Turkey

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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Qur’an translation of the week #31: Kur’an-ı Kerim Meali by Halil Altuntaş and Muzaffer Şahin

According to conservative estimates, at least 160 complete translations (Kur’an mealleri) of the Qur’an into Turkish have appeared between 1914 and 2020, in addition to numerous commentaries (tefsirler). With the exception of translations into Persian and Urdu, this comprises the highest number of published translations of the Qur’an into another language. Furthermore, some of these …

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Qur’an translation of the week #28: Forging Muslim ‘Orthodoxy’ in Russia: New Translation of Qur’anic Meanings Kalam Sharif

The most recent translation of the Qur’an into Russian, produced by the Kazan Muftiyat in 2019, can tell us much about Muslim theological polemics in contemporary Russia. Widely discussed on social media, the Kalam Sharif translation claims to be the only Sunni “orthodox” translation of Qur’anic meanings corresponding to Maturidi/Ashari theology. As well as the …

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Qur’an translation of the week #27: The Qur’an in Italian

Among nearly a dozen modern translations of the Qur’an into Italian, the one by Hamza Roberto Piccardo (born 1952) plays an important role for the Islamic community in the country. First of all, it seems to be the first complete Muslim translation of the Qur’an from Arabic. The Ahmadi translation into Italian (London, 1986) is …

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Qur’an translation of the week #23: The Qur’an in Crimean Tatar

With around 600,000 native speakers in present-day Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Turkey and Romania, the Crimean Tatar language is among the world’s endangered languages. With at least half of its speakers living in Crimea, any news of religious translations draws great attention and tends to be seen by Crimean Tatars as a step towards the preservation …

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Qur’an translation of the week #15: Translation into Polish by Musa Czachorowski

It is widely known that the first translation of the Qur’an in Europe was produced in Latin in a Christian context, but what about the first Muslim translation? That honour goes to the 16th–17th century interpretation into the Old Polish language (with extensive usage of other Slavic vocabularies like Old Belarusian), made by Tatars of …

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Qur’an translation of the week #13: Turkish rhyming translation by Ali Adil Atalay “Vaktidolu”

This fascinating work by a Turkish Alevi intellectual, Ali Adil Atalay a.k.a. Vaktidolu, renders the entire Qur’an into Turkish verse, complete with metre and rhyme. It has first been brought to the attention of researchers in Qur’anic studies by M. Brett Wilson, who discusses it in his seminal article on Alevi-Bektashi interpretations and translations of …

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Qur’an translation of the week #11: ‘Koran: Perevod’ by Fazil Karaogly

The first appearance of “Koran: Perevod” (“The Qur’an: Translation”) by the Azerbaijani scholar Fazil Karaogly was at the beginning of the 90’s. This seems to be the second Russian translation published in Baku; the rendition by Kračkovskij was released there in 1991. After a decade, the translation received recognition from the Turkish Directorate of Religious …

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