Quran: a Reformist Translation

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Sample Comments and Discussions on the
Reformist Translation of the Quran

Predictably, reactions to the Reformist Translation has been controversial; from very positive to very negative. The QRT so far helped many Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, Jews and agnostics to embrace islam, that is peacemaking and submitting to God alone in peace. It also sparked passionate discussions in many other Internet forums and groups. Several interesting reviews were also published. A selection from those discussions and reviews will soon be published within the Rainbow Articles series. Below are a few samples from those emails and discussions:

THANK YOU, DEAR GOD THANK YOU, I’m coming back because of your work. Edip, your work has freed me from year of condemnation, cruelty and misinterpretation of islam by my ex husband. Your work has freed me from the pain I’ve carried for so long and gave me back basic self esteen that was mine from God but was slowly erroded by mysogyni. Your work gave me the wings i had lost. Again thank you. ~ Martina D.

Your translation is febolous. Dear Mr. Yuksel, I purchased a copy of your translation of the Qur’an a few months ago. I will admit that at first I approached it a bit warily. But now, I wish I had one in a pocket-size volume so I could use it in a similar way to how Christians use their Bibles.not to pound people over the head with the content and try to convert them, but to show them that there are many misconceptions about what the text says and means. I get at least one comment or question every day that shows me how many people have NO clue what the Qur’an really says or means in places, even Muslims who can recite it in Arabic from Opening to end. As you point out, many Muslims have no clue that there could be a different legitimate meaning to what they read. Many non-Muslims have picked up older translations, such as Mevlana Ali’s translation, looked for the only bits and pieces they know about (through the popular press), and confirm in their minds that Islam is a backward, woman-hating, war-mongering religion. The Reformist Translation is an excellent tool in defusing that position in that it clearly shows that many passages have been misunderstood, and that the true meaning is something much more compassionate and sensible. It helps to affirm the concept that “There is a reason the Qur’an begins with “In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”.” Your translation is a brilliant breath of fresh air, and I am greatful for it. I like that you show not only how a section of the text can be translated, but the REASONING behind it. This is the key to the reader being able to see that there are legitimate “alternative” translations to what we’ve been given up to now, rather than just once again blindly accept another point of view to replace the one they’re coming from. Blessings. ~ Cait Ramshaw, Ft. Pierce, Florida, USA

A refreshing and insightful new translation of the Qur’an. The most cogent advice I received when I started reading the Qur’an (several translations/transliterations ago) was to understand and absorb it as a whole, all-at-once message and not through extracted excerpts. Reality is not linear but the written word is necessarily so. Truth-seeking is likewise a somewhat linear experience, if it has been a life-long effort for the individual.

I suggest that the most integrated understanding of the Qur’an can only be realized by synthesizing the full message in one’s heart, as a single experience. With this in mind, this Reformist Version does an unusually fine job in clarifying  those elements (such as gender imbalance) which have been perceived as dissonant within the whole message in the “standard” translations. This version, which is not revisionistic, presents an integrated consistency not found in those translations and it elucidates issues not commonly grasped by modern readers (in any language). Those with an open mind and heart, who only understand modern Arabic and not the dialect in which it was originally revealed, have the opportunity to experience comfort and inner peace by absorbing this clean, Reformist translation. With this in mind, this version can only be judged following a thoughtful read of the entire volume.

In addition, additional analyses within the commentaries, shed the light of new understandings, which can be a relief for many open-minded, humble readers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. This work also offers the possibility of beginning to open the door to the resolution of the conflicts, among the Abrahamic religions, including among the Islamic peoples, so common over past centuries. This can only work through peaceful, thoughtful contemplation and discussion among those with varying views and sincere hearts. To my understanding, there is a consensus within the broad, thoughtful Islamic community, that on the “final day,” we are all alone before our Creator, taking personal responsibility for our life. If there are errors within the translation or my understandings, they are owned by whoever created the errors. This important new English version is a well-intended effort and a positive contribution to the ancient and honorable Islamic principle of ijtihad. For those who disagree, at the deepest levels within their “hearts,” they should remember that there really can be “no compulsion in religion.” ~ Jeffrey Garrison “Earthyman”, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

Earth-breaking! Truly outstanding approach to understanding Quran. An intellectual revolution, yet called a reform. RTQ brings students of Quran to a whole new level of research complexity, taking it away from medievalist methodology, connecting with modern advances in sciences, thus bridging the artificial gap between West and East. ~ Daniyar Shekebaev, Moscow, Russian Federation.

A Searching Christian. I am a Christian and I have a great affinity for Islam, and especially al Quran. Islam has captivated me for the better part of 20 years. During that time I have studied many different translations of al Quran, but your translation is the greatest that I have read. My walk with our Creator has been intense. As such, I know that God has been with me throughout my triumphs and my challenges. I would not be able to manage otherwise. God has numbered our hairs and our breaths; God is intimately involved in sustaining our lives. To not give our Creator the Glory and remembrance that he deserves is a crime. I have been graced by our Creator…I know that he carries me through the day.

