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Understanding the Qur'an: Themes and Styles
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Understanding the Qur'an: Themes and Styles

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  64 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The tenets of Islam cannot be grasped without a proper understanding of the Qur'an. In this book, Muhammad Abdel Haleem examines its recurrent themes and for the first time sets them in the context of the Qur'an's linguistic style. Haleem examines the background to the development of the surahs (chapters) and the ayahs (verses) and the construction of the Qur'an itself.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published by I. B. Tauris (first published 1999)
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Rikkert Kuijper
Sep 26, 2015 Rikkert Kuijper rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan. I was expecting a critical analysis, but it's mostly a perfect personal interpretation, that makes the Qur'an and Islam the perfect basis for everything ever, where everything is perfect in every imaginable way. In a way that is what Muslims might believe, so in that light it was insightful, but it wasn't what I hoped for when looking at the book.

There are no difficulties in anything, no contradicting verses get mentioned (the ''everyone gets dark eyed virgins'' part of paradise a
Um Taqwa
Aug 10, 2013 Um Taqwa rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, I hope to write a full review soon. I gift this to non-Muslims friends with a copy of Muhammed Abdel Haleem's Quran translation. If you're interested in the Quran, read this book.
Yousef M
Jul 21, 2012 Yousef M rated it it was ok
Got through a third of the book, skimmed through the rest based on what I had read so far. Muhammad Abdel Haleem is a Professor at the prestigious SOAS so I figured this would be a good book to pick up during Ramadan to delve into the underlying message of the Qur'an (which I honestly find difficult reading as if it's any other English-language chapter book). I've always enjoyed books about Islam's spiritual message as my personal belief is the breadth of the faith cannot simply be confined to a ...more
Dec 23, 2015 Ivan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
This book was quite a disappointment and I had to scan through most of it as it was literally... pointless. This was not about "Themes and Style" of the Qu'ran. It was more so his cherry picking on certain topics that he wanted to go on and on and on about, for no reason. He was also very apologist in his writing in regard to any criticism of the Qu'ran as if there is no legitimate concerns on the accuracy of some of the texts. I do prefer his translation of the Qu'ran to some of the more popula ...more
Samer Hamad
Jan 31, 2014 Samer Hamad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book pinpoints a couple of interesting themes and styles in the Quran. Throughout the book, comparisons are made to the Bible in some relatively interesting ways.

There is a heavy focus on Arabic grammar throughout the Quran and it's importance. The author also compares his own translation of the Quran to many others and breaks down some of the inaccuracies in popular translations that exist today.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was a little dry at times, but it's not exactly easy to keep
Jul 24, 2015 Charity rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-class
This book, as the subtitle suggests, divides commentary on the Qur'an into different themes. For my class, I closely read the chapters on the judgment and the afterlife on the one on marriage and divorce, and I very much appreciated the way Haleem groups together passages from the Qur'an and related hadith within these categories. It very much aided my understanding. I anticipate turning to this book when I have questions about a particular theme as I explore the Qur'an on my own now that my cla ...more
Sep 27, 2013 Husna rated it liked it
A good introductory work overall, but I wouldn't recommend it for someone looking for a more complex treatment of the subject. While the selection of themes is interesting, the writing gets overtly and unnecessarily apologetic at times. A broad sweep of the surface rather than an impressive and profound analysis.
Jan 11, 2011 Nathaniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
A very well-written overlook on the Qur'an as it is to be understood. Haleem does a good job of not just stressing but showing the uniqueness and character of the Qur'an and showing its textual relation with the Holy Bible. Excellent Islam 101 material; highly recommendable.
Jan 03, 2016 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
Shelves: whitman
read following suras only: 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 15, 20, 23, 24, 25, 27, 35, 36, 50, 51, 57, 76, 79, 85, 92, 96, 112
Zahrah Awaleh
May 15, 2007 Zahrah Awaleh rated it really liked it
Great book on a wide selection of topics. Good intro for anyone interested in the text, themes, rhetoric, etc.
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Muhammad A. S. Abdel Haleem, OBE, is Professor of Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London in London, England, and editor of the Journal of Qur'anic Studies.

M. A. S. Abdel Haleem was born in Egypt, and learned the Qur'an by heart from childhood. Educated at al-Azhar, Cairo, and Cambridge Universities, he has taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at Cambridge and London Universities since 1966, in
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