Cover image for Approaching the Qurʼān : the early revelations
Title:
Approaching the Qurʼān : the early revelations
Author:
Sells, Michael Anthony.
Uniform Title:
Qurʼan. English.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Ashland, Or. : White Cloud Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
219 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm + 1 audio disc (digital ; 4 3/4 in.)
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781883991302

9781883991265
Format :
Book

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BP109 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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BP109 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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BP109 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Presents brilliant translations of the short, hymnic chapters, or suras, associated with the first revelations to the Prophet Muhammad. Most of these early revelations appear at the end of the written text and are commonly reached only by the most resolute reader of existing English translations. These suras contain some of the most powerful prophetic and revelatory passages in religious history. They offer the vision of a meaningful and just life that anchors the religion of one-fifth of the world's inhabitants. The book is enriched by the inclusion of a CD recording of Quranic reciters chanting several of the early suras, allowing readers an opportunity to hear the Qur'an in its original form.


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Despite the rapid growth of Islam in this country, its precepts and scripture remain inaccessible to many readers. It is difficult, too, that many of its believers assert that the Qur'an cannot be translated. This groundbreaking work by Haverford College professor Sells goes a very long way to bridging the gap that separates the non-Islamic reader from the Qur'an; he translates and extensively annotates a careful selection of the earliest "suras" (revelations), setting them in their cultural context. Further chapters discuss sound and gender in the meaning of the Qur'an, and the book includes an hour-long CD of extraordinary field recordings of male and female Qur'anic reciters. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

The majesty and beauty ascribed by Muslims to the Qur'~n is nearly incomprehensible to those who do not know it in Arabic. As Sells (Haverford College) notes, "All translations are ultimately only approaches." Approaching the Qur'~n includes a translation of Sra (chapter) 1, the first 18 verses of chapter 53, and chapters 81 to 114 (the concluding chapters). These 35 chapters, usually considered the earliest material of the Qur'~n, are graced by the literary and poetic values Sells so richly portrays, capturing the power of desert metaphors, of alliterative, staccato lines, of unusual word clusters--the feel and flow of the Qur'~n--for the English reader. Discussion of gender focuses on grammar, difficult for non-Arabists, and conveys the intricacy of pronoun references. Six sras have full transliteration and a detailed listening guide; an accompanying audio CD presents the different styles of prominent Qur'~n readers, including a woman. With its inclusion of a guide to other versions of the Qur'~n and to resources for further study, Sells's achievement is an indispensable tool for awakening English readers to the rich literary, gender, and sound textures of the Qur'~n. General readers and practitioners; upper-division undergraduate and graduate students. S. Ward University of Denver