The primary aim of this text is to provide a clear, expert introduction to the Qur'an. It focuses on aspects which should be of interest to undergraduates and the general reader and which are essential to the basic understanding of Islamic scripture. These include: political, social and religious issues; the language of the Qur'an; God as the speaker of the text; Muhammad and others as addressees; the composition of the text; formulaic features and rhetorical types; major teachings (including basic beliefs and rituals); the Qur'an in traditional Muslim life; and methods of interpreting the Qur'an. The book is descriptive, covering the oral as well as the written Arabic text, including rhyme and assonance patterns which are crucial for understanding distinctive features of the Qur'an. This introduction uses the Egyptian Standard Edition of the Qur'an rather than the flawed European edition which has served as the basis for a number of other introductions.
Additional features include an appendix which provides a chart and guide for converting the Egyptian verse numbers to other numbering systems that appear in popular English translations of the Qur'an and in Arabic editions still in use.show more