Noble Quran (Hilali-Khan)

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The Noble Qur'an (with those words understood here as referring to this particular translation, rather than the Quran itself - also commonly called 'Noble' by Muslims) is a translation of the Qur'an by Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Arabic: محمد محسن خان, muḥammad muḥsin khān) and Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali (Arabic: محمد تقي الدين الهلالي, muḥammad taqiyyu-d-dīn al-hilālī).

This English translation comes with a seal of approval from both the University of Medina and the Saudi Dar al-Ifta.[1] The Saudi-financed translation is heavily based on the commentaries of Tabari, Qurtubi, and Ibn Kathir.[1][2][3] The translation has been described as being steeped in Wahhabi theology.[4]


Some academics have criticized the Hilali-Khan translation on stylistic and linguistic grounds.[3][5] Dr William S. Peachy, an American professor of English at College of Medicine, King Saud University at Qasseem,[5] as well as Ahmed Farouk Musa,[6] have charged that the translation is a Saudi-funded effort not respected by anyone outside of that realm. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, head of Bethesda's Minaret of Freedom Institute, has claimed that the translation is not accepted by Muslims in the US,[7] and Dr AbdulHalim, Arabic Professor at SOAS, London University, noted that he found the Hilali-Khan translation "repelling". 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.[5]

The Hilali-Khan translation has been criticised by several prominent Western Muslim academics as well. Khaleel Mohammed,[1] Sheila Musaji,[8] Robert Crane,[9] and Khaled Abou El Fadl[10] has taken the translation to task for supposed Muslim supremacism and bigotry.

On the other hand, there have been some defenses of the translation from academia. Malaysian scholar Fathul Bari Mat Jahya claims that the work doesn't promote hostility toward other religions, but rather preserves Quranic verses that tells Muslims to make peace with other religions.[2] Not surprisingly, there have been defenses of the translation from organizations suspected of Wahhabism as well.[11] The translators themselves defended their version as an alternative to the popular The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary, charging that the charm of the English language is useless if meaning is not conveyed.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mohammed, Khaleel (2005). "Assessing English Translations of the Qur'an". Middle East Quarterly. 
  2. ^ a b Sheridan Mahavera, Hilali-Khan translation does not promote hostility towards non-Muslims, says scholar, The Malaysian Insider. 12 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b c M.A. Sherif, The Abdullah Yusuf Ali Memorial Lecture, pg. 23. Held on Sunday, 14 September 2008. Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust, 2008.
  4. ^ Denver journal of international law and policy 30. 2004-01-01. p. 240. 
  5. ^ a b c 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. 
  6. ^ "Muslim extremism found in problematic Quran translation, forum told - The Malaysian Insider". Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Shiela Musaji: Through the Looking Glass: Hilali-Khan Qur’an Translation
  9. ^ Robert D. Crane, QUR'AN: Playing into the Hands of the Extremists? (Khan Qur'an)
  10. ^ Khaled Abou El Fadl: Corrupting God's Book, in Conference of the Books
  11. ^ Muslim World League Journal, vol. 23, 1995. Muslim World League Press and Publications Department, Mecca.

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