The Translation of Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths, A Comparative Study | April 2017 | Translation Journal

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The Translation of Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths, A Comparative Study

Abstract

The aim of this research is show a comparative study for translating some of the prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him). They are selected from the compilation of Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths so that this study aims to demonstrate problems and difficulties that a translator faces. This research consists of introduction, five chapters, conclusion and glossary for Islamic terms. The first chapter gives a general background about Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths. The second and third chapters study history of religious texts in general and history of Islamic texts in particular. In the fourth chapter, the research studies a sample of hadiths for analyzing them. Finally, the conclusion and the recommendations are the seal of this research.

Keywords      

Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths, hadith, Islam, Messenger, narrator, prophet, religion, sunnah

Introduction

This research studies the translation of Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths, a comparative study. It is a compilation which includes forty two hadiths said by the Messenger Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him). These hadiths are named after the person who collected them: Al-Imam Mohiy Al-den Yahiya bin Sharaf Al-Nawawi who was born in Nawa, a place near Damascus (Al-Jabaan, p. 23).

The story behind the compilation of this book is that the religious scholar ibn Salah compiled in his board for teaching of sciences of hadiths just twenty six hadiths that he considered the major components of Islam, then Al-Imam Al-Nawawi added another sixteen, thence they became forty two hadiths. Al-Imam Al-Nawawi attended that all these hadiths to be right, so they are related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim (Al-Jabaan, pp. 26-27).

A lot of scholars collected forty hadiths about certain issues in the life, but most of religious scholars agreed that Al-Nawawi's Forty are universal speech of the Islamic law which studies great and different issues for Muslims. So, Al-Nawawi's collection of forty hadiths is the most important collection of hadiths of the Messenger Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) (Al-Jabaan, p. 27).

1.2 Statement of the Problem of the Research

Translation of Islamic texts (i.e. Holy Quran and Prophetic Sunnah) is one of the most difficult kinds of translation. It needs interests by translators so that the danger of ignorance of a translator for Islamic matters affect during translating texts affect many Non-Arabic Muslims, because they lack to Arabic language and they cannot recognise whether transferred text is correct or wrong. Also, this ignorance leads to distorted translations that allow those who attack Islam frequently to revile the Holy Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah. All these dangers must be faced so that the way of facing them is by the correct translation that light to the straight path and guide to the truth and attack wrongdoers.

1.3 Hypothesis of the Study

The researchers hypothesize that religious texts are the most difficult in translating process, because the intended meaning of these texts are sacred and do not allow any distortion. It is difficult to translate them except if a translator has scientific and rightness ability about both source and target languages for transferring the intended meaning.

Common mistakes that translators of religious texts make are because of their observance by an origin text literally that they may convey inappropriate or distorted meaning about the source text. Also, using transliteration rather than translation for Islamic terms may affect in understanding Non- Arabic readers, especially if a translator uses it without explaining meaning of these terms.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate translating the prophetic sunnah so that it is one of the most greatest means for spread Islam after translating the Holy Quran. If translating texts for worldly matters is an important way, translating religious texts is more important for keeping religious rights for Islam and Muslims from any abuse against them.

2.0 Translation

2.1 History of Translation

Translation is one of old activities for the human community. It was an inherent phenomenon for the human history of the ancient times. It appeared with the emergence of the need for understanding among different languages speakers so that translation was the only tool for communication with all of types of exchanges
and links among human beings, individually and collectively (Al-Jaberi, 1431 AH (2010), p. 2).

It is difficult to determine the historical beginnings of translation. Perhaps, the religious texts, official documents, etc. which recorded the interaction between states and peoples were the oldest translations from a historical perspective. These models of translation have come from the Ancient Near East. The oldest of them were written by Sumerians, which back to the fourth millennium BC. These models were more like dictionaries, which contain a number of words that were recorded on a clay tablets in Sumerian language and their meanings in Akkadian language. Then, Assyria knew translation through the Akkadian Sarjon سرجون)) who published ornate inscriptions in several languages in the third millennium BC throughout his empire. Also, people in Babylonia talked various languages during the era of Hamurabi (Al-Jaberi, 1431 AH (2010), p. 2).

From Pharaonic Egypt, there were some models special for treaties among the Egyptians and Hittites were written in two languages that back to thousand years. The most famous of these models was Rosseta Stone that was written in three languages; Hieroglyphic, Demotion and Ancient Greek. In Persia, there was also the inscription of Bihiston (بهستون) that was recorded in three languages; Ancient Persian, Assyrian and Babylonian(Al-Jaberi, 1431 AH (2010), p. 2).

The old age refers to the presence of prominent role in translation throughout Ancient Persian Empire so that the earliest trials of interpreting (oral translation) directly were since that time. So, that period played an important role through its responsible trials to transfer the translation although from Hebrew or Aramaic to another languages (Al-Jaberi, 1431 AH (2010), p. 2).

During the Middle Ages, the center of translation and cultural radiation were oriented  in Baghdad, the capital of Islamic state, so that Greek masterpieces were transferred into Arabic by Syriac translators in the ninth and tenth centuries. Then, that center was transferred into Toledo in the twelfth century when those Greek masterpieces were translated into Latin. Furthermore, many Arabic works were translated into Hebrew and Latin which enforced and supported the neighborhood relations between Arabs and Jewish in Islamic Andalus. Perhaps, the most famous translated models into Latin was the Holy Quran in 1143 AD which excited many problems and issues about the honesty of translation to transfer a text properly (Al-Jaberi,  1431 AH (2010), p. 3).

In the sixteenth century, Martin Luther, a German monk who was born in 1483 and died in 1546, dominated the field of translation through the emergence of trend towards translating religious texts into German. The most prominent among his works was the translation of the Bible into his local language rather than Latin. He, also, framed some concepts about principles of translation in his book Letters about Translation. Most of interests for issues of translation raised by problems which attached to translate religious texts (Al-Jaberi, 1431 AH (2010), p. 3).

In both the 17th and 18th centuries, the concept of freedom about translation prevailed that that era was called The Era of Grand Treason for Translation so that translators did not mind to blame themselves about whether the exact meaning of a text was lost or not (Al-Jaberi,1431 AH (2010), p. 3).

In the 19thcentury, most of inscriptions about translation were attempts to show some issues of translation and to solve them with putting rules and succinctness that translators should follow.                   

Then, in the 20th century, translation grew in parallel with the expansion of political, commercial, and cultural relations among countries and individuals. Translation did not occupy this position for its importance for the contemporary human life and it is the magical way that connects relations between peoples and nations throughout a human history (Al-Jaberi, 1431 AH (2010), p. 3).

2.2 Translation and Religion

Translation is a linguistic activity that occupies an important place in the construction of human knowledge, whether orally or written, therefore, its importance raised as a mediator among any two different languages. Culture and language are inseparable of each other. It is not in a modern era, but it has been linked since ancient ages with the need of communication. It is the wisdom of Allah that He created the human beings on the earth tribes and nations and He made them know each other (Al-Ghazali, 2016, para. 1).

Translation throughout history was a pillar of civilization and a ground of Renaissance. In the Age of Renaissance, translation activity increased and thrives. There are many political, cultural, scientific, social, religious, etc. motives and goals for translation (Al-Jaberi, 1431 AH (2010), p. 10).

It is a linguistic activity that occupies an important place in the construction of human knowledge, whether orally or written, therefore, its importance raised as a mediator among any two different languages. Culture and language are inseparable of each other. It is not in a modern era, but it has been linked since ancient ages with
the need of communication. It is the wisdom of Allah that He created the human beings on the earth tribes and nations and He made them know each other (Al-Ghazali, 2016, para. 1).

Translation is not merely to transfer a text from one language to another, either orally or in a written form, but it also links two different cultures so that it is able to break the barrier of a language, which prevents the possibility of communication and empowerment of reading of the other culture. Every culture has its own specification and characteristics that make it different from others. So, translation is a tool for spreading culture and it is a means to know other people's ideas entirely (Al-Ghazali, 2016, para. 2). As a means for communication, translation bridges the gap among nations, as well as it builds up confidence between followers of different religions. Besides, It can help spreading love and cooperation in this world (Al-Ghazali, 2016,para. 7).

If translation plays a key role for connecting cultures and civilizations, then there is no doubt that translating religious texts is no less important to play the same role. Actually, religious translation still poses many challenges and controversial issues for debating in the field of translation, especially in the time of ideological and cultural conflicts, so that the religious translation aims to know and understand other religions either for defending or attacking them ;i.e. debating them for preaching or for religious controversy. ('Translation and Religious Texts', 2009, para. 1).

