Friday, 4 July 2008

First Nepali Translation of Qur'an

The first-ever complete translation of the Noble Qur'an into the Nepali language is finally seeing the light as part of efforts to spread knowledge of Islam among Nepal's Muslims and Nepali-speaking people across South East Asia.
"We have taken the initiative to send the message of Allah to Nepali people through the translation of Qur'an to the Nepali language," Maulana Nazrul Hasan Falahi, President of the Photo: It took Nepali Muslim scholars and language experts years of hard work to bring this unprecedented Qur'an's Nepali translation to the light. Islami Sangh Nepal organization which did the translation, told in a phone interview. The Nepali translation of the meanings of the Qur'an was launched on May 31 in a special ceremony in the capital Kathmandu.
It was attended by Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim religious leaders as well as hundreds of media figures, politicians, diplomats and community activists. The launch made headlines in all the major print and electronic media outlets. Islami Sangh, a leading Muslim organization in Nepal, has begun the project five years ago with funding from the Al-Quran Academy London, an international organisation engaged in Islamic research and publication. It took Nepali scholars and linguists years of hard work to bring this unprecedented translation to light.
Previously there were only translations for short parts of the Muslim holy book published in Nepali. The complete translation comprises a total of 1,168 pages with the original version of Qur'an in Arabic language.
The translation of Islam's holy book is meeting the religious need of Nepalese who are thirst for understanding the meanings of Qur'an. "The Nepali translation will provide a unique tool to know Qur'an for the Nepali people," Hafiz Munir Uddin, Director General of Al-Quran Academy London, told IOL. Khadiza Akhter Rezaee, a scholar and a women rights activist from Britain who attended the launch ceremony, agrees. "Qur'an is the main source of Islamic knowledge, so the Nepali version of Qur'an is a golden opportunity for Nepali Muslims."
Nepal was the world's only Hindu state till 2006 when the parliament amended the constitution and declared it a secular state. According to the CIA World Fact Book, Muslims constitute 4.2 percent of the country's 28-million population. Jamila Marium, of Nepal Islami Sangh, believes the translation will help many, Muslims and non-Muslims, to understand Islam.
"Qur'an translation into the Nepali language is good event for Nepali Muslims and the Nepali people in general," she says. "Now we know the message of Allah through our own language."
The project sponsors hope the new translation will also serve Nepali-speaking people across South East Asia. Beside being the lingua-franca language spoken in Nepal, Nepali is also spoken in Bhutan, Myanmar and some parts of India. About 2000 copies of the new translation of the meanings of the Qur'an have so far been printed in New Delhi. "Qur'an is a complete code of life and true guidance for all human being," said Faizan Ahmad, Secretary General of Islami Sangh Nepal. Nepal is by constitution is secular country where the people of all religions live together in cooperation and harmony since centuries.