The Speaking Tree
Review of Maulana Khan's English Quran Translation
May 16, 2010
There are about 50 English translations of the Quran, but most readers complain that they fail to understand its message. Incidentally, the first translation of the Quran in Latin was compiled in 1153 AD.
If Pickthall’s translation can be called the most lyrical and Yusuf Ali’s the most accurate, this one by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is the most readable. The Maulana, who has spent his life studying the Quran in its original language, has done away with ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ so what you have is a free flowing prose in modern English, easy to follow.
Sample this: “O Prophet! When any of you divorce your wives…. Do not drive them out of their homes…. Unless they become openly guilty of immoral conduct. These are the bounds set by God. He who transgresses God’s bounds wrongs his own soul.” The Quran’s message on divorce could not be clearer than this.
Khan’s work is more of a transliteration than a literal translation which makes it extremely readable. Explaining the purpose of this compilation Khan’s writes, “The Quran is the word of God and it is the duty of believers to communicate the message of the Quran to all human beings so that they may the know reality of life.”
Simple and direct, the book reaches out to a large audience, Muslims as well as non Muslim. Its USP is its small size and light weight. Unlike bulky translations difficult to reach out for, this is one you can carry with you even while travelling. Another feature is a chronological table detailing all the important events in the Prophet’s life.
The Love Of Power And The Age For Love
By Khushwant Singh
January 09, 2010
It is not customary for non-Christians to exchange presents on Christmas. Hindus do it on Diwali, Muslims on Eid-ul-Fitr. Last Christmas, I was in for a pleasant surprise. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan sent me two of his latest publications through his daughter Fareeda: A New translation of The Quran (Goodword) and The Prophet of Peace: Teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (Penguin).
I have great respect for Wahiduddin as a scholar of Islam who interprets his faith for the modern generation and at the same time points out follies of Mullah-minded Muslims for ever pronouncing Fatwas on non-issues and calling for jihad against anyone they do not approve of. Among the many honours conferred on him was one by Virender Trehen’s Foundation for Amity and National Solidarity.
I have a few translations of the Quran in English including Pickthall’s and Amir Ali’s — the first recognised as lyrically the most readable, and the second, as the most accurate. I spent a few hours reading Wahiduddin’s renderings of my favourite passages, particularly the last short Suras which are in lyrical prose. All I can say is I found them more readable than any translations I had read earlier. I recommend it to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Al-Quran Mission: How You Can Get Involved Spreading the Word of God
Al-Quran Mission, launched by New Delhi-based Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, one of India’s best-known contemporary Islamic scholars, has been involved in setting-up Quran Distribution Centres around the world. The objective is to present the Quran to people so that they may understand Islam directly from its source and in a language that they can follow.
The English translation of the Quran by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is unique, in that its language is simple, contemporary and easily understandable. The translation comes in different formats, including with and without the Arabic text and the Maulana’s commentary, as well as a pocket-sized book. The printing and over all get-up are also very elegant.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has also translated the Quran into Hindi and Urdu.
By the grace of Allah, we now have Quran Distribution Centres in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, USA, South-East Asia and India.
How to set-up a Quran Distribution Centre
The translation of the Quran is available at Goodword Books, New Delhi, at a subsidised rate—between 25 and 30 rupees—in Hindi, English, and Urdu. A team of volunteers stocks copies. When an individual requests for a copy of the Quran by filling out the Free Quran Request Form on our website [http://www.cpsglobal.org/quran/free], we forward the request to the concerned team and then the team dispatches a free copy of the translation of the Quran to the person who requests for it.
For more details about how you could set up a Quran Distribution Centre or otherwise help in this Dawah initiative, click on http://www.cpsglobal.org/quran/distributor
Dawah: A Responsibility
Also, these teams of volunteers form small Dawah groups and visit tourist spots and participate in seminars and various interfaith forums where they distribute copies of the translation of the Quran as free spiritual gifts. These volunteers are people who understand dawah work, or conveying the message of Allah, as an obligatory duty.
Reading the Quran: Response
The response to Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s translation of the Quran has been phenomenal, with the Times of India stating that it is the most readable translation and the noted writer and columnist Khushwant Singh observing that non-Muslims and Muslims alike should read this translation.
Taking the Word to One and All
Many prominent institutions, like the Rustom Pasha Mosque and the Blue Mosque in Turkey, Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the Auquaf of Dubai, etc., also distribute the translation of the Maulana as part of their Dawah initiatives. With the help of Allah, millions of copies have already been distributed worldwide!
Those who wish to join the Mission and want to set-up a Quran Distribution Centre in their area can please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
May Allah guide us,
Al-Quran Mission Team
For more details about Al-Quran Mission, see www.alquranmission.org