have made the Quran straightforward for the warning. So, will there be of who would have admonition?
- Failing to reflect on God’s oath in the translation of verse 53:1
As the stars fell away.*
*53:1-18 Muhammad was summoned to the highest universe to receive this Quran into his heart.
The stars fell away as he traveled through them at millions of times the speed of light. Subsequently, the Quran was gradually released to his memory. Please see Appendix 28.
Note: The verse is misinterpreted as the climbing of souls to the highest level accompanied by angels is not an unusual event as it occurs every moment when our life is terminated on earth by the angels of death and the stars do not fall or move away for the travel of souls to break the established natural law. However, the very first verse starts with the Arabic conjunction, “wa” is an oath of God referring to the shooting star being a visual fact confirming that the prophet was neither astray nor was he misled nor does he speak out of his personal desire (53:1-3) while the journey of the prophet was covered in the verse (17:1), and the verses (53:4-18) exclusively cover the divine inspiration that took place at the ultimate point by God Himself. However, Dr. Rashad failed to understand that any sura starts with the conjunction “wa” meaning “By” instead of “and” is a sign to be an oath of God found at the beginning of 17 suras including this sura even though the traditional Muslim scholars did not miss it. Thus, the appropriate message in the relevant verses can be translated as follows:
[53:1] By the falling star.
[53:2] Your friend (Muhammad) was neither astray, nor was he misled.
[53:3] Nor does he speak out of desire.
- Insertion in the translation of verse 74:31
[74:31] We appointed angels to be guardians of Hell, and we assigned their number (
19) (1) to disturb the disbelievers, (2) to convince the Christians and Jews (that this is a divine scripture), (3) to strengthen the faith of the faithful, (4) to remove all traces of doubt from the hearts of Christians, Jews, as well as the believers, and (5) to expose those who harbor doubt in their hearts, and the disbelievers; they will say, “What did God mean by this allegory?” God thus sends astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills. None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. This is a reminder for the people.
Note: The message along with a sign given to the messenger of covenant is clearly defined in the sura named “The Hidden one” of the verses (74:30-37), and the verse (74:31) is very crucial to understand the message. Both it (hiya) and a reminder (dhik’raa) in the last phrase of the verse in the feminine form indicate the core message, the mathematical coding of the Quran making it different from the Quran itself, which is consistently referred as the masculine form in the Quran. Dr. Rashad distorted the message by inserting 19 in parentheses against the number of angels to an absolute number mentioned in the verse above (74:30) and translating the Arabic word, fit’natan to “disturb” instead of “warn” or “test”, which does not make any sense. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse for better understanding the message in the verse:
[74:31] And we made the angels to be guardians of Hell, and we did not make their number except: (1) to warn the disbelievers, (2) to make certain for those who were given the scripture (Jews and Christians), (3) to strengthen the faith of those who believe (Muslims), and (4) to eliminate any doubt from those who were given the scripture (Jews and Christians) and the believers (Muslims). Those who have disease in their hearts (hypocrites) as well as the disbelievers would say, “What did God mean by this allegory?” Thus, God misguides whomever he wills and He guides whomever He wills. None knows your Lord’s soldiers except He. And it (hiya) is but a reminder (dhikraa) for the humans.
- Distortion of the message in the begininng phrase of verse 27:82
At the right time, we will produce for them a creature, made of earthly materials, declaring that the people are not certain about our revelations.
Note: This is one of the crucial verses for the application of the message of mathematical coding of the Quran given to the messenger of covenant to bring people back to divine revelations. But Dr. Rashad distorted the message in the verse by translating the Arabic phrase in the verse “wa-idhaa waqa’a al-qawlu alayhim” to ‘at the right time’ to make it very general when the messenger of covenant predicted the end of the world in the year 2280 A.D. based on the hints given in the Quran, which is not too far from now. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse for better understanding the message in the verse:
[27:82] And when the punishment is almost due upon them, we will produce for them a creature from the earth speaking to them that the people are not certain about our revelations.
