Andrew Rippin ( http://dx.doi.org/10.11136/jqh.1311.02.01 )
A good deal of recent scholarship on the Qur’ān has focused on the structure of the sūrahs, arguing that there is a coherence to be seen therein. That sense of coherence is found in different bases: contextual flow, theme and content, language and style, and structure. The question is asked as to why this has become such a dominant mode of analysis. Trends in biblical studies and general literary theory are considered as prompting this greater attentions to the aesthetics of texts. It is suggested that this approach to the Qur’ān then reflects contemporary ideas and that it is important not to view such approaches to coherence as “proving” the point: there are other possible approaches to reading the Qur’ān.
CONTINUITY, CONTEXT, AND COHERENCE IN THE QUR’AN: A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE IDEA OF NAZM IN TAFSIR LITERATURE
Mustansir Mir ( http://dx.doi.org/10.11136/jqh.1311.02.02 )
This paper looks at several works of tafsīr that identify nazm, or coherence, as a significant feature of the Qur’ān. The authors whose works are examined are Tabarī, Rāzī, Biqā‘ī, and Farāhī and Islāhī—the last two, teacher and student, discussed together. It is concluded that modern tafsīr, compared with traditional tafsīr, is more accepting of the idea of nazm in the Qur’ān, and that the Farāhī-Islāhī view of Qur’anic nazm is more plausible than the views of the other exegetes studied.
Davut W. S. Peachy ( http://dx.doi.org/10.11136/jqh.1311.02.03 )
The translation of a literary work from its original language to another requires not only great skill in both languages, but great knowledge of their literatures and cultures as well. A scripture, particularly the Qur’ān, presents another, higher level of difficulty. Muslims hold that the Qur’ān in any other language than the original Arabic is not the Qur’ān. Some scholars oppose Qur’anic translation per se. Others believe it is an integral part of the Prophet Muhammad’s command to convey the Qur’anic message. Although Muslim translators understand their translations are not the Qur’ān, this is why they must strive to transmit the message of the Qur’ān to the best of their skills through their translations. Hundreds of editions have appeared in various languages, with the majority in English. By whom can the Qur’ān be translated? A translator assumes he is the most qualified, skillful and dedicated in communicating with his target audience. They are the all-important ones for whom he must tailor his work. Once he has settled why, by whom and for whom, he can proceed to how. What style can he best use to reach his audience with the Qur’anic Message? What range of diction and level of discourse will he employ to bring his efforts into the cultural and social context of his readers? Can Islamic and Arabic terminology be conveyed without lengthy footnotes and commentary? The translator is responsible for making many difficult and crucial decisions which will affect the accuracy, clarity and acceptability of his work.
Latest Book Review
THE QUR’ĀN: THE FINAL BOOK OF GOD—A CLEAR ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE GLORIOUS QUR’ĀN BY DR. DAOUD WILLIAM S. PEACHY AND DR. MANEH HAMMAD AL-JOHANI, 2012. QASIM/SAUDI ARABIA: WORLD ASSEMBLY OF MUSLIM YOUTH, XIII+ 476+59 PP. (HBK)
Tauseef Ahmad Parray( http://dx.doi.org/10.11136/jqh.1311.02.10 )
Numerous English translations of the Qur’ān have been published in the 20 century. Mainly, more intelligible and lucid translations appeared during the 2000s. The majority of new translators owe previous publishers for their success. However, The Qur’an: The Final Book of God—A Clear English Translation of the Glorious Qur’an by Daoud William S. Peachy and Maneh Al-Johani differs from other translations in its writers’ native language. According to page ix of this book, many other translations are superficial revisions or collations of other well-known translators. Although the primary audience of the considered translation is the literate and unsophisticated English speakers, an important goal of this work is to reach a much wider audience (p. x). This translation is done based on an earlier translation entitled “The Meaning of Glorious Koran” by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall (1875-1936). However, the predominant aim of the considered translation is to ‘eliminate’ th the biblical words and modernize the vocabulary of Pickthall’s translation (p. xi). In the introduction chapter of this book, Daoud William S. Peachy claimed that their translation has been influenced by Pickthall’s work and wordings. Especially, in the introduction of each sūrah, Peachy and al-Johani followed the Pickthall’s style, except several minor differences.
Latest Book Notes
HADIS TASAWUF DALAM KITAB HIDAYAH AL-SALIKIN BY KHADHER AHMAD AND ISHAK SULIAMAN, 2013, KUALA LUMPUR: UNIVERSITY OF MALAYA PRESS, XIII+ 184 PP., RM 46.00. ISBN: 978-9-83100681-8 (PBK).
“Hidāyah al-Sālikīn” compiled by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Samad al-Jāwī al-Falimbānī in 1192/1778. Basically, writing of this book, which is profoundly influenced by al-Ghazālī’s tasawwuf, relies on two main elements of hadīth and Qur’anic verses in order to explain different aspects of Sufism. Five descriptive and analytical chapters will aptly help enthusiastic candidates to find their hadīth-tasawwuf interests in this volume.
INTRODUCTION TO THE QUR’AN BY M. A. DRAZ, 2011 (NEW PAPERBACK EDITION), LONDON: I. B. TAURIS, X+ 164, £12.99. ISBN: 978-184885-689-9 (PBK).
Muslim and non-Muslim scholars frequently speak about the Qur’ān and its features. Draz came up with a lot of innovation and divided his book into three parts: (a) Background History; (b) the Qur’ān, Considering its Three Main Aspects; and, (c) The Origin of the Qur’ān. Apart from the first part, in which Draz talks about the early life of the Prophet of Islam and the composition process of the revealed texts, part Two discusses very tangible issues which are suitable for contemporary interreligious discussions such as “Religion, Morality and Literature,” “Truth, or the Religious Element,” “Goodness, or the Moral Element” and “Beauty, or the Literary Element.” Hereby, this book is an impressive study that is perfectly able to catch the reader’s attention.
INQUISITION IN EARLY ISLAM: THE COMPETITION FOR POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY IN THE ABBASID EMPIRE (LIBRARY OF MIDDLE EAST HISTORY) BY JOHN P. TUNER, 2013, LONDON: I. B. TAURIS, XVI+228, £56.00. ISBN: 978-1-780-76164-0 (HBK).
John P. Turner endeavors to present a different facet of the Abbasid period in which Muslims introduced crucial and immortal principles in Cosmos and Islamic sciences. Nevertheless, this time is also known as the period of inquisition or mihna. Although this tough period was officially started by the Caliph al-Ma’mun (d. 833 A.D) it was persisted by his successors for fifteen years (until 234/848 to 849) and several religious people were disqualified, punished and executed (killed) due to their unexpected answers in interrogations.