The Question of Fallen Angels and the Nature of Iblīs: Was Satan an Angel or of the Jinn?

Long overdue, I am posting an excerpt on “The Question of Fallen Angels” from the Integrated Encyclopedia of the Qurʾān in response to a relatively amicable debate that occurred during a study circle on the question of the validity of the assertion that Shayṭān wasn’t necessarily an angel but possibly from the Jinn. The argument was less in favor of any particular position and more on the validity of multiple stances on the issue, as both, I argued, were accommodated by the Qurʾānic text.

Not able to recall any proofs or the names of the scholars who held divergent positions on the issue, I promised to do some research on the issue and post it later online. This lengthy entry, from which the excerpt is taken, was authored by Dr. Gibril Fouad Haddad:

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Brief Comments on “The Qur’an: The New Translation” by MAS Abdel Haleem

This translation of the meanings of the Qur’an – which I wish the cover articulated clearer instead of just “The Qur’an” in large print – is one of three translations of the Qur’an’s meanings that I use the most. The other two are Ahmad Zaki Hammad and Ali Unal’s translations. I am aware of other quality works, but I find that these three more or less do the job for me. The Majestic Qur’an was a book I used quite often, but it was very hard to find and I had borrowed it from a library. Though I’ve missed it, I find the other three suffice quite well. 

Compared to Hammad’s The Gracious Qur’an, I found this translation more lucid in places and reads better without the need for parenthetical filler expressions. However, in some places, I found the author taking a bit of liberty in the translations of words and found myself wondering whether he would have translated differently had the audience not been expected to be potentially antagonistic to Islam and its message. 

The Gracious Quran: My Preferred Translation of the Quran’s Meanings in English

With the enormous amount of translations of the meanings of the Qur’an available in the market today, it becomes very difficult for the average reader to decide which one to use and which one best suits his/her purpose.

While I admittedly have not read through or analyzed all of the translations out there, I have had the blessed opportunity to read some of the more common and available translations as well as reviews of each.

In choosing the best translation, it is important to keep a number of key factors in mind:

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