The Influence Of George Sale's Translation Of Quran On Voltaire’s Portrayals Of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

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Saeed Akhtar , Dr. Bashir Ahmad Malik , Dr. Riffat Shaheen , Dr. Fareed Ud Din Tariq , Sana Ullah , Dr. Aminullah


The western writers on Muhammad (peace be upon him) demonstrate both criticism and admiration of his personality. However, it is an unpleasant fact that much of what is written about his life is biased and hostile. Voltaire, a French philosopher and playwright, experiences a paradigm shift in his perceptions of the figure of Muhammad (peace be upon him). In the beginning, Voltaire depicts Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the model of fanaticism in his play Le Fanatisme, ou Mahomet le Prophete. In the later stages of his career, however, his perspective on Islam and its prophet underwent a considerable change. He began to see Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a wonderful role model who, through scriptures and art of persuasion, changed the course of history. The following research paper attempts to prove that Voltaire changed his hostile opinion after reading George Sale's translation of the holy Quran. It delineates how Voltaire’s negative portraits of Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the pre-Sale period gave way to positive portraits in the post-Sale period.

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