Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali

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Taqi ud-Din al-Hilali
Born 1893
Died June 22, 1987 (1987-06-23) (aged 94)
Era Modern era
Region North Africa
Religion Islam
Creed Zahiri[1]
Movement Salafi[2]

Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din bin Abdil-Qadir Al-Hilali, (1893-1987) was a 20th-century Salafi[3] scholar from Morocco, most notable for his English translations of Sahih Bukhari and, along with Muhammad Muhsin Khan, the Qur'an, entitled The Noble Qur'an.


Early life and education[edit]

Hilali was born in Rissani, Morocco, near the oasis of Tafilalt in a valley near Sajalmasah in 1893 (1311 AH).[4]

In his twenties, Hilali moved to Algeria in order to study Muslim Jurisprudence, moving on to Egypt in 1922. While there, Hilali enrolled in Al-Azhar University only to drop out after being disappointed with the curriculum. Instead, Hilali spent time under the tutelage of Rashid Rida,[5][6]

In Asia and Europe[edit]

After finishing his duration of teaching in Mecca, Hilali enrolled in Baghdad University; he also served as an assistant professor while there. Hilali returned briefly to India for a second time, and enrolled in the University of Lucknow as both a student and a teacher, the most prominent of his own being Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi. Shakib Arslan, who was a close friend of Hilali,[6] went through a contact at the German Foreign Office and helped Hilali enroll (again, both as a student and a teacher) at the University of Bonn.[7]

Return to Morocco, then Iraq, then Morocco, then Saudi Arabia, then Morocco[edit]

Toward the end of World War II, Hilali left Germany for French Morocco, which was rocked with calls for independence. He returned to Iraq in 1947, once again taking up a teaching position at the university in Baghdad. After the 14 July Revolution, Hilali returned to a now-independent Kingdom of Morocco one more time. He was appointed to a teaching position at Mohammed V University in Rabat in 1959 and later at a branch in Fes.[6]

In 1974, Hilali permanently retired from teaching, moving to Meknes initially and later to Casablanca, where he owned a house. Hilali died at June 22, 1987 (25th of Shawal in the year 1408 AH).[8][4] He was buried in the neighborhood of Sbata.


Algerian national hero Abdelhamid Ben Badis considered Hilali to be one of the most knowledgeable Muslim clerics of their era.[1]

Hilali was criticized by a number of Muslim scholars and Western academics due to his translation of the Qur'an. Dr. Ahmed Farouk Musa, an academician at Monash University, considered the Hilali-Khan translation as being a major cause of extremism and a work of propaganda distributed by Saudi religious authorities with money from its oil-rich government.[9] Similarly, Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, head of Bethesda's Minaret of Freedom Institute, has claimed that the translation is a Wahabi rendering of the Qur'an and is not accepted by Muslims in the US.[10]

Additionally, Khaled Abou El Fadl and Khaleel Mohammed criticized Hilali's translation as being a distortion of the meaning of the Qur'an[11][12]

A number of academics have also criticized the Hilali-Khan translation on stylistic and linguistic grounds.[13] Dr William S. Peachy, an American professor of English at College of Medicine, King Saud University at Qasseem considered the translation "repulsive" and rejected by anyone outside of Saudi Arabia.[13] Dr. Abdel-Haleem, Arabic Professor at SOAS, London University, noted that he found the Hilali-Khan translation "repelling".[13] The Director of King Fahd International Centre for Translation, King Saud University, Riyad, Dr. A. Al-Muhandis, expressed his dissatisfaction with the translation’s style and language, being too poor and simplistic.[13]


Hilali worked with Muhammad Muhsin Khan in the English translation of the meanings of the Qur'an and Sahih Al-Bukhari. Their translation of the Qur'an has been described as ambitious, incorporating commentary from Tafsir al-Tabari, Tafsir ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qurtubi and Sahih al-Bukhari.[14] It has also been criticized for inserting the interpretations of the Wahabi school directly into the English rendition of the Qur'an. It has been accused of inculcating Muslims and potential Muslims with militant interpretations of Islam through parenthesis, as teachings of the Qur'an itself.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Hilali was an adherent of the Zahirite school of Islamic law according to his children and students. Administrators of his website edited his biography to remove all references to his adherence to the school, with which modern-day Zahirites took issue.[1]

Hilali practiced polygyny, having married five women during his international travel[citation needed]. He married an Algerian woman, two Saudi women while living in Mecca, an Iraqi woman during the first time he lived in Iraq, a German woman whose first husband was jewish and whom he protected from the Nazi while he lived in Germany, three Moroccan women. He fathered one daughter with the Algerian woman, two daughters with the Saudi women, a son and a daughter with the Iraqi woman and, one son with the German woman. He has no children with his moroccan women.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Dr. Abdul-Baqi al-Sayyid Abdul-Hadi, Biography of the Sheikh, Dr. Muhammad Taqi ud-Din al-Hilali. Alhady Alzahry, 13 November 2010.
  2. ^ Henri Lauzière, M.A., The Evolution of the Salafiyya in the Twentieth Century through the life and thought of Taqi al-Din al-Hilali, iii
  3. ^ Henri Lauzière, M.A., The Evolution of the Salafiyya in the Twentieth Century through the life and thought of Taqi al-Din al-Hilali, iii
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Interview with Dr. Taqi ud-Din al-Hilali with The True Call, official magazine of the Moroccan Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs. 26 Rajab, 1429 Hijri.
  6. ^ a b c Dr. Mohammed Amrani Hanchi, How I came to know Dr. Al-Hilali? at Civilizationist Dialogue. Wednesday, 13 July 2005.
  7. ^ Fifth page of the biography from Hilali's official website.
  8. ^ Biography of Taqi ud-Din al-Hilali on Subul as-Salam
  9. ^ "Muslim extremism found in problematic Quran translation, forum told - The Malaysian Insider". Retrieved 2016-01-17. I believe that propaganda such as the Hilali-Khan translation and other materials coming out of Saudi Arabia are one of the major root causes that feed extremist ideas among Muslims, violence against Christians and other minorities 
  10. ^ "For Conservative Muslims, Goal of Isolation a Challenge". The Washington Post. 2006-09-05. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-02-11. And it wasn't just liberals. I couldn't find an American Muslim who had anything good to say about that edition. I would call it a Wahhabi Koran. 
  11. ^ Khaled Abou El Fadl: Corrupting God's Book, in Conference of the Books
  12. ^ Khaleel Mohammed: Assessing English Translations of the Qur'an
  13. ^ a b c d Jassem, Zaidan Ali. "The Noble Quran: A Critical Evaluation of Al-Hilali and Khan's Translation". International Journal of English and Education. p. 269. ISSN 2278-4012. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  14. ^ Brannon Wheeler, Prophets in the Quran: An Introduction to the Quran and Muslim Exegesis, pg. 366. London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002.
  15. ^ Juergensmeyer, Mark; Kitts, Margo; Jerryson, Michael (2013-01-01). The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence. OUP USA. p. 483. ISBN 9780199759996. In the 1980's two Salafi scholars based in the Islamic University of Medina and working under the supervision of Bin Baz, Taqi al-Din al-Hilali and Muhsin Khan institutionalized an interpretation of Islam... through their work Translations of the meanings of the Noble Qur'an in the English Language (1985). In it they used sustained interpolations to insert the interpretation of the Bin Baz school directly into the English rendition of the Qur'an. It was... used to inculcate Muslims and potential Muslims with militant interpretations of Islam artfully disguised, through parenthesis, as teachings of the Qur'an pure and simple. 

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