A minority group of scholars are of the opinion that the Qur’an translation cannot be published without the Arabic text. Their reasoning is based on the supposition that the Injil (Bible) and the Torah (Jewish Scriptures) were corrupted due to translations being made from translations without regard to the original text, so that over time the original message of the Bible and the Torah has changed beyond recognition. Our scholars disagree with this supposition and present the following arguments for the permissibility of publishing the Meaning of the Translation only.
First and foremost, the supposition that the bulk of the corruption contained in the Bible and Torah are due to translation and mis-translation etc. is incorrect. While a small degree may be attributed to mis-translation, the bulk of the corruption is due to the following reasons: Allah (SubhanaWaTaala) did not wish for these books to be preserved. The books were meant for a certain people for a certain time period. The corruption in the Bible appeared about 300 years after Jesus Christ, when the Council of Nicea (under the leadership of the Pagan Emperor Constantine) decided to use only the gospels we have today and physically destroyed all other manuscripts of other gospels. According to the book “What did Jesus Really Say,” hundreds of gospels, some of them that probably contained the truth as Allah had revealed to prophet Jesus were systematically destroyed. The gospels we have today that were adopted are still preserved in their corrupted form in Greek, with nothing to do with translation errors. The primary reason we have so many corruptions in the Bible today is because of this and not because of translations.
Allah SWT has said in the Qur’an that He will preserve the Qur’an. Unlike the other revealed books, Allah SWT has taken it upon Himself to preserve the Qur’an. Therefore, any thoughts of somehow the Qur’an changing because of translations is absurd due to this main reason, the promise of Allah SWT. Today, millions of people all over the world in every culture and race have memorized the entire Qur’an, which is a testament to the promise of Allah SWT that He will preserve the Qur’an. Even if all the manuscripts of the Qur’an on the planet were to be destroyed and only the translations left, the Qur’an cannot be changed even an iota or be destroyed.
To further guarantee the safeguarding of the Qur’an, Allah SWT has made the reading of the Qur’an mandatory in our prayers. In Fajr, Maghrib, and Isha it is recited loudly and anyone (even a child) can openly correct the Imam leading prayers if mistakes are made in the recitation. No matter which language the Qur’an is translated into, all these texts of the translations always make it clear to the reader that the original Qur’an is in Arabic and in Arabic alone and has been preserved in the form it was originally revealed. Also, any translation is really the interpretation of the meaning of what the Qur’an is saying based on the translator’s ability and understanding. Therefore, technically speaking, there is no direct translation of the Qur’an. To truly understand the Qur’an one must learn the Arabic language to fully comprehend it.
The non-Muslims to whom we are distributing these copies to, they cannot read the Arabic and it really serves no purpose. Including the Arabic for the purposes of our project may then end up violating other verses in the Qur’an that say “la yamassahu illal mutahharoon” (“none can touch its meanings but the pure people”).
Based on these reasons, Furqaan Project has decided to publish primarily the English translation, with other translations coming later. We will however publish a small quantity of Arabic and English (or other language) for those non-Muslims who specifically request it, or if Muslims want to have their children read this simple English translation. Also, bear in mind, that Furqaan Project is not the first in making an English-only translation. This has been done for the last 250 years, particularly in the last 60 years.