Perspectives from the Qur’an by Abdel Haleem Reading ? have an assignment due tomorrow .Same format but different topic.you have the documents that i send

Perspectives from the Qur’an by Abdel Haleem Reading ? have an assignment due tomorrow .Same format but different topic.you have the documents that i send you last time. (you can use it as instructions) https://www.studypool.com/discuss/11153305/just-50…Let me know if you can handle it oxford world ’s classics
THE QUR AN
The Qur an is the supreme authority in Islam. It is the fundamental and
paramount source of the creed, rituals, ethics, and laws of the Islamic religion.
This supreme status stems from the belief that the Qur an is the word of God,
revealed to the Prophet Muhammad via the archangel Gabriel, and intended
for all times and all places.
The Qur an was the starting point for all the Islamic sciences, which were
developed in order to study its grammar, pronunciation, and style, and it is the
basis of Islamic law and theology; indeed, as the celebrated ?fteenth-century
scholar and author Suyuti said, ‘Everything is based on the Qur an’. The
entire religious life of the Muslim world is built around the text of the Qur an.
As a consequence of the Qur an, the Arabic language moved far beyond
the Arabian peninsula, deeply penetrating many other languages within the
Muslim lands––Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Indonesian, and others. The ?rst sura
(or section) of the Qur an, al-Fatiha, which is an essential part of the ritual
prayers, is learned and read in Arabic by Muslims in all parts of the world, and
many other verses and phrases in Arabic are also incorporated into the lives of
non-Arabic-speaking Muslims.
M. A. S. Abdel Haleem was born in Egypt, and learned the Qur an by heart
from childhood. Educated at al-Azhar, Cairo, and Cambridge Universities,
he has taught Arabic at Cambridge and London Universities since 1966,
including courses in advanced practical translation and the Qur an. He is now
Professor of Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies,
University of London. His most recent publications are Understanding
the Qur an: Themes and Style (2001) and English Translations of the Qur an:
The Making of an Image (2004). He is also working on An Arabic–English
Dictionary of Qur anic Usage, with El-Said Badawi. He is the editor of the
Journal of Qur anic Studies and the London Qur anic Studies series.
3
Great Clarendon Street, Oxford ox2 6dp
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Published in the United States
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© M. A. S. Abdel Haleem 2004, 2005
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Database right Oxford University Press (maker)
First published 2004
First published, with corrections, as an Oxford World’s Classics paperback 2005
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
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British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Data available
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Koran. English.
The Qur an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem.
p. cm. –– (Oxford world’s classics)
Originally published: 2004.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
I. Abdel Haleem, M. A. II. Title. III. Oxford world’s classics (Oxford University Press)
BP109 2005
297.1?22521––dc22
2004030574
ISBN 0–19–283193–3
1
Typeset in Ehrhardt
by Re?neCatch Limited, Bungay, Su?olk
Printed in Great Britain by
Clays Ltd, St Ives plc
I N T RO D U C T I O N
The Qur an is the supreme authority in Islam. It is the fundamental and paramount source of the creed, rituals, ethics, and laws
of the Islamic religion. It is the book that ‘di?erentiates’ between
right and wrong, so that nowadays, when the Muslim world is
dealing with such universal issues as globalization, the environment, combating terrorism and drugs, issues of medical ethics, and
feminism, evidence to support the various arguments is sought in
the Qur an. This supreme status stems from the belief that the
Qur an is the word of God, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad via
the archangel Gabriel, and intended for all times and all places.
The Qur an was the starting point for all the Islamic sciences:
Arabic grammar was developed to serve the Qur an, the study of
Arabic phonetics was pursued in order to determine the exact pronunciation of Qur anic words, the science of Arabic rhetoric was
developed in order to describe the features of the inimitable style of
the Qur an, the art of Arabic calligraphy was cultivated through
writing down the Qur an, the Qur an is the basis of Islamic law and
theology; indeed, as the celebrated ?fteenth-century scholar
and author Suyuti said, ‘Everything is based on the Qur an’. The
entire religious life of the Muslim world is built around the text of
the Qur an. As a consequence of the Qur an, the Arabic language
moved far beyond the Arabian peninsula, deeply penetrating many
other languages within the Muslim lands––Persian, Turkish, Urdu,
Indonesian, and others. The ?rst sura (or section) of the Qur an,
al-Fatiha, which is an essential part of the ritual prayers, is learned
and read in Arabic by Muslims in all parts of the world, and many
other verses and phrases in Arabic are also incorporated into the
lives of non-Arabic-speaking Muslims.
