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A Word for Word Meaning of the Qur’an
Translated by Dr. Muhammad Mohar Ali
Published by Jam’iat Ihyaa’ Minhaaj al-Sunnah JIMAS Ipswich, England.
This set places one or a couple of words of the ‘ayah in one line of a column and gives their meanings side by side in another column, taking care to see that the flow and intelligibility of the English meanings are not thereby lost. This method enables the reader to identify which English words or phrases represent the meaning of which words in the Arabic text. It has the additional advantage of keeping the meaning strictly to the wording of the text or importing in the meaning any word or expression that has no correspondence with anything in the text.
To further facilitate the understanding of the text, the meanings of almost all important words in the text have been given separately. To do this a number has been placed on the English word which represents the meaning of the particular word in the text and then the meanings of that word have been given under that number in another column by the side of the general meaning of the text. The numbering has been kept individual for each page. Also grammatical notes, particularly verb forms and verbal nouns, have been given as far as possible. As the words recur at different pages, so their meanings and grammatical notes also have been repeated, giving cross reference to at least one previous occurrence of the word, indicating the page on which and the number under which the word has been explained before. The aim has been to enable a non-Arab reader to understand the Qur’an as well as to improve his knowledge of Arabic, particularly the Qur’anic Arabic.
There are many translations existing and in circulation of the Holy Qur’an. Professor Ali does not claim any speciality of it. “I do not claim any specialty of it,” Professor Ali said and explained his objective of translation thus: “My work is different in this respect that I have tried to give a word to word meaning of the Qur’an. I must explain that a word-for-word meaning of the Qur’an does not have the sense of what is known as the literal translation of the Qur’an, because there is confusion about the term literal translation. I do not accept that view, that literal translation of the Qur’an is possible. What I have tried to do is to give the simple meaning of the Arabic words of the Qur’an.”
About his translation Professor Ali said, “The translation that I gave is continuous, the meaning is clear, the English is idiomatic, not broken, so that even if the Arabic text is not kept side by side, by reading the English only, the sense can be understood and sense can be found. That is why I have named it the Word-for-Word Meaning of the Qur’an.”
The English is understandable, intelligible as well as side-by-side. Another feature of the book is that the meaning of the word is given side by side.
The third feature of this translation is the cross-references. Professor Ali has given cross-references. He has given the word meaning side by side along with the general English meaning and within the Arabic grammar and also the verb forms, so that any person who does not know Arabic can get some help in learning Qur’anic Arabic and if any Englishman wants to know and understand the meaning of the Qur’an, he will have with him the text as well as the English meaning.
“There are so many talks going on now-a-days that there is no perfect English translation of the Qur’an. Of course, Qur’an cannot be translated into any language as such, but the meaning can be written and that is what I have attempted to do,” commented Professor Ali.
The fourth feature of the translation is a detailed analytical indexing. The book runs into three volumes, each volume is about 700 pages; the total pages of the book is 2096, out of which the index is more than 60 pages from 2036 to 2096 pages.
While explaining about the index, Professor Ali observed: “I have prepared the index as far as possible. I want to admit that it is very difficult, or perhaps impossible, to give an exhaustive complete index of the Holy Qur’an and in course of my doing this index, I found that even one Ayah has reference to so many topics and so many ideas. So many themes are concentrated in one Ayah that even sometimes I was puzzled under which heading or under how many headings I should enter one Ayah.”
Reference: Muslim World League
About the Author
Dr. Muhammad Mohar Ali (Father of Abu Muntasir, Ameer of Jimas (Jam’iat Ihyaa’Minhaaj al-Sunnah Ipswich, England), was born in Khulna in Bengal, he was a scholar of Seerah and Hadith who served as a lecturer of Islamic History at the Islamic Universities of Madinah and Riyadh for two decades before moving to England.
Shaykh Mohar Ali made several important contributions in the fields of Islamic history and the spread of Islam outside the Arab world. He was the first Bangladeshi to win the King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies.
His work provided an incisive new dimension to the way Muslims view contemporary issues and their historical contexts. In particular, he distinguished himself with his clear exposition of Orientalism and missionary activity, making Quranic Arabic more accessible to English speakers…