The Qurʼan: A Biography

Front Cover
Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006 - Religion - 231 pages
3 Reviews
Few books in history have been as important or as poorly understood as the Qur'an. Sent down in a series of revelations to the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur'an is the unmediated word of Allah: a ritual, political, and legal authority, an ethical and spiritual guide, and a literary masterpiece. It is revered by Muslims throughout the world, in whom it inspires devotion, passion, fear, and sometimes incomprehension. In this book, distinguished historian of religion Bruce Lawrence shows precisely how the Qur'an is Islam. He describes the origins of the faith in seventh-century Arabia and explains why the Qur'an is both memorized and recited by devout Muslims. Lawrence also discusses the Qur'an's commentators and doubters and assesses its tremendous influence on today's societies and politics. Above all, Lawrence emphasizes that the Qur'an is a sacred book of signs that cannot be reduced to a single, obvious message. It is a book that demands interpretation and one that can be properly understood only through its history. Bruce Lawrence's The Qur'an: A Biography is a fascinating book, and in these increasingly troubled times an invaluable one as well.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - revslick - LibraryThing

Maybe I was expecting too much but I felt this was a let down. Instead of engaging the Quran on a scholarly level or with any depth besides quoting the Quran to justify itself. It felt like an Islamic Max Lucado book. Read full review

The Qur'an: a biography

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Mystery and confusion enshroud Islam and its holy book, despite the media attention the faith and its sacred text have lately been receiving. Lawrence (Islamic studies, Duke Univ.) traces the history ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

The Prophet Muhammad Merchant and Messenger
21
The Prophet Muhammad Organizer and Strategist
37
Aishah Muhammads Wife and Custodian of His Memory
50
The Dome of the Rock Jerusalem Landmark Quranic Icon
62
Jafar asSadiq Shiite Imam and Quranic Exegete
75
Abu Jafar atTabari Sunni Historian and Quranic Exegete
83
Robert of Ketton Polymath Translator of the Quran
97
Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Visionary Interpreter of Divine Names
108
Ahmad Khan Indian Educator and Quran Commentator
143
Muhammad Iqbal Pakistani Poet Inspired by Quranic Motifs
151
W D Mohammed Quran as Guide to Racial Equality
163
Osama bin Laden Quran as Mandate for Jihad
172
AIDS Victims and Sick Women Quran as Prescription for Mercy
184
EPILOGUE
193
GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS
200
FURTHER READING
208

Jalal addin Rumi Author of the Persian Quran
119
Taj Mahal Gateway to the Quranic Vision of Paradise
133

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 2 - Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam for your religion.

About the author (2006)

Bruce Lawrence is a professor at Duke University and the director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center.

Bibliographic information