The Quran has been translated into the Estonian language for the first time.

22. detsember 2007

According to Press TV, Iran's English language international news agency, the Quran has just been translated into the Estonian language for the first time.

Apparently it was quite popular and the first run of 2,000 has sold out, so another 10,000 are set to be printed mid-January 2008.

This peaked my interest so I thought I'd dig up a bit about Estonia's Muslim population. It proved quite interesting.

The
Estonian Statistical website tells us that as of 2000, there were 1,387 people living in Estonia that affiliated themselves with the Muslim faith. The majority live in Harjumaa (929) and Ida-Virumaa (277) but they are represented in all other counties, except for Hiiumaa. More than half the Muslim population in Estonia is over 40 years old.

The
Muslim American Society claims (in a 2003 article) that there are 20,000 Muslims living in Estonia, but they provide no source for that highly questionable number and The Central Europe Review claims 10,000 in an article dating from 2001, again with no source to back it up.

Estonia also has it's own Estonian language Islamic website at
www.islam.ee. That website also backs up the Estonian Statistical number of ~1400 Muslims living in Estonia.

Looking over at
Wikipedia, we find a brief history of the Muslims in Estonia which I'll post here.

"The Muslims are mainly Sunni
Tatars and Shia Azeri whose ancestors immigrated to Estonia after the passing of Livonia and Estonia into the Russian Empire in 1721 and who (the overwhelming majority) immigrated during the Soviet period (1940–1991). Since 1860, the Tatar community started showing activity, the centre being in the city of Narva. A Muslim congregation (Narva Muhamedi Kogudus) was registered there under the independent Republic of Estonia in 1928 and a second one (Tallinna Muhamedi Usuühing) in Tallinn in 1939. A house built for funds received as donations was converted into a mosque in Narva. In 1940, the Soviet authorities banned both congregations, and the buildings of the congregations were destroyed during World War II (in 1944)."

There was talk of
building a grand mosque in Tallinn back in 2001, but it didn't pan out for several reasons. Opposition by the city residents and funding being a couple big ones.

So that's a brief introduction into the Estonian Muslim population. I'm sure the links I've provided will lead to a plethora of information for those wishing to dig deeper.

Ma' Alsalam مع السلامة Peace out

Haljand Udam (1936 – December 17, 2005) was an Estonian orientalist and translator. He graduated from Tartu University as a geologist, but soon became interested in Eastern culture, including Ancient Iranian literature. He studied oriental philology in Tashkent university and Moscow State University, where he defended his candidate's thesis in 1971 (samas kaitses ta 1971. aastal väitekirja (“On the Special Semantic Aspects of the Persian Suphi Terminology”). Udam has translated several works from Arabic (Ibn Tufail), Persian (Rudaki, Saad, Ali Safi) Urdu, Tadjik etc into Estonian, including Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat. Some of his articles on orientalism have also been published in foreign language magazines. Just before his death, Udam managed to finish the translation of Quran into the Estonian language. It was published on the 19th of December, 2007. Udam was also known as one of the few Conservative Revolution supporters among the Estonian intellectuals.