This is the Book


Allah (swt) says:

ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لا رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

“This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah.”
(2: 2)

In this ayah Allah (swt) is speaking about the Holy Quran. He (swt) says that it is a guidance for the muttaqun. The translation says “This is the Book” but if you look to the Arabic you will see that the word used is “dhaalika.” Now for asmaa’ al-ishaarah (demonstrative pronouns) the word meaning “this” is “haadhaa“. It is used for things which are nearby. The word “dhaalika” means “that” and it is used for things which are far away. So if the ayah was meant to say “this is the Book” then it should have been “haadhaa al-Kitaab“, not “dhaalika al-Kitab” which translates as “that is the Book.” So was the translator wrong in his translation? No, he was not because it is allowed in the Arabic language, to refer to something nearby with the word “dhaalika” in order to show honour and respect to the thing which is being spoken about. For example, if you introduce your father to someone and he is right next to you, it is permissible to say “dhaalika abee” rather than “haadhaa abee” in order to show respect to your father. So by Allah (swt) saying “dhaalika al-Kitaab” He is honouring the Holy Quran. And one will not be able to pick this up just by reading the English translation.

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