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Errors in English Translations of the Quran (part 2)

How Much of the Quran Can/Should We Understand?

Is the Quran meant for everyone to understand? Or are some parts inaccessible to mere human beings?

Verse 3:7 is one of the most commonly mistranslated verses; it is extremely important, since it deals with these very questions. Different interpretations of this verse can lead to two totally different conceptions of Islam! Both Yusuf Ali and Pickthall reflect the majority’s view on behalf of “not understanding,” while Shakir prefers the minority view of “understanding.”

! Disputed passage: The traditional rendering suggests that some Quranic verses can never be understood fully.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: in it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meaning except God. And those who are firmly endowed by knowledge say: ‘we believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:’ and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. (3:7) He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations – they are the substance of the Book – and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed. (3:7) He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are allegorical; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation. but none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding. (3:7) He is the One who sent down to you the book, from which there are definite signs; they are the essence of the book; and others, which are multiple-meaning. As for those who have disease in their hearts, eager to cause confusion and eager to derive their interpretation, they will follow what is multiple-meaning from it. But none knows their meaning except God and those who are well founded in knowledge; they say, “We acknowledge it, all is from our Lord.” None will remember except the people of intellect. (3:7)


The Arabic word we have translated as “multiple meanings” is mutashabihat. The word comes from shabaha (“to became similar”).

The word can be confusing for a novice. Verse 39:23, for instance, uses mutashabihat for the entire Quran, referring to its overall similarity — in other words, its consistency. In a narrower sense, however, mutashabihat refers to all verses which can be understood in more than one way. The various meanings or implications require some special qualities from the person listening to or reading the Quran: an attentive mind, a positive attitude, contextual perspective, the patience necessary for research, and so forth.

It is one of the intriguing features of the Quran that the verse about “mutashabih” verses of the Quran is itself mutashabih — that is, possessing multiple meanings. The word in question, for instance, can mean “similar,” as we have seen; it can mean “possessing multiple meanings;” it can also mean “allegorical” (where one single, clearly identifiable element represents another single, clearly identifiable element).

As you may have noticed, interpretation of the last part of 3:7 depends on how one punctuates the verse. (There is no punctuation in the original Arabic text.)

If one stops after the word “God,” then one will assume, as centuries of Sunni and Shiite scholars have, that even those who possess deep levels of knowledge will never be able to understand the “mutashabih” verses. However, if the sentence does not stop there, the meaning will change to the opposite: Those who possess knowledge will be able to understand the meaning of allegorical or multiple-meaning verses.

Here are five reasons for why we prefer the second understanding of this verse.

REASON ONE: The passage clearly emphasizes the unhealthy intentions of those who fail to understand multiple-meaning verses. With the disease of doubt in their hearts, they try to confuse others by focusing on their own faulty interpretations of these verses. We think that the passage emphasizes this point because the Quran tells us elsewhere that only sincere people possess the qualities necessary to understand the Quran (as emphasized in 17:46; 18:57; and 54:17).

REASON TWO: The Quran tells us repeatedly that it is easy to understand. (It does so at many points, including 5:15; 11:1; 26:195; 54:17; and 55:1-2.). If one punctuates this verse in the traditional way, there is an apparent contradiction – the Quran is, at least in some places, impossible for any human being to understand — and Muslims maintain that the Quran does not contradict itself.

We believe the Quran broadcasts a very clear, coherent message. However, there is sometimes a problem with our receiver. If our receiver does not hear the broadcast or cannot understand it well, then something is wrong with our receiver and we have to check it. If the signal is weak, we need to recharge our batteries, or reset our antennas. If we do not receive a clear message, we need to set our tuning to the right station in order to get rid of the noises and interference from other sources. We may, of course, ask for some help from knowledgeable people or experts for this task. If the receiver does not work at all, then we have to make a sincere effort to fix the broken parts. However, if we believe that the problem is in the broadcast, then nobody can help us.

REASON THREE: It is beyond dispute that the Quran encourages Muslims to study its words with patience. It advises us not to rush into understanding without sufficient knowledge (20:114). Nevertheless, it claims to be easy to understand (see REASON TWO, above). This, however, is not a contradictory position!

