Monday, February 20, 2012

"the qur'an dilemma"

About the book (from press materials): The Qur'an Dilemma gives English-speaking readers, both Muslims and non-Muslims, many of the critical arguments concerning Islam and the Qur'an. It addresses whether the Qur'an is a book of terror or peace, an inspired divine book or a mere political text. The book weaves through Islamic history and its many classical commentaries and resources to provide an objective, investigative body of research concerning the truth about Islam.

The book is a result of the team effort of many former Muslim researchers, scholars, writers, and specialists. The team approach was taken to eliminate any undue bias, misunderstandings, or propaganda against Islam and its teachings.

The critical methodology used in this book was inspired by the courageous tradition of those who have dared to analyze the Qur'an throughout history. Contemporary intellectual productions available in Arabic and foreign sources were also incorporated. The result is a book directed equally to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

My take: The Qur'an Dilemma is an excellent resource for someone wanting to know that the Qur'an really says. It is divided into three sections: "The Background of the Qur'an,"—an introduction to both the Qur'an and The Qur'an Dilemma, an explanation of abrogated verses (verses that have been overridden by other verses), a discussion of women and the Qur'an, and other topical articles; "The Qur'anic Text"—a verse-by-verse reading of the first nine suras (chapters) with explanation about abrogation, contradictions in translation, and various interpretations of the text; and "Resources and References"—suggested readings, glossaries of names and definitions, a timeline of important dates in Muslim history, and other references.

As someone who has little knowledge of Islam or the Qur'an, I found the book to be a bit overwhelming. However, if I had specific questions about the Qur'an, the book is set up in such a way that I would easily be able to find answers. I don't think this book is meant to be read from cover-to-cover for the casual reader; rather, it functions well as a reference book. (I could see it being used as a textbook in a college class, as well.)

I also must comment on the appearance of the book. It is absolutely beautiful! You can see from the picture above that the cover is stunning; what you can't see is that the center design is embossed. Inside the book, color is used to draw attention to verses (for example, green signifies abrogation) and helps the reader track with the authors. This is a very attractive book that calls out to be picked up and examined!

Overall, I give The Qur'an Dilemma 5 out of 5 stars. It may not be something most readers will devour, but I think it accomplishes its purpose of shedding light on the contents of and problems with the Qur'an.

For more information or to order the book, please visit the website There you'll find a wealth of free information, including the opportunity to read sections of the Qur'an in a variety of languages.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Glass Road Public Relations. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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