English Translations Of The Quran

This article covers information about English Translations of the Quran.

The Quran has been translated into English many times. The first few translations were made in the 17th and 19th centuries, but the majority were produced in the 20th. The following English Translations of The Quran have been collected.

Early translations

  • The Alcoran, Translated out of Arabic into French. By the Andrew du Ryer, Lord of Malezair, and Resident for the French King, at ALEXANDRIA. And Newly Englished, for the satisfaction of all that desire to look into the Turkish Vanities London, Printed Anno Dom. 1649 The earliest known translation of the Qur’an into the English Language was The Alcoran of Mahomet in 1649 by Alexander Ross, chaplain to King Charles I. This, however, was a translation of the French translation L’Alcoran de Mahomet by the Sieur du Ryer, Lord of Malezair. L’Alcoran de Mahomet.

    Ellison's photo-op reenactment of his ceremony with Thomas Jefferson's Quran, 4 January 2007

    Ellison’s photo-op reenactment of his ceremony with Thomas Jefferson’s Quran, 4 January 2007

  • Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed, tr. into English immediately from the original Arabic; with explanatory notes, taken from the most approved commentators. To which is prefixed a preliminary discourse by George Sale London; Printed by C. Ackers… 1734. The first scholarly translation of the Qur’an based primarily on the Latin translation of Louis Maracci (1698). George Sale’s two-volume translation was to remain the most widely available English translation over the next 200 years, and is still in print today, with release of a recent 2009 edition. It was Third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson’s hardcover copy, kept by the United States Library of Congress, of George Sale’s translation that was used by House Representative Keith Ellison in his oath of office ceremony, upon first being elected in 2006 to the 110th United States Congress on 3 January 2007, generating a first-ever controversy over the choice of scripture for such a ceremony.

The next major English translation of note was by John Rodwell, Rector of St. Ethelburga, London, released in 1861, entitled The Koran. It was soon followed in 1880 with a two-volume edition by E.H. Palmer, a Cambridge scholar, who was entrusted with the preparation of the new translation for Max Muller’s Sacred Books of the East series.

