Africa Most Read Religion

Sun 14 November 2021:

After 10 years of hard work in the translation of the Kalenjin Quran from its initial language in Arabic, the Muslim faithfuls from the North Rift region re-launched the final draft of the Holy Quran named ‘Kuran ne Toroor’.

The Kalenjin Quran becomes the first ethnic-translated Quran in the Country.

The Kalenjin people are a southern Nilotic ethnic group that is comprised of 11 tribes – Ogiek, Nandi, Keiyo, Sabaot, Lembus, Tugen, Terik, Nandi, Marakwet, Pokot and Kipsigis, who mostly live in Kenya and Uganda.

At the launch which was held at Hotel Sirikwa in Eldoret, Sheikh Suleiman Sugoi, who presided over the translation since 2011 said that the exercise had taken time and effort of other scholars who helped in the translation exercise.

The Sheikh,  a resident of Uasin Gishu County who lives and works in Saudi Arabia said that he worked on the Quran translation to enable the elderly understand their religion.

“What drove me to have an interest in translating the Quran to Kalenjin was to enable my parents to read and understand the Quran in their local language. Most of our elders do not understand Arabic and Swahili and having the Quran in their language will empower them and make them want to read and learn more from the Quran,” said Sugoi.

Sheikh Suleiman Sugoi.

According to Abdalla Ruto, Sheikh Sugoi’s father, he grew up in a Muslim family and they faced difficulty in reading and understanding the Quran which was written in Arabic.

With the Quran now translated in his local dialect, Ruto says that he will be able to understand every word.

“My parents embraced Muslim faith long before I was born and when we grew up, we attended Madrassa where we would be caned in order to understand Arabic language which is a bit complex to easily grasp. But with the Quran in Kalenjin it breaks the language barrier and I am confident that our grandchildren and the coming generations will comfortably learn their religion in their local language,” stated Ruto.

The chief guest during the event, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, said that the move would help the Kalenjin community including non- Muslims to understand the Muslim religion.

“It will solve the challenges of misunderstanding other religions or stereotypes because now anyone can access the Quran and read and understand it. Even the Muslim prayers which will be done in Kalenjin will also be understood even by passersby, “observed Mandago.

Jamia Mosque, Kenya’s biggest mosque, said: “Following Shiekh Sugoi’s initial translation, the work will now be subjected to editorial scrutiny for grammar and context before finally being launched as an officially adopted Holy Quran translation in the Kalenjin language.”

Mandago called on the local public and private universities to adopt the text as an academic publication and award Shiekh Sugoi an honorary doctorate degree.

The governor also called upon other communities to embrace the same and proceed to translate the Quran to other languages.

Mandago challenged parents to ensure that their children learn their local language in order to be able to read and understand the Quran in their vernacular.

Photo: The Supkem chairman Hassan Ole Naado together with the Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago. Qur’an translator Sheikh Suleiman Kiptoo Sugoi, Jamia Mosque Nairobi Imam Sheikh Muhammad Swalihu and the Imam of Eldoret Jamia Mosque Muhammad Hussein showcasing the Kuran ne Toroor after its launch. 





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