The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Books » Current Legal Issues

Glossary → ← Introduction

Translator's Note

In accepting the task of translating the book, I was faced with a challenging hurdle. Namely, I should do my utmost to convey the meaning to the English reader in standard English from a language that is highly technical, i.e. juridical one. I hope I have succeeded in that. However, I decided to use the same Arabic terminology - in italic letters - that is common in the main, such as halal and haraam (licit and illicit) with their equivalent in English, as a first reference. I have done this to ensure consistency, for the majority of these terms denote specific meanings on which the mukallaf (the person obligated to observe the precepts of religion) rely in acting upon the fatwa (religious edict). Thereafter, I have confined the use to the Arabic term. For the benefit of those who wish to know the English definitions of the Arabic terms, I have listed them alphabetically in a Glossary.
It is noteworthy that the glossary is solely my contribution and does not constitute a section of the book, Current Legal Issues. At occasions, I found it necessary to put the Arabic words between brackets after the English, such as "The right of disposal (haqut tasarruf) over..". This has been done to reinforce the translated word or phrase and remove any ambiguity; you may not find these in the Glossary.
Where I thought the meaning of the text would be enhanced or rendered more understandable, I put the additional words, which do not constitute part of the original text, between these [ ] brackets.
The use of masculine pronouns, such as he, his, him, and himself, refers to both the sexes.
For the translation of Qur'anic verses, I used "Holy Qur'an", translated by M.H. Shakir, published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an Inc. P.O. Box 1115, Elmhurst, New York 11373, U.S.A, though I have made some modifications as I deemed fit. I have, also, made use of the translation of Al-Masaa'il Al-Muntakhabah (Articles of Islamic Acts) of Imam Abul Qassim al-Khoei, published by al-Khoei Foundation, Chevening Road, London NW 6, UK
In the end, whatever effort and knowledge one could muster and put in such work, it remains far from perfect, for perfection is Allah's. I, therefore, invite the readers to write in should they find it necessary to raise any point, ask for clarification of certain matters, or provide any remarks insofar as the translation goes.
I beseech Allah, The Exalted, to forgive me any inadvertent mistake or error of judgement I made during this translation. Amen.
Najim al-Khafaji, B.A.
London - December 1996 / Rajab 1417 AH
Glossary → ← Introduction
العربية فارسی اردو English Azərbaycan Türkçe Français