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 Topic: Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"

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  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1740 - January 26, 2015, 01:59 PM

    Re-drafted "Translators Note" - could you delete the old one DS and replace it with this. Cheers.

    ******************************

    Translator’s Note

    The Qur'an is a remarkable literary work that contains much wisdom and virtue. Muslims regard it as the inerrant and infallible word of God. The author of this book, Dr. Abbas Abul-Nour, challenges this view. He argues that the Qur'an, far from being inerrant or infallible, is very much a human work, subject to all the limitations and flaws that human works are subject to. In particular it is closely tied to it's context and environment. Dr. Abbas Abul-Nour considers the view that the Qur'an is infallible, to be one of the major factors holding us back in this day and age. Whereas the Qur'an was once revolutionary and dynamic and had a positive effect on the society at the time, it has today become reactionary, and regressive. It compels us to look back to the past instead of moving us forward as it once did. The belief that the Qur'an is infallible tips the balance of power in favour of a conservative and reactionary clergy who hold inflexible and literalist views. It allows them to dictate Islam to the majority and to bully us into silence. It plays into the hands of extremists who seek impose their harsh and brutal interpretation upon us. No matter how we try to tinker with the situation, we will never fundamentally change this balance of power until we challenge the belief that the Qur'an is infallible.

    Until we do this we will continue to suffer the tragedy we see today in the Muslim world. Plagued by oppressive, despotic regimes, stagnating and stifling social structures, ignorant, closed and inward looking mentalities. We have become anaesthetised and comatose, mechanically performing rituals & imitating our forefathers in the hope of happiness in another life with no interest nor positive effect on the world around us. Obsessed with protecting & preserving our holy relic, our version of "the absolute truth!" We have no argument except the argument of blood, fear and suppression. We slaughter each other on a daily basis and bequeath our children ruins & despair.

    I feel an extremely strong affinity to the author of this book. Like him I also have an Egyptian background. Like him I was a practicing Muslim for most of my life. Like him it was only later in life that I started having doubts and questions that led me to lose my faith entirely. My journey - like all our journeys - is ongoing, but I have regained my faith to a certain extent and feel comfortable identifying as a Muslim again. But like the author I do not believe the Qur'an is the infallible literal speech of God, but rather the fallible speech of a human being. While I am happy to draw from its wisdom I believe very strongly that we Muslims must wake-up and realise that there are no divine A to Z's on how to run our lives. While truth may not be relative, nevertheless, our understanding, appreciation and perception of truth certainly is relative. It is based upon our knowledge, context, environment, experience, intelligence and innumerable variables relating to individuals and the society we live in.

    If we appreciate that our understanding of truth is flawed and relative, then it should lead us to realise that we can never be dogmatic when it comes to mysteries of God and al-Ghayb. We cannot insist our belief is right and must be imposed on others. The existence of God is a question that can never be proven nor disproven. It is a matter of faith alone.
    I have no doubt Muhammad was inspired when he uttered the words of the Qur'an, but inspired in a very human sense of the word. In the way that orators, poets, writers, artists, and musicians have been inspired down the ages. This inspiration comes from the world around us, nature, social conditions, the urge to better the lot of our fellow man - and yes, maybe by God himself, but not in a literal and infallible sense. While Muslims can be justly proud of the Qur'an and it's achievements, we must now bring it back into the realm of human achievement where it belongs. Faith must be removed from the sphere of certainty and returned to the sphere of the uncertain mysteries of life. It is a personal matter and not a matter to be imposed, controlled or punished by governments or religious authorities.
    We must realise that revelation came from the mind of man and not the mind of God and as a consequence revelation must be subject to human reason and not the other way around.

    Achieving such a transformation in the way we Muslims perceive the Qur'an will be enormously difficult. But every journey begins with one step and the benefits are enormous. We will at last be able to reconcile the schisms that have torn us apart and reconcile the differences between us and our fellow man regardless of faith or the lack of it.  We will be able to start building a new and better identity and society in our countries. One that will allow us to once again contribute positively to the course of human history.

    I believe this book is an important contribution to this debate. There are very few books by Muslims that analyse the Qur'an in a truly critical way - and even fewer in Arabic by Arabs. This book is important because it breaks that ground and removes the barrier. I hope it will encourage others to embark on a new field of genuine textual criticism of the Qur'an by Muslims themselves rather than by non-Muslim Orientalists.

    In the West, philosophers and thinkers such as Spinoza, Descartes and those that followed them have been able to place the Bible firmly within the realm of human achievement and so the Christian and Jewish worlds now have a strong history of textual criticism, freeing them from the chains of dogma. I hope this book will contribute to starting such a movement amongst Muslims.
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1741 - January 26, 2015, 03:19 PM

    Love it  Afro Afro Will definitely read this book in its entirety grin12.
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1742 - January 27, 2015, 10:22 PM

    I'm going to be away for a couple of weeks.

