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Al-Qur'an: A Contemporary Translation

Al-Qur'an: A Contemporary Translation

3.5 4
by Ahmed Ali

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ISBN-10: 0691074992

ISBN-13: 9780691074993

Pub. Date: 07/02/2001

Publisher: Princeton University Press

This bilingual edition of the Qur'an, the Holy Book of Islam, was first published in the United States in 1988. Ahmed Ali, the distinguished Pakistani novelist, poet, critic, and diplomat, presents this elegant and poetic translation in a contemporary and living voice. On each page, the original Arabic and the translated English sit side by side, encouraging


This bilingual edition of the Qur'an, the Holy Book of Islam, was first published in the United States in 1988. Ahmed Ali, the distinguished Pakistani novelist, poet, critic, and diplomat, presents this elegant and poetic translation in a contemporary and living voice. On each page, the original Arabic and the translated English sit side by side, encouraging the reader to draw from both texts. Professor Ali also includes notes where necessary, providing the full meaning of each word and phrase. This accessible volume is truly essential for both scholars and followers of Islam.

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Princeton University Press
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6.14(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.26(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 6
By Way of Preface 7
1 The Prologue 11
2. The Cow 12
3. The Family of Imran 51
4. The Women 73
5. The Feast 97
6. The Cattle 114
7. Wall Between Heaven and Hell 133
8. Spoils of War 54
9. Repentance 162
10. Jonah 177
11. Hud 188
12. Joseph 200
13. Thunder 211
14. Abraham 217
15. AI-Hijr 223
16. The Bees 228
17. The Children of Israel 240
18. The Cave 250
19. Mary 260
20. Ta Ha 266
21. The Prophets 275
22. The Pilgrimage 283
23. The True Believers 291
24. The Light 298
25. The Criterion 306
26. The Poets 312
27. An-Naml 321
28. The History 329
29. The Spider 337
30. The Romans 343
31. Luqman 348
32. As-Sajdah 352
33. The Allied Troops 355
34. Sheba 363
35. The Originator 368
36. Ya Sin 373
37. Who Stand Arrayed in Rows 378
38. Sad 385
39. The Small Groups 391
40. The Believer 399
41. Adoration 407
42. Consultation 412
43. Ornaments of Gold 418
44. Smoke 424
45. Kneeling 427
46. Al-Ahgaf 431
47. Muhammad 435
48. Victory 439
49. Apartments 443
50. Qaf 446
51. The Dispersing 449
52. The Mount 452
53. The Star 455
54. The Moon 458
55. Ar-Rahman 461
56. The Inevitable 465
57. Iron 469
58. The Disputant 473
59. Confrontation 476
60. The Woman Tried 479
61. Formations 482
62. The Congregation 484
63. The Hypocrites 486
64. Exposition 488
65. Divorce 490
66. Prohibition 492
67. The Kingdom 494
68. The Pen 497
69. The Concrete Reality 500
70. The Steps 502
71. Noah 504
72. Thejinns 506
73. The Enwrapped 508
74. The Enfolded 510
75. The Resurrection 512
76. Time 514
77. The Emissaries 516
78. The Announcement 518
79. Those Who Pull and Withdraw 520
80. He Made a Wry Face 522
81. The Folding up 524
82. The Splitting 526
83. The Defrauders 527
84. The Cleaving 529
85. Signs of the Zodiac 530
86. The Night Star 531
87. The Most High 532
88. The Overpowering 533
89. The Dawn 535
90. The Earth 537
91. The Sun 538
92. The Night 539
93. Early Hours of Morning 540
94. The Opening Up 541
95. The Fig 542
96. The Embryo 543
97. Determination 544
98. The Clear Proof 545
99. The Earthquake 546
100. The Chargers 547
101. The Calamity 548
102. Plenitude 549
103. Time and Age 550
104. The Slanderer 551
105. The Elephants 552
106. The Quraish 553
107. Things of Common Use 554
108. Pre-eminence 555
109. The Unbelievers 556
110. Help 557
111. Abu Lahab 558
112. Pure Faith 559
113. The Rising Day 560
114. Men 561
Index 563
Index of Names 571

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Al-Qur'an: A Contemporary Translation 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
AllahSWT More than 1 year ago
This Quran isn't translated accurately, for example Quran 8:7 [Your God used to inspire with the Words, Wipe all the infidels out to the last.] However a correct translation is "uproot the infidels", however, not all is lost, it is a smooth read through, and is a very good translation when it comes to Dawah (Islamic Propaganda Techiques). I would further recommend these transltions over this one. (Sunni's, this translation is a SHIA translation, just a note of pre-caution.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I compare this translation with others it seems to be very different. Even the verse numbers do not compare exactly. I was disappointed that it was sold to me as a good copy of the Quran.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ali's translation is yet another step in the long, continual process of making the Qur'an available in the form of the English language that is most widely current in our day. Except for the small bold type, which I wish were larger and in a wider column, I deeply enjoyed this translation, for it is so unlike most others in that it foregoes all the ornamentality of the language consistently found in virtually every English translation since the 17th century. Instead, through its clarity and modern English style, Ahmed Ali's text gives the reader an interpretation that is first and foremost readable, and thus enlightening. More often than not, when reading English translations of the Qur'an, one gets the sense of reading a foreign language translated literally, and thus sentences come across in English in strange contortions, leading the reader to scratch his head and reread the surah over and over in frustration. Meanwhile, in his introduction Ahmed Ali straightforwardly admits that he does not seek literal translation, but rather to translate the text's "meaning." Thus Ali does not lower, or "dumb-down" the text, but rather seeks readability. When it is evident that the text has suffered in the transmission to English, Ali includes notes with alternative words and meanings, seeking to explain the original Arabic, thereby informing the reader of alternative meanings. Ahmed Ali resisted the temptation to introduce terms and phrases that merely reflect current moods, and has tried to put the message of the Quran in simple, enduring words and elegant expressions that are worthy to stand in the great tradition of the original Arabic. I can only write this as an English reader, ignorant of the Arabic language. I will always defer to their greater understanding of this scripture, though given the many attempts to translate the Qur'an over the past 400 years, it shows just how difficult it is to render these scriptures in translation, especially English. Therefore, if you are English, I recommend reading this volume first for understanding, alongside Yusuf Ali's classic translation, which can be found at ISBN: 0940368323.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This translation of the Noble Qur'an is clear and readable and retains some of the poetic rhythm of the original Arabic. This translation is reader friendly yet still shows the different shades of meaning present in the Arabic text. Although some people criticize the translator because the translation is 'not literal enough,' it must be remembered that in a translation, showing what the text means should take precedence over showing what it says. If one were to make a truly 'literal' translation of the Noble Qur'an, no one would be able to understand it. Always keep in mind that all translations of the Noble Qur'an are flawed and that only through reading the original Arabic can we ascertain its true meaning.