‘The Message of The Qur’an’, has been acclaimed as one of the best, if not the best, translations of the Quran into English. It is a translation and brief commentary by ‘Leopold Weiss’ [Muhammad Asad] on the Muslim holy book based on his own knowledge of classical Arabic and on the authoritative classical commentaries. ,although it has been criticised by some traditionalists for its Mutazilite leanings. The commentary on the Sahih Bukhari, is the most authoritative collection of Hadith. In addition, he wrote This Law of Ours where he sums up his views on Islamic law and rejects decisively the notion of ‘Taqlid’, or strict judicial precedent which has been accepted as doctrine by most Muslim sects except the Salafis. He also makes a plea for rationalism and plurality in Islamic law, which he sees as the true legacy of the salaf or earliest generations of Muslim.
‘Leopold Weiss’ was born in 1900 in what was then Austro-Hungarian Lwów in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now Lviv in Ukraine; he died 1992. He was Jew who converted to Islam to become a great scholar. He was a descendant of a long line of rabbis. However, his father was a barrister. He received a thorough religious education. He was proficient in Hebrew from an early age and was also familiar with Aramaic. He studied the Old Testament, as well as the text and commentaries of the Talmud, the Mishna and Gemara. Furthermore, he delved into the intricacies of Biblical exegesis, the Targum. So, after abandoning university in Vienna, Asad (or Weiss, as he was then called) had drifted aimlessly around 1920s Germany, even working briefly for the expressionist film director Fritz Lang.
His travels and sojourns through Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran (he wrote many insightful articles on Shiism), and also Afghanistan and the southern Soviet Republics, were viewed with great suspicion by the Colonial Powers. One English diplomat in Saudi Arabia described him in a report as a “Bolshevik”, and it is true that he took a close interest in the many liberation movements that were active at this time with the aim of freeing Muslim lands from colonial rule. He ended up in India where he met and worked alongside Dr.Muhammad Iqbal, the poet-philosopher, who had proposed the idea of an independent Muslim state in India, which later became Pakistan.
The Message of The Qur’an, E-Book, can be downloaded in pdf , 8 MB file, from link:
Blog Post-The Message of The Quran by M Asad: http://freebookpark.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-message-of-quran-by-muhammad-asad.html