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Saturday, 25 April 2009

Blogging the Qur'an

So I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon of blogging the Qur’ân, which a lot of folks have done and continue to do. I had ordered a specific ‘new’ translation of one version for fairly cheap from by a chap called Tarif Khalidi. He wrote a book called The Muslim Jesus, which collects sayings ascribed to and actions by Jesus as perceived in Islâmic history down the ages. His introduction repays careful reading and approaches the subject in a very objective and secular, yet respectful way.

And so I decided I would like to blog my reactions to the Qur’ân, note my thoughts on it, and suchlike as per this particular translation. It looks beautiful in hardback, by the way:

I have only started reading its introduction, and already it has impressed me with its detailed history of the context of the ‘revelations’, and the fact that Khalidi does point to certain problems with the traditional muslim narrative about the Qur’ân’s descent.

My favourite English translations of the Qur’ân come from Muhammad Abdel Haleem, which remains eminently readable, filled with detailed notes and discussions on the meaning of words, as well as a few corrections of misinterpreted words, and one by E. H. Palmer, which captures something of the fierce eloquence of the ‘Arabic original (though sometimes renders it incomprehensible).

I’ll see how I go with Khalidi’s version!

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