An English-only translation of the Qur'an, by M. H. Shakir. Great for da'wah and free mass distribution.
This particular translation reads very much like a King James Bible. Repetitious entries, odd wordings, and strange terms permeate this translation. This makes sense as the author (M. H. Shakir 1866-1939 CE) was translating this for a 19th century English reader in mind. And while, at times, this makes for difficult read, it in no way detracts from the central message of Islam. The lack of any footnotes or commentary is the greatest flaw of this translation.
This isn't the translation I would recommend to the casual reader, I would suggest Pickthall's translation, but it is more than adequate for the study of basic Islamic ideas. The included index, while short, covers most of the topics a non-Muslim would be looking for in the Qur'an.
I really can not say wether this translation by Shakir is the best or not. But I do think it is adequate, and I do not see any huge difference between this and Yusuf Ali's or Pickthall's. This is true when it comes only to the translation and not the commentary (I especially like Yusuf Ali's commentary)
But unlike the others, this book comes at an extremely fair price and it is also in a small size which means you can take it anywhere you go. That is why it is perfect for almost anyone; those who have never read the Book before or for those who are simply looking for a handy version of it they can take to work or school.
I have read many books, and I did not exaggerate in my initial comment. If you doubt what I say, get this book and find out for yourself.