Ḥayy ibn Yaqdhān and the Disappearing Qur’ān - Part 4 – The Three English Translations Compared

Ḥayy ibn Yaqdhān and the Disappearing Qur’ān - Part 4 – The Three English Translations Compared

3 July 2023
It may be inferred that attracting the readers’ attention to the Qur’ān is no longer needed or desirable.

This is the fourth part of a blog post series on Ḥayy ibn Yaqdhān, click to read part one, part two, and part three here.

1.     George KEITH (d. 1716)

In his chapter for the collective volume Quakers and Mysticism. Comparative and Syncretic Approaches to Spirituality (2019), Michael Birkel stated that the two major voices in early Quaker theological writings were Friends from Scotland, Robert Barclay, remembered for his Apology for the True Christian Divinity, which became the canonical work of Quaker theology for over 200 years, and George Keith, first translator of Ḥayy ibn Yaqdhān in 1674 from Pococke’s Latin into English (2019: 131). Recent works on Keith have investigated his involvement with Kabbalistic circles in Scotland and Germany and found significant echoes of concepts from Jewish mysticism in his early writings. I would suggest that his translation of Ḥayy constitutes a similar attempt to familiarise himself and his readers with Islamic esotericism to develop and advance the mystic branch in Quaker theology.

For Keith, the main thrust of Ibn Tufayl’s story was to argue for the existence of three modes of knowing God: dogmatically, rationally, and experientially. According to his introduction to the text, Keith championed the narrative as proof of the sufficiency of knowledge of God gained through the Inner Light, even without knowledge of the Gospel and of Jesus Christ. Keith was also particularly interested in the demonstrations he found in the book regarding the supremacy of immediate knowledge over that gained from traditional religious sources and deduced from philosophical premises. In their chapter ‘The Unifying Light of Allah: Ibn Tufayl and Rufus Jones in Dialogue’ for the same volume Quakers and Mysticism, Christy Randazzo and David Russel suggested that ‘examining how the theology of Light within Ḥayy ibn Yaqdhān might contribute to a greater understanding of Quaker mystical theology, particularly in the area of Inner/Outer mysticism’ (2019: 243).

Indeed, returning to Keith‘s preface, we find that the purposes of his translation are a) to be of general service, b) to share ideas and passages agreeable to Christian principles, and c) to restate how God may be sought through ‘those native and inward testimonies in the soul and mind of man itself’ (n.p.). As with the Kabbalah, Keith is now suggesting to fellow Quakers that they can find in Ḥayy ibn Yaqdhān doctrinal elements proximate to the doctrine of ‘Inner Light’. Keith would have translated the tale to provide material to substantiate the development of their doctrine but also to use it in their polemics against the Anglican Church and the institutionalisation of faith.

 Image 10. George Keith, An Account of the Oriental Philosophy (1674)


Three important aspects are to be highlighted concerning Keith’s engagement with Ḥayy:

a. Keith translated the introduction where Ibn Ṭufayl presents his philosophical and theological framework.

b. In the margins of the main text, he added comments of his own. For instance, concerning the birth of Ḥayy without father or mother, he writes: ‘A meer fabulous report, contrary to the truth, for all mankind is of Adam’ (18); or later, concerning the distinction between the eternal divine essence and the temporal essence of created beings: ‘Note, that afterwards he came to see this opinion to be a gross error and mistake, and that his own particular essence was distinct from the essence of God’ (88).

c. Despite this recurrent use of marginal notes and despite his reliance on Pococke’s Latin translation, Keith drops the references to the Qur’an, except in three occurrences:

  • -     '… and in the text of the Alcoran, [Cap. al. Anphal.] You have not killed them, but God hath killed them; and thou hast not cast them down, but God hath cast them down.)’ (Keith 54, main text, in italics) [ = Pococke 96]

  • -      ‘Foolishness had overwhelmed them, and what they sought after, had occupied their hearts as rust; God hath sealed their hearts and ears and a mist is before their eyes’ (Keith 113, main text, in italics) and ‘Alc. Cap. 3 al-tatfif & ca p. 2’ (Keith 113, margin) [ = Pococke 195]

