The Quran

Online Translation and Commentary


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THE QUR’ĀN With a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation

Translated by Ali Quli Qara'i (‘Alī Qulī Qarā’ī)

Second (Revised) Edition 2005

Publisher’s Note

Since the first translation of the Holy Qur’ān into English in 1648, there have appeared more than 60 other English translations by Muslim and non-Muslim translators. Why, then, should the Islamic College for Advanced Studies venture to publish a new translation? Moreover, does not the very number of these translations confirm the traditional belief that the Qur’ān is untranslatable?

It is true that no literary masterpiece is ever fully translatable into another language, let alone the Qur’ān. The Holy Qur’ān, according to Pikthall, is a scripture “the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy.” How could a text which, in the memorable words of A. J. Arberry, is “neither prose nor poetry, but a unique fusion of both,” ever surrender its mysteries to a rendering in another language? The Qur’ān, of course, is a book of innumerable merits, but many of them can, to various degrees, be transposed into other languages to inform and enlighten peoples of different cultures. The most important feature of the Qur’ān, aside from its literary excellence, is its divine guidance, as it is a scripture meant for human enlightenment—enlightenment concerning the most urgent and vital questions of deep concern to every human being. It answers such questions as lie beyond the purview of mere human finding: Where do we come from? Where do we stand? Where do we go from here? Hence it describes itself as a scripture meant for reflection (12:2; 38:29). It is, in its own words, a Book for reflective minds (ulu al-albāb), for those who value knowledge (‘ālimūn), for those who exercise their rational faculties (qawmin ya‘qilūn), and for those who possess reason and perceptive minds (ulu al-nuhā and mutawassimūn).

Every translation of the Qur’ān has its merits and shortcomings. The publication of this translation does not by any means imply that other translations have been efforts of no value. However, some novel merits in this new translation make it unique among the existing ones.

The translator, Sayyid ‘Alī Qulī Qarā’ī, is a scholar who has dedicated his efforts to translation of the classics of Islamic literature into English, which makes him the most reliable authority for such an undertaking. Furthermore, for such a rendering he has consulted major classical commentaries of the Qur’ān, by both Sunnī and Shī‘ī commentators, which offer the reader a broader understanding of some controversial verses in the Qur’ān. Moreover, his innovative approach in translating Arabic idioms, as explained in his introduction, allows a smoother reading of the text.

However, the most outstanding feature of this translation is its new “phrasal approach,” which is most useful for those who are eager to collate the Arabic text with the English translation. With the painstaking efforts of the translator and a group of international experts on Qur’ānic sciences the reader would find each phrase of the translation exactly opposite the corresponding Arabic phrase, an arrangement of the source text and its translation that makes possible direct access to the Arabic verses.

The Islamic College for Advanced Studies is honoured to publish this translation of the Holy Book. We pray to God Almighty to give us the insight and inner purity for understanding His message.

ICAS Press

Muḥarram 1424
March 2003

Translator’s Preface

The Qur’ān as such does not need an introduction. Rather it is we, human beings, who need the Qur’ān to be introduced to ourselves, to be provided with an initial knowledge of as to who we are, what we are, whence we come, where we stand, and whither we are bound. Without such a knowledge, we are lost, living as losers regardless of whatever we may imagine to be our achievements. The Qur’ān is, in its own words, “light,”1 which means that it is self-manifesting, with no need of an external agent to be made manifest; other things need light to become visible and manifest. With it Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace, and brings them out from darkness into light by His will, and guides them to a straight path (5:16). In this respect it is like its Author and Speaker, who is the Light of the heavens and the earth (24:35). Existence being light, all contingent existents stand in need of the Source of Being for their existence, whereas the Source itself is self-subsisting and self-manifesting. All existents exist through Allah and are known through Him, not that He is known through them.

Also, like the Qur’ān and its Author, its communicator, the Seal of the Prophets (ṣ), is a source of light,2 who brings people out of the darkness of ignorance and ingratitude, unfaith and unreason into the blessed light of knowledge, faith, gratitude and intellect: [This is] a Book We have sent down to you that you may bring mankind out from darkness into light, by the command of their Lord, to the path of the All-mighty, the All-laudable (14:1).

