Presents brilliant translations of the short, hymnic chapters, or suras, associated with the first revelations to the Prophet Muhammad. Most of these early revelations appear at the end of the written text and are commonly reached only by the most resolute reader of existing English translations. These suras contain some of the most powerful prophetic and revelatory passages in religious history. They offer the vision of a meaningful and just life that anchors the religion of one-fifth of the world's inhabitants. The book is enriched by the inclusion of a CD recording of Quranic reciters chanting several of the early suras, allowing readers an opportunity to hear the Qur'an in its original form.
approaching the quran
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It is clear in every page of this brilliant work that it was written from a heartfelt perspective. A must read for every student of life, love, spirituality, and of course the Quran."--Whitney Cannon, founder Taleef Collective, Fremont, California.
How is the Qur'an organized? Does its structure convey meaning? Why did the Islamic tradition neglect the study of the Qur'an's unusual configuration until the twentieth century? In The al-Baqara Crescendo, Nevin Reda introduces a bold new avenue of research: the poetics of Qurʾanic narrative structure. Focusing on Surat al-Baqara, the longest and most challenging of the suras, she uncovers the beauty and rationale behind the Qurʾan’s unusual organization. Reda argues that the sura – often dismissed by Muslim traditionalists and Orientalist critics as a baffling collection of disjointed material – can be appreciated as a coherent composition if it is approached as an oral text. Calling attention to oral organizational techniques such as repetition, this book’s repertoire of figures showcases Surat al-Baqara’s ingenious layout and pinpoint the sophisticated meanings that are embedded within it. Incorporating insights from literary theory and Biblical studies, the author advances inclusivity and intercultural bridge-building in the study of scripture. In an engaging narrative that is bound to captivate and challenge the reader, Reda communicates a deep love and thorough command of her subject, all while presenting a significant new development in Islamic hermeneutics.
This unique Handbook provides a sophisticated, scholarly overview of the most advanced thought regarding the idea of life after death. Its comprehensive coverage encompasses historical, religious, philosophical and scientific thinking. Starting with an overview of ancient thought on the topic, The Palgrave Handbook of the Afterlife examines in detail the philosophical coherence of the main traditional notions of the nature of the afterlife including heaven, hell, purgatory and rebirth. In addition (and breaking with traditional conceptions) it also explores the most recent exciting advance – digital models. Later sections include analysis of various possible metaphysical accounts that might make sense of the afterlife (including substance dualism, emergent dualism and materialism) and the science of near death experiences as well as the links between human psychology and our attitude to the afterlife. Key features: • Grounded in the most advanced philosophical, theological and scientific thinking • Contributions by eminent scholars from the world’s top universities • Balanced treatment of fundamental issues that are relevant to everyone • Diverse approaches ranging from the religious to the scientific, from the optimistic to the pessimistic • A major section on the meaning of the afterlife which includes chapters on fear, purpose, evil, and issues regarding identity The Palgrave Handbook of the Afterlife is essential reading for scholars, researchers and advanced students researching attitudes to and effects of beliefs about death and life after death from philosophical, historical, religious, psychological and scientific perspectives.
For anyone, non-Muslim or Muslim, who wants to know how to approach, read, and understand the text of the Qur'an, How to Read the Qur'an offers a compact introduction and reader's guide. Using a chronological reading of the text according to the conclusions of modern scholarship, Carl W. Ernst offers a nontheological approach that treats the Qur'an as a historical text that unfolded over time, in dialogue with its audience, during the career of the Prophet Muhammad.
Rather than focus solely on theological concerns, this well-rounded introduction takes an expansive view of Islamic ideology, culture, and tradition, sourcing a range of historical, sociological, and literary perspectives. Neither overly critical nor apologetic, this book reflects the rich diversity of Muslim identities across the centuries and counters the unflattering, superficial portrayals of Islam that are shaping public discourse today. Aaron W. Hughes uniquely traces the development of Islam in relation to historical, intellectual, and cultural influences, enriching his narrative with the findings, debates, and methodologies of related disciplines, such as archaeology, history, and Near Eastern studies. Hughes's work challenges the dominance of traditional terms and concepts in religious studies, recasting religion as a set of social and cultural facts imagined, manipulated, and contested by various actors and groups over time. Making extensive use of contemporary identity theory, Hughes rethinks the teaching of Islam and religions in general and helps facilitate a more critical approach to Muslim sources. For readers seeking a non-theological, unbiased, and richly human portrait of Islam, as well as a strong grasp of Islamic study's major issues and debates, this textbook is a productive, progressive alternative to more classic surveys.
