Saudi translation of Quran into Hebrew omits 'al-Aqsa mosque'

Saudi translation of Quran into Hebrew omits 'al-Aqsa mosque'
The Hebrew translation, which was approved by Saudi authorities, uses the term 'Temple' to describe al-Aqsa mosque.
2 min read
31 January, 2020
Al-Aqsa mosque is referred to as 'the Temple' in the Hebrew translation [Getty]
A Saudi translation of the Quran into Hebrew contains over 300 errors, Palestinian news agency Shehab revealed.

The translation, which was approved by the Saudi authorities, uses the term "the Temple" to describe al-Aqsa mosque and omits the name of the Prophet Muhammad.

The incorrect translation was published on the website of the King Fadh Complex for the printing of the Holy Quran, a Saudi outlet responsible for producing ten million copies of the holy book every year in 74 different languages, Middle East Monitor reported.

The Complex said the errors had been presented to a "competent authority in the complex, and is awaiting the appropriate procedure by the complex management after verification and study".

The Hebrew translation was taken down from the website on Saturday, after a video published by Shehab drew attention to its many errors. 

Researcher on Israeli affairs Aladdin Ahmed raised concerns over the mistranslation and their doctrinal implications in the video.

In the Quranic chapter al-Isra, which documents the Prophet Muhammad's journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, the name "Al-Aqsa Mosque" is omitted and replaced with "the Temple".

Critics of the translation are likely to see this omission to be in support of the Israeli claim to the mosque compound. A holy site in both Islam and Judaism, the compound is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

There have been numerous other translations of the Quran from Arabic into Hebrew, including a recent translation by Palestinian-Israeli Subhi Ali Adawi. 

Saudi Arabia was among several Gulf nations which welcomed US President Donald Trump's peace plan for the Middle East, despite it having been unanimously rejected by the Palestinian side, who were also not involved in its formation.

President Trump unveiled the long-awaited details of the so-called "Deal of the Century" Tuesday at a White House press conference alongside his close ally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The plan, which the Palestinian Authority have called a "conspiracy", grants Israel much of what it has sought in decades of international diplomacy, namely control over Jerusalem as its "undivided" capital and large scale annexation of West Bank settlements.

Read more: Israel officially allows its citizens to travel to Saudi Arabia

Israel only has diplomatic relations with two Arab states, neighbouring Egypt and Jordan. But various Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Oman, have upscaled their normalisation with Israel in recent months.

Gulf rulers have come under harsh criticism for their perceived abandonment of support for Palestinian statehood and the rights of millions of Palestinians living under occupation.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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