As-Salāmu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakathuhu

May the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of God be upon you beautiful people

"Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish." [Qur'an 17:81]

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Good reading for non-muslims

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback) by M.A.Abdel Haleem

This book can easily be obtained from Amazon or any highstreet bookstore. This translation of the Qur'an is by far one of the best. It expresses the meaning of the Qur'an in an eloquent style retaining some of the sublime rhetoric of the Arabic original. The choice of words (as seen by the example above) are based upon a scholarly approach i.e. context, intertextuality, use of classical dictionaries, the Prophetic understanding etc are all taken into account. This translation lets the Qur'an speak for itself and makes the book a pleasure to read. It flows very well and the translation is much closer to the miraculous original - the Qur'anic concepts and ideas penetrate the reader. A must have for all those who want to read the Qur'an in the English language.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quran-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/dp/0199535957/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216125199&sr=8-1

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Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings

A non muslim account on the life of Muhammad based on the earliest and original sources. An excellent bias free view of the final Messenger.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594771537/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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Exploring the Qur'an (Paperback) by Abdul-Raof Hussein

Exploring the Qur’an is a journey into the unfathomable depths of the Qur’an. It investigates the multifaceted Qur’anic discourse and provides an in-depth account of multifarious Qur’anic topics some of which have never been tackled by traditional or modern scholars. Exploring the Qur’an opens new horizons for both Muslim and non- Muslim readers. It attempts to provide an insight into the intricate nature of the Qur’an’s theological and linguistic facets through an interesting contrastive analysis of both Muslim and non-Muslim views. The book provides rigorous academic analysis of the intriguing linguistic, phonetic and rhetorical features of Qur’anic discourse. It also investigates the text linguistic feature of consonance which is the logical sequence and discoursal harmony of Qur’anic statements and chapters. A must read for all those who want to appreciate the Qur'an's inimitable features and it's unique us of the Arabic language.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exploring-Quran-Abdul-Raof-Hussein/dp/1904436013/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216125622&sr=8-1

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The Quran: An Eternal Challenge (Paperback) by M.A. Draz

This is a great book for all those who are interested in the Miraculous nature of the Qur'an. It deals with rational arguments and explains how the Qur'an has a superior litetary style. Although this book only deals with literary aspects of the Qur'an (as opposed to more objective approaches such as its linguistic aspects and the form of its language), it explains the objectivity of the challenge and answers many questions. A must read for all those who wish to appreciate the liteary excellence of the Qur'an.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quran-Eternal-Challenge-M-Draz/dp/086037341X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216125745&sr=1-1

Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time (Eminent Lives) by Karen Armstrong

Muhammad was born in 570 CE, and over the following sixty years built a thriving spiritual community, laying the foundations of a religion that changed the course of world history. There is more historical data on his life than on that of the founder of any other major faith, and yet his story is little known.
Karen Armstrong's immaculately researched new biography of Muhammad will enable readers to understand the true origins and spirituality of a faith that is all too often misrepresented as cruel, intolerant, and inherently violent. An acclaimed authority on religious and spiritual issues, Armstrong offers a balanced, in-depth portrait, revealing the man at the heart of Islam by dismantling centuries of misconceptions. Armstrong demonstrates that Muhammad's life—a pivot point in history—has genuine relevance to the global crises we face today.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Muhammad-Prophet-Time-Eminent-Lives/dp/0060598972/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216160605&sr=8-1

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Islam: A Short History by Karen Armstrong

The picture of Islam as a violent, backward, and insular tradition should be laid to rest, says Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of Muhammad and A History of God. Delving deep into Islamic history, Armstrong sketches the arc of a story that begins with the stirring of revelation in an Arab businessman named Muhammad. His concern with the poor who were being left behind in the blush of his society's new prosperity sets the tone for the tale of a culture that values community as a manifestation of God. Muhammad's ideas catch fire, quickly blossoming into a political empire. As the empire expands and the once fractured Arabs subdue and overtake the vast Persian domain, the story of a community becomes a panoramic drama. With great dexterity, Armstrong narrates the Sunni-Shi'ite schism, the rise of Persian influence, the clashes with Western crusaders and Mongolian conquerors, and the spiritual explorations that traced the route to God. Armstrong brings us through the debacle of European colonialism right up to the present day, putting Islamic fundamentalism into context as part of a worldwide phenomenon. Islam: A Short History, like Bruce Lawrence's Shattering the Myth and Mark Huband's Warriors of the Prophet, introduces us to a faith that beckons like a minaret to those who dare to venture beyond the headlines.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Islam-History-Modern-Library-Chronicles/dp/081296618X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216161185&sr=1-2

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Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet by Karen Armstrong

In a meticulous quest for the historical Muhammad, Armstrong first traces the West's long history of hostility toward Islam, which it has stigmatized as a "religion of the sword." This sympathetic, engrossing biography portrays Muhammad (ca. 570-632) as a passionate, complex, fallible human being--a charismatic leader possessed of political as well as spiritual gifts, and a prophet whose monotheistic vision intuitively answered the deepest longings of his people. Armstrong ( The Gospel According to Woman ) refutes the Western image of Muhammad as an impostor who used religion as a means to power, an attitude encapsulated in a psychotic dream episode in Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. Denying that Islam preaches total intransigence, she finds in the Prophet's teachings a theology of peace and tolerance. The "holy war" urged by the Koran, in Armstrong's reading, alludes to each Muslim's duty to fight for a just, decent society. She draws significant parallels between the spiritual aspirations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Muhammad-Biography-Prophet-Karen-Armstrong/dp/B000Z6O7BC/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216161601&sr=8-5

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The Prophet Muhammad: A Biography by Barnaby Rogerson

