Salaam Dear Dr Shabbir,
I hope this message finds you well and safe during this uncertain time in all our lives , economically, politically and health-wise due to Covid-19.
I wanted to let you know that I do so enjoy my quiet-time contemplating and communing with The Almighty using your exquisite rendition of AlQuran , as It explains Itself. I am so grateful that you produced and shared such a wonderful exposition with the world. I wish I could carry it and travel with it. I have three transliterations which I refer to ; yours, Yusuf Ali, and Laleh Bakhtiar. I especially appreciate the commentary that you have pains-takingly applied to explain ayahs as they relate to our every life in this day and age. Jazakallah for your passionate delivery! May you be rewarded and May Allah SWT be pleased with you.
I have recently joined an international ladies whatsapp groupchat which is soley for the purpose of Quranic referencing of concepts of everyday life and we have decided to form a committee of like-minded people with a view to helping the youth who are having to straddle between todays current life and that of 1400yrs ago because they have been brain-washed into believing that it is the only way to uphold their Islamic faith. It saddens us to see the contradictions and the challenges they face when in fact Islam through Quran is the most embracing, simple and universal way to attain God consciousness. The way we want to help them is to produce a support for them in the form of "unpacking" key words in Quranic Arabic which have several definitions to help them understand what they read. We also want to highlight that several ayahs need to be studied collectively in order to gain full understanding and appreciation of the meaning of Quranic Arabic terminology to grasp the concepts within Quran.
The leader of the groupchat is Shabnam Ansari, a Pakistani settled in Canada. She teaches children in her Islamic nursery school and also steers their mothers towards Quran because they have been brain-washed culturally to fixate on so-called hadith which is why the youth have their struggles.
I introduced Shabnam to your rendition of Quran and I suggested that someone with your expertise and focus which is only on Quran, would be of great value in our efforts to produce information that can serve the youth of today to help them shed the cloak of hadith which is weighing them down and stunting their potential.
The message of invitation that Shabnam has sent out which she shared with me so that I can forward it to you is as follows :-
"We, at WQT- Worldwide Quran thinkers, are a group of people who do thinking and pondering over Quranic Ayahs and try to learn Quran from Quran itself.
We are thinking of compiling Quran Translation that's devoid of any man-made influence from outside the Quran. Words defined by Quran itself and translation, presented in 'as is basis' so everyone can understand the divine guidance as it applies to him or her and in today's day and age.
In this regards, we are in the process of forming a Committee of around 10-15 people from all walks of life such as people who are thinkers/researchers on Quran, philosophers, scientists, mathematicians, doctors, lawyers etc. with common element of thinking and pondering on Quranic ayats as their basic focus of Understanding Deen.
How will this translation be different? This translation will be compiled with the help of the whole committee, not by an individual only. Secondly we will not replace those key Quranic Words in English translation which can not be translated in just one or two words of english but require in depth understanding and cross reference of Quranic ayats using those meanings. The basic idea is to communicate the divine message as is with no intrusion of preconceived ideas of the translators.
We would like you to join this committee, so that the committee will have a balanced approach from both genders' view points.
For your reference, I am attaching the following links
1- our Facebook group of WQT-
2- The facebook group of Taddabur al Quran- the committee formed for Quran Translation
Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries or want to discuss further.
Dr Shabbir, please let me know if you would be willing to help us ? Please also share your comments and thoughts regarding this initiative since you have such profound experience in compiling your rendition ?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Your sister in Islam
P.S. I lived in Highland Beach FL for 7 years before returning to Zimbabwe, the place of my birth. I loved living there.
I am now based in Johannesburg, South Africa and am in regular contact with Uncle Ahmed Moosa in Cape Town who helps me in my journey through Quran which I so enjoy!