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The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an in Today's English Paperback – February 7, 2010
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
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About the Author
Yahiya Emerick is a prolific author on topics related to religion, interfaith dialogue and the Islamic faith. He has written over twenty-five books including The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam, as well as a modern English translation of the Qur'an. His recent biography on the life of Muhammad is considered the most accessible to the average reader in the market today. He has a BA in history and an MA in secondary education/history. He has taught in both public and private schools for over fifteen years and is a well-known authority in his field with a reputation for accuracy, clarity and excellent teaching skills.
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What was my experience with reading this book/translation? It is indeed clear and concise! Among the best I've ever read.
BUT the comments inserted in the middle of the verses are not my favorite. I don't like them. They have those and the comments/notes in the back too. I don't know why they aren't all in the back.
Would I recommend this book to others? Absolutely! One of the best English translations of the Quran I've ever read.
Despite my criticisms of the translation itself, I would recommend that one purchase this book because the notes and appendices are very useful and informative. These may actually be the best notes of any Quran translation that I have come across (yes, better than those in Asad'sThe Message of the Qur'an: The full account of the revealed Arabic text accompanied by parallel transliteration (English and Arabic Edition). The only reason that I have not given the notes themselves five stars is that the citations are not full enough for another person to follow up on them, such that another scholar cannot necessarily find the hadith (saying of the Prophet) to which he may be referring in a specific note.
This book makes it easy to understand the fact that most of the verses related to war and the God's command to fight the enemies were only applicable to those particular situations, and not at other times. Islam has nothing to do with violence and God has FORBIDDEN us from harming or attacking anyone, based purely on his/her faith or religion. Islam has nothing to do with supporting to attack non-Muslims. I would refer to this verse (5:32) where God says in Quran, "if anyone kills a human being - unless it be (in punishment) for murder or for spreading damage on earth - it shall be as though he had killed all humankind: whereas, if anyone saves a human life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all humankind". No one can be forced to believe or accept Islam and it has been strictly forbidden to do so. The Christians and the Jews do not readily recognize Islam or the Prophet Muhammad, but the Quran repeatedly mentioned about their prophets, i.e,; Moses and Jesus and Muslims are required to respect their prophets.
I highly recommend this book to the Non-Muslims who will have a better understanding of what Islam is all about and remove the myths that Islam is synonymous to violence. It isn't. I do recommend to use other English translations to be read side by side, just to make sure to get other translator's perspective as well. The Kindle edition is troublesome to navigate, as it does not have a Table of content. But I have bookmarked the beginning of each verse to get around that problem. The author should address this issue and let us upgrade who already have a kindle edition.