  • -      ‘and all these things are darkness, others upon others in the deep sea; nor is there any of you who doth not go in thither, for so the decree of the Lord standeth firm’ (Keith 114, main text, in italics) and 'Alc. C. al-nur & Mariam’ (Keith 114, margin) [ = Pococke 196]

The other references, which appear in Pococke’s marginal notes in the Latin translation (to sūrat al-Ghāfir p. 115 and 156, al-Qaṣaṣ p. 116, al-Takwīr and al-Qāri‘a p. 172) have disappeared. The fact that the passages of the Qur’ān are not referenced does not mean they were erased from the main text. For instance, while the reference to sūra al-Ghāfir [in Pococke, p. 156] is missing, Keith still translates the Quranic quotation: ‘To whom is now the Kingdom? To the One Omnipotent God’ (Keith 86). The reference to sūra al-Takwir and al-Qāri‘a [in Pococke, p. 172] is not marked but it is translated as follows by Keith:

(& of this did that excellent Book speak, where this notion falleth in, of moving the mountains, that they may become as wool, and that men shall become as candle-flies, and concerning the obscuration of the Sun and Moon, and the breaking forth of the Seas, in that day wherein the Earth shall be changed into another Earth, and the Heavens also). (Keith 96).

Keith does not delete the Qur’ān but tends to delete the reference system introduced by Pococke. My interpretation for this gesture is that, contrary to Pococke, Keith’s translation intends to domesticate Ḥayy as much as possible so as to turn it into a text that could be quoted by Quakers of his generation and the next not as an account of foreign or Islamic theology but as a piece exposing key elements of their own doctrine related to experientialism, mysticism and Inner Light. The tale could be used to defend their conception of the connection between human beings and the divine without the intermediation of the Church. By not necessarily flagging its Islamic provenance, the domestication/reappropriation - to borrow from Lawrence Venuti’s terminology – is made easier.

2.     George ASHWELL (d. 1694)

George Ashwell published The History of Hai Eb’n Yockdan, an Indian Prince: or the Self-Taught Philosopher in 1686. He was a Church of England clergyman, closely related to the Oxford scholarly milieu, since he matriculated at Wadham College in 1629, graduating BA in 1632, followed by MA in 1635. He was elected fellow of the college in 1636, served as college librarian in 1636 and as sub-warden in 1644 and 1647. During the Civil War and Interregnum, Ashwell preached before the royal court assembled at Oxford and he remained a convinced royalist, even after the rendition of Oxford to the Parliamentarian Visitors. His biographers describe him as a quiet, unassuming, fair-minded man.

As a member of the clergy, Ashwell’s books were related with matters of faith and matters of the Church. He wrote sermons, books in defence of the faith (Fides apostolica), books on liturgy (Gestus eucharisticus 1663), books on polemics (De Socino et Socinianismo dissertatio 1680), and the new translation of Ḥayy into English from the Latin version of Pococke.

In his preface, Ashwell expresses concern for his parishioners and seems to have intended Ḥayy primarily for ‘Men of this licentious Generation, whereof some are too loose in their Principles, others in the Practices […] giddily following their own Phancies, or other Men’s Opinions, whom they have unadvisedly chosen to themselves for the Guides of their Faith and Manners’ (n.p.). Ashwell conceived of Ḥayy as a tool to remedy this situation, teaching them by ‘the light of Nature’ the ‘principles of Morality and Religion’ (n.p.). Ashwell saw in the tale a good example of how nature should be used as a book from which human reason could read, learn, understand and discover the presence of the Divine in all its works. In this way Nature, Reason and Religion were explained together in ‘the hope of an agreement’ between Revelation and Reason.

