The preface answers your question much more eloquently than I could. Here's a snippet:
The Author of the Qur?an is none but Almighty God. However, since the Book before the reader is an English rendition by an ordinary servant of God, Shabbir Ahmed, he is the author of the rendition.
The work before the reader, although close to a translation, is also an understanding from within the Qur?an itself. This Divine Writ calls itself AN-NUR (The Light) and light needs no extrinsic sources in order to shine. Therefore, I have based my presentation on two principles:
1 ? Focus on the Language in which the Qur'an was revealed.
2 - Make use of TASREEF (how the Qur'an repeats its messages / verses in various ways).
I have translated the terms and linguistics of the Qur?an in the Quraish dialect since it is the Arabic dialect in which the Qur'an was revealed to Muhammad bin Abdullah, the exalted Final Prophet, Messenger and Apostle of God. (570-632 C.E.)
The first ever commentaries of the Qur?an were written in the third and fourth centuries after the exalted Messenger, during the Abbasid Dynasty, when Zoroastrian influence held sway in Islamic politics, society and the Arabic writings. The commentators of the Qur'an, the historians, MUHADDITHIN (Tradition collectors) and FUQAHA (Jurists) overwhelmingly originated from among non-Arab Persians.
Late Allama Ahmad Amin Al-Masri sums up the end result in his excellent work FAJRIL ISLAM:
?Very surely, the reader will agree with me that the Persian literature gave an entirely alien complexion to the Arabic linguistics.?
Many celebrated thinkers and authors in the Islamic world have strongly agreed with the great Egyptian scholar Ahmad Amin on this score. We need not go into details since the point will make itself sufficiently clear when, shortly, we will cite some examples.
HOW WAS MANKIND ROBBED of the Creator's Final Revelation - the Revelation that He Himself defines, ?And this your Lord?s Grace is better than all that they may amass? (43:32)?
By 'robbing' I mean giving alien, erroneous and misleading meanings and concepts to the original matchless, powerful and glorious Qur'anic terms. Here is how it happened:
One - THE FIRST DILEMMA: With reference to the foregoing: While the language of the Qur?an remained untouched, its words and terms were made to lose their splendor that the plain Arabic conveyed. So much so, that the weak and erroneous concepts prevalent in the once Zoroastrian culture of Persia, and then given to the Qur?anic terms became ?MA'RUF? (well-known and accepted) even among the Arabs!
This staggering TRAGEDY explains why, how and where, even the ARABIC KNOWING PEOPLE FALL AND LOSE THEIR TOUCH WITH THE QUR'AN! The Qur'an describes this STAGGERING TRAGEDY most eloquently,
"And the Messenger will say: O my Lord! These are my people, the ones who disabled and made this Qur'an of no account." [(25:30). MAHJUR = They had immobilized it like villagers who bind a cow by tying her front foot to her horn]
This ill treatment of the Divine Message and filling the consequent void with conjecture is THE cause of their downfall, and that of the Muslims in general, on a Global scale.
Any nation that stays with or owns this Divine Writ in letter and spirit can make the world a paradise on earth. The early Islamic history is a great testimonial to this claim but we will explore this point a little further.