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What a mess!

Reader comment on item: Uncovering Early Islam
in response to reader comment: Translations of the Qur'an

Submitted by sara (United States), Jun 21, 2012 at 18:44

Thanks for your suggestion. I have ordered a copy but I am confounded by the excess of options and how much it matters which translation one reads. I think that this issue encapsulates the Islamic legitimacy issue in a nutshell. Not only were numerous versions of early Qurans destroyed or disappeared, but once a somewhat cohesive "book" was produced (long after Mo's death), it was rearranged and rewritten essentially. Then the translation confusion begins, much later in time than I expected. In fact it seems that the first translation (1649) was not even directly from the original Arabic, but from French. Why would such a complicated tangle of writings be foisted upon a relatively simple tribal people? Perhaps to create a smoke and mirrors effect?

This whole mess is like a metaphor for the problem. Islam is so open to interpretation based on its original writing, translation, contradicting hadiths, etc. that it is no wonder that it is impossible to pin down anything with Muslims. They can always pull another rabbit out of a hat to contradict whatever conclusion one reaches. Anyway, contrary to the opinions of many on Amazon who prefer Ali, I hope that my son is able to get something out of Pickthall...

thank you.


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