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Qur'an Translations: Which are the best?


David T

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You realize, I suppose, that a fundamentalist Muslim believes that the Koran is only valid in Arabic? If you read a translation it is no longer the word of God. This is of course not a point of agreement with all Muslims. But be prepared to be accused of wasting your time if you cannot read the word of God in the language of The Prophet....

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You realize, I suppose, that a fundamentalist Muslim believes that the Koran is only valid in Arabic? If you read a translation it is no longer the word of God. This is of course not a point of agreement with all Muslims. But be prepared to be accused of wasting your time if you cannot read the word of God in the language of The Prophet....

On my mission we met some Chechens our age. Superb conversation, and one of the questions I asked was which Russian translations were good and which should be avoided. They discussed several of them, mentioning their strengths and weaknesses. One translation they considered extremely well done. They had no problem with using a translation for study purposes, or for outsiders tackling the book. For liturgical purposes of course only Arabic would do. Chechens BTW are fairly puritanical Muslims.

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I have one by M.H. Shakir, one by Muhammad Asad, and one by Maulana Muhammad Ali.

Anyone know anything about their accuracy, relevancy, notes, polemics, etc? I'd love thoughts from DCP if you find this.

Robert Spencer, someone that DCP is familar with and has debated with in the past, reccomends this online version. I think DCP said that Mr. Spencer took a very... pessimistic, approach to the Koran and Islam in general.

I'm sure DCP will correct me if I am mis-representing him.

Mr. Spencer's Qur'an commentary can be found here.

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The Penguin Classics version was done by an Iraqi Jewish scholar. I wouldn't say it's a "bad" (or a "good") translation, but I didn't realize until I was nearly done that it wasn't even a Muslim doing the translation.

There's *tons* of free Quran commentary online if you run across a verse you feel was translated badly.

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The Penguin Classics version was done by an Iraqi Jewish scholar. I wouldn't say it's a "bad" (or a "good") translation, but I didn't realize until I was nearly done that it wasn't even a Muslim doing the translation.

There's *tons* of free Quran commentary online if you run across a verse you feel was translated badly.

N. J. Dawood. Later editions are better than the first one.

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There it is. Thanks, volgadon.

Sorry, nackhadlow, I couldn't tell you whether or not it was a good or bad translation, but I do prefer to read a Quran that's been interpreted by a Muslim.

Why didn't I just pick one up that was translated by a Muslim once I found out?

Eh... I was lazy, and like 75% through it, and I thought "Oh whatever. I'll just finish this one."

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I have one by M.H. Shakir, one by Muhammad Asad, and one by Maulana Muhammad Ali.

Anyone know anything about their accuracy, relevancy, notes, polemics, etc? I'd love thoughts from DCP if you find this.

I like the one by Marmaduke Pickthall best. Of course there are many that I am not familiar with; but of all the ones I have looked at, I have always liked this one best. You can read it online as well as in print.

And by the way, there is an excellent free Koran app for the iPhone, which includes loads of different translations (in English as well as in other languages), and lots of other frills, all of which are completely free.

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