English

Qur’an translation of the week #192: The ‘Saheeh International’: A ‘Saudi’ Team Translation into English

It would be hard to dispute that ‘Saheeh International’ (first published in 1997) is one of the most popular modern interpretations of the Qur’an in English. This work has a few notable aspects that distinguish it from other works in the genre. First of all, it is the product of teamwork, rather than an individually-authored …

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Qur’an translation of the week #189: The Qur’aan The Supreme, or: how literal can one get?

When a translator entitles his work The Textual Translation For The Qur’an The Supreme in an attempt to render the Arabic phrase al-tarjama al-naṣṣiyya li-l-Qurʾān al-Majīd into English, this is a clear indication that he is taking the concept of ‘literal translation’ to the extreme. And indeed, this is the explicit aim of Abdulaziz F. …

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Qur’an translation of the week #188: The first ‘American Qur’an’

In 1985, T.B. (Thomas Ballantyne) Irving, also known as al-Hajj Ta‘lim ‘Ali (1914–2002), published a book entitled The Qur’an: The First American Version. Printed with funding from global donors, including a major halal food business that Levantine Muslim migrants had founded in the American Midwest, its publication was part of a globalizing trend that has …

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Qur’an translation of the week #187: What is in the Quran? Message of the Quran in Simple English by Abdur Raheem Kidwai

Abdur Raheem Kidwai (b. 1956), currently director of the K.A. Nazmi Qur’anic Centre at Aligarh Muslim University in India is not only a well-known reviewer of other people’s Qur’an translations into English, but also a translator himself. His own translation, What is in the Quran? Message of the Quran in Simple English (first published in …

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Qur’an translation of the week #184: Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani’s The Meanings of the Noble Qur’an with Explanatory Notes

The Meanings of the Noble Qur’an with Explanatory Notes by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (b. 1943), first published in 2007, is rooted in the Deobandi movement which originated in India in the nineteenth century and promotes a conservative brand of Islamic revivalism that upholds the authority of traditional Hanafi scholarship. As a result of the …

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Qur’an translation of the week #181: My First Qur’an with Pictures: Juz’ Amma Part 1 by Shereen Sharief

The provision of Qur’ans aimed at children is a niche market, and there are not many Qur’an publishers that cater to this need. Furthermore, many of those that do exist do not facilitate teaching the Qur’an in an easy-to-understand, child-friendly way. As discussed in a previous thread, the Indonesian publisher Syaamil tried to fill this …

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Qur’an translation of the week #180: Australian Edition of Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s The Holy Qur’ān

Despite its nearly ninety-year history (with the first volume appearing in 1934), Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation of the Qur’an continues to outperform many other translations in terms of the frequency with which it is reprinted and the number of different publishers who reprint it, not to mention citations. What is sometimes not as frequently discussed …

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Qur’an translation of the week #178: The Message of the Qur’an by Muhammad Asad: the forgotten story of the first, 1964 edition

Usually, the history of Muhammad Asad’s (1900–1992) translation is dated back to the publication of the complete edition in 1980, while the first, partial version (comprising the first nine suras) which was printed in 1964 has become a bibliographical rarity. The 1964 edition was published by the Islamic Center of Geneva, which was based in …

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Qur’an translation of the week #172: Plagiarism and Sectarianism: the Ahmadi-Shi’i-Sunni trajectory of M. H. Shakir’s The Holy Quran

The English Qur’an translation by M. H. Shakir is widely available today in various printed editions produced by numerous publishers, and also on websites and smartphone apps. It is sometimes mistakenly ascribed to the renowned Egyptian scholar Muḥammad Shākir (1866–1939), however he was an opponent of Qur’an translations and it is safe to assume that …

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Qur’an translation of the week #171: Muhammad Ali’s Urdu Translation: Bayān al-Qurʾān

This week we will take a closer look at Muhammad Ali’s 1923 Urdu translation, Bayān al-Qurʾān. Muhammad Ali, a prominent Ahmadi scholar, ascended to the leadership of the Lahore branch following a schism within the Ahmadiyya movement in 1914. In a previous post, we introduced Muhammad Ali and his influential English Qur’an translation of 1917 …

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