The Qur'an: A Verse Translation (Hardcover)

The Qur'an: A Verse Translation By M.A.R. Habib, Bruce B. Lawrence Cover Image
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Islam’s founding text, rendered for the first time in flowing English verse.

This monumental feat of translation, the product of a ten-year-long collaboration between one of our most respected scholars of Islam (Bruce B. Lawrence) and a poet and scholar of literature (M. A. R. Habib), The Qur'an: A Verse Translation offers readers the first rendering in English to echo, in accessible and fluent verse, the sonorous beauty of the Arabic original as well as the complex nuances of its meaning.

Those familiar with the Qur'an in Arabic—especially the faithful who each day hear the text recited aloud—know that it is a sublime blend of sound and sense, music and meaning. While no translation can perfectly capture the inimitable virtues of the original, Habib and Lawrence have come closest to a readable, clear, and fluid English Qur'an that all readers, regardless of their faith or familiarity with the text, can read with pleasure, gaining a deeper appreciation of the book and the religious tradition it inspired.

A rich and informative introduction situates the Qur'an in its cultural context and describes its unique structure and history. A note from the translators explains their painstaking efforts to address the many challenges that any translator must face when rendering the Qur'an into English. Extensive notes and explanatory apparatus will help all readers—whether they are familiar with the original or coming to the text for the first time—to read (and hear) the Qur'an with fresh understanding and insight.

About the Author

M.A.R. Habib is a Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University. Among his many books is a volume of poetry, Shades of Islam: Poems for a New Century (2010). He lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Bruce B. Lawrence is the Marcus Family Humanities Professor of Religion Emeritus at Duke University and adjunct professor at the Alliance of Civilizations Institute, Ibn Haldun University, Istanbul. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of sixteen books about Islam, including The Koran in English: A Biography (2017). He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Praise For…

This poetic rendition of the holy text will appeal to nonbelievers, too . . . The new translation is much more succinct and is rendered in language that is natural and limpid and, as the authors claim, ‘reads like English verse while retaining the deep structure of the Arabic text.’ Whether Habib and Lawrence’s translation becomes a standard for English-speaking Muslims like me remains to be seen. Nonetheless, their work should be of interest to everyone for the way in which it provides clarity, context, and beauty to — and renders into poetry — one of civilization’s most important texts.
— Mike Maggio - Washington Independent Review of Books

Capturing the form of the original without distorting the content. Given that the Qur’an is recitative, meant to be read or chanted out loud, Habib and Lawrence chose verse instead of prose in short lines that amplify the succinct power of the words. They took care to suggest the pauses and cadences of the Arabic with repetitions that are not redundant but amplify the meaning of the words. As they explain, their versification transcends the flatness of linear thinking, allowing the text “to be registered on several levels: cognitive, sensible, psychological, and spiritual.” The God heard here isn’t speaking the language of fundamentalism but in allusions of infinity.
— David Luhrssen

The Qur’an: A Verse Translation captures the imagery and lyricism of the Sacred Text superbly, while renovating the language of earlier translations. An extraordinary achievement, it will be my go-to translation from now on.

— Ziauddin Sardar, author of Desperately Seeking Paradise, Mecca: The Sacred City and Reading the Qur’an

I have read or consulted more translations of the Qur’an than I can remember, but none did what this one does. None took me aside, as it were, before beginning, explained how the Qur’an works aesthetically and orally in Arabic and then proceeded to explain in equal detail how the verse translation awaiting me would work aesthetically and, again, orally to duplicate this effect in English. Habib and Lawrence have unlocked for me as no one has before a world masterpiece of sacred oratory.
— Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography and God in the Qur’an

Translation is always about interpretation and choice. Habib and Lawrence prioritize conveying some of the literary beauty of the Qur’an, while maintaining clarity. Their translation, which can be read easily and out loud, is an excellent resource, especially for those who do not have access to the original Arabic text.
— Dr. Leyla Ozgur Alhassen, author of How the Qur’an Works: Reading Sacred Narrative and Qur’anic Stories: God, Revelation, and the Audience

Too many translations of the Qur’an focus only on semantics while neglecting the meaning conveyed by the clear, beautiful and majestic forms through which God has chosen to speak to humanity. Habib and Lawrence’s verse translation is a refreshing and compelling contribution to the genre that will resonate with many listeners/readers. I also appreciate the layout of the text which is elegant and uncluttered; the Qur’an deserves no less than this care and attention.
— Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Chair of Islamic Studies, Huron University College

This must be the most beautiful translation of the Qur'an ever, being the first attempt to produce a verse rendition of the final divine revelation to humankind. It is both impressively poetic and accurate. It also includes an elaborate introduction, furnishing insightful background to the Islamic Holy Book.
— Dr. Ahmad Elezabi, Director General, Al-Azhar Center for Translation, University of Al-Azhar, Cairo, Egypt

Product Details
ISBN: 9780871404992
ISBN-10: 0871404990
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024
Pages: 672
Language: English