31 January 2023

Juma Al Majid Center participates in a ceremony to present a rare translated copy of the Holy Quran to the Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Dubai.

Dr. Mohammed Kamil Jad, the Director-General of the Juma Al Majid Center for Culture and Heritage in Dubai, participated in a ceremony to present a rare English translation of the Holy Quran, known as the Jefferson Quran, to the Mohammed bin Rashid Library.
The ceremony was organized by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which takes place annually from February 1st to the 6th. The event began with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, followed by the translation from the presented copy in English. Dr. Shai B. Routledge, Professor of Literature at New York University Abu Dhabi, then delivered a discussion about this rare translation and its value. This was followed by speeches from Dr. Mohammed Kamil Jad, the Director-General of the Center, and Mr. Sean Ferme, Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
The ceremony concluded with a speech by His Excellency Mohammed Al Mur, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Library, who stated, “The rare translated copy of the Holy Quran gifted to the Mohammed bin Rashid Library will be a significant and valuable addition to a collection of the finest human works and creations that narrate decades of knowledge and civilization in the exhibition of treasures.”
Dr. Mohammed Kamil Jad, in his speech, highlighted the distinctive feature of this translation, which directly translates the meanings of the Holy Quran from Arabic to English. This translation was done by George Sale in 1734 and was reprinted in 1764. The previous translation published in 1649 was not a translation from Arabic but from the French translation of the Quran. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States (1801-1809), acquired the second edition of George Sale’s translation in 1765, which was the same version used in the swearing-in ceremony of Muslim representatives in the United States. This translation was also studied by the great philosopher John Locke, whose philosophy greatly influenced President Jefferson. Hence, this translation served as a gateway for understanding the Quranic text in the West for a long time, both among the general public and the elite, which highlights its significance.