    Please give doubter_seeker whatever help & support he needs to finish this.

    See you all later.

     far away hug
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1743 - January 28, 2015, 01:21 AM

    Okay, best wishes Abu Ali   parrot
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1744 - February 10, 2015, 11:24 AM

    Just to let you know I'm back  far away hug

    Hope things are progressing well Smiley
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1745 - February 10, 2015, 07:37 PM

    Welcome back! Glad you made it safely.

    I don't think I did much in the past few days because I was distracted by midterms! Next week is reading week, and I'll almost certainly have time to work on the book!
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1746 - February 28, 2015, 11:43 PM

    It looks like things have been busier than I thought for the past few weeks. I'm not having enough large chunks of time to work any side projects. It's my last semester at University before graduation on top of my part-time job, so things are hectic. Reading week was way busier than I thought, but I will try to find some time soon to continue working on this. I won't be able to touch anything until next week end.

    I'm going to start getting some of the chapters ready for the proof-reading process next weekend, while I copy and format the remaining ones.

    We'll need people to:
    - Check for grammar and spelling mistakes.
    - Take a glance at the Arabic book and make sure sections aren't missing in the translation. (Abu Ali has taken the freedom to omit a few parts in Part 5)
    - Check the formatted copies and make sure they whatever the latest version is on the forums or in Aziz's copy.

    For those who want to volunteer (or who already have), please let me know in this forum topic. From the top of my head, I remember lua and Zoatar have volunteered. You can PM me with a GMail address so you can gain access to a copy of the book. The editing will be done in a separate copy so that the originals stay intact.

    Anyways, I'll try to stay posted over here when I can. Forgive me while I'm still learning the fine art of time management.
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1747 - February 28, 2015, 11:57 PM

    Thanks, doubter_seeker  Afro

  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1748 - March 01, 2015, 12:00 AM

    Thanks DS! I am a proof reader too!
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1749 - March 01, 2015, 03:37 AM

    In as a grammar spelling checker.

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1750 - March 01, 2015, 08:17 PM

    It looks like things have been busier than I thought for the past few weeks. I'm not having enough large chunks of time to work any side projects. It's my last semester at University before graduation on top of my part-time job, so things are hectic. Reading week was way busier than I thought, but I will try to find some time soon to continue working on this. I won't be able to touch anything until next week end.

    I'm going to start getting some of the chapters ready for the proof-reading process next weekend, while I copy and format the remaining ones.

    We'll need people to:
    - Check for grammar and spelling mistakes.
    - Take a glance at the Arabic book and make sure sections aren't missing in the translation. (Abu Ali has taken the freedom to omit a few parts in Part 5)
    - Check the formatted copies and make sure they whatever the latest version is on the forums or in Aziz's copy.

    For those who want to volunteer (or who already have), please let me know in this forum topic. From the top of my head, I remember lua and Zoatar have volunteered. You can PM me with a GMail address so you can gain access to a copy of the book. The editing will be done in a separate copy so that the originals stay intact.

    Anyways, I'll try to stay posted over here when I can. Forgive me while I'm still learning the fine art of time management.


    I'll pm you my private email address.  What format would you like the proofing comments in?  Redlined (via track changes) MS Word?
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1751 - March 08, 2015, 04:00 AM

    I'll be sending emails to everyone who has volunteered for editing. Chapter 2 and Chapter 5 are ready for editing now.

    Editing instructions will be sent to you by PM, and are also available here:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kUBRmgf-QALHCohlQeVgQCYOGh2Kla5_wg2kce2fPkk/edit?usp=sharing

    This will show how to:
    1. Accept the invitation to the folder.
    2. Opening the documents.
    3. Enabling "suggestions" mode.
    4. Applying corrections.
    5. Opening the folder directly after closing the folder or document.

    Also, I purchased the domain www.myordealwiththequran.com and Maryam has passed me the ISBN number for the book when it is ready for publishing.

    Before I send the invitations, I want to remind the editors that your email address will be visible to all the other editors and perhaps publicly if someone sees the documents on Google Drive. If you want to keep your email hidden, you can create a throwaway account instead. So to the proofreaders, please send me a confirmation that you want to use the email you sent me, or create a new account and send me that instead.
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1752 - March 08, 2015, 10:11 AM

    Fantastic work DS. Thanks  Afro
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1753 - March 08, 2015, 12:22 PM

    To the proofreaders:

    My personal view is that, unlike a translation of poetry, fiction, history or some other literary work - we have somewhat more freedom with this book to ensure overall aim and purpose is preserved in English. There have been times during the translation when I have been quite free with the translation because Arabic and English have different styles and a dry, inflexible translation would have only lost the impact of the original.

