Monday, 30 July, 2012 | 15:52 WIB
Islam’s Holy Book Translated into Madurese
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Hundreds of Pademamu villagers, local religious leaders or ulemas and Pamekasan regent Khalilurrahman of East Java, recently marked the launch of the official translation of the Qu’ran in the Madurese language, at the Ronggosukowati Pendapa community center in Pamekasan. The translated works, entitled The Qu’ran Translated into Madurese: Parts 1, 2, and 3, was launched by the local Qu’ranic Translations and Study Institute.
According to 32-year-old Pamekasan resident Abdul Aziz, who attended the launching ceremony, the translation of the Qu’ran into Madurese had been carried out chiefly by ulemas who understood the essence of the Arabic language and grammar. At present, only three of thirty parts have been translated completely - from the Qu’ran’s First Chapter to Verse 91 of the Third Chapter. This in itself took three years, beginning 2008.
Outside of Aziz, the Jamaah Pengajian Surabaya (JPS), a religious study group with its offices on Jalan Peneleh in Surabaya, has expressed gratitude for this particular translation of the Qu’ran. Indeed, the initiative and core idea to have Islam’s holy book translated into Madurese emerged from this group.
“The teaching of our teacher, the late Kyai Haji Abdullah Sattar Madjid Ilyas, was clear - the reading of the Qu’ran in a language used on a daily basis is easier to understand, and follow,” said Haji Indrayadi, a JPS elder, last week.
Abdullah Sattar, who died on Oct. 2, 2010, was the son of Abdul Madjid, a man who founded the study group in 1957 which today boasts thousands of followers from across Surabaya, Lawang and Malang. The JPS may be headquartered in Surabaya but its followers consist of not just the Javanese, but also Sundanese and the Madurese.
Once, during a study session, KH Abdullah allowed the participants to read translations of the Qu’ran in their local languages. The Javenese and the Sundanese immediately fished out the local translations of the Qu’ran. But those from Madura were unable to do so.
“This is what started all our efforts to translate the Qu’ran into a language for the people of Madura,” KH Ali Rahbini, Head of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) in Pamekasan told Tempo last week. According to Haji Indrayadi, he was ordered by Kyai Abdullah to being this work in 1998. “However, the initial preparation work only began in 2002,” said Indrayadi, a native of Pamekasan and graduate of Surabaya’s November 10 Institute of Technology.
In truth, a complete Madurese translation of the Qu’ran has been done before, in 2006. The reference for this translation however was the Al-Quran Terjemahan Bahasa Indonesia, or an Indonesian translation of the Qu’ran. KH Abdullah signed the book’s first printing, entitled Al-Qu’ran al-Karim, A Translation of the Qu’ran into the Madurese Language. Former East Java governor Raden Panji Mohammad Nur provided with the book’s foreword. In it, he hoped that the translation could elucidate the essence of the Qu’ran for the Madurese. That first Madurese translation of the Qu’ran only saw a limited circulation - just 500 copies were printed.
The JPS took this translation work to the State Islamic College (STAIN) of Pamekasan for validation purposes. The STAIN of Pamekasan side held back on giving its stamp of approval and decided to look into the matter first. They asked for input from the MUI, the country’s largest Islamic organization the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), and religious leaders from a number of Islamic boarding schools, including the Islamic Boarding School of Bata-Bata, Banyu Anyar, Ummul Quro Assuyuty in Pamekasan; the Annuqoyah and Al-Amien Islamic Boarding School in Prenduan, Sumenep; and leaders from Sampang and Bangkalan.
One day, scores of religious leaders in Madura, all fluent in the local tongue, and representatives of the JPS gathered at the Al-Amien Islamic Boarding School in Prenduan, Sumenep. They broke into several groups to inspect the translation work. “The meeting lasted from 2pm to 5pm. We were only able to discuss the translation of Bismillah (the recurring phrase “In the name of God” found at the beginning of the first chapter),” said Rahbini, laughingly. There were no further meetings after this initial gathering at Al-Amien. No validation of the translated work came after that.
Undaunted, a few months later, in 2008, the JPS again visited STAIN of Pamekasan. They proposed a smaller team of translators be used. A team consisting of twelve members was finally formed, with three representatives each from the ulama and kiai, STAIN, JPS, and Madura language experts from the Pakem Maddu Foundation of Pamekasan. This team formed the Qu’ranic Translations and Study Institute (LP2Q), which was headed by KH Lailurrahman from the Ummul Quro Assuyuty Islamic Boarding School in Plakpak, Pamekasan.
“We met every Friday night, sometimes at my house, sometimes at the official residence of the Pamekasan Deputy Regent,” said Lailurrahman. It took three years to complete the first three parts, he said. The chief difficulty involved the lengthy deliberations over correct use of grammar for verses of the Qu’ran, and putting into context the appropriate meaning in the Madurese language.
The main references used by the LP2Q translation were the exegesis Tafsir Jalalain by Jalaluddin asy-Syuyuthi, and Jalaluddin Muhammad Ibn Ahmad al-Mahalliy. Another reference was the Kitab I'robul Quran. The translation used the alphabet, but stuck to standard Madura spelling of words. “After becoming involved with this translation work, I realized there was much of the Madura language that I did not know,” said Lailurrahman.
Despite only completing the first three parts, the team agreed to release the translated works to the public. This was done for two reasons: first, to in essence ask for their blessings to complete all thirty parts; second, to gauge the public’s response. According to Lailurrahman, it turned out that this project does have the broad support of the people of Madura. Upon seeing this response, they are targeting that the remaining 27 parts be completed in the next four years.
Dody Hidayat (Jakarta), Musthofa Bisri (Madura), Dini Mawuntyas (Surabaya), Anwar Siswadi (Bandung), Sohirin (Semarang), Adi Warsidi (Banda Aceh), Aniswati Syahrir (Makassar)