- Mistranslation of the Arabic word, id’riboohunna
[4:34] The men are made responsible for the women, and God has endowed them with certain qualities, and made them the bread earners. The righteous women will cheerfully accept this arrangement, since it is God’s commandment, and honor their husbands during their absence. If you experience rebellion from the women, you shall first talk to them, then (you may use negative incentives like) deserting them in bed, then you may (as a last alternative)
beat them. If they obey you, you are not permitted to transgress against them. God is Most High, Supreme.
Note: Dr. Rashad’s translation claimed to be immune to the tradition/hadiths but he could not overcome the traditional mess and pollution of wife beating just like all other Muslims scholars while there is no such thing in Quran and Islam. The Arabic word, id’riboohunna translated to beat in the verse is a multiple-meaning word rooted from the word, daraba, and its crucial meanings are disregard, ignore, shun, discontinue any interaction, strike etc. with its numerous applications in the Quran. In addition, there is an amicable separation in the marriage wherein there should not be any use of physical violence in it. It is unfortunate that in the sura wherein the women and the orphans rights are protected God would order the husbands to beat their wives does not make any sense to an intelligent person. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse for better understanding the message in the verse:
[4:34] Men are the care givers for women BECAUSE of the certain qualities that they are exclusively given and BECAUSE they are the ones who provide for living and spend from their money. Righteous women would always accept that and they would always guard such an arrangement even in their privacy, when alone, as dictated by God. If you fear rebellion from the women, you shall advise them wisely, then you may stay away from them in bed, then you may deliberately and entirely ignore them. If they follow your advice, you should not make life difficult for them. God is Most High, Supreme.
- Failing to reflect to the message in verse 42:51
[42:51] No human being can communicate with GOD except through inspiration, or from behind a barrier, or by sending a messenger through whom He reveals what He wills. He is the Most High, Most Wise.
Note: The message in the verse is reflected in an opposite way. However, the straightforward message in the verse is as follows:
[42:51] And it is not to human that God would speak to him, except inspiration, or from behind a barrier, or sending a messenger (angel) when he reveals by His permission what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High, Most Wise.
- Message in verse 6:141 is not a cmmandment but to pay Zakat in a timely manner
[6:141] He is the One who established gardens, trellised and untrellised, and palm trees, and crops with different tastes, and olives, and pomegranate – fruits that are similar, yet dissimilar. Eat from their fruits [if they ripen]*, and give the due alms on the day of harvest,* and do not waste anything. He does not love the wasters.
*6:141 Zakat charity is so important, the Most Merciful has restricted His mercy to those who give it (7:156). Yet, the corrupted Muslims have lost this most important commandment; they give Zakat only once a year. We see here that Zakat must be given away “on the day we receive income.” The proportion that came to us through Abraham is 2.5% of our net income.
*The statement [if they ripen] occurs in the original Arabic Quran after “their fruit” and is not included in the English translation.
Note: The message in the verse is not a commandment of paying Zakat but to make our all efforts to pay Zakat in a timely manner year round when we have any income being a trait of a righteous that can be achieved over a period of time like Salat in (23:1-2). However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse for better understanding the message in the verse:
[6:141] And He is the One who established gardens, trellised and untrellised, and palm trees, and crops with different tastes, and olives, and pomegranate – fruits that are similar and not similar. You shall eat from their fruits when they ripen, and shall give its due on the day of harvest, and do not be extravagant. Indeed, He does not love the extravagant.
- Mistranslation of the Arabic word, sawaatikum
[7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your
bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of God‘s signs, that they may take heed.
Note: The Arabic word, sawaatikum is in the verse meaning your shame not your body so that we may understand what we need to exactly cover while the rest of the clothing is our luxury to avoid the misconception around the dress code of the women. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse for better understanding the message in it:
[7:26] O Children of Adam, we have given you clothing to cover your shame as well as for luxury. But the best clothing is the righteousness. That is from God’s signs so that they may take heed.
