SmartSellTM - The New Way to Sell Online

Turn your Clutter Into Cash with SmartSell.TM Book a Courier Pickup Today!

American Qur'an

At a time when the United States was involved in two wars against Islamic nations, American-born artist Sandow Birk wanted to understand the Qur'an as it is, and always has been intended: a universal message to humankind. But to do so, he first needed to comprehend what Islam's holiest book meant to an American living in the twenty-first century. Indeed, how has the Qur'an related to us, as Americans, in this life, in this time? In an attempt to answer his own question, Birk embarked on the most ambitious work of his career. Following in the grand traditions of ancient Arabic and Islamic artists, he began hand-transcribing the entire Qur'an as was done in centuries past-abiding by the traditional prescriptions as to the colors of ink, the formatting of the pages, the size of margins and illuminations of page headings and medallions marking verses and passages. He then took each sura and set it against a backdrop from everyday American life, one that reflected his renowned "skate-surf" ascetic. Even before the first images of what became known as the American Qur'an began appearing in public, in 2009, veteran art critics were concerned about its reception. While Birk wasn't illustrating the Qur'an itself, the pairing of Islam's holiest text with scenes from contemporary American life seemed adventuresome, given the climate of the times. The project, however, was not only welcomed by the Muslim community but also celebrated as an "ambitious and valuable undertaking" (New York Times). At the same time, many saw it as taking part in an ancient tradition, one that, according to Yale University professor Zareena Grewal, "eschewed the irony and satire that have become the knee-jerk impulse of so many Western artists." Now appearing in full for the first time ever, this lavishly designed volume-containing all 114 suras-melds the past with the present, East with the West like nothing before it. The result, hailed by Reza Aslan as "a great favor, not only to Muslims, but also to Americans," is one of the most original art books to appear in decades.
Product Details

About the Author

Sandow Birk's work deals with contemporary life. Past themes include inner-city violence, graffiti, surfing, skateboarding, Dante, and war. He is the recipient of many awards and has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Iftikhar Dadi is an artist and professor in Cornell University's Department of History of Art and chair of its Department of Art. Zareena A. Grewal is a professor of American studies and religious studies at Yale University.


"It's quite a panorama, this labor-intensive version of a major historical book embedded within a massive contemporary one." -- Holland Cotter - New York Times "A Noah's ark of images... The reader who doesn't open American Qur'an out of devotion will be drawn to its images. Birk has created pictures to accompany classic texts for years, and these painted scenes seem like real America, circa 2015-more America than Quran...This is a book whose impact will be felt more in the debate that it generates than in the readers who spend the time that it demands." -- David D'Arcy - San Francisco Chronicle "From the opening page, Birk's art a distinctive and visually impressive style that begs for close attention. Meanwhile, the juxtaposition of words and images prompts the reader to engage deeply with the text... This masterpiece is important as an accessible and enjoyable introduction to the Qur'an for non-Muslim Americans, but even for Muslims and others familiar with the Qur'an, it bears weighty messages, inviting a reconsideration of sacred texts in the context of ordinary American lives." -- Publishers Weekly, Starred review

Ask a Question About this Product More...
Write your question below:
Look for similar items by category
How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 5% commission by selling American Qur'an on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by, Inc.
Back to top