Now, here are some points to be kept in mind while consulting the translation.
1. Although the translators have tried their best to preserve not only the literal sense of the Holy text, but also the order of words and sentences, yet, while translating the idiomatic expressions, it is felt that the literal translation may distort the actual sense or reduce the emphasis embodied in the Arabic text. At such places effort has been made to render the Quranic sense into a closer English expression.
2. Both in the translation of the Holy Quraan and in the commentary, a uniform scheme of transliteration has been adopted.
3. The names of the prophets have been transliterated according to their Arabic pronunciation, and not according to their biblical form. For example, the biblical Moses has been transliterated as Muss’aa, which is the correct Arabic pronunciation. Similarly, instead of biblical Abraham, the Qur’anic Ibrahim, and instead of Joseph, the Qur’anic Yusuf has been preferred.
However, in the names other than those of prophets, like Pharaoh, their English form has been retained.
4. A permanent feature of the original Urdu Ma’ariful-Qur’an is its “Khulasa-e-Tafseer (Summary). Under every group of verses, the esteemed author has given a brief summary of the meaning of the verses to help understand them in one glimpse. This summary was taken from Bayan-ul-Quran, the famous commentary of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. He has set up this summary by adding some explanatory words or sentences within brackets to his Urdu translation. The esteemed author of Ma’ariful-Qur’an has reproduced this summary (after simplification in some places) with the heading of Khulasa-e-Tafsir before his own commentary to the relevant group of verses.
While translating Ma’ariful-Qur’an into English, it was very difficult, rather almost impossible, to give that summary in the same fashion. Therefore, the translators have restricted themselves to the commentary of Ma’ariful-Qur’an and have not translated the Khulasa-e-Tafsir. However, where they found some additional points in the summary which are not expressly mentioned in the commentary, they have merged those points into the main commentary, so that the English reader may not be deprived of them.
It is only by the grace of Allah Almighty that in this way we could be able to present this first volume of this huge work. The second volume is already under composing, and we hope that Allah will give us tawfiq to bring the next volumes as soon as possible.
Acknowledgments are due to all those who contributed their efforts, advices and financial support to this work. Those deserving special reference are Prof. Abdul-Wahid Siddiqi, Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari, Mr. Abubakr Varachia and Mr. Shu’aib ‘Umar (both of South Africa) Dr. Muhammad Ismail (of U.S.A), and Mr. Altaf Barkhurdaria. My elder brother Mr. Muhammad Wali Raazi has been associated with the work right from its beginning, and has always been a great source of guidance, support and encouragement. He is a member of the committee set up for translation of the Holy Qur’an and his remarkable contribution, not only to the translation of the Holy Qur’an, but
also to the translation of the commentary is unforgettable. He, too, has been contributing his valuable time and effort to this project for years just for the sake of Allah. May Allah approve his contributions with His pleasure and bless him with the best of rewards both here and hereinafter.
As for Prof. Muhammad Shameem, the original translator of Ma’ariful-Qur’an after the demise of Prof. Muhammad Hasan ‘Askari, all the formal words of acknowledgment seem to be miserably deficient for the valuable service he has rendered to this project. He has not only translated the book with precaution and love, but also devoted his whole life to the Holy Qur’an and spared no effort to bring this volume into light. Out of his commitment to the cause, he did not restrict himself to the work of a translator, but also undertook the function of an editor and a proof reader and supervised all other minute details of the publishing process. His devotion, sincerity and hard work is beyond any amount of admiration. May Allah grant him the best reward of His absolute approval for his noble work. Amin.
With these few words I am honoured to present this first volume to the readers. May Allah approve this effort and make it beneficial to the Ummah. ‘Amin.
Muhammad Taqi Usmani
10 Safar 1416
9 July 1995