The ideological interpellation of English Qur’an translators in the 21st century

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Scholarly works on Qur’an translation are predominately focused on the linguistic aspects of translation. Such a reductive approach incurs neglecting other, not less important, aspects of Qur’an translation. This study focuses on the social aspects, particularly the translator’s image, its initial construction and development in order to understand Qur’an translation’s role as a social activity. Drawing on Louis Althusser’s notion of interpellation Althusser (1971), this article studies translation as part of the ideological aspects that influence the process of “becoming” translators, thus their agency. Such an understanding illuminates how the actual process of “becoming” is germane to power relations and frameworks of beliefs and assumptions. As a case study, this article analyzes 21st-century translators’ profiles as advertised on online platforms, such as the publishing company’s website. Overall, the findings demonstrate that the Qur’an translator is presented as a religious-scholar-translator and that the understanding of who is “eligible” to translate the Qur’an is embedded in a larger narrative of the past.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-39
Number of pages17
JournalAsia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021


  • Althusser
  • xtratextual materials
  • ideological apparatus
  • ideology
  • interpellation
  • Qur’an translators


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