Lines From The Holy Koran By a White American Muslim Suras 1-3

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Word used is "ilm" and not "ayat". But I will make a brief comment regarding the "variant readings". Allah surely knows the best. There is nothing in Islam comparable to the divisions in Christianity where the two main sects can't even agree on the total number of books which should be included in the canon. It is a good article. I advise you to look up one simple word, FACT when trying to prove your belief. This should have been posted under Bible contradictions so it can be explained but let me save you the time because I suspect this account has you convince that the Bible is corrupted.

Both Muhammad 'Ali's disbelief in the miraculous and his disdain for Judaism and Christianity undercut his work in other ways. The Qur'an makes frequent mention of jinn spirits , from which the English word "genie" is derived. Muhammad 'Ali, curiously, argues that the Qur'an equates jinn with Jews and Christians. Despite its blatant sectarian warp, Muhammad 'Ali's translation—now in its seventh edition [30] —has formed the basis for many later works, even if the majority of both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims avoid directly acknowledging or using an Ahmadi translation.

Nevertheless, among the Lahori Ahmadis, many of whom live in the United States, Muhammad 'Ali's work remains the definitive translation. Marmaduke Pickthall was the son of an Anglican clergyman who traveled to the East and acquired fluency in Arabic, Turkish, and Urdu. He was a novelist, traveler, and educator who converted to Islam in In , he traveled to India and became a journalist for Muslim newspapers as well as headmaster of a Muslim boys' school. Pickthall was aware of the problems of the Christian missionaries' translations and sought to remedy the defects since "some of the translations include commentation offensive to Muslims, and almost all employ a style of language which Muslims at once recognize as unworthy.

Aware that heavily annotated works detracted from focus on the actual text, Pickthall provided few explanatory notes and tried to let the text speak for itself. As much as Pickthall strove to maintain the spirit of the Qur'an, he was, nonetheless, heavily influenced by Muhammad 'Ali, whom he had met in London.

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He adopted Muhammad 'Ali's bias against descriptions of miracles and argued, for example, that the Qur'anic description of Muhammad's night voyage to the heavens [35] was just a vision, [36] even though most Muslim theologians argue that it should be taken literally. While Pickthall's work was popular in the first half of the twentieth century and, therefore, historically important, its current demand is limited by its archaic prose and lack of annotation.

Perhaps the death knell for the Pickthall translation's use has been the Saudi government's decision to distribute other translations free of charge. The translation of Arthur Arberry was the first English translation by a bona fide scholar of Arabic and Islam. A Cambridge University graduate, he spent several years in the Middle East perfecting his Arabic and Persian language skills.

For a short while, he served as professor of classics at Cairo University; in , he was professor of Persian at University of London, and the next year transferred to Cambridge to become professor of Arabic, serving there until his death in His title, The Koran Interpreted , acknowledged the orthodox Muslim view that the Qu'ran cannot be translated, but only interpreted. The translation is without prejudice and is probably the best around.

The Arberry version has earned the admiration of intellectuals worldwide, and having been reprinted several times, remains the reference of choice for most academics. It seems destined to maintain that position for the foreseeable future.

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Among those Qur'an translations which found Saudi favor and, therefore, wide distribution, was the Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali rendition [38] that, from its first appearance in until very recently, was the most popular English version among Muslims. While not an Islamic scholar in any formal sense, Yusuf 'Ali, an Indian civil servant, had studied classics at Cambridge University, graduated as a lawyer from Lincoln's Inn in London, and was gifted with an eloquent, vivid writing style. He sought to convey the music and richness of the Arabic with poetic English versification. While his rendering of the text is not bad, there are serious problems in his copious footnotes; in many cases, he reproduces the exegetical material from medieval texts without making any effort at contextualization.

Writing at a time both of growing Arab animosity toward Zionism and in a milieu that condoned anti-Semitism, Yusuf 'Ali constructed his oeuvre as a polemic against Jews. Several Muslim scholars have built upon the Yusuf 'Ali translation. Ar-Rahji offered the resulting version for free to mosques, schools, and libraries throughout the world. The footnoted commentary about Jews remained so egregious that, in April , the Los Angeles school district banned its use at local schools.

The Noble Qur'an in the English Language. Now the most widely disseminated Qur'an in most Islamic bookstores and Sunni mosques throughout the English-speaking world, this new translation [41] is meant to replace the Yusuf 'Ali edition and comes with a seal of approval from both the University of Medina and the Saudi Dar al-Ifta. The numerous interpolations make this translation particularly problematic, especially for American Muslims who, in the aftermath of , are struggling to show that Islam is a religion of tolerance.

Satanic Verses

From the beginning, the Hilali and Muhsin Khan translation reads more like a supremacist Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian polemic than a rendition of the Islamic scripture. In the first sura , for example, verses which are universally accepted as, "Guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom You have favored, not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who have gone astray" [43] become, "Guide us to the Straight Way, the way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not the way of those who have earned Your anger such as the Jews , nor of those who went astray such as the Christians.

Contemporary political disputes also pollute the translation, marring what should be a reflection of timeless religion. Whereas the Qur'an reports Moses's address to the Israelites as "O my people!

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Enter the Holy Land that God has assigned unto you," [45] this Saudi version twists the verse with modern politics, writing, "O my people! Enter the holy land Palestine. The appendix includes a polemical comparison of Jesus and Muhammad, reporting that the former had no claim to divinity. In fact, while the Qur'an does take issue with the Christian claims of divinity for Jesus, it views him, along with his mother Mary, as being truly blessed and peaceful, much in concordance with the general Christian belief.

