The Qur'an

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Reading the Qur’an in English is challenging for most non-Muslims. Sentences sometimes do not flow, with the topics constantly jumping within a Sura (Chapter). There are a number of reasons for this. 

Firstly, many modern scholars understand the Arabic word “Qur’an” to mean “Recite”, with the origin of the word Qur’an from the neighbouring Syriac language, where the word was used for the memorising of liturgy. “We have revealed to you of this “recitation” (al-qurʾan)”(QS 12:3). Therefore the Qur’an’s origin was initially for oral use, which creates a different dynamic when being read.

Secondly, the Qur’an was intended to be in Arabic. In fact, the reason for its sending down was so that Arabic speakers could understand. We have sent it down an Arabic revelation, perhaps you will comprehend. 

(QS 12:1)

Thirdly, the Qur’an was revealed so it was easy to remember, arranging words in Rhyme. Therefore sometimes the order of names are reversed, with words being structured, so to enable the rhythm and rhyme, all for the purpose to enhance recitation. The Qur’an was not intended as a systematic story, but a text that could be easily memorized, and designed to call the region to repentance.

Finally, sometimes English translations will be translated with a bias. Often words are transliterated, importing the Arabic word into the English translation. For example: In one translation: The only true religion is surrender whilst the same verse in another translation reads The only true religion is Islam.

All of this are just some of numerous factors to remember when reading the Qur’an. One translation, amongst a growing number, that avoids transliteration is:

 

The Quran Monotheist Translation

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