Of course, the Qur’ān is not an exception among revealed scriptures in that it is a source of light and guidance. So were the Torah and the Gospel, scriptures that were given to Moses3 and Jesus.4 All scriptures of Divine origin that were brought by various prophets were a source of light and guidance.5 Nor is the Prophet of Islam (ṣ) an exception among God-sent emissaries.6 He (ṣ) is the ultimate link in a long chain of prophetic missions whose history began with Adam himself. Nevertheless, the Qur’ān is a unique document, not only in the realm of religious literature but also in the domain of language. It is unique among revealed scriptures not only because it is the latest and the last, and, therefore, the most up-to-date of them, but also because it is the only one which has been preserved in the original form that it was revealed to its prophet. Therefore, it serves as the ultimate criterion and standard against which the contents of all other religious literature, irrespective of their origin, are to be evaluated and judged. It is a work of inimitable literary beauty and excellence. But unlike other literary works produced by inspired human genius, such as the literary masterpieces in prose and poetry in various languages of the world whose charm and appeal are limited to particular cultures and periods beyond which they have little general relevance or appeal, the language and discourse of the Qur’ān and their relevance are universal and everlasting.

This is not meant to belittle human genius and achievement. After all, the human being is himself one of the greatest masterpieces of Divine creativity, and, at his best, “God’s vicegerent on the earth,” and his capacities are literally boundless. The Prophet (ṣ) himself was the most eloquent of speakers, whose eloquence has never been equalled by any poet or sage. An Apostle sent to the unlettered to recite to them His signs, to purify them, and to teach them the Book and wisdom, even the most learned confess to be “unlettered” before him. The Prophet (ṣ) surpassed all Arabs in eloquence. Yet the beauty and splendour of the Qur’ān far exceeds even the best specimens of the sayings of the Seal of the Prophets (ṣ). The stupendous miracle of the Qur’ān has to be experienced in order to be acknowledged as such. The sun, so it is said, is its own evidence. Of course, this applies only to those who can see.

Human speech is a human creation, whereas, the Qur’ān is literally a Divine discourse. No wonder that it is inimitable, for even the humblest of living beings in the realm of Divine creation surpasses human contrivance: O mankind! Listen to a parable that is being drawn: indeed those whom you invoke besides Allah will never create even a fly, even if they all rallied for it! (22:73). No wonder, then, that the Qur’ān should be such as described by its own words: Say, ‘Should all humans and jinn rally to bring the like of this Qur’ān, they will not bring the like of it, even if they assisted one another (17:88).

Every moment of our life, day and night, we are immersed in God’s bounteous gifts: If you enumerate Allah’s blessings, you will not be able to count them (14:34). Yet the Qur’ān is one of the greatest of all gifts to humanity. It is the living Book of life, which addresses itself to “the living”: This is just a reminder and a manifest Qur’ān, so that anyone who is alive may be warned (36:69-70). Those who are alive to the summons of their being are also alive to its call, receptive to its good news and warnings, a summons that is perpetual, answering which brings further life, a life on the top of life: O you who have faith! Answer Allah and the Apostle when he summons you to that which will give you life (8:22). Whoever acts righteously, [whether] male or female, should he be faithful, We shall revive him with a good life and pay them their reward by the best of what they used to do (16:97). This promise of a new life is, of course, fulfilled in this very life for those who answer its summons, but there is also the promise of a greater and more splendid life in the Hereafter, in comparison with which the life of this world is no more than diversion and play: The life of this world is nothing but diversion and play, while the abode of the Hereafter is indeed Life, had they known! (29:64). There is no death for the pupils of the Qur’ān; for them every ‘death’ is a birth into a higher realm of existence and entry into a world more vast and expansive than the earlier one: Take the lead towards forgiveness from your Lord and a paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who have faith in Allah and His apostles. That is Allah’s grace, which He grants to whomever He wishes, and Allah is dispenser of a great grace (57:21).

This call to a higher life is a summons to a higher knowledge and a higher effort: Allah will raise those of you who have faith and those who have been given knowledge in rank, and Allah is well aware of what you do (58:11). Say, ‘Are those who know equal to those who do not know?’ (39:9). It preaches that one’s higher efforts and endeavours are the ultimate fruits of one’s life: Nothing belongs to man except what he strives for (53:39). The life of the Hereafter is only a ‘celestial’ counterpart of the terrestrial life we live here.

