In this short article, various
components of this verse will be discussed, which should allow
reader, to determine a more accurate meaning for yourself. A
'checklist' if you will, which you can use to run your own
understanding or a translation through, to see if it works.
I have also provided a basic rendering to allow analysis and
reflection. Please familiarise yourself with the Quran study
used. To identify and study some of the words in more detail,
click on the ones underlined:
and the 3uMRa
So if you (plural) are
your RAS until
place (al bayt al atiq, see
so whoever from among
you was sick (singular)
hurt/harm/annoyance from/of his RAS
So when (time adverb)
you (plural) are
(i.e. in the designated vicinty) then
to the HaJJ
what is easy of the HaDY, so
whoever couldn't find (singular) then
and seven when you (plural)
returned, this is a
That is for one whose people
are not at-hand/present
HaRaM and be
of God and know
that God is severe in punishment.
"And complete the hajj and the 3umra for God"
whatever hajj and
3umra are, they
Later the verse states "...then a sawm/abstinence/fast
the hajj..." -
clearly implying the hajj
a delimited/finite timed
undertaking/event. Also see 22:28 "appointed days" and 9:3
"day of the greatest/peak hajj".
"So if you are
passive perfect implying the object, i.e. people, received
expressed in the verb.
and do not HLQ
your RAS until
"al hady" has an
making it potentially difiicult or easy to
1: if you
(plural) are prevented from completing hajj/3umra, then how can you
ensure the hady reaches
This simple question is commonly
neglected by translators. There is variance amongst
traditional commentators/jurists as to how to go about this,
wherever you are sacrifice an animal and that is fine (which
Arabic!) or some say send it but fail to explain how or with
translates it in such a way, however it gets there this
be explained by Quran itself, if so, the only words that
explain this are: "do
not HLQ your
itself is strong
evidence against the traditional translation of "do not
heads". Please note there is also variance when it comes to
"shave your head" as the Arabic implies one can only do so
when the HDY
reaches its permitted place, but imagining a practical
difficult, i.e. the person sends HDY then waits then when
dont know who) returns and tells them yes your HDY did reach
was sent you may now shave your head they then do so on
their say so.
Even if we were to accept
baseless explanations, translating
it in the traditional way does not make any sense because
having a adhan/hurt
head preventing head-shaving (e.g. cut, infection, surgery,
toupe, bald) does not actually prevent one giving a
having a sore pinky
finger thus instead of giving HDY
is completely irrelevant to what is being discussed.
the traditional understanding also differentiates between
those with and without hurt of the head for no
reason, which is illogical. No commentary that I read
for brief explanation of this point. Critical Question 2.
after saying "complete hajj/umrah" does
mean one is there and cannot complete, or one is prevented from
(e.g. en route),
well it answers this later by saying: "so WHEN you are safe/secure"
(implying previously one was not safe/secure), "seven when you RETURNED"
and "THAT is for him whose
who are not present" - all of which imply one is not
3) The part in red
switches to the singular addressee and does NOT give the
of HDY reaching its mahilla (lawful/permitted
pivotal, because however one understands this verse they must
why it does not allow such an option here. Critical
Also note the differentiation between "mareedan/sick"
sufficiently different to be able to distinguish between them.
hajj/3umra but the rest of
their ahl/people can,
the one that does not should expiate as
mentioned. As an aside, it
begins with "so/fa"
a resumption particle,
and if it was a
continuation of what was said immediately before then and/wa is more apt. It likely
does this because the previous
part was for groups, and this part is for individuals.
4) If you are prevented
completing the hajj/3umrah give HDY, and if you
in/by/with the 3umra to
hajj give HDY, i.e. give
situations. Note how this implies if one did go but not
in/with the 3umra to
the hajj, then one
does not necessarily
have to give HDY. This
likely links to 2:158 "no
him that he goes about them
and whoever volunteered good/better then God is
All-Knowing". If one cannot find a suitable HDY, one is asked
undertake an abstinence/fast during the HaJJ, likely in order
5) It says "3umra to/ila the hajj"
part is often
misrepresented in translations. The likely reason being saying
to the pilgrimage" doesn't make much sense as the meaning of
entails travel/journey by itself, making this phrase redundant
"ila" as "until" but
that is more correctly "hatta"
Arabic, which is used in 2:196.
"when (time adverb) safe/secure (i.e. in the designated
vicinity) then" - note this section implies
there, hence no
mention of offering having to reach its lawful/permitted place,
the same location/space as the hajj.
that means it's unlikely to mean "guidance" as some claim. How
person not find a
suitable guidance? It makes more sense for it to mean
and this fits better with
its usage elsewhere in Quran.
If "HDY/guidance" was chosen then this would also imply people
expected to utilise divine revelation,
e.g. Quran, when not all of those undertaking/attending would
in such, if
one regards al hajj as
to all [see 22:27].
8) "when you returned" implies
travelling to a location other than your
own, in this case. This also fits in with the rest of the verse,
"offering reaches its
permitted/lawful place", "so
safe/secure", "3umra to the
hajj", "that is for
people are not present" etc. Any alternative
have to explain this.
9) The traditional
is usually "whose people
Sacred Mosque" (i.e. a building) - if it is "present at
odd and impractical and if
it is "near" then how near is "near"? There is variance amongst
commentators, as per usual, e.g. tafsir
according to al-Shafi, tafsir ibn Abbas say this is for one
family AND home are not in the sacred precinct, ibn Kathir says
means non-resident of Makkah.
It is recommended to read these
commentaries to get an idea of the problems, variance and
nature of the proposed solutions (e.g. qtafsir.com,
Asad quranix.net, islamicstudies.info/tafheem.php). Critical
10) All key words (HLQ,
al haram etc) should
a solid/logical reason not to.
Also use corpus.quran.com
verify the grammar of the words used in a translation, to ensure
translator is not taking liberties with words, e.g. changing
verbs. This normally goes without saying, but some alternative
translations do not bear this in mind it seems.
Simply apply your understanding
check any translation using the above list. When I did
found that all translations had problems. Of course, some
explain away such issues using external sources, but even if we
accept this methodology and ignore the variant views and choose
opinions that made most sense to us, it would leave us with, at
very least, a convoluted understanding. Certainly not an
For those following a Quran based islam a self-contained logical
explanation should be the ideal. Interestingly, when I studied
verse and applied various interpretations, there was only one
actually worked. This may or may not be correct, but IF that is
case then 2:196 serves as an excellent
lesson in critical thinking, hence the title of this article.
More articles: http://mypercept.co.uk/articles/