Since the publication of the new translation of the Majestic Quran in May 2018, I have been humbled by the positive comments and tributes from many readers; young and old, men and women. Praise be to Allah! A young college girl Nibras Malik said, “the words read effortlessly and form and reflect a sense of grace and refinement, due to the use of simple but effective vocabulary and demonstrates the achievement of its goal of accessibility, and as such its position as a project of high stature and success.” Someone else wrote, “the insightful Quranic lessons in the margins of the Majestic Quran are gold, they are profound and help keep you motivated to read the Quran and not be overwhelmed by it. They drive home lessons extracted from the page, that gives new level of clarity. I am fascinated by the deep insights that are drawn out from the pages of the Quran. They are well-grounded and often ask questions to challenge you.”
What is the Quran?
Dr MH: “There is nothing quite like the Quran. This book is unique, because it’s Allah’s very word. When something happened that needed guidance, Allah sent teachings, do’s and don’ts, He spoke to His beloved Messenger (peace be upon him) either directly or through Jibreel the archangel. The Messenger (peace be upon him) not only memorised it but had it faithfully written down by the scribes among his disciples. The words of Allah communicate the Divine will in clear, understandable terms, so that people of all generations can read it, understand it, and be transformed by it.
The Quran is a guidance, a healing for the sicknesses of heart and mind, practical teachings, liveable instructions and it is the final authority for our faith and socio-economic life. A loving, reliable truth from our loving, reliable living Lord. Knowing Allah and loving Him requires knowing and loving the Majestic Quran. The Quran is essential to the faith of every Muslim, it’s the foundation, the fountain of all wisdom and teachings. The very word of loving Allah. But to put faith into practice you need a good understanding of the word of Allah. The Quran is more than information, its more than knowledge, it is more than understanding, it strikes the fear of Hell, longings for Heaven and sheds light on a way to change our lives, not simply to satisfy our curiosity. Allah wants us to understand it and live by it so we can flourish and be saved from harm of hell.”
Why did you decide to translate the Quran?
Dr MH: “This translation was done with you in mind. I want you to discover the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the Quran. What does it mean, and where the events occurred? Most importantly, what is it saying to you, how can you live by it today? I have always aimed to build the confidence of my students so they believe that they can understand it. That has been my passion for translating the Majestic Quran. It combines scholarly insights with wit and charm, and the wisdom I gained over half a century from pious teachers and Imams. I want the Quran readers to feel at ease and better understand the meaning of Divine words.”
There are lots of translations of the Quran already, so why another one?
Dr MH: “My translation is in plain English, and organised in a practical way. It demonstrates beyond doubt that Allah’s word is relevant to our lives in the era of information overload. This translation will help readers appreciate just how relevant it is to their lives. This has been my goal; to show how practical Allah’s word is. I grew up in England, I have been immersed in English all my life, so I live in the same world as you do, and I had the same struggles as you, and faced the same problems that you do.
The Quran was revealed when there was a problem, a new issue, a new challenge that needed Divine guidance, therefore the Quran addresses life as it really is. It’s not theoretical. They are issues that we all face, you will be amazed at that. My translation will help people to realise that the issues of the Makkan idolators, are no different from the materialists of London or New York, both think and behave similarly, the question of greed, discrimination and injustice towards others is still the same as it was then. The Quran teaches how to face today’s issues head on. Simply, what I’ve tried to do is to make the complicated plain and clear, so that everyone can understand the Quranic truth and deepen their knowledge.”
The Quran tells lots of stories, how have you presented them?
Dr MH: “We all love stories, and the Quran is full of beautiful stories. These are stories of past Prophets, their lives and works and they relate the history of human disobedience eloquently, as well as stories of sincere and devout people. Stories are about real life, they have a plot, contain a sense of mystery, and they lead into something where we can relate to them. It’s the story of Allah; His majesty, creation, love and wrath. By providing headings to these stories I have made it easy to recognise where a story begins and ends. I believe that by looking at what Allah is doing in the lives of people we can see connections to our own everyday live, they show how Allah works with and through people. The Quranic stories connect the past ages with the real world of today.”
Who is The Majestic Quran for?
Dr MH: “I trained as a scientist, so I learnt to observe carefully, experiment, do practical exercises to gather data, classify and make inferences. So, I have learnt to be practical. The Quran does the same. So it’s not too difficult to grasp, it’s about life as we see it, as we live it. A young person will learn something from it as will an adult. New readers of the Quran will have no trouble understanding it. Those who come to the Quran for solace and grace will find bucketful. There’s something for everyone here, no one will go empty handed. The Majestic Quran is reader friendly because it uses plain present-day language, the scholarship is thorough. The Arabic is in a lovely calligraphic text, bold and clear.”