English translations of the Quran

There are many English translations of the Quran. The first translations were created in the 17th and 19th centuries, but the majority of existing translations have been produced in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Non-Muslim translations

Sunni translations

  • The Koran (1916) translated by Hairat Dihlawi
  • The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (1928) by 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.
  • 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 Running Commentary of the Holy Qur-an with Under-Bracket Comments (1964). Khadim Rahmani Nuri of Shillong, India.
  • The Meaning of the Qur'an (Lahore, 1967), by Muhammad Akbar is the first English translation of Abul Ala Maududi's original Urdu translation of the Qur'an. Towards Understanding the Qur'an (2006) is a later English translation by Zafar Ishaq Ansari.
  • The Message of the Qur'an: Presented in Perspective (1974) by 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.
  • 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 Thomas Ballantyne Irving / T.B. Irving (Al Hajj Ta'lim Ali Abu Nasr), 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 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.
  • The Noble Qur'an (1992); by T. B. (Thomas Ballantyne) Irving (Al Hajj Ta'lim Ali Abu Nasr). Arabic text with English translation and commentary by Irving. Published by Amana Books, Brattleboro, Vermont.
  • The Glorious Qur'an (1993), a joint translation by the Egyptian-born UK resident Ahmad Zidan and the British Muslim convert Mrs. Dina Zidan.
  • A Simple Translation of The Holy Quran (1993), by 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 Syed Vickar Ahamed. Published by the New York-based publisher Tahirke Tarsile Qur'an. First published in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1999 by TR Group of Companies (ISBN 983-40085-03). Since then, there are eight editions 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).
  • The Holy Qur'an (1997) is a translation by three American women converts, Emily Assami, Amatullah Bantley, Mary Kennedy,[3][4] 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 Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali, faculty of languages and translation, Al-Azhar University, and published by Cairo: Publishing House for Universities.
  • 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.
  • Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur’an (1999) by Darussalam (first published 1977) is translated by 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.
  • The Majestic Qur'an: An English Rendition of Its Meanings (2000). This translation is clear and straight. It has commentary between the verses within the parentheses, but separated from the text. It has been carried out by a committee of four Turkish Sunni scholars who have divided the work as follows: Nureddin Uzunoğlu translated Surahs (chapters) 1 to 8; Tevfik Rüştü Topuzoğlu: 9 to 20; Ali Özek: 21 to 39; Mehmet Maksutoğlu: 40 to 114.
  • 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 resided in the United States.
  • Translation and Commentary on The Holy Quran (2000), a 1,256-page work by the Indian-Bengali translator Zohurul Hoque.
  • 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.[5]
  • 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 (2004), by M.A.S. Abdel-Haleem, is published by Oxford World Classics.
  • Jamal Ul Qur'an (The Beauteous Qur'an) by Muhammad Karam Shah Al-Azhari, translated into English by Anis Ahmad Sheikh, 3rd edition in 2004. Published by Zia-ul-Qur'an Publications in Lahore-Karachi, Pakistan.
  • The Qur'an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English (2006) by Ali Ünal. The translator is a member of the Gülen Movement, a Turkish Islamic group.
  • Quran Made Easy (2007) is a translation by Afzal Hoosen Elias.
  • The Meanings of the Noble Qur'an with Explanatory Notes (2007), 2 volumes, revised with Indo-Pak Arabic Script (2016), is a translation by the Pakistani scholar Muhammad Taqi Usmani. (A single-volume edition is also available).
  • The Gracious Qur'an: A Modern Phrased Interpretation in English (2008) by Ahmad Zaki Hammad, of Egypt's Al-Azhar University.
  • 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 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 Wise Qur'an: A Modern English Translation (2012) is a translation by the Chicago-based writer and lecturer 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 Abdur Raheem Kidwai, Aligarh Muslim University. Published by Viva Books, New Delhi, India. ISBN 978-81-309-2363-5.
  • Anwar-ul-Quran: The Holy Quran with English Translation (2014) by Fode Drame
  • The Clear Quran: A Thematic English Translation (2015) by Mustafa Khattab (Al-Azhar University). Published by SirajPublications.com ISBN 978-0-9948895-0-8.
  • Noor Al Bayan. English. (2018) by Sayed Jumaa Salam. Publisher (CA) Salam Educational Center ISBN 978-1630750381.
  • The Majestic Quran: A Plain English Translation by Musharraf Hussain al Azhari, 2018 Published by Invitation Publishing. ISBN 978-1-902248-65-3.[6]
  • The Qur'an: A Translation for the 21st Century (2019) by Adil Salahi, The Islamic Foundation.
  • 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 Shah Fareed al Haq. Aqib Farid Qadri recently published a third translation. 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 Ahmad Yar Khan Naeemi, 1st edition from 2003.[7]

