Translation all Fiqh'd Up

"Early discussions of the translation of the Qur’an related to the need to preach God’s revelation to non-Arabs, who, upon accepting Islam, could not be expected to perform the ritual prayer in Arabic. The jurist Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 150/767) seems to have permitted the recitation of the Qur’an in a foreign translation in performing ritual prayer for those Muslims who were not competent in the language. There is some discussion as to whether this was an absolute permission that was granted or just a temporary measure until the new Muslim acquired enough Arabic to be able to recite the Qur’an in its original language, but it seems that Abū Ḥanīfa may have given this license without qualification, in other words, as an absolute permission. This permission, in its absolute form, implies that the form of the revelation in Arabic is detachable from its content, wherein the miraculous nature of the Qur’an lies. By breaking the form-content duality in the Qur’an, Abū Ḥanīfa, in effect, seems to say that a translation of the content of the Qur’an would result in a kind of Qur’an, although primacy, we assume, continues to reside in the Qur’an in the Arabic language. Some of Abu Hanifa’s followers – for example, al-Sarkhasi (d. 483/1090) – restricted the license given by Abū Ḥanīfa, making it a temporary one, so as to avoid the above implication, while others persisted in legalising the original ruling – for example, al-Kasani (d. 587/1191).
Most Sunni jurists, however, led by al-Shāfiˁī (d. 204/820), rejected Abū Ḥanīfa’s view on using translations of the Qur’an in ritual prayer, to the extent that al-Shāfiˁī is reported to have given a dispensation to those who do not know the Qur’an in its Arabic form to pray without reciting it. At the basis of this rejection lies the dissolution of the duality of form and content in Abū Ḥanīfa’s theology, which duality is considered by al-Shāfiˁī as an integral part of the challenge (taḥaddī) that God issued to the Arabs to produce even one chapter in the like of the Qur’an. The form-content duality is, therefore, at the very core of the inimitability of the Qur’an principle: rejecting it would be tantamount to rejecting its inimitability and, therefore, the miraculous nature of the revelation that it underpins in Islamic theology. 
If a translation of the Qur’an is to be treated as the Qur’an, the inimitability principle would be spectacularly breached in a way that makes the challenge (taḥaddī) almost meaningless....
...Scholars who argued against the (un)translatability of the Qur’an were driven by doctrinal considerations, including the fear that if treated as Qur’ans, the translations would become the basis of legal rulings. The idea that these translations will break the indissoluble bond between form and content is related to this fear, but, as is evident from the discussion above, it is also clear that these translations challenge the principle of inimitability in relation to its doctrinal and language-centred meanings in a manner which would, at least indirectly, impinge on the synchronic and diachronic symbolic
loadings of the language... If so, the discussion of (un)translatability is not merely a discussion about doctrine, but also an ideological one, in which the language-identity link is involved, even though this link may exist deep below the surface of the debate on (un)translatability and inimitability. "
— Yasir Suleiman "Arabic in the Fray: Language Ideology and Cultural Politics"

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