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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Book & CD. Approaching the Qur'án is a major event in religious publishing. Professor Michael Sells has captured the complexity, power, and poetry of the early suras of the Qur'án, the sacred scripture of Islam. Approaching the Qur'án 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. Approaching the Qur'án is enriched by the inclusion of a compact disc recording of Quranic reciters chanting several of the early suras, allowing readers an opportunity to hear the Qur'án in its original form. The book includes Sells' 'Introduction to the Qur'án', commentaries of the suras, a glossary of technical terms, and chapters discussing the sound nature and gender aspects of the Arabic text
'One of our best living writers on religion' Financial Times 'Karen Armstrong is a genius' A.N. Wilson 'Karen Armstrong is one of the handful of wise and supremely intelligent commentators on religion' Alain De Botton In our increasingly secular world, holy texts are at best seen as irrelevant, and at worst as an excuse to incite violence, hatred and division. So what value, if any, can scripture hold for us today? And if our world no longer seems compatible with scripture, is it perhaps because its original purpose has become lost? Today we see the Quran being used by some to justify war and terrorism, the Torah to deny Palestinians the right to live in the Land of Israel, and the Bible to condemn homosexuality and contraception. The holy texts at the centre of all religious traditions are often employed selectively to underwrite arbitrary and subjective views. They are believed to be divinely ordained; they are claimed to contain eternal truths. But as Karen Armstrong, a world authority on religious affairs, shows in this fascinating journey through millennia of history, this narrow reading of scripture is a relatively recent phenomenon. For hundreds of years these texts were instead viewed as spiritual tools: scripture was a means for the individual to connect with the divine, to transcend their physical existence, and to experience a higher level of consciousness. Holy texts were seen as fluid and adaptable, rather than a set of binding archaic rules or a ‘truth’ that has to be ‘believed’. Armstrong argues that only by rediscovering an open engagement with their holy texts will the world’s religions be able to curtail arrogance, intolerance and violence. And if scripture is used to engage with the world in more meaningful and compassionate ways, we will find that it still has a great deal to teach us.
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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.
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.
Major Themes of the Qur’an is Fazlur Rahman’s introduction to one of the richest texts in the history of religious thought. In this classic work, Rahman unravels the Qur’an’s complexities on themes such as God, society, revelation, and prophecy with the deep attachment of a Muslim educated in Islamic schools and the clarity of a scholar who taught for decades in the West. “Generations of scholars have profited from [Rahman’s] pioneering scholarly work by taking the questions he raised and the directions he outlined to new destinations.”--Ebrahim Moosa, from his new foreword “The religious future of Islam and the future of interfaith relationship . . . will be livelier and saner for the sort of Quranic centrality which Major Themes of the Qur’an exemplifies and serves.”--Kenneth Cragg, Middle East Journal “There shines through [a] rare combination of balanced scholarly judgment and profound personal commitment. . . . [Rahman is] eager to open up the mysteries of the Qur’an to a shrinking world sorely in need of both moral regeneration and better mutual understanding.”--Patrick D. Gaffney, Journal of Religion “I can’t think of any book more important, still, than Major Themes of the Qur’an.”--Michael Sells, author of Approaching the Qur’an
In a multi-faith world, Islam is widely regarded as dogmatic and exclusivist. Yet in the Qur’an we have a great and worthy example of how to live in diversity, of powerful scriptural tenets that lend themselves precisely to engagement with those of other faiths. As such Islam has much to add to the debate on Religious Pluralism. For Muslims the issue is a delicate one. Aside from being tolerant and respectful of other faiths, advocating freedom of faith, and peaceful coexistence for all humanity, Muslims have to intellectually engage on matters of religious truth whilst defending the validity of their own Islamic tenets. This study is focused on the Qur’anic text. It explores the Qur’anic conception of normative religious pluralism with a view to providing answers to questions such as whether the Qur’an itself regards normative religious pluralism as a value system or simply a method through which the Qur’anic world view can be actualized. In doing so the author corrects some highly controversial misquoted, mistranslated, and/or quoted out of context verses of the Qur’an, including the so-called verse of the sword and the perception of not taking non-Muslims as friends. In reality, the Qur’an calls for freedom of faith and peaceful coexistence, but condemns oppression, religious persecution, and those who initiate hostilities. In this way it not only invokes human dignity, but restores it when it is violated.
Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country, but much of its scholarly work on Islam is not available to a wider readership. This volume brings together a wide range of Muslim intellectuals, from traditionalists to modernists, and makes their varied approaches to the Qur'an accessible to an English-speaking audience for the first time. Topics covered range from textual interpretation and religious pluralism to debates on polygamy within the Indonesian Muslim women's movement and the use of Qur'anic verses in contemporary Indonesian politics.
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.