Wikipedia has a list of English translations of the Quran. According to their list, they have the translation by Dr. Rashad Khalifa as the 23rd English translation of the Quran, except, as we will see, this is not an accurate depiction.

  1. Alexander Ross, 1649, The Alcoran of Mahomet: Translated out of Arabique into French by the Sieur Du Ryer.
  2. George Sale, 1734, Koran, Commonly called The Alcoran of Mohammed, Translated into English immediately from the Original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, taken from the most approved Commentators. To which is prefixed a Preliminary Discourse.
  3. John Meadows Rodwell, 1861, The Koran. (ISBN 0-8041-1125-1).
  4. E.H. Palmer, 1880, The Qur’an: The Sacred Books of the East Part Nine. (ISBN 1-4179-3010-1).
  5. Mohammad Abdul Hakim Khan, 1905, The Holy Qur’an, Patiala.[57]
  6. Hairat Dehlawi, 1912, The Koran Prepared, Delhi.
  7. Mirza Abul Fazl, 1911, The Qur’an, Arabic Text and English Translation Arranged Chronologically with an Abstract, Allahabad.
  8. Maulana Muhammad Ali, 1917 The Holy Qur’an: Text.[58] (ISBN 0-913321-11-7).
  9. Al-Hajj Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar, 1929, Translation of the Holy Qur’an, Singapore and Woking, England.
  10. Marmaduke Pickthall, 1930, The Meaning of the Glorious Qu’ran. (ISBN 1-879402-51-3).
  11. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, 1934, The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, Lahore. (ISBN 0-915957-76-0).
  12. Maulvi Sher Ali, 1936, The Holy Quran with English translation.[59] (ISBN 1-85372-314-2).
  13. Richard Bell, 1937–39, The Qur’an. Translated, with a critical re-arrangement of the Surahs.
  14. Abdul Majid Daryabadi, 1941, The Holy Qur’an, English Translation, Lahore.
  15. Arthur John Arberry, 1955, The Koran Interpreted: A Translation. (ISBN 0-684-82507-4).
  16. N. J. Dawood, 1956, “The Koran”. (ISBN 0-14-044558-7)
  17. Khadim Rahmani Nuri, 1964. “The Running Commentary of the Holy Qur-an”. Shillong
  18. Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, 1970, “The Qur’an: The Eternal Revelation vouchsafed to Muhammad the Seal of the Prophets”.(ISBN 1-56656-255-4)
  19. Muhammad Asad, 1980, The Message of The Qur’an.(ISBN 1-904510-00-0).
  20. M. H. Shakir, 1981, The Quran, Arabic and English. (ISBN 0-940368-16-1). (Controversial, see English translation controversy)
  21. T. B. Irving, 1985, The Qur’an: First American Version. (ISBN 0-911119-33-7).
  22. Zafar Ishaq Ansari, 1988 Towards Understanding the Qur’an, translated from Abul Ala Maududi’s Urdu translation Tafhim al Qur’an.
  23. Rashad Khalifa, (died on 31 January 1990), Quran: The Final Testament, Universal Unity, (ISBN 0-9623622-2-0).

There are a couple problems with the above list:

  • The first entry by Alexander Ross is an English translation of a French translation of the Quran by André du Ryer published in 1647 and not from the original Arabic Quran
  • Dr. Rashad’s First Edition of the Quran translation was published in 1981 and not 1990, as specified in the above list.
  • M.H. Shakir’s translation of the Quran should not be on the list for several reasons, as will be explained below, God willing

According to Wikipedia’s entry on M.H. Shakir, under the title: “Qur’an controversy“, it states the following:

Mohammed Habib Shakir has been stated by many internet sources as “a well known translator of the Qur’an into English.” He has been associated with the translator M. H. Shakir of the translation published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an.[1][2] However this idea is contradicted by two pieces of evidence that have now come to light:

  1. There is strong evidence that Mohammed Habib Shakir was against the translation of the Qur’an and considered the rendering of the Arabic into any other language unlawful.[3]
  2. There is strong evidence that M. H. Shakir, the translator, is actually a pen name for Mohammedali Habib Shakir the son of Habib Esmail of The House of Habib.[4]

