Muslims plan Scotish Gaelic translation of Koran
Abdal Hakim Murad, also known as Tim Winter, added: "We are very anxious to get this done!
MUSLIM scholars are working on a plan to find new followers in the Western Isles: they want to translate the Koran into Gaelic.
They hope the £50,000 project will show Muslims' commitment to Scotland and Scottish culture and promote understanding between faiths.
However, the move has received a cool reception from some Gaels, especially in the language's heartland, the emphatically church-going Western Isles.
The project has been set up by a British-based Muslim publishing organisation, the Muslim Academic Trust, which is looking for Gaelic writers and scholars who can help them translate the Koran into the language. So far, they have failed to find anyone who knows Arabic and Gaelic well enough to start work, and are instead considering setting up a translation committee to work on the text using the existing Irish Gaelic edition, along with English translations. Irish and Scottish Gaelic are similar languages.
The Trust hopes to produce two bilingual Gaelic-Arabic editions, a decorative colour edition using Celtic and Arabic calligraphy, and a simpler print edition. The translation and publication is expected to take about four years.
The work is being funded by a donation from businesses in Dubai, and the organisers also hope to receive funding from the Scottish Muslim community.
Abdal Hakim Murad, a Muslim convert and lecturer in religion at Cambridge University – who heads the trust – said: "The Koran speaks of the diversity of human languages as a sign of God's beauty and creative power, and we feel that the specific genius of each language needs to be honoured by Muslims, and that a good translation of the Koran would be an important way of bringing this about."