An Easier Way to Read the Quran

You have heard Islamic terrorists quoting violent passages from the Koran (also spelled Quran), justifying their actions. And you've heard other Muslims saying the terrorists have it all wrong, and quoting peaceful passages.

How do you know what is really in that book? Anyone talking about the Koran may have an agenda, may be biased, and may be deliberately distorting the contents. The only way to really know for sure what's going on is to read it yourself.

But if you've ever tried to read the Koran, you know it is difficult. Most English translations use words like "thee" and "thou" as it does in the King James version of the Christian Bible. The Koran also repeats itself many times, making it difficult to stay focused while you read it. The chapters are arranged in order from the longest to the shortest chapter, rather than in chronological order, so it seems to jump around, which is confusing. And sometimes, because of the way the Koran is written, it's difficult to know who is speaking to who.

In addition, the Koran makes references to events in Mohammad's life, and of course, unless you know a lot about Mohammad, you won't know what these events refer to.

A version of the Koran fixes these problems. A Simple Koran puts the passages in chronological order and translates them into modern, readable English.

It also includes explanations of the events in Mohammad's life the Koran refers to, and makes it perfectly clear who is speaking to who.

An interesting thing comes to light in reading this version. Because the chapters are laid out in chronological order, you can clearly see the progression from tolerance at first — tolerance of the Jews, and even seeking the approval of the Jews — to rejection of them and their "evil ways," to outright hatred, condemnation, and urging war against them.

The way the Koran is normally laid out, you would never notice this progression as the revelations changed.

But wait a minute, you might be thinking, the fact that the revelations changed means there are conflicting passage in the Koran, right? So can't believers pick and choose what they want?

Unfortunately, the Koran itself tells the believer how to handle its own contradictions. It says if a revelation contradicts one that came before it, the newer one overwrites the older one. This is the principle known as "abrogation." The bad news for non-Muslims is that all the intolerant and violent passages abrogate the earlier tolerant and peaceful ones.

The first three-fourths of the book is difficult to read because it is uninteresting. But then the book completely changes its tune. So when you're reading, just keep going.

The reason it becomes interesting for non-Muslims is because the nature of Mohammad's revelations totally changed once he gained military power. When he first started out (when Islam was a small minority) Mohammad preached peace and tolerance. But once he gained enough followers, started raiding caravans, and gained military and financial power (from the booty he gained from the caravans), he stopped trying to curry favor with the Jews and Christians and his revelations became intolerant and then downright hateful. Don't take my word for it. Don't take anybody's word for it! Find out for yourself.

UPDATE: I have found an even better version of the Koran called An Abridged Koran. It's exactly the same as A Simple Koran and published by the same people (CSPI Publishing), except it consolidates all the repetition. The Koran is very repetitive. For example, the story of Moses and the Pharaoh is told in the original Qur'an 39 times! In An Abridged Koran, the story is only told once.

The Koran is not a very big book once you take out all the repetition. Only 203 pages. Get this book and read it. Take the pledge: Read the Quran.

But in the meantime, you can learn some of the basic teachings of Islam right now: Why is Islam so Successful?

Read more about why the standard versions of the Quran are so difficult to decipher.


  1. Why aren't there any comments? This is a very informative and enlightening article. Ingorance is our worst enemy in these very dangerous times and we need to be informed and educated on this topic. Thanx for the info. It has given me alot to "chew on".

    1. a lot of people spreading the word my friend...I am not happy with what is happening in Australia and I am doing my best to let everybody know. awareness is the first step.

    2. Bill Warner’s Videos on you Tube are very informative. Another very good speaker is an Australian churchman Dr Mark Durie on Dhimmitude. Very level headed speaker. book called "the third choice available on Amazon. I think its better to recommend level headed books as they cannot be accused of being excessive or crazy. And its a pity more like that are not around. i.e. ones that could be in churches & public librarys

    3. Read the Koran. I went into it, expecting this book from the "Abrahamic" tradition to be similar then to the Bible. I read the "no compulsion in religion" verse, that reads as a live and let live proposal that appealed.
      "I am reading a remarkable book," I told my son. "I don't know why people aren't converting or integrating if this is how it is..."

