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September 16th, 2020

Translation of verse 3:186

From Abdul Momin

Pickthall translates the verse numbered as 3:186 of the Holy Quran as:

“Assuredly ye will be tried in your property and in your persons, and ye will hear much wrong from those who were given the Scripture before you, and from the idolaters. But if ye persevere and ward of (evil), then that is of the steadfast heart of things.”

The same verse translated by Maulana Muhammad Ali reads:

“You will certainly be tried in your property and your persons. And you will certainly hear from those who have been given the Book before you and from the idolaters much abuse. And if you are patient and keep your duty, surely this is an affair of great resolution.”

The translations “But if ye persevere and ward of (evil)” (Pickthall) and “And if you are patient and keep your duty,” (Maulana Muhammad Ali), can convey different meanings.

Which translation is more prevalent, the one by Maulana Muhammad Ali or the one by Pickthall? Thank you.

One Response to “Translation of verse 3:186”

  1. The Arabic words used here are derived from sabr and taqwa respectively. Maulana Muhammad Ali usually translates any derivation of taqwa as keeping your duty or guarding yourself against evil, and he has explained why in his footnote to 2:2.

    Some other English translations are:

    “But if ye persevere patiently, and guard against evil” (Saudi revised A. Yusuf Ali)

    “but if you persevere patiently, and become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious – see V.2:2)” (M. Khan & al-Hilali, official Saudi translation)

    “But if you remain patient in adversity and conscious of Him” (Asad)

    “If you are steadfast and mindful of God” (Abdel Haleem)

    “But if you endure with fortitude and fear God”  (N J Dawood, 2014)

    “but if you endure with fortitude and restrain yourselves” (Wahiduddin Khan)

    “If you are patient and do your duty” (T.B. Irving)

    “But if you endure with patience and follow the straight path” (Ahmed Ali)

    “But if you show patience and fortitude and act righteously” (Maulvi Sher Ali)


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