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In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

 

Study the Qur'aan in Qur'aanic light to understand Islam in its pristine simplicity, clarity, purity & beauty
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 

Introduction

In the Name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful


My fellow Citizens of this World!


"Mankind, indeed, is doomed, except for those ..."


If you do not wish to be counted among the doomed, Brothers/Sisters, please do not hasten to pass on, but do read on here!


Have you ever wondered what distinguishes Mankind from other species of living creatures? ....


If you would reflect a bit, you may observe that there has never been a change in the life style of a crow. It is as if this creature is programmed to do certain fixed things in its life cycle and then die. It is not capable of effecting, on its own, any changes or innovations in its lifestyle.


And this is true of every other living creature except ...


...except Mankind, of course! Mankind can create changes, innovations. For the exercise of this power, it is endowed with imagination and with freedom to choose, to an extent not granted to any other species.


With the exceptionally large dose of freedom endowed to it, Mankind is in the position, unique to it among known creatures, to choose a way among many open to it for the conduct of its lifestyle.


Every individual human being is thus called upon to exercise an option - to choose between the different ways. To enable the individual to exercise this option, he/she is equipped with the faculty of reasoning of an higher order. With this faculty, the individual distinguishes between good and bad and chooses what he/she considers to be the best.


Now the best of the ways is ingrained in every individual by the Creator of the entire Universe and of all things therein. It's another matter that the sophisticated individual is too proud to admit that there is such a Creator and euphemistically calls all creations as Nature.


So, if the individual honestly follows his/her own conscience, he/she is led to the best way. But there are forces around, which entice the individual away to the other paths. The individual, then, more often than not, so to say, brushes the pricks of conscience aside or shoves them under the carpet.


The Compassionate Creator, therefore, did not leave the human beings to fend for themselves in finding the Right Path. He had sent His Messengers, from time to time and to every locality, to guide their people to the Right Path. Several of those Messengers had come with divine books too.


Those Messengers had to be sent separately to the far-flung regions of the world, during the pre-historic age, because of the lack then of adequate means of communication. And because of the lack then of adequate means of mass production of written books, the divine books revealed during that age could not be preserved with original content intact.


With the advent of the historic age, the position changed. The all-knowing Creator then sent His last Messenger with the last Message to show to all peoples of the entire world the Right Path that ought to be followed by all of them till the Last Day.


The last divine Message, believe it or not, is the Message of the Qur'aan.


And, mind you, you can absolutely not do without the last divine message - the Qur'aan!


The partial quote with which I started this message, is from the Qur'aan. The complete quote is as under:


"Mankind, indeed, is doomed except for those who believe, and do righteous deeds, and admonish with the Truth and admonish with Patience." [103.2,3]


The Qur'aan has thus specified, in a nutshell, the Right Way to Salvation. The Qur'aan, at large, is the detailed explanation of the four essential things to do, to be on this Right Way.


All the other ways are certain to lead Mankind to doom, the Qur'aan says!


Won't you then take heed, my fellow Citizens of this world? As a fellow human being, I certainly wish you well. Hence, this earnest appeal!


Grab a good copy of the Qur'aan containing an authentic verse-by-verse translation in your own language, at the first opportunity please! Study a few verses at a time everyday. You may not get another opportunity to do so!


A word of warning though!


The translations cannot be exactly the same in meaning as the original. Despite the translators best intentions of being faithful to the original, it is inevitable that the translators personal prejudices, misunderstandings, doubts etc. may get reflected in the translations.


It is therefore advisable, for those who do not know Arabic, to refer to as many translations as possible, to get at the real meaning of the original divine text in Arabic.


And I would like to draw my readers' attention to one other thing about the existing translations/commentories of the Qur'aan!


The Qur'aan repeatedly asserts that all matters are variously explained in details in the Qur'aan itself so as to be easily understood by pious, God-fearing people. Despite this assertion, all the existing translations/commentaries rely heavily on the background, situation, circumststances and conditions of the period during which the Qur'aan was revealed, for interpreting the meaning of the Qur'aanic verses!


These commentators/translators seem to have forgotten one vital fact. And that fact is that the Qur'aan was not revealed only for the particular period of revelation - it was revealed to serve as a divine guide for all periods of time until the Last Day!


