The Qur'an: An Introduction

Routledge
5
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There is much more to the Qur'an than the selective quotations favoured by Islamic fundamentalists. This book provides a student-friendly guide to the many ways in which the Qur'an can be read.

Designed for both Muslims and Western non-Muslim students, it examines the Qur'an in Western scholarship as well as giving an overview of the rich interpretive traditions from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day.

This guide is a concise introduction to all aspects of the Qur'an: history, understanding and interpretation, providing:

  • coverage of both pre-modern and modern periods
  • plenty of examples to illustrate key points and aid student understanding
  • summaries, timelines and a glossary.
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About the author

Abdullah Saeed is Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab & Islamic Studies and Director, Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His previous works include Islamic Thought (2006) and Interpreting the Qur'an (2005) both published by Routledge.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Jan 15, 2008
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781134102938
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / General
Religion / Islam / General
Religion / Islam / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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The Muslim Students Association at the University of California says on their website: "Prophet Muhammad (saas) was the final Messenger of Allah to humanity, and therefore the Qur'an is the last Message which Allah has sent to us. Its predecessors such as the Torah, Psalms, and Gospels have all been superseded. It is an obligation — and blessing — for all who hear of the Qur'an and Islam to investigate it and evaluate it for themselves. Allah has guaranteed that He will protect the Qur'an from human tampering, and today's readers can find exact copies of it all over the world. The Qur'an of today is the same as the Qur'an revealed to Muhammad (saas)." (Emphasis mine).

Are Muslims ready for such an investigation and evaluation of the Qur'an? It is a challenge we must take up.

Author G.J.O. Moshay approaches this investigation with level-headed gentleness, but nonetheless holds nothing back. He shows that the Qur'an does not stand up under such scrutiny. His logic is both quiet and irresistible. He quotes what the Qur an says about itself, and then asks questions that simply cannot be answered.

He goes on to list many of the surprising contradictions found in the Qur'an. He shows how the Qur an claims that Allah can say one thing today, and then change it tomorrow. Is Allah error free? Of interest are the statements in the Qur'an which clearly connect people who even secular history reveal lived over 1,000 years apart. Make no doubt: Moshay is writing from a Christian perspective. What makes him unique is his in-depth knowledge of the Qur'an and its problems.

Reading the Qur’an in the Twenty-First Century considers the development of Qur’anic interpretation and highlights modern debates around new approaches to interpretation. It explores how Muslims from various theological, legal, socio-political and philosophical backgrounds think about the meaning and relevance of the Qur’an, and how their ideas apply in the contemporary world. The book:

reflects on one of the most dominant approaches to interpretation in the pre-modern period, textualism, and the reaction to that in Muslim feminist readings of the Qur’an today.

covers issues such as identifying the hierarchical nature of Qur’anic values, the criteria for the use of hadith in interpretation, fluidity of meaning and ways of ensuring a degree of stability in interpretation.

examines key Qur'anic passages and compares pre-modern and modern interpretations to show the evolving nature of interpretation. Examples discussed include: the authority of men over women, the death of Jesus, shura and democracy, and riba and interest.

Abdullah Saeed provides a practical guide for interpretation and presents the principal ideas of a contextualist approach, which situates the original message of the Qur’an in its wider social, political, cultural, economic and intellectual context. He advocates a more flexible method of interpretation that gives due recognition to earlier interpretations of the Qur’an while also being aware of changing conditions and the need to approach the Qur’an afresh today.

A fascinating, accessible introduction to Islam from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer

FINALIST FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 

In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of the past decade, analyzing how they have influenced Islam’s position in modern culture. Aslan explores what the popular demonstrations pushing for democracy in the Middle East mean for the future of Islam in the region, how the Internet and social media have affected Islam’s evolution, and how the war on terror has altered the geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East. He also provides an update on the contemporary Muslim women’s movement, a discussion of the controversy over veiling in Europe, an in-depth history of Jihadism, and a look at how Muslims living in North America and Europe are changing the face of Islam. Timely and persuasive, No god but God is an elegantly written account that explains this magnificent yet misunderstood faith.

Praise for No god but God
 
“Grippingly narrated and thoughtfully examined . . . a literate, accessible introduction to Islam.”—The New York Times
 
“[Reza] Aslan offers an invaluable introduction to the forces that have shaped Islam [in this] eloquent, erudite paean to Islam in all of its complicated glory.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“Wise and passionate . . . an incisive, scholarly primer in Muslim history and an engaging personal exploration.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Acutely perceptive . . . For many troubled Muslims, this book will feel like a revelation, an opening up of knowledge too long buried.”—The Independent (U.K.)
 
“Thoroughly engaging and excellently written . . . While [Aslan] might claim to be a mere scholar of the Islamic Reformation, he is also one of its most articulate advocates.”—The Oregonian
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