Therefore, one of the aims of The History of Hai Eb'n Yockdan was to act as a corrective to the burgeoning rationalism of his contemporaries, by showing how, properly exercised, 'humane Reason, improved by diligent Observation and Experience, may arrive to the knowledge of natural things, and from thence to the discovery of Supernaturals; more especially of God, and the Concernments of the other World' (title-page). In his biography for the ODNB, Philip Dixon noted that this same concern surfaced in his last work, De ecclesiae Romana dissertatio (1688), which attempted to discern the rule of right reason in matters of religion.

in this context, Ashwell’s treatment of Ḥayy is different from Keith’s:

a. Ashwell dispenses with Ibn Tufayl’s preface. He replaces it with a preface of his own where he provides some biographical details about the original author and exposes the main arguments of the book. Then he gives his own rationale for presenting a new translation, namely redressing ‘this Profane and Fanatical, as well as Lewd and Luxurious Age’, ‘[…] so much inclined to Fanaticism, Sadducism and Atheism’ (n.p.). Ashwell praises the pedagogical structure of the tale which reflects on the use and limitations of reason and the need for Revelation:

Let them then who willfully shut their eyes on the light of Revelation, as being too pure and bright for them, at least suffer themselves to be guided by the less the less splendid and more familiar light of natural Reason. Let the Enthusiasts also, who pretend so much to supernatural Revelations, and are dazzled on their fanciful lights, […] learn […] to be wise unto Sobriety (n.p.)

Towards the end of his preface, Ashwell recognises that Ḥayy’s descriptions of Resurrection and Judgement Day must be ‘taken out of the Alcoran, the Author of this History being a Mahometan by Religion’ (n.p.) and therefore they differ in places from the canonical descriptions in Christian doctrine.

b. Probably in order to preempt suggestions that he might be praising Islam, Ashwell underlines towards the end of the preface that Ḥayy ‘mak[es] some Exceptions against that Book [the Qur’ān] as it was described to him by his Friend Asal, and taxing it of Imperfection in several particulars, whereto He makes no particular Reply’ (n.p.).

c. He excises two discourses related to Islamic theology – one about the various theological schools in Islam and the other about the stages of creation according to Islamic belief. Ashwell justifies his decision to delete these in the Preface by saying that they are ‘all one to the design’ of Ibn Ṭufayl in the tale and therefore redundant.

d. Lastly, he repeats what Pococke had said at the end of his Latin Preface concerning the incompatibility of Scriptures and aesthetics, stating that the ‘several passages cited out of the Alcoran, […] seem sometimes to disturb the sense, and interrupt the coherence of the Discourse, yet they pass for elegancies and ornaments, as well as proofs, among the Mahometans, as Citations out of the Old Testament or the Talmud, do with the Jews’ (n.p.).

The preface ends with this comment without giving the reader further indications as to potential excisions. A closer examination of the main text proves that the Quranic passages are quoted and cited according to Pococke’s earlier indications. The citation system is shifting from the margins into the main text and Ashwell indicates by using italics and/or square brackets where the quotation from the Qur’ān begins and where it ends. Through this system, he ensured that scriptural words are not mixed with words of fiction and re-established what he judged to have been disturbed by Islamic authors, namely the separation between Scriptures and poetry or romance.

  • o   ‘And this notion which thus appeared to him is the same thing which was said by the messenger of God (viz. Mahomet) [I am his hearing whereby he hears, and his sight whereby he sees. And in the Text of the Alcoran, Cap. Al Anphali. [You have not slain them, but God hath slain them. And, thou hast not cast them away, but God hath cast them away.]’ (Ashwell 66) [ = Pococke 96]

  • o   ‘In like manner, the whole World is made and created by this Efficient, without time; whose command it is, when he would have any thing made or done, that he says to it, Let it be, and it is. Alc. c. Gapher’ (Ashwell 85) [ = Pococke 115]

  • o   ‘He alone is Existence (as who alone hath it of Himself) he is Absoluteness he is Perfection, he is Beauty, he is Brightness, he is Power, he is Knowledge; He lastly, is that He who is the only He, and all besides him are subject to Perishing. Alc. c. Alkesas.]’ (Ashwell 88) [ = Pococke 116]

