Qur'anic translations

Q558 :Which translation of the Qur'an do you recommend?


A558 : This is a very difficult question to answer. There are numerous translations of the Qur'an into English. None of them can be recommended without reservations. The one which has been widely used is that of Mr. Yousuf Ali. Its numerous footnotes are of help in understanding the meaning of the text. Dar El-Ifta has undertaken a project to publish it with some amendments and corrections. I am not sure whether this new version has been published yet. Its main drawback is that it is a little apologetic. The translation done by Mr. Pickthall is much too literal, which makes it a little difficult to read. On the other extreme, we find Mr. Dawood's very readable, but tends to give himself too much licence and, at times, he changes the order of the text rather arbitrarily. He has also rearranged the surahs in a highly arbitrary manner. Mr. Asad's translation is rendered in a very good style, but he follows a strictly rational explanation of the text of the Qur'an, which leads him, at times, to make gross errors. These are but a few examples which I have given to explain the difficulty I face in giving an answer to this question. If one has to use a single translation, perhaps Yousuf Ali's remains the safest. But the use of such translation should be only to have an initial idea of the meaning which should be supplemented by wider study.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )