Books on the Qur'an
M. A. Draz: Introduction to the Qur'an (I. B. Tauris: 2000).
In this book the distinguished Islamic scholar M.A. Draz, one of the Muslim world’s most erudite authorities of this century, sets out the fundamental principles of the Qur’an and its much misunderstood and misquoted teachings on gender and women, polygamy, war, faith, Judaism, Christianity and the many other issues on which the Qur’an pronounces. Draz emphasises the continuity of monotheistic doctrine and ethics through Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Ingrid Mattson: The Story of the Qur'an (Blackwell: 2008)
An essential introductory text for the study of the Qur'an, its content, and its place in Muslim society. An insightful and authoritative introduction to the book at the heart of Muslim life, written by a well-known Islamic scholar Examines the doctrines contained in the Qur'an, providing a comprehensive explanation of their significance to individual Muslims and the societies in which they live Surveys the key themes of the Qur'an, its most significant historical interpretations, and some of the most significant figures who transmitted and taught the sacred scripture over the centuries.
Shabbir Akhtar: The Qur'an and the Secular Mind: A Philosophy of Islam (Routledge: 2008)
This book is concerned with the rationality and plausibility of the Muslim faith and the Quran, and in particular how they can be interrogated and understood through western analytical philosophy. It also explores how Islam can successfully engage with the challenges posed by secular thinking. The Quran and the Secular Mind will be of interest to students and scholars of Islamic philosophy, philosophy of religion, Middle East studies, and political Islam.
Read a review of the book by: Dastmalchian.
Muhammad Abdel Haleem, Understanding the Qur'an: Themes and Style (I. B. Tauris, 2005)
The tenets of Islam cannot be grasped without a proper understanding of the Qur'an. In this important new introduction, Muhammad Haleem examines its recurrent themes--life and eternity, marriage and divorce, peace and war, and water--and for the first time sets these in the context of the Qur'an's linguistic style. Professor Haleem examines the background to the development of the surahs (chapters) and the ayahs (verses) and the construction of the Qur'an itself. He shows that popular conceptions of Islamic attitudes toward women, marriage and divorce, war and society, differ radically from the true teachings of the Qur'an. This book will be welcomed by students of Islam and comparative religion, and by all readers interested in a Qur'anic perspective when considering contemporary issues.
Farid Esack, The Qur'an: A User's Guide (One World, 2005)
Islam's Holy Qur'an - spiritual guide for 1.6 billion Muslims throughout the world yet condemned by many non-Muslims as a source of evil and inspiration for terrorism. In this ground-breaking introduction, internationally renowned scholar and author Farid Esack presents all the information needed to understand the Qur'an and its significance. critical thinking about all aspects of it - explores how the Qur'an came into being and examines its structure as a unique literary work. He outlines its key themes, explains its historical and cultural context, and looks at the controversies that have surrounded it over the centuries. Blending faith, fact and an innovative approach, this is a concise guide to a major religious text, and an invaluable insight into its role in the everyday lives of Muslims.
Al-Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Musawi al-Khu'i, The Prolegomena to the Qur'an (Oxford University Press, 1998).
This book, which was first published in Arabic in 1974, presents al-Khuis comprehensive introduction to the history of the Quran. In it, al-Khui revisits many critical and controversial topics connected with the collection and ultimate canonization of the text that have received little attention in contemporary Muslim scholarship since the classical age. For instance, he tackles what is probably the single most controversial subject in Quranic studies: the question of possible alterations to the Quran as maintained by some succeeding generations of compilers of the Quran. Throughout the volume, al-Khui stresses the importance of understanding the historical setting in which the Quran was revealed; he does this in order to apply its provisions appropriately in contemporary Muslim society, with its ever-expanding legal and ethical requirements. In addition to expounding his own views, al-Khui also has the polemical purpose of refuting Sunni beliefs and concepts concerning various matters related to the theories of alteration and abrogation in the Quran. His arguments illuminate some of the substantial yet little-understood and appreciated issues that have been truly at stake between the two principal segments of the Muslim community.
Bruce Lawrence, The Qur'an: A Biography (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006).
