Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
I am an Assyrian Muslim, and I have a question regarding the permissibility of translating the Quran into Syriac/Aramaic. I also wish to know if it is acceptable to create an Assyrian flag by removing the pagan symbol and adding the Shahada. Additionally, I would like to inquire about making similar modifications to the Aramean-Syriac flag by removing the Holy Spirit Logo and adding the Shahada. These changes are intended for the Assyrian Muslim community.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.
Translating the meanings of the Quran is permissible. Modifying your country’s flag for your Muslim community is permissible but should be undertaken with due consideration by local scholars, secular laws, and local cultural considerations. Using the Shahada in an unofficial capacity on a flag seems risky and may lead to unsolicited disrespect to the sacred words, and Allah knows best.
Translation of the Quran
Translating the Quran into different languages is permissible and can benefit those who do not understand Arabic. It enables individuals to comprehend the meanings of the Quranic verses and deepen their understanding of Islam. However, it is essential to approach the translation with utmost care and accuracy, as the Quran is the word of Allah, and any translation should strive to convey its intended meanings without distortion. Competency and Integrity in this regard are critical. [Zurqani, Manahil al-Irfan]
Modifying flags, such as the Assyrian and Aramean-Syriac flags, is a matter that requires consideration of Islamic principles and local cultural sensitivities. As long as the modifications you propose do not contradict any Islamic teachings or principles, it may be permissible to make such changes. Removing symbols associated with pagan beliefs and replacing them with the Shahada (the Islamic declaration of faith) can demonstrate your commitment to your faith and cultural identity as an Assyrian Muslim.
However, it is essential to exercise caution and avoid actions that may lead to division or unnecessary conflicts within the community. It is advisable to consult with scholars, community leaders, or individuals knowledgeable in Islamic law and local customs to ensure that your proposed modifications comply with Islamic principles and do not cause any unintended negative consequences, and Allah knows best.
Unity and Cooperation
It is crucial to foster unity and cooperation among Muslims, especially in minority situations. While it is natural to celebrate one’s cultural heritage and express one’s religious identity, it is essential to do so to promote unity and mutual respect among Muslims and their communities.
It is recommended to engage in dialogue and collaboration with fellow Muslims, as well as seek the guidance of qualified local scholars, to ensure that any modifications or actions are consistent with the teachings of Islam and contribute positively to the community’s well-being.
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.