  • o   ‘so that all things seemed to vanish away, to be reduced to nothing, and to become like so many Atoms sever'd from each other, and scatter'd here and there, whilst nothing remained with him besides that Being, which is the only one, and the True one, and of a permanent Existence. And thus he spake in that saying of his, (which is not a Notion superadded to his Essence) [To whom now belongs the Kingdom? To the one, Almighty God] Alc. c. Gapher.] which words of his he understood, and heard his voice’ (Ashwell 133) [ = Pococke 156]

  • o   ‘it is absurd to suppose, that it will or can be taken quite away, because it so follows the Divine World; but the Corruption thereof consists in this, that it be changed, not utterly annihilated. [And that precious Book spake of this, where this Notion happened to be mention'd concerning the moving of the Mountains, so that they became like Wooll, and Men like Fire flies; also concerning the darkning of the Sun and Moon, and the breaking forth of the Seas in the day, when the Earth shall be changed into another form, and the Heavens likewise.] Alc. c. Altacwir. &c. Akareah.]’  (Ashwell 153) [ = Pococke 172]

  • o   ‘and that which they so eagerly sought after, hath seised on their Hearts like rust; God hath sealed up their Hearts and Ears, a thick mist is before their Eyes, and a grievous Punishment abides them. Alc. c. 83. sc. Altafif. &c. 2.]’ (Ashwell 182) [ = Pococke 195]

  • o   ‘or some outward work commanded by the Law, whereof he may make a vainglorious shew; or whereby he may save his own Neck. [Now all these things are Darkness upon Darkness in the depth of the Sea, neither is there any of you who doth not enter in thither, for such is the unchangeable Decree of the Lord. l. Alc. c. Al. Nur. &c. Miriam.]’ (Ashwell 184) [ = Pococke 196]


3.     Simon Ockley (d. 1720)

Simon Ockley was an orientalist and member of the Anglican clergy. The biographical details that follow may be found in P.M. Holt’s entry on Ockley for the ODNB. Ockley took his BA at Queen’s College, Cambridge, in 1698 and was appointed to a Hebrew lectureship there around 1700. Ockley took deacon's orders before he was twenty, and by 1701 was curate of Swavesey, near St Ives in Cambridgeshire. In 1705 he was ordained priest, and was presented by Jesus College, Cambridge, to the living of Swavesey. In 1710, he was appointed chaplain to Robert Harley, who in 1711 became earl of Oxford and Lord High Treasurer of England.

Ockley's scholarly interests soon turned from Hebrew to Arabic, and more specifically to the early history of Islam. He paid two short visits to Oxford in August 1701 and in the spring of 1706 in order to consult oriental manuscripts stored at the Bodleian Library. The reading he accomplished while at Oxford provided him with the materials for the volume which he published in 1708 under the title The Conquest of Syria, Persia, and Aegypt by the Saracens, which dealt with Islamic history under the first three caliphs (632–656). Also, in 1706, he published Introductio ad linguas orientales, where he underlines the necessity of the study of oriental languages for theologians. He resumed this theme in his inaugural lecture as Sir Thomas Adams's professor of Arabic, published in 1712.

He visited Oxford a third time in the early 1710s and published a sequel titled The History of the Saracens (1718), which continues the account of early Islamic history from the fourth caliph, Ali, to the Umayyad 'Abd al-Malik (656–705). The two volumes were republished in 1757 under the common title of The History of the Saracens, with an anonymous preface titled ‘Life of Mahomet’.

As noted by P.M. Holt, these two volumes mark a turning point in the development of Arabic and Islamic studies. Earlier scholars had written in Latin for an international academic readership, but Ockley wrote in English for the instruction of his fellow countrymen, who not being 'sufficiently acquainted with that Nation, have entertain'd too mean an Opinion of them' (Ockley, Conquest, xi).

