Indonesia

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 #25: Indonesian Qur’an translation for women

An Indonesian Qur’an translation for women – does this mean a feminist translation? No. It means that, in a country with a market economy and a large urban Muslim middle class, publishers have discovered women as a lucrative target group of bilingual Qur’an editions, just as there is a substantial market for children’s books teaching …

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Qur’an translation of the week #21: Soedewo and the Dutch Qur’an in Indonesia

The first Dutch Qur’an translation of the 20th century was authored by a young Javanese Muslim, Soedewo (1906–1971), and printed in Batavia in 1934 for an Indonesian audience. While criticized by some ulama for being an Ahmadiyya translation, it was enthusiastically hailed by Indonesian Sunni intellectuals. For several decades, it was probably the most widely …

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Qur’an translation of the week #17: Muhammad Thalib’s “tarjamah tafsiriyah”, an Islamist counter-translation

Muhammad Thalib’s “exegetical translation”, first published in 2011, is not so much a translation as it is a counter-translation. It constitutes a direct attack on the religious legitimacy of the Indonesian government, which publishes its own Qur’an translation. That translation, much to Thalib’s discontent, dominates the Indonesian market (see https://gloqur.de/quran-translation-of-the-week-01-al-quran-dan-terjemahnya/). Consequently, criticizing the government translation …

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Qur’an translation of the week #10: Interlinear translations from Masjid al-Huda

Interlinear Qur’an translation is often considered a thing of the past – but in many contexts, it is alive and kicking! This points to fundamental differences between translations of the Bible and the Qur’an. Translations of the Bible are typically stand-alone texts that are meant to be read and studied by themselves. By contrast, interlinear …

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Qur’an translation of the week #01: Al-Qur’an dan terjemahnya

“Al-Quräan dan terdjemahnja”, a hugely successful project of the newly-independent Republic of Indonesia, was the first Qur’an translation ever to be commissioned by a government and produced by a committee of scholars. The first volume was published in 1965. President Sukarno’s “Old Order” regime wanted it to represent the revolutionary “fire of Islam”. Sukarno was …

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