4 Top English Translations of the Quran

The Quran (sometimes spelled Koran) is the principal holy text of the Islamic faith, said to have been revealed by God (Allah) to the Prophet Mohammad in the Arabic language. Any translation to another language, therefore, is at best an interpretation of the text's true meaning. However, some translators are more faithful to the original, while others are more loose with their rendering of the original Arabic into English. 

Many readers will prefer to look at more than one translation to get an idea of the true intended meaning of the words. The following list describes four highly regarded English translations of Islam's most holy religious text. 

The Koran in the city of Sanaa, Yemen.
Axel Fassio/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

This is an updated version of the Abdullah Y. Ali translation, revised and edited by a committee at The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA, Call and Guidance (through the King Fahd Complex for Printing the Holy Quran in Madinah, Saudi Arabia).

Abdullah Yusuf Ali was a British-Indian lawyer and scholar. His translation of the Quran has historically been one of the most widely used in the English-speaking world.

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This popular translation by Dr. Muhsin Khan and Dr. Muhammad Al-Hilali is beginning to surpass Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation as the most popular English rendering of the Quran.

Some readers, however, are distracted by the extensive notes contained in the body of the English text itself, rather than in footnotes accompanying the translation.

This translation has until recently been the most popular English translation of the Quran. Ali was a civil servant, not a Muslim scholar, and some more recent reviews have been critical of his footnotes and interpretations of some verses. Nevertheless, the English style is more fluent in this edition than in previous translations.

This edition is designed for those who want to be able to "read" the Arabic original without having to read Arabic script. The entire Quran here is translated into English and also transliterated into the English alphabet to aid in pronunciation of the Arabic text.

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Huda. "4 Top English Translations of the Quran." ThoughtCo, Oct. 9, 2017, thoughtco.com/top-english-translations-of-the-quran-2004604. Huda. (2017, October 9). 4 Top English Translations of the Quran. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-english-translations-of-the-quran-2004604 Huda. "4 Top English Translations of the Quran." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-english-translations-of-the-quran-2004604 (accessed November 21, 2017).