The English Commentary of the Holy Quran

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Sura Fatiha (Quran)
Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908)

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community published The English Commentary of the Holy Quran in 1963.[1] It was prepared by a board of translators consisting of Maulvi Sher Ali, Mirza Bashir Ahmad and Malik Ghulam Farid. This 5 Volume "Commentary" covers about 3,000 pages with an Introduction by Hadrat Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, Second Successor of the promised Messiah and his Promised Son. The Commentary is based upon the Urdu "Tafsir Saghir”, the 10 Volumes Tafsir Kabeer, the unpublished notes, speeches and writings of Hadhrat Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II. The Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur'an by Hadrat Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II, has been published as an independent work as well.[2] In 1968, a single Volume abridged Edition was also published.[3] The Arabic Text of the book has been given side by side with the English Translation, followed by a system of Cross-references and Notes.


Full commentary 1968 version

In 5 volumes (1963):

Scheme of translation[edit]

The authors explain to have adopted a three-fold scheme for translating and interpreting the Arabic words and expressions. First, interpreting an expression in the light of a corroborative testimony of the Quranic idiom itself. Secondly, the ‘context’ of a word or expression, which determines the meaning. Thirdly, meanings and explanations in the standard lexicons of the Arabic language, such as the Lisan al-Arab, the Taj al-'Arus, the Mufradat of Imam Raghib, the Arabic English Lexicon by E. W. Lane and the Aqrab AI-Mawar etc.

Words in italics have been placed to further explain/qualify the meaning of the text. The verses have been interpreted by appending notes to them which are serially numbered throughout the Commentary. It is claimed these notes derive their authority from the spirit and tenor of the Holy Quran. A concordance has been created to enable search for the same or similar expressions/concepts at other places of the Holy Quran. In transliterating Arabic words, the system adopted by the Royal Asiatic Society has been followed.

Order of precedence[edit]

In explaining difficult places or expressions, the authors, according to the Ahmadiyya beliefs, have adopted an order of precedence: Quran having precedence over Hadith, after the Hadith, the Arab Lexicons, and then the factual evidence of historical events.

Intelligent order[edit]

The authors believe, the Chapters (Surahs) in the Holy Quran, have a natural order, which also runs through the verses of each Chapter. At the beginning of each Chapter, an introduction has been given, explaining the main subject of the Chapter, the Chronology of Revelation and the questions of how every Chapter is linked to the previous one. It is claimed the Quran forms a thoroughly coherent and consistent reading. The verses of the various Chapters, and the specific position of each Chapter itself is governed by an intelligent order.

Refuting Objections[edit]

The Notes, it is claimed, have been placed to refute the principal objections raised against Islam by the non-Muslim critics. It is claimed, such objections were based upon ignorance or deliberate misinterpretation of the teachings of Islam. Such objections have been refuted with the intent to remove the bias and prejudice against Islam, and make a better understanding of its teachings possible.


The Commentary has a system of cross-references, placed below the Text and the Translation. These give, at a glance, the various places where the subject of a particular verse has been dealt with, in the Quran.


The English Commentary of the Holy Quran has quoted or referred to many books. Some of them are listed here in this Bibliography.

1. The Sahih of Bukhary by Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Isma'il Bukhari.

2. The Sahih of Muslim by Hafiz Abu'l Husain Muslim ibn Hajjaj Al Qushayri.

3. The Jami' of Tirmidhi by Abu 'Isa Muhammad ibn 'Isa Tirmidhi.

4. Sunan of Abu Dawud by Hafiz Sulaiman ibn Ash'ath Abu Dawud.

5. Sunan of Ibn Majah, Collections of Abu `Abdallah Muhammad ibn Yazid Ibn Maja al-Rab`i al- Qazwini.

6. Musnad of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal by Imam Abu'Abd Allah Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

