Turkey

Qur’an translation of the week #169: Qur’an translation into every language: Goodword Books and its recent projects

When browsing any Muslim missionary bookstand in Europe today, it is hard to miss a particular series of Qur’an translations by a company named as Goodword. Almost all of them are printed in pocket format and feature the same blue and white cover adorned with stylized tulip flowers, reminiscent of Ottoman non-figurative illumination. These small […]

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Qur’an translation of the week #168: The Turkish afterlife of a global scholar: Muhammad Hamidullah’s French Qur’an translation in Turkish

Aziz Kur’an is a Turkish Qur’an translation based on Le Saint Coran by Muhammad Hamidullah. Producing such a translation of a translation is an unusual decision given that there are already dozens of Qur’an translations on the Turkish market from the original Arabic. It speaks to the renown and appeal of this illustrious and prolific

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Qur’an translation of the week #150: An ‘anti-capitalist’ translation: Yaşayan Kur’an (‘The Living Qur’an’) by Recep İhsan Eliaçık

In February 2023, a court in Istanbul ruled that the distribution and sale of the Turkish translation of the Qur’an authored by Recep İhsan Eliaçık (b. 1961) would no longer be permitted. The case was brought by Diyanet, the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs, on the basis of legal powers it acquired in 2019 to

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Qur’an translation of the week #149: ‘God’s command’: A milestone in early Turkish Republican Qur’an translation

In 1934, the Islamic scholar, writer and journalist Ömer Rıza published a pioneering Turkish Qur’an translation-cum-commentary entitled Tanrı Buyruğu (‘God’s Command’) in Istanbul. Appearing five years after the Turkish Republic’s script reform, which abolished the use of the Arabic script, Tanrı Buyruğu was probably the first Turkish Qur’an translation to be printed in Latin script

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Qur’an translation of the week #130: ‘To every age its book’: An Exiled Post-Ottoman’s The Wisdom of the Qur’an (La sagesse coranique)

In 1935, the Orientalist publishing house Paul Geuthner in Paris published posthumously the last oeuvre of an exiled Turkish Muslim who had only just died of a heart attack en route from Alexandria to Europe. This work, a partial Qur’an translation titled La sagesse coranique (‘The Wisdom of the Qur’an’), was printed at the behest

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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 #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

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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

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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 #67: Abdulqadir as-Sufi, the Shādhiliyah-Darqāwiyyah brotherhood, and the path towards the first translation of the Qur’an into Belarusian

Belarusian, which is spoken by around seven million people in Belarus and beyond, is probably the last official, state language in Europe into which the Qur’an has been translated. Belarus has a small Muslim population (of around 30,000, or 0.3 percent of the total population), consisting of an indigenous Tatar community, a newly arrived immigrant

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