Undoubtedly, the translation of religious terms and concepts accurately is very important for those who envisage accuracy in translation and try transferring the meaning to the target readers properly that they interest linguistic and cultural stock for a target language because they are a key antecedent for the success of the translation ('Religious Translation', 2013, para. 2).

Translating religious texts helps bridging the gap between the nations. Transferring the right religious thought is able to make connections among peoples of the world instead of this disharmony and fear that are noticed mainly between the Islamic and Western worlds that it is a worth for them to be complementary to achieve the good for all mankind rather than expanding conflicts (Al-Ghazali, 2016, para.7). The religious translation plays a vital role in making a universal and general culture. It has a great importance in the world nowadays so that it is a means for intimation Islamic message for those who do not speak Arabic language. Also, it is a value of rapprochement and existence values between peoples.

            "Translation of religious texts has been a key element in disseminating the divine message throughout history. It was employed also for teaching converts the basics of religion and for mirroring the beauty of faith and morality around the globe" (Elewa, 2014, p. 25). As it is a powerful instrument for missionary purposes, it must be true and accurate  as possible and must be in accordance with the right of religious belief. To do this, translators must understand the original text and translate it truthfully and honestly to the target language, without distortion of any part of the original content (Elewa, 2014, p. 25).

The Islamic law circulates among people who do not speak Arabic language through translation. A bridge of the communication that the religious translation builds for making easy and conveying the religious thought is sponsor for union of the world alternatively the dissonance and the fright among the Arab and Islamic world. "Religious texts may be understood in two quite different senses:  (1) texts that discuss historical or present-day religious beliefs and practices of a believing community, (2) texts that are crucial in giving rise to believing community" (Nida, 1994, para. 11).

"Religious translation is one of the most problematic types of translation, because it deals with special texts that have their own holiness" (Al-Harahsheh, 2013, p.108). These sacred texts are sensitive, therefore; there is  a difficulty in translating them into another  language. The translator may lose the right meaning of the source text, or that text may be subjected to change, because of the influence of the ideology of a translator on his/her translation. Some translators have a different religion or culture that they may misunderstand the meaning of the text in the source language, because may not be their native language (Al-Harahsheh, 2013, p. 108).

2.3 Skills Required for Translating Religious Texts

Translation of religious and sacred texts is one of the important topics which accounts for attention of many researchers and professionals in the interfaith field, especially in sending religious messages for each one in his/her language spoken is not an easy task that requires the translator to be qualified; i.e. to have a set of conditions and specifications, including familiarity in the language of the source text and inthe language of the target text. Translating religious texts without these conditions leads the translator to make many errors that change the meaning of the text ('Translation and Sacred Texts', 2012, para. 5).

A translator of religious texts should have a very good experience in this field, because he/she incurs for a sensitive translation that cannot tolerate an error needs to accuracy, patience, and care paid by religious scholars. For instance, translating the Holy Quran needs two high skills; there must be familiarity with religion matters in general and the interpretation of the Holy Quran in particular. Moreover, linguistic abilities must be very high (Muhammad, p. 70).  

The translator is a focal element in the translation process. His/Her role is central for the translation process so that he/she is a part of the cultural environment in which he/she lives (Yusuf, para. 1). Sometimes, the translator may not be able to use words precisely because they cannot cover the real religious meanings in both languages. However, in the real sense, he/she must make a new formula for transferring the concept that the original language expresses; i.e., the translator must be well-versed in both languages which he/she deals with (Yusuf, para. 2). In addition, he/she should understand delicate and sensitive meanings, values and emotional important words, and stylistic characteristics that determine the flavor and sense of the message, as he/she should be well-versed in rules of the target language, and perhaps most of the mistakes that translators make arise mainly from the lack of comprehensive knowledge of the target language. Besides, he/she must be on the comprehensive lookout about the theme that he/she translates (Yusuf, paras. 5 - 6).

As well as, the translator's comprehensive knowledge of both the source and target language, the topic that he/she translates, and the psychological and real desire do not guarantee the success in translating the text efficiently unless he/she enjoys in a literary sense (Yusuf, para. 7). If translation is an art, the translator is the artist who creates his/her art and makes it meaningful and useful (Aamer, p. 5).

3.0 Translation and Islam

The look of Islam at translation has a goal that is farer than any another field. This goal is eschatology which presents from saying of Allah: “Truly the best of men for thee to employ is the (man) who is strong and trusty”  (Al-Qasas: 26). "إن خير من استئجرت القوي الأمين" (القصص: 26). The strong here represents knowledge of a translator for both source and target languages that allows to understand the intended meaning and to transfer it in an appropriate terms to a target language. While trusty means that responsibility of a translator about what is transferred so that he/she fears of Allah in conveying the message of Islam (Yusufi, para. 4).

A translator of these texts does not learn a language for the desire of information or necessity, but he/she it for responsibility of call to this religion (i.e. Islam). So, he/she must have an honest intention to perfect both a language and translation properly (Yusufi, para. 4).

Translation is one of the elegant arts which has special rules and specific means as most of another art. There are conditions and qualifications for those who do translation. It is a means of conveying civilization, customs and traditions of the world from a language to another. It is also a means of dealing and collaboration of commercial, industrial, military and diplomatic relations between two countries or more. It is a way to develop a language and to transport concepts, literature, seminars and conferences to readers and listeners (Numani, 2006, p. 185).

Translation is one of the most important ways for call for Allah and the spread of Islam among humans (Numani, 2006, p. 185). It is one of first stages for Islamic scientific movement and it is the beginning of the history for sciences in the Arabic civilization during Abbasid era, i.e. the periods of Caliph Harun Al-Rasheed, Caliph Abi-Jaafer Al-Mansur and Caliph Al-Maa’mun. In that era, there were translators who carried the responsibility of the transportation of the existing human traditions to Arabic language which was the language of sciences n that period. (Ghaneema, 2007, para. 2).

Before Islam, the Arabs contacted with other peoples that surrounded them. They were Romans in the North and Persians in the East, Egyptians in the West and Ethiopians in the South. It is difficult to imagine these literary and economic relations without translation even if it was in the first stages. As in the period of Islam, some types of translations were not omitted so that the prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) recommended Zaid bin Thabit to learn Syriac language, the he learned it and he also learned the Persian and Roman. In the period of Amr ibn Al-Aas, there was a translation activity between Greek and Arabic (22 AH, i.e. 643 AD) (Projects of Translation in the Arab World, para. 3).

Translation is a basic bridge to transfer science and knowledge among peoples. Also, it was a step for conveying the development among civilizations (Projects of Translation in the Arab World, para. 1). It is assured that through translation, Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptians civilizations exchanged some documents and conventions. In addition to writing of literary and intellectual. Also, the Greek civilization translated these documents and conventions, and other creative activities of old oriental civilizations so that students of that civilization (i.e. Greek) were sent to Egypt, especially to Old Alexandria which played a historical important role through translating process, because it was the first among scientific and literary centers in the history of a human that engaged students and great scholars
from different countries of the ancient world (Projects of Translation in the Arab World, para. 1)

3.1  Growth of Translation in the Islamic Civilization

There are two opinions about the growth of translation in the Islamic culture: The first opinion is that the roots of the movement of the first translation into Arabic was at the beginning of Omayyad period, as stated in the sources that Khalid bin Yazeed ibn Muaawiya was sent into Alexandria for getting some books of medicine and chemistry for translating them into Arabic that after he left the succession willingly (Al-Sarjani, 2012, para. 1). In his book (Al-Fahrist), ibn-Al-Nadeem said that it was reported that Khalid bin Yazeed Muaawiya was called hakeem Aal Marwan (i.e. the philosopher of the folk of Marwan tribe) that he ordered to bring a group of Greek philosophers who settled Egypt and spoke in Arabic. That was the first time in transferring from one language to another in Islam. Ibn Khalkan described Khalid as he was known in Qurayish (a tribe in Mecca) for mastering the arts of chemistry and medicine (Al-Sarjani, 2012, para. 2). There are Omayyad successors who completed the efforts of translation after Khalid bin Yazeed, one of them is Omar bin Abd Al-Azeez (99-101AH) who took with him one of Alexandria school scholars when he went to Al-Madinah for the succession that depended on him in the field of medicine . The caliph Omar conveyed a group of scholars of the school of Alexandria to Antiochin in 100 AH. However, it did not mean that scientific activities of Alexandria School were terminated during Abbasid period (Al-Sarjani, 2012, para. 2)

The second opinion is that the translation movement backs to the era of the prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him). One of the most famous of Syriac (Al-Sarjani, 2012, para 4) during that era was Zaid bin Thabit who learned it in seventeen days (Al-Ittihad, 2015, para. 2) and he also learned the Persian and the Roman (Al-Sarjani, 2012,para. 4).

