Friday, August 21, 2009

the Opening of the Qur'an

To maximize benefit from reading the Qur'an during this month, some of teachers encourage in addition to completing its recitation in Arabic, to also do a "khatm" (complete reading) of an English translation. I was doing this last year and found it extremely rewarding in bringing forth meanings and contemplation of what I had been reciting.

The following is from the beginning of Cleary's translation of the Qur'an. [Cleary in 1993 published a selection of passages in his beautiful the Essential Koran. In 2004, he came out with a full translation (although with not introduction or footnotes) with Starlatch Press. See if you like it:]

1. The Opening

1. In the name of God,
the Benevolent,
the Merciful.
2. Praise is proper to God,
Lord of the universe,
3. the Benevolent,
the Merciful,
4. Ruler of the Day of Requital.
5. It is you we serve,
to You we turn for help.
6. Show us the straight path,
7. the path of those You have favored,
not of those who are objects of anger,
nor of those who wander astray.

2. The Cow

In the name of God, the Benevolent, the Merciful

1. A.L.M.
2. This is the Book, without doubt,
in it guidance for the conscientious,
3. those who believe in the unseen,
who practice regular prayer,
and who give of what
We have provided them;
4. and those who believe
in what was revealed to you,
and what was revealed before you,
and are certain of the Hereafter
5. They follow guidance from their Lord;
and they are the successful ones.

6. As for those who scoff,
it is the same to them
whether you warn them or not -
they do not believe.
7. God has sealed their hearts,
and their hearing and their seeing
are covered over;
and there is a horrendous torment for them.


8. And there are people who say,
"We believe in God and the Last Day,"
but they do not believe.
9. They try to deceive God
and those who believe,
but they only deceive themselves,
without being aware.
10. In their hearts is sickness,
and God has made them sicker;
and in store for them is painful torture,
because they have been lying.

from "The Qur'an A New Translation" by Thomas Cleary

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