Author Topic: Best Translations of Qur'an  (Read 19928 times)

newform

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Posts: 175
  • Karma +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Best Translations of Qur'an
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2012, 06:17:01 PM »
I came to be convinced of Quran's miraculous structure with Reformist Translation, like the Authorized English version it is accurate yet nice to read as it employs modern English, however both translations are heavy on the footnote side and even though I m convinced of RKs messengership and the 19 structure, some of the calculations in several footnotes to be arbitrary or weak in support with the math used and wished he didn't include them.
MAS Haleem's translation is very minimal in footnotes and brackets and appears very accurate. The paperback is a nice travel size. and of course the monotheist group translation is nice with having no footnotes and brackets yet still provides accuracy and resembles AEV and Reformist Translation in the words chosen.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11.

Lena

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Posts: 282
  • Karma +0/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Best Translations of Qur'an
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2012, 07:00:19 AM »

Did you try the Qur'an hosted on this site ? I guess you are looking for a neat translation that displays transliteration along with the translations itself. Try this website : http://www.quranix.net/ . That site should let you see many many translations along with transliteration. You also have to option to not view any particular translation, so simply pick the one you like along with transliteration. :) I hope that helps.

Peace
------------ Student of Allah


 :)   Thanks Student of Allah for the  very helpful website reference.

StopS

  • Truth Seeker
  • ***
  • Posts: 700
  • Karma +0/-0
Re: Best Translations of Qur'an
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2012, 09:31:06 AM »
As I don't speak ancient Arabic I am someone who relies completely on translations. The problem is that due to the nature of Arabic, many different variations are possible and some are straight interpretations as diacritical marks were added only very late in the game, so words like "they defeated" and "the defeated" are impossible to distinguish without markings.

30:2  The Byzantines have been defeated 
غُلِبَتِ الرُّومُ
غُ = Defeated
غَ = Victorious

Then we have weird structures, such as 4:3, which is translated by Khalifa as:
If you deem it best for the orphans, you may marry their mothers - you may marry two, three, or four.

Wiki's definition:
An orphan is a child permanently bereaved of or abandoned by his or her parents. In common usage, only a child who has lost both parents is called an orphan. When referring to animals, only the mother's condition is usually relevant.

So how can anyone marry an orphan's mother when parents don't exist?

Looking at the translation by Shakir, he thinks it means:
And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four;

He bypasses the problem with the orphans and sticks to the Koran literally in 2nd half, where he says "two and three and four", unlike Khalifa who changes the words to mean: "two, three, or four".
As anyone who has studied ancient Arabic will confirm, the Koran says وَمِن بَعْدُ وَيَوْمَئِذٍ
which is "and", not "or". So literally it's 2s and 3s and 4s.

So we see that different translations have a personal flavour, which makes the sites with multiple translations better.

Personally, I use http://islam.thetruecall.com with multiple options and http://www.islamawakened.com/Quran/4/3/default.htm which consists of 42 different translations. A searchable version is here: http://www.searchtruth.com


Wakas

  • Administrator
  • Wise One / Burnout
  • *****
  • Posts: 11232
  • Karma +14/-2
  • Gender: Male
Re: Best Translations of Qur'an
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2012, 01:36:38 PM »
So how can anyone marry an orphan's mother when parents don't exist?

Are you aware that in classical Arabic yatim/orphan can and does mean fatherless?


And if you are actually interested in some background reading, I recommend:
http://misconceptions-about-islam.com/muhammad-married-young-girl.htm
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

StopS

  • Truth Seeker
  • ***
  • Posts: 700
  • Karma +0/-0
Re: Best Translations of Qur'an
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2012, 04:42:06 PM »
Are you aware that in classical Arabic yatim/orphan can and does mean fatherless?

No, I am not. Does it make it better in any way? No!

Quote
And if you are actually interested in some background reading, I recommend:
http://misconceptions-about-islam.com/muhammad-married-young-girl.htm

This I know and find it utterly dishonest and tasteless.

Wakas

  • Administrator
  • Wise One / Burnout
  • *****
  • Posts: 11232
  • Karma +14/-2
  • Gender: Male
Re: Best Translations of Qur'an
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2012, 03:12:21 AM »
Quote from: StopS
Does it make it better in any way? No!

Actually, having accurate information is often helpful. If you think otherwise, up to you.


"Utterly dishonest and tasteless"....... but no evidenced-rebuttal? Typical StopS.  ;D
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

someoneoutthere

  • Beginner/Inquirer
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Karma +0/-0
Re: Best Translations of Qur'an
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2012, 12:53:24 PM »
This I know and find it utterly dishonest and tasteless.
"To conclude, it is proven beyond doubt by The Quran that one must be physically mature and be of sound judgement in order to get married."
What is dishonest and tasteless about it?

