Thank you for inviting me to join this group.
Welcome to the board
. It's a pleasure to have you join us.
May I suggest that there are at some fundamental problems with your proposed approach: The first two arise from the fact that many Qur'anic expressions have multiple accepted readings قراءات and many have multiple accepted meanings.
That is certainly true and it highlights what I mentioned earlier that a perfect translation is impossible. What we're trying to do here is to brainstorm ideas on how to achieve the impossible!
Seriously, we want to translate the Arabic as closely as is possible. However, when it's impossible, we simply have to accept alternatives that are not literal.
Per your observation about pronunciation alternatives قراءات
, I'd say that if the two alternatives have different meanings then I'd go with the most popular reading. In the example you quoted about 1:4, I'd go with the Hafs reading, perhaps with a footnote mentioning the Warsh reading and its translation.
An example of the second arises, for example, in 2:54, "فتوبوا إلى بارئكم فاقتلوا آنفسكم ذلكم خير لكم عند بارئكم فتاب عليكم". Do you really want to give the apparent meaning of "kill yourselves" in the sense of committing suicide? Or, do you want to adopt a Sufi classification of the lower soul (نفس)، especially in its most earthly commanding self (النفس الآمارة) thus making the order one of self purification?
This is an excellent example of what I mean by close translation. I do not want to investigate the many interpretations of a word. In the example you quoted above, I'd translate it literally, with a footnote explaining it further when an explanation is warranted.
the Qur'an itself suggests that it has محكم and متشابه. If you want to provide a full translation, then you have to translate the latter, which forces you to impute meaning in a highly contentious scholarly framework.
3:7 is a fascinating verse!
My reading of it is that God cautions us not to try to find some mystical meaning in the verses which can carry several meanings! Thus, a straightforward translation seems to be encouraged by this verse
That's not to say that deep or multiple insights into a verse are invalid; they just are unnecessary.
I submit to you that the purpose presents us, to use a mathematical concept, with an ill-posed problem. I will try to say more in the Fatiha thread.
That's the challenge before us! It's not an easy task and I certainly can use all the help I can get to do it right.