The Qur'an in Plain English: Part 30 With Surah Al-Fatihah (Pt.30) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-03-17 
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Quran (means recitation in Arabic)

Muslims recite the whole book once during the month of Ramazan, this is happenning since 1428 years now, some people recite this once everyday, some once every week. It has 114 chapters (Sura) This book is in Arabic language.

Quran is a big Ocean, Amateurs like me make mistakes with such a big subject, but I think it is better to be imperfect and full of mistakes than be perfect and all alone.

I will only describe the physical aspects of Quran in this review, I wont go into spiritual details of this book, there is a big wide spiritual world too.

Quran as we all know was written by hand during the Prophet Mohammed (PUBH) time on crude paper and animal skins, when 3rd caliph Usman Ghani (RA) saw people reading Quran in their local Syrian, Iraqi and other dialects, he made a public address that Quran must be recited in the dialect of Mohammed (PUBH) the dialect of Koresh tribe of Mecca. This wise order had far reaching uniting effect on the muslims into one body. No matter what geographical region muslim came from he became united with other muslims in recitation of Quran, the Guide Book.

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3-Who wrote QURAN then?

Muhammad 1443H. Years ago at his age 40 saw an angel asking him to read, he said I am not literate, I can’t read and write. The Angel pressed him to his chest and said repeat after me :


This is how 114 Chapters completed, MUHAMMAD memorized the recitation and his friends memorized All taught by Muhammad. (QURAN means recitation in Arabic).


Usman Ghani (RA) called all huffaz (Memorizers) in town of Medina (Yatrib) of old and, asked the commettee to write Quran in order of Sura (Chapters) into a book form. Before this people used to call Quran papers Sahifa (Parchments/papers) A book made during his time is still present in TOPAKAPI Museum of Istanbul.

I am writing this review for general audience, muslims will find this review very simple. But if we break down all matter into small pirmal units, things are simple in nature. The biggest wonder of Quran is Billions of people have recited it, Many are reciting it now, many are engaged in memorizing it, not one time any of these good folks said a wrong thing about language or meanings of Quran.

Many billions of learned people has written tomes of explainations of each and every verse of this wonderful book, many are writing about it today, many will keep writing about it, the Quranic written words are so powerful and beautiful in melody, they make you shudder, they compel you to think, they reason with you and plead you to consider again and again. This book covers all subjects of human existance. It only needs to be interpreted in proper way to go into real depths of meanings. Imagine the volume of BRAINS exhausted in absorbing this
miraculous book.

This book has 114 chapters, each chapter has a given name to it, every chapter has verses, some chapters has 11 verses, some has 7 verses and some has 238 verses. I will give you a few names of chapters (fatiha) (The opening) this is the first chapter in Quran, let me give you the feel of its words and wonderful meanings in it for your sampling :

(CHAPTER ONE) Arabic with English meanings.
In the name of Allah The Beneficient, The Merciful
The Praise/Gratitude is for Nourisher of all Worlds.
The only Beneficient, The only Merciful.
Owner/Possessor of final day.
You we worship, You we depend and ask.
Guide Me to the Straight Life.
The life of those you rewarded, away from those who got your wrath and were in dark.

Some other chapter names in QURAN are as follows :
Mariyam (Story of Mary)
Younus (Story of Younus) Jonas.
Ahzab (Confederates) Tribal confiderates attacked medina, its story is contained here.

Just for the records Muhammed (PUBH) did not know how to read and write, he said this thousands of time in his public address to people in Mecca, Medina and the whole of Arabia. His contemprories accepted this claim, Muhammed (PUBH) is most minutely document human in the
history of Earth and Mankind.

Arabs are experts since ages in the art of speaking and expressing, this is the reason they call non arabs Ajam, This is their expression of pride in their language skills, they analyzed Quran and did not find fault with it. The whole of arabia opposed Muhammed (PUBH) and his new religion, his blood relatives opposed his new religion but all of them could not find one fault with the Quran, Mohammed (PUBH) gifted to everyone of mankind here at yet to come.

Let me come to the unique language of Quran, this book does not read like other books with human words, we say every writing has a pulse of the author, a person is present in the words he writes. Read Quran and you will see what pulse I am talking about, over the years I have read many wonderful books, writers and thier works has a grasp over me, I understand their RHYTHM and their THOUGHTS LOCOMOTION. QURAN words has unique LOCOMOTION in them. This is the reason I call it a different book than any other printed book in existance today in our world.