Probably inspired by the manuscripts he consulted during his first visits at the Bodleian, Ockley started working on his direct translation of Ḥayy ibn Yaqdhān from Arabic into English in those years and also published The Improvement of Human Reason, Exhibited in the Life of Hai Ebn Yokdhan in 1708. He dedicated his translation to Edward Pococke, author of the first Latin translation in 1671, and in the preface explains the reasons for his new translation:

I was not willing, (though importun’d) to undertake the translating it into English because I was inform’d that it had been done twice already ; once by Dr. Ashwell another time by the Quakers, who imagin’d that there was something in it that favoured their Enthufiastick Notions. However, taking it for granted, that both these Translations were not made out of the Original Arabick, but out of the Latin; I did not question but they had mistaken the Sense of the Author in many places (n.p.)

Ockley envisaged his translation as a theological corrective to the translations of Keith and Ashwell, in particular in the Appendix where he refutes mysticism and argues against its contemporary developments:

There are a great many errors both in his Philosophy and Divinity: And it was impossible it should be otherwise, the one being altogether Aristotelian, the other Muhammadan. I shall pass over the greatest part of them, as not being likely to do any harm; and confine myself chiefly to the examination of this Fundamental Error of my author, viz. * That God has given such a power or faculty to man, whereby he may, without any external means, attain to the knowledge of all things necessary to Salvation, and even to the Beatific Vision itself, whilst in this state: In doing which I shall still have regard to the errors received concerning these things in the present Age. (168)

Ockley’s intentions are presented as clearly polemical - not only does he condemn Ibn Ṭufayl’s ‘Aristotelian’ philosophy but also the Islamic theological doctrines embedded in the narrative. He also explains at the end of the Appendix that he treated the Qur’ān as a revealed text and Prophet Muhmmad as a true Prophet only for the sake of the argument but not because he believed in them (Ockley 191).

Despite this opposition, Ockley retained Ibn Ṭufayl’s preface and the exposition of his philosophy and theology therein as well as the Quranic quotations interspersed in the tale.

Differentiating himself from previous translations, Ockley introduced the use of footnotes, which he uses to display his knowledge in history, philosophy and theology. The footnotes are used to place the exact Quranic references. For instance in the first and second page, Ockley explains the basmallah in the opening of the text and footnote 2 remarks that the author referred to sura 96 when writing about Allah inspiring humanity and Prophets ‘by the Pen’. These two footnotes are not taken from the original nor from the Latin.

Other footnotes exposing his orientalist knowledge appear on p. 2 where he remarks on lā sharīka lahu as frequently appearing in the Qur’ān; p.3 noting that Alpherungus had learnt the Qur’ān; p.13 that Abraham as being called Hanīf in the Qur’ān; and finally in the footnote p.33 where he explains the expression of ‘God made Man after his own Image’:

These Words are quoted by our Author for the Words of Mahomet, though they do indeed belong to Moses, but we must know Mahomet was well acquainted with the Jews, from whom be learned not only some Expressions used in the  Bible, but a great part of the History of it; which he has mangled and crowded, after a confused manner into his Alcoran. (Ockley 33)

These are all scholarly additions by Ockley. As far as his treatment of the Qur’ān is concerned, it is interesting to note that he would most of the time italicise the Quranic quotations but erase the references that Pococke and subsequent translators had tried to maintain. For instance, while Ashwell writes:

  • ♦ And in the Text of the Alcoran, Cap. Al Anphali. [You have not slain them, but God hath slain them. And, thou hast not cast them away, but God hath cast them away.] (Ashwell 66)

Ockley brings only:

  • ♦ And in the Alcoran; You did not kill them, but God kill’d them ; when thou threwes the Parts, it was not thou that threwest them, but God (Ockley 78).

I have traced all other quotations of the Qur’ān in Ockley’ translation and similarly we note the absence of citations and sometimes even of italics:

  • ♦ And seeing that he is the Maker of the World, doubtless he has the Sovereign Command over it. Shall not he know it, that created it? He is wise, Omniscient! (Ockley 87)

  • ♦ So all this World is caus’d and created by this Agent out of Time, Whose Command is, when he would have any thing done, BE, and it is. (Ockley 90)

  • ♦ … and fully assured that these things could not proceed from any other, than a Voluntary Agent of infinite Perfection, nay, that was above all Perfection; such an one to whom the Weight of the least Atom was not unknown, whether in the Heaven or earth; no, nor any other thing, whether less or greater than it.  (Ockley 90; here the text is not even italicised although one may recognise sura 10, v. 62 and sura 34 v. 3)

