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It changed my life, but it's not the best translation
on March 15, 2014
I was raised an atheist, but later converted Sunni Islam. My parents strongly opposed to my new faith, and tried every means to pull me out of Islam. Failing several attempts to get me out of Islam, my parents converted Christianity. Then as I went to the church, I realized that if Islam doesn't reform, it would not be able to survive the pressure from Christianity. Later, I searched about how to pray according to Quran alone, then I hit Edip Yuksel. His article "Manifestos to Islamic Reform" convinced me to give up Hadith. As I read this translation, it fundamentally changed my understanding of the Quran. Well, in fact, when non-Muslims asked me about what Islam teaches, I had no idea, until I read this translation. In my first reading, I grasped the message of peace and justice in the Quran. And this translation solved the problem of sexism that had troubled me - a girl, for a long time. Later, I made friends with Edip Yuksel, and he's really kind, and treated me as his daughter.
But last December, I found this translation inadequate. I found that the Quran has some special structures and coherence, that Edip Yuksel may not be aware of. Furthermore, in his end notes, he did not explain fully why he interpreted some verses in a certain way, so it appears that he's simply supporting an ideology. For instance, I object to how he interprets 25:30, although I reached a similar conclusion he did, because he didn't show his work, and he wrote too much about the ideology. But I understand why he's doing that - the defective understanding about Islam is just so widespread that to Quranist scholars, the need to correct the understanding is more stringent than the need to help other Quranists. Sure, the majority of Quranist literature is polemical. And many middle eastern studies scholars are not even aware of the existence of Quranists.
Another passage that I don't like is the article about prayer in the appendix. It just shows that Edip Yuksel didn't uproot all his Sunni influence built up in his youth. I also don't like the overemphasis on Code 19. I don't reject it, but I think Yuksel put too much weight on it. After all, Yuksel used to work with Rashad Khalifa, who discovered Code 19. I really really don't recommend Rashad Khalifa's translation, especially the appendices. I really disgust manipulation of numbers - some 19ers even claim to know when is the Day of Judgment; they say 2280. I'd prefer more emphasis on the content of Quran itself, as a guidance.
I've been a Quranist for almost two and a half years. For Quranists, I advice you not to stick with this one translation. I'm now reading Dr. Shabbir Ahmed's translation, experimenting the structural approach I just discovered. To be honest, the structural approach works better than Code 19 to understand the Quran. But traditionalists must be sick of it, for it requires forgetting about any traditional understandings. I think the best way is to learn Arabic and read the Arabic original yourself, for the translators are not 100% objective. And you're welcome to be skeptical to dictionary definitions, for the Arabic language has been shaped by Sunni understandings after the revelation of Quran.
Finally, sellers will get mad: you can get free pdf edition of this and other translations of the Quran. But a hard copy just feels different, and is more convenient for cross reference.