Centenary of Maulana Muhammad Ali’s English Translation of the Quran (Background, History and Influence on Later Translations)

Compiled by Dr. Zahid Aziz

Chapter 2: Publication and Reviews: Without Arabic text edition

Another version of the English translation was published in 1928, without including the Arabic text, and with much abbreviated commentary. Again, it was printed at the same press at Woking. In its Preface, the Maulana writes:

“It is now nearly twenty years that I have been specially occupied with the work of translating the Holy Quran. My first work in this direction was the Holy Quran with Arabic text, translation and commentary, which saw the light of publication in 1917. It was a big work extending to over about 1400 pages. The first edition of over 5000 copies was exhausted within three years, and a second edition of about 11000 copies was issued in 1920.

In the meanwhile, I was engaged in preparing an Urdu translation with a more exhaustive commentary than that which accompanied the English translation. This work was ultimately brought out in three volumes under the name of Bayan-ul-Quran.

There has, however, been a persistent demand for an edition of the English Translation without the text and with shorter notes, so that the Holy Book may be more accessible to the English-knowing public, and it is to satisfy this demand that the present edition is being brought out. But while doing this, I have taken the opportunity to write a new Introduction to this edition.”