Shi'a 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 Holy Qur'an: Translation and Commentary (1934) by Abdullah Yusuf Ali.
  • The Qur'an (1968) by Mohammed Habib Shakir is an English translation directed towards Shia Muslims. It is published in New York by Tahirke Tarsile Qur'an.[8]
  • The Holy Qur'an: The Arabic Text and English Translation (1981), by Muhammad Sarwar, a Shi'a Muslim scholar.[9]
  • The Holy Qur'an (1988) by Syed V. Mir Ahmed Ali. A translation used by English-speaking Shi'ite Muslims.
  • 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.[10]
  • The Qur'an in Persian and English (Bilingual Edition, 2001) features an English translation by the Iranian poet and author Tahere Saffarzadeh.[11][12][13]
  • The Qur’an with an English Paraphrase (2003), a translation by Indian-born Ali Quli Qara'i, is an imprint of the Iranian Centre for Translation of the Holy Qur'an.
  • 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, as Sahih international (1997) was translated by three American women).[11][14][15][16]
  • 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 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.

Ahmadi translations

  • The Holy Qurán (1905) translated by Mohammad Khan reflects an Ahmadiyya worldview[17]
  • The English Translation of the Holy Qur’an with Commentary (1917) by Maulana Muhammad Ali (d. 1951) was "the first English translation by an Ahmadiyyah follower to be generally available and to be made accessible to the West..."[18] 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 retype set and expanded index in 2002. Wallace Fard Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam, exclusively used this translation and was influenced by the unique translation. Muhammad Ali was the leader of the Lahori Ahmadis.
  • The Holy Quran: Arabic Text and English translation (1955) by Maulvi Sher Ali
  • 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 Wonderful Koran (1969) by Pir Salahuddin[19]
  • The Quran (1970) A free-flowing English translation by Muhammad Zafrulla Khan (Curzon Press Ltd: London).
  • 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,[20] with her husband Abdul Mannan Omar, son of Allamah Nooruddin. Currently, it is in its third edition (ISBN 0976697238).

Intrafaith translations

Qur'anist translations

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Message - A Translation of the Glorious Qur'an (2008) was translated by the Monotheistic Group, a group of progressive Muslims.
  • The Qur'an as It Explains Itself (5th edition, 2012) is a translation by Shabbir Ahmed that attempts to explain Qur'anic verses by cross-references within the Qur'an.[23]


