A. Methodology for this Translation
This work is the culmination of years of group research and study into the Scripture and its nature, and is an attempt to reintroduce people to God's words with authenticity and objectivity.
The most significant points that the reader needs to be aware of with regards to this translation are as follows:
1. Chapter Headings
In reviewing the oldest written records of the Scripture, it was found that no actual chapter names as used in current printed editions ever existed (e.g. 'the cow, the family of Imran, the women, etc.') and that they were later insertions to ease reference.
Image from chapter 10 of the Sanaa Qur'an dated around 800 A.D.
* UNESCO - The Sana'a Manuscripts which shows no chapter name/heading
While this translation does use numeric chapter headings to ease reader reference, the removal of the 'names' has been done to maintain authenticity of the revealed text.
2. The 'Basmallah'
Current printed editions of the Scripture record the 'Basmallah' (the title which reads: 'In the name of God, the Almighty, the Merciful') at the start of each chapter/sura (with the exception of chapter/sura 9). However, what is peculiar is that the Basmallah is only counted as a verse at the beginning of the Scripture in 1:1, while all the remaining Basmallah's that prefix other chapters/suras are unnumbered.
Research into this matter by looking at the older texts has been unable to yield the background or rationale into this different treatment for the Basmallah, however, what is apparent is that even with the oldest surviving copies, the Basmallah prefixes nearly all chapters/suras.
Image from chapter 3 of the Gold Qur'an dated around 800 A.D.
* All scans of Gold Qur'an are made available by John Hopkins University
which shows a verse stop after the 'Basmallah'
This translation has included the Basmallah's in nearly all chapters while following the common convention of not numbering them with the exception of 1:1.
3. Hafs Vs. Warsh
One of the least known facts regarding the Scripture is the existence of slight variations between existing printed versions (up to ten copies exist with minor variations, with the two most prominent being known under the names of 'Hafs' and 'Warsh') * Al-Qiraat Al-Ashr Al-Mutawatira, by Allawi Mohammed Balfaqeeh (Published by Dar Al-Mahajir).
While there is no variation with regards to the bulk text of the Scripture (i.e. nearly the same number of words, and sequence of words, in all versions), there is a slight difference in some of the spelling of certain words as well as the issue of the location of verse 'stops' which significantly differ from one version to the other.
Although the 'Warsh' style of separating the verses is found to be more in-line with the older surviving texts, the approach of this translation has been to remain with the common 'Hafs' numbering of verses as being the most prevalent amongst Muslims (Warsh being limited mainly to parts of North Africa).
4. The Missing 'Basmallah'
Another noticeable aspect of the printed Scripture is the lack of a ‘Basmallah’ at the beginning of chapter/sura 9. Information written regarding this subject does not provide the rationale behind such treatment, while some of the discussion revolve around the structure of the Scripture perhaps being 113 chapters rather than 114 (this is argued on the
In reviewing the older written texts, it was found that the ability to realize the separation between chapters 8 & 9, without a Basmallah, was nearly impossible without referring to the man-made injection of the chapter name to highlight the beginning of a new chapter.
Image from chapter 9 of the Gold Qur'an showing inserted
chapter name to mark separation
Although no definitive answer to this issue has been found, it is being pointed out for the sake of transparency that this translation is following the common convention of having 114 chapters without a Basmallah for chapter 9.