1. HRH Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad , Chief Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs to H. M. King Abdullah II, author of Love in the Holy Quran.
“Those who read ‘translations’ of the Qur’an—and there are no completely accurate ‘translations’ of the Qur’an in English and only a few adequate ones (these being arguably Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s; Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall’s [including the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute’s reworking of it]; and the new ‘Study Qur’an translation’; Laleh Bakhtiar’s ‘translation’ is arguably the most internally consistent)—are not reading the Qur’an, but rather mere subjective individual interpretations of it: the Qur’an is God’s Word in its Arabic form only.
“The work Dr. Bakhtiar has put into her interpretation—the consistency, the method, the attention to tense, root, case and detail—is second to none. I have never seen its like before. The English reading of it is also lovely and smooth. This is clearly a blessing God has blessed her with, ma sha Allah.
H.R.H. Prince Ghazi”
2. DAVE EGGERS - American Novelist on Oprah.com
3. JOHN ESPOSITO, Head of Georgetown University Center for Muslim/Christian Understanding
“I am very familiar with Laleh Bakhtiar's writings and her recent translation of the Quran. Sublime Quran is a major translation that, in contrast to many other translations, in clear and direct language, effectively makes the message of the Quran accessible to English speaking audiences. It is one that I often recommend.”
4. REZA ASLAN, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is a contributing editor at the Daily Beast
I am quite a fan of your mothers and routinely talk about her Quran translation in my speeches and in my classes. Here's a quote for you: "For 14 centuries the translation and interpretation of the Quran has been the sole purview of men. Only men have been empowered to define the meaning and message of the Quran, and it is no coincidence that their interpretation has often been misogynist or worse. Laleh Bakhtiar's incredible achievement has changed all that. For the first time a woman has been able to reengage the scripture from a different point of view, thus producing a gender neutral translation that is far more consistent with the message and spirit of the Quran than any previous translation. " REZA ASLAN
5. SHAIDA KHAN: Executive Director of the Domestic Harmony Foundation, a non-profit organization working against domestic violence within Muslim, Middle Eastern and South Asian communities (based in Long Island, NY) Laleh was the keynote speaker at their Annual Fundraising Gala on April 17,2010 in Long Island, NY www.dhfny.org
There are numerous reasons for the importance of Laleh Bakhtiar's translation of the Holy Quran, the least of which is that her Sublime Quran provides a sensible and humanistic interpretation for the holy book. As the Executive Director of the Domestic Harmony Foundation, a non-profit organization working against domestic violence within Muslim, Middle Eastern and South Asian communities, this interpretation of Ms. Bakhtiar's is particularly significant. We are often faced with individuals who are victimized by their partners' usage of Quranic verses to further their abusive gains, citing the controversial verse 4:34. Her interpretation provides a more Islamic minded approach- that when all else fails, to "move away from" the wife should be the last resort, and not to hit. This meaning is particularly important in our field of work when the victims and the abusers need to be educated as to the real nature of Islamic teachings. Equally as important as Ms. Bakhtiar's interpretation is the very fact that as a female scholar, she is considered a knowledgeable and meritorious persona in the annals of Islamic literature. She is an exemplary individual particularly for women who have been victimized by domestic violence, and also for all Muslim women to look up to.
6. ASMA BARLAS, PHD - Ithaca College - Director Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity
As to my thoughts on the Sublime Qur'an, since I am not a scholar of Arabic, I can't talk about its linguistic accuracy, etc. However, what I think is significant about Laleh Bakhtiar's translation is that it opens up new interpretive possibilities for Muslims. As I always point out, the Qur'an says that those who read it for its best meanings are the ones whom God has guided (39:18). This suggests that we can-- and should --have more than one reading/ interpretation/ translation so that we can find the best among these. Of course, notions of "best" are likely to differ over time but that is to be expected. Besides, what makes the Qur'an a universal text, by which I mean a text that is always integral to our lives, no matter the age in which we live, is that each generation can continue to find new meanings in it. In contributing to that endeavor, Ms. Bakhtiar has opened new doors for Muslims; whether someone wants to walk through these or not is, naturally, up to them.
7. INGRID MATTSON, PAST PRESIDENT THE ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA - Professor of Islamic Studies Hartford Seminary (reflecting on her life's work)
"Current events have left Americans fascinated and frightened by Islam and Muslims. With no end in sight of the "war on terror" and questions about the compatibility of Islam with Western societies, the need for honest and accurate information about Muslims has never been greater. In the case of Muslim women especially, ignorance and sensationalism abound. What could be more welcome than an examination of the life of a Muslim woman who is neither a silent victim of oppression, waiting to be saved by a secular revolution, nor an apologist for misguided ideology, but an intelligent woman of faith and integrity? Laleh Bakhtiar has lived a remarkable life - but a life with which we can relate, because while some of her experiences appear exotic to the typical American, her values and principles are not. A biography of Laleh Bakhtiar is sure to shed much needed light - and humanity - on Muslims today."
8. MARCIA HERMANSEN - Director of the Islamic World Studies Program and Professor in the Theology Department at Loyola University Chicago
One of things that strikes me about the translation is how its reception in the "mainstream" Muslim community--at least in North America, made it less acceptable or even unacceptable for Muslim community leaders to simply repeat misogynistic interpretations. I refer specifically to the ISNA representative in Canada who wanted to ban the book--and the response from US leadership that ISNA supports women's rights and allows expression of a variety of opinions on Islam. It is clear that this pioneering project opened up conversations about gender relations in the community that needed to take place, and provoked a productive re-examination of assumptions about interpretation and authority.
9. YORIYOS - son of Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens)
We love and appreciate the work your mother has done and continues to do, Alhamdullilah. "MashAllah, Thank you for your work Laleh. My father (Yusuf Islam) and I have been reading your books in admiration. We champion you and pray you are eternally blessed. With Peace and Much Respect Yoriyos"
Friday, October 26th, 2007
In an article in the Toronto Star on Oct. 21, a leading Islamic cleric said he was considering banning Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar’s translation of the Quran. As a result of that article, Muslim women leaders in Toronto were outraged. Subsequently ISNA, the Islamic Society of North America through it’s President Ingrid Mattson, issued a statement supporting Dr. Bakhtiar’s translation:
Wednesday, August 15th, 2007
ASPEN — Of all the differences between the Muslim world and the West, perhaps none is more potentially explosive than the roles of women, whether in domestic relationships or in their potential as leaders in Islamic and world affairs.