Q-Club: Why MAS Haleem

Why Prof. MAS Haleem’s translation

Abdel Haleem chose an unprecedented way to display his translation. He combines the verses into flowing script and breaks up the text into paragraphs based on shifts in topic. His reason for doing so is to “clarify the meaning and structure of thoughts and to meet the expectation of modern readers.” As one of his many efforts to provide clarity to the Qur’an’s meanings, Abdel Haleem has introduced punctuation marks, such as commas, semicolons, dashes, exclamation marks, quotation marks, etc.

The language used in this translation is probably one of Abdel Haleem’s greatest accomplishments. Other older translations have used Shakespearean language or direct and literal translations that trap the text in confusing and complicated diction, which hinders the readers from understanding and connecting with the text. Abdel Haleem, however, uses clear and simplified modern English that makes the text reader-friendly and very easy to follow. He states in his introduction: “The message of the Qur’ān was, after all, directly addressed to all people without distinction as to class, gender, or age: it does not rely on archaisms or pompous language for effect. Although the language of the present translation is simple and straightforward, it is hoped that it does not descend to an inappropriate level.”