Subscribe to our weekly newsletter


First Translator of Quran into Bengali was a Brahmo Samaj scholar

8 September, 2019 20:51:09
First Translator of Quran into Bengali was a Brahmo Samaj scholar

Girish Chandra Sen was a Bengali religious scholar and translator. He was a Brahmo Samaj missionary and known for being the first translator of the Qur'an into Bengali language in 1886. Sen taught for a short while at Mymensingh Zilla School before engaging in journalism and literary activities. He learned Persian and Sanskrit in early life and started working as a copywriter in the court of the deputy magistrate in Mymensingh. He was attracted to the Brahmo Samaj under the influence of Keshub Chunder Sen and Bijoy Krishna Goswami and joined it as a missionary in 1871. He traveled through India and Burma to propagate his new faith. Sen is also the first known translator of the works of Shakespeare in Bengali.

Initially Girish Chandra worked at the Dhaka Prakash and later as assistant editor at the Sulabh Sumachar and as editor of the monthly Mahila. In 1871 he became a Brahma under the influence of Keshab Chandra Sen and travelled through India and Burma to propagate his new faith. Encouraged and inspired by Keshab Chandra, he went to Lucknow in 1876 to study Arabic and Islamic literature. What followed was the Bangla translation of the Quran (1881-86). It was indeed a great achievement. His keen interest in different religions and his liberal outlook earned him the respect of followers of other religions.   

Girish Chandra wrote and published a total of 42 books in Bangla. He published the Bangla translation of almost half of Mishkat Sharif under the title Hadith-Purba Bibhag (1892). Another important work of his was Tattvaratnamala (1907), which contains moral lessons and words of wisdom in the form of short tales from two famous Persian books: Sheikh Fariduddin Attar's Mantequttayeb and Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi's Masnavi Sharif. His publications include Persian translations such as Gulistan, Bustan, and Diwan-e-Hafiz. 

Girish Chandra Sen wrote several biographies of Muslim personalities, including the Prophet Muhammad (Sm), the Prophet's grandsons Imam Hasan and Imam Husssain, the four Khalifas etc in Mahapuruscharita (1882-87), Mahapurush Mohammad O Tatprabartita Islam Dharma, Imam Hasan O Husainer Jibani (1911), Charijan Dharmaneta, Charti Sadhvi Musalman Nari and Khalifabarga. His famous book Tapasmala (1880-1895), based on Sheikh Fariduddin Attar's Persian book Tazkeratul Aulia, contains biographies of 96 Muslim saints. These books were greatly appreciated by the Muslim community which referred to him as 'Bhai Girish Chandra'. 

Leave a Comments

Related Post