Rainbow Quran With English Translation

Rainbow Quran With English Translation

20th-century translations

  • The Qur’an (1910) by Mirza Abul Fazl, Arabic Text and English Translation Arranged Chronologically with an Abstract (Allahabad). Mirza Abul Fazl (1865–1956), was a native of Allahabad, India. He was the first Muslim to present a translation of the Qur’an in English along with the original Arabic text.
  • The English Translation of the Holy Qur’an with Commentary (1917) by Maulana Muhammad Ali (d. 1951) was “the first English translation by a Muslim to be generally available and to be made accessible to the West…” A revised edition was published in 1951, Ali having spent the last 5 years of his life working towards it. It was redesigned with a retypeset and expanded index in 2002.
  • The Holy Qur’an: Translation and Commentary (1934) by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
  • The Meaning of The Holy Quran translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
  • The Qur’an: Translated, with a Critical Re-arrangement of the Surahs (1937–39) by Richard Bell.
  • The Koran Interpreted (1955) by Arthur Arberry. The first English translation by an academic scholar of Arabic, Islam and Sufism. For many years the scholarly standard for English translations, this rendering of the Qur’an makes a special attempt to reproduce something of the rhythms and cadence of the Arabic original.
  • The Koran (1956) by N. J. Dawood is published by Penguin. Dawood, a native Arabic speaker from Iraq’s now defunct Jewish community, is said to have preferred comprehensibility to literalism in translation, making his version comparatively easy to read. The first edition of the Dawood translation rearranged the chapters (suras) into more or less chronological order, but later editions restored the traditional sequence.
  • Tafseru-l-Qur’aan (1957) by the Indian scholar Abdul Majid Daryabadi is a translation with commentary. Daryabadi criticizes the scriptures of other religions, such as the Christian Bible, claiming they have not been transmitted faithfully.
  • The English Commentary of the Holy Quran (1963) A 5 volume English translation and interpretation published under the auspices of the Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
  • The Running Commentary of the Holy Qur-an with Under-Bracket Comments (1964). Dr. Khadim Rahmani Nuri of Shillong, India.
  • The Quran (1970) A free-flowing English translation by Muhammad Zafrulla Khan (Curzon Press Ltd : London)
  • The Message of the Qur’an: Presented in Perspective (1974) by Dr. Hashim Amir Ali. The suras are presented in chronological order.
  • The Message of the Qur’an (1980) by Muhammad Asad. Written by a Jewish convert to Islam.
  • The Holy Qur’an: The Arabic Text and English Translation (1981), by Muhammad Sarwar, a Shi’a Muslim cleric.
  • Al-Qur’an: A Contemporary Translation (1984) by Ahmed Ali. Published by Akrash Publishing, 1984; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1987; Final Revised Edition, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1988–2015; & Rupa Publications, Delhi, 2012.
  • The Qur’an: The First American Version (1985); by Dr. Thomas Ballantyne Irving / T.B. Irving (Al Hajj Ta’lim Ali Abu Nasr), Dr Irving is a Canadian Muslim who is an author, professor, translator (Arabic, Spanish) and activist. His English-only edition uses a North American vernacular. Published by Amana Books, Brattleboro, Vermont.
  • The Holy Qur’an (1988) by Syed V. Mir Ahmed Ali. A translation used by English-speaking Shi’ite Muslims.
  • The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text and English Translation (1990) As explained by Allamah Nooruddin, and translated from Arabic into modern English by his daughter-in-law Amatul Rahman Omar, the first woman in Islamic history to translate the Qur’an into English,with her husband Abdul Mannan Omar, son of Allamah Nooruddin. Currently it is in its third edition (ISBN 0976697238).
  • The Clarion Call of the Eternal Quran (1991), An English translation from Islamic political perspective by Muhammad Khalilur Rahman (Dhaka, Bangladesh). He is son of Late Ishaq Bardwani, the first Khalifa of Ashraf Ali Thanwi.
  • Quran: The Final Testament (1992; revision of work first published in 1981) is the work of the controversial teacher and computer scientist Rashad Khalifa. Khalifa claimed that he had used mathematics and computers to find hidden meanings in the Qur’an.
  • The Noble Qur’an (1992); by Dr. T. B. (Thomas Ballantyne) Irving (Al Hajj Ta’lim Ali Abu Nasr). Arabic text with English translation and commentary by Dr. Irving. Published by Amana Books, Brattleboro, Vermont.
  • The Glorious Qur’an (1993), a joint translation by the Egyptian-born UK resident Dr. Ahmad Zidan and the British Muslim convert Mrs. Dina Zidan.
  • A Simple Translation of The Holy Quran (1993), by Dr. Mir Aneesuddin. This translation uses Simple English, also called Basic English. It is published by the Islamic Academy of Sciences, Hyderabad, India.
  • The Glorious Qur’an (1999 through 2013), by Dr. Syed Vickar Ahamed, is a simple translation meant for young adults seeking divine and eternal guidance to live a healthy, honest, complete and pious life. Published by the New York-based publisher Tahirke Tarsile Qur’an. Translation is approved by Al-Azhar, Islamic Research Academy, Cairo, Egypt (1998, and again in 2004) and by Pusat Islam, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1999, See KDN.Q.03/913/1.2/0/65/1999). First published in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1999 in full color by TR Group of Companies (ISBN 983-40085-03). Since then, there are eight editions and numerous printings in the US by Al-Furqaan Foundation, Lombard, Illinois (978-9773009-2-1) and by Tahirke Tarsile Qur’an, Elmhurst, New York (ISBN 978-1879402-68-3). It is available throughout the world.
  • The Holy Qur’an (1997) is a translation by three American women converts, Emily Assami, Amatullah Bantley, Mary Kennedy, naming themselves “Saheeh International”. It is published by the Dar Abul Qasim Publishing House, Saudi Arabia.
  • Al-Qur’an: Guidance for Mankind (1997) by M. Farooq-e-Azam Malik.
  • Towards Understanding the Ever-glorious Qur’an (1997) was translated by Dr Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali, faculty of languages and translation, Al-Azhar University, and published by Cairo: Publishing House for Universities.
  • The Qur’an (1999) by Mohammedali Habib Shakir is an English translation directed towards Shia Muslims. It is published in New York by Tahirke Tarsile Qur’an.
  • The Noble Qur’an: A New Rendering of Its Meaning in English (1999) by Abdalhaqq Bewley and Aisha Bewley. The husband-and-wife team behind this translation are disciples of Abdalqadir as-Sufi. They have also translated the Muwatta of Imam Malik, Tafsir al-Qurtubi, and the Ash-Shifa of Qadi Iyad.
  • The Quran: A Poetic Translation (2000), a recent work by the Iranian-born lecturer, translator and linguist Fazlollah Nikayin, attempts a poetic rendering of the Qur’an.
Quran The Holy Quran Holy Holy Book Word Of God