Muslim children start to learn portions of the Qur an by heart in
their normal schooling: the tradition of learning the entire Qur an by
heart started during the lifetime of the Prophet and continues to the
present day. A person attaining this distinction becomes known as a
ha?z, and this is still a prerequisite for admission to certain religious
schools in Muslim countries. Nowadays the Qur an is recited a
number of times daily on the radio and television in the Muslim
x
Introduction
world, and some Muslim countries devote a broadcasting channel
for long hours daily exclusively to the recitation and study of
the Qur an. Muslims swear on the Qur an for solemn oaths in the
lawcourts and in everyday life.
The Life of Muhammad and the Historical Background
Muhammad was born in Mecca in about the year 570 ce. The
religion of most people in Mecca and Arabia at the beginning of
Muhammad’s lifetime was polytheism. Christianity was found in
places, notably in Yemen, and among the Arab tribes in the north
under Byzantine rule; Judaism too was practised in Yemen, and in
and around Yathrib, later renamed Madina (Medina), but the vast
majority of the population of Arabia were polytheists. They believed
in a chief god Allah, but saw other deities as mediators between
them and him: the Qur an mentions in particular the worship of
idols, angels, the sun, and the moon as ‘lesser’ gods. The Hajj
pilgrimage to the Ka ba in Mecca, built, the Qur an tells us, by
Abraham for the worship of the one God, was practised but that
too had become corrupted with polytheism. Mecca was thus an
important centre for religion, and for trade, with the caravans that
travelled via Mecca between Yemen in the south and Syria in the
north providing an important source of income. There was no central government. The harsh desert conditions brought competition
for scarce resources, and enforced solidarity within each tribe, but
there was frequent ?ghting between tribes. Injustices were practised
against the weaker classes, particularly women, children, slaves, and
the poor.
Few hard facts are known about Muhammad’s childhood. It is
known that his father Abdullah died before he was born and his
mother Amina when he was 6 years old; that his grandfather Abdul
Muttalib then looked after him until, two years later, he too died. At
the age of 8, Muhammad entered the guardianship of his uncle Abu
Talib, who took him on a trade journey to the north when he was
12 years old. In his twenties, Muhammad was employed as a trader
by a wealthy and well-respected widow ?fteen years his senior named
Khadija. Impressed by his honesty and good character, she proposed
marriage to him. They were married for over twenty-?ve years until
Khadija’s death when Muhammad was some 49 years old. Khadija
Introduction
xi
was a great support to her husband. After his marriage, Muhammad
lived in Mecca, where he was a respected businessman and
peacemaker.
Muhammad was in the habit of taking regular periods of retreat
and re?ection in the Cave of Hira outside Mecca. This is where the
?rst revelation of the Qur an came to him in 610 ce, when he was
40 years old. This initiated his prophethood. The Prophet was
instructed to spread the teachings of the revelations he received to
his larger family and beyond. However, although a few believed in
him, the majority, especially the powerful, resented his calling them
to abandon their gods. After all, many polytheist tribes came to
Mecca on the pilgrimage, and the leaders feared that the new
religion would threaten their own prestige and economic prosperity.
They also felt it would disturb the social order, as it was quite
outspoken in its preaching of equality between all people and its
condemnation of the injustices done to the weaker members of the
society.
