International Symposium on Translations of the Meanings of the Holy Quran, organised by IRCICA in cooperation with the International Islamic Call Society (Tripoli, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), Istanbul, 21-23 March 1986

The World Islamic Call Society, based in Tripoli, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the OIC Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) organised jointly an "International Symposium on Translations of the Meaning of the Holy Quran". The symposium was held in Istanbul on 21-23 March 1986. It was inaugurated at the Atatürk Cultural Centre; working sessions were held at IRCICA’s conference hall.

H.E. Mr. Kazım Oksay, Minister of State of Turkey and H.E. Mr. Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, Secretary General of OIC inaugurated the meeting. In his speech, the Minister of State of Turkey expressed his appreciation of the activities undertaken by IRCICA and commended the World Bibliography of Translations of the Meanings of the Holy Qur’an published recently by the Centre, wishing that it would be useful for the Islamic world. H.E. Mr. Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, Secretary General of OIC underlined the importance of studies in the field of Quran translations and wished that the meeting would give fruitful results that could pave the way for new studies and activities.

Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, OIC Secretary General, in his address at the opening of the symposium on Translations of the Meanings of the Holy Quran: " ... The Islamic Ummah has an obligation to translate the message of Islam - which literally and in substance means peace - into a living and dynamic force in order to promote the material and spiritual development of mankind and to contribute towards the establishment of peace and prosperity throughout the world. The Islamic Ummah can undertake this mission only if it is able to draw upon the guidance contained in Allah's word, the Quran. In practical terms, and in the context of the topic of this symposium, it is essential to make deliberate and concerted efforts to eschew and contain differences and disputes over peripheral issues, and to resolve controversies which are liable to undermine the Islamic world's capability to work in unison for its intellectual and material renaissance. I cannot overstate the importance of efforts to ensure that the translations of the Quran and Tafsir [exegesis] are made available to Islamic communities located in various parts of the world who are not familiar with the Arabic language. ..."

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, the Secretary General of the World Islamic Call Society Prof.Dr. Muhammed Ahmed Al-Shariff pointed out the importance of the symposium's subject matter and the necessity of promoting studies in this area. Prof.Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, IRCICA Director General gave information on the Centre's research project on Quran translations and gave some of the findings of the Centre's studies. He thanked the World Islamic Call Society for its contributions in printing the Quran translations bibliography prepared by the Centre.

Scholars from different parts of the Islamic world participated at the symposium. The following studies were presented, in the order of presentation:

Prof.Dr. Mohammed Hamidullah, "The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an for Non-Arabic Speaking People"

Prof. Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub, "Translating the Meaning of the Holy Qur'an: Traditional Opinion and Modern Debates"

Dr. Hassan Ma'ayergi, "The Translations of the Holy Quran in Polish"

Bekir Sadak, "Translations of the Holy Qur'an in Yugoslavia"

El-Hadj A. Kerim Saitoh, "Report on Translations (Tafsir) of Holy Qur'an into Japanese Language"

Dr. Maurice Bucaille, "Reflections on Mistaken Ideas Spread by Orientalists through Mistranslations of the Qur'an"

Feti Mehdiu, "The Translations of the Qur'an in Albanian"

Dr. Fuat al-Ka'bazi, "Importance of Scholarly Exegesis of Qur'an to Call to Islam in the West"

Dr. İsmet Ersöz, "Elmalılı Mehmed Yazır and his Tafsir"

Dr. Aly Nour, "The Translations of the Meaning of the Holy Qur'an in Greek Language"

Dr. Osman Kim, "The Holy Qur'an must be Translated for the Non-Arabic Speaking People"

Dr. Munawwar Ahmad Anees, "Universal Bibliographical Control of Islamic Studies through Automated Data Bases"

Dr. Abdulhakim Tabibi, "The Translation of the Holy Qur'an"

Dr. Ali Hassanein, "A Brief History of the Translations of the Meaning of the Holy Quran"

Halit Eren, "The Purpose in Translating the Meanings of the Holy Qur'an and Purposeful Translations"

Ziauddin Sardar, "What do We Look for in English Translations of the Quran?"

Muhammed Sheikhani, "Orientalists and their Role in the Translation of the Quran"

Dr. Bedreddin Çetiner, "The Translation of Quranic Interpretations in Turkey: an Outline"

Prof.Dr. Zaki Badawi, "The role of the Tafsir and Translation of the Qur'an in the work of the Dawa'a"

Dr. Thomas Irving, "On the translations of the Quran"

S.A. Ali, "Translations of the Untranslatable"

Dr. Parwiz Mansur, "The Translations of the Holy Quran in Swedish"

Dr. Ali Fahmy Khushaim, "Is there Qur'an in languages other than Arabic?"

Dr. Mahmud Abu Dhuma, "Qur'an as a Source of Islamic Thought and Defense against Orientalism"

In the final report of the meeting, participants expressed the need to make efforts towards acquainting Muslims all over the world with Arabic language, given that it is the language in which the Holy Quran was revealed. They requested the World Islamic Call Society to undertake research work about the translations of the Quran by forming a committee to be called the "Holy Qur'an Committee". This committee would be charged with the examination, evaluation and assessment of the translations of the meaning of the Holy Quran and may collaborate with the Islamic institutions interested in the subject. The participants also commended the "World Bibliography of Translations of the Meaning of the Holy Quran" published by IRCICA and invited support to this Centre in the realisation of the subsequent phases of its project, concerning oral and manuscript translations of the Quran.