- Order in verse 33:59 is not for lengthening garments but to dress up appropriately
[33:59] O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they shall
lengthen their garments. Thus, they will be recognized ( as righteous women) and avoid being insulted. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
Note: The message in the verse is the recommendation for the wives and daughters of the prophet as well as the wives of the contemporary believers to dress them up appropriately with their garments so that they can be recognized who they were but there is no indication whether their dresses would expose them to be righteous in religious view to others. Thus, the appropriate message in the verse may be found in the revised translation as given below:
[33:59] O Prophet, say to your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers to cover themselves of their garments. That is more appropriate that they can be recognized but are not harmed.
- Religion belongs to God in verse 3:19 but not approved by God
[3:19] The only religion
approved by God is “Submission.” Ironically, those who have received the scripture are the ones who dispute this fact, despite the knowledge they have received, due to jealousy. For such rejectors of God’s revelations, God is most strict in reckoning.
Note: The Arabic word is ‘inda allahi means with God not approved by God, which has reflected as follows:
[3:19] The religion with God is Submission, and those who received the scripture did not dispute except after the knowledge came to them out of jealousy between them. And whoever rejects God’s revelations, then God is swift in reckoning.
- Insertion in verse 3:33
[3:33] God has chosen Adam, Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of Amram (
as messengers) to the people.
Note: The insertion of “as messengers” in Dr. Rashad’s translation created a confusion to understand the message in the verse. There are two pieces of information in the verse: (1) God has chosen Adam and Noah and (2) He has chosen the family of Abraham and the family of Amram (Imran). What we know from the Quran that Adam is chosen as the Father of humans but he was neither a prophet nor a messenger while Noah was a prophet and he is well known because of the event of the great flood. On the other hand, a number of members from the family of Abraham and Amram were chosen as prophets and messengers while Abraham was a prophet who has been designated as the father of Islam (submission to God) but Amram was neither a prophet nor a messenger. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse for better understanding it:
[3:33] God has chosen Adam and Noah, and the family of Abraham and the family of Imran over all the people.
- Insertion in verse 25:53
[25:53] He is the One who merges the two seas; one is fresh and palatable, while the other is salty and undrinkable. And He separated them with a formidable, inviolable barrier (
Note: Dr. Rashad did not explain how evaporation serves as a barrier between two seas but modern oceanography has discovered in 1942 that in the places where two different seas meet, there is a barrier between them. Studies of marine characteristics revealed these separations between neighboring seas which maintained the distinctive properties of each sea with respect to density, salinity, marine life, temperature and solubility of oxygen in water. However, here is the straightforward translation of the verse for better understanding it:
[25:53] And He is the One who has merged the two seas. One is palatable and sweet while one is salty and bitter. And He made between them a barrier and an inviolable partition.
Message given to Dr. Rashad
Dr. Rashad provided many logical and physical proofs about the mathematical system of the Quran but he was unable to precisely locate the message given to him in the Quran. He indicated the Quran’s mathematical code referring to the word “Dhikr” associating with several verses: (15:6, 15:9 21:2, 26:5, 38:1, 38:8, 74:31), are not appropriate. God willing, what we know now that the sign of messengership and the message given to him are precisely coded in the verses: (74:30-37).
Beliefs and Practices
Dr. Rashad was born in Sunni background while even being a messenger of God could not overcome the practices introduced by tradition like wife beating, annual observance of the Night of Destiny (laylatul qadr) that are reflected in his translation of the relevant verses of Quran. But what is unfortunate that the final draft of his translated Quran was completed in the Night of Destiny of 1409 A.H, and the month, day and the year => 9 + 26 + 1409 = 1444 = 19x19x3 is confirmed with the Quran’s code to present a proof to be an inspired work while the Night of Destiny is a historical event that took place in 13 B.H (609 A.D) but not an annual recurrent event except introduced by the tradition.