The other option chosen by Ockley is to keep the quotations in the main text, to mark them in italics and/or with an asterisk and move the reference to a footnote:

  • ♦ who is very Essence, and cannot but exist; who gives Being to every thing that exists, and besides whom there is no Existence? But HE is the Being, HE is the Absoluteness, He the Beauty, He the Glory, HE the Power, HE the Knowledge, HE is HE, and besides Him all things are subject to perishing. (Ockley 92; to which Ockley adds in footnote: Alcoran, Chap. Alkesas)

  • For Folly has over-whelmed them, and what they have sought after, has covered their Hearts like Rust ; God has sealed up their Hearts and their Ears, and their Eyes are dim, and they shall have sore Punishment (Ockley 156; to which Ockely adds in footnote: Alc: cha. 2 and 83)

  • ♦ … all disappear’d and vanish’d, and were as if they had never been, and amongst these his own Being disappear’d too, and there remain’d nothing but this ONE, TRUE, Perpetually Self-Existent Being, who spoke thus in that Saying of his (which is not a Notion superadded to his Essence.) To whom now belongs the Kingdom? To this One, Almighty God (Ockley 123; with a footnote that simply says Alcoran; and this is even when Ashwell had given a more precise reference, namely: [To whom now belongs the Kingdom? To the one, Almighty God] Alc. c. Gapher.] (Ashwell 133)

  • ♦ ...it is absurd to suppose a Possibility of its being annihilated, because it follows the Divine World; But the Corruption of this World consists in its being chang’d, not annihilated. And that glorious Book spake, where there is no mention ,made of [138} Moving the Mountains, and making them like World, and Men like Fire-Flyes, and darkning the Sun and the Moon; and Eruption of the Sea, in that day when the Earth shall be chang’d into another Earth, and the Heaven likewise.” (Ockley 137; the footnote says Alcoran, Chap. 81, and 101)

  • ♦ or whereby he may save his own Neck? Now all these things are Darkness upon Darkness in the Depth of the Sea, neither is there any of you that doth not enter in thither, for such is the unchangeable Decree of the Lord (Ockley 158; the footnote says Alcoran, Chap. 24 and 19)


Comparing between the English translations, we notice that the marginal notes present in the Latin are dropped out, from which it may be inferred that attracting the readers’ attention to the Qur’ān is no longer needed or desirable. With Keith and Ashwell, the references to the Qur’ān are sometimes moved to the main text. With Ockley, the Qur’ān is italicised and/or marked with an asterisk and the referencing is moved to footnotes. The footnotes are what I would call new pointers of post-scriptural orientalist activity. The case of the evolution of the treatment of the Qur’ān in Ḥayy ibn Yaqdhān between the early seventeenth and early eighteenth century brings to light crucial evolutions in the scientific interests of the discipline from Scriptures to anthropology.



Ashwell, George. The History of Hai Eb’n Yockdan, an Indian Prince: or the Self-Taught Philosopher. London: Richard Chiswell and William Thorp, 1686.

'Fragments of Pococke the elder ʼs translation of Ibn Ṭufaylʼs Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān,’ MS Pococke 429, ff. 1-2, 16-17, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Keith, George. An account of the Oriental philosophy shewing the wisdom of some renowned men of the East and particularly the profound wisdom of Hai Ebn Yokdan. London, 1674.

Ockley, Simon. The Improvement of Human Reason, Exhibited in the Life of Hai Ebn Yokdhan. London: Edm. Powell and J. Morphew, 1708.

Pococke, Edward (the younger). Philosophus autodidactus, sive Epistola Abi Jaafar Ebn Tophail de Hai Ebn Yokdhan. Oxford: H. Hall, 1671. [2nd ed. Oxford: John Owen, 1700].

‘Risālah Ḥayy ibn Yaqzān,’ MS Pococke 263, ff. 23-71, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

  Further reading

Attar, Samar. 2007. The Vital Roots of European Enlightenment: Ibn Tufayl’s Influence on Modern Western Thought. Lanham, MD.: Lexington Books.

