Le Coran décrypté
Author: Jacqueline Chabbi
Lire le Coran non pas du point de vue de la religion, de la théologie ou d’une recherche de dialogue, mais tout simplement du point de vue de l’anthropologie et de l’histoire, soulève de difficiles problèmes. La lecture que propose ce livre est celle du premier islam dans son milieu d’origine, l’Arabie des steppes et des déserts. Comment les récits bibliques, auxquels se réfère si souvent le Coran, se sont-ils adaptés à ce contexte si particulier pour pouvoir être entendus par les hommes des tribus ? Les figures de Noé, Moïse et Abraham y sont en quelque sorte reconfigurées – pour ne pas dire transfigurées – d’une manière tout à fait inattendue, faisant écho à l’itinéraire tourmenté de Mahomet au milieu des siens : simple « avertisseur » tribal inspiré, il se découvre lui-même peu à peu prophète, à l’instar de ceux dont le Coran fait ses grands devanciers. C’est ainsi que l’islam gagnera, d’une façon que rien ne laissait présumer, sa qualification de religion abrahamique. Armée d’une excellente connaissance historique de l’univers proche et moyen-oriental, arabisante hors de pair, Jacqueline Chabbi développe ici nombre d’hypothèses aussi ingénieuses que passionnantes. Cet essai permet de mieux comprendre le texte sacré d’une des trois grandes religions du monde. Agrégée de langue arabe, docteur ès lettres, Jacqueline Chabbi est professeur à l’université Paris-VIII-Saint-Denis, spécialiste de l’histoire du monde musulman et plus particulièrement du soufisme et des origines de l’islam. Entre autres publications, elle est l’auteur de l’article « Soufisme » de l’Encyclopédia universalis et du Seigneur des tribus. L’Islam de Mahomet (Noésis, 1997).
Author: Tahar Ben Jelloun
Publisher: The New Press
The Moroccan-born author of Racism Explained to My Daughter applies his method to the subject of Islam, attempting to synthesize this complicated religious subject for his daughter while discussing such topics as the meaning of jihad, fatwa, and terrorism. Reprint.
Author: Firoozeh Papan-Matin
?Ayn al-Qu??t al-Hamadh?n? (d. 1131) is a defining mystic of medieval Iran whose teachings influenced many Iranian and Indian scholars after him. A major focus in his work is his approach to death as a state of consciousness. Drawing on medieval manuscripts and primary sources, this book offers insight on this mystic and his perception of death.
The Qur'an and the Bible
Author: Gabriel Said Reynolds
Publisher: Yale University Press
A groundbreaking comparative study that illuminates the connections between the Qur'ān and the Bible While the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are understood to be related texts, the sacred scripture of Islam, the third Abrahamic faith, has generally been considered separately. Noted religious scholar Gabriel Said Reynolds draws on centuries of Qur'ānic and Biblical studies to offer rigorous and revelatory commentary on how these holy books are intrinsically connected. Reynolds demonstrates how Jewish and Christian characters, imagery, and literary devices feature prominently in the Qur'ān, including stories of angels bowing before Adam and of Jesus speaking as an infant. This important contribution to religious studies features a full translation of the Qur'ān along with excerpts from the Jewish and Christian texts. It offers a clear analysis of the debates within the communities of religious scholars concerning the relationship of these scriptures, providing a new lens through which to view the powerful links that bond these three major religions.
This book is a study of related passages found in the Arabic Qur’?n and the Aramaic Gospels, i.e. the Gospels preserved in the Syriac and Christian Palestinian Aramaic dialects. It builds upon the work of traditional Muslim scholars, including al-Biq?‘? (d. ca. 808/1460) and al-Suy??? (d. 911/1505), who wrote books examining connections between the Qur’?n on the one hand, and Biblical passages and Aramaic terminology on the other, as well as modern western scholars, including Sidney Griffith who argue that pre-Islamic Arabs accessed the Bible in Aramaic. The Qur’?n and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions examines the history of religious movements in the Middle East from 180-632 CE, explaining Islam as a response to the disunity of the Aramaic speaking churches. It then compares the Arabic text of the Qur’?n and the Aramaic text of the Gospels under four main themes: the prophets; the clergy; the divine; and the apocalypse. Among the findings of this book are that the articulator as well as audience of the Qur’?n were monotheistic in origin, probably bilingual, culturally sophisticated and accustomed to the theological debates that raged between the Aramaic speaking churches. Arguing that the Qur’?n’s teachings and ethics echo Jewish-Christian conservatism, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Religion, History, and Literature.