The oldest translated script in the Islamic period backs to 22 AH. It had three lines were written in Greek along with their translation into Arabic. Translation appeared during the time of the prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him), in contradiction to the opinion that translation started during Omayyad period (Al-Sarjani, 2012, para. 4).

Translation movement to Arabic Language continued and extended to get stronger in Abbasid era that it became a corner of political corners in that period that efforts of translation become from matters of a nation. While the translation in the Omayyad period was limited to chemistry, medicine and astronomy that through Abbasid period it was broader that it included philosophy, logic, empirical science and literary books (Al-Sarjani, 2012, para. 5).

3.2 Problems of Translating Religious Texts

Problems of religious translation lie at the apex of texts whence difficulties in translation. These problems back to many reasons, including the fact that religious texts, whether at the level of a word, a phrase or a text, are based on quality of semantic; i.e. they characterize the multiplicity of meanings that the language of a source text can accommodate for it. This makes finding an appropriate equivalence of a target language is the most complex issues that a translator faces ('Religious Texts', 2013, para. 1).

Problems and difficulties of translation are created from the fact that an equivalent of a meaning in a target language may not transfer the same written message in the source language. In addition, the linguistic template that a message is shown in a source language is different from that in a target language, especially if common information and assumptions between a reader and a writer are different, especially if that happens among two languages that differ completely in their culture aspect, such as Arabic and English Languages, so that it is not easy to translate from Arabic to English and vice versa in view of a different structure and installation of both languages completely (Yusef, para. 2).

Perhaps, the first person who pointed out technical difficulties and serious consequences that arise in hands of ready people to face flow of the religious translation was Al-Jahiz in his book Al-Hayawan. He stated  that whenever the content of (a science) is more difficult, narrower and its scientists are less, it is more possible for a translator to err in it. Then, the reader will never find a translator to come of these scientists. This issue is about books of engineering, astrology, mathematics, etc. However, it is unacceptable to talk and tell about Allah and His holy books in an appropriately. Then, he said that the error in a religion is more harmful than these errors that are about mathematics, industry, philosophy, chemistry, etc. that children of Adam live […] and if a translator who translates a text is
not capable for that, he/she errs as far as decreasing of perfection (Al-Mustafa, 2014, paras. 1-2).

The translator of religious texts is obligated of some qualifications and religious and moral responsibilities what requires high willingness for cognition and revision for his/her translated work is hale of mistakes that make people renounce for his/her work and this may incur him/her for enquiry by authorities (Al-Mustafa,
2014, para. 3).

3.3 The Necessity of Translation in Islam

Translation emerged in the era of the prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) whenever the need obligated for it. Its appearance in that period was on different occasions following the commands of Allah in His saying “Say: Produce the Torah and read it if you are truthful. (3: 93)” "قل فأتوا بالتوراة فاتلوها إن كنتم صادقين", (Pickthall, 2012, p. 40), that it was about the interpretation of Torah in Arabic and other languages. Torah was recited in Hebrew, however, in this verse Allah orders to be recited for Arabs who did not know that language; i.e. Hebrew. Once more in the order of the prophet (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) that is narrated by Abu-Dawood in his sunan (book of traditions) from Zaid bin Thabit said: “The prophet of Allah (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) ordered me to learn words from the book of Jews that He said: O Allah, I do not trust for a Jew on my book. Zaid said: I did not pass half a month until I learned it for Him, he said: when I learned it; if He wrote to Jews, I wrote to them and if they wrote to Him, I read to Him” (Al-Aqeel, 1429 AH (2008), pp. 3-4).ما رواه أبو داود في سننه عن زيد بن ثابت، قال: أمرني رسول الله- صلى الله عليه وسلم- أن أتعلم له كلمات من كتاب اليهود، قال: إني والله ما آمن يهود على كتابي، قال: فما مر بي نصف شهر حتى تعلمته له، قال: فلما تعلمته كان إﺬا كتب إلى يهود كتبت إليهم وإﺬا كتبوا إليه قرأت له كتابهم.

Besides, in the hadith of the Messenger (May peace and Blessing be Upon Him) narrated by Al-Bukhari from ibn Abbas said: “Abu-Sufiyan told me that Hercules called his interpreter, then he asked to bring the message of the prophet. Then, he read “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, from Muhammad, the servant of Allah and His prophet to Hercules, and the people of the book come to a word between us and you (Al-Aqeel, 1429 AH (2008), p. 4).

في حديث النبي- صلى الله عليه وسلم- ما رواه البخاري عن ابن عباس- رضي الله عنهما- قال: أخبرني أبو سفيان: أن هرقل دعا ترجمانه ثم دعا بكتاب النبي- صلى الله عليه وسلم- فقرأه " بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، من محمد عبد الله ورسوله إلى هرقل، ويا أهل الكتاب تعالوا إلى كلمة سواء بيننا وبينكم".  

In another hadith, narrated also by Abu-Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with Him) that the Messenger said: The people (Jews and Christians) of the book (Torah and Gospel) read Torah in Hebrew and they interpret it in Arabic for Muslims. Then, the prophet of Allah (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) said: Do not believe the people of the book nor disbelieve them, however, say: We believe in Allah and what was revealed to us” (our translation) (Al-Aqeel, 1429 AH (2008), p. 4).

وعن أبي هريرة- رضي الله عنه- قال: كان أهل الكتاب يقرؤن التوراة بالعبرانية ويفسرونها
بالعربية لأهل الإسلام، فقال رسول الله- صلى الله عليه وسلم- : لا تصدقوا أهل الكتاب ولا تكذبوهم وقولوا: آمنا بالله وما
أنزل إلينا.

All of these hadiths show the necessity of translation and the need for it in that period, and how much it is currently needful that there is convergence in the relations between countries, in the time multi-lingualism, and how much the right is hidden and not too much clear or non-Arab Muslims. Also, there is thirst of non-Muslims to realize Islam which is acceptable for Allah (Al-Aqeel, 1429 AH (2008), p. 4).

Since the era of prophecy, Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) founded the first state of Islam, He ordered His companions to learn other languages so that He ordered Zaid bin Thabit to write letters for kings and to reply for their messages in the presence of the prophet. Zaid translated letters for Him in Persian, Roman and Ethiopians that he learned from the native speakers of these languages. Thus, the mission of translation for the aim of the spread of Islam began since that time (Al-Humi, 2010, para. 2).

The early Muslims were interested in learning languages that they realized their importance for communication with the world and for the call for Allah in the out of the Arabian Peninsula. As they were committed orders of the prophet (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) in all of matters of their religion, they were committed for His orders in the field of learning other languages for avoiding the evil of the (people) speakers of those languages and for the spread of the Islam message (Al-Humi, 2010, para. 4).

In this period, the number of non-Arab Muslims increases and unfortunately they do not understand Arabic that the Holy Quran is revealed in. Perhaps, some of them can read the Quran literatim, but they cannot understand its meaning. So, translation is the only way to preach the religion of Allah properly (Al-Aqeel, 1429 AH (2008), p. 8). 

3.4 The First Translator in Islam

The first translator and the writer of the inspiration in Islam was Zaid bin Thabit Al-Dahhak Al-Ansari from bani Al-Najjar. He was born in Al-Madinah Al-Mnawwarah in 12 BH (‘Zaid bin Thabit’, 2016, para. 1).

When the prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) emigrated to Al-Madinah, Zaid bin Thabit was under 11 years. Since childhood, he was known to be intelligent. In a later stage of his age, he was scholar and intelligent preservative that it was mentioned in Sahih Al-Bukhari that the Messenger (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) ordered him to learn the language of Hebrew so that he would be able to read the messages for the prophet. He learned it in fifteen days that Zaid says “ the folk of my tribe took me to the prophet (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him), then they said: O the prophet of Allah; this boy is from Bani Al-Najjar that he has memorized the few of surahs that Allah sent for you, then the prophet of Allah liked that and said: “O Zaid, learn for me the book of Hebrew. I do not trust the Jews on my book”. Then, Zaid said: “I learned their book in only fifteen days and later I was able to read and write for Him, and I also write his answers” (Al-Ittihad, 2015, para. 1).

