Yesterday afternoon, out of the blue, I received a message via Telegram app:
“Salamun ‘alaykum. I’m _____ _____, one of the lecturers of _____ _____ University. I have a question for you.”
I replied, “‘Alaykumis-salam Shaykh. I’m at your service.”
“I teach using Shahid Mutahhari’s book ‘Islamic Training and Education’ which is translated into English. As I browsed online, I have learned that it’s your translation, and we’re provided a copy of it in our university.”
(Actually the book’s title is “Training and Education in Islam”.)
“Yes. it’s my translation. https://www.islamic-college.ac.uk/…/training-education-isl…/
Any problem with the translation?”
“Yes, professor. It needs much of edition!” (He then attached two photos of a text with his alleged corrections.)
“Is that the actual page of the book, or something retyped from the book? If it’s retyped, then typographical errors might have occurred. Kindly scan so that I can properly read it.
“Do you have your translation file? If yes, send it please to compare both.”
(As can be noticed, he refuses to answer my question, but instead asked for the softcopy of the book for FREE.)
“You can’t expect me to give you my copy because it’s violative of the contract I have signed with the publisher. I’m asking, is it the actual page of the book, or something retyped from the book?”
“I don’t have the book.”
“That’s what I was expecting: it’s something retyped from the book, not the actual book! I do suggest you to do two things: (1) to get your copy of the book, and then (2) compare the text of the actual book with the sheets in your hand. And if you discover that they are not exactly the same with the text in the book, then tell those who are responsible in typing the modules in your school to type the text
“What is the name and address of publisher?”
“It only shows that you have not checked the link I have given you. Please check my earlier messages.
“I checked but couldn’t download the file.”
“You are asking me about the name and address of the publisher. It’s mentioned there in the link. Or, are you really looking for the name of the publisher, or for the electronic copy of the book to download IN GRATIS?”
“This part (attaching again the photo) is the same in your link. Also there is (sic) some differences in some parts. You are somehow right, mistyped some parts, but as you saw again there is (sic) some to be edited.”
“It’s clear now that the text of the book is not exactly reflected in the sheets. We will talk about your claim that my translation requires editing once you have already a copy of the book.”
“Surely my professor. Is that publisher in London?”
“Please read again the link.”
“It was written that the publisher is in London; just to be sure my professor.”
“You are addressing me as ‘my professor’ and yet you are saying that my translation requires editing!”
“Some teachers have talented students than themselves. Humbly I am your student. Waiting [for] the right copy of your translation. I have heard of you here as a professional translator.”
“Wow! Then you have the audacity to say that you are ‘humble’ and at the same time saying that you are more talented than your teacher.”
“So finding that copy in your name shocked me. So I decided to make you aware of this. Thanks for beautiful chat.”
“Wow, you are saying that you are shocked [due to my poor translation], and yet you haven’t read my translation as a whole.”
“Bravery is our heritage… at same time being humble to the teachers. That was what I had in my hand and find it for your name. Anyway it was a good start for our relationship if you want.”
“Three things you can do: (1) Get your copy of the book, (2) and then enumerate the errors to the publisher and (3) to Dr. Muhammad Mutahhari, the author’s son who manages the Mutahhari Foundation (the repository of the author’s extensive works).
“How can I get the proper copy? Please give me a number or address to contact directly to (sic) the publisher. Thanks a million.”
“How to get a copy? Very simple, borrow from a library, or buy your own copy.”
“U mentioned that the same in the link has mistyped. So which library has the authentic copy?”
“The issue here is not which copy is authentic. The fact is that you have not yet read the whole book and yet you claim that it needs ‘much editing’.”
I just hope my fellow interlocutor above would soon meet Dr. Muhammad Mutahhari, who himself had personally given his feedback to me some years ago on my translation of his late father’s two books, namely, “Training and Education in Islam” and “The Theory of Knowledge: An Islamic Perspective”.
Now, let me ask those who have read the whole book: Does it really need ‘much editing’?
This translator and the book’s editor, Dr. Amina Inloes, will surely be very grateful if you can let us know of the errors in the translation. As the Indonesian proverb goes, “Dimana gading yang tida retak,” which means “There’s no ivory without a crack.”
Even after this post of mine, he did not stop notifying me of the alleged errors in my translation: “Here are some I noticed in your given link…” (Actually, I didn’t give any link to him.)
Thereafter, I replied to him: “After bringing your list of the alleged errors in my translation to the attention of (1) the publisher and (2) Dr. Muhammad Mutahhari, the Director of Mutahhari Foundation, please let me know their reaction. Thanks ”
Then he responded thus, “Don’t you feel that this is your own business and responsibility? A book is distributing worldwide via your given link in your name full of errors! You yourself referred me to that university site for your translated book, And in a little glance l encountered this mistakes again there! Just in some available parts there. I saw and feel some non religious and non Muslim scholars worldwide are more receptive to my comments and critics even for misprintings. While YOU evaluate that as ALLEGED! While they are of your link!! Instead of begin thankful. Again maybe I will hear it’s for mistyped copy:blush: No time for looking publisher or the man without address or phone.Or writing down the list which will be named ALLEGED! Nice chat Bye my professor:pray:”
(He’s lying in saying that I referred him a certain university site.)
Naturally, I was smiling while reading his message, and then I replied. “Salam. ” I hope that will be our parting message – salam.