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Not every translation preaches the Saudi line. Muhammad Asad, for example, presents a rendering that is simple and straightforward. Asad, an Austrian journalist, was well-versed in the Jewish and Christian scriptures and brought this knowledge to bear in the form of erudite footnotes. Strangely, though, he chose to interpolate material in his translation of chapter 37 to show that the sacrificial son was Ishmael and not Isaac. Because the Saudi government subsidizes the publication and distribution of so many translations, the ban has in effect made Asad's translation both expensive and difficult to obtain.

Nevertheless, it remains one of the best translations available, both in terms of its comprehensible English and generally knowledgeable annotations. Other translations have bucked the Saudi orthodoxy. Ahmad 'Ali, noted Pakistani poet and diplomat, has put aside the sometimes archaic prose of Yusuf 'Ali and Marmaduke Pickthall in order to present the Qur'an in contemporary English. In dealing, for example, with the Qur'anic version of Moses's anger at the Jews for worshipping the golden calf, he translates the 'aqtulu anfusakum [54] as "kill your pride" [55] rather than the literal "kill yourselves" which is how it also appears in Exodus The Qur'anic retelling and reliance on the Biblical narrative to demonstrate the seriousness of idol worship is thus lost.

Assessing English Translations of the Qur'an :: Middle East Quarterly

He translates Jesus's speech in as, "I will fashion the state of destiny out of mire for you, and breathe a new spirit into it, and you will rise by the will of God. These departures from the literal portrayal of events from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament are important because they might lead lay readers to miss the Qur'anic imperative to seek the history of the prophets from the earlier scriptures.

Despite its accessibility to non-Muslim and academic readers due to its recent Princeton University Press publication, many Muslim scholars have criticized the translation because of the liberties it takes with the text.

Just as Ahmad 'Ali sought to produce a contemporary translation, so did Thomas Irving, an American convert to Islam who changed his name to Ta'lim 'Ali. While Irving provides a useful introduction to the Qur'an, its language, and previous translation history, his own translation is fundamentally flawed. Arabic words are built from three-letter roots to which are added prefixes, infixes, suffixes, and vowels, and their context can lead to a wide range of meanings.

For example, Irving translated ahl ad-dhikr both as "people of the reminder" and "people of long memories" instead of "people of remembrance.

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Many Muslims reject the subtitle, "The First American Version," because it sounds too much as if the Qur'an is being put into a paradigm of the various versions of the Bible—an idea not welcome to Muslim scholars who feel that multiple versions lead to corruption of the text. The translation has never been in great demand, and since Irving's death in , there can be no revision; so, it is likely that, without the interest and subsidy from Islamic institutions, the version will simply be another forgettable effort.

While the Saudis may seek to monopolize Qur'anic interpretation among the Sunni community, many Shi'ites reject their annotation.

Syed V. Mir Ahmed 'Ali, an Indian scholar of Arabic and Persian, has produced a translation that has become the standard Shi'ite translation. Since John Wansbrough 's contributions to the field in the early s, though, scholars have become much more attentive to the emergent nature of early Islam, and less willing to accept back-projected claims of continuity:.

To those who see the tradition as constantly evolving and supplying answers to question that it itself has raised, the argument that there would be no reason to develop and transmit material which seems derogatory of the Prophet or of Islam is too simple. For one thing, ideas about what is derogatory may change over time. We know that the doctrine of the Prophet's infallibility and impeccability the doctrine regarding his 'isma emerged only slowly. For another, material which we now find in the biography of the Prophet originated in various circumstances to meet various needs and one has to understand why material exists before one can make a judgment about its basis in fact In Rubin's recent contribution to the debate, questions of historicity are completely eschewed in favor of an examination of internal textual dynamics and what they reveal about early medieval Islam.

Rubin claims to have located the genesis of many prophetic traditions and that they show an early Muslim desire to prove to other scriptuaries "that Muhammad did indeed belong to the same exclusive predestined chain of prophets in whom the Jews and the Christians believed. He alleges that the Muslims had to establish the story of Muhammad's life on the same literary patterns as were used in the vitae of the other prophets".

The Encyclopedia of Islam claims that, although there could be some historical basis for the story, in its present form it is certainly a later, exegetical fabrication. Rubin also claimed that the supposed temporary control taken by Satan over Muhammad made such traditions unacceptable to early hadith compilers, which he believed to be a unique case in which a group of traditions are rejected only after being subject to Qur'anic models, and as a direct result of this adjustment.

Muhammad is persecuted by the Meccans after attacking their idols, during which time a group of Muslims seeks refuge in Abyssinia.

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After the cessation of this first round of persecution fitna they return home, but soon a second round begins. No compelling reason is provided for the caesura of persecution, though, unlike in the incident of the satanic verses, where it is the temporary fruit of Muhammad's accommodation to Meccan polytheism.

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The traditions actually state that all cognizant creatures took part in it, humans as well as jinns. Rubin further argues that this is inherently illogical without the Satanic Verses in the recitation, given that in the accepted version of verses Q. Some traditions even describe his eventual comeuppance, saying he is later killed at the battle of Badr. And "traditions which originally related the dramatic story of temptation became a sterilized anecdote providing prophetic precedent for a ritual practice".

I circa CE :. The prophet was eager for the welfare of his people, desiring to win them to him by any means he could. When the prophet saw his people turning away from him, and was tormented by their distancing themselves from what he had brought to them from God , he longed in himself for something to come to him from God which would draw him close to them. With his love for his people and his eagerness for them, it would gladden him if some of the hard things he had found in dealing with them could be alleviated. He pondered this in himself, longed for it, and desired it.

Then God sent down the revelation.