Transliteration of the Quran
Fatwa No: 83095


We have someone in the community who does not speak Arabic (he speaks English) and regardless of that he is making a transliteration for the Holy Qur'an. Do you think someone who cannot read the Holy Qur'an in Arabic is able to make perfect transliterations. Do you think that the transliteration will lead to isolate Muslim from the language of the Holy Qur'an? Do you think that there is a way to have a good and perfect transliteration of the Holy Qur'an?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.


The Muslim scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them  have different opinions concerning writing the Quran in other than the Arabic language. The preponderant opinion is that the Quran should not be written in other than the Arabic letters. The scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them  who adopt this opinion believe that such an act violates the miraculous nature of the Quranic letters and could change the sound of some its letters.


This fact is established in a Fatwa issued by Al-Azhar University, which reads: 'No doubt, the Latin language lacks some letters corresponding to some Arabic letters, so the Latin letters can not completely function as the Arabic letters do. Islamic Sharee'ah emphasizes on protecting the Quran from anything which might cause any change or distortion (in its words, letters or meanings). All the Muslim scholars, in the past and nowadays, agree unanimously that any action that might change the words or distort the meanings of the Quran is absolutely prohibited and totally rejected. The Prophet's companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them and those who followed them up until today have strictly observed writing the Quran in Arabic letters only.' [End of quote]


Therefore, it is not permissible for the person mentioned in the question to write the Quran in letters other than Arabic ones.


Finally, we advise him to learn the Arabic language as to be able to write and recite the Quran in an appropriate way.


Allaah Knows best.

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