The Clear Quran
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- Dr Mustafa Khattab
The Quran, sometimes written as "Koran" is the sacred book of Muslims, who believe that God has revealed His word and message to humanity throughout the ages. The Book of Signs Foundation seeks to bring the Quran's message to you free of the political agendas and anti-Islam polemics that have dominated the airwaves and print media. Our goal is to provide a direct-to-you source of authentic information that brings to light the Quranic message so that you may judge for yourself the source of guidance for over 1.6 billion fellow human beings.
as a non=Arabic reader I am dependent on translations of the Quran and I have read quite a number. This translation benefits from the translator's fluency in English and Arabic and in Quranic studies. The subheadings for each section are a very helpful guide for the English-speaking reader. That there are footnotes and they are brief are both useful features. The English is fluent and contemporary with none of those nasty parenthetical insertions that some versions have. Instead Khattab uses words or short phrases enclosed in half brackets where English words must be inserted to make the meaning clear. Translations that stick rigidly to the Arabic often leave the meaning obscure. For example, one version translates 37.108 which refers to Abraham as "And we left for him among those who came later", which is difficult to understand. Khattab gives "and blessed Abraham with honourable mention among later generations.", where 'with honourable mention' is in half brackets which I cannot reproduce here. A translator must choose between making these additions or leaving the text only partly translated. Referring to a larger part of this section, 37.99 - 113, which Khattab subtitles "Abraham, Ishmael and the Sacrifice", his consistent use of "bless" in v.100, 108, and 113, shows the passage to be a unit, and helps one note the lesson that God blesses those who ask Him, but there may a test of faith [v.106], especially when the blessing is going to exceed the request. One common grammatical error in this translation is the mixing of singular and plural as in 113.5, "from the evil of an envier when they envy." This jars for a native English reader. Excusable though it may be in spoken English, it it wrong in a written work. The problem is that English has no third-person singular gender-inclusive pronoun. Using "he or she" is clumsy when repeated, and "s/he" is ugly. Sometimes making both parts plural solves it, so here one could put "the envious when they envy", as "the envious" as a noun is usually plural, being short for "those who envy". I hope any future revisions might be sensitive to this issue. Other than this I think it is a very good translation and deserves to be at the forefront of English translations.
The translation within this is clear and concise which makes it an interesting read. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the meanings of the Quran rather than just solely reciting it.
I was introduced to this translation after attending a Ramadan webinar by Ustadh Asim Khan, who suggested this translation as well as the one by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, for better understanding of the Quran. They are both good, but I like this one better as it is organised by themes and is easier to follow, in my opinion. I bought The Clear Quran in both the English only translation and also the one with Arabic text. The one with Arabic text is more expensive, but definitely worth it and I am so glad I decided to purchase it. I recommend the one with Arabic text more, but this is good too especially if you are new to the Quran and cannot recite Arabic yet. This English copy mentions "God" instead of "Allah", while the English translation with the Arabic text refers to "God" as "Allah". As a born Muslim I prefer to read the translation which refers to God as "Allah" in the Quran, but I can imagine for people learning about Islam they may relate to the word "God" more easily. Highly recommended.