      And then the shock.
      I read the hadith, to understand the stories of Mohammed, and his history, because I began to run into verses in the koran that were disturbing to say the least. I was also becoming confused by the story, since I didn't know it wasn't arranged chronologically.

      The hadith and the stories of Mohammed, those were the keys. And the history of him found there, as well as reading books by Ali and Geller and Nonie and the Green Prince...

      ...I found an islam that shocked me! The words of war, of indiscriminate killing, of glorifying blood and war most of all, of hate for others, of jews and christians made apes and pigs (can it matter, even, if the 'moderate' muslim who tries to backpedal, to say it wasn't literal, only in 'attributes of' not literal animals, we are as an ape and a pig? no, that's still anti-semitic, hateful, wrong) and worst....worst....was the stories of Aisha, and what that man in his fifties did to her before she was even 9, when, 'afterwards' (doing something I won't even describe to her here, people will feel its pornographic and offensive, but they can read for themselves) she 'was allowed to go out and play with my dolls."
      And that did it.

      I knew I'd found a man who went mad, was mad, and the equivalent of an arabic hitler was born.

    4. I actually believe Mohammed was suffering syphillis when he wrote his Mecca works. After all he had been raping and pillaging for years, what would you expect? The disease was rife in those times and there was no cure, syphillis does send the patient mad. Can you believe there are millions of followers of this totally satanic credo, written by a ranting syphillis lunatic?

    5. Here is an even easier way to read the accursed book. Koran at a Glance is an online version of the Pickthall translation with the following features:

      1. In chronological order (as well as the standard order).
      2. Different themes, including all the jihad verses, highlighted by colour coding.
      3. The home page provides a visual illustration of the change between the Meccan and Medinan suras.
      4. Abrogated verses highlighted, with popups of their abrogating verses.

  2. Thank you very much. This site is very new. Comments will come as time goes on.

  3. Excellent blog. I will add a link from my blog where the topic of Islam and Islamism is brought up more and more often.

  4. Mayor Bloomberg in NY needs to read this information, as do all our elected officials, our clergy, Jewish Rabies, & on & on.... This exposes Islam's real intentions. Islam is not the face of love, friendship & compassion, it is a doctrine for hatred, intolerance & brutality. Sadly, it is nothing more than a plan to enslave the world. What a wake up call!!!
    Please continue your efforts to expose the enemy & shine the spotlight on Islam's real agenda. Americans cannot afford to be "politically correct" when our freedom & our future hangs in the balance.

  5. It is clear that our politicians and the media are either afraid to face the truth, to lazy to learn the truth, or like the deficit, they will let later generations worry about it.

  6. I spoke to many American and try to tell them if you ignore what is impending that will change your whole life and future generation of American, they laugh. They say, "That will never happen in American." Well, if this is what most American think, I am sorry t say, they are absolute ignorants. I live in Middle East and I know how they want us to change and adopt their way of life.

    1. They said the same thing in Germany, during Hitler's rise to power. They called him crazy, and said" will never happen here..."

  7. Thank you. I find your blogs very helpful.

  8. I read the english koran and you are right.

  9. Is this site a production of Citizen Warrior?

    I got most of my education on Islam at FFI. It's great to learn from the ex-Muslims who have so much insider knowledge, but I find this and Citizen Warrior to be very helpful from the non-Muslim perspective.

  10. I agree, ex-Muslims know the most about Islam and have a singular authority.

    And yes, Inquiry Into Islam is a production of Citizen Warrior.

  11. I agree the Simple Koran/Abridged Koran is the best way to read it, but there is no index in case you need to look up a verse. For anyone interested, I have provided an index here. (Note - even if you read the Abridged Koran, you will still need the Simple Koran for a complete reference work.)