Experience with the book suggests that both of these statements are accurate. Although it can be explored for a lifetime without conquering all of its subtleties, the Quran, as a whole, is in fact quite easy to understand, revolving as it does around three basic ideas:

  • There is only one God.
  • This life is a test.
  • There will be an accounting for each individual after death.

We know that the Quran really is comprehensible and worthy of sustained, careful study, just as it promises. Whoever opens his/her mind and heart as a monotheist and takes the time to study it, will understand it, and that this understanding will be enough for salvation. Such people will also be inspired to explore it deeply, and will find ample rewards for doing so.

REASON FOUR: In order to acknowledge all the verses of the Quran, one does not need to be deeply rooted in knowledge. To be an “acknowledging person” is a sufficient condition to acknowledge all the verses. However, one needs to have deep knowledge of the Quran in order to understand “mutashabih” (multiple-meaning) verses accurately. Therefore, 3:7 mentions a narrow category (those who are deeply rooted in knowledge) in relation to those multiple-meaning verses.

REASON FIVE: If we follow the orthodox punctuation and translation of 3:7, then, we must, by logical extension, establish a clear definition of what the “mutashabih” verses are … in order to avoid trying vainly to understand them or teaching others based on them. We thus need a definitive list of the “mutashabih” verses in order to avoid being among those who are condemned in this verse. There is a problem, however: No one has ever been able to compile such a definitive list! What could the criteria for the list possibly be? Surely one person’s lack of understanding of a verse should not make a verse “taboo” for all other people. If that were the case, the lowest degree of understanding would be the common denominator for understanding and interpreting the Quran! In this Alice-in-Wonderland school of thought, there would be a perpetual race towards ignorance!

Unless one is committed to determining the truth by majority vote, then one may want to reflect upon the five reasons listed here for interpreting the verse as we have.

(A side note: There are a few Sunni commentators who support our understanding of this verse. For instance, the classic commentary of al-Baydawi prefers this understanding. Please note that Yusuf Ali also acknowledges this fact in the footnote of 3:7: “One reading, rejected by the majority of Commentators, but accepted by Mujahid and others, would not make a break at the point marked Waqfa Lazim, but would run the two sentences together. In that case the construction would run: ‘No one knows its hidden meanings except God and those who are firm in knowledge. They say’, etc.”)

Is the Earth Flat?

The Quranic description of the earth, the solar system, the cosmos and the origin of the universe is centuries ahead of the time of its first revelation. For instance, the Quran, delivered in the seventh century C.E., states or implies that:

  • Time is relative (70:4; 22:47).
  • God created the universe from nothing (2:117).
  • The earth and heavenly bodies were once a single point and they were separated from each other by an explosion (21:30).
  • The universe is continuously expanding (51:47).
  • The universe was created in six days (stages) and the conditions that made life possible on earth took place in the last four stages (50:38; 41:10).
  • The stage before the creation of the earth is described as a gas nebula (41:11).
  • Planet earth is floating in an orbit (27:88; 21:33).
  • The earth is round like an egg (10:24; 39:5; 79:30).
  • Earth’s atmosphere acts like a protective shield for the living creatures (21:32).
  • Wind also pollinates plants (15:22).
  • The creation of living creatures follows an evolutionary system (15:28-29; 24:45; 32:7-9; 71:14-7).
  • The earliest biological creatures were incubated inside flexible layers of clay (15:26).
  • The stages of human development in the womb are detailed (23:14).
  • Our biological life span is coded in our genes (35:11).
  • Photosynthesis is a recreation of energy stored through chlorophyll (36:77-81).
  • The atomic number, atomic weight and isotopes of Iron are specified (57:25).
  • Atoms of elements found on earth contain a maximum of seven energy layers (65:12).
  • The sound and vision of water and the action of eating dates (which contain oxytocin) reduce labor pains (19:24-25).
  • There is life (not necessarily intelligent) beyond earth (42:29).
  • The word Sabbath (seventh day) occurs exactly 7 times.
  • The number of months in a year is stated as 12, and the word Month (shahr) occurs exactly twelve times.
  • The number of days in a year is not stated, but the word Day (yawm) occurs exactly 365 times.
  • A prophetic mathematical structure based on the number 19 implied in chapter 74 of the Quran was discovered in 1974 by the aid of computer shows that the Quran is embedded with an interlocking extraordinary mathematical system (I have written several Turkish and yet-to-be-published English books on this subject).