The Holy Quran

21st-century translations

  • An Interpretation of the Qur’an (2000) translated by Majid Fakhry, a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the American University of Beirut who was born in Lebanon and now resides in the United States.
  • Translation and Commentary on The Holy Quran (2000), a 1,256-page work by the Indian-Bengali translator Dr. Zohurul Hoque.
  • The Majestic Qur’an: An English Rendition of Its Meanings (2000) was translated by a committee that included the Cambridge professor Timothy Winter, the American Muslim writer Uthman Hutchinson, and Mostafa al-Badawi. It is published by Starlatch Press.
  • The Qur’an in Persian and English (Bilingual Edition, 2001) features an English translation by the Iranian poet and author Tahere Saffarzadeh.
  • The Qur’an (2002), by the UK-based Afghan-born writer M. J. Gohari, is an Oxford Logos Society imprint.
  • “Quran-The Living Truth” (2003) by Shaikh Basheer Ahmed Muhuyiddin)
  • The Tajwidi Qur’an (2003) is a translation by an American Muslim convert, Nooruddeen Durkee. It presents the Arabic text using a romanized transliteration system that allows English-speaking readers to pronounce the Arabic. The English translation is an amalgamation of other translations.
  • The Qur’an with an English Paraphrase (2003), a translation by Indian-born Sayyid Ali Quli Qara’i, is an imprint of the Iranian Centre for Translation of the Holy Qur’an.
  • The Qur’an: A New Translation (2004) by a well-known California-based translator of numerous Buddhist works, Dr. Thomas Cleary. Based on an earlier, partial translation, which was highly praised by the famous American Muslim scholar Hamza Yusuf.
  • The Qur’an (2004), by M.A.S. Abdel-Haleem, is published by Oxford World Classics.
  • The Quran: A Reformist Translation (2007), is a recent translation by the team of Edip Yuksel, Layth Saleh al-Shaiban, and Martha Schulte-Nafeh. They claim to offer a non-sexist understanding of the text.
  • The Sublime Qur’an (2007) is by Laleh Bakhtiar, and it was claimed to be the first translation of the Qur’an by an American woman (individually, Sahih international (1997) was translated by three American women).
  • The Qur’an (2007), a recent translation by the retired Oxford University lecturer and Arabist Alan Jones.

