This timely and stimulating Handbook, edited by world-class experts in the field, provides a comprehensive guide to Islamic Studies today. It examines the main issues in the field and explores the key debates. It provides readers with an indispensable, balanced guide to the roots of Islam and the challenges it faces in the twenty-first century.

The Qur'an

The Qur'an


The quintessential scripture of Islam is known as Qur'an. According to the most popular view, the word is derived from the Arabic verb qara'a and literally means ‘reading or recitation’. Another view of its etymological origin suggests that it is derived from a different verb qarana, which implies ‘to put together’ or ‘to bind together’. In this second usage, the word can be contrasted with another name that the Qur'an applies to itself, namely al-furqan, ‘the one that separates’. Hence, the Qur'an both gathers together everything and separates the wrong from the right and the false from the true.

The Qur'an, called al-Qur'an al-Karim (i.e., the glorious Qur'an), is believed by the Muslims to be the literal, uncreated word of God, revealed to ...

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