Nothing is more important for man than the knowledge of the very Source of reality. Any knowledge that is not informed with this awareness is just a kind of ignorance. All effort and endeavour that does not derive from this knowledge is ultimately fruitless and fated to end in failure.1 The Qur’ān is the most reliable source of this knowledge and the best guide for human effort and endeavour. It teaches that the Source of being is also the Source of guidance.

To a humanity wailing under the burden of injustice, the Qur’ān offers a creed of deliverance: Certainly We sent Our apostles with manifest signs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance, so that mankind may maintain justice; and We sent down iron, in which there is a great might and uses for mankind, and so that Allah may know those who help Him and His apostles in [their] absence (57:25).

To human beings lacking a sense of divinely ordained purpose and direction in life, like seafarers on an uncharted sea without compass or guidance, the Qur’ān offers a delivering vision of life and human destiny, helping them rediscover their destiny and dignity as human beings and recover their true orientation as wayfarers on the Godward path of infinite perfection: Certainly We have honoured the Children of Adam, and carried them over land and sea, and provided them with all the good things, and given them advantage over many of those We have created with a complete preference (17:70).

From the viewpoint of the Qur’ān, establishment and maintenance of justice is one of the chief purposes of all religions and revealed scriptures. This is a mission that has always been neglected by mankind, a neglect that has allowed injustice to assume almost cosmic proportions in the present-day world. Being the last of God-sent scriptures, there is no wonder then that it should lay so much stress upon justice, an emphasis unequalled by any other book, sacred or secular. The Qur’ān preaches an order based on justice. There is no injustice in the realm of creation; it is man who engenders injustice by his wrongdoing, by yielding to misdirected motives in violation of the Divine norms: Indeed Allah does not wrong people in the least; rather it is people who wrong themselves (10:44). However, justice remains merely a mirage in a world where inner purity is neglected and where inner spiritual disorder rules unheeded. The call of the Qur’ān is one of constant struggle, purification and jihād, inward and outward, against the inner satanic forces of disoriented desires and their external manifestations in the form of the social and political agents and institutions of corruption. It views human history as a continuous struggle against unfaith and untruth, injustice and corruption, and holds out the promise of the ultimate victory of righteousness: ‘Indeed My righteous servants shall inherit the earth’ (21:105).

If worldly life is short and its enjoyments and sufferings transitory for all mortals, what is a better life than a life spent for the purpose approved by the very Source of life? If death is inevitable for every mortal, tyrant or victim, faithful or faithless, well-provided or deprived, powerful or powerless, what is a better ‘death’ than one which is the threshold of an everlasting life of fulfillment? All religions have a high regard for martyrdom, but no scripture describes so vividly the higher life attained by the martyrs, thus giving martyrdom its true appeal: Do not suppose those who were slain in the way of Allah to be dead; rather they are living and provided for near their Lord, exulting in what Allah has given them out of His grace, and rejoicing for those who have not yet joined them from [those left] behind them that they will have no fear, nor will they grieve. They rejoice in Allah’s blessing and grace, and that Allah does not waste the reward of the faithful (3:169-171).

To a youth languishing on the plane of animal existence, captive of materialistic values and rendered spiritually impotent by sensual pursuits and indifferent to struggle against oppression and injustice, the Qur’ān suggests a spiritual diet and a programme of spiritual rehabilitation, self-purification, and jihād. To a world bewildered by the din of the communication media orchestrated by Satanic forces bent on the deception of thinking minds, the Qur’ān gives a light to walk by, enabling the faithful human being to see facts through the apparently impenetrable curtains of deceit and disinformation: O you who have faith! Be wary of Allah and have faith in His Apostle. He will grant you a double share of His mercy and give you a light to walk by, and forgive you (57:28).

For communities which have lost their moral and spiritual bearings, the Qur’ān holds out the great promise of restoration of their spiritual and moral equilibrium through its high spirituality and ethics.