The Messenger (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) asked Zaid to learn the Syriac language also, then he learned it in seventeen days (Al-Ittihad, 2015, para. 2). Zaid bin Thabit (May Allah be Pleased with Him) was one of the writers of the Holy Quran. He also wrote some letters for the Messenger (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) to different kings for call them to Islam (Al-Ittihad, 2015, para. 3).

In the beginning of the call to Allah, there were some companions of the prophet (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) who memorized the Holy Quran, while others wrote it. Zaid bin Thabit was one of those who could both memorize and write the Holy Quran (Al-Sarjani, 2006, para. 8)

After the death of the Messenger of Allah (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him), Muslims were busy with the wars of Al-Rreddah in the era of the caliph Abu-Bakr Al-Ssiddiq. In the war of Al-Yamamah, a lot of martyrs were the preservatives o the Holy Quran, so Omar bin Al-Khattab and Abu-Bakr Al-Ssiddiq asked for collecting the Quran before the death or martyrdom of the preservatives. The caliph Abu-Bakr Al-Ssiddiq performed Salat Istikharah for the purpose of collecting the Quran, then he instructed Zaid bin Thabit for that great task. He collected it in an arranged way (Al-Sarjani, 2015, paras. 10-11).

During the succession of Othman bin Aaffan, Islam received new people that their mother tongues were different, then Othman and some of companions ordered for unifying the distorted scripts of the Holy Quran. They were helped by Zaid bin Thabit for writing this unified copy of the Quran so that they called him the writer of the prophet of Allah. The companions of the Messenger (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) agreed that the opinion (i.e. about copy of the Holy Quran) of Zaid was the evidence, because he was one of the stables in the Islamic knowledge (Al-Sarjani, 2015, paras. 12-13).

Zaid bin Thabit died in the era of Muaawiya (i.e. one of caliphs) in 45 AH that Abu-Hurairah (one of companions of the Messenger) said after his death: “Today; the scholar of this ummah (nation) has died” (Al-Sarjani, 2015, para. 19).

4.0 Al-Imam Al-Nawawi's Life

The complete name of Al-Imam Al-Nawawi is Abu-Zakariya Mohiy Al-den Yahiya bin Sharaf bin Murri bin Hasan bin Hussein bin Muhammad bin Jumaa bin Huzam Al-Nawawi Al-Shafaee (Biography of Al-Imam Al-Nawawi, 2003, para. 10). He was born in Muharram 631 AH, in Nawa; a place near Damascus, so he is given descriptive the name of Al-Nawawi from Nawa (Biography of Al-Imam Al-Nawawi, 2013, paras. 1-2).

When Al-Imam Al-Nawawi (May Allah be Merciful to Him) was ten, he began to memorize the Holy Quran and studying Al-fiqh. In 649 AH, he moved to Damascus to complete his study at the School of Dar Al-Hadith. He settled Rawaahiyah School that is next to Al- Omawi Mosque. In 651, he pilgrimaged with his father, then he returned at the age of twenty (Biography of Al-Imam Al-Nawawi, 2013, para. 2). Al-Imam Al-Nawawi was an ascetic scholar and much of worship for Allah that he did not waste his time except in a study. Even he was walking in the way or returning to his home, he kept himself repeating what he memorized
(Al-Dhahabi').

In Damascus, Al-Imam Al-Nawawi studied a lot of sciences from more than twenty celebrated teachers. These teachers were regarded as the masters and authorities of their subject fields and disciplines they thought (Biography of Al-Imam Al-Nawawi, para. 3). Al-Imam Al-Nawawi wrote a lot of books about the science of Al-Hadith and Al-Fiqh that the three books which are the most famous from these collections are Al-Adhkar, Riyad Al-Saliheen and Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths.
In his authorship, he depended on evidences from Quran and sunnah (Al-Nawawi, 1992, p. 32).

In 676 AH, Al-Imam Al-Nawawi returned to his home town, Nawa. There, he got ill, then he died on Rajab 6th,676 AH (Zarabozo, p. 46). He lived only forty five years, but he was a scholar and jurist. Thence, ibn katheer ('Biography of Al-Imam Al-Nawawi', para. 5) says that Al-Imam Al-Nawawi is Sheikh (master) of the doctrine and he was the greatest scholar in his time ('Biography of Al-Imam Al-Nawawi',
para. 5).

4.1 Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths

Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths is a compilation which includes forty two hadiths by the Messenger of Allah (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) that they are not forty, but following the Arabic tradition, the name was given as it is now; The Forty. These hadiths are named with this name related to their collector; Al-Imam Al-Nawawi. Also, they are named by him; The Forty in Building of Islam and Rules of succinctness (Al-Jabaan, p. 23). The origin of this compilation was that ibn Salah (Al-Jabaan, p. 26) gathered twenty six hadiths in his board along with their explanations that he named them The Comprehensible Hadiths. Then, Al-Imam Al-Nawawi added another sixteen so that he finished compiling the forty two hadiths (Al-Jabaan, p. 26).

The cause behind selecting these hadiths is that universal hadiths seem to be universal and that scholars agreed Al-Nawawi's Forty studies great and different matters for Muslims, such as the corners of Islam, corners of faith, issues of Islam; i.e. lawful and unlawful issues, etc. Thence, Al-Imam Al-Nawawi talked about this point, he states that: The scholars (May Allah be pleased with them) compiled innumerable works in this field; i.e. collections of forty hadiths. The first one that I knew, was Abd Allah ibn Al-Mubarak, Muhammad ibnAslam Al-Toosee, etc. Then, he said that he was turned to Allah for His guidance and he prayed to Him while he was compiling these forty hadiths, following the example of those religious scholars (Al-Jabaan,
pp. 26-27).

Following the tradition of the most of religious scholars (May Allah be Pleased with them), these Al-Nawawi's Hadiths began in this hdaith: "Actions are but by intentions [….]"; "[….] إنما الأعمال بالنيات" so that both Al-Imam Al-Shafaee and Al-Imam Ahmad (both of them are of known four religious and jurist scholars) agreed that this hadith represents the third of Islamic knowledge (Badi, 2002, p. 5).

4.2 Critique of the Translation of Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths

"Translation criticism is the systematic study, evaluation, and interpretation of different aspects of translated works" ('Translation Criticism', 2016, para. 1). Most people think that translation criticism and analysis should be about the negative works only, but to explore positive aspects is alsoaway of criticism. "One of the goals of translation criticism is to raise awareness of delicacy involved in translation and to explore whether the translator has achieved his/her goals or not" ('Translation Criticism', 2016, para. 2).

Critic of translation measures the extent to which the translator follows the correct and full translation for the whole text. It is not word-by-word translation, but it is translation of a verbal equivalences without adding or ignoring ('Translation Criticism', 2013, para.1). One of the most important points that should be measured through the analysis and criticism of translation is the linguistic parity, i.e. the use of linguistic level of the target language equalizes the level of language in the source language. The critic of translation also analyses a verbal and morphological significance of a word in an original text and compares it to what the translator chooses in a target language ('Translation Criticism', 2013, para. 3).

The analysis also distinguishes between the synonyms and similar words, for example, the Arabic language particularizes an accurate meaning and specialty of articulation. Although, there are some convergent words in the meaning, but there are differences that characterize every word from another according to usage ('Translation Criticism', 2013, para. 4). Moreover, the style of writing is important in the criticism and analysis. It is one of the most prominent features that distinguishes the text. The translator must realize the style that a writer/speaker uses for illustrating the accurate image of the original text ('Translation Criticism', 2013, para. 6).

Translation quality is closely tied to the translator, whenever his/her language skills and level of knowledge are expanded, he/she could master the methods of translation and pass at a highest degree of proficiency ('Translation Criticism', 2013, para.7).

4.3 Analysis of Al-Nawawi's Forty Hdiths Translation

It is not enough that the translator is skillful in both languages; i.e.  source language and target language, to translate Quranic and prophetic texts. It is known that each science has its own terms, therefore; it is not enough to know just the linguistic meaning of these words, the translator of the Prophetic Sunnah must be conversant with religious and in the general fundamentals of religion as well as terms that are frequently used in supporting sciences (Waiet, p. 7). The translator must also have the ability to transfer religious terms to the target language clearly.

In the absence of these abilities, he/she cannot translate Sunnah correctly. The translator who translates the sayings of the prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him), to the target language, conveys the meaning of hadiths, therefore he/she looks as a narrator of hadiths that abides by meaning (Waiet,  p. 8).

The analysis of Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths is based on two texts that must have the same semantic expressions in the source language and the target language, as well as it is based on the grammatical rules of both languages. Although there are differences in the morphological and syntactic structures between them. The differences are also in thoughts and cultures (Al-Fawadi, para.4).

