Essential Koran: The Heart of Islam: An Introductory Selection of Readings from the Qur'an

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After Heraclius, Caesar of the Byzantine Empire, had captured Constantinople from the Persians in 628 C.E., he went to Jerusalem to thank God for his victory. In the ancient holy city, he received a most extraordinary letter from a land further to the East:. In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. From Muhammad, slave and messenger of God, to Heraclius, ruler of Byzantium. Peace upon all who follow Guidance: I call you with the call to submission to God. Surrender to God, and you will be safe. ...
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Overview

After Heraclius, Caesar of the Byzantine Empire, had captured Constantinople from the Persians in 628 C.E., he went to Jerusalem to thank God for his victory. In the ancient holy city, he received a most extraordinary letter from a land further to the East:. In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. From Muhammad, slave and messenger of God, to Heraclius, ruler of Byzantium. Peace upon all who follow Guidance: I call you with the call to submission to God. Surrender to God, and you will be safe. Surrender to God, and God will give you a double reward. If you turn away, then the misdeeds of the peasants will be your fault. People of the Book, come to a Word common to both of us, that we worship only God. Heraclius summoned a noble Arab to inquire about the author of this letter. Afterwards he declared, "I asked what he enjoins upon you, and you stated that he enjoins you to worship God, and not to associate anything with God, and not to worship the fetishes of your ancestors. And he enjoins you to pray, to give charity, to be chaste, to keep promises, and to fulfill trusts. This is the description of a Prophet. l knew he would appear, but I did not know he would be from among you." Heraclius could not have known the profound impact this Prophet was to have. From an early community of Koran reciters surrounding Muhammad, Islam was soon to spread over vast distances, becoming one of the world's major religions. For too long the realities of Islam and the Koran have been a mystery to the Christian West. In this brilliant rendition, Thomas Cleary distills the essence of the Koran, presenting primary teachings from the sacred Book in an accessible and illuminating manner. Cleary's notes on the spiritual language and psychology of the Koran reveal an astounding richness, subtlety, and depth in this extraordinary Book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062501967
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 160

Meet the Author

Thomas Cleary is the preeminent translator of classic Eastern texts, including The Essential Tao, The Essential Confucius, The Secret of the Golden Flower, and the bestselling The Art of War.

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Read an Excerpt

The Opening



IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE COMPASSIONATE, THE MERCIFUL

All praise belongs to God,
Lord of all worlds,

the Compassionate, the Merciful,

Ruler of Judgment Day.

It is You that we worship,
and to You we appeal for help.

Show us the straight way,

the way of those You have graced,
not of those on whom is Your wrath,
nor of those who wander astray.

The Essential Koran copyright © by Thomas Cleary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All Rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
The Opening 1
The Cow 2
The Family of Imraan 19
Women 30
The Table 44
Cattle 50
The Heights 61
Taa Haa 72
The Prophets 74
Light 82
Rome 85
Luqmaan 95
Sheba 102
Yaa Siin 111
Iron 122
The Spirits 130
Those Sent Forth 134
The Highest 138
Daybreak 140
The City 143
Night 145
The Forenoon 147
The Expansion 148
Recite! 149
The Night of Power 151
The Shock 152
The Charging Mares 153
The Calamity 154
Vying for More and More 155
The Epoch 156
The Slanderer 157
The Elephants 158
The Quraish 159
Needs 160
Help 161
Flame 162
Pure Truth 163
The Dawn 164
Humankind 165
Notes 167
Select Bibliography 209
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