Let me give you another chapter translation called KAFIROON (Kafir= Means Denyer ) in our day to day Arabic use, we have sentences like KAFIR AL NEAMAH. It means denying the good.

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Say o Mohammed, you who do not believe
Dont worship what you worship
You will not worship, What I worship
I will not worship what you worship.
You will not worship, What I worship.
To you your religion/way of life and to me my religion.

This is the way how GOD talks to man, when you will notice the grammer and the words GOD uses to address us, you will note how different his language is to ours, we have different chain of thinking and talking. Hope this is a useful review for your general understanding.

" said.

"هیچ وقت فکر نمی کردم بیایم و برای قرآن ریویو بنویسم. این تب گودریدزی من را وادار کرد، وگرنه به نظرم یکی از نامربوط ترین کارهای عمرم را میکنم.

به عنوان یک مسلمان و مسلمان زاده، می دانم که هیچ وقت نمی توانم ریویویی بدون پیشداوری بنویسم. این کار را شاید باید از مستشرق ها (که نه مسلمانند و نه مسلمان زاده و نه مغرض به اسلام) خواست. اما شاید هم نه. شاید هم مستشرق هیچ وقت نتواند روح قرآن را بفهمد. او که از بچگی با صدای واقعه خواندن مادرش بزرگ نشده و مادرش را در غیرقابل درک ترین و قدسی ترین حال ندیده که رو به قبله نشسته و رحل رو به رویش گذاشته و در حالی که با حرکاتی آرام عقب و جلو می رود، واقعه می خواند. (آن هم نه هیچ سوره ی دیگری، واقعه. واقعه یکی از آهنگین ترین سوره ها.) یک مستشرق که هیچ وقت در بالاسر حرم امام رضا، در آن فضای غریب ننشسته و با حالتی سرشار از شگفتی، برای نخستین بار سوره ی الرحمان را نه خوانده، که جرعه جرعه نوشیده تا با جذبه، بعد از خواندن هر آیه فوری به ترجمه ی الهی قمشه ای نگاه کند که این آیه چه می خواست بگوید؟ و وقتی به «و بأیّ آلاء» رسید، لرزی غیر جسمانی جانش را بگیرد، بی آن که عمق معنای آیات را بفهمد. یک مستشرق که هر شب قبل از خواب با مادرش آیت الکرسی را کلمه کلمه تکرار نکرده. او که خودش، بدون این که پدر و مادرش خبر داشته باشند، سوره ی کوچک جدیدی را حفظ نکرده و با ذوق و شوق در نماز پس از حمد نخوانده تا بعداً بفهمد این سوره را نمی شود تنهایی بعد از حمد خواند. او که یک تابستان، وقتی همه بعد از ظهرها می خوابیدند، پنهانی جزء سی را حفظ نکرده. او که با عم جزء عبدالباسط زندگی نکرده، یا با ترتیل پرهیزگار، صبح ها در مدرسه، دو سه آیه از بقره را حفظ نکرده، یا... یا... یا...

نه. اصلا و ابدا یک مستشرق نمی تواند راجع به قرآن نظر بدهد. نباید. حق ندارد راجع به جزئی از زندگی انسان ها نظر بدهد، بی آن که جزئی از زندگی خودش بوده باشد. همان طور که ماها که قرآن جزئی از زندگی مان شده هم نمی توانیم راجع به آن نظر بدهیم، چون کامل نمی بینیمش. همیشه همراه با تمام پس زمینه ها و رنگ هایی که در طول زندگیمان و با تک تک خاطراتمان به قرآن افزوده شده، آن را می بینیم. فکر کنم فقط مسلمانان صدر اول، آنانی که شاهد نزول آیه آیه ی قرآن بودند می توانند بدون این پس زمینه ها راجع به قرآن نظر دهند، شاید همان ها هم قادر نباشند.

این همه را نوشتم، تا بگویم نمی توانم چیزی بنویسم. هنوز هم فکر می کنم این کار، ریویو نوشتن برای قرآن، نامربوط ترین کار زندگی ام بوده و اگر قبلاً به من می گفتند روزی این کار را می کنی، می خندیدم. گودریدز، گودریدز وسوسه ام کرد.
" said.