This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of Islamic studies find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. A reader will discover, for instance, the most reliable introductions and overviews to the topic, and the most important publications on various areas of scholarly interest within this topic. In Islamic studies, as in other disciplines, researchers at all levels are drowning in potentially useful scholarly information, and this guide has been created as a tool for cutting through that material to find the exact source you need. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Islamic Studies, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study of the Islamic religion and Muslim cultures. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.aboutobo.com.
Thirteenth-century Sufi poet, mystic, and legal scholar Muhyi al-Din ibn al-'Arabi gave deep and sustained attention to gender as integral to questions of human existence and moral personhood. Reading his works through a critical feminist lens, Sa'diyya Shaikh opens fertile spaces in which new and creative encounters with gender justice in Islam can take place. Grounding her work in Islamic epistemology, Shaikh attends to the ways in which Sufi metaphysics and theology might allow for fundamental shifts in Islamic gender ethics and legal formulations, addressing wide-ranging contemporary challenges including questions of women's rights in marriage and divorce, the politics of veiling, and women's leadership of ritual prayer. Shaikh deftly deconstructs traditional binaries between the spiritual and the political, private conceptions of spiritual development and public notions of social justice, and the realms of inner refinement and those of communal virtue. Drawing on the treasured works of Sufism, Shaikh raises a number of critical questions about the nature of selfhood, subjectivity, spirituality, and society to contribute richly to the prospects of Islamic feminism as well as feminist ethics more broadly.
Philosophically Thinking about World Religions is different from other works in the discipline today. It deviates from the typical approaches used for the study of world religions. Its goal is to engage readers in thinking hard about world religions, not about the data surrounding those traditions. By focusing on philosophical questions, each reader should be challenged to do their own investigations that may reveal the heart of these traditions. Another stance that this project takes that distinguishes it from other texts in the discipline is that it advocates an inclusivist perspective regarding the world religions. Pluralism, which is the predominate assumption today, ends either in contradiction or in the development of a metatheory that dismisses crucial distinctions between the various traditions or eliminates some ancient religions because they do not fit the metatheory. By taking an open inclusivist approach, all religious traditions may engage at the table of dialogue. The final essay is about justice and social affairs. While that discussion is couched within the context of a particular tradition, each religious tradition must have the discussion. But it must be more than an intrareligious dialogue; it must become an interreligious dialogue.
Can non-Muslims be saved? And can those who are damned to Hell ever be redeemed? In Islam and the Fate of Others, Mohammad Hassan Khalil examines the writings of influential medieval and modern Muslim scholars on the controversial and consequential question of non-Muslim salvation. This is an illuminating study of four of the most prominent figures in the history of Islam: Ghazali, Ibn 'Arabi, Ibn Taymiyya, and Rashid Rida. Khalil demonstrates that though these paradigmatic figures tended to affirm the superiority of the Islamic message, they also envisioned a God of mercy and justice and a Paradise populated by Muslims and non-Muslims. Islam and the Fate of Others reveals that these theologians' interpretations of the Qur'an and hadith corpus-from optimistic depictions of Judgment Day to notions of a temporal Hell and salvation for all-challenge widespread assumptions about Islamic scripture and thought. Along the way, Khalil examines the writings of many other important writers, such as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Mulla Sadra, Shah Wali Allah of Delhi, Muhammad Ali of Lahore, James Robson, Sayyid Qutb, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Farid Esack, Reza Shah-Kazemi, T. J. Winter, and Muhammad Legenhausen. Islam and the Fate of Others is both timely and overdue.