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عبد

English translation: Servant

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Arabic term or phrase:عبد
English translation:Servant
Entered by: Dikran
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04:47 May 11, 2003
Arabic to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Religion
Arabic term or phrase: عبد
....وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله
Abbas
slave
Explanation:
servant

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Note added at 2003-05-11 05:26:05 (GMT)
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in full:
\"and I bear witness tht Muhammad is His slave and His messanger ..\"
Selected response from:

Mona Helal
Local time: 05:54
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +6slave
Mona Helal
5 +3Servant
Tarjim
5 +2servant
Fuad Yahya
5 -1worshiper
xxxhamuksha


  

Answers


34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +6
slave


Explanation:
servant

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-05-11 05:26:05 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

in full:
\"and I bear witness tht Muhammad is His slave and His messanger ..\"

Mona Helal
Local time: 05:54
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  xxxhamuksha: see answer below
42 mins
  -> Muhammad (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) is Allah's slave and messenger. None of Allah’s creations including all his messengers and prophets should disdain being Allah’s slaves and messengers and this is the essence of the religion of Islam

agree  Fuad Yahya: "Servant" is the appropriate term. Slavery is a human institution, and a despicable one at that, but obedient service is an honorable office for humans towards their maker.
1 hr
  -> thank you

agree  Mohamd Suleiman: Islam in tislelf means full submission to one God, so the word slave is appropriate in this context. In testimony of faith the word عبد is usually translated into slave. Have a look at www.qss.org/articles/ramadan
4 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Alaa Zeineldine: Slave is correct. All humans are slaves of Allah, those who choose to serve him and those who don't, a meaning not conveyed by servant. Slave also implies possesion and bondage, also true in relation to Allah. These are some of the arguments for "slave".
6 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  muhammad turman
7 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Aisha Maniar: both terms are correct and are used in lots of Islamic translations, although 'servant' is more popular. It's really a question of the wider context of the text and also the overall style of translation used
9 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Shog Imas: Agree wiyh Maniara
19 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  sktrans: servant
20 hrs
  -> thank you

disagree  Sanaa Omrany: (surrenderer) is more suitable, specialyl in respectful in reference to the Prophet, (G.M.P.U.H)
3 days 11 hrs

agree  AhmedAMS
194 days
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): -1
worshiper


Explanation:
the word عبد here is derived from the verb worship; to follow a sacred god and practice solemn ordinances such as preayer, while Mona refers to عبد from the passive استعبد "esto'bida"; to be slaved, which is not by no means what meant in the islamic creed.

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Note added at 2003-05-11 08:34:10 (GMT)
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worshiper-servant then?

xxxhamuksha
Local time: 21:54
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Alaa Zeineldine: Those who refuse to worship Allah are his slaves عباد, by choice or otherwise.
5 hrs

disagree  Sanaa Omrany: humanity all must worship Allah, whereas they are all His slaves
3 days 11 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Servant


Explanation:
coording to a translation of the Quraan, it's refered to this word as being translated(servant).

Tarjim

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Fuad Yahya: There are many different translations of the Qur'an, the merits of which vary. The one you cite is correct in this particular instance, but one cannot hold any of them as normative. See my note below.
49 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  Alaa Zeineldine: Some Bible translations refer to God as he/she, that does not make the translation correct. A servant is not held in bondage by Allah. The Quran states that Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their possessions in return for Heaven.
2 hrs
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agree  AhmedAMS
193 days
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
servant


Explanation:
"I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messanger . . ."

It is very common to come across the word عبد in the expression عبد الله translated as "slave." This is one of many errors of translation that one encounters in Islamic literature written in English.

I write here as a translator, not as an advocate of any religion. To translate correctly, one needs to impart the correct meaning of the text. The word عبد as used in the expression عبد الله does not even remotely approach the sense of slavery. In fact, it is the exact opposite.

Slavery is a despicable human institution that, alas, still exists in some parts of the world, and is practiced in the same heinous way that it had been since it was instituted. Slavery means the subjugation of a human by another human, not the supramcy of God over His creatures. It involves the bondage of the person held slave, and the eradication of all rights of personhood. Humans so held are sold, bought, and used like cattle and worse.

No such relationship exists between man and God in Islam or any religion that uses the expression عبد الله (the expression has been used by Christians for 2000 years, in many varieties, including عبد المسـيح as, for example, the poet عبد المسـيح بن جبلة).

In Islam, the relationship that God establishes with His human creatures is not that of slavery, but of loving service. God loves His human creatures and invites them to enter into a relationship of willful, obedient service, one based on loving surrender, not bondage and dehumanization. God does not enslave people; He empowers them and liberates them. He does not seek to objectify them or rob them of the very dignity that He bestowed upon them.

It is not that we disdain of being slaves to God; rather He disdains of enslaving any human being.

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Note added at 2003-05-11 11:06:19 (GMT)
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Typo correction: \"messenger\" not \"messanger.\" I apologize for the error.

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Note added at 2003-05-11 20:06:27 (GMT)
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The note below by Alaa is a perfect statement of my point. In the Islamic view, God is in possession and mastery of man and all of creation, but God\'s possession, mastery, and rulership are nothing like man\'s possession of or mastery and rulership over other men, which is called slavery and is an indiginity, while service to God is an honor, and therefore cannot by right be called slavery.

Just because the Arabic word عبد can be stretched to accommodate both senses, we cannot assume that the word \"slave\" can be likewise stretched. As is clear from Alaa\'s comment, those who use the word \"slave\" in reference to service to God are not necessarily peddling false theology, but are simply investing the word \"slave\" with meanings it cannot accommodate.

I believe we are all in agreement on the content of Islamic doctrine and its implications, but some of us are comfortable with the vocabulary that is commonly used in Islamic books written in English (mostly fashioned after the style developed by British Orientalists), while I find that set of vocabulary a sham. While Orientalists used that vocabulary intentionally to misrepresent Isalm, Muslims have used it simply because it was ready made. Todays\' Muslims who want to write in English ought to break away from that vocabulary simply because it is false.

Fuad Yahya
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 199

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Alaa Zeineldine: Possession of man by man is not like possession of man by Allah. With Allah man is not only عبد مملوك, but عبد مخلوق; created, formed and fashioned by Allah. Bondage to Allah alone is an honor not an indignity. Loving service is only one part of many.
1 hr
  -> Indeed, possession of man by man is not like possession of man by God. Tha is why the former is called slavery, but the latter is not.

agree  Shog Imas: I think servant is the best one
14 hrs

disagree  Sanaa Omrany: i think worshiper and surrenderer r the best
3 days 7 hrs

agree  AhmedAMS
193 days
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Changes made by editors
Jan 28, 2006 - Changes made by Fuad Yahya:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO
Jan 28, 2006 - Changes made by Fuad Yahya:
FieldOther » Art/Literary
Field (write-in)religion » (none)


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