    The Quran With Annotated Interpretation in Modern English by Ali Unal

    The Quran With Annotated Interpretation in Modern English by Ali Unal

  • The Qur’an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English (2007) by Ali Ünal. The translator is a member of the Gülen Movement, a Turkish Islamic group.
  • Quran Made Easy (2007) is a translation by Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias.
  • Revelation By Allah (Al Quran) An English Translation By Muhammad Kamran Khan (2009) ISBN978-0-359-62153-8
  • The Meanings of the Noble Qur’an with Explanatory Notes (2007), 2 volumes, revised with Indo-Pak Arabic Script (2016), is a translation by Pakistani leading scholar Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani. (A single-volume edition is also available.)
  • The Gracious Qur’an: A Modern Phrased Interpretation in English (2008) by Dr. Ahmad Zaki Hammad, of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University.
  • The Message – A Translation of the Glorious Qur’an (2008) was translated by the Monotheistic Group, which claims to be a group of progressive Muslims.
  • The Qur’an: A New Translation (2008) by Tarif Khalidi, a professor of Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut. The translation is published by Penguin Classics.
  • The Generous Qur’an (2009) is a translation by Usama Dakdok, an Arabic-speaking Christian.
  • The Quran: Translation and Commentary with Parallel Arabic Text (2009) by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan. Published in India.
  • Irfan ul Quran (2009) is a translation by the Pakistani scholar Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. It was released together with an Urdu translation of the same name by Minhaj-ul-Quran Publications.
  • The Holy Qur’an: Guidance for Life (2010) is a translation by the American Muslim writer Yahiya Emerick, who has also published the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam.
  • The Easy Qur’an. (2010) by Imtiaz Ahmad. Published by Tawheed Center of Farmington Hills. ISBN 978-603-00-6359-8
  • The Glorious Qur’an (2011) is a translation by the Pakistani scholar Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. It was published in the UK by Minhaj-ul-Quran Publications.
  • The Qur’an as It Explains Itself (5th edition, Mar 2012) is a translation by Dr. Shabbir Ahmed that attempts to explain Qur’anic verses by cross-references within the Qur’an.
  • The Wise Qur’an: A Modern English Translation (2012) is a translation by the Chicago-based writer and lecturer Dr. Assad Nimer Busool.
  • Quran in English: Clear and Easy to Read (2012). Translated by Talal Itani. Published by ClearQuran.
  • What is in the Quran? Message of the Quran in Simple English (2013). Translated by Professor Abdur Raheem Kidwai, Aligarh Muslim University. Published by Viva Books, New Delhi, India. ISBN 978-81-309-2363-5.
  • Holy Qur’an: Text & Translation. (2014) An ongoing, partially published translation, translated by Yasin T. al-Jibouri, an Iraqi-American writer, editor and translator who also previously worked on editing various translations of Qur’an.
  • The Clear Quran: A Thematic English Translation (2015) by Dr. Mustafa Khattab (Al-Azhar University). Published by SirajPublications.com ISBN 978-0-9948895-0-8
  • The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary (2015). Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, editor-in-chief; Caner K. Dagli, Maria Massi Dakake, Joseph E. B. Lumbard, general editors; Mohammed Rustom, assistant editor. Featuring verse-by-verse commentaries and essays by both Shiite and Sunni scholars. Published by HarperOne, ISBN 978-0061125867
  • The Division by Division English Interpreation of the Holy Qur’an in the Order of Revelation (2015) by Hakkı Yılmaz. Published by Hakkı Yılmaz.
  • The Easy Qur’an: The Qur’an in Easy English – by Crenowned, 2015 Published by Crenowned. ISBN 978-1-689612586.
  • The Qur’an Interpretation. 2 vols. by Mohammed-Ali Hassan Al-Hilly (1968, Iraq), translated by E. A. Nassir (2016, Beirut).
  • The Magnificent Qur’an: A 21st Century English Translation (2016) is a conceptual translation by Ali Salami, Professor of Translation Studies and English Literature at the University of Tehran. Published by Leilah Publication, Arizona. ISBN 099633386X
  • The Qur’an: Treasure of the Faith of Islam. Sacred Arabic Text and Parallel Transliteration. English Translation and Paraphrasing by Dr. Badr Hashemi. Six volumes (2016). Published by the Holy Qur’an Research Foundation (Trust) in Islamabad, PK.
  • Noor Al Bayan. English. (2018) by Dr. Sayed Jumaa Salam.Publisher (CA) Salam Educational Center ISBN 978-1630750381
  • The Majestic Quran: A plain English Translation by Dr Musharraf Hussain al Azhari, 2018 Published by Invitation Publishing. ISBN 978-1-902248-65-3.
  • The Quran: God’s message to mankind New Millennium Exposition. English, by Paigham Mustafa, Xeitre-Signat Publication ISBN 978-0-9955098-9-4. Without cultural or traditional bias, uniquely this exposition is consistent in its use of the classical Arabic root rules of the language and carries a chapter to explain them. It is authoritative, accessible and fully annotated throughout. There are two editions: The International Edition (2020) and The Oxford Edition (2020) published especially for the Oxford Institute of British Islam (OIBI).

