Reading the Qur'an (Paperback)
  • Reading the Qur'an (Paperback)
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Reading the Qur'an (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 320 Pages / Published: 21/09/2015
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Few books have had a more profound impact on human history than the Qur'an. It shapes the beliefs, lives and behaviour of over 1.5 billion Muslims, who regard it as the Word of God, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Speaking directly to Muslims, it has been the basic source of law, morality and politics for over 1,400 years. Almost everything that happens in a Muslim society is a direct or indirect product of what the Qur'an says. But what does the Qur'an really say? How should it be read and interpreted? What is the significance of its teachings, if any, for the 21st century? In this enlightening and highly readable book, Ziauddin Sardar, one of the foremost Muslim intellectuals of our time, offers a refreshingly new interpretation of the Qur'an. Emphasising plurality and inclusiveness, Sardar demonstrates the importance of reading the verses of the Qur'an in the context in which they were revealed, and highlights the relevance of its teachings for today. Sardar reads the Qur'an from several perspectives.He begins with the traditional, verse-by-verse interpretations and subsequently shows how the multilayered verses and stories of the Sacred Text are open to a number of different and more enlightening interpretations. He also reads the Quran thematically, exploring its basic concepts and themes, painting a dynamic picture of the kind of society that the Qur'an aims to create. Also scrutinised is what the Qur'an says about such contemporary topics as power and politics, the rights of women, suicide, domestic violence, sex, homosexuality, the veil, freedom of expression and evolution. Throughout, Sardar uses several different methods, from traditional exegesis to hermeneutics, critical theory and cultural analysis to draw fresh and contemporary lessons from the Sacred Text. He shows what the Qur'an means to individuals like himself, why its interpretation has been so controversial throughout history, and how translations can be used to promote misunderstanding as well as enlightenment. Argumentative and lively, Reading the Qur'an is an insightful guide to understanding the Sacred Text of Muslims in these conflict-ridden and distressing times.Whatever one believes or does not believe, the central importance of the Qur'an in today's globalised world cannot be ignored.

Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781849043670
Number of pages: 320
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
Edition: UK ed.


MEDIA REVIEWS
'This book performs the essential democratic function of suggesting that the Qur'an can and indeed ought to be read intelligently by the lay Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and effectively debunks the myth that the sacred book of Islam is only accessible through the medium of Arabic ... Not only does Reading the Qur'an make many timely and necessary points; it is also highly readable ... It is punctuated by beautiful metaphors ... and witty, sometimes even risque comments.' * The Times Literary Supplement *
' Divine revelation demands that "we constantly think outside the box of our earthly concerns by keeping in mind the intersection of time and timelessness". Writing as "Every Muslim" with a deep love of a text he learned at his mother's knee, Sardar rises to this challenge, wrestling with problematic passages that would seem to run counter to his generally progressive and enlightened outlook.' * Malise Ruthven, The Guardian *
'Ziauddin Sardar is justly renowned for his forensic intelligence and capacious insight into myriad issues. He is at once a peace-maker and a bridge-builder. Reading the Qur'an projects the scriptural basis for his ceaseless activities as the leading public intellectual among British Muslims - This bold mandate compels Sardar to look at all the issues that concern Muslims and non-Muslims alike in contemporary Islam - not only sex and the Shari'ah, but also homosexuality, the veil, freedom of religion, and even suicide. If one could pick just one book to connect the Muslim past with its complex present and future potential, Reading the Qur'an would be that book.' * Professor Bruce Lawrence, Duke University 'This lucid, scholarly and exciting book could not be more timely *
'It takes the reader on a spiritual and intellectual journey that is essential for Muslim and non-Muslim alike and addresses some of the most pressing needs of our time.' * Karen Armstrong, author of, inter alia, A History of God and Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet *

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