Shaykh Daoud’s Blog

An Curàn Gàidhlig Beannachte

with 2 comments

A brother sent me yesterday a hyperlink to an article published in Pakistan in June 2008 about someone’s idea to translate the Quran into Gàidhlig.

Well, as the announcers on the BBC TV children’s programme Blue Peter would say, “here’s one I prepared earlier” – in this case some four years ago.

I had uploaded these onto this blog when it was with blogspot, and I must shamefacedly admit that I haven’t progressed as far as I should have done with other ayats and sourahs since.

Anyway, just to show what can be done…

An Curàn Gàidhlig Beannachte

Sir mi tèarmann le Allah Fhèin bho’n t-Sàtain clachte

A’ Chiad Bhuaileag* (1):

An Toiseach

An Ainm Allah an Nì Sàr-thruacanta ‘s Sàr-thròcaireach

Moladh de dh’Allah Rìgh nan Dùl
An Nì Sàr-Thruacanta ‘s Thròcaireach
Triath Latha a’Bhràth
Tha sinn gad adhradh is gad shireadh cuideachadh
Trèoraich sinn air a’ cheum dìreach réidh
An ceum acasan gad chur mathas
Ni’n daoine gad chorruich orra
No ni’n daoine air seachran.


An Ceudamh Buaileag thar an Dà-Dheug (112):

An Tréibhdhireas

An Ainm Allah an Nì Sàr-thruacanta ‘s Sàr-thròcaireach

Abair: Is Esan Allah Fhéin an t-Aon ‘s an Sìorruidh
Cha ghin E sian agus cha ghinneadh E
Agus samhla ris cha’n eil a h-aon gin ann

An Ceudamh Buaileag thar an Trìdeug (113):

An Ceud-fhàire

An Ainm Allah an Nì Sàr-thruacanta ‘s Sàr-thròcaireach

Abair: Sir mi tèarmann le Sealbhadair a’ cheud-fhàire
Bho’n olc na cruitheachd aige
‘S o’n donas na dubharachd ge be uair a dhorchas i
‘S o’n olc nam banashmugadairean ge be uair a shmugas iad
Agus bho’n donas an fharmadaich ge be uair a nì e farmad

An Ceudamh Buaileag thar an Ceithir-Deug (114):

An Cinneadh-daonna

An Ainm Allah an Nì Sàr-thruacanta ‘s Sàr-thròcaireach

Abair: Sir mi tèarmann le Sealbhadair a’ chinneadh-daonna
Rìgh a’ chinneadh-daonna
Dia a’ chinneadh-daonna
Bho donas na cogarsaiche an t-Sèaprach
A chogair ann na cridheachan a’ chinneadh-daonna
Bho na Deinn** is a’ chinneadh-daonna.

Dearbh Allah Fhèin gu fìrinneach

* I’ve tried to keep as close to the Arabic as I can, and not parrot the English. As sourah in the Arabic means an ‘enclosure’ (for stock), so I’ve used the Gaelic buaileag with the same meaning. Similarly with al Fatihah and an Toiseach, etc

**or na Daoine-sìdh or na Luchd-sìdh

There was some suggestion that a translation into Gàidhlig can be done by following the one done into Gaeilge. It could be done that way, or it could be used to get the general idea, but it would rather be like checking something into Danish by using the Swedish or Norwegian version.

Written by David Rosser Owen

February 23, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Hello, I am a Scottish Gaelic student, interested in Islam, I have been trying to find information on the Gaelic translation of the Quran and was given a link to your blog by Hammad Parwaiz. I rally appreciate that someone has made an effort to do the translation. I was originally interested in Islam but decided against it when I was told I would have to change my Gaelic name to arabic and stop wearing a Kilt, when I asked about a Gaelic quran I was met with indignant replies that a real muslim would learn arabic and thus didn’t need it in any other language. I have become newly interested in Islam, and would love any further ayat you make in the most beautiful language of MY soul.
    Le meas,
    Partholon MacPharlain.


    March 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    • Sad to say, but many people say some silly things. There’re many names in use in the Muslim World that are by no stretch of the imagination “Islamic” – Rustum, for example, who was a character out of pre-Islamic Persian legend. And there are also a huge raft of Arabic names that are simply ones in use among the Bedouin and have been for centuries: Wa’il, Ban, Lamees, and the like.

      There’s a Tradition of the Prophet’s that tells people to take names with good meanings. When people came to Islam in his time, he only changed their names if they meant bad things – I suppose Cameron (Caim Shròn – crooked nose) or Campbell (Caim Beul – crooked mouth) might be a bit “iffy”. Otherwise, he left their names as they were. We should do the same.

      I’m called Daoud (even with different spellings) because my soldiers took to calling me Tuan Daud (I imagine they called me a lot of other things too) as a translation of David. When I was little, my grandfather and his friends at the local Presbyterian church we went to used to call me Dàibhidh – which is how I still am called by my Gaelic-speaking friends. I don’t see any problem with your name.

      And anyway, although none of them is mentioned by their individual names in the Quran, Christ’s Disciples/Apostles are mentioned a couple of times as a group (the Hawariyoun); and Bartholomew (Partholon) was one of them. It would be exactly like the way that Iskander (Alexander) is used as an “Islamic” name because many commentators decided that Dhu-l Qarnain was Alexander the Great (there’s no real reason for this other than wishful thinking. In fact what internal evidence there is to identify him would tend to Cyrus the Great). And as “Bar Tolomy” was an Aramaic name, I’m sure that they could Arabicise it for conversational purposes if they wanted – just like David is talked about as Daud/Daoud/Dawud/Daood (they use all these spellings when referring to me – I long ago gave up trying to pin them down to one). Actually, it would go into Arabic as “Bin/Ibn al Harith”, and Al-Harith is a personage from Islamic history.

      Another thing that people take to doing that is wholly unnecessary and something that the Prophet didn’t do either, and that is change people’s surnames. We are who we are, and we are the children of our parents and clan. Why do they refer to the Prophet as Al-Hashimi or Al-Quraishi – neither Hashim nor Quraish were ‘Muslims’ in the sense that the term is used commonly today? These are clan names. I am a McKelvie (mac Shealbhaich) which is part of the Clan Donald: exactly analogous usage.

      As for learning Arabic: that’s fine, if you have the time and ability. But to learn it well enough to understand the Quran is very advanced stuff that most Arabs never attain to. It’s enough to learn to read and recite it, and to pick up some words. There are some good translations to give something of the meaning. It’s worth reading the Introduction to Professor Arberry’s “The Koran Interpreted” where he lays out the many layers of meaning that each Quranic verse has and so how difficult it is to pin down just one for the translation – but the same problem exists with the Arabic text, as one would expect if there are layers of meaning. Arberry is good, but a bit heavy. Yusuf Ali and Pickthall are also very good, but read a bit like the Authorised Version of the Bible. I would hestitate to recommend any others to anybody.

      As for the kilt. There is a Tradition which states something along the lines of “the lower garment of the Muslim should come half-way down his leg…” (there’s quite a bit more)(izaratu-l muslim ila nisfa saqihi…), and the ‘awrah (the parts of the body that it’s necessary to cover) for the man is generally agreed to be between the navel and the knee. So the kilt conforms fully. I suspect the problem is that it is unfamiliar.

      Daoud Rosser-Owen

      April 2, 2009 at 11:00 pm

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