Igbo is the principal native language of the Igbo people, an ethnic group from southeastern Nigeria.
Jaafar Jaafar, in a letter published by the igberetvnews.com website, wrote that even the title has been mistranslated.
The letter is as follows:
The credit for the first Quran to be translated into Igbo language goes to Professor Jumbo Ugoji in 1984.
His daughter, Ngozi Ugoji, drew my attention to this fact, saying Sheikh Chukwuemeka’s claims were wrong. She shared with me the cover and some pages of the Quran.
The spokesman for the South Eastern Muslims Organization of Nigeria, Yahya Abugu, also contacted me on the issue, saying there are fundamental errors right from the title of Sheikh Chukwuemeka’s work.
“We have a lot of renowned scholars of both Arabic and Igbo languages. For example, Professor Ilyas Rabiu of Arabic department, Nassarawa State University and Dr. Amaechi Bn Ali of National Open University. We also have Bar. Haroun Eze of National Mosque, to mention but a few. None of these mentioned above know this translator, he never consulted them to seek input or scholarly advice before going ahead with the huge task.
“On that cover page alone, we have observed serious errors. Nso, has many meaning in IGBO language, the easiest meaning that can be read to that caption ‘Nso Quran’ is ‘the forbiddance of Quran’ followed closely by ‘forbidden ‘things’ about Qur’an. No Igbo person will readily read Nso Quran to mean Holy Quran. Holy Quran in Igbo language should be ‘Quran Nso’
“The Okwu Igbo does not mean Igbo language. Igbo language should be olu Igbo or asusu Igbo and not Okwu Igbo,” Sheikh Abugu wrote to me.
I agree with both Ugoji and Abugu’s submissions that a project of this nature should be subjected to rigorous consultation before its release. Had Sheikh Chukwuemeka consulted other Igbo Muslim scholars, he wouldn’t have laid claims to the pioneering work on Quran translation in Igbo.
May Allah reward them all for their efforts.