7. Sunan of Nasa'i by Hafiz Abu 'Abd al-Rahman Ahmad ibn Shu'aib Nasa'i.

8. Mu'atta' by Imam Malik.

9. Sunan of Baihaqi by Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Husain al-Baihaqi.

10. Kanz al'Ummal - Sunan al-Aqwal wa'l Af'al by Shaikh 'Ala ai-DIn 'An ai-Muttaqi.

11. Sunan of Dar Qutni by Hafiz Ali ibn 'Umar al-Dar Qutni.

12. Irshad al-Sari by Ahmad Muhammad al-Khatib Qastalani.

13. Fath al-Bari by Abu'l Fadl Shihab al-Din Ahmad ibn Ali Asqalani.

14. AI-Jami' al Saghir fi Ahadith al-Bashir al-Nadhir.

15. Ibn' Asakir by Abu'l Qasim 'Ali ibn ai-Hasan ibn' Asakir.

16. Mardawaih by Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Musa ibn Mardawaih.

17. Sharh Ma'ani al-Athar by Abu Ja'far al-Tahawi.

18. AI-Tafsir, Exposition of al-Jami' al-Saghir by Imam 'Abd al-Ra'uf al Manawi.

19. Commentary of the Quran by Imam Abu Ja'far Muhammad Ahmad ibn Jarir Tabari.

20. The Tafsir of Abu'l Fida Isma'il ibn al-Kathir.

21. AI-Kashshaf 'an Ghawamid al-Tanzil by Imam Mahmud ibn 'Umar Zamakhshari.

22. AI-Bahr al-Muhit by Athir al-Din Abu 'Abd Allah Muhmammad ibn Yusuf of Granada (Spain), alias Abu Hayyan.

23. Durr Manthur by Hafiz Jalal al-Din 'Abd al-Rahman Sayuti.

24. Ruhul al-Ma'ani by Abu'l Fadl Shihab al-Din Mahmud al-Baghdadi.

25. Anwar al-Tanzil by Qadi Nasir al-Din Abu Sa'id Baidawi.

26. Fath al-Qadir by Muhammad ibn Ali al-Shaukani.

27. Fath al-Bayan Abu'l-Tayyib Siddiq ibn Hasan.

28. Tafsir Kabir by Imam Muhammad Fakhr al-Din Razi.

29. Ruhul al-Bayan by Shaikh Isma'il Haqqi.

30. Tafsir Kabir by Hadrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad.

31. AI-Jawahir al-Hisan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an by Shaikh 'Abd al-Rahman Tha'labi.

32. Qurtubi Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Qurtubi, Cordova (Spain).

33. Commentary on the Qur'an by Rev. E. M. Wherry, M.A.

34. Majma' Bihar aI-Anwar by Shaikh Muhammad Tahir of Gujrat.

35. Al-Kulliyyat by Abu'l Baqa' al-Husaini.

36. AI-Mufradat fi Ghara'ib al-Qur'an by Shaikh Abu'l Qasim Husain ibn Muhammad al-Raghib.

37. Lisan al-'Arab by Imam Abu'l Fadl Jamal al-Din Muhammad ibn Mukarram.

38. Taj al-'Arus by Abu'l Faid Sayyid Muhammad Murtada al-Husaini.

39. Arabic-English Lexicon by E. W. Lane.

40. The Qamus by Shaikh Nasar Abu'l Wafa.

41. The Sihaah by Abu'l Nasar Isma'il Jauhari.

42. Aqrab al-Mawarid by Sa'id AI-Khauri al-Shartuti.

43. Al-Misbah Al-Munir by Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Fayumi.

44. The Hebrew-English Lexicon by Gesenius.

45. Encyclopædia Britannica, 14th Edition.

46. Encyclopaedia of Religions and Ethics.

47. Jewish Encyclopaedia.

48. Encyclopaedia Biblica.

49. Encyclopaedia of Islam.

50. The Review of Religions.

51. Cruden's Complete Concordance to The Old and The New Testaments and Apocrypha.

52. Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk by Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir Tabari.