  12. I have also read the full English translation and am worried that the condensed version has been designed to distort things to give a negative version. I reread the bible after this and can see how the bible can be edited into a book of hate aswell especially in the old testament with God ordering Joshua to slaughter every man woman and child or Jesus saying that he did not come to bring peace but to bring the sword and to set a man against his father and a woman against her mother ... These things should not be taken out of their context. The God that is spoken about in the bible has the same characteristics as the one spoken about in the Quran. I was upset when I learnt of what God commanded Joshua to do but then I thought how could I as a finite being possibly understand the perfect logic of the infinite God.... Food for thought maybe

    1. "The God that is spoken about in the bible has the same characteristics as the one spoken about in the Quran."

      This statement is not accurate!

      The Bible presents a God of love. Yes, even His commands to destroy peoples at times were rooted in love for all mankind. One must understand His broad, long term, perspective. He's not limited to the moment. He knows what is best for all time and always does what is right.

      He is relational! He created mankind, fellowshipped with them, provided a plan of atonement for them when they sinned, sent His Son to die for them, and is going to spend eternity with His people.

      The god of the Koran is not loving. He is distant, separate, has no son in heaven or on earth, provides no sure means of salvation other than dying in the act of killing other human beings. He teaches his followers to lie, steal, kill and destroy. He delights in threatening his followers with all manner of tortures if they do not do his bidding.

      How can you compare him to Yahweh, the Creator God of the Bible, who forbids these very things?

      There are passages in the Bible that explain that the general population was wicked to the point of requiring destruction. God had delayed their judgement for hundreds of years and then decided it was time to act.

      You were right to conclude that a finite creature cannot "understand the perfect logic of the infinite God..." But, the Bible gives us enough information to know He always does what is right!

      And, He cannot be compared to the false god of a false religion. There is none like Him. Praise God!

    2. To say that the words of Christ, and his coming himself as a 'sacrifice' for all mankind, are not rooted in a warlord's personal mythology, as is Mohammed's koran. You forgot to include the only other verse you can find in the New Testament (that's about Christ, if you're wondering...) that references a sword, Luke19:17, but of course he's telling a parable, and the person speaking in the parable is a harsh king, which is the point of the parable. Do you know what a parable is? It wasn't Christ saying he wanted people slain in front of him, it was the harsh king who would be merciless, which again, was the point of the parable....

      ....and can you seriously square "do unto others as they would have done unto you," and "forgive your enemies," "love your enemies as yourself," the entire point of the New Testament to be one not of conquering armies, but of personal forgiveness, Christ's message was of love, and sacrifice, only, and allowed himself to be, this is not Mohammed, getting crucified, or saying 'love your enemies,' no, and for you to pretend that is either ignorance or taqiyya. Now, which is it?

      Further, muslims believe Christ wasn't crucified at all, that an imposter was put in his place, and blah, blah,, hardly part of the Abrahamic tradition, which was only a ploy by Mohammed to get his religion some endorsement and traction, when it failed miserably...until he put everyone to the sword, in the best muslim tradition.
      So...try to pass off the Christ as a slayer, as a jihad man, some place else...we're all full up with crazy from muslims today.

  13. Daniel, I had the same concern, so I looked up random passages from the book and compared it to a classic Koran. It is not overly negative. The Koran is negative enough. It needs no embellishment.

    I'm not a Christian, but the comparison with the Bible constantly comes up whenever you talk about Islam, so I wrote this:

    Why I'm Worried About Islam But Not Christianity

    I think it will answer your concerns.

  14. At first I was interested, but based on the article promoting this version of the Koran, I am not interested because of the obvious bias the publishers and translators have against Islam and the Koran. For anyone interested in reading and fully understanding the Koran, please refer to other sources as well to ensure you are getting an accurate (and not skewed in any direction) translation. The Koran does not promote violence or hate. These passages that refer to it are in response and defense of being oppressed and in a time of war. Please read thoroughly about the religion before judging it based on what the media and fear have propagated.

