The Message of the Quran—Muhammad Asad
Dr.Saheb can shed more lights on this post.
For a long time Quran Complex in Madina used to print Yusuf Ali’s translation in millions for free distribution worldwide.
Muhammad Asad was a close friend of King Faisal. It was decided that The Message of the Quran will be printed in millions for free distribution replacing Yusuf Ali’s translation.
ICNA [ Jamat-e-Islami ] in Jamaica, NY got a large number of copies. I wanted a copy, I called ICNA they will not sell it to me, but were kind enough to send me two copies free of charge.
ISNA book store in Indianapolis, IN also received a large number of copies. They also stopped selling it after few copies were sold.
The reason ICNA and ISNA stopped selling it and the Saudi Govt. decided not to free distribute worldwide, what they did was either they burned them [ in millions ] or dumped them in sea due to translation of the following verse and footnotes. Also Muhammad Asad’s condition was that the Quran Complex will not change any of his translation and also footnotes.
(4:157) and their boast, "Behold, we have slain the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, [who claimed to
be] an apostle of God!" However, they did not slay him, and neither did they crucify him, but
it only seemed to them [as if it had been] so; and, verily, those who hold conflicting views
thereon are indeed confused, having no [real] knowledge thereof, and following mere
conjecture. For, of a certainty, they did not slay him:
171 Thus, the Qur'an categorically denies the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. There exist,
among Muslims, many fanciful legends telling us that at the last moment God substituted for
Jesus a person closely resembling him (according to some accounts, that person was Judas),
who was subsequently crucified in his place. However, none of these legends finds the slightest
support in the Qur'an or in authentic Traditions, and the stories produced in this connection
by the classical commentators must be summarily rejected. They represent no more than confused
attempts at "harmonizing" the Qur'anic statement that Jesus was not crucified with the
graphic description, in the Gospels, of his crucifixion. The story of the crucifixion as such
has been succinctly explained in the Qur'anic phrase wa-lakin shubbiha lahum, which I render
as "but it only appeared to them as if it had been so" - implying that in the course of time,
long after the time of Jesus, a legend had somehow grown up (possibly under the then-powerful
influence of Mithraistic beliefs) to the effect that he had died on the cross in order to
atone for the "original sin" with which mankind is allegedly burdened; and this legend became
so firmly established among the latter-day followers of Jesus that even his enemies, the Jews,
began to believe it - albeit in a derogatory sense (for crucifixion was, in those times,
a heinous form of death-penalty reserved for the lowest of criminals). This, to my mind, is
the only satisfactory explanation of the phrase wa-lakin shubbiha lahum, the more so as the
expression shubbiha li is idiomatically synonymous with khuyyila 1i, "[a thing] became a
fancied image to me", i.e., "in my mind" - in other words, "[it] seemed to me" (see Qamus,
art. khayala, as well as Lane II, 833, and IV, 1500).
172 Cf. 3:55, where God says to Jesus, "Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shall exalt
thee unto Me." The verb rafa ahu (lit., "he raised him" or "elevated him") has always,
whenever the act of raf' ("elevating") of a human being is attributed to God, the meaning
of "honouring" or "exalting". Nowhere in the Qur'an is there any warrant for the popular
belief that God has "taken up" Jesus bodily, in his lifetime, into heaven. The expression
"God exalted him unto Himself" in the above verse denotes the elevation of Jesus to the realm
of God's special grace - a blessing in which all prophets partake, as is evident from 19:57,
where the verb rafa nahu ("We exalted him") is used with regard to the Prophet Idris.
(See also Muhammad 'Abduh in Manar III, 316 f., and VI, 20f.) The "nay" (bal) at the
beginning of the sentence is meant to stress the contrast between the belief of the Jews
that they had put Jesus to a shameful death on the cross and the fact of God's having
"exalted him unto Himself".