English

Qur’an translation of the week #104: Doing away with King James Style- N. J. Dawood’s The Koran

In 1956, Penguin Classics published The Koran by N. J. Dawood (1927–2014), an Iraqi Jew. It stood out by dint of being the very first Qur’an translation into contemporary English, a fact which means it has had a big impact on many later Muslim and non-Muslim translators, whether or not they approved of Dawood’s endeavour. …

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Qur’an translation of the week #103: ‘Interpretation of the meanings of the Noble Qur’an in the English language‘ by al-Hilālī and Khān- the story behind the first translation of the Qur’an in Saudi Arabia (2/2)

How does the early 1977 edition of the Hilali-Khan translation differs from later revisions? First of all, the English text of 1977 is almost completely free from the inclusion of Arabic glosses, i.e. transliterated Arabic words inserted in brackets, with only very few exceptions. Consider, for example, Q 2:43. In both the 1977 and 1978 …

Qur’an translation of the week #103: ‘Interpretation of the meanings of the Noble Qur’an in the English language‘ by al-Hilālī and Khān- the story behind the first translation of the Qur’an in Saudi Arabia (2/2) Read More »

Qur’an translation of the week #102: ‘Interpretation of the meanings of the Noble Qur’an in the English language‘ by al-Hilālī and Khān- the story behind the first Saudi translation (1/2)

This popular translation of the Qur’an into English, widely known as ‘Hilali-Khan,’ is one of the most influential Islamic texts in the world. Published in numerous editions, it gained much of its fame in the late 1990s and early 2000s, while recently it has been criticized on various grounds, some more controversial than others. Criticisms …

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Qur’an translation of the week #101: Global da’wa in French and the gender question- Shahnaz Saïdi Benbetka’s French Qur’an translation, published by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s Goodword Books

The Indian scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (1925–2021) was the founder of a global da’wah enterprise that focuses on the distribution of Qur’an translations. We discussed his English Qur’an translation (which was co-authored with, and probably mostly produced by, his daughter Farida Khanam on the basis of his Urdu translation) last week. Khan was a madrasa-trained …

Qur’an translation of the week #101: Global da’wa in French and the gender question- Shahnaz Saïdi Benbetka’s French Qur’an translation, published by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s Goodword Books Read More »

Qur’an translation of the week #100: ‘The Qur’an: English Translation, Commentary and Parallel Arabic Text’ by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and Prof. Farida Khanam

by Afsan Yusuf Redwan, Islam UK Centre, Cardiff University Can there ever be such a thing as a ‘spiritual translation’ of religious scripture? If so, then how would this be modelled to appeal to audiences? How would a ‘spiritual translation’ help proclaim the message of Islam, in essence, doing da’wah (‘proclaiming’)? Furthermore, is there a …

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Qur’an translation of the week #94: “In the darkest hours of night Thou flashest the light”- Nejmi Sagib Bodamialisade’s “The Gouran Versified” and Muslims in British Cyprus

Qur’an translation as propaganda: war alliances and nation-building (2/3) In the period between the two world wars, Nejmi Sagib Bodamialisade (1897–1964), a Muslim in Cyprus, an oft-forgotten corner of the British Empire, started translating the Qur’an into English verse in order to gain British support for Muslim Cypriot interests. His translations of segments of the …

Qur’an translation of the week #94: “In the darkest hours of night Thou flashest the light”- Nejmi Sagib Bodamialisade’s “The Gouran Versified” and Muslims in British Cyprus Read More »

Qur’an translation of the week #85: ‘The preeminent reading’ – ‘Lecture par excellence’: The first Muslim Qur’an translation into French

This week, we present the first Muslim Qur’an translation into French, after having discussed its English equivalent last week. Both efforts had their origin in the colonial period, but there were notable differences between the contexts of the French-ruled Maghreb and British India. Before addressing them, let us take a closer look at ‘Le Coran,’ …

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Qur’an translation of the week #84: ‘The Holy Qurʾan with a commentary’ – the first English translation composed by a Muslim

This week we take a close look at Abdul Hakim Khan’s (d. 1917?) ‘The Holy Qurʾan with a commentary’, which was published in 1905 and is the first English translation of the Qurʾan to be authored by a Muslim. As this post coincides with Christmas, we will focus on the way Khan treats the conception …

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Qur’an translation of the week #82: Between slavery and apartheid – an imam in Western Cape and his Afrikaans Qur’an translation

The history of the first Afrikaans Qur’an translation throws a spotlight on the afterlives of slavery and colonialism, the international movement of texts and ideas in the twentieth century, and the disruption of modern South African history. ‘Die Heilige Qur’ān’ by Imam Mohammed Armien Baker (1910–1982) was first published in 1961 by Nasionale Boekhandel, in …

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Qur’an translation of the week #77: A time of experimentation – A chronological Qur’an translation in early twentieth-century British India

In 1911 and 1912, an Indian Muslim academic called Mirza Abu’l-Fadl published a work entitled The Qur’ân: Arabic Text and English Translation: Arranged Chronologically: With an Abstract in his home town of Allahabad. This was only the second Qur’an translation into English, or any other Western European language, by a Muslim. While Qur’an translations into …

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