View Full Version : English Qur'an: Which translations are best?

03-21-2007, 08:58 PM
I have been beaten about the head and shoulders by Muslim associates that one cannot actually "read" the Qur'an in English, but as I do not have the skills in Arabic necessary to read it in the tongue, does anyone on the council have a suggestion for which English version is even close to faithful to the original?

Thanks in advance.

03-21-2007, 09:04 PM
Hey 120 !
We just had our 6th rotation come back from EOD missions with the very same question.

The page they used the most was USC's Compendium of Muslim Texts.

However, much like you already pointed out so well, USC begins with:

On this Web site, there are three translations of the Qur'an. Note that any translation of the Qur'an immediately ceases to be the literal word of Allah, and hence cannot be equated with the Qur'an in its original Arabic form. In fact, each of the translations on this site is actually an interpretation which has been translated. The first-time reader is strongly advised to read the introduction to the translations we have made available. Corrections and suggestions are appreciated.

At least there's three versions :confused:

03-22-2007, 03:31 AM
Can this help you 120mm? I find those links on Google.

Top 4 English Translations of the Qur'an
The Qur'an was revealed in the Arabic language, and any translation, at best, is an interpretation of the meaning. Some translators are more faithful to the original, while others are more loose with the rendering into English. Many readers prefer to look at more than one translation to get an idea of the true intended meaning of the words.



Assessing English Translations of the Qur'an
by Khaleel Mohammed


03-22-2007, 07:35 AM
You can get a free version (https://www.cair.com/explorethequran/request.asp)of the Asad translation from CAIR for shipping.

03-22-2007, 10:44 AM
Thanks, guys! It is my understanding that the Qur'an is both art and meaning, and translations that attempt to capture the artistic elements lose meaning, while literal, meaning translations lose the artistic elements.

Which is fascinating to me. The duality of it can represent lots of themes and images.

03-22-2007, 12:44 PM
You can get a free version (https://www.cair.com/explorethequran/request.asp)of the Asad translation from CAIR for shipping.

Is this version the same one CAIR was distributing in 2005? If so, there is some controversy (http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/006370.php) surrounding this translated version of the Quran.

03-22-2007, 01:49 PM
I learned in Iraq, you need to be careful with this. A non-believer possesing the Koran is a touchy subject with many Muslims (and not just the AQ crew). There is version I have printed out of Pkaistan that is pretty good, it is kind of like a gideons Bible publishing crew.

03-22-2007, 01:55 PM
SWJED - Different translation. The one CAIR is putting out is the Asad one, not the Yusuf Ali one with the Saudi commentary.

Tom Odom
03-22-2007, 02:18 PM
The Saudis have handed out a translation for decades that is quite good, especially because it offers English juxtaposed with the Arabic. the proper title is "The meaning of the Glorious Qur'an" by Abdullah Yusuf Ali in 2 Volumes.

But again note it is not billed as "The Qur'an." CGSC at Leavenworth when I was on faculty had a Muslim prayer room just around the corner from the history office. an Egyptian Captain who amassed an amazing track record of run ins with MPs, female soldiers, and generalized mayhem, set the prayer room on fire when he found one of these in there for use as "The Quran". :eek: he was sent home soon afterward.