And so, in a sense, I consider myself a muslim. Yes, I am well aware of the issues that separate our religions, however there is much that binds us. One of the things that I have wrestled with in Islam is the whole Jesus (pbuh) disagreement. I understand the logical argument of Islam for considering Jesus (pbuh) a Prophet. I solidly cannot wrap my head around the rejection of Jesus’ divinity. Christians tend to say it is a matter of faith, and Muslims tend to claim that Christian scriptures are not accurate. This is not a basis for coming to a common ground. One thing is for sure, we all believe in One God. I often point out to my Muslim friends that Allah has 99 names, and infinite qualities. The Creator in Christianity revealed only three distinct qualities. This argument does not take any traction though… God be with you Edip. Peace. ~ Thomas Lane

God Bless You Edip. I thank you for the work; you are doing in bringing and supporting much needed reform. I took shahada years ago in a Sunni mosque and immediately afterward they started telling me that I could not wear gold or wear silk and a ton of other rules that bogged me down. I did not go back to the mosque after that. That seed of pure monotheism that drew me to Islam became covered up and I could no longer appreciate the Quran because I was brainwashed that to reject their brand of Islam I was rejecting the Quran. But then I came across an article by you online. Then ordered the translation of the Quran you worked on. It is beautiful. As I read and contemplate God’s message I am thankful for the work you have done. I have been wrapping my head around a few things and was wondering if you might answer a few questions I had. Feel free to answer if you are willing when you have time. ~ Jason C.

I was soon ready to quit studying and never pick up the Quran again! For me, my curiosity about Islam was a sudden thing that started not long ago. Now in my late twenties, I was raised as a Protestant Christian, but early in my teens I came to feel that Christianity did not emphasize the pure message of Jesus (pbuh) because it misunderstood His true role on earth. As time went on, I stayed out of “organized religion”. However in the past few years, I  began studying Eastern religions and philosophies and gained a deep appreciation for Buddhism because of its emphasis on kindness, good works, and peace. I still appreciate Buddhism, but it failed to address the importance of maintaining a connection with God which I firmly believe is the highest goal of life.  Although I was certainly aware of Islam, I think that I ignored it because of my ignorance in assuming that it gave little or no importance to Jesus (pbuh). I now know better! However, at the time, I had no real opinion or bias one way or the other, and I did not know any Muslims who might inform me otherwise.

So as odd as it sounds, one night I went to sleep, and the next morning when I woke, (literally) the very first thought that came to mind was that I needed to learn about Islam. It was surprising how strong an impulse it was, but I could not deny it. It was just something that I suddenly felt was very important.

So began my study of the Quran and the faith in general. Coming to my studies, I already knew that any faith worth accepting should be built on a foundation of encouragement of reason and critical study, the “golden rule”, improvement of personal character, loving kindness towards all beings,  and equality of rights for all humans.

So you can imagine my confusion and dismay as I studied and discovered the opinions of various scholars and sects, subtly promoting everything from aggressive violence to sexism and racism. I also found the vehement insistence on certain minor details among Muslims to be troubling, not to mention the quickness with which some Muslims would declare others as apostates for simply having a different understanding of things.

Some things that I read in the Quran also deeply troubled me. And when it came to the Hadith, I was dismayed. Where some Hadith showed the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a man of reason and kindness, others were so unreasonable and so cruel, that I hardly knew what to believe! I knew very soon that the contradictions of the Hadith meant I could not hold them in high esteem. My study was starting to be disappointing. I could not believe that the peace which was supposed to be the very essence of Islam could support and encourage such harshness towards others. I was soon ready to quit studying and never pick up the Quran again!  But some part of me had come to believe that perhaps just as with Christianity, what I was reading and discovering was full of man-made innovation and sectarian bias.

I knew that there must be Muslims whose understanding captured the true, clear spirit of Islam. So I continued studying. It was finally quite “by accident” that while on-line I discovered a very negative rant about Quran: A Reformist Translation (Alhamdulillah, I now own a copy), and this became my introduction to the Truth. I now see that the trouble is not with Islam as I was beginning to think, but with the traditional human interpretations of Islam that are buried under piles of man-made tradition, superstition, sectarian bias, and rigid historical cultural values.  It is unfortunate that so many converts like myself tend to never become familiar with the Islam that I now know. But Allah knows best. I am just an infant in my faith.  God willing, as I journey through life, may I continue to learn and grow in faith and be a beacon of truth to others (as your work has truly been to me). Thank you. ~ Palace Le Grand

This translation needs to be spread. Salam, I realise that I’m probably one of thousands here, but if it is at all possible could you please let the author of this translation know that this is the most fantastic, all encompassing, amazing translation and commentary, detailed and intellegent that I have ever read and to date I have read of 50 translations of the Qu’ran. This is the message in its purest form, much respect to the author. This translation needs to be spread, and translated into all possible languages and distrubuted world-wide to as many people as humanly possible insha-allah. This could finally get the muslim world out of the horrible slump they are in!! Kind regards. ~ Adam Abd-Rabbou

