Madinah, July 15: Dr Muḥammad Muḥsin Khan, the famous translator of the Quran into English (who co-translated it along with the erudite Dr. Muḥammad Taqī al-Dīn al-Hilālī), and the first person to translate the Ṣaḥīh of Imām al-Bukhārī into English, passed away today morning in the city of Madinah. He was 97.
His funeral prayer will be in the Ḥaram al-Madanī, followed by a burial in the most blessed cemetery of Baqī.
Dr Muhsin was born in 1927 in Afghanistan. Muhsin Khan obtained a degree in Medicine from the University of Lahore, Pakistan and also, he worked in the same university hospital. Then, he travelled to United Kingdom to obtain a diploma in Chest Disease from University of Wales.
Later, he worked in Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health department for 15 years. After, he worked as Chief of Department of Chest Diseases in Madinah. Lastly, he worked as the Director of Islamic University clinic in Madinah.
In Madinah, he reportedly saw the Prophet in a very vivid dream; he asked Sh. Bin Bāz, who was the Rector of the University, 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 Quran, after which Dr. Muḥsin continued onwards to translate the Ṣaḥīḥ on his own.
With inputs from Dr Yasir Qadhi