Innovation in Islam
Author: Mehran Kamrava
Publisher: Univ of California Press
“In a clear and historically incisive argument, Kamrava and the other contributors indicate how the Islamic concept of innovation (Arabic, bid ‘a) is an essentially contested and adaptive concept. Since the time of the Prophet Muhammad, Muslims have vigorously argued about its meaning and how to apply it. This incisive collection of essays range far beyond the confines of theology and jurisprudence, integrating ideological concerns with the exigencies of mundane ones, as well as crossing the sectarian divide of Sunni and Shia.” —Dale Eickelman, author of Muslim Politics "The economic and political underdevelopment of the Islamic world is commonly attributed to conservatism rooted in Islam. This splendid collection of provocative essays addresses the issue from several different perspectives and in various contexts. Collectively, the essays provide a broad introduction to the topic of innovation in Islam, both through what they teach and what they invite the reader to pursue." —Timur Kuran, author of The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East “Muhammad brought new ideas and practices to the monotheistic tradition, but Muslim scholars interpreting the Qur’an and ahadith sought to squelch ideas that smacked of innovation. Such is the conventional wisdom. But Mehran Kamrava leads a stable of distinguished scholars in demonstrating persuasively that innovation has never ceased to mark the Islamic tradition. Indeed, the greatest modern innovators may be those Islamists who denounce innovation! These powerful essays overwhelm the conventional wisdom.” —Robert D. Lee, author of Religion and Politics in the Middle East: Identity, Ideology, Institutions, and Attitudes
Two major events occurred in the early centuries of Islam that determined its historical and spiritual development in the centuries that followed: the formation of the sacred scriptures, namely the Qur'an and the Hadith, and the chronic violence that surrounded the succession of the Prophet, manifesting in repression, revolution, massacre, and civil war. This is the first book to evaluate the writing of Islam's major scriptural sources within the context of these bloody, brutal conflicts. Conducting a philological and historical study of little-known though significant ancient texts, Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi rebuilds a Shi'ite understanding of Islam's early history and the genesis of its holy scriptures. At the same time, he proposes a fresh interpretative framework and a new data set for theorizing the early history of Islam, isolating the contradictions between Shi'ite and Sunni sources and their contribution to the tensions that rile these groups today.
The prevailing belief among Muslims is that, because the Qur'an is the Word of God and God is eternal, it follows that His Word is also eternal. The belief is based on the postulate that the Word of God must be of the same nature as God Himself. Mahmoud Hussein refutes this by showing that it contradicts the very teachings of the Qur'an. Whereas God transcends time, His Word is inscribed within time. It is not a monologue, but a living exchange, through which God reveals to His Prophet different orders of truth, weaving together the absolute and the relative, the general and the particular, the eternal and the contingent. An international bestseller, Understanding the Qur'an today offers a new perspective on one of the world's most influential texts and adds an invaluable contribution to the debate on Islam and modernity.