The hostility of the Meccans soon graduated from gentle ridicule
to open con?ict and the persecution of Muhammad’s followers,
many of whom Muhammad sent, from the ?fth year of his
preaching, to seek refuge with the Christian king of Abyssinia
(Ethiopia). The remaining Muslims continued to be pressurized by
the Meccans, who instituted a total boycott against the Prophet’s
clan, refusing to allow any social or economic dealings with them. In
the middle of this hardship, Muhammad’s wife, Khadija, and his
uncle, Abu Talib, died, so depriving the Prophet of their great support. This year became known as the Year of Grief. However, events
were soon to take a change for the better. The Prophet experienced
the event known as the Night Journey and Ascension to Heaven,
during which Muhammad was accompanied by Gabriel from the
sanctuary of Mecca ?rst to Jerusalem and then to Heaven. Soon
afterwards, some people from Yathrib, a town some 400 km north of
Mecca, met Muhammad when they came to make the pilgrimage
and some of these accepted his faith; the following year more
returned from Yathrib, pledged to support him, and invited him and
his community to seek sanctuary in Yathrib. The Muslims began to
migrate there, soon followed by the Prophet himself, narrowly escaping an attempt to assassinate him. This move to Yathrib, known as
the Migration (Hijra), was later adopted as the start of the Muslim
xii
Introduction
calendar. Upon arrival in Yathrib, Muhammad built the ?rst mosque
in Islam, and he spent most of his time there, teaching and remoulding the characters of the new Muslims from unruly tribesmen into
a brotherhood of believers. Guided by the Qur an, he acted as
teacher, judge, arbitrator, adviser, consoler, and father-?gure to the
new community. One of the reasons the people of Yathrib invited the
Prophet to migrate there was the hope that he would be a good
arbitrator between their warring tribes, as indeed proved to be
the case.
Settled in Yathrib, Muhammad made a pact of mutual solidarity
between the immigrants (muhajirun) and the Muslims of Yathrib,
known as the ansar––helpers. This alliance, based not on tribal but
on religious solidarity, was a departure from previous social norms.
Muhammad also made a larger pact between all the tribes of Yathrib,
that they would all support one another in defending the city against
attack. Each tribe would be equal under this arrangement, including
the Jews, and free to practise their own religions.
Islam spread quickly in Yathrib, which became known as Madinat
al-Nabi (the City of the Prophet) or simply Medina (city). This
was the period in which the revelations began to contain legislation
on all aspects of individual and communal life, as for the ?rst time
the Muslims had their own state. In the second year at Medina
(ah 2) a Qur anic revelation came allowing the Muslims to defend
themselves militarily (22: 38–41) and a number of battles against
the Meccan disbelievers and their allies took place near Medina,
starting with Badr shortly after this revelation, Uhud the following
year, and the Battle of the Trench in ah 5. The Qur an comments
on these events.
In ah 6 the Meccans prevented the Muslims from undertaking a
pilgrimage to Mecca. Negotiations followed, where the Muslims
accepted that they would return to Medina for the time being but
come back the following year to ?nish the pilgrimage. A truce was
agreed for ten years. However, in ah 8 a Meccan ally broke the
truce. The Muslims advanced to attack Mecca, but its leaders
accepted Islam and surrendered without a ?ght. From this point
onwards, delegations started coming from all areas of Arabia to meet
the Prophet and make peace with him.
In ah 10 the Prophet made his last pilgrimage to Mecca and gave
a farewell speech on the Mount of Mercy, declaring equality and
Introduction
xiii
solidarity between all Muslims. By this time the whole Arabian
peninsula had accepted Islam and all the warring tribes were united
in one state under one head. Soon after his return to Medina in the
year 632 ce (ah 10), the Prophet received the last revelation of the
Qur an and, shortly thereafter, died. His role as leader of the Islamic
state was taken over by Abu Bakr (632–4 ce), followed by Umar
(634–44) and Uthman (644–56), who oversaw the phenomenal
spread of Islam beyond Arabia. They were followed by Ali (656–61).
These four leaders are called the Rightly Guided Caliphs.
After Ali, the ?rst political dynasty of Islam, the Umayyads
(661–750), came into power. There had, however, been some friction
within the Muslim community on the question of succession to the
Prophet after his death: the Shi is, or supporters of Ali, felt that Ali
and not Abu Bakr was the appropriate person to take on the mantle
of head of the community. They believed that the leadership should
then follow the line of descendants of the Prophet, through the
Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law Ali. After Ali’s death, they adopted
his sons Hasan and then Husayn as their leader or imam. After the
latter’s death in the Battle of Karbala in Iraq (680 ce/ah 61),
Husayn took on a special signi?cance for the Shi i community:
he is mourned every year on the Day of Ashura. Some Shi i believe
that the Prophet’s line ended with the seventh imam Isma il (d. 762
ce/ah 145); others believe that the line continued as far as a
twelfth imam in the ninth century.
