Volume 7, Issue 6, November 2019, Page: 286-297
Investigative Notes on Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall’s Translation of the Qur’anic Surahs’ Names
Ali Yunis Aldahesh, Department of Arabic Language and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, SLC, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Received: Oct. 7, 2019;       Accepted: Oct. 26, 2019;       Published: Nov. 5, 2019
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijll.20190706.16      View  402      Downloads  103
The Meaning of The Glorious Qur’an of Muhammad Marmaduke is one of the earliest English translations of the Qur’an conducted by Muslims’ translators and the first translation conducted by an English-speaking Muslim scholar. This translation of the Qur’an has been the focus of a number of studies that scrutinise it from different angles. Yet, there has been no thoughtful study dedicated to investigate the issue of Pickthall’s translation of the Qur’anic surahs’ names. Utilising the Contrastive Analysis approach as a theoretical framework, this study aims to fill this gap by assessing the accuracy of the equivalents provided by Pickthall to the 114 Qur’anic surahs’ names. The study consists of an introduction and five sections. It gives a succinct description of the Qur’anic surahs’ names, pinpoints the major features of Pickthall’s translation of the Qur’an, details his own approach in handling the Qur’anic surahs’ names, and analytically discusses the difficulties he encountered when rendering such vital terms of the Qur’an into English. The chief purpose of this study is fourfold: 1) to gauge the accuracy of Pickthall’s translation of the Qur’anic surah’s names, 2) to identify the difficulties encountered by him, 3) to pinpoint his own procedure (s), and 4) to advocate recommended translations and practical procedures. The study finds that Pickthall has been inconsistent and experiences a number of syntactic and semantic difficulties when rendering the Qur’anic surahs names into English. The study also finds that due to unjustifiable syntactic and semantic deviations, Pickthall conducts three types of translational pitfalls, namely: over-translation, under-translation, and erroneous translation. It is hoped that the arrived at findings are of fruitful benefit to the translators of the Qur’an and, by extension, to scholars of Qur’anic and Islamic studies.
Qur’an Translation, Qur’anic Surahs’ Names, Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, Contrastive Analysis, Over-translation, Under-translation
To cite this article
Ali Yunis Aldahesh, Investigative Notes on Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall’s Translation of the Qur’anic Surahs’ Names, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 7, No. 6, 2019, pp. 286-297. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20190706.16
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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