Why Do Some Muslims Disagree With Translating the Quran Into English?


Quick Answer

Muslims believe that the Quran in its original form is perfect and inimitable, so some believe that translating it into other languages such as English causes distortions and imperfections. Most Muslims agree that it is better to read the Quran in the original Arabic.

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Full Answer

Direct literal translation of the Quran into English is impossible due to the differences between Arabic and English. Therefore, the person doing the translating needs to use his or her judgment when trying to capture the meaning and essence of the original verses. Some Muslims believe that this prevents the direct revelation of the Quran from reaching readers who study it in languages other than Arabic. Some Muslim scholars believe that the divine nature of the Quran makes any translation impossible. In their view, the English version of the Quran is not actually the Quran, just a similar work.

Many Muslims also dislike Quran translations because historically, some translators have approached the work with harmful beliefs about Islam. These translators introduced negative interpretations that encouraged violence or other harmful actions. This has made some Muslims distrustful of any translations.

However, most Muslim scholars agree that good translations are useful for fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for Islam among people who do not speak Arabic. English translations are widely available and some mosques and other Muslim groups provide them to interested parties.

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