Orthodox Muslims venerate the Koran as the sacred word of God, which they believe was literally revealed by dictation from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad. This fundamentalist attitude toward the Muslim holy book denies the possibility of error in the Koran - even though there are some fairly obvious self-contradictions, inconsistencies, and incoherent passages in the text. To justify the claim that the Koran is inerrant, the orthodox have simply pointed to centuries of hidebound tradition and the consensus view of conservative leaders who back up this interpretation. But does the very beginning of the Muslim tradition lend support to the orthodox view?In this fascinating study of the origins of Islam, historian Mondher Sfar reveals that there is no historical, or even theological, basis for the orthodox view that Muhammad or his earliest followers intended the Koran to be treated as the inviolable word of God. With great erudition and painstaking historical research, Sfar demonstrates that the Koran itself does not support the literalist claims of Muslim orthodoxy. Indeed, as he carefully points out, passages from Islam's sacred book clearly indicate that the revealed text should not be equated with the perfect text of the original celestial Koran, which was believed to exist only in heaven and to be fully known only by God.This early belief helps to explain why there were many variant texts of the Koran during Muhammad's lifetime and immediately thereafter, and also why this lack of consistency and the occasional revisions of earlier revelations seemed not to disturb his first disciples. They viewed the Koran as only an imperfect copy of the real heavenly original, a copy subject to the happenstances of Muhammad's life and to the human risks of its transmission. Only later, for reasons of social order and political power, did the first caliphs establish an orthodox policy, which turned Muhammad's revelations into the inerrant word of God, from which no deviation or dissent was permissible.This original historical exploration into the origins of Islam is also an important contribution to the growing movement for reform of Islam initiated by courageous Muslim thinkers convinced of the necessity of bringing Islam into the modern world.Mondher Sfar (Paris, France), a researcher in history and anthropology and the author of The Koran, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East, is also the founder and director of Sfar Editions publishing company.
The Bible Code
Author: Michael Drosnin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Argues that a hidden mathematical code embedded in the Old Testament predicts events that took place long after the Bible was written, including the French Revolution, the 1969 moon landing, and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin
Through its development of a methodology for analysing the mythic and folkloric traditions of pre-Islamic Arabia and the process of their incorporation into Islamic myth and Qur'anic texts,Muhammad and the Golden Boughoffers compelling insights for students of Islam, comparative religion, and cultural anthropology. By linking Arabic myth with a broad range of ancient and classical texts--including Gilgamesh, Homer, and the Hebrew Bible--the book makes a provocative contribution to Biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies, classics, and comparative literature. The richness of myth in Arab-Islamic culture has long been ignored or even denied. InMuhammad and the Golden BoughJaroslav Stetkevych demonstrates the existence of a coherent pre-Islamic Arabian myth that was subsequently incorporated into Islamic poetic tradition. The study dissects the intriguing Arab-Islamic myth built around Muhammad's unearthing of a "golden bough" from the grave of the last survivor of an ancient Arab people, the Thamud, who, according to the myth, were destroyed by a divine scourge for their iniquity. Stetkevych draws together the lore of pre-Islamic Arabia, the Qu'ran, and the Biography of the Prophet. Once reconstructed and deconstructed, the Arabian myth then serves as the basis for a comparative study that links Arabic mythic traditions with Gilgamesh, Homer, and the Hebrew Bible.
Throughout its history the Koran has presented problems of interpretation. Some scholars estimate that at least a quarter of the text is obscure in meaning, not only for Western translators but even native Arabic speakers, who struggle with the archaic vocabulary that is no longer used in modern Arabic. In this in-depth study of the language of the Koran, scholar Christoph Luxenberg dispels much of the mystery surrounding numerous hitherto unclear passages. The key, as Luxenberg shows exhaustively, is to understand that Aramaic--the language of most Middle Eastern Jews and Christians of the pre-Islamic era--had a pervasive influence on the development of the Arabic text of the Koran. For a thousand years preceding the advent of Islam, Aramaic (or Syriac as it was sometimes called) was the lingua franca of many parts of the Near East. It was the native language of the first Christian evangelists and the main liturgical language of the early Christian churches from Syria to Iran. Based on this historical context and a profound knowledge of Semitic languages, Luxenberg clarifies many thorny textual puzzles. Perhaps his most interesting argument is that the passage often translated as referring to the "virgins" that are believed to greet the departed faithful in paradise was long ago misunderstood. In fact, knowledge of ancient Christian hymns in Aramaic suggests that the word in question refers to "grapes" that the departed will enjoy in a paradisiacal garden. Luxenberg discusses many other similar fascinating instances where Aramaic vocabulary and concepts influenced the text of the Koran This highly erudite work makes a significant contribution to the study of the Koran and the history of Islamic origins.
Accusations of Unbelief in Islam
Author: Camilla Adang, Hassan Ansari, Maribel Fierro, Sabine Schmidtke
The present volume offers nineteen studies of takfīr: accusations of unbelief, covering different periods and parts of the Muslim world. Takfīr was and is an effective instrument to delegitimize one's opponents, who may face social exclusion or even persecution.