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Handwritten Chinese translation of the Qur’an: the earliest, found

December 19, 2011

“Muslim culture researchers in China have found the earliest Chinese version of the Koran in the country’s northwestern Gansu province.”

“The Quran, found among old archives by researchers with the Muslim Culture Institute of Lanzhou University, is believed to have been translated into Chinese by Sha Zhong and Ma Fulu, two noted imams and Arabic calligraphers in Lanzhou, Ding Shiren, head of the institute said.  Sha and Ma began translating the Koran in 1909 and completed their work in 1912, Ding said.”

The reports continue here and here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2011 4:54 pm

    I have nothing useful at all to say about Chinese Qu’ran manuscripts but… I look at the list of bloggers and I’m thrilled to see you 4 setting up a blog! Terrific, I’m sure this is going to be a wonderful outlet for translation from a more supportive point of view.

  2. December 20, 2011 3:44 am

    Oops. It’s probably not based on the 1924 Egyptian Quran so beloved around the world. That doesn’t bode well for it’s reception among Muslims.

  3. December 20, 2011 4:22 pm

    Thanks, CD-Host, for visiting our blog!

    Chuck,
    The reports don’t yet say whether it’s the Tashkent Qur’an or some other perhaps-orally-preserved version. But you make a great point. And how can a translated version of any sort, especially into now un-official Chinese, be well received or appropriated by any mainstream group? What ought to be exciting is what this Qur’an, further studied, will show about Chinese and Islamic textual reception. (I’m wondering if Lydia He Liu, who has studied Chinese translation of [western] modern texts, will notice and might have much to say.)

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