BUJUMBURA, Burundi – Thanks to the efforts of a Burundian Muslim association, a new translated version of the Holy Qur’an into Kirundi, one of the two official languages of the East African country, has come to light.
“This is a great event for us because on Monday we received the first translation of the Quran in Kirundi. This is a first since the introduction of Islam to Burundi,” Sheikh Sadiki Kajandi, the president and legal representative of the Islamic Community of Burundi (COMIBU), told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
The translation work was done by the Association for Mutual Aid and Solidarity (AMES), a local Muslim association.
The new version followed hard work that lasted eight long years.
“We thank all Muslims and non-Muslims, including university professors, who contributed to the process of making the Quran accessible in Kirundi,” AMES Chairperson Sheikh Abdi John Habonimana said.
Kirundi is spoken across Burundi, as well as in parts of Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda.
The Muslim community accounts for 10 percent of Burundi’s total population of 11 million.
Muslims are mainly located in such urban areas as Gitega and Rumonge as well as the capital Bujumbura, which has a strong Muslim community, dominated by West African traders from Senegal, Niger, Guinea, and Mali.
According to historians, Islam arrived in Burundi around the 19th century.
The Qur’an is a revelation from God, the creator of the worlds, so He is the original author.
There is only one Qur’an, which is in Arabic and many translations of the Qur’an in several languages.
There could be multiple translations by different authors in the same language, such as English.
The Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the archangel Gabriel who used to make the Prophet memorize the Qur’an and made him revise it every year in the month of Ramadan, the fasting month.