  15. These recommended books do not skew the Koranic passages, which is easy enough to discover for yourself. Each passage in the Koran is numbered. So just take a passage from A Simple Koran and check it against the many mainstream Korans available. Look up the number and see if they don't say exactly the same thing. You'll find they do.

    The Koran does indeed promote hatred and violence. See 527 Koranic passages here:

    And although many of the passages refer to violence at a time of war, the language is for all time. See more about that here:

    Here's a quote from the article:

    When the Qur'an's violent verses are juxtaposed with their Old Testament counterparts, they are especially distinct for using language that transcends time and space, inciting believers to attack and slay nonbelievers today no less than yesterday. God commanded the Hebrews to kill Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—all specific peoples rooted to a specific time and place. At no time did God give an open-ended command for the Hebrews, and by extension their Jewish descendants, to fight and kill gentiles. On the other hand, though Islam's original enemies were, like Judaism's, historical (e.g., Christian Byzantines and Zoroastrian Persians), the Qur'an rarely singles them out by their proper names. Instead, Muslims were (and are) commanded to fight the people of the book—"until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled" and to "slay the idolaters wherever you find them."

    The two Arabic conjunctions "until" (hata) and "wherever" (haythu) demonstrate the perpetual and ubiquitous nature of these commandments: There are still "people of the book" who have yet to be "utterly humbled" (especially in the Americas, Europe, and Israel) and "idolaters" to be slain "wherever" one looks (especially Asia and sub-Saharan Africa). In fact, the salient feature of almost all of the violent commandments in Islamic scriptures is their open-ended and generic nature: "Fight them [non-Muslims] until there is no persecution and the religion is God's entirely." Also, in a well-attested tradition that appears in the hadith collections, Muhammad proclaims:

    "I have been commanded to wage war against mankind until they testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; and that they establish prostration prayer, and pay the alms-tax [i.e., convert to Islam]. If they do so, their blood and property are protected."

    This linguistic aspect is crucial to understanding scriptural exegeses regarding violence. Again, it bears repeating that neither Jewish nor Christian scriptures—the Old and New Testaments, respectively—employ such perpetual, open-ended commandments.

  16. This article indicates that the person writing the article himself is confused and it is difficult for him to understand and giving his baseless explanations . Firstly quran is word for word verbatim of God . (Allah ). It is God (Allah)who is addressing all people who is reading the quran .
    The beginning of the second sura is as follows :This is the Book of Allah: there is no doubt about it. It is guidance to Godfearing people, who believe in the unseen , establish the Salats and expend (in Our way) out of what We have bestowed on them;who believe in the Book We have sent down to you (i.e. the Qur'an) and in the Books sent down before you, and firmly believe in the Hereafter.Such people are on the right way from their Lord and such are truly successful.
    As for those who have rejected (these things), it is all the same to them whether you warn them or do not warn them: they are not going to believe. Allah has sealed up their hearts and ears and a covering has fallen over their eyes, and they have incurred the severest punishment. Here we see if you intend to seek guidance it will definately guide you . Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received messages 23 years in his life which is know as the quran. When one wants to understand the quran in each critical details you need to now why did a particular verse was revealed during the time of the prophet and what was the purpose behind it. Read the quran with explanation called as tafsir that will give u detail account of why a particular verses were revealed . This will clear your various facts.