Dr. Rashad made certain statements which were not befitting for a messenger of God can be found in the following:
- He made an open challenge to give even a single reason why he should not be a messenger of God while he was supposed to share the message and the sign given him as a messenger of God to guide humanity that is the system that came down to us from the past as reflected in the verse (7:75).
- He failed to understand that the prophet-messenger is chosen by God not by the people while the people may accept him for their own good based on the God given sign and the message but the history indicates that most people reject the messenger.
- He was diplomat when he declared by God’s leave his messengership with his daughter while the straightforwardness is one of the traits of the righteous.
- Quran teaches us that no messenger was given any power to tell the future but he made a statement that if Jesus could come back now, the Christians would stone him to indicate corruptions in Christianity while a messenger is chosen to deliver a specific message and not to share other than what is given to him.
There is a list of principal duties of God’s messenger of covenant including unveil and proclaim Quran’s mathematical miracle mentioned in the appendix 2 of Dr. Rashad’s translated Quran even though there is no specific mention of how and when these duties are assigned to him. But what we know from the verses, 3:81, 15:9, 27:82, 74:30 and 74:1-6 and 74:11-29 around the messenger of covenant that he is a confirming and purifying messenger to have a pure Arabic Quran while the message (74:30-37) unveiled through him is to be a way to purify God given practices of Islam and to explore the Quran to avoid misinterpretation of many crucial commandments in the Quran including corruptions and traditions introduced in Islam over the period of time.
Idolizing messenger of covenant
There are people among those who believe Dr. Rashad to be a messenger of covenant and accept the message given to him idolize him through excessive focusing on his intellectual works to be divine inspiration:
- Rashad is being Idolized claiming his translated Quran and other works to be divine inspiration.
- He is being idolized claiming his translated Quran to be immune to all kinds of traditions and only reflection of true message in the Quran.
- He is being idolized claiming him to be a consolidating messenger referring to (9:33, 48:29, 61:9) to make God’s religion prevail at his time over any other religions while the message is His religion is made prevail over any other religions at all times irrespective of the guidance periods.
- He is being idolized through the statement “We do want to advise the reader that the Quran, The Final Testament, (Authorized English Version) by Dr Rashad Khalifa is the only translation which portrays the truth in the Quran of absolute worship of God alone. Dr Khalifa’s translation is immune to any influence of the fabrications of hadith/sunnah.”
- He is being idolized referring to or quoting his incorrect verses in the articles of their discussion.
The review of the relevant verses of the Quran around the messenger of covenant indicates the principal function of the messenger assigned to him is to preach people (1) to worship God alone, (2) to follow the Quran alone, and (3) to use logic, proofs and even common sense to accept any information received from any source. He has been given the specific message supported by the sign of his messengership clearly defined in a specific set of verses of the Quran to make it distinct from the Quran to accept him as a messenger and the message given to him to address and resolve many of our questions and disputes when we are away from the Quran.
Dr. Rashad made many fruitful efforts to accomplish the God given mission and set up many examples for spreading the true Islam among the people of the world irrespective of their ethnic background based on the Quran. He established masjid at Tucson, Arizona, USA to perform Salat to avoid any corrupted practices of it, and hosted website and published newsletter to spread the true Islam. He left many videos and write ups including translation of Quran which are mostly intellectual works. It is not unusual to have errors or inconsistency in them or not to able to overcome the traditional mess in some cases even being a messenger of God. But we should accept them keeping in mind that the messenger is also a human being while the mistakes made by him may be warning for us not to idolize him or may be a test for us how we react when we fall in such a situation what we also see in case of the prophet. However, the Quran teaches us that mistakes made by His chosen one does not disqualify him to be His messenger as He wants the believers to focus on the message given to him not the person who has been chosen to deliver it.
The message given to the messenger is specific and well defined but effective to practice the God given religion in a right way for the people of the scientifically and technologically advanced community surrounded by a religion of corruptions and misconceptions. God wants everyone of us to study and explore His revelations to find the wonders given in the Quran to get closer to Him witnessing the physical facts derived from it as we all are individually responsible for our own soul.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.