A “timely and provocative” biography of Islam’s foundational text: “The history of the book is a map of the world we live in today” (Tribune-Review).
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 that inspires devotion, passion, fear, and sometimes incomprehension.
In The Qur’an, historian and Islamic Studies professor Bruce Lawrence shows precisely how the Qur’an is the embodiment of Islam. He describes the origins of the faith in seventh-century Arabia and explains why the Qur’an is memorized and recited by devout Muslims. Lawrence also discusses the Qur’an’s commentators and doubters 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 cannot be reduced to a single, obvious message. It is a book that demands interpretation and one that can be properly understood only through its long and storied history.
“An important work for those seeking to understand—and defend—Islam.” —Kirkus Reviews