About this Translation:

The Qur’ān is, paradoxically, both untranslatable and ‘translation-friendly.’ It is a celestial symphony with splendid rhythms and rhymes whose melodious grandeur is rarely captured fully even by the best of the grand masters of qirā’ah, the art of Qur’ānic recitation. As such and as a text of matchless literary elegance and eloquence, no translation can ever hope to capture even fleeting flashes of its splendour. At the same time, despite its wonderful aesthetic complexities, the Qur’ānic text is astonishingly clear, simple and straightforward in its style. The simplicity comes firstly from the economy and simplicity of Qur’ānic vocabulary and diction.1 A second factor is its strikingly uniform phraseology. A third factor is its characteristic syntactical structure made up either of short sentences, as in the brief Makkan sūrahs placed at the end of the Book, or of longer sentences wherein clauses and phrases are arranged in a serial logical sequential order. Were it not for this last characteristic of the Qur’ānic text, the approach adopted in the present translation would not have been possible.

The translation of a literary text is expected to meet the following four requirements: it should (1) be able to convey the meanings of the source text in an intelligible manner; (2) have a natural and easy form of expression; (3) convey the spirit and the manner of the original; (4) produce a similar response in the reader. While a translation of the Qur’ān can be expected to succeed in meeting the first two of these requirements in varying degrees, depending on the translator’s competence, there appear to be insurmountable barriers in the way of meeting, even partially, the last two requirements.

First, there are visible limits to the extent the translator can convey fully the meanings of the source text. Here the primary problem encountered by the translator is absence in the English language of semantically equivalent terms for certain Arabic words, some of which play a key role in the Qur’ānic message, such as taqwā, kufr, īmān, shirk, ḥaqq, bāṭil, ma‘rūf, munkar, fitnah, ghayb, sunnah, tawbah, walī, and zulm. In such cases, the translator has to suffice with approximations which fall short of conveying the full semantic scope and richness of the original terms, giving a truncated or lopsided sense to the message communicated.2

As to the second requirement, that the translation have an easy and natural form of expression, that depends mainly on the translator’s understanding of the nature, meaning and purpose of translation and his approach.

Translations in general have been divided into two broad categories, (1) translations which aim at formal equivalence, and the so-called (2) dynamic (or functional) equivalence translations. Formal equivalence translations attempt to reproduce the formal elements of the source text including grammatical units, seek consistency of word usage, and reproduce meanings in terms of the source context. That is, they do not normally attempt to make adjustments in idiom, but rather try to reproduce such expressions more or less literally, so that the reader may be able to perceive something of the way in which the original document employed local cultural elements to convey meanings. A dynamicequivalence translation has been defined as “the closest natural equivalent to the source language message.”1

The second approach has an obvious advantage over the first one in that it is better suited to meet the very goal of discourse, which is communication. But it assumes that the translator can fully comprehend and fathom the intents and meanings of the original source text and that the only task that remains for him to accomplish is to find and produce the closest natural equivalent to the source language message. Such an assumption is not always warranted and it takes a simplistic view of the nature and character of discourse and meaning. There are often cases where, firstly, the real intent and meaning of the source text may be either indeterminate or it may elude the translator, and, secondly, at times there may be simply no easy and natural equivalent in the target language. However, in many cases the requirement of an easy and natural form of expression obliges the translator to make adjustments of various kinds to produce a stylistically satisfactory equivalent.

The aware reader of translated literary texts is conscious of the approximations or rather the inherent inadequacies involved in the process of translation. This inadequacy is quite evident in the case of Qur’ān translations. The best purpose a translation may serve is as a means of access to the Arabic Qur’ān itself.

Interlinear translations abound in Persian and Urdu. In fact, the interlinear approach has been the dominant practice in translations of the Qur’ān published in these languages during the last two hundred years. Recent translations in Persian show a trend away from this practice, while it is still dominant in Urdu. As these languages are written from right to left like Arabic, the interlinear format—with the Arabic text and its translation appearing in alternating lines—has been a convenient and popular way of presenting the meanings of the Qur’ānic text. This format has been very helpful for readers who do not read the Arabic Qur’ān merely for the sake of the thawāb of reciting its text, but are also eager to obtain the additional and higher benefit of understanding its meanings and reflecting upon its verses. There are many Persian- and Urduspeaking Muslims who have quite an impressive working grasp of the meanings of the Qur’ān without having undergone any formal training in Arabic grammar and without possessing any extensive vocabulary.

word-for-word renderings. They are in fact dictionaries of the Qur’ān in that they mention the meaning of each Arabic word and phrase in the line below. Although useful as dictionaries, they often fail to make the meanings of the Qur’ānic text intelligible, as the prose of the translated text turns out to be awkward, unnatural and at times inscrutable.

