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One of its readers was Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: UT Professor Explores Islam and the Founders | The Alcalde

When Jefferson bought his Quran as a law student in , it was probably because of his interest in understanding Ottoman law. This professed religious tolerance was probably mostly theoretical for Jefferson.


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It was the first direct translation of the Quran from Arabic to English the only other English version was a translation of a French translation published in , and would remain the definitive English translation of the Quran into the late s. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in.

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First Muslim congressman sworn in using Quran

Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. And so it was that, through contact with Muslims long ago, this stunning flower had eventually reached North America, where it now reigns as a sign of spring.

Episode 30: Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an

I sat amazed. A national treasure was mine to peruse. Now, suddenly, I could touch the brown leather bindings, and hear the slight crackle of the yellowing pages as I turned them. The volumes were far too delicate, I thought, to be touched by anyone. He had made his threat good days before in March , with disastrous consequences in Afghanistan.

The Florida minister believed he was exercising his First Amendment right to express how execrable he thought Islam was.

History in the Present - Denise Spellberg - "Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders"

For them, it had been more common since the 17th century to translate the sacred text for Christian readers than to consign it to the flames. To my surprise, I found that many Americans in the founding era, despite the tenacious legacy of misinformation from Europe, refused to yield to contemporary fears promoting the persecution of Muslims.


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They preferred to be heirs to a less prominent but important strain of European tolerance toward Muslims, one whose influence had thus far been over looked in early American history.