And there’s more – much more. Many of the signs/miracles mentioned in the Quran, for instance, represent the ultimate goals of science and technology. The Quran relates that matter (but not humans) can be transported at the speed of light (27:30-40); that smell can be transported to remote places (12:94); that extensive communication with animals is possible (27:16-17); that sleep, in certain conditions, can slow down metabolism and increase life span (18:25); and that the vision of blind people can be restored (3:49).

Does it make sense, then, that a book that displays such astonishing knowledge of the physical universe would declare that the earth is flat?

As for the shape of the earth, Yusuf Ali extends, Pickthall spreads, and Shakir expands. Other traditional translations are essentially no different. They extend, expand, or spread the earth.

! Disputed passage: Traditional translations extend and spread the egg-shaped earth.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
And the earth, moreover, hath He extended (to a wide expanse); (79:30) And after that He spread the earth, (79:30) And the earth, He expanded it after that. (79:30) And the earth afterwards, he made it round like egg. (79:30)


Almost all English translations of the Quran mistranslate the word DaHY, a word that is still used for “egg” among Arabic-speaking populations in North Africa. Why? The answer can be found in the footnotes of some classic commentaries of the Quran, which were written centuries ago.

Early commentators and translators of the verse were stuck on the word DaHY, since it means (as we have translated) egg. In the verse it is used as a transitive verb with the third person pronoun Ha, which means “made it round like egg” or literally “egged it.” But, the commentators thought that the earth was flat!

Since they knew God’s word could not contain errors or contradiction, they assumed their understanding of the verse must have been wrong. Thus, they tried to interpret the description. They argued that the word DaHY (egg) must have implied maDHY (nest), and inferred that God meant “nest” by the word “egg.” Therefore, the earth is extended like a nest.

Early commentators had an excuse for reaching such a conclusion, since they did not know that the earth was spherical and slightly distended (like an egg); however, modern commentators of the Quran have no excuse to parrot this medieval misunderstanding. They should have known that the verse means what it says: the earth is shaped like an egg. The external physical appearance of planet earth is like an egg, and its cross-section displays geological layers similar to egg. Not only is the earth egg-shaped and resembles an egg regarding its layers, but so is its orbit around the sun. In fact, this is Kepler’s famous First Law of Planetary Motion: the orbit of a planet about a star is an ellipse, as opposed to a perfect circle.

Is it Obvious OR
is it Darkening, Scorching, Shriveling, and Burning?

Many verses in chapter 74 have been commonly misunderstood and mistranslated. We have written a lengthy article titled, Which One Do You See: Hell or Miracle?, exposing the problems in traditional commentaries and translations. Here we will only pick a sample from the lengthy list.

Verse 74:29 is very interesting and crucial in understanding the rest of the chapter. Though it consists of only two words, this verse is translated in several different ways. Here are some examples from English translations:

! Disputed passage: Many keywords in Chapter 74 have been mistranslated to describe the punishment of Hell, while in reality they describe an intellectual punishment.

Yusuf Ali:              “darkening and changing the color of man”
Pickthall:               “It shrivelleth the man”
Irving:                    ”as it shrivels human (flesh).”
Shakir:                   “It scorches the mortal”.
M. Ali:                     “It scorches the mortal”
Dawood:                ”it burns the skins of men.”
M. Asad:                 “making (all truth) visible to mortal man.”
R. Khalifa:             “obvious to all the people.”
Reformist:             “obvious to humankind.”


