The Qur’ān Dilemma
Former Muslims Analyze Islam's Holiest Book - Volume THREE
The role of Islam is paramount in the social life of Muslims. Islam’s influence internationally is both conspicuous and sobering, whether through the power of wealthy or populous Muslim-majority countries or through the large minorities of Muslim immigrants living in Western countries. This growing presence of Islam in the modern world makes The Qur’ān Dilemma an indispensable tool for its audience: readers who are intent in learning more about Islam and readers who are interested in understanding global politics through the prism of Islam, which is the Qur’ān.
Part I: Background Materials
Volume Two of The Qur’ān Dilemma This volume also contains articles to provide readers with the necessary background and context concerning key topics and issues of the Qur’an; “Variant Readings of the Qur’ān: Study Update,” and “Paradise and Hell in the Qur’ān"
Part II: The Qur’ānic Text
Volume Two of The Qur’ān Dilemma will examine twenty-five chapters, or suras (Q 26 through Q 50). As in Volumes One and Two, this volume will provide commentary on selected verses within the suras of the Qur’ān from three distinct perspectives:
||Outlining the major subjects Critical Analysis, or the historical, factual, and linguistic difficulties presented in the Qur’ānic text
||The historical, factual, and linguistic difficulties presented in the Qur’ānic text Abrogation, or the annulment of certain verses
||Problems present in different readings by Islamic scholars of certain verses. In this volume we—expanding the research to include early Qur’ānic manuscripts and redesigning the methodology for analysis—will not only deepen readers’ understanding of the obstacles that have prevented a singular Qur’ān for all Muslims but also their recognition of the critical need for one standard Qur’ān in “plain [clear] Arabic language” (Q 26.195; Palmer trans.).
||The annulment of certain verses Variant Readings, or problems present in different readings by Islamic scholars of certain verses, a phenomenon peculiar to the Qur'an, in which hundreds of "peaceful" verses have been annulled or replaced by other verses...
Part III: Summary of Resources and References
The third part of this book contains traditional references as well as other resources to assist the reader in understanding various aspects of the book. All the resources will better familiarize the reader with important concepts particular to the Qur’ān, help the reader in topic searches and related information, and enhance the reader’s contextual understanding and knowledge concerning the beginnings and spread of Islam.
||This section contains a helpful listing of materials to extend the discussion and information on selected topics mentioned in this book and about the Qur’ān’s history and contents.
|Selected Proper Names
||This section contains additional information about individuals mentioned in this book who impacted—or were affected by—Islam or the Qur’ān, particularly during the early centuries.
||Brief definitions for important Islamic subjects and other related terms are presented in this section.
||The vertical graphic with accompanying captions notes the caliphs, other relevant figures, and key events during the ‘Abbāsid period of Islam’s history (AH 132-656/AD 750-1258).
These resources have compressed and organized information regarding several important topics detailed throughout the book to promote quick access for analysis and comparison:
- International Phonetic Alphabet – Arabic Language
- Ninety-Nine Names of Allah
- Readers of the Variant Readings (Qur’ān Dilemma Three)
- The Fourteen Readers
- Stages of the Variant Readings
- Variant Readings: Classification of Variances from the Majority Reading and the Current Arabic Qur’ān
- Foreign Words in the Qur’ān according to al-Suyūţī
||Four maps are included to provide a visual geographical and political representation of the Arabian Peninsula during the early history of Islam and its progressive western and eastern expansion to AD 1258 (AH 656):
- Islam’s Territorial Expansion, AD 622-750
- Islam’s Expansion during the ‘Abbāsid Caliphate
- Territorial Power during the ‘Abbāsid Caliphate’s Golden Age, AD 775-861
- Mongol Invasions and Destruction of ‘Abbāsid Caliphate
||Because of the extensive research contained in this book, endnotes (rather than parenthetical documentation) were used to cite the textual references. Each set of endnotes is organized sequentially by chapter—articles first, followed by the suras.:
||All references cited in this book are contained in this section and are divided into three sections: Arabic Commentaries, Arabic Sources, and Non-Arabic Sources.
||Names of people and spiritual beings are listed alphabetically in the book. For best identification and access, most Arabic names are alphabetized by the first or most well-known name; contemporary Arabic and Western names are listed alphabetically by last name. (The ‘Abbāsid caliphs, who are only mentioned in “Historical Timeline of the ‘Abbāsid Caliphate,” are listed alphabetically in a separate group at the end of the Name Index.)
||Major topics discussed in this book are alphabetically arranged and linked with corresponding page numbers to enhance and expedite reader access to the content.