Prof. Lawrence’s work guided by Qur’anic inclusivism
ALIGARH, India: Professor Bruce B. Lawrence, Duke University, USA, delivering a lecture on “Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s Translation of the Qur’an — An 80 Year Retrospective,” said that his lifetime dedication to the Holy Qur’an has to be honored whenever his name is cited or his work quoted.
Pervading and guiding his labor is the larger spirit of Qur’anic inclusivism, and despite the array of critiques – some major, some quibbling — that have been brought against him, it is due to this same generosity of purpose that his translation still excites many readers, scholars and believers from numerous perspectives. The lecture was organized by the K. A. Nizami Center for Qur’anic Studies on Feb. 17 at Z. H. College of Engineering and Technology. The Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah presided over the lecture.
Prof. Lawrence mentioned that in the huge North American market, the modified Yusuf Ali’s translation established its pre-eminent position when Amana Publications reprinted the original edition in 1977, re-titling it as “The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an.” He said 90 percent Muslim students, whether from Middle East or from the subcontinent, reads the English translation of the Holy Qur’an by Yusuf Ali. AMU Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brig. (Retd.) S. Ahmad Ali said that he felt that Holy Qur’an could not be completely translated. He said he had studied four translations of the Holy Qur’an and every translation had its own interpretation. Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation is approved by the Saudi Arabia. Brig. Ali urged the students to read Yusuf Ali’s translation as the translation was an eye opener to all.
In his presidential remarks, AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah said he had read many translations of the Holy Qur’an when he was only 16. He congratulated Prof. Lawrence on delivering such an informative and elaborative lecture on the Holy Qur’an. (twocircles.net)
Youngest Muslim to learn Qur’an by heart
CAIRO: A three-year-old girl is amazing Nigeria after memorizing the whole Qur’an, becoming one of the youngest Muslims in the world to learn the Noble Book by heart. “Honestly, I can’t say much but I am very grateful to Allah for this,” Sayyada Maimunatu Sheikh Dahiru, the girl’s mother, told Sunday Tribune last week.
“This is indeed a blessing from Allah. I’m grateful to Allah for this.” Her daughter, Rukkayatu Fatahu Umar, has completed the memorization of the Noble Qur’an at the age of three years and eight months. The young Muslim girl began memorizing the Holy Qur’an at an Islamic school founded by prominent Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi.
“We were using a big parlor, which was divided into classes for the learning of the Qur’an,” Maimunatu, who teaches at the school, said. “At that time, I always carried her on my back while teaching. From there, she started reciting along with the students and before long, she had memorized some verses.
“That was how she started attending memorization class. Right now, she has completed memorizing the whole Qur’an,” the proud mother said. The Muslim girl does not believe she has completed the memorization of the Qur’an at this young age.
“I thank Allah,” she said.The young Muslim girl is now preparing to go to school soon, breaking a family tradition of sending girls to study at the age of 10.
‘Mosqueophobia’ on rise in West
CAIRO: Finding no space for growing numbers of worshippers, the Muslim community in the industrial city of Hamtramck, Michigan, is facing a strong opposition to expand their Islamic centers to fulfil their religious needs.
Two Muslim organizations have applied to relocate and remodel Islamic centers in the city to help accommodate the growing numbers of worshippers. The first application was presented by Al-Islah Islamic Center to relocate a remodeled two-story, 20,000-square-foot building some 20 meters away for their current 3,000-square-foot space. Muslims say the center needs to expand, as its current capacity is only 350 worshippers, giving no room for women to attend prayers.
However, the application was rejected by the zoning board, which voted 4-2 last week to deny three variance requests from Al-Islah. Officials cited the amount of windows in the building’s storefront and the location of parking spaces.
But supporters defended the building’s proposed design as fitting in with the aesthetic tastes of the city’s burgeoning Muslim community.
A second Muslim request by the Abu Bakr Al-Siddique Islamic Center that is seeking approval to convert a building in the city’s industrial zone on the northeast corner of St. Aubin and Faber into a mosque. Opponents argue that the relocation would cause traffic problems.
Councilman Tom Jankowski said there is an understanding within city government that adjustments would be needed to better accommodate the growing Muslim community.
“I personally am not opposed to a mosque being there,” he said. “The city’s population is now nearly 40 percent Muslim. We should be evolving our zoning ordinances to reflect that.” (Onislam.net)
Egypt has a new grand mufti
CAIRO: Egypt’s new Grand Mufti Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim has been officially approved by President Muhammad Mursi, the presidential office confirms in a press statement released last Monday.
The Senior Scholars Authority of Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s religious authority, met to choose the new grand mufti to succeed Ali Gomaa, who has recently retired.
This marks the first time a vote has been held to appoint the new Mufti, whereas in the past it was appointed by the president. Following the vote, Mursi was expected to officially approve the decision for Abdel-Karim to officially carry out his post starting from March 4. Abdel-Karim, 55, most recently served as the head of the Islamic Jurisprudence and Sharia Law at Al-Azhar University, Tanta branch. The new mufti was born in the Nile Delta governorate of Beheira and received his Ph.D in 1996 from the Al-Azhar University Faculty of Sharia and Law. Abdel-Karim’s most famous book concerns the predetermination of the sex of a fetus and its legality according to Islamic law. He has also written a book on the political rights of Muslim women. Al-Azhar is the main source of religious edicts for Sunni Muslims worldwide and the post of grand mufti was created in 1895. Abdel-Karim is the 19th to hold the post of grand mufti. (ahramonline)