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This is the first edition of the Quran translated by an American woman. This modern, inclusive translation refutes past translations that have been used to justify violence against women. The translation was undertaken by Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar, Lecturer on Islam at the Lutheran Theological Seminary connected to the University of Chicago. She has translated 25 books and written 20 on Islam and Sufism. The hallmark of this translation is its modern and inclusive language. Dr. Bakhtiar believes “in the universality of all faiths, that God is one and speaks to us in all languages.” Dr. Bakhtiar cites the most accurate translation of the word traditionally translated to mean infidel as “ungrateful” instead. She also uses God instead of Allah. Just as Allah is the universal term for God used by Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Arab world, Dr. Bakhtiar uses God as the universal English term. Dr. Bakhtiar has also challenged the translation of the Arab word idribu traditionally translated as “beat” and often used as justification for abuse of Muslim women. She sees multiple possible translations of idribu and has developed a theological argument that refutes the use of “beat” as the accurate translation for the famed passage 4:34 in the Quran that has historically justified such violence. She uses go away instead following the Sunnah of the Prophet. The first American translation of the Quran appeared in 1985 and was translated by Thomas Irving. The first translation of the Quran into English by a woman came in 2001 by an Iranian woman, Taherah Saffarzadeh.


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