There was a time in Malabar when translating the Holy Book was considered a taboo by commoners and scholars as well. The majority of Ulama who enjoyed popular support opposed the idea of understanding the Quran in a language other than Arabic.
Alas, today you are assembled in a Quran seminar to commemorate the beloved memories of KV Ustad Kootnad, a prominent Malayalam translator and commentator of Quran. This is a noble development in the evolution of our approach to Quran translation. There are many Quran translations available today with a rich variety of interpretations.
It would be noteworthy here to remember that Quran does not superimpose a minimum level of intellectual capacity for its audience. A primitive bedouin may enjoy its beauty as much as the righteous-robed clergy in madrasas. A scientist may be equally baffled by the wonders of creation as much as the mystic seeking the attributes of the most Merciful.
Quran, however, places great importance on learning and knowledge. Hence it is not in vain the Creator mentioned the Pen and Book as the first two objects in its chapters.
Truth is absolute and ultimate. Our interpretation and perception may not be. We should not forget that every sect of modern Islam claims their foundations from the verses of the same Holy Book. Be it Mua’tazalite, Shia, Batini or even the Qadiani movement, all proclaim their creed to originate from this Sacred Text.
Quran is undoubtedly the final upgrade of Truth. And we hope that our translations will take our hearts and minds a step closer to this final word of God.
(Highlights of Jaihoon’s speech at the KV Ustad Commemorative Quran Seminar held at Darul Hidaya Da’awa College, Manoor, Malappuram – Kerala, on Oct 26 2015)