When women and men collaborate to translate the Qur’an: an ‘interactive’ approach

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This article discusses the ways in which women-related Qur’anic verses have been dealt with in male-female collaborative translation. It specifically examines the role of Mohamed Ahmed and Samira Ahmed’s 1994 The Koran, complete dictionary and literal translation as a social activity, offering a textual analysis on how the translators made sense of the most controversial gender-related verses in Islam, 4:34 and 2:282. It argues that their translation can be seen as a criticism of exclusive approaches to the Qur’an in general and, therefore, a defence of other ways of reading the holy text. Drawing on the works of Muslim feminists, it suggests that this translation offers a new way of looking into Qur’an translation, beyond the discourse of conformity or emancipation. Overall, Ahmed and Ahmed’s translation is shown to favour a discourse of diversity, emphasising the plurality of meaning which is eminently compatible with the postmodern condition. The result of that influence of the postmodern condition is the introduction of a new and innovative strategy in Qur’an translation, called the ‘interactive’ (Hassen, 2012a, p. 70).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-193
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Female-male collaborative translation
  • Qur’an translation
  • interactive approach
  • reader-oriented translation
  • women translators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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