Quran Translator Date Source Notes Type/Denomination
17-19th century translations
The Alcoran of Mahomet Alexander Ross 1649 French L'Alcoran de Mahomet by André du Ryer 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 Orientalist
Alcoran of Mohammed George Sale 1734 Latin Alcorani Textus Universus Arabicè et Latinè by Louis Maracci 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 Orientalist
The Koran John Rodwell 1861 Orientalist
The Qurʼân Edward Henry Palmer 1880 Orientalist
20th century translations
21st century translations
The Majestic Qur'an: An English Rendition of Its Meanings Nureddin Uzunoğlu translated Surahs (chapters) 1 to 8; Tevfik Rüştü Topuzoğlu: 9 to 20; Ali Özek: 21 to 39; Mehmet Maksutoğlu: 40 to 114. 2000 This translation is clear and straight. It has commentary between the verses within the parentheses, but separated from the text. Sunni
The Beatueous Qur'an Anis Ahmad Sheikh 2004 Urdu Jamal Ul Qur'an" by Muhammad Karam Shah Al-Azhari
The Qur'an M.A.S. Abdel-Haleem 2004
The Qur'an: A New Translation Thomas Cleary 2004 Based on an earlier, partial translation, which was highly praised by the famous American Muslim scholar Hamza Yusuf.
The Qur'an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English Ali Ünal 2006 Gülenist
The Sublime Qur'an Laleh Bakhtiar 2007 A gender-neutral translation.
The Quran: A Reformist Translation Edip Yuksel, Layth Saleh al-Shaiban, and Martha Schulte-Nafeh 2007 Claimed to offer a non-sexist understanding of the text. Quranist
Quran Made Easy Afzal Hoosen Elias 2007
The Message - A Translation of the Glorious Qur'an Monotheistic Group 2008 Quranist
The Qur'an: A New Translation Tarif Khalidi 2008
The Generous Qur’an Usama Dakdok 2009
The Holy Qur'an: Guidance for Life Yahiya Emerick 2010
The Wise Qur'an: A Modern English Translation Assad Nimer Busool 2012
The Clear Quran: A Thematic English Translation Mustafa Khattab 2015 Uses modern Canadian English
The Glorious Qur'an Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. 2011
The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary Seyyed Hossein Nasr 2015 Featuring verse-by-verse commentaries and essays by both Shiite and Sunni scholars. Sunni; Shi'i
The Magnificent Qur'an: A 21st Century English Translation Ali Salami 2016
The Quran with Christian Commentary: A Guide to Understanding the Scripture of Islam Gordon D. Nickel 2020
The Qur’an: A Complete Revelation Sam Gerrans 2021 Quranist

See also


  1. Reading Islam's Holy Book by Eric Walberg, Al-Ahram Weekly, 20–26 September 2007 Issue No. 863
  2. "Thomas Jefferson's Copy of the Koran To Be Used in Congressional Swearing-in Ceremony". loc.gov. U.S. Library of Congress. 3 January 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2017. When Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) takes his individual ceremonial oath of office on 4 Jan., it is to be with one hand upon Thomas Jefferson's copy of the Koran...Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, requested to take the oath upon Jefferson's personal copy of George Sale’s 1734 translation of the Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed (London: Hawes, Clarke, Collins and Wilcox, 1764). The two-volume work, which resides in the Library of Congress' Rare Book and Special Collections Division, is one of nearly 6,500 titles sold to Congress by Jefferson in 1815 to replace the Congressional Library that had been destroyed when the British burned the Capitol during the War of 1812.
  3. Zavadski, Katie (26 March 2017). "How Three American Women Translated One of the World's Most Popular Qurans". The Daily Beast.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Quran- The Living Truth with Commentary by Basheer (2003)Mohydeen".
  6. "The Majestic Quran - A Plain English Translation | The Majestic Quran".
  7. "Zia-ul-Quran Publishers – Life from QURAN and HADITH". www.ziaulquran.com. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  8. "M. H. Shakir | The Holy Quran; Arabic Text & English Translation". quran-archive.org. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  9. "The Holy Quran - Muhammad Sarwar". quran-archive.org. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  10. "Translations of the Quran, Fazlollah Nikayin" by Quran Archive.
  11. Quran (2007). The Sublime Quran: Laleh Bakhtiar: 9781567447507: Amazon.com: Books. ISBN 978-1567447507.
  12. Saffarzadeh Commemoration Due Iran Daily, 18 October 2010
  13. Art News in Brief Tehran Times, 28 October 2008
  14. "A new look at a holy text". Chicago Tribune. 10 April 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  15. Useem, Andrea (18 April 2007). "Laleh Bakhtiar: An American Woman Translates the Qur'an". Publishersweekly.com. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  16. Aslan, Reza (20 November 2008). "How To Read the Quran". Slate. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  17. "The Holy Quran by Mohammad Khan". quran-archive.org. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  18. Ali, Maulana Muhammad (2012). The Holy Qur'an. Dublin, Ohio, U.S.A.: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha`at Islam Lahore Inc., U.S.A. pp. I-1. ISBN 978-0-913321-01-0.
  19. "Quran Explorer by Quran Archive: The Online Quran Project". quran-archive.org. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  20. First Woman to Translate Qur'an into English
  21. Burke, Daniel (4 December 2015). "Could this Quran curb extremism?". CNN. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  22. "The Study Quran". HarperOne. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  23. "The Qur'an as it explains itself, 5th Edition, March 2012" (PDF).



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