The Islamic state stretched by the end of its ?rst century from
Spain, across North Africa, to Sind in north-west India. In later
centuries it expanded further still to include large parts of East and
West Africa, India, Central and South-East Asia, and parts of China
and southern Europe. Muslim migrants like the Turks and Tartars
also spread into parts of northern Europe, such as Kazan and
Poland. After the Second World War there was another major in?ux
of Muslims into all areas of the world, including Europe, America,
and Australia, and many people from these continents converted to
the new faith. The total population of Muslims is now estimated at
more than one billion (of which the great majority are Sunni), about
one-?fth of the entire population of the world,1 and Islam is said to
be the fastest-growing religion in the world.
1
See http://www.iiie.net/Intl/PopStats.html.
xiv
Introduction
The Revelation of the Qur an
Muhammad’s own account survives of the extraordinary circumstances of the revelation, of being approached by an angel who
commanded him: ‘Read in the name of your Lord.’ 2 When he
explained that he could not read,3 the angel squeezed him strongly,
repeating the request twice, and then recited to him the ?rst two
lines of the Qur an.4 For the ?rst experience of revelation Muhammad was alone in the cave, but after that the circumstances in which
he received revelations were witnessed by others and recorded.
When he experienced the ‘state of revelation’, those around him
were able to observe his visible, audible, and sensory reactions. His
face would become ?ushed and he would fall silent and appear as if
his thoughts were far away, his body would become limp as if he were
asleep, a humming sound would be heard about him, and sweat
would appear on his face, even on winter days. This state would last
for a brief period and as it passed the Prophet would immediately
recite new verses of the Qur an. The revelation could descend on
him as he was walking, sitting, riding, or giving a sermon, and there
were occasions when he waited anxiously for it for over a month in
answer to a question he was asked, or in comment on an event: the
state was clearly not the Prophet’s to command. The Prophet and his
followers understood these signs as the experience accompanying
the communication of Qur anic verses by the Angel of Revelation
(Gabriel), while the Prophet’s adversaries explained them as magic
or as a sign of his ‘being possessed’.
It is worth noting that the Qur an has itself recorded all claims and
attacks made against it and against the Prophet in his lifetime, but
for many of Muhammad’s contemporaries the fact that the ?rst word
of the Qur an was an imperative addressed to the Prophet (‘Read’)
These words appear at the beginning of Sura 96 of the Qur an.
Moreover, until the ?rst revelation came to him in the cave, Muhammad was not
known to have composed any poem or given any speech. The Qur an employs this fact in
arguing with the unbelievers: ‘If God had so willed, I would not have recited it to you,
nor would He have made it known to you. I lived a whole lifetime among you before it
came to me. How can you not use your reason?’ (10: 16). Among other things this is
taken by Muslims as proof of the Qur an’s divine source.
4 The concepts of ‘reading’, ‘learning/knowing’, and ‘the pen’ occur six times in
these two lines. As Muslim writers on education point out (e.g. S. Qutb, Fi Dhilal
al-Qur an (Cairo, 1985), vi. 3939), the revelation of the Qur an began by talking about
reading, teaching, knowing, and writing.
2
3
Introduction
xv
linguistically made the authorship of the text outside Muhammad.
Indeed, this mode is maintained throughout the Qur an: it talks to
the Prophet or talks about him; never does the Prophet pass comment or speak for himself. The Qur an describes itself as a scripture
that God ‘sent down’ to the Prophet (the expression ‘sent down’, in
its various forms, is used in the Qur an well over 200 times) and, in
Arabic, this word conveys immediately, and in itself, the concept
that the origin of the Qur an is from above and that Muhammad is
merely a recipient. God is the one to speak in the Qur an: Muhammad is addressed, ‘Prophet’, ‘Messenger’, ‘Do’, ‘Do not do’, ‘They
ask you . . .’, ‘Say’ (the word ‘say’ is used in the Qur an well over
300 times). Moreover, the Prophet is sometimes even censured in
the Qur an.5 His status is unequivocally de?ned as ‘Messenger’
(rasul).
The ?rst revelation consisted of the two lines wh…
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