The translator of this edition was in fact a Pakistani Shi’a.[5]

Quran archive makes another claim contrary to Wikipedia that states the translation was actually from another individual named Mohammad Ali Esmail Habib, who died around 1959. Then later, a certain M. H. Shakir (d. after 1959) edited the unpublished translation and provided a supposed first limited publication in Pakistan in 1968. It was then supposedly republished in 1970 by “a group of Muslim Brothers” in Tehran, Iran, under the title ”The Holy Quran, Arabic text and English translation.” This work is edited with footnotes and an introduction by M. H. Shakir and, therefore, generally attributed to Shakir rather than Habib. Very little is known about the individuals, even while many different statements and claims are made about their actual identities, full name, background, and religious affiliation. The few bibliographical works on translations of the Quran in English provide limited insight into this matter. It also claims that the publication in the USA for the translation occurred in 1974, except there is no date or ISBN in the document to validate this claim. None of the publication dates that Quran Archive provides can be substantiated.

But despite the supposed question on the publication dates and actual author of the translation, a more damning reason as to why the M.H. Shakir translation should be taken off the list is because it was discovered that the M.H. Shakir translation of the Quran was almost entirely plagiarised from the 1917 Quran translation by Maulana Muhammad Ali’s with some minor borrowings from his 1951 revision. A full report on this act of plagiarism can be found here. Additionally, the report states that the original publication for M.H. Shakir was in 1983, not 1974.

Based on these facts, we can confirm that Dr. Rashad Khalifa’s translation was the 19th English translation of the Quran.

  1. George Sale, 1734, Koran, Commonly called The Alcoran of Mohammed, Translated into English immediately from the Original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, taken from the most approved Commentators. To which is prefixed a Preliminary Discourse.
  2. John Meadows Rodwell, 1861, The Koran. (ISBN 0-8041-1125-1).
  3. E.H. Palmer, 1880, The Qur’an: The Sacred Books of the East Part Nine. (ISBN 1-4179-3010-1).
  4. Mohammad Abdul Hakim Khan, 1905, The Holy Qur’an, Patiala.[57]
  5. Hairat Dehlawi, 1912, The Koran Prepared, Delhi.
  6. Mirza Abul Fazl, 1911, The Qur’an, Arabic Text and English Translation Arranged Chronologically with an Abstract, Allahabad.
  7. Maulana Muhammad Ali, 1917 The Holy Qur’an: Text.[58] (ISBN 0-913321-11-7).
  8. Al-Hajj Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar, 1929, Translation of the Holy Qur’an, Singapore and Woking, England.
  9. Marmaduke Pickthall, 1930, The Meaning of the Glorious Qu’ran. (ISBN 1-879402-51-3).
  10. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, 1934, The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, Lahore. (ISBN 0-915957-76-0).
  11. Maulvi Sher Ali, 1936, The Holy Quran with English translation.[59] (ISBN 1-85372-314-2).
  12. Richard Bell, 1937–39, The Qur’an. Translated, with a critical re-arrangement of the Surahs.
  13. Abdul Majid Daryabadi, 1941, The Holy Qur’an, English Translation, Lahore.
  14. Arthur John Arberry, 1955, The Koran Interpreted: A Translation. (ISBN 0-684-82507-4).
  15. N. J. Dawood, 1956, “The Koran”. (ISBN 0-14-044558-7)
  16. Khadim Rahmani Nuri, 1964. “The Running Commentary of the Holy Qur-an”. Shillong
  17. Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, 1970, “The Qur’an: The Eternal Revelation vouchsafed to Muhammad the Seal of the Prophets”.(ISBN 1-56656-255-4)
  18. Muhammad Asad, 1980, The Message of The Qur’an.(ISBN 1-904510-00-0).
  19. Dr. Rashad Khalifa, Quran: The Final Testament, Islamic Productions, (ISBN 0934894191)

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