Biography of the translator
Husain Nuri
 
 

Dr. Zohurul Hoque was born in Assam province of India on October 11, 1926 in a devout Sunni family. His parents took extra care to teach him Arabic from his childhood. When he graduated from high school, he had scored highest marks in Arabic in the whole state of Assam. His interest in writing was partly triggered by an old dilapidated Remington typewriter that he had purchased (and still owns) as a high school student during the World War II. The typewriter was his constant companion throughout his life churning out pages after pages of thoughtful writings.

His keen interest in religion started in the early 50s when he was still a student in the medical school. What started with initial jotting down of points, notes, observations on the Holy Qur-an and Hadith, partly from reading volumes of books and partly from discussions held with others, over a time developed into a systematic approach to understand the intricacies of the Divine message in the light of rational thinking. His deep-rooted Islamic values and ideologies guided him constantly in his pursuit of spiritual knowledge.

In the seventies Dr. Hoque felt a pressing need for a Bengali translation of the Qur-an to serve the four million Bengali Muslim population living in Assam. Until this point in time, nobody produced a commentary of the Holy Qur-an for the Bengali community in Assam. In 1986, culminating twelve years of strenuous work, Dr. Hoque published his Bengali translation of the Holy Qur-an. Meanwhile Dr. Hoque engaged himself in translating the Holy Qur-an in Assamese, the native language of the Assam province.

The first Assamese translation of the Qur-an by another scholar was incomplete and out of print for a long time. After eight years of arduous work, Dr. Hoque published the only complete Assamese translation of the Qur-an in three volumes. Dr. Hoque's approach to the Holy Qur-an is immensely refreshing, endowed with very rational, scientific and proper Islamic perspective within the scope of broad Sunni understanding, however, outside of any bias to any particular school of thought. The Assamese translation is now in its third edition.

Since 1993, he was busy with the English version of the translation of the Holy Qur-an. In 2000, this translation was published from USA. Thus, he became uniquely recognized as only translator to have translated the Quran in three different languages. Currently, at the age of 77 years, he is working on detailed footnote commentaries of the Holy Qur-an, to be published simultaneously in separate volumes in English, Bengali (Bangla) and Assamese languages. Excerpts from the forthcoming English commentary are available at this site. The second edition of Bengali version (without footnote commentary) is now available online. He is also working on a print format of the Bangla translation that will contain parallel Arabic text, and pronunciation written in Bangla.

In his professional career, Dr. Hoque was a Public Health expert. He studied Public Health at the University of Calcutta and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He worked as a Director of Health Services for the state of Assam, India and as a National Consultant to World Health Organization. During his official career, he had built several (20+) hospitals in underserved Muslim communities of Assam.

In late 1980s, a computer 'replaced' his Remington typewriter. The unused but always clean Remington still sits on his desk, while several computers departed with less grace in last fifteen years. Dr. Hoque pays attention to details. At age 70, he learnt Adobe PageMaker and Photoshop. Using these two software, he did the complete page formatting of the "Translation and Commentary on the Holy Qur-an" and majority of the formatting the Arabic verses included in this book.

 

 

 
     

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