There is a certain amount of obscurity in the text of the Koran. There are clusters of linguistic puzzles in it, and translations can do no more than gloss over or guess. ‘Doubts and puzzles’ examines these ambiguities based on language. Someone once must have understood these pieces of puzzling text, yet that knowledge did not reach the earliest commentators whose views come down to us. It is only natural that modern scholars should try to search for solutions. The larger puzzle is why obscurities should be so salient a feature of the Koran. There are a number of hypotheses as to why there are these examples of ambiguity.