'Rogerson can do epic scale, showstopping geography ... three empires contending for influence in Muhammad's Arabia. He makes you smell the frankincense' review by the Evening Standard

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prophet-Muhammad-Biography-Barnaby-Rogerson/dp/0349115869/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216161601&sr=8-1

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Muhammad (Critical Lives) by Yahiya Emerick

Rather than settling in to the comfortable life of a merchant, Muhammad had a vision of himself bringing the message of the one God to his idolatrous people. Coverage includes: the claim to prophethood--Muhammad's teachings, and his first coverts; the Muslim flight to Medina, Muhammad's battles, and the eventual bloodless Muslim conquest of Mecca; Muhammad's political victory in the Arabian peninsula, and wars with Byzantium and Persia; the death of Muhammad, and the ways in which his message lived beyond him, and Muhammad's place in history--his role in Muslim theology and cosmology, the ways he is viewed in different Muslim sects and regions, and the influence of Muhammad today in Islamic movements, both peaceful and fundamentalist.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Muhammad-Critical-Lives-Yahiya-Emerick/dp/0028643712/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216163023&sr=1-1

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The Qur'an: A Biography (Books That Changed the World) by Bruce Lawrence

Few books in history have been as poorly understood as the Qur’an. Sent down in a series of revelations to the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur’an is the unmediated word of Allah, a ritual, political, and legal authority, an ethical and spiritual guide, and a literary masterpiece. In this book, one of the launch titles in Atlantic Monthly Press’ “Books That Changed the World” series, the distinguished historian of religion Bruce Lawrence shows precisely how the Qur’an is Islam. He describes the origins of the faith and assesses its tremendous influence on today’s societies and politics. Above all, Lawrence emphasizes that the Qur’an is a sacred book of signs that has no single message. It is a book that demands interpretation and one that can be properly understood only through its history. Bruce Lawrence’s work is a beautifully written and, in these increasingly troubled times, invaluable introduction to and exploration of the core sacred text of Islam.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quran-Biography-Books-Changed-World/dp/0871139510/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216163913&sr=8-2

Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman (Galaxy Book, 409) by W. Montgomery Watt

Editorial Reviews

"A standard! Highly readable. A great introduction to the man and the movement. Please keep it in print!--Cheryl L. Golden, Newman University

"Good biography of pivotal figure in middle Eastern-- and world--history. Well-written, objective, straight-forward presentation of complex subject."--Dr. Andrew F. Clark, Univ. of North Carolina

"An excellent introduction to Islam. For the last 20 years I have used this text to introduce students to the Muslim tradition."--Harold Kasimow, Grinnell College

"Still a fine and thorough survey of Muhammad's life and times."--Charles A. Kimball, Furman Univ.

"A convincing book: essential reading, not only for the more casual student of Muslim problems, but also, as a kind of illuminating revision of facts and ideas, for the serious student who has read the larger volumes."--Blackfriars

"This book...admirably fulfills its purpose. It is written in a clear and interesting style, and the reader can be assured that it is not only an interesting book to read, but is also based on sound scholarship."--Journal of Semitic Studies

"This is the best, if not the only, introduction to Muhammad."--James Lindsay, University of Dubuque

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Muhammad-Prophet-Statesman-Galaxy-Books/dp/0198810784/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216309537&sr=8-1

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Understanding Islam: An Introduction to the Muslim World, Second Edition by Thomas W. Lippman

Thomas Lippman provides an excellent introduction into the Islamic world. Lippman is neither a historian nor a religious expert, but a journalist. As a journalist, he is able to easily explain Islamic Culture, practices, and history to an audience completely unfamiliar to this subject. Lippman spent a great deal of time in various Islamic countries as a journalist, and gives an easy to understand introduction into various aspects of Islam: (1) Basic Beliefs and Practices, (2) The Prophet Muhammad (3) The Koran, (4) Law and Government in Islamic Countries, (5) The Advance of Islam, (6) Schism and Mysticism, and (7) The Islamic Community Today. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing more about Islamic beliefs and or history

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Understanding-Islam-Introduction-Muslim-Revised/dp/0452011604/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216309690&sr=1-1

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The Word of Islam by John Alden Williams

This work is destined to be treated as a pioneer and a classic in its field.... It offers a highly readable, lively, and proportionate examination of the Islamic canon and its various internal currents. (American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences )

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Word-Islam-John-Alden-Williams/dp/0500277710/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216310387&sr=8-5

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Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations by MIchael Sells

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.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Approaching-Quran-Early-Revelation-Revelations/dp/1883991692/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216311395&sr=8-1

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What Islam Did for Us: Understanding Islam's Contribution to Western Civilization by Tim Wallace-Murphy

In these troubled times, when Islam is under seemingly perpetual attack, it is imperative to consider how much the West owes to the religion’s spiritual insights. Bestselling author Tim Wallace-Murphy presents the first major popular book to examine the common roots of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and to reveal Islam’s immense contributions to our society—which included laying the foundations for our systems of education, astronomy, mathematics, and architecture. He also illustrates how the European Western powers helped foment the current crisis in the Middle East, and why we must strive for a just, equitable solution to these problems. Understanding can begin with this compelling acknowledgment of our shared spiritual heritage, including religious tolerance, respect for learning, and the concepts of chivalry and brotherhood.

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Islam-Did-Understanding-Contribution/dp/1842932012/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216311485&sr=8-2

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Lost History: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers, and Artists by Michael H. Morgan

"Mathematics, astronomy and medicine; those are three of the many disciplines that would not exist in their present form without the contributions of Muslim scholars and thinkers throughout the centuries. We in the West don’t often remember that."—Aaron Schachter, Anchor, BBC "The World"

You can purchase it by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-History-Enduring-Scientists-Thinkers/dp/1426202806/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216312108&sr=8-1