Abdullah Yusuf Ali
Overview
 
Hafiz Abdullah Yusuf Ali, CBE
CBE
CBE and C.B.E. are abbreviations for "Commander of the Order of the British Empire", a grade in the Order of the British Empire.Other uses include:* Chemical and Biochemical Engineering...

, FRSL (14 April 1872 – 10 December 1953) was an Indian
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 Islamic scholar
Ulema
Ulama , also spelt ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. They are best known as the arbiters of shari‘a law...

 who translated the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 into English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

. His translation of the Qur'an
The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary
The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary is an English translation of the Qur'an by Indian Muslim civil servant Abdullah Yusuf Ali . It was undertaken after Yusuf Ali had retired from the Civil Service and settled in the United Kingdom in the 1920s...

 is one of the most widely-known and used in the English-speaking world.

Ali was born in Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

, Gujarat in British India to a wealthy merchant family with a Dawoodi Bohra
Dawoodi Bohra
Dawoodi Bohra is a subsect of Ismāʿīlī Shīʿa Islām. While the Dawoodi Bohra is based in India, their belief system originates in Yemen, where it evolved from the Fatimid Caliphate and where they were persecuted due to their differences from mainstream Sunni Islam...

 father. As a child, Ali received a religious education and, eventually, could recite the entire Qur'an from memory.
Encyclopedia
Hafiz Abdullah Yusuf Ali, CBE
CBE
CBE and C.B.E. are abbreviations for "Commander of the Order of the British Empire", a grade in the Order of the British Empire.Other uses include:* Chemical and Biochemical Engineering...

, FRSL (14 April 1872 – 10 December 1953) was an Indian
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 Islamic scholar
Ulema
Ulama , also spelt ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. They are best known as the arbiters of shari‘a law...

 who translated the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 into English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

. His translation of the Qur'an
The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary
The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary is an English translation of the Qur'an by Indian Muslim civil servant Abdullah Yusuf Ali . It was undertaken after Yusuf Ali had retired from the Civil Service and settled in the United Kingdom in the 1920s...

 is one of the most widely-known and used in the English-speaking world.

Ali was born in Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

, Gujarat in British India to a wealthy merchant family with a Dawoodi Bohra
Dawoodi Bohra
Dawoodi Bohra is a subsect of Ismāʿīlī Shīʿa Islām. While the Dawoodi Bohra is based in India, their belief system originates in Yemen, where it evolved from the Fatimid Caliphate and where they were persecuted due to their differences from mainstream Sunni Islam...

 father. As a child, Ali received a religious education and, eventually, could recite the entire Qur'an from memory. He spoke both Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and English fluently. He studied English literature
English literature
English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; for example, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was Polish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, J....

 and studied at several Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an universities, including the University of Leeds
University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...

. He concentrated his efforts on the Qur'an and studied the Qur'anic commentaries beginning with those written in the early days of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic history. Yusuf Ali's best-known work is his book The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary
The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary
The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary is an English translation of the Qur'an by Indian Muslim civil servant Abdullah Yusuf Ali . It was undertaken after Yusuf Ali had retired from the Civil Service and settled in the United Kingdom in the 1920s...

, begun in 1934 and published in 1938 by Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers
Sh. Muhammad Ashraf (Publisher)
Sheikh Muhammad Ashraf, Importers, Exporters, Distributors, Publishers and Booksellers is a notable publisher and distributor of Sunni Islamic literature based in Lahore, Pakistan...

 in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 (later Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

). While on tour to promote his translation, Ali helped to open the Al-Rashid Mosque
Al-Rashid Mosque
The Al-Rashid Mosque was the first mosque built in Canada. It was constructed in Edmonton, Alberta.-History:Al-Rashid Mosque was expected to be the first mosque in North America but was built in 1938 just after the Mother Mosque of America in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and several years after the 1929...

, the third mosque in North America, in Edmonton
Edmonton
Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta and is the province's second-largest city. Edmonton is located on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Capital Region, which is surrounded by the central region of the province.The city and its census...

, Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, in December 1938.

Ali was an outspoken supporter of the Indian contribution to the Allied effort
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. He was a respected intellectual in India and Sir Muhammad Iqbal
Muhammad Iqbal
Sir Muhammad Iqbal , commonly referred to as Allama Iqbal , was a poet and philosopher born in Sialkot, then in the Punjab Province of British India, now in Pakistan...

 recruited him to be the principal of Islamia College in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, British India. Later in life, he again went to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 where he died in London. He is buried in England at the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 cemetery at Brookwood
Brookwood, Surrey
Brookwood is a village in Surrey, located about 5 km west of Woking, in a semi-rural location. It lies on the western border of the Woking Borough ....

, Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

, near Woking
Woking
Woking is a large town and civil parish that shares its name with the surrounding local government district, located in the west of Surrey, UK. It is part of the Greater London Urban Area and the London commuter belt, with frequent trains and a journey time of 24 minutes to Waterloo station....

, not far from the burial place of Pickthall.

Preface to First Edition, Lahore 4th April, 1934

Preface to Third Edition, 1938

External links

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