Islamic Garden

Islamic Garden
Islamic Garden in Lausanne, Switzerland

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Reformist Translation of al-Fatiha

The translators of the Reformist Translation of the Quran, Edip Yuksel, American-Turkish founder of Islamic Reform (, Layth Saleh al-Shaiban (founder of Progressive Muslims and co-founder of Islamic Reform) and Martha Schulte-Nafeh (Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Near Eastern Studies - Arabic language and Linguistics 2004), claim that it

"offers a non-sexist understanding of the divine text; it is the result of collaboration between three translators, two men and a woman. We use logic and the language of the Quran itself as the ultimate authority in determining likely meanings, rather than previous scholarly interpretations. These interpretations, though sometimes useful as historical and scholarly reference resources, are frequently rendered inadequate for a modern understanding and practice of Islam because they were heavily influenced by patriarchal culture, relied heavily on the hearsay teachings falsely attributed to the prophet Muhammad, and were frequently driven by hidden or overt sectarian and political agendas. We therefore explicitly reject the right of the clergy to determine the likely meaning of disputed passages."

Their translation of al-Fatiha is rendered accordingly:

1:1 In the name of God, the Gracious, the Compassionate
1:2 Praise is to God, Lord of the Worlds.
1:3 The Gracious, the Compassionate.
1:4 Master of the day of Judgment.
1:5 You alone we serve; you alone we ask for help.
1:6 Guide us to the straight way;
1:7 the way of those whom you blessed; not of those who received anger, nor of the strayers.

The endnotes on 1:7 are interesting:

"001:007 Traditional commentaries attempt to restrict the negatively described groups to Christians and Jews. This self-righteous attitude has led the Muslim masses to ignore their own corruption and deviation from the straight path.

The Quran mentions communities as well as individuals who received retribution such as the people of Noah (26:25), the People of Thamud (7:78; 11:61-68), the People of Lot (26:160-175), the People of Madyan (11:84-95), Ayka (26:176-191), Aad (11:59-60); 26:123-140), and Pharoah (3:11; 11:96-99); 20:78-80)."

~ Excerpted from "Quran - A Reformist Translation", (2007, pp. 40-41)

1 comment:

Alizi Alias said...


Great blog! I myself had published two posting on surah al-Fatihah in my newly created blog "Islam and Psychology" at

Hope to learn from each other.