The Muslim Ummah has been put into a state of mourning, following the death of a prominent and renowned scholar of language and translator of the Qur’an to English language, Dr Muhammad Muḥsin Khan.
Dr Muhammad Muḥsin Khan, a famous translator of the Qur’an into English and the first person to translate the Ṣaḥīh of Imām al-Bukhārī into English, passed away in the morning of today at the ripe age of 97 in the blessed city of Madinah.
Muslim News findings revealed that funeral prayer has been held for him in the Ḥaram Al-Madanī, after which he was buried in the most blessed cemetery of Baqī.
Breaking the news via his official Facebook account on Thursday, Dr Yasir Qadhi noted that the late scholar was a blessing to the Muslim Ummah, as many benefitted from his works.
Dr Muhammad Muḥsin Khan was born in 1927 in Afghanistan, after which he proceeded to England in the 1950’s to complete his medical training. Upon his return, he was offered a job as the Director of the New Military Hospital in Taif during the tenure of King Abd Al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia.
Dr Qadhi, narrating his personal experience with Dr Khan, eulogised the late scholar for the utilisation of his fluency in English to benefit the Ummah.
Sharing his experience, “I was fortunate to interact with him a few times during my years in Madinah, and there are some amazing stories and personal anecdotes that perhaps I’ll share one day. He was born in 1927 in Afghanistan. During a time when hardly anyone studied in the West, he completed his medical training in England in the 1950’s, and was offered a prestigious job in the newly-formed Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during the time of King Abd Al-Azīz, as the director of the new military hospital in Taif. He was not at all religious (as he himself told me), and only accepted the job because it was a lucrative offer.”
On what looked like a turn around in the life of Dr Khan, he said “However, in the city of Ṭaif where he was stationed, he saw the Prophet ﷺ in a very vivid dream; he asked Sh. Bin Bāz the interpretation of that dream, and the Shaykh replied that his dream meant he would somehow benefit the Sunnah. Dr. Muḥsin remarked, “I was shocked – I was no scholar and my training was in medicine. I didn’t know how I could benefit the Sunnah, until I realized that I was fluent in English and the most important works had not yet been translated into the English language.” He therefore decided to dedicate his life to translate what he could.
“He understood that he needed some scholarly help, so Sh. Ibn Bāz assigned him Dr. Taqī al-Dīn al-Hilālī (d. 1986) , another very important and interesting figure (he was of the first batches of scholars who studied Islamic Studies in the West, having completed his PhD in Germany under Nazi rule!). Although Dr. Hilālī was more fluent in French and German than English, he knew enough English to help Dr. Muḥsin, and together they embarked on the translation of the Qur’an, after which Dr. Muḥsin continued onwards to translate the Ṣaḥīḥ on his own”, he said.
Speaking on his personal relationship with him, Dr Qadhi said; “On a personal note, when I first decided to study Islam and learn Arabic (back in 1991!!), the only Arabic-English book that I had was Dr. Muḥsin’s translation of the Ṣaḥīḥ. So, I spent that year going over the Ṣaḥīḥ, learning Arabic by comparing the side-by-side English/Arabic printing that I had (I had the edition below, but a very old copy from the 1970’s that was in my father’s library).
“That personal study afforded me the opportunity to skip two levels out of the four levels of Arabic training that the University gave to non-Arabs and so, instead of spending two years in the Arabic Institute (known as the Ma’had), I spent only one. [Warning: do NOT attempt this at home – learn Arabic in the proper manner, and not like I did from a translation!!!!].
“Therefore, when I first met Dr. Khan as a student in Madinah in 1995, it was such an honor for me, and I told him my story about how his work was my first exposure to learning Arabic and to the Sunnah. I also told him that I planned to study in the College of Ḥadīth (which I started in 1996). He made a very special and private du’a for me that I will always cherish and ask Allah to accept his du’a.”
He further sought Allah’s forgiveness for the late scholar and prayed Allah to admit him into paradise.
SUPPORT MUSLIM NEWS NIGERIA
With your generous financial contributions to MUSLIM NEWS, you are helping to sustain a culture of journalistic integrity that promotes tranquil Islamic values and ensures it remains free and available to all.