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Can I translate Islamic books if I do not have formal a Dārul ‘Ulūm education?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I have lots of free time and would like to put it in good use.  I would like to translate from Urdu into English a few books, mainly biography history, not religious, written by the great ‘ulamā’ of Deoband, such as Dhikr Khayr by Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, Tadhkirat al-Rashid, Hindustān Ki Bīs Barī Khawatīn, and other like these that I have read and found highly useful. 

Since I have a secular educational background and not Islamic schooling in a Dārūl ‘Ulūm, except basic Islamic knowledge, I am wondering if it is alright for me to do this.  I would like your advice as I do not want to do anything that is not proper and is not recommended by the ‘ulamā’.  Please advise.


In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Alhamdulillāh, we are glad to hear that you have decided to invest your time in fruitful activities for the benefit of yourself and Muslims worldwide.  By translating the great Urdu works of our illustrious ‘ulamā’ into the English language, you will make these gems accessible to a large audience that cannot read or understand Urdu. 

Since you will be translating biographies and history books, it is not necessary for you have a formal madrasah education, as you would need if you were translating the intricate masā’il of fiqh, for example.  As long as you have a strong command of the Urdu and English languages, you may translate the Urdu biographies and history books into English.  However, we would suggest that, before publishing, you have a scholar proofread your translation.  

May Allāh Ta’ālā put barakah in your time and efforts. 

And Allāh knows best.

Muftī Abrar Mirza
Chicago, IL (USA)

Under the Supervision of Muftī Ebrahim Desai (South Africa)


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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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