Translation of a literary masterpiece

Translation of a literary masterpiece

Tarjuman-ul-Quran, the literary masterpiece of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in Urdu, has been translated into English by Mysuru-based historian Professor B Sheik Ali. The original Urdu book was published by the Sahitya Akademi in 1968, 10 years after Azad passed away.

Azad  was a stalwart of the freedom movement, and was Independent India’s first education minister. Its preface was written by Dr Zakir Hussain, the then President of India. It is an Urdu commentary of Quran penned by Azad between 1915 and 1945, the tumultuous period during which he was incarcerated by the British administration several times for years together. Azad had expressed a desire to bring out its Hindi and English translation so that everyone could know the meaning and significance of Quran.

Professor Sheik Ali, now 93, who is former vice chancellor of Mangalore and Goa universities, finished the translation in record six months. The publication was taken up by Darul Umoor which runs the Tipu Sultan Advanced Study and Research Centre in Srirangapatna. The volume runs into 350 pages.   

Maulana Azad belonged to the finest breed of Urdu writers of the Indian subcontinent. A staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi and an uncompromising opponent of India’s Partition, Azad was keen to initiate a reform movement among Muslims. Dr Sheik Ali’s note says that Azad’s discussion on the concept of God is encyclopaedic in covering vast areas of all great religions of the world.

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