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Is an Accurate Translation of the Qur’an Possible?

Author: Kadhim Hussain Bakir كاظم حسين باقر
Journal: ADAB AL-BASRAH آداب البصرة ISSN: 18148212 Year: 2010 Issue: 51 Pages: 1-24
Publisher: Basrah University جامعة البصرة

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Abstract

This paper is to assess critically a number of translations of a short Qur’anic Surah (Chapter) to see if accurate translation of such a great religious work is possible. Along the past few years, translators have been trying to give the best and accurate translation of the verses of the Holy Qur’an. It is also very difficult for the ordinary reader to discover the mistakes committed intentionally or unintentionally by the translators. This can only be discovered by comparing a number of translations.Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the direct word of Allah to mankind and hence must be strictly followed. Any translation thereof no longer retains that official and perfect status. The Qur’an, in its natural language (Arabic) is considered as a miraculous masterpiece for its language, its beauty and eloquence of its style. Translation of the Qur’an into another language is difficult due to the characteristic linguistic and rhetorical devices of Classical ArabicTo show the variations of the translations of the Qur’an, we are going to compare twelve translations of Surat An-Nas. These translations are arranged chronologically as from the 20th century to the 18th century to see if some translators have depended on early translations. This large number of translations of one and the same holy book reflects the fact that so many differences among them can be traced.

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