StopS, I am a fairly new member here but I have seen many of your posts. If there's anything remarkable about this forum it's the level of tolerance members have. This is coming from a background of posting on Sunni forums where I'd get "warnings" for respectfully expressing disagreement. Of course free-minds would not be what it is without debate, so your presence is valuable but I can't help but wonder: You do not affiliate with any religion thus do not care for "converting" us. If I recall correctly, you live in a Muslim majority country but your purpose cannot be to understand the faith as believed and practiced by whom you're surrounded with as most here are non-mainstream. You are not looking for personal enrichment based on (what I deem) the large amounts of dissent asserted by you.
Not to sound rude, but what are you here for? This is not an invitation to leave at all , but I'm genuinely curious.
Sorry if I sounded offensive


Also, Yusuf Ali is the best physical translation I can get my hands on.

StopS

  • Truth Seeker
  • ***
  • Posts: 700
  • Karma +0/-0
Re: Best Translations of Qur'an
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2012, 02:02:31 PM »
"To conclude, it is proven beyond doubt by The Quran that one must be physically mature and be of sound judgement in order to get married."
What is dishonest and tasteless about it?

StopS, I am a fairly new member here but I have seen many of your posts. If there's anything remarkable about this forum it's the level of tolerance members have. This is coming from a background of posting on Sunni forums where I'd get "warnings" for respectfully expressing disagreement. Of course free-minds would not be what it is without debate, so your presence is valuable but I can't help but wonder: You do not affiliate with any religion thus do not care for "converting" us. If I recall correctly, you live in a Muslim majority country but your purpose cannot be to understand the faith as believed and practiced by whom you're surrounded with as most here are non-mainstream. You are not looking for personal enrichment based on (what I deem) the large amounts of dissent asserted by you.
Not to sound rude, but what are you here for? This is not an invitation to leave at all , but I'm genuinely curious.
Sorry if I sounded offensive

Also, Yusuf Ali is the best physical translation I can get my hands on.

It is remarkable how many times I need to justify my existence. If I think back and try and remember what I have written, I have the impression that most of the time I have come across supportive and informative attitudes here. I have asked, received an answer, verified, got corrected and have learned. At other times I was given information which in my eyes was wrong. It is true that I then voice my dissatisfaction instead of just leaving it and moving on. So I am doing 2 things:
1. learning what kind of different approaches Muslims have towards their religion
2. testing my own knowledge and interpretation against that of people here who have had a lot more exposure to the Koran than me

Yes, I react quite emotionally if I get treated with the condescending attitude displayed so often. Yes, I understand that Muslims have a built in inferiority complex when it comes to Islam being criticised. Yes, I could be less confrontational and politically correct, but that does not help either party in the long run. Because I challenge someone if I find something which I find erroneous, some people think I like arguing and dissonance, while the opposite is true. I actually find the approach of Free-Minds the most straight, uncompromising and honest of all groups I have come across. I have rarely used the hadith and have usually argued only the Koran. Because I am still inexperienced in this view I have made mistakes and have admitted those - I hope.

In this case, I immediately want to scream at people, when I read sentences like: "it is proven beyond doubt" when it comes to the Koran. There is precious little which can be proven beyond a doubt and especially when it comes to the Koran, where vague semantics are used allowing for multiple interpretations. This leads to multiple translations, which vary depending on what the author perceives as context. I don't think I need to go into the construction of the Koran and the Arabic language, where meanings are arbitrary at times. In English it's difficult enough, where one comma can make a huge difference to the contents
?   Woman, without her, man is lost.
?   Woman, without her man, is lost.

and in Arabic this becomes a nightmare when words like defeated and defeat vary only in a tiny diacritical mark.

The topic of an ageing man marrying a young girl is prevalent in practised Islam. Whether rightly or not is a different question. The essay Wakas is referring to uses the typical re-interpretation route, declaring all scholars for the last 1000 years who have come to different conclusions as being wrong. I have seen this done so many times and find it dishonest. The essay leaves out sentences such as the one in 65:4, which says that when a women gets divorced there is a waiting period before re-marrying "and that also applies to those who have not yet menstruated". This makes me doubt that it is indeed clearly and irrefutable decreed that a girl must be physically mature and of sound judgement in order to get married.

I find the entire topic distasteful because I maintain that I should face the music and not try and retrospectively change meanings around. Which is why I would have a lot more respect if the article would have said something about cultural evolution and left it at that. I hope I have been successful in explaining my opinion.

As for the Yusuf Ali translation: I find it relatively weak because it interprets too much. A huge amount is in brackets, ie words don't exist and he just writes what he thinks it should mean, instead of leaving the interpreting to the reader. On the other hand he is the only one I know of who only mentions Muhammad 4 times and without any further attempt of idolising him.