Translations from Urdu into English

  • The Meaning of the Qur’an (Lahore, 1967), by Muhammad Akbar is the first English translation of Maulana Abul Ala Maududi’s original Urdu translation of the Qur’an. Towards Understanding the Qur’an (2006) is a later English translation by Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari.
  • Kanzul Iman, Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi’s (1856-1921 C,E,1272-1340 H) Urdu translation, originally published in 1910, has been translated into English several times. The first translation into English was by University of Kuwait-based Professor Hanif Akhtar Fatmi. A second translation was completed by Professor Shah Fareed al Haq. Aqib Farid Qadri recently published a third translation. Maulana Muhammad Husain Mukaddam in 2012 has committed a fourth translation. Further, Mukaddam’s translation is also available as a two volume tafsir entitled “Noor al Irfan” with commentary taken from Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Naeemi, 1st edition from 2003.
  • Exposition of the Holy Quran (1996) by Ghulam Ahmed Pervez is an English rendering of the 1961 Urdu translation, Mafhum-al-Quran. Available in both print & pdf by Tolu-E-Islam.
  • “Jamal Ul Qur’an” (The Beauteous Qur’an) by Zia-ul-Ummat Justice Pir Muhammad Karam Shah Al-Azhari, translated into English by Professor Anis Ahmad Sheikh, 3rd edition in 2004. Published by Zia-ul-Qur’an Publications in Lahore-Karachi, Pakistan.

Translations by Sunni Muslim Scholars

The following English translations are done by Sunni Muslim scholars for those Sunni Muslims who adhere to the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali systems in jurisprudence and the Ash’ari and Maturidi systems in the creed of Sunni Islam:

