The Qur'an is the primary sacred text in Islam.

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.

In-Text Citation

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."

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


  • Remember to properly format your bibliography or works-cited page. There should be a heading at the top center 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.