Incorrect translation of holy verse in textbook angers PHC

Updated 28 Jun 2019


Summons federal education secretary to explain his position. — APP/File
Summons federal education secretary to explain his position. — APP/File

PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday expressed anguish over mistranslation of a verse of the Holy Quran in textbook of Islamiat and summoned the federal secretary education for explaining his position.

The bench of Justice Qaiser Rasheed and Justice Abdul Shakoor Khan observed that the translation given in the textbook for 9th and 10th grade was tantamount to tarnishing Islamic history and appeared to be part of any agenda to misguide students.

The bench directed that the federal secretary education should appear on July 10 and explain how the blunder was committed and why an FIR should not be registered against the responsible persons.

Summons federal education secretary to explain his position

The bench was hearing a writ petition jointly filed by Advocate Ibrar Hussain and several others, who have requested the court to take action against the persons responsible for mistranslation of a verse of the Holy Quran related to collection of bounties during war.

Advocate Akbar Yousaf appeared along with other lawyers and contended that in the controversial translation of a verse related to the collection of bounties during war by Muslims at the time of Holy Prophet (PBUH) had been termed as “loot and plunder”, which was distortion of Islamic history.

He stated that the mistake had been committed in the Islamiat course book for 9th and 10th grade in schools under supervision of different educational boards in the province.

When the bench took up for hearing the petition, it directed an additional advocate general, Syed Sikander Shah, to call provincial education secretary Arshid Khan and representative of KP Textbook Board to turn up before the bench.

When the secretary and representatives of textbook board appeared, the bench observed that it was shameful on part of the board and education department that such like mistranslation had been done and it remained unnoticed. The bench inquired from the secretary what sort of messages they had been imparting to the students.

The secretary said that they had received the said curriculum from federal government and had printed it.

He added that the translation was taken from Tafseer (interpretation of the Holy Quran) of a prominent religious scholar.

The bench observed how come a religious scholar was making wrong interpretation of Islamic practices. It was inquired how collection of “Mal-i-Ghanemat” could be termed as “loot and plunder.” The bench asked when the province was having its own textbook board then why it had been relying on courses from federal government. It was added that even religious scholars had not noticed the mistake.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2019