The Qur’an is supposed to be in a simple language, which can be easily understood, I know it is not easy for a person like me who doesn’t know the Arabic language. Is it in fact easy for a person whose mother tongue is Arabic? If so why are there so many different translations? (I presume that only people who knew the language well have undertaken the translation).
You have stated: “the Qur’an is supposed to be in a simple language”. I really do not know what you mean by that? Why is it SUPPOSED TO BE in a simple language? What the Qur’an itself says is that “It has been made very suitable for admonition”, which is sometimes wrongly referred to as, “it has been made easy”. It is in the language, which the Qur’an itself has termed “Arabiyin Mobeen“, i.e. ‘clear Arabic’. It is in the language of the “Ummul Quraa” i.e. the Chief Town of Arabia – i.e. Mecca – which in fact was the language of the Qureish.
Therefore, even a person whose mother tongue is Arabic, cannot have a scholarly command over the Qur’an, if he is not well versed with the language of the “Ummul Quraa“.
The differences in translations, however, may be ascribed to two main reasons: One is that the translations are basically understandings of the translating minds. Understanding and comprehension, as we know, may differ from mind to mind. It is actually a matter of perception. The other reason for such differences in translations is that even though people who undertook the task of translation generally did have knowledge of the Arabic language, but it was not necessarily the knowledge of the Classical Arabic or the Arabic of the “Ummul Quraa“. This has a lot of bearing on the understanding of the Qur’an. As this particular Arabic dialect had its specific idioms, phrases, and other literary styles.
Therefore, I think it is imperative that any person, who takes up the task of translating the Qur’an, must, besides a number of other qualifications, have command on the language of the “Ummul Quraa“. Without this, the translator is not properly equipped for the task that he is planning to undertake. Just like a person who wants to conduct research on Shakespeare must be well versed in the classical English language. Being an expert in modern English would obviously not be enough for the purpose.
3rd November 1997