The Meaning of
QURANThe Eternal Book of Guidance
Translated into plain Englishby
Dr. Sahib Mustaqim Bleherwith a Brief Index of Subjects
IDCIIslamic Dawah Centre International
Copyright 2018 IDCI & Dr. S.M. Bleher. All rights reserved.
1st Edition printed 2018.
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Translated by Dr. Sahib Mustaqim Bleher
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.
Utmost care has been taken to produce this present print without any typographical errors. However, we do request readers to please inform us if any errors are found so that future reprints can be corrected.
Published by IDCIIslamic Dawah Centre InternationalTel: 0121 327 2277 | Web: www.idci.co.ukRegistered Charity No. 1092139
Typeset, cover design and Index compilation by Abdul-Majid ZameerPrinted by Avea Basim - Mega Print, Istanbul, Turkey
Translators preface 5Surah 1: al-Fatihah 9Surah 2: al-Baqarah 9Surah 3: Al Imran 31Surah 4: An-Nisa 45Surah 5: Al-Maidah 59Surah 6: Al-Anam 69Surah 7: Al-Araf 80Surah 8: Al-Anfal 93Surah 9: At-Taubah 98Surah 10: Yunus 108Surah 11: Hud 114Surah 12: Yusuf 122Surah 13: Ar-Rad 128Surah 14: Ibrahim 132Surah 15: Al-Hijr 135Surah 16: An-Nahl 138Surah 17: Al-Isra 145Surah 18: Al-Kahf 151Surah 19: Maryam 157Surah 20: Ta Ha 162Surah 21: Al-Anbiya 167Surah 22: Al-Hajj 172Surah 23: Al-Muminun 177Surah 24: An-Nur 182Surah 25: Al-Furqan 186Surah 26: Ash-Shuara 190Surah 27: An-Naml 197Surah 28: Al-Qasas 201Surah 29: Al-Ankabut 207Surah 30: Ar-Rum 211Surah 31: Luqman 214
Surah 32: As-Sajdah 216Surah 33: Al-Ahzab 217Surah 34: Saba 222Surah 35: Fatir 226Surah 36: Ya Sin 229Surah 37: As-Saffat 232Surah 38: Sad 237Surah 39: Az-Zumar 240Surah 40: Ghafir 245Surah 41: Fussilat 249Surah 42: Ash-Shura 252Surah 43: Az-Zukhruf 256Surah 44: Ad-Dukhan 259Surah 45: Al-Jathiyah 261Surah 46: Al-Ahqaf 263Surah 47: Muhammad 266Surah 48: Al-Fath 268Surah 49: Al-Hujurat 270Surah 50: Qaf 271Surah 51: Adh-Dhariyat 273Surah 52: At-Tur 275Surah 53: An-Najm 276Surah 54: Al-Qamar 278Surah 55: Ar-Rahman 280Surah 56: Al-Waqiah 282Surah 57: Al-Hadid 284Surah 58: Al-Mujadilah 287Surah 59: Al-Hashr 288Surah 60: Al-Mumtahinah 290Surah 61: As-Saff 292Surah 62: Al-Jumua 292Surah 63: Al-Munafiqun 293
Table of Contents
Surah 64: At-Taghabun 294Surah 65: At-Talaq 295Surah 66: At-Tahrim 296Surah 67: Al-Mulk 297Surah 68: Al-Qalam 299Surah 69: Al-Haqqah 300Surah 70: Al-Maarij 302Surah 71: Nuh 303Surah 72: Al-Jinn 304Surah 73: Al-Muzammil 305Surah 74: Al-Mudathir 306Surah 75: Al-Qiyamah 307Surah 76: Al-Insan 308Surah 77: Al-Mursalat 309Surah 78: An-Naba 310Surah 79: An-Naziat 311Surah 80: Abasa 313Surah 81: At-Takwir 313Surah 82: Al-Infitar 314Surah 83: Al-Mutaffifin 315Surah 84: Al-Inshiqaq 316Surah 85: Al-Buruj 316Surah 86: At-Tariq 317Surah 87: Al-Ala 317Surah 88: Al-Ghashiyah 318Surah 89: Al-Fajr 318Surah 90: Al-Balad 319Surah 91: Ash-Shams 320Surah 92: Al-Lail 320Surah 93: Ad-Duha 320Surah 94: Ash-Sharh 321Surah 95: At-Tin 321Surah 96: Al-Alaq 321
Surah 97: Al-Qadr 322Surah 98: Al-Bayyinah 322Surah 99: Al-Zalzalah 322Surah 100: Al-'Adiyat 323Surah 101: Al-Qariah 323Surah 102: At-Takathur 323Surah 103: Al-`Asr 323Surah 104: Al-Humazah 324Surah 105: Al-Fil 324Surah 106: Quraysh 324Surah 107: Al-Maun 324Surah 108: Al-Kauthar 324Surah 109: Al-Kafirun 324Surah 110: An-Nasr 325Surah 111: Al-Masad 325Surah 112: Al-Ikhlas 325Surah 113: Al-Falaq 325Surah 114: An-Nas 325Brief Index of Subjects 326
Why another attempt at translating the Quran? The Quran is a book of guidance, which can only be followed if properly understood. Language continually develops, and the language of yesterday can prove a barrier to understanding for the reader of today. Most translators have in the past tried to enhance the esteem of the Quran by choosing a distinguished, learned and complicated language. The result has been that the message was lost on the ordinary reader. Furthermore, translators have been at pain to achieve the greatest possible accuracy. This being a worth-while objective, even more so when dealing with the divine word, it very often destroyed the clarity of expression as a result by keeping the translation too literal. It is my belief that those who would like to explore the fine details of the Quranic text best do so by learning Arabic as it is entirely impossible to consistently mirror in another language the full richness and detail of the original.