An interlinear English translation of the Qur’ān, similar to those in Urdu and Persian, is obviously of little benefit, as the two languages are written in opposite directions. The phrase-for-phrase approach adopted in this translation is intended to bring some of the advantage of the interlinear translations to English-speaking readers of the Holy Qur’ān. “Mirror-paraphrasing” is a new approach to translation of sacred Islamic texts, mainly the Qur’ān and ḥadīth. In this approach, the translation of the source text develops phrase by phrase, with the translation appearing opposite the corresponding phrase in Arabic. Each phrase in the target or receptor language mirrors the semantic import of the phrase in the source text.

At first when such an approach was suggested to my mind, it was not at all clear whether it would be feasible. It seemed that it would result in an unnatural and warped style. But as I worked through the translation, it was a surprise to find that it did seem to work (with few exceptions, such as in verse 2:105, where the verb yawaddu comes at the beginning of the sentence). In any case, the results were not as dismal as might be expected. However, one had to deal with two constant constraints, firstly, of having to cover the complete meaning of each phrase of the source text in a corresponding phrase of the target text, and, secondly, of connecting the successive phrases in such a manner as to generate, so far as possible, a fluent, clear, intelligible, natural and stylistically acceptable prose.

The utility of such an approach will be evident to the reader who wants to understand the Arabic text by referring to the translation of each phrase and verse. All that he needs for following the meaning of the Arabic text of the Qur’ān is an elementary knowledge of Arabic, which means an elemental knowledge of Arabic vocabulary and morphology. However, a reader who already possesses such an elementary knowledge of Arabic will not find much difficulty in following the Arabic text with the help of the translation provided here. After several readings, it is hoped, the reader will be able to follow the Arabic without needing to refer to the translation.

The main features of the method and approach followed in this translation may be described as follows:

1. As my principal aim was to provide a translation affording direct access to the Arabic Qur’ān, I have tried, so far as possible, to maintain a formal equivalence between the phrases and clauses of the source and the target text, but I have not hesitated to make adjustments when required by the need for intelligibility, clarity and naturalness of expression, so far as permitted by the constraint imposed by the method of “mirror-paraphrasing.” These adjustments are of various kinds and it is not possible to describe all of them here. They involve: making grammatical changes, such as those of tense, aspect, voice, person and number; substitution of nouns by verbs and vice versa;1 making obligatory omissions2 and additions; and making explicit what is implicit in the source text.3 At times they involve adjustments of idiom and syntactical changes. The reader should be aware about the presence of these changes when collating the Arabic text with the translation.

2. Translation has been carried out according to what appeared to be the most probable among the interpretations mentioned by the commentators. Occasionally I have mentioned alternate interpretations in the footnotes when they appeared to be significant. Throughout the course of this translation extensive reference was made to various classical commentaries of the Qur’ān, such as those of Ṭabarī, Rāzī, Zamakhsharī, and Suyūtī among Sunnī works, and Ṭabāṭabā’ī’s al-Mīzān, Ṭabrisī’s Majma‘ al-Bayān, and Baḥrānī’s Tafsīr al-Burhān among Shī‘ī works. Some of the other works consulted are mentioned in the bibliography given at the end of this preface. Exegetical traditions of the Imams of the Prophet’s family have been given special attention due to their unparalleled importance for Qur’ānic hermeneutics. Their importance and weight will be evident to anyone who undertakes an unbiased study of their traditions and teachings. In fact, a large part of the early Sunnī hermeneutic tradition, as represented by Ibn ‘Abbās, his pupils and the succeeding generations of commentators, also derives from Imam ‘Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, with whom Ibn ‘Abbās was closely associated and from whom he had acquired his Qur’ānic learning, being a boy in his early teens at the time of the Prophet’s demise.

