How to Cite the Qur'an in MLA

Written by catherine m. lafuente
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How to Cite the Qur'an in MLA
The Qur'an is the primary sacred text in Islam. (holy quran image by palms from

The Modern Language Association (MLA) format is a standard method of citation in academia. It is most notable for its use of parenthetical references instead of footnotes or end notes. Citing a sacred text has its own rules, just as a book, journal or Internet source requires specific formatting. The holy book of Islam, the Qur'an should be cited according to the sacred text guidelines established by MLA.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open a parenthesis at the end of the sentence or quote you are citing. On a standard keyboard, this is done by holding down the shift key and pressing "9."

  2. 2

    Type the name of the Qur'an you are using followed by a comma. An example would be The Holy Qur'an in Today's English. Then, type the number of the chapter you are citing, followed by a colon. Type the verse(s) you are citing.

  3. 3

    Close the parenthesis. This is done by holding down the shift key and pressing "0." Then, add the closing punctuation mark for the sentence you are citing.

  1. 1

    Type the name of the Qur'an you are using, followed by a period. An example is The Qur'an: English Translation and Parallel Arabic Text. Italicize the title in its entirety.

  2. 2

    Type the word "Trans" followed by a period if there is a translator. Then, type the first and last name of the translator followed by a period.

  3. 3

    Type the location followed by a colon. Then type the name of the publisher followed by a comma. Finally, type the date of publication followed by a period. Your final citation should look like this:

    The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics). Trans. M. A. S. Abdel Haleem. USA: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Tips and warnings

  • Remember to properly format your bibliography or works-cited page. There should be a heading at the top centre of the page that states "Bibliography" or "Works Cited."
  • Remember to properly indent your bibliography. If the reference is longer than one line, the second line is indented five spaces.

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