Created in May 2009, the Centre of Arab and Islamic Law provides legal consultations, conferences, translations, research and it also offers courses concerning Arab and Islamic Law, and the relation between Muslims and the West. In addition, the Centre provides research assistance to students and researchers and also allows for the free downloading of documents from the website www.sami-aldeeb.com.
Translator: Sami Awad ALDEEB ABU-SAHLIEH
Christian of Palestinian origin. Swiss citizen. Graduate and Doctor in law (Fribourg). Graduated in political sciences (Geneva). Habilitated to direct researches (HDR, Bordeaux 3). Professor of universities (CNU-France). Responsible for Arab and Islamic Law at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (1980-2009). Visiting professor in different French, Italian and Swiss universities. Director of the Centre of Arab and Islamic Law. Author of many books and of a translation of the Koran in French, English and Italian. See his website: www.sami-aldeeb.com.
Linguistic revisor: Felix Jere PHIRI (PhD)
Zambian of origin. Member of The Society of Missionaries of Africa (The White Fathers). Did his licentiate at the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI). Obtained his PhD at SOAS in 2006 and has since been teaching Islamology at PISAI in Rome (www.pisai.it) and at Dar Comboni in Cairo. Director of Etudes Arabes published by PISAI. Author of The resurgence of Islam in Zambia and several articles about Islam in Zambia. He translated into English the book Introduction to Islamic Law: foundation, sources and principles by Sami A. Aldeeb Abu-Sahilieh.
A man told the Caliph Umar Ibn-al-Khattab: "Fear Allah, oh Umar!" and repeated these words several times. "Keep silent, said someone, you repeated several times the same thing to the believers' Prince". But Umar intervened: "Don't disturb this man! It is bad not to speak to us in this way, and it is bad if we don't accept this way of speaking"1
As all the other «Holy Books», The Koran includes directly, or indirectly through the sunnah of Muhammad that Muslims must follow, norms that are in contradiction with Human rights as recognized by nowadays international documents. We invite readers to read it with a critical eye and to place it in its historical context, namely the seventh century. Among the norms that violate Human rights, and that have inspired laws of Arab and Muslim countries, and that Islamist movements would apply, in a whole or partly, we mention by way of examples:
- Inequality between men and women in marriage, divorce, inheritance, testimony, sanctions and employment
- Inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims in marriage, divorce, inheritance, testimony, sanctions and employment
- Non-recognition of religious freedom, especially the freedom to change religion
- Exhortation to fight non-Muslims, to occupy their country, to impose tribute (jizya) to non-Muslims and to kill those who do not follow the monotheistic religions
- Slavery, capture of the enemies and appropriation of their women.
- Cruel punishments such as killing of the apostate (who abandons Islam), stoning for adultery, amputation of the hands of thieves, crucifixion, flogging and retaliation (an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth)
- Destruction of statues, paintings and musical instruments and prohibition of arts.
In his message to the Koran Radio dated 31 May 1976, President Sadat affirmed:
Our Koran is a complete encyclopaedia which has neglected no aspect of life, thought, politics, society, cosmic secrets, mysteries of the souls, transactions, family law, without providing its opinion about them. The prodigious and miraculous aspect of the Koranic legislation is such that it is suitable for every era.1
The Koran is the most influential book in the Islamic world on the political level, and the first source of Islamic and Arab law. Therefore, it is necessity to read it in order to understand its adepts who represent a fifth of the humanity.
This new edition and translation of the Koran provides the following advantages:
- It reproduces the Arabic version of the Koran with the modern punctuation and the translation by chronological order.
- It indicates the most important variations of the Koran, the abrogated verses and those which abrogate them.
- It refers to the Jewish and Christian sources of the Koran.
In the subsequent pages, we expose in details the above elements, our sources and our method of translation. The Arabic-speaking reader can refer to our Arabic edition that also gives the linguistic and stylistic mistakes of the Quran, the meaning of its ambiguous words and the circumstances of the revelation.