The Qur'an: A Short Introduction

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An authoritative blend of fact, theory, and critical enquiry,this introduction also offers an insight into the importance of the Qur'an for Muslims across the world.

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Overview

An authoritative blend of fact, theory, and critical enquiry,this introduction also offers an insight into the importance of the Qur'an for Muslims across the world.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments x
Introduction 1
The Uncritical Lover 2
The Scholarly Lover 3
The Critical Lover 5
The Friend of the Lover 6
The Voyeur 8
The Polemicist 9
Where does this work fit in? 10
Clarifying Terms 11
Using the Qur'an 12
1 The Qur'an in the Lives of Muslims 13
The Qur'an is alive 17
The Qur'an as the recited word of God 18
The Qur'an as contested scripture 21
Islam--a Qur'an belt 29
2 The Word Enters the World 30
The stages (history?) of Qur'anic revelation 31
The social world of the revelation of the Qur'an 33
Muhammad, the recipient of the Qur'an 36
The early Qur'anic revelations 39
The nature and modes of revelation 42
Muhammad's mission as a response to the Qur'an 45
Mecca--laying the foundations of the faith community 45
The Qur'an and the challenges of a new society in Medina 47
The last revelations 52
The beginning of diverse claims about the word of God 54
3 The Qur'an as Written word 56
Divisions of the Qur'an 56
The disjointed letters 62
Parts and sections (ajza and ahzab) 63
The arrangement of the Qur'an 64
The language of the Qur'an 67
The literary style of the Qur'an 69
Categorical (muhkamat) and allegorical (mutashabihat) verses 75
4 Gathering the Qur'an 78
Gathering the Qur'an during the Prophet's lifetime 79
The Qur'an becomes a canon 85
The Shi'i perspective 89
Non-Muslim critical Qur'anic scholarship 91
The gradual development of the Arabic script 92
The existence of several variant codices 93
Variant readings or modes 93
Worlds apart 97
5 The Prophet and the Begotten-not-Created Qur'an 100
Recited revelation: development of doctrine regarding the Qur'an 101
The doctrine of inimitability ('ijaz) 102
The doctrine of the Qur'an's uncreatedness and eternalness (qadim) 105
The Mu'tazilites and the emergence of Kalam 106
The implications of the mihnah for Qur'anic scholarship 109
The sunnah: unrehearsed revelation 111
The Prophet Muhammad and the Qur'an 115
6 Understanding and Interpreting the Qur'an 121
Progressive revelation (tadrij) 121
Meccan and Medinan revelations 122
Occasions of revelation (asbab al-nuzul) 124
Abrogation (naskh) 126
Qur'anic exegesis (tafsir) 128
Sources of tafsir 129
Traditional classification of tafsir 131
A non-confessional typology 137
The Qur'an and hermeneutics 142
Farewell to innocence 145
7 Belief in the Qur'an 146
Belief in God 147
Prophethood 150
The Hereafter 157
8 Righteous Conduct in the Qur'an 166
Personal conduct 166
Social and economic conduct 173
Institutionalized religious practices 184
Postscript 191
Bibliography 193
Index 201
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