'Read! Your Lord is the Most Bountiful one who taught by the pen, who taught man what he did not know.' The Qur'an, believed by Muslims to be the word of God, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad 1400 years ago. It is the supreme authority in Islam and the living source of all Islamic teaching; it is a sacred text and a book of guidance, that sets out the creed, rituals, ethics, and laws of the Islamic religion. It has been one of the most influential books in the history of literature. Recognized as the greatest literary masterpiece in Arabic, it has nevertheless remained difficult to understand in its English translations. This new translation is written in a contemporary idiom that remains faithful to the original, making it easy to read while retaining its powers of eloquence. Archaisms and cryptic language are avoided, and the Arabic meaning preserved by respecting the context of the discourse. The message of the Qur'an was directly addressed to all people regardless of class, gender, or age, and this translation is equally accessible to everyone.
Muhammad Abdel Haleem was born in Egypt, and learned the Qur'an by heart from childhood. Educated at al-Azhar, Cairo, and Cambridge Universities, he has taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at Cambridge and London Universities since 1966, including courses in advanced translation and the Qur'an. He is now Professor of Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is also working on An Introduction to the Qur'an and English Translations of the Qur'an: The Making of An Image. He is the Editor of the Journal of Qur'anic Studies and the London Qur'an Studies series.