Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Moving Beyond Translations: Interview with Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad on the Rihla 2012

Here's a part from the interview that stood out to me about translations and the need to produce new works:
Q: How do you see the future of Islamic writing in the English language developing? A lot of translations have come out and this is sort of reaching new ground. 
A: Translations are useful but you have to remember that other Muslim peoples in the past didn't translate everything. A lot of books were just left in the Arabic. Hadith for instance didn't go into Persian and Turkish, or those other languages because hadith were to be  studied by the ulama in the original Arabic. As soon as you translate something, you are imposing your interpretation on it, which is dangerous. So my view is that we should move beyond the stage of just trying to translate the whole Islamic library which is hundreds of thousands of books and instead leave those books for the ulama, to be expounded to the masses in new books, so that the hadith are taken in context with reference to the commentaries and not abused. So I think that we have now moved beyond the generation of translations and we are moving into a space which we are still not much populating that well which is to create our own works that respond to our own situation, that query the tradition for the best of the wisdom of the past, that use the Qur'an and the hadith in a responsible and authentic and classical way, rather than the arbitrary way that you quite often see nowadays, in order to demonstrate the absolute living relevance and vitality of Islam to the new generation in this very difficult civilizational point in human history in which we find ourselves. (6:54-8:09)