The Koran, Commonly Called the Alcoran of Mohammed

By George Sale

First Edition (1734)

The Koran, Commonly Called the Alcoran of Mohammed

George Sale, C. Ackers in St. John’s-Street, for J. Wilcon at Virgil’s Head overagainst the New Church in the Strand., 1734
“To the right honourable John Lord Carteret, One of the Lords of his Majesty's most Hourable Privy Council. My LORD, NOTWITHSTANDING the great hounour and respect generally, and deserysly, paid to the memories of those who have founded states, or obliged a people by the instituion of laws which have made them...


George Sale (1697–1736) was a British oriental, anglican and lawyer by profession, and became with his translation “The Koran, Commonly Called the Alcoran of Mohamed” a landmark in the history of the Quran translations in English. Although the translation was popular, it is claimed that Sale based his translation on a Latin translation by Catholic priest Ludovico Maracci (1612–1700), and not from original Arabic. For many years this was one of the most successful translations, in both the UK and the USA, and it continued to be printed throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Until 1975 there had been more than 120 editions. Subsequently, many other attempts to translate the Quran into English have been published by English writers who largely depended on Sale’s English Quran translation or other non-Arabic sources. There is widespread claim that it is the same Quran translation that 3rd US President, Thomas Jefferson bought in 1765.

About the author

George Sale

  • Born: Canterbury, Kent, England, 1697
  • Died: The Strand, London, England (buried at St. Clement Danes), 13 November 1736
  • Full name: George Sale
  • Other names: Sale, George
  • Creed: Christian
  • Influences: Ludovico Maracci


For over 200 years between 1734 and up to 1975, George Sales translation persisted as the longest lasting, most popular, and influential English translation, having gone through at least 123 editions in both Britain and the United States.

Listed below are some of the most popular editions, reprints: