Qur’an translation of the week

Qur’an translation of the week #40: “Prevod na Sveshtenia Koran” by Tsvetan Teofanov into Bulgarian

The Bulgarian language is spoken by at least eight million people (including more than half a million Muslim speakers) and has played an especially interesting role in the history of Qur’an translation in the Balkan area. As the Balkans have historically been a space where Slavic culture encounters Turkish influence, the “Bulgarization” of the Qur’an …

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Qur’an translation of the week #39: “Mūḍiḥ al-Qurʼān”- The first Urdu Qur’an translation in idiomatic Urdu

South Asian Muslims have been translating the Qur’an into Urdu for over two centuries. The first complete Urdu translations emerged at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. “Mūḍiḥ al-Qurʼān”, which is arguably the first full Qur’an translation to be written in idiomatic Urdu, was authored by Shāh ʿAbd al-Qādir …

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Qur’an translation of the week #38: The Translation of Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s “The Holy Qur’an” from English into Russian

While it might seem that translating the Qur’an from one European language into another is an archaic process that has been widely replaced today by the work of Arabic-speaking specialists who engage with the original Arabic, occasionally translating the translation can still be an end in itself. This is precisely the case with the Russian …

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Qur’an translation of the week #37: The editors and their voices: Max Henning’s “Der Koran” and its revised editions

The three revised editions of Max Henning’s German Qur’an translation (“Der Koran”, Reclam: Leipzig, 1901) introduced last week illustrate the role of editors in shaping existing translations. The extent of interference with the text may range from the modernization of spelling to a complete rewriting, and even in the latter case, the result may still …

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Qur’an translation of the week #36: The impact of standardization: Max Henning’s 1901 Qur’an translation and its editors

One of the most widely-sold Qur’an translations on the German market is “Der Koran” by Max Henning (1861–1927), an autodidactic Orientalist. First published in 1901 by Reclam in Leipzig, it was one of the few available German Qur’an translations at the time, and was generally considered to be the most reliable one, an assessment that …

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Qur’an translation of the week #35: Translation of the Qur’an into Macedonian by Dr. Hasan Dzilo

The 1997 translation of the Qur’an into Macedonian (since republished twice) comprises the first, and so far only, translation of the Qur’an into a Balkan language to be published by the King Fahd Glorious Qur’an Printing Complex (two others, into Bosnian and Albanian, were published independently before this). Its author, Dr. Hasan Dzilo, is a …

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Qur’an translation of the week #34: “The Qurʾān: A Reformist Translation” by Edip Yüksel, Layth Saleh al-Shaiban and Martha Schulte-Nafeh

This week’s thread looks at a translation belonging to a trend broadly known as ‘Quranism’ or ‘Qur’an-only’. Paradoxically, its members often see a need to promote their own ideas and writings, including translations of the scripture. Quranist theory may have had early proponents, but it goes against the epistemic approaches and hermeneutics of mainstream Islamic …

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Qur’an translation of the week #33: A translation or not a translation? Muhammad Quraish Shihab’s “Al-Qur’an & Maknanya”

“This work”, says the publisher, Lentera Hati, “was not named ‘The Qur’an and its Translation’, because its author, M. Quraish Shihab, was acutely aware that the Qur’an is a holy book that cannot possibly be translated into any other language. All that the exegetes can do is to reveal the meaning, not translate it!”Despite these …

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Qur’an translation of the week #32: “The Holy Qur’an. Meanings. In the Context of Modernity at the Beginning of the 21st Century” by Shamil Alyautdinov (2012)

This week our attention focuses on the translation made by one of the most charismatic Muslim preachers in contemporary Russia, Shamil Alyautdinov (b. 1974). An Imam in Moscow, he holds various titles in the Muslim Spiritual Administration of the European Part of Russia (DAMER). Alyautdinov is author of more than thirty books and, quite uniquely …

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Qur’an translation of the week #31: Kur’an-ı Kerim Meali by Halil Altuntaş and Muzaffer Şahin

According to conservative estimates, at least 160 complete translations (Kur’an mealleri) of the Qur’an into Turkish have appeared between 1914 and 2020, in addition to numerous commentaries (tefsirler). With the exception of translations into Persian and Urdu, this comprises the highest number of published translations of the Qur’an into another language. Furthermore, some of these …

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