The Reference Quran

A translation without bias, as much as possible


Qur’an translation features

1. A translation without bias, as much as possible. Definitely not slanted toward the traditional Islamic interpretation of verses, but also not slanted, as much as I can be, toward a Christian meaning where such is not intended.

2. A translation in standard English. The goal is to use English sentence structure and length, English grammar, English punctuation, and English style. No attempt is made to teach Arabic through this translation, nor to reproduce Arabic style.

3. A translation in readable, modern English. No attempt is made to imitate the rhymed prose of the Qur’an or the archaic King James translation of the Bible.

4. An accurate translation. The goal is to be exactly as accurate in the text as the original Arabic, neither more specific nor more general. When the text does not specify the speaker but uses a pronoun, this translation will do the same. When the Arabic text implies the speaker in a way that the English translation does not, a footnote will clarify who is speaking. In addition, since Arabic has no capital letters, pronouns are not capitalized, even when referring to God.

5. Through the footnotes, this translation strives to show the points of commonality in doctrine between the Qur’an and the Bible. The footnotes are keyed to the translation.

6. It uses the currently accepted consonantal text, generally with the vowel pointings currently agreed upon. The commonly accepted versification in Arabic is used.

7. It distinguished between the singular, dual, and plural, and between masculine and feminine in the words “you” and “they” by means of superscript following such pronouns.

8. The footnotes emphasize the similarities between the Qur’an and the Bible, not the differences. We believe that a clear translation of what the Bible actually says will show these similarities.

9. The names of the chapters are transliterated, with translations given in the footnotes.

10. Changes in the rhyme scheme are highlighted with an inserted blank line.

11. The Arabic of the Qur’an has no punctuation. Where a verse could be understood more than one way, this has been noted.

12. Quotation marks are supplied in the English translation for clarity, though there were no such things in the Arabic of the Qur’an.

13. This version uses Arabic transliteration of names, rather than the names commonly understood by Christians. (This was a committee decision to make it more acceptable to Muslims.) The English names are footnoted.

14. Footnotes that refer to repeated words or names are footnoted only once per chapter.

15. The glossary gives probable sources of transliteration into Arabic.

16. Where there are similar themes, words, or stories in the Bible, these have been footnoted.

17. Themes throughout the Qur’an that show common truth are footnoted with internal cross-references.


· This is simply unique! It has increased the possibility of understanding the Qur'an to English speakers. I find this the closest to the original Arabic Qur'an, in simple English. With the evident good intentions expressed therein, this translation is highly recommendable. (Z., Nigeria)

· I love this translation. It is clear and I read it every day. (M., Somalia)

· This translation is simply an explanation of the meanings of the Quran. It strives only to give the meaning, but not reproduce the rhyme of the Holy Book, as indicated in the introduction. However, the translated text does not lose the quality of the original. I am quite pleased with the degree to which this translation reflects the original message at every level of meaning. Second, there is no perfect translation of the Quran. The Holy Quran is untranslatable but has to be kept being translated. Being human works, each translation almost always has errors. However, this translation is simple to understand and this is its main quality, while being exact in portraying the meaning. It is accurate, and never misleading. I hold this translation as reliable renditions of the Quran and trust it can be read even by mainstream Muslims. (Imam Dr. R., USA)

· I began to cry as I read it. I love the idea of building bridges. I greatly appreciate the introduction. 

Sheikh A., Middle East