3. The treatment of Qur’ānic idioms is an important part of the policy followed in translation. Broadly speaking, they fall into three categories. There are some Arabic idioms which though unfamiliar to the English-speaking audience are not difficult to understand when translated literally. These have been rendered literally. Examples are:

a part of those who were given the Book cast the Book of Allah behind their backs.4 (2:101);

They fold up their breasts to hide [their secret feelings] from him5 (11:5);

Strengthen my back through him 1 (20: 31);

Do not turn your cheek disdainfully from the people (31:18);

their sides vacate their beds (32:16);

till the war lays down its burdens (47:4).

Some idioms are unintelligible when translated literally. These have to be paraphrased appropriately in order to be understood. Examples are:

you were eager that it should be the one that was unarmed 2 (8:7);

but they did not respond to them 3 (14:9);

so We put them to sleep 4 in the Cave for several years (18:11);

on that day We shall muster the guilty with blind eyes 5 (20:102);

a [source of] comfort to me and you 6 (28:9);

Whoever surrenders his heart to Allah 7 (31:22);

and ill-treat your blood relations 8 (47:22);

nor utter any slander that they may have intentionally fabricated 1 (60:12);

—the day when the catastrophe occurs 2 (68:42).

In certain cases it may be possible to substitute an English idiom, as in the following:

that is indeed the steadiest of courses 3 (3:186);

We shall abandon him to his devices 4 (4:115);

Indeed my people consigned this Qur’ān to oblivion 5 (25:30);

But most people are only intent on ingratitude 6 (25:50);

so that will continue to haunt you 7 (25:77);

in the twinkling of an eye 8 (27:40);

so do not fret yourself to death regretting for them 9 (35:8);

enjoy your food and drink 10 (52:19).

4. The translation is based on Ḥafṣ’ version of the reading of ‘āṣim, which is the most popular of the readings of the Holy Qur’ān throughout the Muslim world. Some of the alternate readings, where they appeared significant to this translator, have been noted in the footnotes with their translation.

5. Instances of ellipses in the Qur’ān—which in the context of English means “omission of a word or phrase necessary for a complete syntactical construction but not necessary for understanding”—often go beyond such a description and are not always so evident. These have been indicated in the footnotes.

6. Cross references have been mentioned under verses in some cases, but a relatively extensive index of subjects, names and terms has been placed in the appendix. Entries which are not mentioned expressly in the text but involve an implicit reference, as mentioned in commentaries and exegetical traditions, are marked with an asterisk. As the works consulted for preparing the index1 had made use of copies of the Qur’ān with different systems of numbering the verses, there might be a discrepancy of one or two between the number of a verse as given in the index and its corresponding number in the Arabic text. The verses are numbered in accordance with the now most prevalent system followed by the so-called Madīnah codex, despite its serious defect of excluding from the count the Basmalah, which is the first verse of every sūrah excepting Sūrat al-Tawbah, the ninth sūrah. The Basmalah at the head of the 113 sūrahs is regarded as part of the Qur’ān by many Sunnī authorities and unanimously so by the Shī‘ah.

I am grateful to the Centre for Translation of the Holy Qur’ān for entrusting me with the task of working on the English translation of the Qur’ān, in particular to its Director, Ḥujjatulislām Muḥammad Naqdī, for his unflagging support and assistance. During the course of my work I have benefited greatly from the generous encouragement and assistance provided by Dr Muḥammad Legenhausen, who patiently read the entire manuscript and suggested useful changes and corrections. His suggestions have been very helpful in formulating the policy to be followed in this translation. My thanks are also due to Brother Shujā‘ ‘Alī Mīrzā, who has read the entire manuscript and with his suggestions and corrections contributed to the soundness of the final manuscript. However, the responsibility is entirely mine for any lapses and errors that may have remained, and I humbly request the honoured readers to convey their remarks and suggestions by corresponding on the postal and e-mail addresses provided herein.

I am most grateful to my friend Muḥammad Riḍā Parvez for procuring for the Centre the needed software for generating the Arabic text. My thanks are also due to brothers Mahdī Ṣayf and Mahdī Allāhyārī of the Centre for their assistance in type work and providing the graphics, and to my sons, Sayyid Muḥammad Riḍā and Sayyid Ḥasan Riḍā, for their assistance in preparing the subject index. I am also grateful to Sayyid Muḥammad Riḍā for making a thorough check of the Arabic text in the final print of the manuscript.

