German

Qur’an translation of the week #147: The universal Qur’an and the ‘world language:’ Translating the Qur’an into Volapük

In 1890, in the Southern German city of Konstanz, a booklet comprising a collection of excerpts from the Qur’an into the ‘world language’ Volapük was published. It is a fascinating document that gives us insight into the position of the Qur’an in nineteenth-century Europe, and also of contemporaneous perspectives on language, language planning, literature and […]

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Qur’an translation of the week #135: The elusive quest for dogmatic correctness: Al-Azhar’s German Qur’an translation

In 1999, al-Azhar University in Egypt published the German version of its project to standardize Qur’an translation. Like the versions in other languages (for English and Russian, see Al-Montakhab and Al-Muntakhab In Russian- Egyptian Daʿwa In The Post-Soviet Space), this German Qur’an translation was based on the concise Qur’an commentary al-Muntakhab (‘The Select’) which purports

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Qur’an translation of the week #134: The First Muslim-Authored Qur’an Translation into German

This week we look at the first Muslim-authored translation into German, which was published during World War II by Maulana Sadr-ud-Din (d. 1981), a missionary of the Lahore branch of the Ahmadiyya movement, and caused much controversy within his community. Sadr-ud-Din, who had previously worked as a missionary in Woking in the United Kingdom, arrived

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Qur’an translation of the week #133: Global publishers of Qur’an translations: The Conveying Islamic Message Society from Alexandria, Egypt

The Conveying Islamic Message Society (‘Jamʿiyyat Tablīgh al-Islām’, or CIMS) is one of the oldest Islamic non-government organizations in the world, and is especially interested in Islamic missionary activity, or daʿwah. The ‘call to Islam’ has always been its main priority, and it directs its mission to both Eastern and Western audiences. Now operating from

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Qur’an translation of the week #120: Back to recitation- a German interlinear translation and its pitfalls

In 2020, a nondescript self-publisher in Turkey issued a colour-coded interlinear word-for-word translation of the Qur’an into German with the (not very idiomatic) title Quran Wort zu Wort Übersetzung. Since it was the first of its kind, and still remains unique, it seems to have gained a certain popularity among German-speaking Muslims, especially those who

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Qur’an translation of the week #93: The Qur’an as a weapon in the Great War – Mahmud Mukhtar Pasha and the German-Ottoman alliance

Qur’an translation as propaganda: war alliances and nation-building (1/3) When the Ottoman Empire entered the First World War in November 1914 on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary, pro-Ottoman circles in Germany were eager to sell this new alliance to a German-speaking public that was under the influence of decades of discourses on Oriental despotism

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Qur’an translation of the week #71: Al-mathani and the gigantic Qur’aan: Strategies of translating Arabic terminology in Amir Zaidan’s At-tafsiir

At the time it was first published in 2000, Amir Zaidan’s At-tafsiir, an annotated translation of the Qur’an into German, stood apart from all other German translations due to its deliberate and extensive use of Arabic terminology. It contained phrases such as ‘In it are clear ayat, [including] maqamu-Ibrahim’ (‘In ihm sind deutliche Ayat, [davon]

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Qur’an translation of the week #69: ‘Der Heilige Qur’an’ – a new revised German translation of the Qur’an

Recently, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat has published a new revised German translation of the Qur’an. In this post, I will take a close look at this new edition and discuss some of the things that have been changed. The Ahmadiyya Movement has been translating the Qur’an into different languages for more than 100 years, with

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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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