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The Ecology of a Vernacular Qur’an: Rethinking Mūsā Bīgī’s Translation into Türki-Tatar

The Ecology of a Vernacular Qur’an: Rethinking Mūsā Bīgī’s Translation into Türki-Tatar This paper contextualises Mūsā Bīgī’s infamous Qur’an translation of 1911–1912 against the background of ongoing socio-political processes in Russia’s Tatar Muslim community and transformations in the broader Muslim world. The production of a vernacular Qur’an in Türki-Tatar was not an original phenomenon – contrary to popular assumptions about the groundbreaking status of Mūsā Bīgī’s translation project – but rather the product of a specific translation ecology that existed in Muslim reformist circles in the early twentieth century. Linking Bīgī’s translation endeavour to the larger vernacular turn in non-Arabophone Muslim communities and the so-called ‘Biblical turn’ in Qur’anic exegesis that was in full swing by the end of the nineteenth century, this paper traces major shifts in Muslim approaches to literary translation, and in particular to the evolving status of the Qur’an as the scripture of Islam. The eclectic nature of the translation ecology – which was shaped by various trends within the Muslim world as well as by Western influences – also predetermined the strategies adopted by Bīgī when addressing the core issue of Qur’an translation, the doctrine of Qur’anic inimitability (iʿjāz). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Qur'anic Studies Edinburgh University Press

The Ecology of a Vernacular Qur’an: Rethinking Mūsā Bīgī’s Translation into Türki-Tatar

Journal of Qur'anic Studies , Volume 24 (3): 24 – Oct 1, 2022

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
1465-3591
eISSN
1755-1730
DOI
10.3366/jqs.2022.0515
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper contextualises Mūsā Bīgī’s infamous Qur’an translation of 1911–1912 against the background of ongoing socio-political processes in Russia’s Tatar Muslim community and transformations in the broader Muslim world. The production of a vernacular Qur’an in Türki-Tatar was not an original phenomenon – contrary to popular assumptions about the groundbreaking status of Mūsā Bīgī’s translation project – but rather the product of a specific translation ecology that existed in Muslim reformist circles in the early twentieth century. Linking Bīgī’s translation endeavour to the larger vernacular turn in non-Arabophone Muslim communities and the so-called ‘Biblical turn’ in Qur’anic exegesis that was in full swing by the end of the nineteenth century, this paper traces major shifts in Muslim approaches to literary translation, and in particular to the evolving status of the Qur’an as the scripture of Islam. The eclectic nature of the translation ecology – which was shaped by various trends within the Muslim world as well as by Western influences – also predetermined the strategies adopted by Bīgī when addressing the core issue of Qur’an translation, the doctrine of Qur’anic inimitability (iʿjāz).

Journal

Journal of Qur'anic StudiesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2022

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