BOOK REVIEWS

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

UPDATE TIME: 2017-10-10 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:0860372332
LANGUAGE:English

"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.

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

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

"The holy Quran is a book that everyone should read no matter the religion but it should be read in its original language, like most books that are translated it loses flavor when its not.The Arabic language when read has many different meanings and when translated it loses those,so u get one verse that means one thing when actually it has 3 or 4 different meanings (does that make sense?)as much as i read the Quran i learn something new every time and im happy to say it does not teach hate or violence like most people think it does.Having come from a family that doesnt speak nor understand proper arabic very well i studied the Quran slowly and got a Quran translator (which is just as long as the Quran maybe longer translating very verse for me and helping me understand it in my own weird version of Arabic)so to end my review i recommend you read The Quran in its original text and get a Quran translator preferable Al safee fe tafser il-Quran which is really known and respected by everyone " 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.

"آرزوم بود یکبار همت کنم تمامش رو با حوصله بخونم تا شبیه آدم های از همه جا بی خبر وقتی کسی در موردش نظر میده اره بله درسته تحویلش ندم . هرچند برداشت من از آیات به خوبی تفاسیر خاصی که وجود داره نیست و هرچی رو فهمیدم واقعا فهمیدم اما باید بگم آرامشی رو بهم داد که مدت ها بود بهش نیاز داشتم و حس میکنم راه برکت به زندگیم رو هم باز تر کرد و لذت برم از این سی روز و سی جزء
خیلی ها اومدن کامنت عجیب گذاشتن در مورد اینکه کتاب اسمانی روی زمین چیکار میکنه یا این ایات شیطانین ! میتونم بگم به عمرشون یکبار کامل نخوندنش و انرژیش رو حس نکردن که اینقدر نابینا هستن در مورد چیزی که تجربه اش نکردن اره بله درسته تو راست میگی رو برای کسانی میگن که کارشون این هست تا بیراه رو به جای راه به خورد مردم بدن ...
تاحالا کسی از خوندن قران و ایاتش زندگیش بهم نریخته و نمرده و سرطان نگرفته ! و به قول اهل نا اهلش که میگن شیطانیه ! خونه کسی باهاش جهنم نشده و اتیش هم نگرفته ! من که هرچی دیدم برکت بود و ارامش و اشتی با خودم و خدای خودم . دید اونها و نظرشون هم ارزونی خودشون و نمیپذیرمش و صریحا ردشون میکنم !
" said.

November 2017 New Book:

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