I have been receiving positive feedback from all around the world regarding the Quran: a Reformist Translation. However, I also receive hostile letters. Below is one of them written by a Briton. His usage of the word “deen” implies his affiliation with Muslims, yet the language and racist tone he is using to express his religious zeal contradicts the very teachings he is trying to defend. When I was a Sunni fanatic militant, I never used such obscenities and neither any of my comrades did. Perhaps, this is a new trend and culture. To give you an example from a segment of our audience, here is the letter which ironically starts with “dear sir” ending up with expletives:

Greetings from England. Dear Sir, I have just dipped into your Reformist translation of the Quran and I am absolutely appalled. Please remember the clandestine agencies and so called Muslim gay & incestous lobby that has supported your endeavour will fail. All that will happen is that you will receive a Nobel prize and more dollars so you can destroy the deen. All I can do is sincerely curse you from the bottom of my heart and hope that you are savaged by dogs. May your children be saved from your abominable actions. F…k off you Jew loving and gay loving bastard. I hope the Turks wipe out the m…… f…… Kurdish monsters…..you have a filthly blood line any way… .. ~ Richard Summers, UK

Dear Richard, you are angry, arrogant, and your mouth smells bad words. Besides, you have hallucinations. Where in my translation have you found my connection with any lobby or my desire to get a prize from anyone? My book is already shunned by major media and it is reviled by bigots from both East and West, by Christianists and Islamists as well. I do not support homosexuality, yet I do not believe that people should be punished for the acts they do in their privacy without imposing on others. I am not for handing clubs to those who arrogate themselves as “moral police.” I also condemn Zionist fascism, yet I have no hostility against Jews just because of their race or religious affiliation. Racism is one the biggest crimes against God’s law and Satan was the first racist when he rejected serving Adam by claming the superiority of energy over matter. Peace, ~ Edip

BRAINBOW? A BLATENT allusion to the LIBERAL COLLUSION. I will be honest here. I have not read this book. Nor do I intend to. Why not, you might ask? Its very simple. Not only is it the korean, the very antithesis to the HOLY BIBLE, but as if that wasn”t enough, it is supposedly a LIBERAL FEMINEST translation (with extensive annotations) to boot!!! I’m not sure which one is even worse!

All I know for sure, is that I certianly wouldn’t want a bunch of RUDE WITCHCRAFT WORSHIPING LIBERAL FEMINAZIS running around after a bra burning party and trying to come up with a new translation of the WORD of JESUS CHRIST, which is the BIBLE. Let a bunch of know-nothing LIBERALS, HIGH on PMS, go defile the HOLY BIBLE with their LIBERALY BIASED, MENOPAUSAL WET-FLASHES? NO THANKS!

Fot those wishing to know what all that Koran says, I would have to recomend this book, for its erudition and scholarship, if for nothing else, or, at the very least, for being readable. Apparently, this is a new translation, translated by MOHOMADEAN LIBERAL FEMINISTS. One thinks One wouldn’t want a MOHOMADEAN LIBERAL FEMINIST re-translating the HOLY BIBLE Deluxe Miracle Jesus – Action Figure Has Glow in the Dark hands – Comes with 5 Loaves of Bread, 2 Fish, 1 Water into Wine Jug so presumably one woulden’t want them doing it to the Koran. To tell you the truth, I dont know WHAT to think about reading the Koran, or even if a CHRISTIAN SHOULD ALLOW HIMSELF TO DO SO. I believe that one should know ones ENEMIES, so thats the only reason why I’ve started in on this book.

I do wonder though, what it must have been like when WE CHRISTIANS were into useing blood, power thirst, Papal Magic: Occult Practices Within the Catholic Church and violence in our own religion, amongst others as well as between our own kind, like the MOHOMADEANS are doing now, way back in the dark ages before GOD, speaking through the POPE, allowed him to tell women to say that they too, were posessed of SOULS?? GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

If there is one thing that the Taliban-mohhammedians have gotten right it is their take on the SANCTITY of a woman’s place within the HOME. You cant expect LIBERAL FEMINISTS, raised on this SECULAR CULTURE, to respect or to understand concepts of deep SPIRITUAL IMPORT such as this. So how could thier translation of ANY book be trustworthy?

Furthermore, this book is published by some outfit called the BRAINBOW PRESS. BRAINBOW? A BLATENT allusion to the LIBERAL COLLUSION with and AFFINITY for, the GAYHOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE. BRAINBOW? RAINBOWS. GET IT? Rainbows used to be for all of us. Now though, DECENT AMERICANS can’t lookup into the sky after a spring rain without being reminded of the LOW level to which our CULTURE has sunk since the LSD 1960’s. SAD. ~ Mark Twain (Commenting at Amazon.com)

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