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Approaching the Qur'an
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Approaching the Qur'an is a major event in religious publishing. Professor Michael Sells has captured the complexity, power, and poetry of the early suras of the Qur'an, the sacred scripture of Islam. In this second edition, Sells introduces important new translations of suras and a new preface that addresses the ongoing controversy over teaching about Islam and the Qur'an in American universities. Approaching the Qur'an presents brilliant translations of the short, hymnic suras associated with the first revelations to the Prophet Muhammad. Most of these early revelations appear at the end of text and are commonly reached only by the most resolute reader of existing English translations. These suras contain some of the most powerful, prophetic and revelatory passages in religious history. They offer the vision of a meaningful and just life that anchors the religion of one-fifth of the world's inhabitants. Approaching the Qur'an is enriched by inclusion of free downloadable audio recordings of Quranic reciters, allowing readers an opportunity to hear the Qur'an in its original form. The book includes Sells' Introduction to the Qur'an, commentaries of the suras, a glossary of technical terms, and chapters discussing the sound nature and gender aspects of the Arabic text.
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Table of Contents

Introduction -- Approaching the Qur'an; Glossary of Arabic Terms; The Early Suras with Commentary; The Sura of the Compassionate; Hearing the Qur'an: The Call to Prayer and Six Suras; Sound, Spirit and Gender in the Qur'an.

Reviews

"Michael Sells is to be congratulated for making a major contribution to religious literature with Approaching the Qur'an, the best version of Muslim scriptures available in English. This is an important and illuminating work, one that will be welcomed by scholars, students, believers, and all who seek to better understand Islam and its sacred scripture." -- Carl Ernst is professor of Islamic studies at the University of North Carolina and author of The Shambhala Guide to Sufism

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