Arabic needs no help in conveying what is intended. Plain, clear, and exactingly precise, the Arabic Qur’an is not in need of “interpretation” that it does not itself provide. Not only is God Capable of making His Word understandable to all of us, He has done so.
As a general rule, we have tried to avoid using “helper” words — parenthetical additions to the text intended to clarify a term or an idiomatic phrase. For each utterance we have sought that single statement that captures the fundamental sense of the Arabic without any need to add “helper” words. Where we cannot express the obvious sense in English terms, metaphor or idiom, without the use of what is not grammatically compelled or idiomatically intended in the Arabic, then we have not understood the Arabic. Where this significance has escaped us, we are certain that it is because we do not understand what our Lord has clearly stated, not that we should attempt to clarify matters with our own supposition of what He really intended but did not explicitly say.
In every case, without exception, the fundamental significance of the Arabic has emerged from diligent study of the exact, unadorned, grammatically perfect and evocative forms of the Ayats in the context of the ruku’ in which they appear.
The Qur’an is rich in metaphor and idiom, and explicitly states that some passages are obscured. Ayats that have proved obscure to us remain obscure in translation. In other cases, a phrase or a single word has a metaphorical or idiomatic significance in Arabic that has a corresponding metaphor or idiom in American idiomatic English. Where a corresponding American idiom departs radically from the Arabic terms of an idiom, we have rendered the Arabic terms in a footnote. As an example from Scripture, the Hebrew words “praying shoulder to shoulder” include a Hebrew idiom usually rendered in English as “serving the Lord with one accord” ~ losing the exact physical description of how muslims pray that is so clearly set forth in the Hebrew as a prophecy of Islam. We invite comment on Arabic metaphor and idiom and criticism of our conclusions about correspondences.
On occasion we have found a term that is elsewhere rendered into English with a word or phrase that is an utterly uncommon usage or is in no way remotely indicated by the Arabic. In such cases we have presumed to conclude that ALLAH says clearly and plainly exactly what He intends, and neither says what He does not intend nor seeks to confuse the faithful with eclectic contradictions. We have accordingly discarded those technical, priestly, political, jurisprudential, and scholastic interpretations, explanations and glosses whose origins may be unclear but which are most certainly not the plain Arabic text of the Qur’an.
What emerges from beneath centuries of such accretions is not at all unclear.
This is a work in progress and at this early stage of development includes (on grey parchment) unattributed passages from some of the scores of existing English translations, as well as modifications of those translations. Most occurrences of the word “believer” have been replaced with “faithful;” most occurrences of the word “unbeliever” have been replaced with “denier;” other global changes have replaced terms lacking nuances or connotations necessary to rendering the underlying Arabic; Elizabethan usages such as “thy” and “mayest” have been replaced by contemporary usage; and most parenthetical additions to the text have been removed, sometimes making the resulting modification unintelligible without further editing.
All renderings on tan parchment are drawn directly from the Arabic text.