  17. The Qur'an is the Divine book for the Muslims and its authority is unchallengeable. For the basis of Islam, it constitutes the foundation, as it is the direct word of Allah, the remaining building of which is the Sunnah (the example) of the Prophet (peace be upon him), which although from the Prophet, is what Allah has preferred for the Muslims.quran application for android

  18. kindly ask moslems to read and use only this tolerant version of qoran than any other version which preaches hatred, violence intolerance inequality of women etc

  19. check out talks given by this guy Nauman Ali Khan(youtube- nauman ali khan tafseer)) he gives detailed explanation of the koran and thus unknowingly the hidden agendas ;) ...its not really possible 2 directly translate Arabic as given in the above book ...some hidden agendas are understandable only to native arabs or those well versed in traditional arabic ... hope this helped :D

  20. Here is a good answer to that:

  21. This is very easy---

  22. I find it funny how so many "anonymous" posters are trying sooooooooooooo hard to defend their Koran I a desperate attempt to distance what they believe with that of Islamic radicals. Those anonymous" posters ...would they happen to have actual names like Mohammed?" Perhaps? If not, why not use a real name? Most "western" Muslims are in a constant state of "cognitive dissonance", regarding their own religion and the hateful ideology that fuels it. Granted, westernized Muslims have adapted into our culture or are born I to it, and are accustomed to the privileged gift if freedom and democracy so their values are in keeping with this upbringing, they cannot fathom why their eastern radicalism brethren are behaving so dramatically. Until they too read for likely is the very first time their own book and see for themselves. At this point they would rather go into a state of "denial" about what the scriptures, the ideology says in black and white. They would rather continue to say what they "practice" in "name only" Islam is the true Islam and hang on to their way if life, western perks included, than to renounce the theology they now cannot dispute is inherently violent, racist, bigoted and intolerant. It's a psychological disorder akin PTSD in how powerfully a mental block this denial actually is. There is also those who accept the reality of their religion but use the condoned practice of lying called "taqiyya" , an Islamic authorized practice completely sanctioned within the Koran itself. As one person who said here, Don't need to hate Muslims, just don't trust them, there is a difference.

  23. Australia now has the answer!

  24. Great site! I will take the pledge.
    Let's play Jeopardy. "I'll take 'What is' for $1.000 Alex.
    A.Someone who has actually read the Quran.
    Q. What is an Ex-Islamist.
    We actually need a Global "Let's Read the Quran Together Reality TV show".
    This way the entire Planet can then be exposed to the truth about Political ideological Islam instead of the distorted propaganda being delivered by the Corporate controlled and Government censored Main Stream Media. That would also derail the Campaign to suppress the truth about Islam and silence it's detractors. Islamophobia would immediately lose it's power to suppress as IslamAwareness takes it's place.
    Awareness is extremely crucial as there is a Plan already in full swing to Take Down and Take Over America, replace the Constitution(man's words) with the Quran (Allah's words) and institute Sharia Law. Then this takeover would extend to a Global Caliphate and the return to glory of the Ottoman Empire.
    This is happening in front of us right now secretly. Once it becomes evident it will be too late.
    This is the Jihad by Immigration Plan I've distilled to 5 Steps:
    Immigrate, Segregate, Populate, Dominate, Replace.
    This Plan is currently going on in big time in Europe. But also in America,Canada. ,Australia, everywhere.
    Minnesota and Michigan are experiencing first hand this plan in action.
    Don;t hate. Don't attack anyone. Help to educate and create awareness. But please Do NOT attack anyone as you don't know their true heart. Just be aware.

  25. There is also a 2 hour Koran by the same publisher mentioned in the article above only 79 pages! However very informative.

  26. These are all misconceptions about Islam...Islam is the religion of peace and harmony.the things mentioned in this article are out of context.Every verse of Quran has the detailed past and theory behind it.You can't just quote verse and say this is against non Muslims.Islam is truth and truth should prevail in the society so that society becomes more peaceful and relaxing.thats why Islam ordered every non Muslim to spread a word of truth.

    1. You haven't read the Koran or don't understand the principle of abrogation.

  27. I hope somebody still checks out this blog --- anyway, 20 minutes Introduction to Sumary, virtually all you need to know; in a new tab)

  28. If that link above doesn't work for you, use this one:

    It's a good resource. Worth reading.