It has been my prayer to Allah to divest my motives of all traces of the desire for worldly gain, and to make His good pleasure the sole goal of my intentions and efforts. With the hope that this effort has been made for the sake of His pleasure—a hope that is not altogether free from trepidation—I dedicate the reward for it to the noble spirit of my late eldest sister, Martyr Sayyidah Mahliqā Qarā’ī, and to the spirits of more than 290 innocent souls aboard the Iranian passenger Airbus plane (Iran Air Flight 655), shot down in Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988 by the U.S. warship, the Vincennes, in a flagrant act of state-directed terrorism.

Sayyid ‘Alī Qulī Qarā’ī
Rabī‘ al-Thānī, 1424
July, 2002

Sources Consulted

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Ali, Abdullah Yusuf, The Meaning of the Holy Qurʾān. Brentwood: Amana, 1995.

Ali, S. V. Mir Ahmed. The Holy Qurʾan. Elmhurst: Tahrike Tarsile Qurʾan, 1988.

Arberry, Arthur J. The Koran Interpreted. London: Oxford University Press, 1964.

Al-ʿAskarī, al-Imām Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī. al-Tafsīr al-Mansūb ilā al-Imām Abī Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī al-ʿAskarī (ʿa). 1st ed. Qum: Muʾassasat al-Imām al-Mahdī, 1409 H.

Al-Astarābādī, al-Sayyid Sharaf al-Dīn ʿAlī al-Ḥusaynī al-Gharawī. Taʾwīl al-Āyāt al-Ẓāhirah fī Faḍāʾil al-ʿItrat al-Ṭāhirah. 3rd ed. Qum: Muʾassasat al-Nashr al-Islāmī al-Tābiʿah li Jamāʿat al-Mudarrisīn, 1421 H. Sh.

Al-ʿAyyāshī, Abū Naṣr Muḥammad b. Masʿūd b. ʿAyyāsh al-Sulamī al-Samarqandī. Kitāb al-Tafsīr, edited by Sayyid Hāshim al-Rasūlī al-Maḥallātī. Tehran: al-Maktabat al-ʿIlmiyyah al-Islāmiyyah, n.d.

Al-Baḥrānī, al-Sayyid Hāshim al-Ḥusaynī. al-Burhān fī Tafsīr al-Qurʾān. 1st ed. Tehran: Bunyād-e Biʿthat, 1415 H.

Barakāt, Muḥammad Fāris. al-Jāmiʿ li Mawāḍiʿ Āyāt al-Qurʾān al-Karīm. Qum: Dār al-Hijrah, 1404 H.

Bargnaysī, Kāẓim. “Reflections on a Qurʾānic Metaphor: The Meaning of ʿkhatf al-ṭayrʾ in Verse 31 of Sūrat al-Ḥajj.” Trans. A. Q. Qarāʾī, al-Tawḥīd, 13, no. 4 (1996): 5-35.

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Dehlawī, Shāh Walī Allāh. al-Qurʾān al-Ḥakīm (Persian Translation). Peshawar: Nūrānī Kutub-khānah, n.d.

Fānī, K., and B. Khorramshāhī. Farhang-e Mawḍūʿī-ye Qurʾān-e Majīd (A Subject Index to the Glorious Qurʾān). 2nd ed. Tehran: Intishārāt-e al-Hudā, 1369 H. Sh.

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Al-Ḥaskānī, al-Ḥākim ʿUbayd Allāh b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Aḥmad. Shawāhid al-Tanzīl, edited by al-Shaykh Muḥammad Bāqir al-Maḥmūdī. Tehran: Muʾassasat al-Ṭabʿ wal-Nashr al-Tābiʿah li Wizārat al-Thaqāfah wal-Irshād al-Islāmī, 1411 H./1990.

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Al-Majlisī, al-Shaykh Muḥammad Bāqir. Biḥār al-Anwār al-Jāmiʿah li-Durar Akbār al-Aʾimmat al-Aṭhār. 3rd ed. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1402 H./1983.

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Transliteration of Arabic Words

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Prayer for Recitation on Commencing a Reading of the Qur’ān

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Prayer for Recitation on Completing a Reading of the Qur’ān

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Key to the Signs Used in the Arabic Text

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The Signs of Waqf

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