The Holy Qur-án

By Muhammad Ali

First Edition (1917)

The Holy Qur-án

Muhammad Ali, Lahore (India), The Islamic Review Office, Surrey, England, 1917
“Preface A detailed exposition of the prominent features of the study of the Holy Qur-án I reserve for a separate volume to be issued at a later date. In this Preface I would draw the reader’s attention to two important...


Muhammad Ali (1874–1951) was an Indian writer and scholar, and later a leading figure of the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement. He joined the Ahmadiyya Movement in 1897, and a couple of years later decided to devote his literary and missionary activities to work directly under the founder of the movement, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. In 1902 he became the editor of a Ahmadiyya magazine in English, aimed at English-educated Muslims in India and more broadly a Western readership. Muhammad Ali started work on translating the Quran into English in 1909 at Qadian (Punjab, India), where he lived and worked. Later, due to schism in the Ahmadiyya movement in 1914, Muhammad Ali took of to Lahore and finished the translation in 1917. Muhammad Ali was widely praised among Westerns and some Muslims groups for the translation, far surpassing, in clarity, his predecessors. Nevertheless, the more his translation has been scrutinized, the more it has come under sharp criticism on account of missionary approach to the text, that reflects the Ahmadiyya movement's interpretation of the Quran. Muhammad Ali’s translation is now mostly used by researchers of the history of Quran translations into English, and by the Ahmadiyya Movemebt themselves. The broader Muslim and Non-Muslim community do not rely or make use of this translation.

About the author

Muhammad Ali

  • Born: 1874
  • Died: 13 October 1951
  • Full name: Muhammad Ali
  • Other names: Maulana Muhammad Ali Maulvi Muhammad Ali
  • Creed: Ahmadiyya
  • Influences: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and later Maulana Nur-ud-Din


The 1917 edition was reprinted in 1920 and again in 1935 as the third edition, both as before at the Unwin Brothers Gresham Press, Woking. The 1935 third reprint was the last time that the original 1917 work of Maulana Muhammad Ali was published in print. Another version of the English translation was published in 1928, without including the Arabic Text, and with much abbreviated commentary.