Is It A Condition That The Translator Must Agree With Everything That He Translates From The Mashaayikh Upon The Sunnah? – Shaykh Usaamah Al-Utaybee 

Shaykh Usaamah Al-Utaybee said, “This speech, which is…’It is not binding upon the translator to agree with the speech of the one for whom he is translating,’ then one of two affairs could be intended by this. 

(Affair Number 1)

If he intends that he is not required to translate in a trustworthy manner and with truthfulness what the Scholar is saying, then such and individual is treacherous and he has made treachery permissible. This is a treacherous person who has made treachery permissible, because he is a translator and the translator only clarifies the speech of the one whose speech is being translated. 

So if his duty is merely to translate, then it is obligatory that it be trustworthy. 

In addition if this speech contains that which is false, according to his thought (i.e the translators thought), then he must translate the speech of the Shaykh and then he comments upon it if he is capable of that.

If we assume that there is a problem or an opposition (to the truth) in this, then he must clarify it in a translator’s note. 

As for translating falsehood (i.e. in the translation saying things that the scholar did not say or even mean) and concealing the actual speech (and meanings) of a scholar, then this action of his is like the action of Banee Israa`eel from the Jews who concealed parts of the Torah and were treacherous. 

So this treachery is not from the nature and the character of the Muslims. The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Plotting and deception are in the Fire,” and the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “And do not deceive the one who deceives you.”

Also Allaah the Glorified and Exalted said, “And do not be a pleader for the treacherous.” [Sooratun-Nisaa` 4:105]

Moreover Allaah the Exalted said, “And do not argue on behalf of those who deceive themselves.” [Sooratun-Nisaa` 4:107]

So deception is a matter that is ignonimous. 

Therefore it is not permissible to be deceptive in translation. 

Rather, it is obligatory to be truthful in it, especially when he is translating the speech of a Salafi Scholar who is well known for the Sunnah.

Thus playing around and being deceptive in translating his speech is not from the attributes of Ahlu Sunnah. 

Rather, it is from the attributes of the people of desires.

(Affair Number 2)

If the translator intended (by holding/saying, “It is not binding upon (me) the translator to be in agreement with the speech of the one for whom Iam translating,”) it is not obligatory for him to be in agreement with what he is translating – this is correct. Meaning, his opinion could be in opposition to the speech that he is translating. For example, he may translate a book of fiqh in which differing has occurred (between the Scholars). 

So the Scholar (who wrote that fiqh book) will determine the soundest position from these issues and this student of knowledge (who is translating the book) may follow another Scholar, or he may follow a statement that opposes this Scholar. There is no problem with this as long as it is done with proofs and evidence, and as long as this person is qualified to make this disagreement. There is no problem in this. Meaning, the translator is not required to agree with all of the speech that he translates (from a Salafi scholar or a another Salafi student of knowledge), as long as he is trustworthy in conveying the information. Then after he has conveyed the information as it is, he can say for example, `This speech has been opposed by such and such a Scholar and I say such and such,’ with proof and evidence (from the Quran and Sunnah)…

Lastly do not make these issues a means for reviling the scholars and causing doubts in their rulings and playing around with the likes of these affairs, as it is not permissible for the Muslim to be treacherous.”


Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie


About Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.

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