FOREWORD

(First Edition)

Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez (1903-1985), an outstanding and distinguished scholar of Islam, was the author of over forty books on various topics of the Quran. His most famous works in Urdu include:-

  1. "Mafhum-ul-Quran" (Exposition of the Holy Quran)
  2. "Lughat-ul-Quran" (Dictionary of the words and concepts of the Quran) - Four Volumes
  3. "Matalib-ul-Furqan" (Tafseer of the Holy Quran) - Six Volumes (Seventh volume is being printed posthumously)
  4. "Tabweeb-ul-Quran" (Classification of the Holy Quran) - Three Volumes
  5. "Meraj-e-Insaniyyat" (Biography of Muhammad Rasool-Allah (peace be upon him))
  6. "Nizam-e-Rabubiyyat" (Quranic Economic Order) and numerous others

Apart from the above, he also wrote a book "Islam - A Challenge to Religion" in English.

He was the founder of Tolu-e-Islam, a monthly magazine, which he started in 1938 at the instance of Allama Muhammad Iqbal and under the guidance of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. This magazine is being published regularly even after his death.

It was his ardent desire and of all those influenced by his unique interpretation of the Holy Quran, to render his works into English so that the educated modern youth in Pakistan and abroad should be able to understand and appreciate the real message of Islam. This urge and demand increased particularly after he published his reputed book

"Islam - A Challenge to Religion"

It was in 1983 that he undertook the project of rendering into English his celebrated work titled "Mafhum-ul-Quran." He could only complete upto Surah Al-Kahaf (18) - slightly more than half the text of the Quran - when illness overtook him in October 1984, out of which he could not survive and breathed his last on the evening of 24th February 1985. After his death the Tolu-e-Islam Trust took up the editing of this work and its publication.

The reader would notice that some of the Quranic terms are retained as such (in Arabic) in this exposition, e.g., Allah, Deen, Hamd, Kafir, Momin, Mushrik, Nabi, Rahman, Raheem, Rasool, Salat, Zakat, etc. These concepts have special significance in the Quran and it is just not possible to translate them in few words in English (as would be appreciated while consulting the Glossary of Terms). The other reason was their oft-repeated use in the Quran, and every time their elaboration was not possible. Their translation in one word, as had been done by almost all the other translators, would only convey Biblical or conventional concepts, which, in many cases is contrary to or far away from the concepts of the Holy Quran. The third reason was the inability of the English language to convey the concepts of Arabic language, which is the richest language in the world. For instance, Quran has used three different words while describing the various stages of the creation of the universe: Khalaqa, Fatara, and Badaa. English language, on the other hand, has only one word "Created" which fails to explain the subtle differences between these stages.

In general it is very difficult to translate a piece of literature from one language into another; particularly to translate the language of Allah’s Revelation, the Holy Quran, retaining its beauty, force, seriousness and grandeur is just not possible. A language coins particular words according to the traditions of its people, culture, concepts and values; so how could it be possible for English, or for that matter, any other language, to give one word for a concept which does not exist in their culture? Hence the necessity of retaining these words in Arabic and adding a Glossary of these terms. In the Quranic text certain places have been specifically mentioned. A map has been added to assist the readers to be appraised of their geographical location.

The reader would find a new approach in this presentation which is different from all other translations in English. As the title explains, this presentation is not the translation of the Holy Quran, but its "Exposition."

While giving cross references of the verses, the number of Surah is quoted first and then the verse number, e.g., (5/38) means Surah Al-Maida (5), Verse 38. Since presently only first eighteen Surah are being published, the reader may consult any other copy of the Holy Quran to refer to the verses quoted beyond Surah 18; the next volume (Vol. 2) containing the remaining 96 Surah will, Insha-Allah, be presented in due course of time.

Another feature of this presentation is that its pages run from right to left as against the normal English pattern. This mode has been adopted to maintain the Quranic sequence of its verses. The readers are requested to keep this in mind.

It is an honest and serious human effort to convey the pristine concepts of the Holy Quran. The original Arabic text of Wahi, however, is eternal and its interpretation during any span of time cannot be taken as the last word; that shall have to be left to the last man on earth. As Allah has stated in the Holy Quran (41:53), The TRUTH of His Guidance shall ever continue to manifest itself in the outer space and within the human psyche till IT is finally established. The reflection of any human error in this work, therefore, should in no case be attributed to Allah’s message. The Trust shall highly appreciate if any shortcomings, indicated in good faith, are brought to their notice for future improvements. However, the readers who do not find this exposition satisfying, may ponder over the original Quranic text themselves.

It may be worth mentioning that Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez could not take up the translation of the first two chapters of his original Urdu work namely, (i) Al-Quran-al-Azeem and (ii) Taaruf (introduction), during his lifetime. Perhaps he had intended to do this after completing the work on whole of the Quran. Therefore, for the time being, the Trust decided to present only the part completed by him. These two chapters will, Insha-Allah, be added to this work when translation of the remaining 96 Surahs is also published.

The Trust shall feel amply rewarded for their efforts in presenting this Exposition, if it attracts even a single soul towards The TRUTH contained in the Holy Quran and he seeks to illuminate the path of his life with the light that is Allah’s Revelation - The Quran.

23rd February 1990.

Tolu-e-Islam Trust
25-B, Gulberg-2, Lahore-11, Pakistan.
042-5753666, 042-5764484