Introduction to the Qur'an

Edinburgh University Press
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Surveying the life, aims, character and inspiration of Muhammad, this classic introduction explains the history, form and chronology of the Qur'an, and gives the views of Muslim and Occidental scholars.
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More by W. Montgomery Watt

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The period of Muslim occupation in Spain represents the only significant contact Islam and Europe was ever to have on European soil. In this important as well as fascinating study, Watt traces Islam's influence upon Spain and European civilization--from the collapse of the Visigoths in the eighth century to the fall of Granada in the fifteenth, and considers Spain's importance as a part of the Islamic empire. Particular attention is given to the golden period of economic and political stability achieved under the Umayyads.

Without losing themselves in detail and without sacrificing complexity, the authors discuss the political, social, and economic continuity in Islamic Spain, or al-Andalus, in light of its cultural and intellectual effects upon the rest of Europe. Medieval Christianity, Watt points out, found models of scholarship in the Islamic philosophers and adapted the idea of holy war to its own purposes while the final reunification of Spain under the aegis of the Reconquista played a significant role in bringing Europe out of the Middle Ages. A survey essential to anyone seeking a more complete knowledge of European or Islamic history, the volume also includes sections on literature and philology by Pierre Cachia.

This series of "Islamic surveys" is designed to give the educated reader something more than can be found in the usual popular books. Each work undertakes to survey a special part of the field, and to show the present stage of scholarship here. Where there is a clear picture this will be given; but where there are gaps, obscurities and differences of opinion, these will also be indicated. Full and annotated bibliographies will afford guidance to those who want to pursue their studies further. There will also be some account of the nature and extent of the source material. The series is addressed in the first place to the educated reader, with little or no previous knowledge of the subject; its character is such that it should be of value also to university students and others whose interest is of a more professional kind.

Events are making clear to ever-widening circles of readers the need for something more than a superficial knowledge of non-European cultures. In particular, the blossoming into independence of numerous African states, many of which are largely Muslim or have a Muslim head of state, has made clear the growing political importance of the Islamic world, and, as a result, the desirability of extending and deepening the understanding and appreciation of this great segment of mankind.

Islamic philosophy and theology are looked at together in a chronological framework in this volume. From a modern standpoint, this juxtaposition of the two disciplines is important for the understanding of both; but it should be realized at the outset that it is a reversal of the traditional Islamic procedure. Not merely were the disciplines different, but in the earlier centuries the exponents were two different sets of persons, trained in two different educational traditions, each with its own separate institutions. There was little personal contact between philosophers and theologians, and the influence of the two disciplines on one another was largely by way of polemics. Eventually while philosophy died out as a separate discipline in the Islamic world, many parts of it were incorporated in theology.

This work is designed to give the educated reader something more than can be found in the usual popular books. The work undertakes to survey a special part of the field, and to show the present stage of scholarship. Where there is a clear picture this will be given; but where there are gaps, obscurities and differences of opinion, these will also be indicated. This work is brilliant in its design, style, and intimate understanding. It is a must read for specialists and policy makers alike.

W. Montgomery Watt (1909-2006) was professor emeritus of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of numerous books, including Muslim-Christian Encounters: Perceptions and Misperceptions, Islam: A Short History, Muhammad's Mecca, and Islamic Surveys: The Influence of Islam on Medieval Europe.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
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Published on
Mar 11, 2014
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780748687626
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / General
Religion / Islam / General
Religion / Islam / Koran & Sacred Writings
Social Science / Islamic Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Events are making clear to ever-widening circles of readers the need for something more than a superficial knowledge of non-European cultures. In particular, the blossoming into independence of numerous African states, many of which are largely Muslim or have a Muslim head of state, has made clear the growing political importance of the Islamic world, and, as a result, the desirability of extending and deepening the understanding and appreciation of this great segment of mankind.

Islamic philosophy and theology are looked at together in a chronological framework in this volume. From a modern standpoint, this juxtaposition of the two disciplines is important for the understanding of both; but it should be realized at the outset that it is a reversal of the traditional Islamic procedure. Not merely were the disciplines different, but in the earlier centuries the exponents were two different sets of persons, trained in two different educational traditions, each with its own separate institutions. There was little personal contact between philosophers and theologians, and the influence of the two disciplines on one another was largely by way of polemics. Eventually while philosophy died out as a separate discipline in the Islamic world, many parts of it were incorporated in theology.

This work is designed to give the educated reader something more than can be found in the usual popular books. The work undertakes to survey a special part of the field, and to show the present stage of scholarship. Where there is a clear picture this will be given; but where there are gaps, obscurities and differences of opinion, these will also be indicated. This work is brilliant in its design, style, and intimate understanding. It is a must read for specialists and policy makers alike.

W. Montgomery Watt (1909-2006) was professor emeritus of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of numerous books, including Muslim-Christian Encounters: Perceptions and Misperceptions, Islam: A Short History, Muhammad's Mecca, and Islamic Surveys: The Influence of Islam on Medieval Europe.

What was the name of Noah's son who did not survive the Flood? Why do Pharaoh and Haman build the Tower of Babel? For what reasons does Moses travel to the ends of the Earth? Who is the 'Horned-One' who holds back Gog and Magog until the Day of Judgement? These are some of the questions answered in the oral sources and Quran commentaries on the stories of the prophets as they are understood by Muslims. Designed as an introduction to the Quran with particular emphasis on parallels with Biblical tradition, this book provides a concise but detailed overview of Muslim prophets from Adam to Muhammad. Each of the chapters is organized around a particular prophet, including an English translation of the relevant verses of the Quran and a wide selection of classical, medieval and modern Muslim commentaries on those verses. Quran commentaries include references to Sunni and Shi'i sources from Spain, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. An extensive glossary provides an annotated list of all scholarly transmitters and cited texts with suggestions for further reading.This is an excellent book for undergraduate courses, and students in divinity and seminary programmes. Comparisons between the Quran and Bible, and among Jewish, Christian and Islamic exegesis are highlighted. Oral sources, references adapted from apocryphal and pseudepigraphical works, and inter-religious dialogue are all evident throughout these stories of the prophets. This material shows how the Quran and its interpretation are integral to a fuller and more discerning understanding of the Bible and its place in the history of Western religion.
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