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

Compiled by Dr. Zahid Aziz

Maulana Muhammad Ali on the English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran

“My work was a work of labour. For every rendering or explanation, I had to search Hadith collections, Lexicologies, Commentaries and other important works, and every opinion expressed was substantiated by quoting authorities. Differences there have been in the past, and in future too there will be differences, but wherever I have differed I have given my authority for the difference.

Moreover, the principle I have kept in view in this Translation and Commentary, i.e., seeking the explanation of a problematic point first of all from the Holy Quran itself, has kept me nearest to the truth, and those who study the Quran closely will find very few occasions to differ with me.”

— Maulana Muhammad Ali, writing in the Preface to the Revised 1951 Edition of his English Translation and Commentary of the Quran, on why reviewers found that his 1917 edition was followed by later Muslim translators (see here).