Special Reports

Sikh translated Qur’an into Punjabi, Hindus bore printing expenses

Bathinda:  A copy of the first Punjabi translation of the Holy Qur’an has been discovered recently in Punjab’s Moga village. It was published in 1911 with the combined efforts of two Hindus and a Sikh. During the last 105 years, this copy changed hands from a Sikh to a Muslim, and now it is with a Hindu teacher. It is considered to be the oldest version of the Muslim scripture in Punjabi language. These people thought themselves lucky enough to have an old copy of a Punjabi translation of the holy book of Islam. This 784-page volume was translated from Arabic to Gurmukhi by a scholar of the Nirmala tradition, a sect of Sikhism.

Subhash Parihar, former professor of history at the Punjab Central University, is planning to put the details of the Punjabi Qur’an in the Sufi Encyclopaedia he is preparing as a project of the Punjabi University, Patiala.

“I frequently need to consult the Punjabi version of the Qur'an for research purposes. During a casual discussion on the issue, Noor Mohammad of Lande village of Moga district, told me that one such translation was with him.

“When I received the copy, I could not believe that the Qur'an’s translation into Punjabi was done over a century ago. The research that I have done so far has made me believe that this is the oldest Punjabi translation of the Qur'an Sharif”, Dr Parihar said.

Teaching at present at a private college in Kotkapura, Parihar says that this copy of the Qur’an was translated from Arabic to Gurmukhi by Sant Vaidya Gurdit Singh Alomhari, a Nirmala Sikh. Priced at Rs 2.25, only 1,000 copies were published.

The printing expenses were borne by two Hindus, Bhagat Buddhamal Aadatli and Vaidya Bhagat Guranditta, along with a Sikh, Sardar Mela Singh Attar of Wazirabad, now in Pakistan. It was published by Sardar Buddh Singh at Shri Gurmat Press, Amritsar, he said.

Parihar said that Sant Alomhari intended to spread the message of Qur’an among the followers of various religions. Hindus’ support was taken for this purpose. According to Parihar, “In the beginning of the 20th century, I didn’t find any better achievement than this and this is a unique example of brotherhood between the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh religions.   Till a few years ago, the copy was in possession of poet Jhanda Singh Aarif of Kotkapura.

“After Arif’s death, his elder son Natha Singh handed it over to Noor Mohammad. Natha Singh died around six months ago,” Parihar added.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 June 2016 on page no. 13

We hope you liked this report/article. The Milli Gazette is a free and independent readers-supported media organisation. To support it, please contribute generously. Click here or email us at sales@milligazette.com

blog comments powered by Disqus