Professor Arberry’s debt to the Qur’an


This Ramadan I am reading Arthur J. Arberry’s translation of the Qur’an. I first came across Professor Arberry’s translation ‘The Koran Interpreted’ at university. I had borrowed it from the uni library and read it over the summer of 1989. Btw, somewhere out there is a Pakistani chap I worked alongside in a summer job that year who borrowed that library copy from me and never returned it! I had to pay the library to replace that copy. Grrr.

Anyway, in the introduction to the World Classics edition of his translation of the Qur’an, Arberry mentions that he thinks his work is distinguished from earlier translations because of the length he went to to capture the ‘intricacies’ and ‘rhythmic patterns’ in the original Arabic Qur’an.

I mentioned last Ramadan that all of us non-Arabic speakers owe a huge debt to translators of the Qur’an such as Arberry, Abdullah Yusuf Ali…

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