In any case it is a fallacy that there should only be one authoritative translation into a given other language. Since a full understanding, and thus transferring, the complete content of the book of Allah is not given to any human, perfection being a prerogative of the divine, there must by necessity be several translations, some focusing on the meaning, some on the literary and poetic style, for example. Furnishing another translation does not imply that existing ones are inadequate, but simply that they are unsuitable for the intended purpose.
My attempt at translating the Quran is therefore not a scholarly exercise, but an effort to make these words of guidance and wisdom reach as large an audience as possible and enable them to act upon it by absorbing the meaning of the divine address and the images it contains in a language they can relate to as their own. The Quran states that it was revealed in clear (or plain) Arabic. For its meaning to be transferred to another language, in this case English, one must equally strive for the same clarity of expression which speaks directly to the soul without requiring the mind to engage in complicated decoding first.
An important condition for translating the Quran is that ones own interpretation does not overtake the wider meaning. Language is open to interpretation, and interpretations differ in accordance with time and culture. For that reason, the Quran cannot be correctly implemented without reference to the life example of the prophet Muhammad, peace be with him, who not only transmitted the Quran but also demonstrated its practicability and viability. To include this dimension, classical writings on Tafsir (Quranic exegesis), predominantly amongst them the very detailed work of Al-Qurtubi, were extensively consulted when preparing this translation.
Yet, one must also avoid the mistake of making the translation of the Quran itself into a commentary by substituting words in order to force their interpretation. The Quran speaks for itself, and as far as possible the words and phrases chosen by the Creator should remain unchanged. Adaptations are, however, required where a literal
translation of the Arabic sentence would violate the syntax of the English and thus sound outlandish.
To illustrate the approach described above I would like to give a few examples of the choices made when completing the translation.
As for clarity of expression being achieved by not adhering unnecessarily closely to the word sequence in the original, the phrase did you not see the water which you drink is appropriately rendered as take a look at your drinking water. Likewise, the single letter word wa, meaning and, is often used in the same way as a comma in English and when it occurs in a list, the repetitive insertion of and will make the sentence difficult to follow.
Another example is prepositions which differ between languages, and to use the same preposition just to stay close to the original actually distorts it. Previous English translations of the Quran describe the gardens of paradise underneath which rivers flow, conjuring the image of some kind of sewage system. The Arabic word below is used in connection with rivers because the river bed is below the earth surface, but in English rivers flow through the land, since different cultures have different concepts of space and time. Thus in English children, for example, play in the street, which does not mean the inside of it but the inside of the space between buildings which is defined by the street. In German, on the other hand, they play on the street, the street here being defined as the actual road surface. Likewise, when we are told in the Quran to travel in the earth, we use on the earth in English.
Another difficulty when translating between languages belonging to distant geographical environments is that it is not always possible to use the same equivalent of a word throughout. On the one hand, Arabic has a multitude of names for an object, for example a camel, for which English only has one or two. On the other hand, the reverse is also often the case, and the same Arabic word needs to be represented by a different English word dependent on context. A kafir is, for example, both the one who rejects the truth and the one who rejects the blessings he received. In the latter case he needs to be described as ungrateful. So in the Quranic statement if you were to count the blessings of Allah you could not enumerate them - man is unjust and ungrateful it would be wrong to use disbelieving instead.
I have avoided the word disbelief and used rejection instead, because the concept is of somebody who rejects the truth after having been exposed to it. As for abd, literally a slave, I have used servant, although man is not just in the service of Allah but also owned by Him. I have made this choice not only because of the tarnished image of slavery but because it allows to retain the correlation between the noun and the verb, so Allahs servant is somebody who serves Him, rather than