The Message of the Qur’an is an English translation and interpretation of the Qur’an by Muhammad Asad, an Austrian Jew who converted to Islam. The book was first published in Gibraltar in 1980, and has since been translated into several other languages. It is considered one of the most influential Quranic Translations of the modern age.
Asad meant to devote two years to completing the translation and the commentary but ended up spending seventeen. In the opening, he dedicates his effort to “People Who Think.” The author returns to the theme of Ijtihad – The use of one’s own faculties to understand the Divine text, again and again. The spirit of the translation is resolutely modernist, and the author expressed his profound debt to the reformist commentator Muhammad Abduh. In the foreword to the book, he writes “…although it is impossible to ‘reproduce’ the Quran as such in any other language, it is none the less possible to render its message comprehensible to people who, like most Westerners, do not know Arabic…well enough to find their way through it unaided.