Answered by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher
Can regular Muslims who are not scholars read the translation of the Quran and deduce/conclude from it? if not, how are we to benefit from the meaning of the Quran? or should we not read the translation at all?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
Knowing the meaning of what one is reciting is undoubtedly praiseworthy because it helps one read the Qur’an with focus of mind presence of heart. Without knowing what one is reciting, it is difficult to bring into practice verses of the Qur’an that describe the believers as “increasing in faith” (Anfal:2) or “shivering” (Zumar:23) when verses of the Qur’an are recited to them. Reading a good tafsir is especially helpful in this regard. Probably the best tafsir available in English is Ma`arif ul-Qur’an, by the late Mufti Muhammad Shafi` (may Allah have mercy on him), available from www.alrashad.com.
As for deducing particular fiqh rulings from the Qur’an, this is the domain of specialists. If one needs to know Allah’s ruling regarding a particular aspect of one’s daily life–such as the prayer, the fast, or other matters–one must refer to the scholars of fiqh, not to one’s own understanding of the Qur’an. Allah told us in the Qur’an, “Ask those who know well if you know not.”
A good article to read on this topic is: Would you advise individuals to study hadith from al-Bukhari and Muslim on their own?, available from Mas`ud Khan’s site.
And Allah knows best.