The Qur'an: Books That changed the World

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Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Mar 18, 2008 - Religion - 256 pages
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“Meditative and unique, a lovely read for any spiritual person, Muslim or not.”—Publisher's Weekly

Few books in history have been 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. In this book, one of the launch titles in Atlantic Monthly Press’ “Books That Changed the World” series, the distinguished historian of religion Bruce Lawrence shows precisely how the Qur’an is Islam. He describes the origins of the faith 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 has no single message. It is a book that demands interpretation and one that can be properly understood only through its history. Bruce Lawrence’s work is a beautifully written and, in these increasingly troubled times, invaluable introduction to and exploration of the core sacred text of Islam.
 

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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
II
95
Robert of Ketton Polymath Translator of the Quran
97
Ahmad Khan Indian Educator and Quran Commentator
143
Muhammad Iqbal Pakistani Poet Inspired by Quranic Motifs
151
IV
161
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

Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Visionary Interpreter of Divine Names
108
Jalal addin Rumi Author of the Persian Quran
119
III
131
Taj Mahal Gateway to the Quranic Vision of Paradise
133
Further Reading
208
Index
217
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

BRUCE LAWRENCE is the Professor of Religion at Duke University. He is the author of the award-winning book, Defenders of God and writes regularly about Islamic affairs for the New York Review of Books. He lives in North Carolina.

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