The criticism of a translated text is also a comparison between its translations to show the extent of mastering or thinness of the translated work, and to clarify a perfection of translating to improve by it and to discover a weakness to avoid it (Al-Fawawdi, para.4).

The analysis and criticism of Al-Nawawi's Hadiths translation stand here on three different sources of translation. The research studies specific samples of these hadiths that cover the issue of comparison well. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the criticism includes not only the negative side, but it also includes the positive one.

4.4 Dealing with a Weak (Daeif) Hadith

Forties (Al- Arbaeenat) is a kind of hadith books which includes forty hadiths of saying of the prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) (Al- Arbaeenat, 2014, para. 1). These forties occurred that depending on saying of the Messenger (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him): "Whosoever memorizes and preserves for my people forty hadith relating to his religion, Allah will resurrect him on the Day of Judgement as a jurist and religious scholar". [ narrated from Ibn Abbas, Anas and Abu-Hurairah (R.A)];"من حفظ على أمتي أربعين حديثا من أمر دينه بعثه الله يوم القيامة فقيها عالما", that scholars collect forty hadiths whether Nabawi or Qudusi about an issue of Islamic matters that are according to a goal for collecting them (Al-Jabaan, p.4).

This compilation differs from a motive to another; i.e. they are about different matters. The first person that compiled in these books is Al-Imam Abd-Allah bin Al-Mubarak Al-Handhali (Al-Jabaan, p. 7). The cause behind compiling like these books backs to three matters; the first matter is depending of scholars on this hadith: "Whosoever memorizes and preserves [….]"; "[….] من حفظ على أمتي", the second matter is intimation and declaration hadiths of the Messenger (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) for Muslims and the third matter is following of religious scholars who collected in these forties, such as Al-Imam Al-Nawawi and those who preceded him (Al-Jabaan, pp. 7-8).

Most of scholars interested with the precedent hadith so that this hadith narrated by many companions of the Messenger (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him); ibn Abbas, Anas bin Malik, Abu-Hurairah, ibn Omar, etc. (Al-Jabaan, p. 9). "Whosoever memorizes and preserves for my people forty hadith relating to the Sunnah and he conveys it to them, on the Day of judgment I shall be intercessor or a witness for him". [narrated from ibn Omar (R.A)].

"من حفظ على أمتي أربعين حديثا من السنة حتى يؤديها إليهم كنت له شفيعا أو شهيدا يوم القيامة".                 

"Whosoever transmits from me to my people who come after me forty hadith, he will be written in the company of religious scholars and he will be resurrected with the group of martyrs". [narrated from ibn Omar].

"من نقل عني إلى من يلحقني من أمتي أربعين حديثا كتب في زمرة الشهداء وحشر في جملة الشهداء".           

Most of scholars agreed that this hadith is weak (daeif) even if it is narrated by different narrators (Al-Khadhir, 2014, para. 2). Al-Imam Al-Nawawi said in introduction of his book Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths about this hadith and how he was depending on it in collecting forty hadiths: "Scholars agreed for permissible of using of weak hadith (daeif) for virtues of works (i.e. religious works). Nevertheless, my dependence is not on this hadith, but on saying of the prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) of the right hadiths; "Let him who is present here convey (this message) to him who is absent" (Riyad Al-Saleehin); "ليبلغ الشاهد منكم الغائب" and "May Allah be rejoiced with a person who hears my saying so that memorizes it and then conveys it to another "نضر الله امرأ سمع مقالتي فوعاها فأداها كما سمعها". " (Al-Khadhir, 2014, paras. 2-3). 

5.0Models of Translations of Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths

This chapter provides a practical study of the translation of eight hadiths.

  1. Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths, Sidheeque M. A. Veliankode, 2001.
  2. ShurhArba'een Al-Nawawi - Commentary of Forty Hadiths of Al-Nawawi, Jamal Ahmed Badi, 2002.
  3. Translation of Al-Nawawi's 40 Hadiths.

5.1.1 Hadith No. 1

الحديث الأول: إنما الأعمال بالنيات

(عن أمير المؤمنين أبي حفص عمر بن الخطاب - رضي الله عنه - قال: سمعت رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم - يقول: "إنما الأعمال بالنيات وإنما لكل امرئ ما نوى. فمن كانت هجرته إلى الله ورسوله فهجرته إلى الله ورسوله، ومن كانت هجرته لدنيا يصيبها أو امرأة ينكحها فهجرته إلى ما هاجر إليه "

رواه إماما المحدثين أبو عبد الله محمد بن إسماعيل بن إبراهيم بن المغيرة بن بردزبه البخاري و أبو الحسين مسلم بن الحجاج بن مسلم القشيري النيسابوري في صحيحيهما اللذين هما أصح الكتب المصنفة).

I. The First Translation

The First Hadith

Actions are But by Intention

On the authority of the Commander of Faithful Abu Hafs Umar ibn al-Khattab t who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah r say: "Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but by that which intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His Messenger, his migration was for Allah and His Messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated."

It was related by the two Imams of scholars of Hadith, Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Mughira ibn Bardizbah al-Bukhari and Abu 'l-Husain Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj ibn Muslim al-Qushairi an-Naisaburi, in their two Sahihs, which are the soundest of the compiled books.

II. The Second Translation

It is narrated on the authority of AmirulMu'minin, Abu Hafs 'Umar bin al-khattab, radiyallahu 'anhu who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, say: "Actions are judged by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger, but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his might is to that for which he migrated."

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

III. The Third Translation

On the authority of Omar bin Al-khattab, who said: I heard the messenger of Allah salla Allah u alihi wasallam say: "Actions are but by intentions and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated." Related by Bukhari and Muslim.

The Analysis

In the first translation, the translator uses the phrase on the authority of the Commander of faithful; i.e., the nickname for Omar bin Al-Khattab rather than using of transliteration for it; AmirulM'uminin as in the other translations. He does not use the plural form for the word faithful as in Arabic (المؤمنين). He uses the phrases r and t in Arabic. This translation uses the modal verb shall with the subject every man, although it is most commonly used in sentences with the two pronouns I and we. In the final part of this hadith, he translates the word (صحيحيهما) their two Sahihs, without stating that they are two books for these two scholars; al-Bukhari and Muslim, which are used for relating hadiths of the prophet (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him).He translates
the full names of narrators as in Arabic text unlike the second and third translations.

The second translation, the translator transliterates the nickname of Omar bin Al-Kattab. He starts with the same word actions. He uses the word motives rather than intentions as in the first translation which means (نِيَّات). He illustrates the two words motives and migration that transliterate them into niyyah and hijrah. This translator uses the preposition to rather than for which is used in the first and third translations as in his migration is to Allah and His Messenger that for refers to an intended goal, while to refers to a movement, an action, or a condition. It translates the word (امرأة)a wife rather than a woman. He translates just the surnames of narrators; Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

The third translation, the translator does not translate the nickname of Omar bin Al-Kattab (أمير المؤمنين). This translation is similar to the first one excepting its translating of the phrases that follow the Messenger and Omar bin Al-Kattab; r and t, its translating of narrators names of the hadith, and its writing of the word Messenger in a small letter.

5.1.2 Hadith No. 2

الحديث الثاني : بيان الإسلام والإيمان  والإحسان

عن عمر- رضي الله عنه- أيضا قال :

"بينما نحن جلوس مع رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم- ذات يوم إذ طلع علينا رجل شديد بياض الثياب شديد سواد الشعر، لا يرى عليه أثر السفر، ولا يعرفه منا أحد، حتى جلس إلى النبي- صلى الله عليه وسلم- فأسند ركبتيه إلى ركبتيه، ووضع كفيه على فخديه و قال: يا محمد أخبرني عن الإسلام. فقال رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم- : " الإسلام أن تشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله، وتقيم الصلاة، وتؤتي الزكاة، وتصوم رمضان، وتحج البيت إن استطعت إليه سبيلا" قال: صدقت. فعجبنا له يسأله ويصدقه، قال: فأخبرني عن الإيمان قال: أن تؤمن بالله، وملائكته، و كتبه، و رسله، واليوم الآخر وتؤمن بالقدر خيره وشره قال: صدقت. قال: فأخبرني عن الإحسان. قال: أن تعبد الله كأنك تراه، فإن لم تكن تراه فإنه يراك، قال: فأخبرني عن الساعة. قال: ما المسؤول عنها بأعلم من السائل. قال: فأخبرني عن أماراتها. قال: أن تلد الأَمة ربتها، وأن ترى الحفاة العراة العالة رعاء الشاء يتطاولون في البنيان. ثم انطلق فلبثت مليا، ثم قال: يا عمر أتدري من السائل؟ قلت: الله ورسوله أعلم. قال: فإنه جبريل أتاكم يعلمكم دينكم" – 
رواه مسلم

