The Study Quran

2015 English-language Quran translation
The Study Quran
Study Quran cover.jpg
Cover for the first edition.
EditorsSeyyed Hossein Nasr 22, Caner Dagli, Maria Massi Dakake, Joseph Lumbard, Mohammed Rustom
CountryUnited States
Publication date

The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary is a 2015 English-language edition of the Quran edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr and published by HarperOne. Caner Dagli, Maria Massi Dakake, and Joseph Lumbard prepared the translation, wrote the commentary, and also served as general editors, and Mohammed Rustom contributed as an assistant editor. Alongside a new English translation and extensive commentary, The Study Quran features numerous essays, maps, and other material.


The idea of an English-language Quran for scholars and students was originally proposed to Nasr by HarperOne (then HarperSanFrancisco), who wanted Nasr as the editor-in-chief. Nasr initially declined, but after the publisher told him that the book would not happen without him, he felt obligated to lead the project. Nasr had several conditions for the work: firstly, that it would avoid modernistic and fundamentalist interpretations of the Quran, instead favouring a range of traditional interpretations. He also insisted that all the editors would be Muslim. Nasr chose Dagli, Dakake, and Lumbard, all Americans and former students of his, as General Editors. Sections of the translation and commentary were apportioned to the three editors, who worked under the oversight of Nasr and in consultation with each other to preserve the unity of the project. Nasr recruited Rustom as an assistant editor after the translation and essays had been completed.[1] The Study Quran took ten years to complete.[2]


On The Study Quran’s English translation, Nasr writes:

We have sought to make use of the full possibilities of the English language without the pretext of wanting to be so up-to-date in word usages that our rendition would soon become out-of-date. We have also sought to be as eloquent as possible, in an effort to reflect something of the inimitable eloquence of Quranic Arabic.[1]

The Study Quran’s commentary makes use of at least 41 traditional commentaries that represent a variety of Islamic perspectives, including Sunni and Shiite sources[3] among them linguistic, philosophical, mystical, and historical commentaries.[citation needed] The book provides analysis and thorough summary of them, including in it disagreements between commentators. It's primary value has been characterized as it giving an English-speaking audience access to important commentaries which are in Persian and Arabic in a single manuscript, despite the commentaries sometimes spanning tens of volumes.[3] It is the first edition of the Quran to combine commentaries with disparate and often conflicting interpretations in this way. The source commentaries are traditional rather than contemporary, and are dominated by Medieval works; the most recent commentators are Ibn Ashur and Tabataba'i, who both died in the 20th century.

The book also includes 15 essays written on related topics, including "How to Read the Quran", "The Quran as Source of Islamic Law", and "Conquest and Conversion, War and Peace in the Quran". The essay topics were selected by Nasr and written by a variety of contributors.


The Study Quran was reviewed in scholarly journals.[4][5][6]

Faraz Rabbani called The Study Quran a “deep, rich, valuable study companion for any English-speaker seeking to deepen their understanding and appreciation for the Book of Allah”, but warned readers not to “take it as “the final word” or an authoritative reference on matters of theology or law”.[7]

Appraisal by mainstream American publications focused on The Study Quran's capacity to counter extreme or fundamentalist interpretations of Islam. A report by CNN entitled “Could this Quran curb extremism?” placed the work in the context of the recent Paris attacks, emphasising that the book refutes the extremist interpretations of the Quran by ISIS and other groups.[2] Similarly, an article in The Daily Beast presented The Study Quran as a “challenge” to the ultra-conservative Salafi scholars who “have monopolized English-language Muslim resources”.[8]


  1. ^ a b Nasr, Hossein (2015). "Introduction". The Study Quran. HarperOne.
  2. ^ a b Burke, Daniel (2016). "Could this Quran curb extremism?". CNN.
  3. ^ a b Bahar Davary (8 November 2016). "The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary". Horizons. doi:10.1017/hor.2016.108.
  4. ^ Fudge, Bruce (2018). "Study the Quran or The Study Quran?". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 138 (3): 575–588. doi:10.7817/jameroriesoci.138.3.0575. JSTOR 10.7817/jameroriesoci.138.3.0575.
  5. ^ Berenike Metzler (2018). "Seyyed Hossein Nasr/Caner K. Dagli/Maria Massi Dakake/Joseph E. B. Lumbard/Mohammed Rustom (Hrsg.): The Study Quran. A New Translation and Commentary. New York: HarperOne 2015. 2048 S. ISBN 978-0-06-112586-7. $ 64,99". Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft. 168 (2): 500–502. doi:10.13173/zeitdeutmorggese.168.2.0500. JSTOR 10.13173/zeitdeutmorggese.168.2.0500.
  6. ^ Ibrahim, Celene (2016). "Review of The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary, Nasr, Seyyed Hossein, et al. eds". Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies. 1 (2): 89–92. doi:10.2979/jims.1.2.08. JSTOR 10.2979/jims.1.2.08.
  7. ^ Rabbani, Faraz (2015). "Do you recommend the Study Quran?".
  8. ^ Zavadski, Katie (2016). "The American Quran Pissing Off the Saudis". The Daily Beast.

External links

  • The Study Quran (Google Books Preview)
  • Islam portal
  • iconBooks portal