The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary
The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary is an English translation of the 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...

 by Indian Muslim civil servant Abdullah Yusuf Ali
Abdullah Yusuf Ali
Hafiz Abdullah Yusuf Ali, CBE, FRSL was an Indian Islamic scholar who translated the Qur'an into English. His translation of the Qur'an is one of the most widely-known and used in the English-speaking world....

 (1872–1953). It was undertaken after Yusuf Ali had retired from the Civil Service and settled in the United Kingdom in the 1920s. It has become among the most widely known English translations of the Qur'an, partly due to its use of prodigious footnotes that supplement the verse-for-verse translation of the original Arabic text.

Original Edition

The translation was first published in 1934 by Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers of 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 , 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 , 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...

), one of the major Islamic publishing houses still in business today. The original translation was in its Third Edition at the time of Yusuf Ali's death.

While on tour to promote his translation, Ali helped to open 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...

, considered the first mosque to be established in North America, in 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 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 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.

Preface to First Edition, Lahore 4th April, 1934

Amana Editions

The Yusuf Ali translation truly established its pre-eminent position in the North American market, when Amana Publications of Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 reprinted the original edition in 1977 entitled The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an. Originally printed in two volumes in paperback, in 1983 it was consolidated into a single Hardback edition with the use of finer paper.

In 1989, Amana introduced a revised "New Fourth Edition" featuring revision of the translation and commentary undertaken with the help of the International Institute of Islamic Thought
International Institute of Islamic Thought
The International Institute of Islamic Thought is a privately held non-profit organization.The Institution is concerned with issues of Islamic thought...

. The New Revised Amana print is currently in its 11th Edition dated May 2004.

Other Editions

Islamic missionary Ahmed Deedat
Ahmed Deedat
Ahmed Hussein Deedat was a Muslim writer and public speaker of Indian South African descent. He was best known for his numerous inter-religious public debates with evangelical Christians, as well as pioneering video lectures, most of which centered around Islam, Christianity and the Bible...

 has also widely distributed a South African printing of the Yusuf Ali translation.

In 1980, the Saudi religious establishment felt the need for a reliable English translation and exegesis of the Qur'an to be made available for the increasing English language readership across the globe. After researching the various translations in print at the time, four high-level committees under the General Presidency of the Department of Islamic Research chose Yusuf Ali's translation and commentary as the best available for publication. After significant revisions, a large Hardback edition was printed in 1985 by the King Fahd Holy Qur'an Printing Complex of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, according to Royal Decree No. 12412. This edition served as the officially sanctioned English translation of the Saudi religious establishment, until it was replaced by the Noble Qur'an Translation
Noble Qur'an (Hilali-Khan)
The Noble Qur'an, also informally known as the Hilali-Khan translation, is a translation of the Qur'an by contemporary Pakistani Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan , a man of Afghan Khattak heritage, and Dr...

 upon the later's arrival in the marketplace.

The Islamic Foundation
The Islamic Foundation
The Islamic Foundation, established in 1973 in the city of Leicester, is a centre for education, training, research and publication of issues related to Islam. The Foundation seeks to build bridges between Muslims and others....

of UK released an 'English Only' hardback edition in 2005, which features both the translation and commentary without the accompanying Arabic text. It is based on the Revised Amana edition with some additional revisions by the Foundation's own editorial staff.

Compact 'English only' versions, featuring only the verse-by-verse translation minus the footnotes, have been around for years, with a recent print by Goodword Books of India occupying the pre-eminent position in the marketplace.


Later editions of it remain in print, with various changes such as the replacement of "God" with "Allah" and the removal of certain commentary references to Hasan
Hasan ibn Ali
Al-Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib ‎ is an important figure in Islam, the son of Fatimah the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and of the fourth Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib. Hasan is a member of the Ahl al-Bayt and Ahl al-Kisa...

 and Husayn
Husayn ibn Ali
Hussein ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib ‎ was the son of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib and Fātimah Zahrā...

, and the expurgation of entire appendices which contained Yusuf Ali's views on Dhul-Qarnayn
Dhul-Qarnayn , literally "He of the Two Horns" or "He of the two centuries" is a figure mentioned in the Qur'an, the sacred scripture of Islam, where he is described as a great and righteous ruler who built a long wall that keeps Gog and Magog from attacking the people who he met on his journey...

's identification as Alexander the Great and on financial interest
Riba means one of the senses of "usury" . Riba is forbidden in Islamic economic jurisprudence fiqh and considered as a major sin...


San Diego assistant professor Khaleel Mohammed has described the translation as "a polemic against Jews" due to content in its footnotes

External links

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