As I have stated elsewhere: the best would be to have the wishes and instructions hard-wired into our brains, just like a smile, which everyone understands regardless of race or belief, instead of having to rely on translations.


Wakas

  • Administrator
  • Wise One / Burnout
  • *****
  • Posts: 11232
  • Karma +14/-2
  • Gender: Male
Re: Best Translations of Qur'an
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2012, 03:55:41 PM »
StopS:

The essay Wakas is referring to uses the typical re-interpretation route, declaring all scholars for the last 1000 years who have come to different conclusions as being wrong.

All scholars eh? I have not researched this topic but I know even in Traditional sources there is variance on this subject, e.g. in the orphans and marriageable age verses they say one thing, then in other places say another. And I know Parwez came to the same conclusion I did.

But in any case, do you realise what you said is a logical fallacy known as "appeal to authority/popularity"? It amuses me how you seemingly promote logic/evidence except when it goes against your own view.

Further, feel free to bring evidence to refute what the article states. If the best evidence you have is 65:4 then you should know it has been discussed on this forum before, in detail.

Re-quote of article:

Since the orphans can only receive their wealth once "shudud", and from 4:6 we know they become eligible for it after having reached marriageable age, this can only mean marriageable age begins from adolescence onwards. There is no other possibility.

Please provide another possibility to the above.  ;D
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

someoneoutthere

  • Beginner/Inquirer
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Karma +0/-0
Re: Best Translations of Qur'an
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2012, 05:36:24 PM »
It is remarkable how many times I need to justify my existence.
It's not remarkable at all. I've been on a few Christian and Sunni forums to learn and provide feedback that has been met with visceral hostility requiring me to justify myself. It is human nature: when one penetrates a religious sphere, those from within will question one's motives. Not saying it's reasonable, but to be expected.

*Just to clear this up, I'm not asking for justification. Who am I to do that? I'm not important at all; you and anybody else has a right to say whatever they will. But it was puzzling to me that someone would keep contributing despite a clear frustration.

Many members here have gotten dissatisfied of certain things in previous communities, and even argued up to a certain point but things let up after a while.

You say you are here to learn about Islam and its adherents: how they believe and practice it differently, yes? But to challenge them as well I suspect. No one here has more exposure to the Qur'an than anyone else. Some people have more understanding, but not more exposure, and its only because they have immersed themselves in its study, which you can do too. The reality is it is your interpretation vs. another interpretation. You are not an unlearned non-Muslim asking for clarification. You have come to conclusions that differ from the majority on here. If the majority disagree, it is does not threaten the moral caliber of the Qur'an. However, your judgments do. You are not incorrect per se, but the framework of your mind is not of a typical muslim (obviously). There is a huge disparity and I cannot explain it easily. If the Qur'an does not on some level resonate with you the moment you read it, never will your interpretation parallel ours.

For example:
..."and that also applies to those who have not yet menstruated". This makes me doubt that it is indeed clearly and irrefutable decreed that a girl must be physically mature and of sound judgement in order to get married.
The verse makes you doubt the maturity threshold of a bride in accordance to the Qur'an. What I see is preventative measures a woman must take so that her potential child knows who his or her father is. Of course no dna testing back in the days...
Let's say marrying children was allowed, it makes absolutely no sense to me why would there be a clause specifically to confirm that female children should wait too? Explanation is not proof, but it damn well makes sense to me.

If you hope that muslims admit that there is no "irrefutable" proof in the Book, well, you have my admittance. But the explanation that is sensible and plausible to me is not yours. When you read the Qur'an or its translation, you see arbitrary symbols that can hold a multitude of meanings that may even be in direct opposition. When I read the Qur'an, the Truth and Message is clear as day. It just *hits* me, I don't work for a meaning.
I thought describing the article as dishonest and tasteless was a tad sensationalist, but I can see now that someone like yourself, who's heartstrings are not wrapped into it, may find its writing style too shoddy. It's not a peer-reviewed journal, but I like it and is satisfactory.
This is not just a message to you, but to all people who interpret the Qur'an every which way; wanting to spread the seed of doubt and criticize those who are impervious to it. I'm sorry if it sounds harsh; I respect your straightforwardness and political incorrectness therefore with the same vigor I respond back.

Concerning my comment on the Yusuf Ali trans. , that was a reply to the topic. There are no better translation at my local mosque. Really. They are filled to the brim with brackets. Yusuf Ali is the best *physical copy I have. I like to read out of books. Also why I refuse to buy a kindle.

But in any case, do you realise what you said is a logical fallacy known as "appeal to authority/popularity"?
I concur. I hate these scholars looming over us, in the shadows, wherever we go they appear. Scholars, scholars, scholars...