Let me make it clear, Is the English translation of this book, named 'Concise Commentary on the book of Tawhid" by Al-Maiman Publishing house reliable? I was searching for notes for Kitab at Tawḥīd and found this post:
TROID users should be made aware that the translation of Shaykh al Fawzān's book which has been done by al Maiman Publishers is not a very accurate one - and a posting will be put up on TROID forums soon inshaa Allaah with some examples to demonstrate this. The translation of theirs is certainly not verbatim in many parts of the book, misses out whole phrases in many cases and uses odd, rather old fashioned English in many parts which lends itself to misunderstanding.
I tried to use the search engine but wasn't able to find any examples. Can anyone kindly explain/verify this? I have only read very few chapters.
Also, I bought 'A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence' of Sheikh Salih Al-Fawzān also translated/etc by Al-Maiman Publishing house, if their translation is misunderstanding does this mean their other books are also not reliable? If so, how?
Last edit: 9 years 7 months ago by Shuayyb Ashraf.
I'll like to know if this also holds true for the Shaykh's (may Allaah preserve him) other book: "Guide to Sound Creed (al-Irshaad ilaa Ṣaḥīh al-'Itiqaad)" also translated by al-Maiman? Allaahul-Musta'aan.
Any update? If you could provide only 2-3 examples that would be more then enough. Assuming from the words used in that book, it seemed a good translation to me. I am quite concerned regarding this. Jazakallahu khairan for your efforts.
Alhamdulillaah wasṣalātu wassalāmu ala 'rasoolillaah.
Here is an attachment with the literal word for word translation of each section of Shaykh al Fawzān's explanation of a chapter I chose at random - and accompanying it, to show the difference, is how al Maiman translators have translated it.
I am not a professional translator and I would encourage all readers to go back themselves and check what I have written.
At first glance the two translations being compared seem almost identical.
But on examining carefully and slowly a second time, you will see inshaa Allaah that even in this two page section of the translation I chose at random, there are differences, minor in some cases, but quite large in other cases. And this has been my experience for the rest of the al Maiman translation too.
Words or phrases are missed out, sentences bear some resemblance to the original Arabic but are clearly not word for word what the Shaykh said, bits are added in which the Shaykh did not say (for example in the section on the general meaning of the Qur-anic verse where al Maiman start talking about "attributes of Allah", whereas this is not mentioned by the Shaykh at all), key words and explanations which the Shaykh highlights are not translated or mentioned at all in some cases.
But the reader may ask - so what? Looking through the Al Maiman translation, they do not seem to be saying anything Islamically incorrect.
Well, I guess it then comes down to what do you want from the translation you are using.
If you want a book which contains summarised notes based on what Shaykh al Fawzān said, then sure, the al Maiman translation offers that. But then it shouldn't be said that it is a' translation' without qualifying that description and making it clear to the reader that some points that the Shaykh made have been missed out or put in different words. A "translation" is one thing; and "summarised notes" or "questions and answers based on a text" is something else.
The introduction to the English translation says the translators have laid particular emphasis on accurate translation and that "with integrity as the main target, the translators would not be tempted to impose their own ideas on the text nor would they gloss over the difficult paragraphs instead of taking the trouble to find out what is really meant. Translators would do their best to convey both the content and spirit of the original."
I am reminded of the advice of Dāwūd Burbank raḥimahullāh when he translated for the Shuyookh. And those of you who knew Dāwūd will know that he - and we praise no one above Allaah, the Most High - was from the most careful and skilled translators in the Western world. He would say "Remember the three p's. Precision, precision, precision."
If I am reading something which I have bought on the basis that it is a translation of the Shaykh's book because my Arabic is not good enough to read the original Arabic version, then I would want to know exactly what the Shaykh said; e.g. which bits did he lay particular emphasis on; what phrases did he use to explain (for example) the word ghuloo; and I certainly wouldn't want someone - whom to be honest I don't know anything about except their name - to act as an editor of what the Shaykh said, leaving some bits out, leaving other bits in, for reasons which that person does not make clear to me.
I would want the translator to be just that - just a translator and not someone who removes bits of what the Shaykh said or adds bits in to his speech or subtly alters what the Shaykh said, for reasons unknown.
The difference may seem to be a slight one, but it is an important one, so that the reader knows exactly what he/she is getting and whose words in the document/book are whose.
May Allaah reward the translators at al Maiman for their efforts, make them firm upon the Truth and forgive them for any errors they may have inadvertently made. And all of the above statement is only by way of clarifying the nature of the English translation of al Maiman's for it is a useful book in its particular limited role, and my statement is by no means an attack on the character, the honesty or the 'aqīdah of our brothers and sisters who work for that publishing house hafidhahumullaah.
May Allah be pleased with both of you and keep you in best of Imaan and health.
I am very contented after reading the document and further clarification made by brother Abū Abdir Rahmaan Nasir ibn Najam. Baarakallahu Feek.