This is, in fact, an English rendering of an article written by the writer of this article in Urdu which was published in the monthly Zindagi-e-Nau New Delhi in its September 1997 issue. It was reproduced with certain omissions in Tarjumanul Qur’ān issue September, 1998. It was also published partly in the weekly, Al Aitesam, Lahore. This is its substantially enlarged version. It goes without saying that Maulana Maududi’s monumental translation and commentary of the Holy Qur’ān is most read, most published, most circulated translation and commentary in the Urdu language. In number of copies printed and number of editions and reprints it may well be compared to Martyr Sayyid Qutb’s monumental work – commentary of the Holy Qur’ān in his own way and style – Fi Zilal Al Qur’ān. Because of the popularity of its author, his sound logic, lucidity of his expression and his reputation as an A class research scholar, this Tafsir is not only gaining popularity in Urdu and other Indian, continental languages, but also being translated into other languages worldwide, sometimes fully and at others partially. To the best of my knowledge it has been translated fully (6 vols translation) into the following languages. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind must be credited for undertaking the herculean task of translating Maulana Maududi’s Tafhim into the Indian regional languages whose speakers are not less than 40 millions. Those languages are: Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, and Bengali.
IN PAKISTANI LANGUAGES
Afghan Pashtu 6 volume translation by Qiyamuddin Kassaf
Pakistani Pashtu by Prof. Shafeequr Rahman.
In Sindhi, the first eleven parts were translated by Maulana Mohd Bhatt and the rest by Maulana Ameeruddin. (spl. issue of Tarjumanul Qur’ān, May 2004 pg. 559 for all three)
In Turkish, 6 Vols translated by Nisar Ahmad, 6 Vols translated by Hilal Publications in 1992, 6 Vols by Insaan Publications, 11 reprints each of which 5000 copies which equal to 55,000 copies. These three translations into Turkish indicate the popularity gained by Tafhim among Turks (Ref. spl issue of Tarjuman Vol 1). In Japanese Tafhim’s Urdu translation has been rendered into Japanese by Haji Omer Mata.
TRANSLATION WITH EXPLANATORY NOTES
Malayalam 7 editions (64,000 copies), Bengali ,Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, Hindi, Telugu, English by Zafar Ishaq Ansari, Malay, Indonesian, Sindhi 1027 pages 3000 copies, Asamese, Oriya.
SUMMARY OF TAFHIM
Tamil, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi
Details of incomplete translation into English:
English translation of Tafhim was undertaken twice. First by Late Chaudhry Mohd. Akbar of Sialkot in whose house Maulana Maududi used to stay whenever he visited Dr. Iqbal’s home town. His translation was in 5 volumes, last of which was rendered into English by Mr. Abdul Aziz Kamal. Chaudhry Mohd. Akbar’s translation ends at chapter Al-Hajj but was edited and made ready for publication by Mr. A.A Kamal M.A. Despite their pioneering efforts it was felt that their translations were not up to the desired standards. Hence it was decided with the concurrence of Maulana himself to ask Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari to undertake a new translation which he had finished up to chapter Al-Nur (as published by MMI, New Delhi). However Dr. Ansari has not only completed the translation of the whole of the Arabic text up to the end but has also revised his own translation done up to the chapter Al-Nur making necessary corrections, amendments and improvements as stated by him in his preface to the one-volume abridged edition. In view of the extraordinary importance of the English language we have given detailed information about it.
TRANSLATION WITH SHORT NOTES
6-Vol. Tafhim is a voluminous work, Maulana Maududi felt he should translate a new and shorter explanatory notes to enable larger number of people to be benefited by it. His efforts gained instant popularity and within a short period of time it was reprinted several times in both Pakistan and India. Hereunder is a list of languages in which one volume edition has been so far translated:
Malayalam-7 editions-64,000 copies, Bangla, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malay, Asamese, Sindhi, Indonesian.
HOLY QUR’ĀN WITH TRANSLATION ONLY
This is yet another attempt by Maududi to convey the Quran’s message to the largest number of people possible. It is very popular; especially in the month of Ramadan its sales reach their zenith.
RESEARCH ON TAFHIM
Tafhim has been target of research from various points of view. We mention hereunder a few of these works:
Some salient features of Tafhimul Qur’ān by Sayed Hamed Abdul Rahman Alkaf, Sana’a, Yemen published in September 1997 issue of Zindagi-e-Nau, New Delhi of which this article is a substantially enlarged version. Maududi’s methodology in his Tafhimul Qur’ān, published in Arabic in the research journal of the Islamic University, Chittagong, Bangladesh, vol. 3 Dec 2006 pp. 15-24 by Dr. Mohd. Ghiyasuddin Hafez, Asst. Prof. and Head of the Qur’ānic Dept. Abul Ala and Tafhimul Qur’ān by Dr. Charles J. Adams published in Approaches to the Interpretation of the Qur’ān, Clare don Press, Oxford, 1988. Its Urdu translation has been published in Abul Ala Maududi: an academic and intellectual study by Dr. Rafiuddin Hashmi and Salim Mansoor Khaled published by Idara-e- Marafe Islami Lahore, 2006. A comparative study of Tafhimul Qur’ān of Maududi and Under the Shadow of Qur’ān of Martyr Sayed Qutb published in Abul Ala Maududi: an academic and intellectual study cited above pp 141-188. Tafhimul Qur’ān, a contemporary and social Tafsir by Mohd. Ali (in Persian), Head, Teachers Training Institute, Tehran, Iran, (Tarjumanul Qur’ān, Spl. Issue No.2, May, 2004 pp.288-292). Maududi’s methodology in interpreting the holy Qur’ān by Prof. Aleefuddin Turani, editor Muslim Kashmir, (Spl.issue of Tarjuman cited above pages 293-302). Maulana Maududi’s efforts for writing the Tafhim by Hakeem Khaja Iqbal Ahmed Nadwi, Tazkarae Sayyed Moududi Vol.2 pages 303-313, Idare Marafe Islami, Lahore. A revolutionary book: Tafheemul Qur’ān by Prof. Khursheed Ahmed published by Al-Manshoorath, Lahore. Foreword by Prof. Khursheed Ahmed: Towards understanding the Qur’ān translated by Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari Pp 9-18. Preface to the above work by its translator Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari. This is what I have been able to collect. Further entries will be in future, God willing. Certainly such a commentary in Urdu translated fully and partially into more than twenty languages worldwide must be leaving profound and lasting impressions on its readers spread all over the world. Here I have not mentioned the Arabic language because it has been best expounded in martyr Syed Qutb’s grand stylish Arabic in his In the Shade of Quran as he fully endorsed and adopted explanations of basic terms of Qur’ān as stated by Maududi. Hence In the Shade of Quran “may be considered in many ways, Tafheemul Quran made immortal by Syed Qutb through his hi-fi Arabic. Hence as long as “Under the shadow of Quran” is read, Tafheem will continue to spread its message all over the world along with Tafheem’s translation in universal languages. That is a highly gratifying fact. All praise is due only to Allah.