Friday, March 04, 2016

The trials of reading the Quran in Malaysia

Spanish, anyone?

Taman Tun, 4 March 2016:
Read this in the Mole today ...

PUTRAJAYA — March 3, 2016: The Quran Printing, Control and Licensing Board (LPPPQ) today declared that writing and reading the Quran in languages other than Arabic is prohibited.
A statement by its chairman Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria reasoned that this is because the text of the Quran in other languages not accompanied by the Arabic text cannot be considered as Quran.
He said such an act is punishable under the Printing of Quran Text Act (APTQ) and the Printing Presses and Publications Act.
Harussani, who is also the mufti of Perak, was commenting on the “Let’s Read The Quran” campaign to write and read the Quran in languages other than Arabic.
According to him, as the body responsible for the monitoring of the printing, publication and import of Quran texts under APTQ, the board views the campaign seriously.
He stressed that the board and the respective state Islamic authorities would take stern action to stop the movement and campaign.
Harussani said a Quran which has been translated into other languages for the benefit of those who do not understanding Arabic cannot be considered Quranic texts but are translations of the Quran or interpretations of the
“Translations of the Quran which are not accompanied by the original text in Arabic are prohibited as it is feared they could cause confusion,” he said. — Bernama

So what now, let's NOT read the Quran?
This is the kind of statements that shouldn't see print because 
1. it makes the person being quoted, in this case Harussani, sound shallow and moronic when I'm sure he's not 
2. it makes Islam look so rigid, uncompromising, archaic, prohibitive when it sure is not

Having said that, what are we doing to learn Arabic, the language of our RM2.6 billion donor? I know our primary schools TRY to teach some basic Arabic to our kids but you and I know that hasn't gone very far. I can read, I can recite but I won't understand most of it without translation. When we were riding through the Muslim civilisations in China, I met a young Iman who was astounded that most of us in the group could not speak or understand Arabic. "But you are a Muslim, and the Quran is in Arabic, so how can you not know the language?" he had asked me via an interpreter.

Well, there's a lot that we don't know. But one thing I know, if someone wants to read the Quran, you should encourage him/her to read. If there's a campaign like Let's read the Quran, the Board should send over an officer to facilitate.


  1. xnakdedak10:24 am

    For once, I fully agree!

  2. Anonymous5:32 pm

    Nak buat macam mana bro? We are slaves to Form over Substance.

    Salam hormat,

  3. I believe TS Harussani's argument is that the Quran should not just be in a different language where the Arabic text is left out. Even at this moment there are already various copies of the Holy Quran with Malay translations on sale... You can even download Quran translation apps from the internet, also accompanied with the Arabic text. With just the "Other language" probably it would be difficult to ascertain if the translation is correct or the meaning of the original text has been changed. Already the complete Holy Quran has been translated into 47 languages of the World.

  4. What I am waiting is the reaction from our so called leaders, the PM and his relevant Muslim Menteris, the Muslim opposition leaders and hopefuly the Raja2.

    Silence will be telling...

    Suddenly the claims by some that malaysia is on its way to become another doomed islamic state is not so far fetched anymore.

  5. Chinese Muslim8:34 pm

    Many Chinese Muslim in China can speak Arabic. That is because their "Muslim Community" put emphasis on learning the language. I met many and because my Mandrine is pretty bad, they will try to converse with me in Arabic thinking that because I am a Muslim from Malaysia, I should be able to converse well in Arabic.

  6. Fully agree with the ruling, the best way to protect alquran from innovation. Thats why the hafiz traditiin is important in islam, at any time there will grouo of muslims around the world who memorised al quran. so that any addition and deletion easily detected.