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Qur’an translation of the week #114: Pioneering or “well-meaning but incompetent”?- Mirza Hairat Dihlavi’s 1916 English Qur’an translation

In 1916, Mirza Hairat Dihlavi (d. 1928), an intellectual and journalist from British India, printed an English Qur’an translation in three volumes. At the time, this was a pioneering endeavor. Mirza Hairat was the editor of a newspaper and had published on a wide range of subjects in Urdu before, including an introduction to Qur’anic …

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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 #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 #63: Word for word translations in English

This week’s post concerns the phenomenon of “word for word” translations in English, with a look at some examples along with the translators’ introductions. Interlinear verbatim translations have a long history, and work more naturally in languages with shared vocabulary and structure with Arabic. A three-volume work first published in 1995 by the Islamic Book …

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Qur’an translation of the week #12: A Phrase-by-Phrase translation by Ali Quli Qara’i

This week, we consider another choice of formatting Qur’an translation, particularly into the left-to-right script of the English language: the “phrase-by-phrase” approach adopted by Ali Quli Qara’i. Born in Hyderabad, India, Qara’i graduated from Osmania University before doing an MBA at the University of Wisconsin. He edited the Al-Tawhid quarterly on Islamic thought from 1983-1997, …

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Qur’an translation of the week #03: Bridges’ Translation of the Ten Qira’at of the Noble Qur’an

This week we peek inside probably the most recent English translation to be published: Bridges’ Translation of the Ten Qira’at of the Noble Qur’an. It was released in 2020 by its lead translator, Mr Fadel Soliman, an Egyptian based in London. As well as Soliman, the credits inside the book include translator Dr Hala Muhammad, …

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