The derivatives of the word LWH are used in the Quran to mean a surface used for recording information, board, and flat wood; and nowhere is it used to mean scorch or burn. Before the fulfillment of the prophecy, translators and commentators of the Quran had difficulty in understanding the simple meaning of this word and thus, resorted to external sources and often odd meanings, such as scorch, or burn. In fact, the drive to justify a particular meaning for some “difficult” Quranic words is one of the many reasons for fabricating hadith.

Those who do not know Arabic might think that the words are difficult to understand and translate. In fact, the meaning of these two words, LaWwaHa and BaSHaR is very clear in the Quranic context. The word LaWwaHa, which comes from the root LWH, is the sister of the word LaWH (85:22) and its plural aLWaH. The plural form aLWaH is used in verses 7:145, 150, 154 for the “tablets” given to Moses, and in verse 54:13 for broad planks used by Noah to build his ark. The medieval commentators, not knowing the mathematical implication of the verses, mostly chose an unusual meaning for the word: scorching, burning, shriveling, etc. Ironically, most of them did acknowledge the obvious meaning of the word as “open board, tablet” (See Baydawi, Fakhruddin Al-Razi, etc.). Few preferred the “obvious” to the obscure. For instance, Muhammad Asad, who had no idea of the mathematical code, preferred the most obvious meaning. Rashad Khalifa who fulfilled the prophecy and discovered the implication of the entire chapter reflected the same obvious meaning. That “obvious” meaning, was obscured by the smoke of “scorching fire” burning in the imaginations of generations before him.

In 7:145; 7:150; 7:154, the word aLWaH, the plural of LaWHa is used to depict the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. In 54:13 it is used to describe the structure of the Noah’s ship made of wood panes. In 85:22 the same word is used for the mathematically protected record of the original version of the Quran. As for the LaWaHa of 74:29, it is the amplified noun-adjective derived from the root of the verb LWH, meaning open tablets, succeeding screens, obvious, manifesto, or clearly and perpetually visible. Ironically, the Quran uses different words to describe burning or scorching. For instance, for burning, the derivatives of HaRaQa (2:266; 3:181; 7:5; 20:97; 21:68; 22:9; 22:22; 29:24; 75:10), or for scorching the derivatives of SaLaYa ( 4:10; 4:30; 4:56; 4:115; 14:29; 17:18; 19:70; 27:7; 28:29; 29:31; 36:64; 38:56; 38:59; 38:163; 52:16; 56:94; 58:8; 69:31; 74: 26; 82:15; 83:16; 84:12; 87:12; 88:12; 92:15), or NaDaJa are used (4:56).

Again, we should note that the understanding of pre-1974 commentators was not without basis. Though their understanding did not rely on the Quranic usage of the words, and created some problems (such as explaining the verse 74:31), they had some justifiable excuses to understand the way they understood. The word LaWaHa also meant burn and BaSHaRa was another word for skin in Arabic language. As I mentioned above, the multiple meanings of these verses allowed the impatient pre-1974 generations to have an understanding, though a temporary and not primarily intended one. In fact, it was better for them to have patience and not rush to speculate on these verses without knowledge (20:114; 75:16-19). It was the computer generation that was destined to understand their real meaning (10:37-46).

A Portion of the Message or a Fistful of Dirt?

Moses left his people with his brother Aaron and went to the mountain to receive commandments from God. While at the presence of God, Moses is lightly criticized for leaving his people behind:

“‘And what has caused you to rush ahead of your people O Moses?’ He said: ‘They are following in my footprints, and I came quickly to you my Lord so you would be pleased.’ He said: ‘We have tested your people after you left, and the Samarian misguided them.’” (20:83-85).

However, God knew that Moses’ people were not following his message. Taking advantage of Moses’ absence, the Samarian tried and succeeded to a degree to revert Jews to the religion of their Egyptian masters. Recognizing that many people respond better to concrete and tangible objects rather than an abstract idea of a transcendental God, the Samarian collected jewels and melted them in a pot to form a calf (7:148). He produced calf statues, which made sounds in the wind due to the craftily designed holes in their bodies, a symbol for intercession. Samarian was proud of his knowledge of human psychology, and he had the audacity to tell Moses the following:

! Disputed passage: Ignoring reason, the context of the verse, and the semantics of the Quran, traditional translations and commentaries create a bizarre story through mistranslation of the words AThaR, and NaBaZa. To accommodate the mistranslation, they also add several non-existing and non-implied words, such as, “Muhammad,” “Gabriel,” “Dust,” and “into calf.”

