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Hardcover The Qur'an: A Biography Book

ISBN: 0871139510

ISBN13: 9780871139511

The Qur'an: A Biography

(Part of the Books That Changed the World Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

*Best Available: (ex-library)

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Book Overview

"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... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings


Despite its short length, Bruce Lawrence's work is an excellent historic survey on the Qur'an. At times I wished for more material, but I was glad to move quickly through the centuries. This book and a good translation of the Qur'an is all a reader needs to be initiated into the world of Islam and its many influences from the seventh century to today.

A good introduction.

This is a very simple attempt to explain the Qur'an. I personally don't think it should have been called a biography, for it isn't. However, the book is very well written and easy to read, and will introduce the reader, whether Muslim or not, to how Muslims have used and interpreted the Qur'an throughout the centuries. The first chapters are on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), his followers, his wars, and on one of his youngest wives, A'isha. These chapters will introduce the reader to how and why the Qur'an descended to the people of the world. The rest of the chapters are about how Muslims have used and interpreted the Qur'an. I did enjoy the chapter on the use of the Qur'an for healing. According to the author, Muslims have used the Qur'an to heal themselves from diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Qur'anic verses have also been used to adorn murals such as in the Mosque of the Dome and the Taj Mahal, and the author does a great job explaining their history. The author points out that not all Islamic scholars or Imams interpreted the Qur'an in the same way. This caused branches in Islam, among which are the Sunnis, Shiites, Sufis, Wahabis, Dancing Dervishes, and Nation of Islam, to name just a few. The author goes through some of these branches of Islam and he does a great job explaining their origins. I did also enjoy the chapter on jihad, a subject captivating the minds of everyone after 9/11. Some Muslim scholars view Jihad as a means of fighting your enemies (e.g. Osama Binladen), while other scholars view Jihad as a spiritual struggle within oneself. The author talks about prominent Muslim figures from the United States, India, and Pakistan, and about their differing views on how one should approach the Qur'an. Those chapters were fascinating. Overall, this is an excellent book for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
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