It would therefore be erronious on our part to view the Qur'aanic guidance with the eyes, ears, circumstances and conditions of the people living at the time of its revelation. For our own sake, let us believe in the above-referred repeated assertion in the Qur'aan and view the divine guidance therein with our own honest eyes, ears, circumstances and conditions. Let us thus liberate ourselves also from the restricted view imposed upon us by the existing translations/commentaries.


The Qur'aanic verses were, no doubt, based on the circumstances prevailing, and events occurring, at the time of their revelation. But what I wish to emphasise is this that the meanings of these divine verses are independent of those circumstances and events. The explanations of these verses ought to be sought in the Qur'aan itself, and not in any extraneous human accounts of those circumstances and events. Interpretations of divine verses cannot be held hostage to such human accounts!


There is thus a distinct need of translations which are based on explanations contained in the Qur'aan itself. It says, "And your Lord's Word was perfected in truth and justice. None can provide substitutes for His Words. And He is the Hearer and the Knower!" [6.115]


With this compelling need in view, I venture to attempt a fresh translation. I am painfully aware of my inadequacies, and humbly seek my Lord's help and guidance. I know, His help could also come in the form of suggestions and feedback from you, dear readers! I am already indebted to Sayeed Akhtar, my cyber-friend from Canada, for providing me with the technical knowhow and feedback during the initial construction of this site.


Your fellow Citizen,

Mohammad Shafi


 QUR'AANIC

STUDIES

 

by

Mohammad Shafi


Preface to Qur'aanic Studies

Below the Arabic text of every Verse of the Qur'aan, in this book, is its transliteration, followed by translation and Chapter Notes (my study notes), if any, essentially based on the Qur'aan itself. Please remember that the Arabic text is divine and, therefore, sacrosanct, but the transliteration, translation and the Notes are human and, therefore, subject to correction. Please also remember that the human-made Notes cannot, and do not, explain the divine Verses. They seek to explain the human translation only and/or to relate the Verse to present circumstances or to divine explanations given in other Verses of the Qur'aan.

I have adopted the transliteration method employed by the Muslim Students' Association (MSA) of the University of Southern California. And, in this regard, I may usefully quote from their site:

"MSA-USC would like to thank muslimnet.net for making their transliteration of the Qur'an publicly available.

'We would like to emphasize that this [transliteration] text is not a substitute for the original Arabic Qur'an. It is only an attempt to help those who are trying to learn to read the Arabic text, since it is as close to the written text as possible.

It is important to practice pronouncing the letters as directed in the transliteration table, especially the underlined letters, before starting to read. It will be helpful if an Arabic speaker can help you.

This work is free for use to everyone as long as no changes that might distort it are done to it. We request from those who benefit from it to pray for us. We pray to Almighty Allah to help you learn to read the Holy Qur'an, and to do every good thing.'"

I present this humble work in the earnest hope that it will prompt my Readers to try and understand the divine Message in its original Arabic text. They should remember that no translation however meticulously done can ever equal the original Arabic text in its divine grandeur and pristine clarity.


One may wonder why this yet another addition to the existing plethora of Translations and Commentaries! The answer to this question lies in the beauty of the fact that the divine Message of the Qur'aan remains valid for all times and ages since its revelation until the Last Day. The Message therefore needs to be studied from time to time in the changing perspectives of the changing times. It would be absolutely wrong to confine this universal Message for mankind to the circumstances and situations of a particular period in the past. Unfortunately, however, most of the commentators so far have based their understanding of the Qur'aan in the strict perspective of the circumstances and situations prevailing at the time of its revelation way back in 7th century A.D. The Muslim mindset generally has thus got stagnated and therefore unable to cope with the changing situations of the changing times. This humble attempt of mine is to help Muslims generally to come out, Allah willing, of that crippling stagnation.

Alhamdulillah, I have completed my Qur'aanic Studies and have uploaded the Studies in their various forms on this website. Please click 'files' page of this site to view, or to download the volumes to your own electronic devices. 
 
Mohammad Shafi

 
 

Subpages (1): Transliteration Table