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
He replied: “I saw what they saw not: so I took a handful (of dust) from the footprint of the Messenger, and threw it (into the calf): thus did my soul suggest to me.” (20:96) He said: I perceived what they perceive not, so I seized a handful from the footsteps of the messenger, and then threw it in. Thus my soul commended to me. (20:96) He said: I saw (Jibreel) what they did not see, so I took a handful (of the dust) from the footsteps of the messenger, then I threw it in the casting; thus did my soul commend to me. (20:96) He said: “I perceived what they did not perceive, so I took a handful from the teaching of the messenger, and I cast it away. This is what my soul inspired me to do.” (20:96)


According to traditional translators and many who were unknowingly influenced by them, Samarian possessed extraordinary powers! According to the story that they all copy, the Samarian secretly followed Moses and somehow was able to see the Controller-messenger of God, Jibreel or Gabriel, riding a horse. He thought that the dirt stepped on by the feet of Jibreel’s horse must have had magical powers. So, the story goes, he collected some dirt and took it back to where his people were dwelling. He mixed the dirt with the melting jewelry and voila, the sound-making calf!

The word athar, which is mistranslated as “footprint” or “footsteps,” has the following meanings: trace, teaching, relics of knowledge, remains, mark, footprint, memorial, etc. The Quran uses the word athar to mean teaching or message (20:84; 37;70; 43:22-23). The meaning of the word should have been clear from several verses before, where in verse 20:84, it is used to mean “teaching.” God did not ask Moses why he came alone; He questioned Moses about leaving his people too early. Moses understood God’s question—though the majority of translators did not—and responded by saying that his people were following his teaching. God informs him about Samarian’s plan to mislead his people back to idolatry.

Should Skeptics Hang Themselves to the Ceiling?

The traditional rendering of verse 22:15 is so bad that it becomes an absurdity, a joke. The amazing thing is that anyone who studies the Quran should easily understand its meaning, since the expressions are used in other verses and contexts. Instead of first looking at the usage of words and expression in other parts of the Quran, the traditional translators look for inspiration from the early commentators who mostly relied heavily on hadith hearsay. Regardless of the source, with the exception of a few, such as Muhammad Asad, Muhammad Ali, and Rashad Khalifa, many translations have duplicated the bizarre and absurd traditional rendering.

! Disputed passage: Traditional translations insert non-existing words and produce a myriad of absurd and hilarious challenges.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
If any think that Allah will not help him (His Messenger) in this world and the Hereafter, let him stretch out a rope to the ceiling and cut (himself) off: then let him see whether his plan will remove that which enrages (him)! (22:15). Whoso is wont to think (through envy) that Allah will not give him (Muhammad) victory in the world and the Hereafter (and is enraged at the thought of his victory), let him stretch a rope up to the roof (of his dwelling), and let him hang himself. Then let him see whether his strategy dispelleth that whereat he rageth! (22:15). Whoever thinks that Allah will not assist him in this life and the hereafter, let him stretch a rope to the ceiling, then let him cut (it) off, then let him see if his struggle will take away that at which he is enraged. (22:15).
Whosoever thinks that God will not help him in this world and the Hereafter, let him extend (his request) by a mean to the heaven, then let him cut off (his dependence on anyone else) and see whether this action has removed the cause of his anger. (22:15)


Reading the verse within the immediate context of the Quran alone is sufficient to shed light on its meaning. For instance, just four verses before, verse 22:11 reminds us of the importance of unconditional trust in God:

“And from the people there is he who serves God in alteration. So if good comes to him, he is content with it; and if an ordeal comes to him, he makes an about-face. He has lost this world and the Hereafter. Such is the clear loss.” (22:11)

The following verse informs us that those people who oscillate in their service to God depending on the circumstances, associate others as partners to God.

