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on 17 May 2017
Fantastic interpretation.
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on 4 July 2017
Books came in good time. I love the translation of this quran
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on 6 July 2006
This is the most beautiful but also the most intelligent translation of the Qur'an i have ever come across. First you have the Arabic text, then a transliteration to help you pronounce it correctly, then a translation into English with any extrapolations of Asad's clearly bracketed and finally a commentary.

Asad was clearly someone who saw Islam as progressive, universalist and open. He brings out the Light of the Qur'an, letting God's world illuminate our modern world as it illuminated the Prophet's. At the same time he engages with it. His Qur'an is a teacher not a paper idol. In fact he dedicates the book to "people who think"

Truly this is a gift of gifts.
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on 14 February 2006
If you want to UNDERSTAND the Quran and its intricities this is the book to get. The commentary is superb. Although there will always be disagreements as to what certain verses mean, Asad puts his point across very clearly. This is essential for muslims to own and would make perfect gifts to non-muslims. Highly recommended.
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on 14 June 2014
Every Surah has an introductional/preface chapter which summarizes the Surah and names it's basic topics. Furthermore the background of revelation of the Surah is briefly described. In the next part the Surah's are translated with footnotes which comment on specific words/translation possibilities etc.
Definitely highly recommandable.
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on 24 June 2009
The Qur'an suffers from the same translation problems as the Bible, only more so: impossibility of conveying beauty of original language, cultural differences between time and place of writing and reading, human limitations of translators. While the Bible is now typically translated by committees, the Qur'anic translations available in English are by individuals, often not native English speakers, coming from quite different Muslim populations in south Asia, Indonesia, Iran, Turkey, Arabia. All this just to remind you that, just as any serious Bible reader would look at multiple translations, so should anyone trying to give the Qur'an a fair chance in English. I wish a parallel Qur'an existed like the parallel Bibles you can buy!

Having expended a fair amount of time and money buying most of the translations and poring through them, I'd list four worth your consideration. (1) Start with a straight reading copy in straight English: M.A.S. Abdel Haleem. The English is natural, the text is single-column without the Arabic on the right. But there are no notes, and even if you understand the words, the sentences make little sense to a non-Arabic non-7th-century reader without some explanation.

The notes, though, are where opinion starts to creep in from the various Muslim viewpoints around the world. I ended up with three more options: (2) Abdullah Yusuf Ali. The main text itself is almost unintelligible, because he had a misguided notion of conveying the beauty of classical Arabic with a kind of ersatz King James Version scrambled by Indian English, and you probably don't even understand the KJV of the Bible as well as you think. In this edition, the copious notes offer sometimes the historical background, sometimes a deeper analysis of the original Arabic, sometimes a pious kind of "Life Application." They are pretty good in a non-scholarly way and as a non-Muslim thoughtful reader, if I had to stick with one set of notes I'd go with these.

But if you want to read as if had grown up in a normal Muslim background, that is, to know the traditional interpretations and views of major commentators contained in the hadith, add (3) Muhammad Muhsin Khan and Muhammed Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali. Their notes quote chapter and verse verbatim from the most historically important commentators, Tabari, Qurtubi, and Ibn Kathir. But this doesn't really work as your main translation. Though the text itself is a lot better than Abdullah Yusuf Ali's, it wanders through a maze of parentheses and untranslated Arabic words. And there are not enough notes: you don't get "this came up when Muhammed was asked about the inheritance of women,'' or "compare with surah x: y."

That brings you to (4) Muhammad Asad, an Austrian convert, born Leopold Weiss. His translation itself is about on a par with (3): it more or less works in English, but you may get distracted by all the parentheses and there is a little too much flowery language. His notes are at least as numerous as in (2), but Asad/Weiss naturally had a better idea about what might confuse the average non-Muslim reader. He offers a reasonable combination of the scholar's hadith and the layman's history plus moral application. Unfortunately, the hadith are not identified with the name of their authors, the opinions of Asad himself are frequently seen by the Muslim mainstream as non-standard (read: incorrect), and you can't tell the difference. You don't know whether what any given note says is just Asad's individual, controversial opinion, or a point of view most Muslims are at least familiar with. What's more, this is a huge book, like volume M of the Encylopedia Britannica. You're not going to be carrying it to class or reading it in bed. That said, it is the only one of the four that gives a transliteration of the Arabic so that the Muslim convert can read it aloud without knowing Arabic.

You probably don't want to spend all this time, money, and shelf space, so I'd say: read (1) the Abdel Haleem translation and with (2) Abdullah Yusuf Ali's notes to hand. And lobby the next smart Muslim you meet to give us a reasonable all-in-one Study Qur'an!
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on 5 January 2012
Mohammad Asad's Message of the Quran is a magnificent scholarly achievement of a prodigious intellect mirroring a grand love for Islam. It is an invaluable book for students (particularly Western) of Islam with its abundant detailed footnotes and deference to the interpretations of highly respected Islamic scholars.

Exquisitely presented in hard cover with beautiful calligraphy introducing each Surah. On each page is laid the original Arabic text with a transliteration of the Arabic and an English interpretaton that suits the contempoary reader. The footnotes and commentary are comprehensive and detailed opening up the text and spirit of Quran to the Western mind.

It is a work on the scale of Aquinas's Summa.
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on 1 April 2009
First of all, no translation is perfect or can represent the Arabic Quran.

But as far as translations go, this one is very good and perhaps one of the best in terms of applying logic, intelligence, and rational thinking. Asad provides a lot of explanatory notes which are often helpful.

The obvious downside with this copy is the book size! Far too big to be portable or handy, but other than that it is nicely done (has the Arabic as well as the transliteration alongside the English translation).

You can read Asad's translation online also.

All translations should be read in conjunction with using Quran Study tools, many available online, to verify a translation.
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on 13 April 2008
The Quran cannot be perfectly translated in my view. This is an excellent interpretation of the Quran and should be read alongside other interpretations. Only then will you begin to fully understand the beauty of the divine book.
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on 17 September 2011
I feel that Muhammad Asad's translation is beautifully done, but I feel a bit silly for having given my HUGE set of 6 volumes away and bought the Kindle version (saving space for a move abroad)... only to discover that very few books display Arabic text in Kindle at present! Thus I shall now have to enjoy it with a copy of the Qur'an to hand as well, rather than having the two side-by-side in the same book...
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