Qur’an translation of the week

Qur’an translation of the week #196: The Qur’an in Latvian by Uldis Bērziņš: a literary translation

In its 2010 first edition, The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims, a popular reference book that is published by annually by the Jordan based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, included an entry for the Latvian scholar Uldis Bērziņš (1944–2021). Bērziņš’ entry mentions that ‘he is known for spending fifteen years on the […]

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Qur’an translation of the week #195: The Thorny Path of a Russian Arabist: From Historian to Gulag Prisoner and Qur’an Translator

This week we are looking at the poetic Qur’an translation by Theodor Adamovich Shumovskii (1913–2012). Not only is this translation a very unusual piece of work, but the translator’s life is also worthy of a book in itself. Luckily, Shumovskii left behind not only remarkable academic scholarship, works on popular humanities, poetry, and his Qur’an

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Qur’an translation of the week #194: The New Edition of the Indonesian Ahmadiyya Community’s Qur’an Translation

A guest contribution by Jajang A Rohmana, UIN Sunan Gunung Djati, Bandung, Indonesia Kitab Suci Al-Qur’an dengan Terjemahan dan Tafsir Singkat (‘The Holy Book of the Qur’an with Translation and Concise Commentary’), the latest translation into Indonesian to be produced by the Indonesian Ahmadiyya Community (Jemaat Ahmadiyah Indonesia or JAI), was published in 2023 despite massive

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Qur’an translation of the week #193: A Swahili Qur’an translation between interreligious polemics and decolonisation

In 1953, Kurani Tukufu, the second ever complete Swahili Qur’an translation, was published in Nairobi, Kenya, which was at that time a British Colony struggling for independence. Begun in the second half of the 1930s, the immediate reason for writing Kurani Tukufu was to provide a counterpart to the Qur’an translation of a Christian missionary,

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Qur’an translation of the week #192: The ‘Saheeh International’: A ‘Saudi’ Team Translation into English

It would be hard to dispute that ‘Saheeh International’ (first published in 1997) is one of the most popular modern interpretations of the Qur’an in English. This work has a few notable aspects that distinguish it from other works in the genre. First of all, it is the product of teamwork, rather than an individually-authored

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Qur’an translation of the week #191: A Malayalam Qur’an translation by Bahauddeen Muhammed Nadwi

A guest contribution by Suhair Thottupurath, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya Non-Arab Muslims have been actively translating the Qur’an for centuries, despite bouts of ideological opposition to the concept of the translatability of the Qur’an in various times and places. The Mappila communities that live in the South Indian state of Kerala accordingly have a rich

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Qur’an translation of the week #190: De Koran: Uitleg voor Kinderen 3: One of The First ‘Qur’an for Kids’ in Dutch

‘The Qur’ân is untranslatable. It is. We can approach its meaning, but a literal translation never comes even close to the original experience of qirât al-Qur’ân. The transfer of the metaphorical is almost impossible. The recitation of the Qur’ân in the Mihrab by the Imam, or as pure recitation brings emotion into the souls of

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Qur’an translation of the week #189: The Qur’aan The Supreme, or: how literal can one get?

When a translator entitles his work The Textual Translation For The Qur’an The Supreme in an attempt to render the Arabic phrase al-tarjama al-naṣṣiyya li-l-Qurʾān al-Majīd into English, this is a clear indication that he is taking the concept of ‘literal translation’ to the extreme. And indeed, this is the explicit aim of Abdulaziz F.

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Qur’an translation of the week #188: The first ‘American Qur’an’

In 1985, T.B. (Thomas Ballantyne) Irving, also known as al-Hajj Ta‘lim ‘Ali (1914–2002), published a book entitled The Qur’an: The First American Version. Printed with funding from global donors, including a major halal food business that Levantine Muslim migrants had founded in the American Midwest, its publication was part of a globalizing trend that has

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Qur’an translation of the week #187: What is in the Quran? Message of the Quran in Simple English by Abdur Raheem Kidwai

Abdur Raheem Kidwai (b. 1956), currently director of the K.A. Nazmi Qur’anic Centre at Aligarh Muslim University in India is not only a well-known reviewer of other people’s Qur’an translations into English, but also a translator himself. His own translation, What is in the Quran? Message of the Quran in Simple English (first published in

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