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Sale translation of the Qur'an

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:40 pm
by brettz9
Greetings all,

If you're interested in purchasing either a paperback or hardback version of Sale's translation of the Qur'an, please consider a purchase at .

At the time, Shoghi Effendi recommended this translation (and I think it can still be worthwhile, given especially the helpfulness (and readability) of the notes):

"As to the question raised by the Spiritual Assembly of Los Angeles concerning the best English translation of the Qur'an, the Guardian would recommend Sales' translation which is the most accurate rendering available, and is the most widespread."

(Shoghi Effendi, Directives of the Guardian, p. 63, emphasis added)

"It is certainly most difficult to thoroughly grasp all the Surihs of the Qur'án, as it requires a detailed knowledge of the social, religious and historical background of Arabia at the time of the appearance of the Prophet. The believers can not possibly hope, therefore, to understand the Surihs after the first or even second or third reading. They have to study them again and again, ponder over their meaning, with the help of certain commentaries and explanatory notes as found, for instance, in the admirable translation made by SALE, endeavor to acquire as clear and correct understanding of their meaning and import as possible...."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Directives of the Guardian, p. 64, emphasis added)

You would also be supporting the work of providing the digital files online here for free.

warmest regards,

Re: Sale translation of the Qur'an

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 5:40 pm
by Ahsan_al_Hadees

Sale was an enemy of Islam. He was a non-Muslim. Recommending his english translation of the Holy Quran cannot be justified.

You can download his translation from this link

It is stated:

George Sale, a lawyer brought out his The Koran, commonly called The Al Koran of Mohammed (London, 1734), which has been the most popular English translation. Sale's exhaustive 'Preliminary Discourse', dealing mainly with Sira and the Quran, betrays his deep hostility towards Islam and his missionary intent in that he suggests the rules to be observed for 'the conversion of Mohammedans' (q.v.).


I recommend three translations done by Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam in English:

( 1 ) English Translation by Maulana Sher Ali ( RA )

Link: ... ?region=E2

( 2 ) English Translation with Short Commentary by Malik Ghulam Farid

Link: ... &region=EN

( 3 ) English Translation with 5 Volume Commentary by Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad ( RA ) [ 2nd Ahmadi Muslim Caliph of Jama'at-e-Ahmadiyya and son of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, The Promised Messiah n the Mahdi ( PBUH ) ]

Link: ... ?region=E1


Re: Sale translation of the Qur'an

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 7:57 pm
by brettz9
Yes, Sale was prejudiced, at least outwardly (I think it is possible he merely felt compelled to inoculate himself against Christian attacks, since even the idea of a translation was offensive to some Christians at that time). Yet if you read Sale's notes, the are almost universally objective and merely provide information (and a lot of it). This is in strong contrast to the notes of Rodwell which openly demonstrate his prejudice (though even these have some helpful biblical cross-references).

I should clarify though, that the Universal House of Justice has clarified that there have been other translations since the time Shoghi Effendi recommended these and that each might be considered on its own merits, and that individuals are free to make their own decisions. ... 20RESEARCH

While our own Writings sympathize with the idea that a believer might be an ideal translator, this is not to say that a scholar is incapable of making a fair or even literary rendering. In fact, an outsider might in some cases be able to better avoid the prejudices which those belonging to a particular school of that religion might carry with them. Baha'is are required to have as much, if not even more, reverence for, and belief in the divine inspiration of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon Him!, as Muslims, so our Writings would not contravene this (and while reading this, I did not feel any insult or find any distortion (actually, there may have been one or two out of the vast number which showed some slant)).

The few cases where people claim Sale's translation shows prejudice, I believe, may have been due to the English used at that time (for example, his translation of a verse which he included as "slay the victims"). I believe this might have been just descriptive, not to imply the "victims" were undeserving, etc.

Honestly, if you look through the translation or his notes, you would be hard-pressed to find something offensive. In one edition (or maybe it was published separately), I believe he did write one introduction which was vitriolic and basically pure propaganda, but I did not include that. His other introductory "Preliminary Discourse" simply describes.

best wishes,

Re: Sale translation of the Qur'an

Posted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:46 am
by Ahsan_al_Hadees
I believe that Sale's translation, if possible, should not be included. But if Bahais have to do so then make it one of the translations not one translation only.


Re: Sale translation of the Qur'an

Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:02 am
by holyquran12
I also believe sale's translation is not accurate and against Islam. Muslims must avoid it. There are so many other translations are also available in the market of reputable Ulama. There are so many sites are also just one click away from you, you can visit to learn and understand Quran with its true meaning.

Re: Sale translation of the Qur'an

Posted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:39 pm
by Dame
Thank you all for posting links to multiple translations. As with the Holy Bible, I find that multiple translations provide a much better understanding.

Re: Sale translation of the Qur'an

Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:52 am
by Guillo
Could you point me towards a decent spanish version? I'm having some troubles with a project i'm working on, and I don't feel comfortable translating from English... I'd rather use a trusted translation done by someone who understands the source language directly into Spanish.
I'll appreciate any help, thank you very much!