“He calls upon besides God what will not harm him and what will not benefit him. Such is the far straying.” (22:12)
We learn from the Quran that most polytheists are in denial (6:23), though they hope for the intercession of prophets and saints (72:21 and 7:188; 10:49; 13:16; 48:11). The following verse expresses the reality of idolatrous people:
“He calls on those who harm him more than they benefit him. What a miserable patron, and what a miserable companion.” (22:13).
Verse 14 mentions God’s blessing on those who do not pollute their acknowledgement of monotheistic message through polytheistic ideas and practices:
“God admits those who acknowledge and do good works to gardens with rivers flowing beneath them. God does as He wishes.” (22:14)
And the following verse, 22:15, shows them a way: try to reach God through prayer or charity and cut off all of your dependence and hope from other things besides God. You should cut off your dependence to gods or holy people other than God, since you will do so in the hereafter (2:166). In other words, if you are able to remove all the idolatrous ideas and dedicate yourself to God alone, you will witness God’s help and victory. Those who mix monotheism with idolatry are not of those who acknowledge truth, even if they think so (49:14; 6:23).
Thus, starting from verse 11, when we reach verse 15, the theological relationship among the verses becomes evident, and the meaning of verse 15 shines clearly. The message of 22:15 is identical to the message given in 6:41.
Unfortunately, many translations and commentaries ignore the context of the verse and the usage of certain words in the Quran, and copy the traditional false inferences and references inside the parentheses.
After reading these absurd and ridiculous translations and misleading parentheses, if an investigating person read the following verse, 22:16, he or she would be repelled from the Quran, since it asserts that the revelation of the Quran is clear!
  • Many add Muhammad’s name in the parenthesis, though the verse does NOT mention Muhammad and the context is not about Muhammad, but about God alone.
  • Many insert the word “ceiling,” though sama does not mean “ceiling,” but rather means “heaven”; “ceiling” in Arabic is saqf (43:33; 21:32).
  • Many insert a “rope,” though the verse does not mention “rope,” which is habl (111:5; 3:103).
The insertion, twisting, and distortion are not limited to the three examples above. The prominent Pakistani radical scholar Mawdudi, in his commentary, Tafhim al-Quran (Towards the Understanding of the Quran), lists six alternative views of previous commentators on this verse:

1. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammad (pbuh), should hang himself to a ceiling?
2. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammad (pbuh), should climb to the sky with a rope and try to stop God’s help.
3. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammad (pbuh), should ascend to the sky and stop God’s revelation.
4. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammad (pbuh), should ascend to the sky and stop God’s blessings to him.
5. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammad (pbuh), should hang himself to the ceiling of his home.
6. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammad (pbuh), should ascend to sky to ask for help.
Mawdudi finds the first four comments to be meaningless in their context, since he rightly argues that the pronoun “he” cannot be referring to Muhammad, but instead refers to a person who has doubt about God’s help. Though Mawdudi concedes that the last two renditions fit the flow, he finds them to be far from reflecting the meaning of the verse. After rejecting all these alternative interpretations, Mawdudi presents his own version:

“Whosoever fancies that Allah will not help him in this world and in the Hereafter, let him reach out to heaven through a rope, and then make a hole in the sky and see whether his device can avert that which enrages him.”

Well, Mawdudi too disappoints; even more than the others. He asks the doubtful person to get a rope, climb to the sky, and open a hole in the sky to peep through! However, Mawdudi’s understanding is better than others who nicely ask the opponents of Muhammad to commit suicide by hanging themselves to the sky and THEN think about their feelings and doubts!

Now it is time to challenge all those scholars, mewlahums, commentators, translators, and their admirers, who missed the obvious and simple meaning of the verse:

If they think that our reformed translation is wrong, then they should extend a rope to the sky and hang themselves, and then think whether this trick of theirs would remove the cause of their anger!

If the above challenge is a meaningful and wise challenge, then they should take it! No, if it is an absurd and silly challenge, then they should expunge from their translations the Muhammad, the rope, the ceiling, the climbing, the hanging, the committing suicide, the thinking after killing self, and the opening of a peephole in the sky.

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