A Thematic English Translation
Why a New Translation of the Qurân is Needed
The first translation of the Qurân into English was done in 1649 by Alexander Ross. Since that first translation, many more attempts have been made to penetrate the work from an outside, academic point of view, but it wasn’t until 1905 that M. Abdul Hakim Khan became the first Muslim to translate the Qurân into English. It would be another thirty years after that, in 1934 that Yusuf Ali would produce one of the most widely circulated versions to date.
Aside from concerns about academia and orientalism, translating the Qurân can be an enormous task even for the sincere of heart. Arabic, as a Semitic language, does not easily move over into English, and total mastery of both languages is needed before any truly satisfactory translation can be put forward. It is for this reason that a new translation is necessary. The development of linguistics, current events, and the gradual drift of the English language puts us in an important time to move forward in Qurânic translations. It is not in spite of so many translations already existing, but because so many translations already exist that we must build on those older attempts and take a leap forward to produce a Qurân translation that is modern, clear, and better researched than any previous version.