" انا لا اعلم كيف يمكن ان يصنف القران على انه كتاب عادي و يحدد له تقييم ، القران كلام الله ، فكيف لكلام الله ان يتم تقييمه ؟ القران كتاب لا يمكنك ان تقرأه دون ان تستفيد منه ، و حتى لو بقيت تقرأه ١٠٠ سنه في كل يومٍ مره فإنك و بكل تأكيد ستظل غير ملمٍ بكل مافي هذا الكتاب العظيم المكرم الذي ابدعه خالقي و خالقك من فائده ، لا يمكنك ان تجد كتاباً يمتعك و يسليك و يتحفك و يبهرك ، يحرك مشاعرك و يأسرك كالقرآن الكريم ، القرآن لا يمكن لأحدٍ ان يقيمه فقد فاق كلام الله كافة التصنيفات و التقييمات البشريه . " said.

" This is awkward. Well, I'm a Muslim. Therefore, I will find this the best book in the history of civilization. =) " said.

"No more of this book! You may wonder why no more with this book. Well, Turn to page 54 of this book, and read the fourth chapter, verse 34, and put yourself in my place when you discover this books permits the male to beat the woman, just because she is not a male. Here is the whole verse:

"If you fear high-handednessb from your wives, remind them [of the teachings of God:], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them."

What?! Hit them? You mean I a man hit a woman?! No hitting is acceptable under any circumstance, regardless of what a woman does!

No more of this book. Good riddance!
" said.

"Note, May 22, 2013: Some of the discussion below convinced me that I should add a couple of clarifying sentences, which I've just done.

With the current controversies over the projected "Ground Zero" mosque and the threatened Koran burning, a review of the Koran (also spelled Quran; there isn't always a one-on-one correspondence of Arabic and Latin letters) seemed topical. That might seem ground that angels fear to tread, fraught as it is with controversy, deeply-felt sensibilities for some, and the potential for verbal abuse and even physical violence in response. (It's also a challenge to distinguish between a review of the Koran per se and a full-blown discussion of Islam and its role in the world; the two subjects inevitably impinge on each other, but they aren't identical.) But Goodreads exists to provide book discussion --especially discussion of books with ideas that greatly impact the modern world; and by any definition, this one fits that description. Reviews so far tend to fall into three camps: those by Moslems lauding the book to the skies, those by Christian and Jewish believers angrily attacking it, and those by skeptics who see it as a prime example of the ludicrous nature of any and all religions. My own perspective is that of a committed Christian believer convinced of the truth claims of Jesus Christ. That stance is not only compatible with an effort to be fair in describing and evaluating others' beliefs in an attitude of respect for fellow human beings, but positively mandates it.

Unlike the Bible, which contains the writings of many authors spread over millenia, the Koran preserves the oral discourses of just one man, Mohammed, during his lifetime in seventh-century Arabia. (So it has a single basic historical-cultural context, and reflects the theology and style of just one author.) Moslems regard Mohammed as the last and ultimate prophet of God ("Allah" is simply the Arabic word for God, cognate with the Hebrew "El") --and by "God," they mean the God of the ancient Near Eastern religious tradition that also underlies the Bible, the God who revealed Himself to Noah and Abraham. (This in itself doesn't mean that their beliefs perfectly comprehend Him --arguably, nobody perfectly comprehends Him-- but it does mean that "Allah" should not be viewed by Christians as some alien deity comparable to Baal or Molech.) Mohammed's words were dictated to scribes; he was himself illiterate (not a disgrace, in that time and place). Raised in a polytheistic environment, he had some personal contact with Jews, and mostly second-hand information about Christian beliefs, and he connected Jewish and Christian conceptions of God with the primitive monotheistic tradition of his Arab ancestors, but he obviously never read either the Old or New Testaments. He viewed himself as a prophet called to uphold God's cause, and claimed Divine authority for his words.

