Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison became the first Muslim member of the U.S. Congress January 4, 2007. swearing his oath of office on a copy of the Quran that belonged to the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Ellison had already planned to be sworn in using a Quran, rather than a Bible. He learned about Jefferson’s Quran and arranged to borrow it.In an interview, Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert said the choice of Jefferson’s Quran was significant because it “dates religious tolerance back to the time of our founding fathers.”>> A VALUABLE OBJECT:
Although the Library of Congress is right across the street from the Capitol, library officials took extra precautions in delivering the Quran for the ceremony. To protect it from the elements, they placed the Quran in a rectangular box and handled it with a green felt wrapper once inside the Capitol.
Instead of using surface streets, they walked it over via a series of winding, underground tunnels – a trip that took more than 15 minutes. Guards then ran the book through security machines at the Capitol.
Jefferson’s 6,400-volume personal library was the largest in North America at the turn of the 19th century. He obtained his English translation of the Quran in 1765 as he was finishing his law studies. The translation by British historian and solicitor George Sale first was published in 1734. The Quran, along with the rest of Jefferson’s books, became the basis of the Library of Congress after British troops burned the U.S. Capitol, destroying the old congressional collection in the War of 1812.
The Scholar Kevin Hayes wrote: “Wanting to broaden his legal studies as much as possible, Jefferson found the Qur’an well worth his attention.”
>>WORTH OUR KNOWLEDGE…
George Sale, the translator of this copy of the Qur’an stated “If the religious and civil Institutions of foreign nations are worth our knowledge, those of Mohammed, the lawgiver of the Arabians, and founder of an empire which in less than a century spread itself over a greater part of the world than the Romans were ever masters of, must needs be so.” Like Pufendorf, Sale stressed Mohammed’s role as a “lawgiver” and the Qur’an as an example of a distinct legal tradition.
This is not to say that Sale’s translation is free of the kind of prejudices against Muslims that characterize most European works on Islam of this period. However, Sale did not stoop to the kinds of affronts that tend to fill the pages of earlier such attempts at translation where the primary motive was to vilify Islam and the last prophet of Islam.
While Jefferson is best known for writing the Declaration of Independence, he also penned the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which served as a basis for the religion clauses in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
Jefferson was also the first to ever hold a Ramadan iftar* at the White House when he invited the first Muslim ambassador (from Tunisia) to the United States.
– Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an : http://
– Thomas Jefferson’s Ramadan Iftar :
*Iftar is the meal of breaking the fast at sunset during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
I hope this was beneficial
The Qur’an (Recital) is the word of the Creator of the heavens and the earth-the Only One-Lord of the worlds, revealed to the last prophet Muhammad (meaning the praised one/the Most Praised) who was chosen and commanded to share and deliver the final revelation to mankind.
“Islam’s challenge to the West meant that the West, instead of understanding Islam and its message, consistently demonised it. As far as the West is concerned, “Other civilisations of the East – India and China among them – could be thought of as defeated and distant and hence not a constant worry. Only Islam (Submission to the Creator alone in peace) seemed never to have submitted completely to the West”. [Said, Covering Islam, p-5]”
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