Ben-Zaken, Avner. Reading Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān. A Cross-Cultural Reading of Autodidacticism. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.

Conrad, Lawrence I., ed. The World of Ibn Ṭufayl. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān, Leiden: Brill, 1996.

Daiber, Hans. ‘The Reception of Islamic Philosophy at Oxford in the 17th Century. The Pococks’ (father and son) Contribution to the Understanding of Islamic Philosophy in Europe’, in The Introduction of Arabic Philosophy into Europe, edited by Charles E. Butterworth and B. A. Kesel, 65-82. Leiden: Brill, 1994.

Elmarsafy, Ziad. The Enlightenment Qur’an. The Politics of Translation and the Construction of Islam. Oxford: Oneworld, 2009.

Elmarsafy, Ziad. ‘Philosophy Self-Taught: Reason, Mysticism, and the Uses of Islam in the Early Enlightenment’, in L’Islam visto da Occidente: Cultura e religione del Seicento europeo di fronte all’Islam, edited by Bernard Heyberger et al. Genoa: Marietti, 2009.

Gallien, Claire and Louisiane Ferlier, ‘”Enthusiastick” Uses of an Oriental Tale: The English Translations of Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy ibn Yaqdhan in the Eighteenth Century’, in Eastern Resonances in Early-Modern England, edited by Claire Gallien and Ladan Niayesh. New
York: Palgrave, 2019, p. 93-114.

Gallien, Claire, ‘Orientalist Pococke: Brokering Across Borders, Disciplines and Genres’, in The Internationalization of Cultural Exchange in a Globalizing Europe, 1636-1780, edited by Robert Mankin. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell UP, 2017, p. 1-30.

Gallien, Claire, From Corpus to Canon: Appropriations and Reconfigurations of Eastern Literary Traditions in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Britain (contracted with Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Gutas, Dimitri. ‘Ibn Ṭufayl on Ibn Sīnā’s Eastern philosophy’, Oriens 34 (1994): 222-241.

Kukkonen, Taneli. ‘No Man is an Island. Nature and Neo-Platonic Ethics in Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān’, Journal of the History of Philosophy 46.2 (2008): 187–204.

Hasanali, Parveen. ‘Texts, Translators, Transmission: “Hayy Ibn Yaqzan” and its Reception in Muslim, Judaic and Christian Milieux’. PhD diss., McGill University, 1995.

Kershner, Jon R. Quakers and Mysticism: Comparative and Syncretic Approaches. New York: Palgrave, 2019.

Kukkonen, Taneli. ‘Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān’, in Oxford Handbook of Islamic Philosophy, edited by Sabine Schmidtke and Khaled El Rouayheb, 233-254. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Loop, Jan. ‘Divine Poetry? Early Modern European Orientalists on the Beauty of the Koran’, Church History and Religious Culture 89.4 (2009): 455-488.

Randazzo, Christy and David Russell. ‘The Unifying Light of Allah: Ibn Tufayl and Rufus Jones in Dialogue’, in Quakers and Mysticism: Comparative and Syncretic Approaches, edited by Jon R. Kershner. New York: Palgrave, 2019, p. 161-180.

Russell, G. A. ‘The Impact of the Philosophus Autodidacus: Pococke, John Locke and the Society of Friends’. in The ‘Arabick’ Interest of the Natural Philosophers in Seventeenth-Century England, edited by G. A. Russell, 224-265. Leiden: Brill, 1993.

Suggested Chicago Style Citation: Claire Gallien, "Ḥayy ibn Yaqdhān and the Disappearing Qur’ān - Part 4 – The Three English Translations Compared," MEMOrients Blog, July 3, 2023 <

The research conducted by the author in the Islamic Collections of the Bodleian Library was generously funded by the Bahari Visiting Fellowship in the Persian Arts of the Book.

The author is currently working on an article to be submitted to the international academic journal Philological Encounters (Brill) on the same topic.