Ideological Presuppositions Behind Translation: A Case Study of the Orientalist English Translations of the Quran

Document Type : Original Article


Professor of English Director, K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India


The present paper identifies the ideological  presuppositions and doctrinal interpolations in the  select English translations of the Quran. Out of the  total 150 complete English translations, the most  influential are the ones produced by the Orientalists.  These dominated the field until 1930s before the  appearance of the English translations by Muslim  scholars. Apart from being unfaithful to the original  Arabic text of the Quran, the Orientalist versions seek  to discredit Islam and the Quran. Instances in point are  the translations by Ross (1649) Sale (1734), Rodwell  (1861) Bell (1937-39), Alan Jones (2007) and A. G.  Droge (2014) N. J. Dawood, an Iraqi Jew’s translation  (1955) too, casts aspersions on things Islamic.  
Far from letting readers learn what the Quran is, these  Orientalist forays aim at driving them away from the  Quran by projecting a repulsive view of the Quran


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