An authoritative introduction to the sacred text reveals how it represents Islam, describing the origins of the faith in seventh-century Arabia while offering insight into how the Qur'an remains a pivotal influence on today's societies and politics. He describes in each chapter how the Qur'an has been experienced throughout its 1,400-year history, as it has fascinated, intrigued and guided millions of Muslims and non-Muslims. Lawrence gracefully describes the Qur'an's interpretation and use-by individuals, leaders, poets and even on building walls. Throughout, Lawrence emphasizes the wide diversity of Qur'anic interpretations around the world and through the ages. The same verses that appear on the walls of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, for example, are written inside drinking glasses in Indonesia, sipped by women seeking the healing powers of the Qur'an. Some Sufis have even claimed that the Qur'an can heal AIDS when people chant its verses. In his boldest analysis, Lawrence examines Osama bin Laden's manipulative citation of the Qur'an. In contrast, Lawrence profiles W.D. Mohammed, the spiritual leader of approximately two million African-American Muslims, who sees the Qur'an as unifying peoples beyond race and culture. This book, like the book it studies, is meditative and unique, a lovely read for any spiritual person, Muslim or not. Click here for an extract from this book.
Issa J. Boullata, ed., Literary Structures of Religious Meaning in the Qur'an (Routledge, 2000)
This volume studies how the literary elements in the Qur'an function in conveying its religious message effectively. It is divided into three parts. Part one includes studies of the whole Qur'an or large segments of it belonging to one historical period of its revelation; these studies concentrate on the analysis of its language, its style, its structural composition, its aesthetic characteristics, its rhetorical devices, its imagery, and the impact of these elements and their significance. Part two includes studies on individual suras of the Qur'an, each of which focuses on the sura's literary elements and how they produce meaning; each also explores the structure of this meaning and the coherence of its effect. Part three includes studies on Muslim appreciations of the literary aspects of the Qur'an in past generations and shows how modern linguistic, semantic, semiotic, and literary scholarship can add to their contributions.
Rosalind W. Gwynne: Logic, Rhetoric, and Legal Reasoning in the Qur'an (Routledge: 2004)
This book provides a new key to both the Qur'an and Islamic intellectual history. Examining Qur'anic argument by form and not content helps readers to discover the significance of passages often ignored by the scholar who compares texts and the believer who focuses upon commandments, as it allows scholars of Qur'anic exegesis, Islamic theology, philosophy, and law to tie their findings in yet another way to the text that Muslims consider the speech of God.
Neal Robinson: Discovering the Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text (Georgetown University Press, 2003).
This latest edition of Discovering the Qur'an includes a new preface by the author. Used by students around the world as a reliable guide to reading a translation of the "Qur'an," it shows how the "Qur'an" is experienced by Muslims, describing the rhythmic and rhyme scheme structures, the context in which it is heard, the part played by learning by heart, and the importance of calligraphy. It is also about the "Qur'an" and its relationship to Muhammed, as well as helping to divine the ordering of the "surahs" or chapters. In an English-speaking world newly sensitized to Islam and its believers, Discovering the Qur'an will be an invaluable tool to greater understanding.
Jean J. Waardenburg: Islam: Historical, Social and Political Perspectives (Walter de Gruyter: 2002)
This book presents some twenty essays on different aspects of Islam in history and the present. These essays are grouped into eight larger sections. Throughout the book the author shows the links between the religious and other interpretations and uses made of Islam and the contexts in which they are made. The Introduction signals some important developments in Islamic studies since World War II.
Massimo Campanini, The Qur'an: The Basics, tr. Oliver Leaman (Routledge: 2007)
This highly topical new introduction to the holy book of Islam includes essential reference resources such as a chronology of the revelation, web links, and extensive guides to further reading. Exploring the Qur'an's reception through history, its key teachings and its place in contemporary thought and belief, the book analyzes: the Qur'an as the word of God its reception and communication by the Prophet Muhammad the structure and language of the text conceptions of God, the holy law and jihad Islamic commentaries on Qur’anic teachings through the ages. The Qur'an: The Basics is a concise and easy-to-read introduction to a text that provides the foundations of Muslim faith, right-living and daily worship.
Andrew Rippin, ed., Blackwell Companion to Qur'an (Wiley-Blackwell, 2006)
The Blackwell Companion to the Qur’an is a reader’s guide, a true companion for anyone who wishes to read and understand the Qur’an as a text and as a vital piece of Muslim life. Comprises over 30 original essays by leading scholars. Provides exceptionally broad coverage - considering the structure, content and rhetoric of the Qur’an; how Muslims have interpreted the text and how they interact with it; and the Qur’an’s place in Islam. Features notes, an extensive bibliography, indexes of names, Qur’an citations, topics, and technical terms