    Likewise I think the proof-readers should also allow themselves some freedom to highlight points that they think should be  re-phrased, elaborated or changed.

    As I have said before I feel a close affinity with the author and what he is trying to achieve - and so I have absolutely no doubt he would want us to apply all our own skills and knowledge to ensure the book achieves those aims and objectives.
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1754 - March 08, 2015, 04:56 PM

    Maybe include footnotes for translations which you have taken a degree of freedom with to provide secondary information. A major issue with an translation is often authors do not include other methods of translation or omit mentioning their own methods. Take a look at the Bible and it's translation for examples.
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1755 - March 11, 2015, 07:08 PM

    I made some suggested edits to a couple of the chapters.  Hopefully those suggestions are coming through on the Google drive.

    I have to say, the florid Arabic translation is remarkably difficult to punctuate correctly as English prose!  I like the distinctive Arabic feel, but it requires some work to make it consistent with standard English grammar and syntax.  Not the kind of proofing I am used to.
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1756 - March 11, 2015, 08:43 PM

    Yes, sorry about that, Zaotar, as you say, it reflects the flowery and sometimes over-elaborate Arabic structure since I mostly jotted it down as I read each sentence.

    Thanks for doing this, Zaotar - I really appreciate it a lot .  Afro
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1757 - March 11, 2015, 08:54 PM

    When this finally get's out, I think quite a few of us will have shared this "Ordeal" with Abbas Abdul-Nour  grin12
  • Re: Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1758 - March 12, 2015, 05:13 PM

    I made some suggested edits to a couple of the chapters.  Hopefully those suggestions are coming through on the Google drive.


    Just confirming that your changes did indeed make it through.
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1759 - April 04, 2015, 05:15 PM

    Hey doubter_seeker,

    How's the formatting going?

  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1760 - April 04, 2015, 05:55 PM

    Oh, I didn't realize you wanted me to send an email, doubter_seeker. I'll do that now.
  • Re: Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1761 - April 06, 2015, 06:31 PM

    Hey doubter_seeker,
    How's the formatting going?


    Hello everyone,

    I've been at bit distracted for the past few weeks by family, work and school. Honestly, I haven't had much time for myself at all, let alone any side projects. I've been on planning to get chapter 4 done by last month, but of course, my personal deadline slipped away.

    Anyways, things at home are finally stabilizing after a few more scares. I actually had to drop a few University courses because of the all the distraction and in order to preserve my sanity. However, I'm starting to feel like things are under control again, so perhaps in a few days I'll be able to continue the formatting work.

    I received new personal messages with emails with the past few days. I will send invitations shortly so you can start the editing work including the relevant instructions.
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1762 - April 06, 2015, 11:42 PM

    Thanks ds. Work & School and your sanity come first. Smiley
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1763 - May 11, 2015, 12:46 AM

    Hey DS, how's it going?

    If you are finding this too much to do, just let me know and I'll see what I can sort out.

    tbh I am keen to get this book out as soon as possible as I believe it will have a really positive impact. I don't mean to pressure you, but if you are finding you have too much else to cope with, we can find someone else to edit it and relieve you of the burden.

    It's up to you, my friend Smiley
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1764 - May 11, 2015, 04:53 AM

    I was just wondering how this was going. Keen to see it come out! Big thanks to everyone that has contributed to this project
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1765 - May 11, 2015, 10:02 AM

    Yes, I am also keen to get this out as soon as possible - I feel the time is right for it Smiley
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1766 - May 11, 2015, 10:03 AM

    Sometime one can say the right things but at the wrong time - it is when one manages to say the right things at the right time that revolutions happen  grin12
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1767 - May 11, 2015, 04:17 PM

    Sometime one can say the right things but at the wrong time - it is when one manages to say the right things at the right time that revolutions happen  grin12


    Right on comrade!  ni

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1768 - May 11, 2015, 05:00 PM

    “We are no longer the knights who say Ni! We are now the knights who say ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!”
  • Discussion about "My Ordeal with the Qur'an"
     Reply #1769 - May 11, 2015, 07:00 PM

    Hi again DS - I've been chatting with a Lua & Zaotar who have agreed to help put this together and help get it edited and published as soon as possible as it seems unfair to leave the burden on you when you clearly have a lot of other things going on.

    If you are free at any time and want to chip in, of course you would be very welcome Smiley
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