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Translating the meaning of the Qur’ân into other languages

Published: 27/08/2011 12:24:00 PM GMT
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What is the Islamic ruling regarding translating the Qur’ân into languages other than the one in which it was revealed?

Answered by

Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

Translating the meaning of the Qur’ân into other languages is a collective duty upon the Muslims. It is incumbent upon them to carry it out. This is part of what it means to convey the Message to the world and establish the proof of Islam to the people.

However, it must be well understood by everyone that a translation is someone’s expression of another’s meaning. It is merely an explanation. For this reason, the translation of the Qur’ân should never be called the Qur’ân. The Qur’ân is only the Arabic original. Anything else should be referred to as a translation of the meanings of the Qur’ân.

People differ in their understanding of these meanings. No matter how proficient a translator might be, the original text of the Qur’ân will always be broader in scope, deeper, more nuanced, and more multifaceted in meaning than any translation.

Indeed the Qur’ân is far richer than any one person’s – or even one generation’s – understanding of it will be. The Qur’ân endures throughout the centuries, and each generation understands from it meanings, ideas, and subtleties that are particularly relevant to their needs and their circumstances.

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Today

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