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EASTERN TEXTS MEETING WESTERN QUILLS – THE FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE QURAN

By: Lubaaba Amatullah

Source: http://muslimmatters.org

When asking fellow Muslims about the first English Qur’an, the response is frequently a reference to the 1930 translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall. Less frequently an excited voice speaks of the George Sale Qur’an of 1734. However, British Islamic – and Quranic – history extends long beyond that.

The first rendering of the Qur’an into a European Western language, Latin, was completed by the English scholar Robertus Retenensis. It was entitled ‘Lex Mahumet Pseudoprophete’ (‘The Law of Mahomet the False Prophet’) and was completed in 1143. The translation enjoyed popularity and wide circulation, later to become the main basis for further contemporary translations into Italian, German and Dutch.[1] Between 1480 and 1481, not long after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, the first bilingual translation into Latin, with accompanying Arabic, appeared composed by the Jewish convert to Christianity, Flavius Mithridates.[2] In 1647, Andrew Du Ryer produced the first French translation in Paris. This first translation directly from Arabic since the Middle Ages[3] was a marked improvement from those produced over the years since 1143.

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Arsenal player Abou Diaby discusses faith and football with the FA

Abou Diaby

Source: http://iengage.uk.net/news/arsenal-player-abou-diaby-discusses-faith-football-fa/

With a brief explanation detailing key features of Ramadan, the Football Associationwebsite publishes an interview with Arsenal football player, Abou Diaby, in which he discusses faith, fasting and football.

With Ramadan underway, Diaby talks about the impact of fasting on performance and the way players deal with the demands of faith and football. He states “It is really difficult to fast at the moment, during pre-season. Some players can handle it – it is different from one player to another.

“All the days I miss during Ramadan I make up during the rest of the year – for example when I have days off or a light session I can fast, but when we have a hard session or a match I don’t fast.”

Diaby talks about his faith and its impact telling the FA, “It is something that I have had in my heart. I take it from my parents and from the way I grew up.

“It has helped me to be a better person, definitely.”

Diaby also touches upon the positive role models footballers can be saying, “The young Muslims want to see role models – somebody who is dedicated to his religion but also someone who is achieving something in his life.”

According to the FA, Diaby appreciates the understanding and support he receives from the club and its manager, Arsene Wenger.

He states “Arsene Wenger knows that Ramadan is a special moment for all the Muslim players. But at the same time we have a contract to the club and we be at our best to do our jobs. So we have to find a balance during Ramadan.

“My contract to my club, or to whatever my profession is, is part of who I am and my own morality so I need to respect that, and that’s why I don’t fast during Ramadan, but there is always a compensation. The religion is very flexible.”

On Ramadan and the rituals of opening fast and Tarawih prayers, Diaby said, “It is a very good time. We get together at home as a family but it’s also when we strengthen our links with the community.

“We have the prayers at night where all the community pray together – it is a very powerful moment.”

Diaby further expressed his belief that the perception of Muslims in football has changed positively.

“There has been a big improvement in football’s understanding of Islam. But then I believe today football has a better understanding of religion as a whole. Judaism and Christianity too – all the religions.”

The football industry has increased in its efforts to accommodate Muslim players’ needs by offering non-alcoholic celebratory drinks for Man of the Match awards, introducing prayer room facilities at clubs and challenging Islamophobia as well as racism in sport.

Such endeavours follow a recommendation by the Housing Association that the FA and league clubs do more to engage with young British Muslims through sport.

Make self-critique and self-improvement your habit, even if it takes a while.

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