What English translation of the Qur'an and introduction do you recommend?
John asked about a good English translation of the Qur'an and a helpful introduction or commentary:
Can you recommend a good translation of the Qur'an and introduction?
“What English language translation of the Qur’an would Muslims considered the most reliable? Would that be the best version for a novice like me to read? What English language introduction to Islam and the Qur’an would you recommend? I would like to understand how to bridge from the Qur’an to the Bible. And an introduction that is not too simple.”
The easiest to come by is most probably Yusuf Ali which also contains the Arabic script but the translation is archaic.
AJ Arberry tries to give a sense of the rhyme and rhythm in English and is a sensitive translation (available on subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies online).
There is a Qur’an website on the Internet that contains several translations with which to compare whenever available quran.com.
Neal Robinson’s Discovering the Qur`an (2004) is a sympathetic introduction to the Qur’an by a non-Muslim while Muhammad Abdel Haleem’s Understanding the Qur`an: Themes and Style (2001) is a Muslim’s introduction to the Qur’an.
It will be difficult to find one source that both introduces Islam as well as bridging Qur’an to Bible.
I’ve always found P.K. Hitti’s History of the Arabs (10th repr. 1991) a comprehensive overview of Islamic history that has a scholarly take on Islam before relations were so extremely polarised as now.
Kenneth Cragg’s The Weight in the Word – Prophethood: Biblical and Quranic (1999) compares and contrasts Muhammad with biblical prophets and, broadly stated, shows how the Qur’an applies biblical ideas for its own purposes.
See how you get on with these for the moment – there is so much out there to choose from!
Do let me know how you get on and whether you can get hold of resources.
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