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Muslim community hopes to produce Irish language version of the Qur'an

The Muslim community in Galway is hoping to produce the first-ever complete Irish language version of the Qur'an. Picture by Ann McManus
John Monaghan

THE Muslim community in Galway is hoping to produce an Irish language version of the Qur'an, if a translator for the project can be found.

While some verses from the Islamic book of faith, which is written in Arabic, along with hadiths - records of the words or deeds of Prophet Muhammad - have been translated into Irish in the past, a complete version as Gaeilge has never been available.

Muslims in Galway City are seeking to produce the translation, but are having difficulty finding anyone with a sufficiently high level of both Irish and Arabic.

Imam Ibrahim Noonan, leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Galway, told Irish language news service Tuairisc.ie: "The translation would have to go through English at this stage. It was suggested that maybe we should look at getting professional help from scholars of Gaeilge and hire a highly qualified translator.

"The problem is finding someone who has the two languages. We do have some young children and teenagers in the community who were born and raised in Galway and have fluent Gaeilge but weaker Arabic."

Mr Noonan added: "Gaeilge is very similar to Arabic in grammar and syntax and it would be far better to translate directly from the original to Gaeilge."

Foras na Gaeilge, the public body responsible for the promotion of the Irish language across the island, announced in 2003 that it would be working with the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland to translate the Qur'an from Arabic to Irish.

However, it is understood that the project was discontinued shortly afterwards when it emerged that no translator could be found.

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