About the Book:
The renowned scholar and Sufi master, the late Dr Martin Lings (Shaykh Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din) was working on a full translation of the Qur’an when he passed away. The Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, who had commissioned Dr Lings to translate the Qur’an, and the Islamic Texts Society were granted access to his papers. The Publishers extracted from these previously unpublished writings, and from all his other publications, his translations of verses from the Qur’an. These are here presented as The Holy Qur’an: Translations of Selected Verses accompanied by the original Arabic text on facing pages.
Occasionally, Dr Lings translated a particular verse in more than one way; all the different versions have been retained. On the one hand, this is a reflection of the fact that there can never be a definitive translation of the sacred text; on the other hand, this brings out the multiple meanings that may exist in one verse.
In addition, there is an appendix of Dr Lings’ translation of the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of God with the original Arabic and transliteration; and a cross-referenced index which is intended to work as a minor concordance.
For all those wishing to learn about the Qur’an, for non-Arabic-speaking Muslims, for students of Arabic and translation, for scholars of Islamic studies, The Holy Qur’an: Translations of Selected Verses is a short and accessible introduction with the additional benefits of the profound learning of an eminent scholar and the beautiful language of a published poet.
The late Dr Martin Lings, formerly Keeper of Oriental Manuscript in the British Museum and the British Library, is the author of, among others, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, What is Sufism?, A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century, The Book of Certainty and Sufi Poems.
‘This translation conveys something of the beauty of the language of the Sacred Text as no other English translation has been able to do. It is a major addition to the corpus of Qur’anic translations.’
Prof. S. H. Nasr, George Washington University
‘These translations by a master of the English language who is also an eminent student of the Qur’an are of inestimable value.’
Gai Eaton, author of Islam and the Destiny of Man
‘In addition to his stunning classical English, Dr Martin Lings was both a master of Arabic and a brilliant scholar of Islam. This rare combination of skills made him the ideal candidate to translate the Qur’an.’
Hamza Yusuf, Zaytuna Institute
About the Author:
Martin Lings also known as Shaykh Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din was born in Lancashire in 1909. After a classical education he read English at Oxford where he was a pupil and later a close friend of C. S. Lewis. In 1935 he went to Lithuania where he lectured on Anglo-Saxon and Middle English and subsequently he went to Egypt and lectured mainly on Shakespeare at Cairo University. In 1952 he returned to England and took a degree in Arabic and in 1955 he joined the staff of the British Museum where from 1970–73 he was Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts. For the following year he held the same post in the newly founded British Library.
In addition to writing many books he is also the author of the chapter ‘Mystical Poetry’ in Abbasid Belles-Lettres, which is Volume 2 of The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature, and the chapter on ‘The Nature and Origin of Sufism’ in Vol.19 of World Spirituality, as well as articles for Studies in Comparative Religion, Sophia, The New Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Encyclopaedia Britannica
Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din better known as Martin Lings passed away in the year 2005.