Authors of Quran translation agree that a good Quran translation must meet three criteria; accuracy, readability and presentation. Below we explain this in more detail:
- It must be accurate and represent the interpretation and understanding of the renowned scholars of Islam. I know that my translation has benefited hugely from the work of previous translators and commentators of the Quran, for example, the translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali produced in 1935 has been one of my favourites. It had many inaccuracies these have been spotted over the decades and been corrected. In fact, a group of scholars worked on the inaccuracies, the biases and mistakes of this translation. By accuracy, I mean that its interpretation and meanings must be in line with the established Islamic creed. If the translation has anything that violates the established orthodox creed of Islam it would be deemed inaccurate. Throughout The Majestic Quran, I made sure that I was following this route.
- Reader-friendly languages are constantly evolving and changing therefore we must produce contemporary Quran translations every decade. Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation is nearly 80 years old and written in English that was popular in the 1930s but is no longer used, archaic Shakespearean English is not the language of the millennial’s in 21st century. We needed a new translation in contemporary plain English, so we produced The Majestic Quran.
- The presentation of the Quran translation must be attractive and reader-friendly. Some English Quran translations are extremely poor and are off-putting for the reader because they use the wrong font size and have a cramped look. In The Majestic Quran, we have used good font size, a reader-friendly font, clean design, and the paper was specially chosen to make sure that the reader has a good experience when reading it.
However, at the end of the day, the age-old adage applies, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Ultimately, the readers will determine which is the best English Quran translation according to their taste.