The content of the Koran itself is sermonic material; it lays down some laws, which reflect a fairly primitive tribal society, and touches incidentally on theology in places, but the overwhelming majority of the content is a pounding reinteration of the twin themes of demand for absolute loyalty and obedience to God and threats of judgment against the disobedient, expressed over and over with a high degree of repetitive language (useful for memorization in a mainly oral culture) and in what I found to be a turgid style. (For me, it was a chore to read, and I think it would be for most Occidental readers.) Naturally, for Christian readers the obvious question here is the legitimacy of Mohammed's claim that this represents divinely inspired teaching. That this is not a claim to be rejected a priori is indicated by the fact that there are an increasing number of Moslems who accept Jesus as the Savior, and who see this as compatible with various views of Mohammed's prophetic role as legitimate. (See "Moslem Followers of Jesus?" by Joseph Cumming, Christianity Today, Dec. 2009, p. 32-5.) There is no hint here of the gospel of grace through faith on the basis of Christ's sacrifice, and not much hint of Divine compassion (beyond pro forma statements that God is "compassionate and merciful" --though here He doesn't sound like it); and the legislation allows things like slavery, polygamy and the subordination of women, and prescribes the death penalty much more liberally than we would. The same, however, can be said of parts of the Old Testament (though the Koranic command to cut off the hands of thieves and its encouragement of wife-beating goes beyond anything found in the Mosaic law). Those parts are set in a total context of Divine revelation that modifies or qualifies them; we accept them as Scripture, but if our sole understanding of God came from, say, the book of Obadiah, we'd have a severely mutilated picture. Much of the content of the Koran, on the most charitable assessment, could be seen as primitive and incomplete, in the same sense as some of the Old Testament that we can now view through the lens of progressive revelation and of Divine accommodation to limited human understanding on the part of the people He had to work with; a parent, as Calvin pointed out, speaks baby talk to an infant. (Though Mohammed lived in a time long after Christ, for all practical purposes his part of the world was a pre-Christian culture, and neither he nor his people had heard the gospel in anything like a coherent or understandable sense.)

IMO, though, there are aspects of the Koran that resist such a charitable view. To be sure, the stress on God's oneness is an Old Testament theme that no New Testament believer would deny, either; and even the insistence that God does not beget can be taken as a refutation of a misunderstanding of Christian doctrine, much as James in his epistle rebuts a misunderstanding of Pauline theology, not the genuine article. (God did not literally beget Jesus by sexual intercourse with Mary, in the manner of pagan gods siring children on human women, and no Christian believer would argue that He did.) But from a Christian standpoint, the Koranic insistence that Jesus was not really killed by his enemies, but was rescued by God, is incompatible with Divine revelation (not to mention history). It stems from the conviction that God must always necessarily rescue and vindicate the righteous, in this world --which, experientially, is NOT true-- and from (understandable) ignorance of the vicarious role of Jesus' death. Here again, Mohammed's lack of acquaintance with the New Testament was a serious liability --much as a lack of acquaintance with the Koran would be a liability to anyone making claims about Islam. (That isn't, obviously, anything that he could have helped; he had the information that could realistically be available to him in his time and place. By all accounts, he was actively interested in obtaining verbal information about both Judaism and Christianity; he can't be faulted for inevitable gaps in what he could acquire that way.) Also, while the Old Testament applies the Mosaic Law only to Israel, and the New Testament supersedes the letter of it with the spirit/Spirit, the Koran suggests no such limits for its laws --which is seen by strict Moslems today as a mandate to impose them on the entire world! Finally (and related to the latter) the Koran in places clearly commands a Moslem theocracy as the form of human government, and calls for its forcible imposition on the world. To be sure, not all Moslems are inclined to follow this to the letter. But this kind of Koranic teaching (coupled with its death penalty provisions for blasphemy and apostasy) certainly creates a built-in ratchet towards intolerance and religious violence, and provides religious justification for social policies which, no matter how constructive or mitigating they might have been in 7th-century tribal society, today more often create and perpetuate horrible injustice rather than mitigate it. To be wisely aware of this is not the same thing as calling for persecution of peaceful Moslems.

So in conclusion, my recommendation regarding the Koran is to read it, not burn it --but read it with a discerning critical faculty. :-)
" said.

" If you only ever in your entire life read one book, read this one. I promise you, it is unlike anything else you'll ever read. " said.

" Say: "can the blind be held equal to the seeing?" Will ye then consider not? "Enam, 50" " said.

April 2017 New Book:

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