Why can’t you translate the f*(king Koran?


Anyone who has interacted with Muslim apologists has encountered this again and again to the point where it

sounds like a droning fly you can’t swat off. Apparently the Koran is A)Perfect, unalterable and B)Incomprehensible to anyone who doesn’t read very archaic Arabic. (Most Muslims don’t read any Arabic at all. Let alone 7th-8th c. Arabic. If anyone tries to pull this routine on you, ask him how his 8th c. Arabic is. You’ll never hear from him again.)

The exchanges always go like this:

Q)Dear God, but the Koran is horrible! How can you defend what it says here?!?

A)You racist, do you even read Arabic!!??

So. You can translate Tolstoy. You can translate Shakespeare. You can translate Plato, Beowulf, Lady Murasaki, Aramaic, Chaucer, CiceroCervantes and Kafka. But apparently this particular text which normal people simply find tedious is magically out of bounds. For some reason the ravings of an illiterate bandit transcribed into an archaic language which never produced anything are untranslatable, because Allah dictated them.

Oh, and a sheep ate part of the Islamic holy texts.

  • They’re afraid to translate it;)

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Languages are funny.
      You have enter a certain headspace.
      Switching from C to VHDL is totally reorienting.

      • luna
        • dance…dancetotheradio

          First I ever heard about J.

          • luna

            I only know about it because Joe Armstrong (author of Erlang) mentioned it in a lecture. Apparently professional wall street traders are using it.

            It’s actually been around for a relatively long time, and it’s author is rather famous for APL.

  • Ed

    This is one of the best idiotic features of islam guys.

    They’ll say something like “muhammed went to visit his mother.” (or whatever)

    Except they’ll say “…muhammed went to “muhraj” (or whatever) his mother.” Evidently “visit” doesn’t capture the subtle nuance of what happened. What a bullshit tribe.

  • ontario john

    Makes great ass wipe at the cottage.

    • Justin St.Denis

      Or target for a shooting range. Or kindling for that little bonfire you wanna get started to get rid of the fall leaves.;-)

  • Martin B

    Victorian scholars even managed to translate The Epic of Gilgamesh and cuneiform tablets written in languages that were completely extinct and forgotten ages before Mo was born.

  • Zaba

    There are, of course, English and other translations.

    Some are cleansed of some of the hate speech, like this one:

    New “Study Quran” aims to convince you that the Muslim holy book doesn’t really mean what it says

    If the mainstream claim that Islam is a Religion of Peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists were remotely true, then it would be easy to find Qur’an-based refutations of the Islamic State’s understanding of Islam: the President of the United States wouldn’t be calling on Muslim clerics to “push back” against “twisted interpretations of Islam” fourteen years after 9/11. But such purported refutations have generally been exercises in deception designed to make Westerners feel good about Islam rather than genuine attempts to induce Islamic jihadists to lay down their arms and take up the cause of peace.


  • Zaba

    Middle East Quarterly
    SPRING 2005 • VOLUME 12: NUMBER 2

    Assessing English Translations of the Qur’an

    by Khaleel Mohammed

    Spring 2005, pp. 58-71
    Because the Qur’an stresses its Arabic nature, Muslim scholars believe that any translation cannot be more than an approximate interpretation, intended only as a tool for the study and understanding of the original Arabic text.


    • luna

      A book for all people, for all time stresses it’s Arabic nature?

      • Zaba

        A book for all people,

        Indeed it is.
        61% of the koran is about the ‘unbeliever’.

        What’s up with that?

  • luna


    The mufasireen (exegetes) listed 15 fields that must be mastered before one can authoritatively interpret the Quran.

    • Zaba

      How ’bout that top ten list of haram things?

      • luna

        It’s ironic that poetry is haram, yet the Quran is poetic.

        • What’s even more ironic is how important poetry is in Arab culture. Politically, emotionally etc. I don’t think anyone would dispute this. But they’re so messed up. How can you have poetry without eroticism?

  • luna

    Quran 43.3:
    Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand.

  • Translation is useless because demons can only be summoned in Arabic.

  • Frances

    Ask them how much Arabic they REALLY know. Chances are, not much.

  • Kell

    Didn’t know one had to understand the writing on toilet paper before one used it to wipe their ass!
    Also makes pretty decent firewood kindling on these cold spring nights, let me tell you!

  • John

    A god said to be omnipotent but which can only express itself clearly in one human language cannot be considered omnipotent, and therefore is not GOD

    What’s more, a so-called transcendent being that cannot transcend mere differences in human language ( easy if you’re omnipotent!) is clearly a flawed, defective monoglot of sundry local origin.

    Allah and his ‘word’ is but an Arab hand inserted up a puppet’s ass

  • Hard Little Machine

    Some of the ‘greatest Koranic scholars’ are functionally illiterate because the Koran is taught by brute force memorization.