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Discovering the Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text : 2nd Edition (Neal Robinson)

Discovering the Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text : 2nd Edition (Neal Robinson)

Discovering the Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text : 2nd Edition (Neal Robinson)
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ISBN: 1589010248
Author: Neal Robinson
Publisher: Georgetown University Press (February 2004) 2nd Edition
Pages: 360 Binding: Paperback

Description from the publisher:

"Clearly written, this is a very useful, important, and interesting book that will provide scholars with much to talk about concerning the way one is to read the Qur'an. [Robinson] does a great deal with topics that need much more discussion than they usually receive." —John Kelsay, Richard L. Rubenstein Professor of Religion, Florida State University "If anyone asked me to recommend a clear and comprehensive introduction to the nature and role of the Qur'an, I would look no further than Neal Robinson's Discovering the Qur'an." —Oliver Leaman, professor of philosophy, University of Kentucky, and author of An Introduction to Classical Islamic Philosophy

"[B]ased on a magisterial command of Arabic, English, French, and German sources [Discovering the Qur'an is] a major analysis of the internal coherence of the Qur'an, taking into account the interrelationship of structure, intertextuality, meaning, and sound." —Dr. Murad Wilfried Hoffman, Istanbul (Muslim World Book Review)

"[A]n intelligent, sophisticated, and provocative book on a perplexing subject." —Th. Emil Homerin, professor of religion and chair of the Department of Religion and Classics, University of Rochester, New York (International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies)

"I have no doubt that this book is a major publication in its field." —Martin Forward, executive director of Aurora University's Center for Faith and Action, Illinois, and Helena Wackerlin Professor of Religious Studies

This latest edition of Discovering the Qur'an includes a new preface by the author. Used by students around the world as a reliable guide to reading a translation of the Qur'an, it shows how the Qur'an is experienced by Muslims, describing the rhythmic and rhyme scheme structures, the context in which it is heard, the part played by learning by heart, and the importance of calligraphy. It is also about the Qur'an and its relationship to Muhammed, as well as helping to divine the ordering of the surahs or chapters. In an English-speaking world newly sensitized to Islam and its believers, Discovering the Qur'an will be an invaluable tool to greater understanding. Neal Robinson is a senior lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Leeds. He is also the author of Islam: A Concise Introduction (Georgetown University Press, 1999).

Table of Contents :

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction

Part One: Phenomenology

1. The Qur'an as Experienced by Muslims Listening to the Qur'an Having the Qur'an by heart The Qur'an in everyday life

Part Two: Chronology

2. Anchoring the Revelations in Space and Time Introduction The miracles attributed to the Prophet Combing the Qur'an for clues to its provenance Qur'anic clues to the date of the revelations Early biographies of Muhammad A plausible chronological framework for the revelations Concluding discussion

3. An Alternative Account of the Rise of Islam Introduction Stepping outside the Islamic tradition Critical appraisal Conclusion

4. Traditional Resources for Determining the Chronological Order of the Surahs Introduction Reports about the occasions of the revelation Literature about abrogating and abrogated ayahs Traditional lists of Meccan and Madinan surahs The surah headings in the standard Egyptian edition Conclusion

5. Western Attempts at Dating the Revelations Introduction The Nöldeke-Schwally classification of the surahs The difficulties involved in dating individual surahs Bell's attempt at dating the surahs and surah sections The best working hypothesis? Concluding discussion

Part Three: Morphology, Structure and Coherence

6. The Formal Elements in the 'Early Meccan' Surahs Introduction Surah openings Oaths Eschatological sections Narrative sections Signs sections Revelation sections Polemical sections Didactic questions and answers Messenger sections Miscellaneous Conclusion

7. The Structure of the Meccan Surahs Introduction 'Early Meccan' surahs in a single register 'Early Meccan' surahs in two registers 'Early Meccan' surahs in three registers Bipartite 'early Meccan' surahs in four or more registers Other 'early Meccan' surahs in four or more registers 'Middle and late Meccan' surahs with narrative sections Other 'middle and late Meccan' surahs The interrelationships of the registers in the Meccan surahs

8. The Interrelation of Structure, Sound and Meaning in Three Meccan Surahs Introduction The integrity of Surah 103 The role of word-play in Surah 104 Structure, sound and meaning in Surah 78

9. The Integrative Role of Sound and Intertextuality Introduction Surah 79: 'Has the account of Moses reached thee?' Surah 17: The Night Journey

10. The Madinan Surahs Introduction The survival and adaptation of the six principal registers The refrains which mention the divine names Introduction to Surah 2 Surah 2: The prologue (vv.1-39) Surah 2: Criticism of the Children of Israel (vv.40-121) Surah 2: The Abrahamic legacy (vv.122-152) Surah 2: Legislation for the new nation (vv.153-242) Surah 2: The struggle to liberate the Ka'bah (vv.243-283) Surah 2: The epilogue (vv.284-286)

11. The Dynamics of the Qur'anic Discourse Introduction The implied speaker as both 'We' and 'He' The implied speaker as 'I' The implied speaker and embedded speakers The omniscient perspective of the implied speaker The implied privileged addressee The objectification of the Messenger Sudden changes in person and number Conclusion

12. The Order of the Surahs: The Decreasing-Length Rule Introduction The surahs and their names The decreasing-length rule: alleged precedents and parallels Explaining the exceptions to the decreasing-length rule The alleged order of the surahs in the manuscripts of Ibn Mas'ud and Ubayy The dovetailing of consecutive surahs Conclusion

13. The Order of the Surahs: Islahi's Explanation Introduction Summary of Islahi's views Islahi's analysis of Surahs 50-66 Evaluation of Islahi's approach Islahi's approach and the exceptions to the decreasing-length rule Conclusion

Postscript Appendix A: Table for converting ayah numbers Appendix B: A note on English translations of the Qur'an Bibliography Notes Indexes Index of references to the Bible and Pseudepigrapha Index of Qur'anic passages Index of persons Subject index