Before studying the translation of the Holy Qurʾān, it is necessary to keep the following points in mind:
(1) The Holy Qurʾān is the Divine Book of guidance that was revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Instead of sending it down in a single transaction, Allah Almighty has revealed it in parts during the period of last 23 years of the life of the Holy Prophet . For, as the Last Messenger of Allah on this earth, the Holy Prophet had to pass through different phases during his struggle for propagation of Islam, and needed to receive divine instructions on each new situation arising in the course of his struggle. At times, therefore, he received detailed discourses, and at others only one verse or a part of it, according to the requirement of each respective situation.
(2) That is the reason why the Holy Qurʾān is not in the form of normal books that deal with every aspect of a subject at one place, then move on to other subjects, or in which every subject is discussed in a different chapter. The Holy Qurʾān is rather a package of divine verses—each one having an independent point of guidance—which sometimes appears to be disjointed with the foregoing or forthcoming points, though having a fine tune of linkage if considered in depth. Similarly, different aspects of one subject are often found in different chapters, because every aspect was revealed whenever it was needed in the relevant circumstances.
(3) As admitted by even non-Muslim Arabs, the Holy Qurʾān has a unique literary style in Arabic, which has no parallel in the history of Arabic literature. Its miraculous beauty, eloquence and grandeur cannot be accurately rendered in any other language, nor can a translator convey the effect of its most impressive expressions in exact proportion. All one can do is to try to transmit the basic sense of its verses within the limits of a translation, which is often devoid of force and bereft of the peculiar sequence and rhythm of the original text. Thus a translation of the Holy Qurʾān can help one understand its basic message, but it can by no means represent or stand for the Holy Qurʾān itself, nor is it a just attitude to form an opinion about it merely on the basis of a translation.
(4) The present translation is an effort to render the basic meanings of the Holy Qurʾān in a simple and easy language. It is, therefore, neither too literal that may be difficult for a common reader to understand, nor is it too liberal that it may take the reader too far from the Holy Text itself. I have tried to accommodate different interpretations that were reasonably possible in some verses, but where I failed to do so, I have adopted the interpretation preferred by majority of the classic exegeses.
(5) The footnotes in this book are not meant to give a comprehensive commentary on the Holy Book, for which detailed commentaries, like Ma‘ariful Qur’an, may be consulted. The notes are rather meant only to explain the translation wherever a common reader may find some difficulty in understanding the correct connotation of the text, or where he needs to know the backdrop of the revelation of a particular verse.