The First Translation

Also on the authority of Umar t who said:

One the day while we were sitting with the messenger of Allah r there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journeying were to be seen on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the prophet r. Resting his knees against his Knees and placing the palms of his hands on his thighs, he said: O Muhammad, tell me about Islam. The Messenger of Allah r said: Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the Zakat, to fast in Ramadan, and too make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so. He said: You have spoken rightly, and we were amazed at him asking him and saying that he had spoken rightly. He said: Then tell me about Iman. He said: It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof. He said: You have spoken rightly. He said: Then tell me about Ihsan. He said: It is to worship Allah as though you are seeing Him, and while you see Him not yet  truly He see you. He said: Then tell me about the Hour. He said: The one questioned about it knows no better than the questioner. He said: Then tell me about its signs. He said: That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and that you will see the barefooted, naked, destitute herdsmen competing in constructing lofty buildings. Then he took himself off and I stayed for a time. Then he said: O Umar, do you know who the questioner was? I said: Allah and His Messenger know best. He said: It was Gebriel, who came to you to teach your religion." It was related by Muslim.

The Second Translation

Also on the authority of Umar, radiyallah anhu who said:

"While we were one day sitting with the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothes and
with very black hair. No traces of journeying were visible on him, and none of us knew him.

He sat down close by the prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, rested his knee against his thighs, and said, O Muhammad! Inform me about Islam. "Said the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah (ritual prayer), pay Zakah, fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka'bah at Makkah), if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it). " said he (the man), " you can truly."

We were astonished at his thus questioning him and telling him that he was right, but he went on to say, "Inform me about iman (faith)." He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, " It is that you believe in Allah and His angels and His Books  and His Messengers and in the Last Day, and in fate (qadar), both in its good and its evil aspects. " He said, " You have spoken truly."

Then he (the man) said, "Inform me about Ihsan. "He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, "It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet He sees you." He said " Inform me about the Hour." He ( the Messenger of Allah) said, " About that the one questioned knows no more than the questioner." So he said, "Well, inform me about the signs thereof (i.e. of its coming)." Said he, " They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, that you will see the barefooted ones, the naked, the destitute, the herdsmen of the sheep (competing with each other) in raising lofty buildings." Thereupon the man went off.

I waited a while, and then he ( the Messenger of Allah) said, " O Umar, do you know who that the questioner was?" I replied, " Allah and His Messenger know better." He said, " That was Jibril. He came to teach you your religion." [Muslim] 

The Third Translation

Also on the authority of Umar, who said: One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journeying were to be seen on him and none of  us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the prophet. Resting his knees against his and placing the palms of his hands on his thighs, he said: " O Muhammad, tell me about Islam". The Messenger of Allah said: " Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers , to pay the zakat, to fast in Ramadan, and to make pilgrimage to the House you are able to do so". He said: " You have spoken rightly" , and we were amazed at him asking him and saying that he had spoken rightly. He said: " Then tell me about eman". He said: " It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof ". He said you have spoken rightly". He said: " Then tell me about ehsan". He said: " It is to worship Allah as though you are seeing Him, and while you see Him not yet truly He sees you". He said: " Then tell me about the Hour". He said: " The one questioned about it knows no better than the questioner ". He said: " Then tell me about its signs." He said: " That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and that you will see the barefooted, naked, destitute herdsmen competing in constructing lofty buildings." Then he took himself off and I stayed for a time. Then he said: " O Omar, do you know who the questioner was? " I said: "Allah and His messenger know best". He said: "He was Jebreel (Gabriel), who came to you to teach you your religion." Narrated by Muslim

The Analysis

 In the first translation, the translator starts with the word (also); i.e. it indicates to the existence of another hadith mentioned before this hadith; i.e. the second hadith of this compilation of Al-Nawawi's hadiths. The translator uses ways and styles that could make the hadith is not translated properly, for example, he writes the word (messenger) in small letters, although this word refers to the prophet Muhammad, Peace be Upon Him. Also, the pronoun his in the two phrases his thighs and his knees. He also left the phrase صلى الله عليه وسلم  untranslated,  although this phrase may not be clear for non-Arabic readers. Some words in this hadith such as زكاة  , إيمان , إحسان , etc. are religious terms they are transliterated into Zakah, Iman, Ihsan, respectively without illustrating in English. Besides, the translator here does not also use the punctuating marks perfectly. The researchers notice that this translation uses familiar words that helps a reader to understand the intended meaning of hadith , like using the word god instead of any another word that is used in many religions. In the final sentence, the translator used the word best instead of better that means Allah and His Messenger (Peace be Upon Him) know best, and there is no comparison between them (i.e. Allah, the Messenger and people).

In the second translation, the translator starts with the same word (i.e. also) that this compilation of Al-Nawawi's Hadiths is fixed in showing them. This translator translated some words in this hadith that may not make understood properly, for example, the sentence: (peace and Blessing be Upon Him) was translated according to its pronouncing (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) that he translates it in literal way. He writes the word (Messenger) in a capital letter, while he does not write some pronouns in a capital letter that they back to the prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him).

In this translation, the translator does not translate some sentences in the hadith, although these words are important and are not understood in a context. He explains some religious words, as Salah ( ritual prayers), Hajj (pilgrimage), and also House that have meaning (Ka'abah).

This translator used the literal translation that in the sentence: (فقال الرسول) he/she did not concentrate on rules of the target language for exchange of the subject in the place of the verb. He uses also the conjunction (and) as in the source language (Arabic), as in the sentence: Allah and His angels and His books and His Messenger, etc. The translator here used the word (better) instead of the word (best).In the third translation, the translator starts like the first two translations. We notice that he/she does not translate the sentence: (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him), although it was a part of hadith. He/She uses in translating process familiar words, and also uses punctuating. Here, he/she does not explain the religious words for illustration . He/She does not use the capital letter to the pronouns which back to the prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him). This translation is similar to the first translation in using words and the way of translation itself more than the second one.

 5.1.3 Hadith No. 6

الحديث السادس: الحلال بَيِّنٌ و الحرام بَيِّنٌ

عن أبي عبد الله النعمان بن بشيرy قال: سمعت رسول اللهr يقول: " إن الحلال بين، و إن الحرام بين، و بينهما أمور مشتبهات لا يعلمهن كثير من الناس، فمن اتقى الشبهات فقد استبرأ لدينه وعرضه، و من وقع في الشبهات وقع في الحرام، كالراعي يرعى حول الحمى يوشك أن يرتع فيه، ألا وإن لكل ملك حمى، ألا و إن لكل ملك حمى، ألا و إن حمى الله محارمه ألا و إن في الجسد مضغة إذا صلحت صلح الجسد كله، و إذا فسدت فسد الجسد كله: ألا وهي القلب".        رواه البخاري و مسلم.

I. The First Translation

The Lawful and the Unlawful are Plain

On the authority of  Abu Abdullah an-Nu'man the son Bashir, y who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah r says: "That which is lawful is plain and unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and honor, but he who fall into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah's sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be deceased, all of it is deceased. Truly it is the heart."  It was related by Bukhari
and Muslim.

II. The Second Translation

On the authority of Abu Abdullah Al-Nu'man bin Bashir, radiyallahu anhuma, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu' alayhi wasallam, say: "Truly what is lawful is evident, and what unlawful is evident, and  in the between the two are matters which are doubtful which many people do not know. He who guards against doubtful things keeps his religion and honor blameless, and he who indulges in doubtful things indulges in fact in unlawful things, just as a shepherd who pastures his flock round a preserve will soon pasture them in it. Beware, every king has a preserve, and the things Allah has declared unlawful are His preserves. Beware, in the body there is a flesh, if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart."         [Al- Bukhari and Muslim]

III. The Third Translation

On the authority of Al- Numan bin Bashir, who said: I heard the messenger of Allah  say: "That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah's sanctuary is His prohibition. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be deceased, all of it is deceased. Truly it is the heart." Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim

The Analysis      

Similar to other hadiths, this hadith talks about the Islamic matters of lawful and unlawful matters and how to deal with them (Al-Blehad, para. 2).