53. Ibn Ishaq.

54. Seerat Khatam al-Nabiyyin by Mirza Bashir Ahmad, M.A., Rabwah.

55. Life of Muhmammad by Sir William Muir, K. C. S. I. (1923).

56. The Caliphate, Its Rise, Decline and Fall by Sir William Muir, K.C.S.I.

57. Seerat al-Nabi by Shaikh Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Malik ibn Hisham.

58. Futuhul al-Buldan by Baladhari.

59. Tabaqat al-Kabir by Muhammad ibn Sa'd.

60. Tarikh al-Khamis by Shaikh Husain ibn Muhammad al-Diyar al-Bakri.

61. Sharh Zurqani by Imam Muhammad ibn'Abd al-Baqi al-Zurqani.

62. Usud al-Ghabbah fi Ma'rifat al-Sihabah by Hafiz Abu'l Hasan 'Ali ibn Muhammad.

63. Zad al-Ma'ad fi Hadyi Khair al-'Ibad by Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr ibn Ayyub al-Dimashqi.

64. Mu'jam al-Buldan by Abu 'Abd Allah Yaqut ibn 'Abd Allah al Baghdadi.

65. Muruj al-Dhahab wa Ma'adin al-Jauhar by 'Allamah Abu'l Hasan 'Ali ibn Husain al-Mas'udi.

66. Kamil ibn Athir by Abu'l Hasan 'Ali ibn Abu'l Karam alias ibn al Athir.

67. Mawahib al-Ladunniyyah by Shihab aI-Din Ahmad Qastalani.

68. Tarikh al-Umam by 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Khaldun al-Maghribi.

69. Sirat al-Halbiyyah by 'Ali ibn Burhan ai-Din al-Halbi.

70. Futuhat al Makkiyyah by Muhi al-Din ibn al-' ArabI.

71. Awarifal-Ma'arif by Abu Hafs 'Umar ibn Muhammad.

72. Dawud Zahiri.

73. Mala'ikat Allah by Hadrat Mirza Bashir ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad.

74. Kitab al-Kamil by Abu'l 'Abbas Muhammad ibn Yazid al-Mubarrad.

75. Sab' Mu'allaqat, the seven well-known poems by seven eminent pre-Islamic poets.

76. Sibawaih by Abu'l Bashr 'Amr Sibawaih.

77. A Grammar of the Arabic Language by W. Wright, LL.D.

78. Al-Muha'lla by Imam Abu Muhammad 'Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Sa'id ibn Hazam.

79. Ibn Mardawaih.

80. Mukhtasa al-Ma'ani by Mas'ud ibn 'Umar alias Sa'd Taftazani.

81. Al-Mutawwal by Mas'ud ibn 'Umar alias Sa'd Taftazani.

82. Taudhi al-Maram by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

83. A'inah Kamalat Islam by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

84. Haqiqat al-Wahy by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

85. Izalah Auham by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

86. The Teachings of Islam by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

87. Barahin Ahmadiyya by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

88. Haqiqat al-Asas.

89. AI-Mawardi.

90. The AI-Hakam. (a weekly from Qadian, India)

91. The AI-Fazal (a Daily from Qadian/Rabwah)

92. The Tomb of Jesus by Dr. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, Rabwah (formerly of Qadian).

93. The Old and The New Testaments.

94. The Zend-Avesta. (Holy Scriptures of Zoroastrians).

95. The Dasatir (Holy Scriptures of Zoroastrians).

96. The Jamaspi by Jamasap, First Successor of Zoroaster.

97. Dictionary & Glossary of the Qur'an by John Penrice.

98. Historians' History of the World.

99. History of the Arabs by P. K. Hitti.

100. Abbot's Life of Napoleon.

101. Renan's History of the People of Israel.

102. Josephus: History of the Jewish Nation.

103. Hutchinson's History of the Nations.

104. The Apocrypha.

105. The Dawn of Conscience by James Henry Breasted.

106. Moses and Monotheism by Sigmund Freud.

107. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.

108. Biblical Cyclopaedia by John Eadie.

109. Diodorus Siculus (Translation by C. M. Oldfather, London, 1935).

110. The Pilgrimage by Lieut. Burton.

111. The Jewish Foundation of Islam.

112. Scoffield Reference Bible.

113. Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature (New York, 1877).

114. Leaves from Three Ancient Qur'ans, Edited by Rev. A. Mingana, D.D.

115. Translation of the Targum by J. W. Etheridge.

116. Capital Punishment in the Twentieth Century by E. Roy Calvert.

117. Lalita Vistara (Sk.).

118. Buddha-Charita (Sk.).

119. The Making of Humanity by Robert Briffault.

120. On Heroes And Hero-Worship by Thomas Carlyle.

121. History of Palestine and the Jews by John Kitto (London, 1844).

122. American Medical Journal.

123. Indo-Aryans by R. Mitra, LL.D., C.LE.

124. The Talmud (Selections by H. Polano).

125. Commentary of the Bible by C. J. Ellicott, Lord Bishop of Gloucester.

126. Commentaries on The Old and The New Testaments, published by Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London.

127. Sharh al-Sunnah by Abu Muhammad aI-Husain ibn Mas'ud al-Baghwi.

128. Faslal-Khitab by Hadrat Maulawi Nur-ud-Din Khalfatul-Masih – I

129. Izalat al-Khifa 'an Khilafat al-Khulafii' by Hadrat Shah Wall Allah of Delhi.

130. Khutabat al-Ahmadiyya by Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, K.C.S.I

131. Everyman's Encyclopaedia.

132. Story of Rome by Norwood Young.

133. Decline of the West by Spengler.

134. A Study of History by Toynbee.

135. The Universe Surveyed by Harold Richards.

136. The Nature of the Universe by Fred Hoyle.

137. Commentary on the Bible by Dr. Peake.

138. Rise of Christianity by Bishop Barns.

139. Marvels and Mysteries of Science by Allison Hox.

140. Once to Sinai by H. F. Prescott.

141. Emotion as Basis of Civilization.


  1. ^ English Commentary of the Holy Quran (5 Volumes)
  2. ^ Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran by Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad.[1]
  3. ^ English Commentary of the Holy Quran(Abridged Edition )1968