  1. The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (1928) by the Hafiz (Quran) Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall. An English convert to Islam penned this translation at the behest of the Emir of Hyderabad while on a sojourn in India. Pickthall’s widely printed translation was regarded as “an important milestone in the long course of Koranic interpretation” by later esteemed Qur’an translator A.J. Arberry, who also noted a few problems with Pickthall’s verse numbering, which deviated in places from what had by then become the standard Arabic edition by Gustav Fluegel.
  2. Tafseeru-l-Qur’aan (1957) by the Indian scholar Abdul Majid Daryabadi is a translation with commentary in 4 volumes. The author was a disciple of Mawlana Muhammad Ashraf Ali Thanwi.
  3. The Noble Qur’aan (Tafseer-e-‘Uthmaanee) (1991) by Mawlana Ashfaq Ahmad, translated from the Urdu translation and commentary of Mahmud al-Hasan Deobandi and Shabbir Ahmad Usmani. It is published in 3 volumes.
  4. Ma’ariful-Qur’an (1969-2003) by Grand Mufti Muhammad Shafi Deobandi. It was edited, revised, and supervised with an introduction by Shaykh al-Islām Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, who also translated parts of it along with his teachers Hasan Askari and Muhammad Shameem and his brother Wali Raazi ‘Uthmani. The 6th volume was translated by Muhammad Ishrawt Husain and the last volume was translated by Mawlana Ahmad Khaleel ‘Azeez. A book called “‘Uloomu-l-Qur’aan (An Approach to the Qur’aanic Sciences)” was written by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani as a lengthy introduction to the translation and commentary of the Qur’an. It was translated by Muhammad Sawleeh Siddeeqi and revised and edited by Rafeeq ‘Abdur-Rahmaan.
  5. Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Qur’aan (Anwaaru-l-Bayaan) by Mufti Muhammad Ashiq Ilahi Madani. It is a translation and commentary of the Qur’an in 5 volumes. The translation was edited by Mufti Afzal Husain Ilyaas and revised by Mawlana Arshad Fakhri based on the Ma’ariful-Qur’an. (2003)
  6. TafsirIbn Kathir: Exegesis of the Grand Holy Qur’an (4 volumes) by Abu-l-Fidaa’ ‘Imaadu-d-Deen Ismaa’eel Ibn ‘Umar Ibn Kathir Al-Quraishi Ash-Shafi’i Al-Ash’ari Al-Busrawee Ad-Dimashqi. The unabridged translation was done by Dr. Muhammad Mahdee Ash-Shareef and published by Daaru-l-Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon in 2006.
  7. TafsirIbn Kathir: Exegesis of the Grand Holy Qur’an (2 volumes – incomplete) by Abu-l-Fidaa’ ‘Imaadu-d-Deen Ismaa’eel Ibn ‘Umar Ibn Kathir Al-Quraishi Ash-Shafi’i Al-Ash’ari Al-Busrawee Ad-Dimashqi. The unabridged translation was done by Mawlana Muhammad Ameen Kholwadia., a student of Qari Muhammad Tayyib, Saeed Ahmad Palampuri, and Dr. Khalid Mahmood (cleric), and the current director of Daaru-l-Qaasim, Glendale Heights, Chicago, USA..
  8. Qur’aan Made Easy (2007) is a translation by Mufti Afzal Husain Ilyaas, Mawlana Isma’eel Ibrahim, and Yoosuf Khatrada incorporating the in-line commentary from Tafseer-e-‘Uthmaanee by ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad Usmani.
  9. The Meanings of the Noble Qur’an with Explanatory Notes (2007), 2 volumes, revised with Indo-Pak Arabic Script (2016), is a translation by Indian-born Pakistani leading scholar Shaykh al-Islām Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani. (A single-volume edition is also available.)
  10. The Glorious Qur’an (based on the Tafsser-e-‘Uthmaani) by Shaikhu-l-Hind Mahmud al-Hasan Deobandi and ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, Translated and edited by the teachers of Madrasah Ayesha Siddiqua, Karachi. (2010)
  11. Tafseer-e-Uthmani by Shaikhu-l-Hind Mahmud al-HasanDeobandi and ‘AllamahShabbir Ahmad Usmani, Translated by Mawlana Muhammad Muhammadi and others (2010), 8 volumes (Madrassah Arabia Azadville, South Africa)

Salafi Translations

  1. Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur’an (1999) by Darussalam (first published 1977) is translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan and the Moroccan Salafi scholar Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali. This translation is among the most widely read translations in the world, primarily because it is the officially promoted translation of the Saudi Government.
  2. Quran-e-Karim Arabic with English Translation by Dr. Mohsin Khan
  3. Tafsir Ibn Kathir – Abridged and Translated by a Group of Scholars under Safiur Rahman Mubaarakpuri (2003). The Salafi translators abridged and translated the Tafsir in 10 volumes.
  4. Tafseer As-Sa’di (10 volumes) by ‘Abdu-R-Rahmaan Naasir As-Sa’di, translated by Naasiru-d-Deen Al-Khattab and edited by Huda Khattab, published by the International Islamic Publishing House (2018)


Translations by Sunni Muslim scholars at archive.org

  • The full text of Mufti Muhammad Shafi Deobandi and Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani’s translation and commentary in pdf
  • The full text of Mufti Muhammad Ashiq Ilahi Bulandshahrī Muhājir Madanī’s translation and commentary in pdf
  • The full text of Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani’s translation in pdf
  • The full text of Mufti Afzal Husain Ilyaas’s translation in pdf
  • 5 out of the 7 English translations by the authentic and Bid‘ah-free Sunni Muslim scholars for those Bid‘ah-free Sunni Muslims who follow the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali jurisprudence and the Ash’ari and Maturidi creed of Sunni Islam in multiple formats


Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leave a Reply