Step by Step – Step 2: Some suggestions for reading the translation of the Quran
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In Step 1, I mentioned that one of the problems that we have today is that many Muslims can’t understand the Quran and haven’t read it from cover to cover.
I then proceeded to bore you with my life story.
In this step, I’m going to suggest a practical plan as to how you can ACTUALLY do it.
Important note: I’m assuming that the reader is a native English speaker. If not, it would obviously be better for you to read the translation in your own language.
I haven’t much clue about other languages, just the following:
1) The Quran has been translated into many languages. However, some of these are by non-Muslims who hate Islam, so one needs to be careful.
2) As far as I know, a good authentic site to get the translation in different languages is : http://www.islamhouse.com/
3) Darussalam (the company, not the city in Tanzania – someone already had this misunderstanding today) has translations in many different languages.
4) I heard that there was a very nice translation in Urdu called “Ahsanul Bayan”. It’s published by Darussalam.
5) The abridgment of Tafsir in Kathir is available in French. It’s also published by Darussalam.
[And no, I’m not an Urdu or a French speaker, although I know a bit of both.]
Before I continue, I would like to point out something very, very important. There is a difference between reciting the Quran (i.e. the Arabic text) and reading its translation.
One of the rights of the Quran is to recite it so we have to fulfill this right.
Understanding the Quran is another right, so reading the translation will aid us towards fulfilling this right.
So, what would I suggest to an English speaker?
1) Decide whether you want to start with the Saheeh International translation or the Muhsin Khan one. I would suggest starting with the Muhsin Khan one and getting the one volume abridged version.
I wouldn’t advise starting with the word to word translation just yet.
2) Get yourself a copy of the translation of the Quran along with the Arabic text
3) Decide how many ayaat (verses) you are going to recite every day.
4) Each day, recite at least that many ayaat and then proceed to read the translation of each ayah (verse). [Start from Surah Al-Fatihah.]
If you have difficulty reciting and can’t get hold of a teacher at the moment, you can try to listen to the audio first for each ayah and then repeat after the reciter. This site has recitation as well as translation: http://tanzil.net/
5) Do this each and EVERY day until you finish reciting the Quran (i.e. you finish Surah An-Nas).
If you go to bed and remember that you forgot to recite the Quran, then my advice is to hop out, do wudhu and recite the required portion. This will train you to recite the Quran daily.
If you miss a day, then you might miss another day and so on, so you shouldn’t miss a single day.
6) Choose the other translation (e.g. if you chose Saheeh, move over to Mushin Khan) and then repeat steps 3-5 all over again.
If you wish, you may use both translations at once. It’s up to you. There are quite a few sites with the translations but they don’t have the accompanying notes, which is why it’s better to get the hard copy.
1) Follow Steps 1-5 of the Basic Plan.
2) In addition to this, decide if you want to finish reading the translation at a faster pace.
If so, choose one translation (preferably the Saheeh one) for using with your recitation. Depending on how easy you find it to recite, this one could take quite some time.
Choose the other one (preferable the Muhsin Khan one) and read the translation. This time you don’t have to recite it because you’re already doing that when you read the other translation so you can read through this one faster and take it with you wherever you go.
In both the above cases, I would advise you to take notes about whatever questions or thoughts you might have. [Read more about keeping a Quran Journal.]
3) If you are not a reader, and prefer to listen (apart from the translation that you are reading whilst reciting), choose a good translation and then listen to it in your car, iPod, etc as often as you can until you finish the whole thing.
This site (scroll to the bottom) contains many Quran recitations along with the translations: http://quranicaudio.com/
[The “fabulous” one that I referred to in Part 1 is the 3rd last one: Shuraim and Sudais with Aslam Athar.]
You can listen to one set and then proceed to listen to another.
[It includes all of the above mentioned things.]
1) Recite whilst reading the translation (I recommend the Saheeh translation for this) .
2) Read the second translation (I recommend the Muhsin Khan one for this).
3) Listen to a third (I recommend the Pickthall “fabulous” one mentioned above for this.)
You’ll be doing all of the above in the same time period. This way, you’ll be really surrounded with the Quran.
4) If you want to be very brave, you can also read the word to word translation but I really don’t advise it until you’ve read the translation at least once. [I’ve mentioned many word to word translations in this post.]
Remember, don’t stop until you’ve finished reciting the translation until the end.
Insha-Allah, I hope that the post was clear.
What do you think? Is the plan helpful?
Perhaps you have another technique? If so, please share, baarakallahu feekum.