A. Shankar’s Nickname: wrapped_one
Location: NSW Australia
In My Own Words:I am a pre-med student who has a very grim future ahead of him
The Message of the Qur’an by Muhammad Asad:
I find Asad’s interpretation to be the most bona-fide and coherent, it is scrupulously referenced so he does not give his opinion rather quotes some of the greatest scholars after the manifestation of the Quran such as Zamakshari, Ibn Kathir as well as Qurtubi to name a few.
Asad’s translation is the best, undoutedly this version supercedes all others. I have read this particular version and as I know there are various in circulation (esp with Yusuf Ali) I suggest you get this version.
If you are interested in the Quran, or anyone for that matter even one who understands proper Arabic I still suggest you get this book. It is a key in understanding the Quran. Regardless of whether you know or are oblivious to the Arabic tongue. THe Quran is a legacy of humanity. Regardless of whether you are a Muslim or not it has impacted on Human thought and has changed social norms as we once knew it.
It is a piece of history and very much an inlay in the fabric of humanity. The final text of the semetic religions which is said to be the synergy of all that preceeded it.
I have personally read various scriptures and I find that the Quran has its valid standing. People often claim it is a copy of the Torah/Tanakh or the Bible however I feel although that it has inherent qualities from the preceeding scriptures it does have a nature and spirit of its own. Regardless of how others see it or portray it, it is your own opinion that should matter to you. So instead of finding and agreeing to the opinions of others of whether or not it is a valid scripture or a militant propaganda I suggest that you, yourselves have a read and read that which does infact reflect the authentic creed.
I personally found this scripture to be inspiring, to increase the level of human consciousness inside of me and finally understand that the Quran is a source of divine inspiration as opposed to a tool of destruction (as I, prior to reading it so percieved).
My perception has changed, and I carried a study of the Quran as I did with the Bhagawad Gita. Both these books are beautiful in their composition and their message. I would strongly recommend any individual to give this book a read.
Love and Regards,
a little voice.
The spirit of the Quran…, January 15, 2002
By A. Ort “aorto” (Youngstown, Ohio) (REAL NAME)
This review is from: The Message of the Quran (Vol 1) (Hardcover)
…from a western point of view. I was astounded upon reading this translation. I continue to revisit. Rather than doing a literal translation as many author translators do (Pickthall, Ali, etc.), Asad seeks the true ‘spirit’ of the Quran. This is not to say he strays from the letter (at least not that I am aware of) but to say that he wants the deeper and truer meaning of the words to come through.
It is said that there are seven layers of meaning to every verse of the Quran. Asad is seeking this depth in his translation.
The extensive commentaries are remarkable and the insight he provides as a scholar on some of the verses do differ quite a bit from the more ‘common’ understandings but I firmly believe they are more in the ‘spirit’ of Islam and less influenced from the outside than many translations and subsequent commentaries such as Ali’s.
While Pickthall and Ali are quite literal in their interpretation, by remaining so close to the text, something is often missed. And unless one knows Arabic and is familiar with how the various verses, as a whole, are understood in the light of the Sunnah of the Prophet, the Quran, in English, can be a challenging text, especially from a Western point of view.
Asad’s translation bridges this gap quite well and continued to leave me baffled as the Islam I thought I had come to know appeared much brighter in his translation
A wonderful translation for non-Muslims and Muslims alike, June 14, 2003
By Sinan (Westborough, MA United States) –
This review is from: Message of the Quran (Paperback)
I have read the translations by Yusuf Ali, Arberry, and Dawood. Muhammad Asad’s translation and interpretations stands above all. It is the Quran translation I reccomend to non-Muslims to get a true (in my view) understanding of Islam.
I am an American born Muslim (Pakistani descent). I have been raised here, and schooled here, and so have a western perspective of events and history. What I like about Asad’s translation is that it is written by a “westerner,” who was formerly a Viennese Jew. As such, he carries the gestalt of the West (rationalism, the Enlightenment, evolution, etc.).
In contrast, Yusuf Ali, carries a certain cultural baggage derived from his experiences in India. The effects of British colonialism probably colored his world view, and my recollection (I read his translation many years ago) is that this coloring displays itself in his translation. I guess I would characterize his translation and commentary consistent with liberation theology-which is fine, but is of a certain view that many in the West may not identify.
Asad’s translation and commentary, on the other hand, incorporates many of our modern understandings of the world into his explanation. So for example, evolution is considered a natural process operating as part of the ordered universe just as the laws of gravity, electricity, etc. These are the signs of God that Muslims are required to believe. Many Muslims, who are not from the West, cannot reconcile modern understandings of science with faith. Just like the fundamentalist Christian community, they cannot integrate evolution (and its theological ramifications) into their faith (as a corollary, it is worthy to note that many scientists-call them darwinian fundamentalist- cannot integrate religion into science). In Islam, there is no separation between science and religion. All of your actions in physical reality are part of your Islam, and an expression of your religious faith. Obtaining knowledge through science is also part of your submission to God’s will-your Islam. Asad’s interpretation repeatedly affirms this.
Asad’s explanations and commentary are illuminating. He explains phenomenon, like miracles, in a way that don’t require the reader to suspend his belief in the normal physical laws of daily experience. You are not required to believe in phenomenon that run contrary to objective experience. For example, in the Bible, Jesus is said to have healed the blind and raised the dead to the living. Ordinary experience tells us that physically these things are impossible, but you are required to have faith that these suspended laws of physical reality actually occurred. Asad’s explanation is that in Islam, people who are closed to the God’s spiritual message as relayed through the prophets, are blind to the obvious truth of God. They are spiritually dead. Jesus’s miracle, was to pass his grace onto his followers, and make those whose hearts were hardened against God (blind and spiritually dead), to see the truth and to become spiritually alive. I find this explanation much more satisfactory than having to believe in a miracle. The explanation is far more simple and straightforward.
I highly recommend reading the Asad translation in conjunction with William Chittick’s book Visions of Islam, and the Self-Disclosure of God, to really appreciate the sublime spirituality inhering to Islam. To my mind, it bestows on the reader how your conduct today carries with it spiritual and metaphysical dimensions.
In this post 9/11 world, where every “expert” on Islam opines on the violent nature of Islam as revealed through Quran, Asad’s translation dispels these absurdities. Extremists in the Islamic world and the Western world would do well to read this, as well. For all reasonable people seeking to truly understand what Islam is about, read Asad’s translation over any other.