Many of us Muslims who do not speak or understand Arabic have built our relationship with the Qur’an by reading the transliteration of the Qur’an. Transliterated Qur’ans are hard copies of the Qur’an (Mus’haf) that have been transliterated to a language apart from Arabic.

These Qur’ans are usually transliterated into many languages of the world to help people who don’t speak Arabic be able to read the Qur’an. You can find Qur’ans that have been translated into English, Spanish, Malay, Turkish, etc.

Usually, these transliterated Qur’an are different from translated ones, although you can find both elements present in a single Qur’an. With transliteration, the Arabic words are written the way that they should be pronounced in Arabic, in a different language.

For example, a word like كرسي (chair) will be transliterated in English as Kursiyu (kur-si-yu). So, someone who has never seen that word before, or who don’t know how it is pronounced can have an idea through the transliteration.

This helps someone who does not speak or understand Arabic to be able to pronounce Arabic words,\ since they are seeing these words in a lingual context that they are familiar with.

Many Muslims frown upon the use of the transliterated copies of the Qur’an because they are not the Qur’an in its original form, and even though it is commanded that the Qur’an be recited in its original Arabic form, the transliterated versions can help us on our journey to understanding the Qur’an in its pure form.

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Here are some ways by which it can help us:

Help You Understand the Qur’an Better

It is true that understanding the Arabic language is the best way to understand the Qur’an. But do you have to wait till you understand Arabic perfectly before understanding the Qur’an? I don’t think so.

Reading the transliterated Qur’an helps you understand the words of the Qur’an in a language that you already know. It helps you understand words and how to pronounce them so that you are not pronouncing words wrongly. If you do not understand Arabic yet and you do not have access to an Arabic teacher online or offline, your best bet to understanding what is in the Qur’an is by reading a transliterated copy.

Helps You Learn the Arabic Language

Before I started attending Arabic classes, many of the Arabic words that I understood came from reading an Arabic Qur’an alongside a transliterated one. What happens when you see the word كتب in the Qur’an, then you see it transliterated as “kataba”, and translated as “he wrote” in your transliterated mus’haf?

You begin to understand the Arabic words and what they mean. This is the beginning of understanding Arabic for many Muslims. You pick up bits and pieces from reading the Qur’an, and with the help of your transliterated Qur’an, you are able to understand some words.

Helps to Build a Deeper Bond with the Qur’an

Few things feel good like hearing a verse from the Qur’an and understanding what it means. Or bringing out a verse from the top of your head to fit into the context of your discussion with someone. The more you understand the Qur’an, the better you are able to apply the verses to your everyday life and conversations.

Understanding the Qur’an by reading the transliteration will bring you a step closer to applying the Qur’an in your life. When you know how to pronounce a word, then you move on to knowing the meaning.

One thing that all these points have in common is that you can see how the transliteration of the Qur’an can help in your journey to understand, live, and build a deep bond with the Qur’an. Even though the best thing for a Muslim is to understand the language that the Qur’an was revealed in (not just reading it, but understanding), reading the transliteration is a good step to connecting with the Qur’an and ultimately understanding the words of Allah (SWT).

“And thus We have revealed to you an Arabic Qur’an that you may warn the Mother of Cities [Makkah] and those around it and warn of the Day of Assembly, about which there is no doubt. A party will be in Paradise and a party in the Blaze.” (Qur’an 42:7):

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Related Video: Reading Quran with Transliteration



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