The first translation, the translator transliterates the word أبيto Abu rather than translating it to the familiar word father that it is easier to understand for readers. He/She transliterates the name النعمان without the article (الـ) as in the Arabic language. This translator uses long sentences in his translation as in the sentence between the two of them that it is easier to mention just between the two. Some sentences are not in order, like he/she translates the phrase بن بشير to son Bashir as in Arabic order rather Bashir's son or theson of Bashir. Also, in the sentence لا يعلمهن كثير من الناس he/she translates not many people know rather than many people do not know. He/She translates pronouns as if this hadith addresses just men Muslims as in the sentence he who avoids that it is better to use a word like whoever rather than he/she for both men and women Muslims.

The translator makes the phrases which follow the names of the prophet, May Allah Peace and Blessing be Upon Him, and His companions in Arabic r and t. He does not use clear words in some sentences, like the word بين, he/she translates it to plain rather than familiar words, like evident, obvious, etc. Also, the word whole for صلحت rather than common words, like sound that it is easier to understand. He\she translates the name  البخاريBukhari without the article (الـ), although this translator transliterates this name in the article (الـ) Al-Bukhari in some hadiths that translating process does not correspond to the style of this book.

In the second translation, the translator transliterates the words  أبي and بن Abu and bin rather than translating them father and son that are understood for readers. He transliterates the phrases which follow the names of the prophet (May Allah Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) and His companions r and t. He uses some words that are clear and easy to understand, like evident for بين, sound for صلحت, but he/she uses some words are unclear, like the word guards for التقى rather than avoids, and the word indulges for وقع rather than falls into as in the first and third translations. The negation form in the sentence many people do not know is easier than the other translations. This translator transliterates the name  البخاريwith the article (الـ), but he does not mention the his job and job of Muslim that they are narrators for this hadith.

The third translation, the translator uses the same words of the first translation in the translating process. He/She does not translate or transliterate the phrases which follow the names of the prophet (May Allah Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) and His companions r and t, and he/she also does not translate the full name for أبوعبدالله النعمان بن  بشير Al-Numan bin Basheer. He/She uses the rule of adding an –s to the third person singular verbs in the present tense, as in says, avoids, falls, etc. This translation is better than the first and second translations that translators do not concentrate on the rule of adding an –s the third person in all verbs. This translator does not translate the name البخاريwith the article (الـ) as in some hadiths from
this source.

5.1.4 Hadith No. 7

الحديث السابع: الدين النصيحة

عن أبي رقية تميم بن أوس الداري t أن النبي r قال:

"الدين النصيحة. قلنا لمن؟ قال: لله، ولكتابه، ولرسوله، ولأئمة المسلمين، وعامتهم". رواه مسلم.

I. The First Translation

Religion is Sincerity

On the authority of Abu Ruqayya Tamim bin Aus ad-Dari, (may Allah be pleased with them both), that the Prophet (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Religion is sincerity. We said: To whom? He said: To Allah and His Book, and His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk."

It was related by Muslim

II. The Second Translation

On the authority of Tamim Al-Dari that the prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said:

"Religion is nasihah." We said: "To whom?" The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said: "To Allah and His Book, and His messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk."                              [Muslim]        

III. The Third Translation

On the authority of Tamim Al-Dari that the prophet said: "Religion is sincerity". We said: "To whom?" He said: "To Allah and His Book, and His messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk". Narrated
by Muslim.

The Analysis

In the first translation, the translator transliterates both words أبي and ابن rather than translating them to the common words father and son. He translates the phrases which follow the names of the Messenger of Allah (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) and His companions t and r, although he does not translate/transliterate them in most hadiths from this book.

The translator uses punctuation as in the Arabic text. He translates the conjunction و to and rather than using series of commas between distinct words in the sentence.

In the second translation, the translator translates/ transliterates neither the full name of  أبو رقيةnor the phrase which follows the names of the Messenger's companions t. He transliterates the phrase r into sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam rather than translating it as in the first translation. He also transliterates the word نصيحةto nasihah, although he can translate it to the familiar words in English like the first translator who translates it to sincerity.

In the third translation, the translator does not transliterate the full name of أبورقيةas in the second translation. He/she uses the same words of the first translation. He/She does not capitalize the first letter of both words prophet and messenger. He/She translates/transliterates the phrases t and r that he/she does not do in most hadiths (i.e. under study) of this source.

5.1.5 Hadith No. 12

الحديث الثاني عشر: ترك ما لا يعني المسلم

عن أبي هريرة، قال: قال رسول الله t : "من حسن إسلام المرء تركه ما لا يعنيه". حديث حسن، رواه الترمذي وغيره هكذا.

I. The First Translation

Void which does not concern a Muslim

On the authority of Abu Huraira t who said: the Messenger of Allah r said: "Part of someone's being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him."

A good Hadith which was related by at-Tirmidhi and others in this form.

II. The Second Translation

On the authority of Abu Hurairah, radiyallahu 'anhu, who said: The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhiwasallam, said:

"Part of the perfection of someone's Islam is his leaving alone that which does not concern him."

[Hadith hasan - Recorded by Tirmidhi]

III. The Third Translation

On the authority of Abu Hurairah, who said: The Messenger of Allah said: "Part of someone's being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him."

Fine hadith narrated by Termithi and others

The Analysis

In the first translation, the translator uses the phrases t and r in Arabic in the translated text. He also uses the word Abu as transliteration of the word أبي. He translates the pronouns which indicate the word Muslim to his and him, although this hadith addresses both of men and women Muslims. He translates the parts of final sentence رواه البخاري ومسلم، حديث حسن as one sentence that he uses the relative pronoun rather than the comma as in the Arabic text. He transliterates the name of the narrator الترمذي to at-Tirmidhi without concentrating the Arabic article  (الـ) at the beginning of the name.

In the second translation, the translator transliterates the word أبي to Abu and transliterates the phrases t and r to radiyallahu 'anhu and sallallahu alayhi wasallam. He starts the translating in a clearer sentence than the first translation. He translates the pronouns which indicate to Muslim to his and him, although this hadith addresses both of male and female Muslims. The translator uses the punctuating marks properly. He does not translate the final sentence Hadith hasan- Recorded by Tirmidhi into a full sentence that it has not a subject and a verb at the beginning. It must be translated to Hadith hasan which was related by Al-Tirmidhi. He transliterates the name of the narrator الترمذيto Tirmidhi without the Arabic article (الـ). He does not explain the word  حسنhasan at the end of the hadith so that it may be understood as name of a person.

In the third translation, the word أبي is transliterated to Abu rather than the common word father. The translator here does not capitalize the word Messenger as in the first and second translations. He/She uses the comma  before the relative pronoun who and he/she does not use the full stop at the final sentence of hadith that he/she does not use the punctuating marks properly. He/She also uses the pronouns his and him as if the hadith does not address Muslims women. He transliterates the name of the narrator الترمذي to Tirmithi with th rather than dh to the Arabic letter ذ as in the first and second translations.

5.1.6 Hadith No. 13

الحديث الثالث عشر: كمال الإيمان

عن أبي حمزة أنس بن مالك- خادم رسول الله- عن النبي قال:  "لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى يحب لأخيه ما يحب لنفسه". رواه البخاري ومسلم.

I. The First Translation

Perfection of Belief

On the authority of Abu Hamza Anas ibn Malik t - the servant of the Messenger of Allah r- that the Prophet r said:

"None of you (truly) believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."

It was related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

II. The Second Translation

Abu Hamza Anas bin Malik, radiyalahu 'anhu, who was a servant of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, reported that the prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said:

"None of you truly believes (in Allah and in His religion) until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself". [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

III. The Third Translation

On the authority of Anas bin Malik, the servant of the messenger of Allah, that the prophet said:"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." Related by Bukhari and Muslim

The Analysis

In the first translation, the two words  أبيand بن are transliterated  to Abu and bin. The translator avoids syntactical structures; instead of using أبي, he uses Abu. He leaves the two phrases t and r un-translated. He uses the word truly in order to provide more explanation about the importance of the faith (…) that it must be in trustiness. He translates the word أخto brothnnnnnnnnnnnnnner and translates the pronouns which indicate this word to his and him, although the word أخin this hadith indicates both of male and female Muslims. He uses punctuation properly. He translates the final sentence of hadith رواه البخاري ومسلم to It was related by al-Bukhari and Muslim in a full form. He transliterates the name of البخاري to al-Bukari with the Arabic article (الـ), although it is not written in some of hadiths from this source that are under the study.

In the second translation, the translator does not start with the usual phrase On the authority as in most of hadiths that are under the study from this source. He transliterates the word بنto bin and the two phrases t and r to radiyallahu 'anhu and sallallahu alayhi wasallam. He uses punctuation correctly. He mentions the added phrase (in Allah and in His religion) in the first sentence to explain that for who is the faith. He translates the word أخ and the pronouns which indicates it to masculine form as if this hadith  is just for men Muslims. It is better if he translates the word أخto both of words brother/sister and translates the pronouns to his/her and him/her. He uses simpler and clearer translating than the first translation. He does not translate the final sentence as a full sentence that he just translates the name of narrators Al-Bukhari and Muslim rather than translating it to a sentence like It was related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

In the third translation, the translator transliterates the word بن to bin rather than translating it to the common word son of. He/She does not translate/transliterate the two phrases t and r. He/She does not capitalize the two words Messenger and Prophet as in the first and second translations. He/She also translates the word أخ and the pronouns to a masculine form. He uses the same words of the first translation. He translates the final sentence of hadith  رواه البخاري ومسلمto Related by Bukhari and Muslim rather than translating it to It was related by al-Bukhari and Muslim which  is full sentence. He/She translates the name of the narrator البخاري to Bukari without adding al- to replace the Arabic article (الـ).

5.1.7 Hadith No. 21

الحديث الحادي والعشرون:

عن أبي عمرو- وقيل أبي عمرة- سفيان بن عبد الله قال: "قلت: يا رسول الله، قل لي في الإسلام قولا لا أسأل عنه أحدا غيرك، قال: قل: آمنت بالله، ثم استقم"   رواه مسلم.

I. The First Translation

Say: I believe in Allah and Thereafter be Upright

On the authority of Abu Amr and he is also given as Abu Amra-Sufyanibn Abdullah t who said:

"I said: O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam which I can ask no one but you. He said: Say: I believe in Allah; and thereafter be upright." It was related by Muslim.

II. The Second Translation

On the authority of Abu 'Amr, though others call him Abu 'Amra Sufyan bin 'Abdullah, radiyallahu anhu, who said: I said: "O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam which I could not ask anyone about save you." He answered: "Say: 'I believe in Allah', and then stand firm and steadfast."                [Muslim]

III. The Third Translation

On the authority of Sufian bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

I said "O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam which I can ask of no one but you". He said: "Say: 'I believe in Allah', and thereafter be upright."  Related by Muslim.

The Analysis

In the first translation, the translator uses the transliteration way for the two words أبي and بن. He translates the full name of أبي عمرو . He transliterates the name of عمروto Amr rather than Umar that there is a difference between them in the Arabic language; that Amr is for عمرو which ends the letter و, and Umar is for عمر. He left the phrase t un-translated. In the last two sentences of hadith, he translates the word  ثم into and thereafter, although it is easier to understand if he uses just the familiar word then. He translates the negation sentence لا أسأل عنه أحدا غيركto I can ask no one but you rather than I cannot ask anyone but you that the negation form not is after the modal can .

In the second translation, the translator transliterated the two words أبي and بن to Abu and ibn rather than the words father and son. He also transliterates the phrase t. He uses the negation form that is better than the first and third  that he uses the negative form of the modal as could not rather than translating it as in the first and third ones. He does not translate the last sentence  رواه مسلمas a full sentence, he just transliterates the name of the narrator.

In the third translation, the translator does not transliterate the full name of أبي عمرو. He/She also transliterates the word بنto bin rather than the son of. He/She translates the phrase t, although this translator does not interest for translating the phrases t and r in other hadiths under study. He/She uses the same style and words for translating this hadith in the first translation. He/She does not translate the last sentence properly that he/she translates it as if it is an Arabic sentence, he/she translates رواه مسلم to related by Muslim rather than it was related by Muslim.

5.1.8 Hadith No. 31

الحديث الحادي والثلاثين: الزهد الحقيقي

عن أبي العباس سهل بن سعد الساعدي قال: "جاء رجل إلى النبي فقال: يا رسول الله دلني على عمل إذا عملته أحبني الله وأحبني الناس، فقال: ازهد في الدنيا يحبك الله، وازهد فيما عند الناس يحبك الناس". حديث حسن رواه ابن ماجه وغيره بأسانيد حسنة.

I. The First Translation

The Real Renounce

On the authority of Abu al Abbas Sahl ibn Sa'ad as-Sa'idi t who said:

A man came to the Prophet r and said: O Messenger of Allah, direct me to an act which, if I do it, (will cause) Allah to love me and people to love me. He said: "Renounce the world and Allah will love you, and renounce what people possess and people will love you."

A good Hadith related by Ibn Majah and others with good chains of authorities.

II. The Second Translation

On the authority of  Abu al-'Abbas Sahl bin Sa'd al-Sa'idi, radiyallahu 'anhu,
who said:

A man came to the prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, and said: "O Messenger of Allah, direct me to an act which if I do it, [will cause] Allah to love me and people to love me." He, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, answered: "Be indifferent to the world and Allah will love you; be indifferent to what people possess and they will love you."

[A fine hadith related by Ibn Majah and others with good chains of authorities]

III. The Third Translation

On the authority of Sahl bin Saad Al-Saedi, who said:

A man came to the prophet and said: "O Messenger of Allah, direct me to an act which, if I do it, [it will cause] Allah to love me and people to love me." He said: "Renounce the world and Allah will love you, and renounce what people possess and people will love you."

A fine Hadith related by Ibn Majah and others with good chains of authorities.

The Analysis

In the first translation, the two words أبي and بنare transliterated to Abu and ibn at the beginning of hadith, while a translator does not translate/transliterate the phrases t and r. He uses the added phrase (will cause) that explains the sentence; i.e. that work is a cause for the love of Allah and people. He does not use punctuation marks properly, e.g. he uses the comma after the relative pronoun which. He joined the two sentences using the conjunction and "Renounce the world and Allah will love you" rather than using the comma between them so that it points out the result of renouncing. In the final sentence of hadith, he translates the two words حسن and حسنة to the word good without explaining their meanings.

In the second translation, the translator transliterates the two words أبيand بنto Abu and ibn. He also transliterates the two phrases t and r to radiyallahu 'anhu and sallallahu alayhi wasallam. He mentions the phrase r again after the pronoun He to explain that this pronoun indicates the Prophet, May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him. He translates the wordحسن to fine and translates the word حسنةto good, although they have the same meaning in the Arabic.

In the third translation, the translator does not transliterate the full name of the first narrator أبو العباس سهل بن سعد الساعدي. He/She transliterates  the word بن to bin at the beginning of hadith and transliterates it to Ibn at the end of hadith, although they have the same meaning in the Arabic. He/She neither translates nor transliterates the two phrases t and r. In particular, this translation is similar to the first translation that the translator uses the same style and words except the first and final sentences that they are translated in a different way.

6.0 Conclusions and Recommendation

6.I. Conclusions

After the completion of this blessed journey for comparative study of Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths, the researchers noticed that the translating process is based on two matters; the first is to understand the intended meaning of a text and the second is to express that meaning in another language so that it does not stray from the framework of the source language.

The translation of the prophetic Sunnah can only be done through understanding the context of Hadith and interpreting its meaning by the use of scientific and religious references about this field, or through religious scholars who have the required experience for that. Otherwise, if a translator ignores these matters, then he/she may hold Hadith in non-meaning and transfer it in a wrong way.

Common mistakes that translators of religious texts commit are because of academic weakness of religious matters. Besides, translators sometimes neglect both source and target languages, as noticed in the translations of some texts that lack accurate linguistic expressions and lack using punctuating marks appropriately. Using words in Arabic which are not equivalent for the English, so that a translator use transliteration system for these words. This may lead incorrect understood.

Through the current study, it was noticed that translators did not interest in grammatical rules for both languages; i.e. Arabic and English. This may lead non-Arab Muslims to a wrong understanding of an intended person in hadith. Success of the translating process of the Prophetic Sunnah depends on right understanding of a transferred text.     

6.2 Recommendation

There are some recommendations which emerged from this study to illustrate some required matters during translating process of religious texts.

A translator of Islamic religious texts must be conversant in Arabic as it is the language of the Holy Quran and the prophetic Sunnah.

A translator of these texts must fear Allah for investigating whether there is any wrong or right through translating of the prophet's (May Peace and Blessing be Upon Him), because he/she carries a private message from Allah that does not accept a distortion. So, translation must be very precise and perfect. 

A translator of religious texts must be interested in the field of his/her translation; i.e. religious matters that are tied.

A translator must consult scholars who have a good experience about the field of the prophetic Sunnah and care of those who try to distort Islam.

Translation is the most important means for the call of Islam. So, translators should give more attention during transferring what Allah sent to all human beings truly.

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