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The Story of the Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life
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The Story of the Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  24 reviews
An essential introductory text for the study of the Qur'an, its content, and its place in Muslim society.

An insightful and authoritative introduction to the book at the heart of Muslim life, written by a well-known Islamic scholar

Examines the doctrines contained in the Qur'an, providing a comprehensive explanation of their significance to individual Muslims and the societi
Paperback, 262 pages
Published December 10th 2007 by Blackwell Publishers
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4.16  · 
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 ·  243 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Obviously a lot of time, thought and research went into this book. I found it to be more-or-less objective (given the subject matter) and very clever in the way that it shared information - anecdotes, contextual references, stories of real people, etc. Since I live in a Muslim country, this kicked up my understanding of Islam a half a dozen notches. Took a lot of patience to read, but definitely worth the effort.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned, islam
I tried to finish this but...

It boggles my mind why academic women outside of Islam would desperately want to be let into a world of abuse? Apparently when a Muslim woman gets to paradise (big if?) she gets to be a sex slave/spouse at the front of a long line of sexual houris (celestial Whores?) who are currently being locked up in pavilions (don't worry: they're being kept safe and pure from... Who knows? What kind of paradise is this Allah deity running anyway? Can't be that heavenly for women
Nora B.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
great introductory text to the qur'an but it played it very safe and avoided lots of controversial topics which characterize debates on qur'an today relating to women, gender, violence and LGBT issues. I also feel it was very Sunni-centric in that it did not offer enough insight on interpretations from other sects (it did, just not enough).
Jan 25, 2008 rated it liked it
As someone relativley ignorant of Islam, this book gave me a basic understanding of the origins of the Quran and its place in today's world. I would have liked to read more about how it's interpretatin affects how people live and behave today.
Andrew Stout
Oct 14, 2012 rated it liked it
A helpful contextualization of the life of Muhammad and explanation of approaches to the Qur'an.
Mar 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Non-Muslims & Muslims
A very good overview of the Qur'an and what it means for a Muslim. I think Mattson did a fantastic job balancing being an academic with being a believer.
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: islam

Good intro to Islam book. Would be great for non-Muslims. Had great resources in the footnotes do further study.
Ashfaq Farooqui
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
Dr. Mattson has presented in this book the different facets of approaching the Quran. The text is crisp and makes the content easy for any interested reader.

The book an academic work and does justice by providing the various views and briefly looks at the evolution of such views. More importantly, it gives sufficient references for interested readers to further explore the various themes.

Personally, it was the kind of book I was missing. There are many books that get into the depths of various
Rashid Yasin
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: islam
I liked it and found it beautiful. As a Muslim who has thought about the Qur'an for most of my life, a lot in here is not surprising or particularly revelatory. But it's still a nice reminder of the place of the Qur'an in Islamic society and thought. There are a few nuggets throughout that make it still worth reading for someone familiar with the material. I have heard a lot about the history of the text of the Qur'an and its compilation in bits and pieces, but it is laid out here very consisten ...more
Jon Beadle
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a 3.5.

A sprawling piece of academic reflection and history of this controversial and revered text. I appreciated the honesty on display here. Mattson does not shy away from the hard topics within the Qur'an itself, and encourages the reader to make up their own mind. After all, history is not necessarily the past (per the book). It was not an easy read but it was rewarding. I recommend to anyone who is looking to read something about the Qur'an that is not written by a Christian poimici
Ayman Fadel
One of the motivations I had for this blog is guiding people to good introductory materials for non-Muslims to learn about Islam. If we can call books like Suzanne Haneef's What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims the first generation of Muslims' attempts to educate non-Muslims about Islam using contemporary English and mass, high-quality publications, Dr. Mattson's book represents a new generation of mass outreach books.

"First" generation books typically avoided difficult issues such a
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
I've read a handful of books meant to provide understanding of how to read the Qur'an. This one has a decidedly female tone to it. This book talks about the society where Islam developed. It explains the way that Hadith (the stories of Mohammed's -PBUH- life.) It tells the story of scholars who have studied recitation and how the process of certifying proficiency is done. It takes on the question of how this text can inform a righteous life.

It does not merely take on the problematic concepts th
Daniel Diaz
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Concise and Informative Introduction to the Qur'an

Very good introductory textbook about the story of the Qur'an--covering topics from the context of the revelation during the time of the Prophet (pbuh), to its compilation after his death, to the problems that come with finding systematic ways to interpret the text, to the role it plays in everyday Muslim life.

I love Mattson's balance of tone in her writing; she's a believer but also a scholar who doesn't let her faith get in the way of academic
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly well-researched book, with non-partisan objectivity clearly articulated at every stage & in every topic. Well balanced arguments, very minimal opining, and an exemplary rendition and, in some cases, critical examination, of a truly diverse range of perspectives.

The above combined with lucid writing complemented by a seasoned application of multimodal literary devices made for captivating reading on a subject that tends to be rendered either too dryly or too emotionally.

Ingrid Ma
Nadeen Alsulaimi
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
الكاتبة تحولت إلى الإسلام.. من مواليد كندا.. عاشت في فرنسا وباكستان وغيرها..
الكتاب يتحدث عن البعثة ونزول القرآن وأحداث من السيرة النبوية حتى انتهت الكاتبة إلى عصور التفسير المعاصر.. أجمل مقطع كان الخاتمة في الفصل الثاني حيث اقتبست قول أم أيمن لأبي بكر وعمر أنها حزينة لانقطاع كلام الرب عن الأرض بوفاة الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم..
الكتاب جميل لغير المسلمين ليتعرفوا على الإسلام.. فيه نوع من أسلوب القصة ومن النقد الأكاديمي البسيط
Jun 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Dr. Mattson, true to her own personality, provides an introduction to the Qu'ran that is spiritually uplifting, academically grounded, and provides benefit to the ordinary Muslims daily engagement with the Book of God. I highly recommend the book.
Adil Hussain
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author did a good job of presenting the history and preservation of the Qur'an from its early revelation through to the present day. But I found this book to be so much more than a telling of the Qur'an's history. I thought the author did a fantastic job of communicating the different layers of the Qur'an; from its aural beauty to its role in the everyday life of a Muslim to its impact on Muslim architecture to the rich sciences that underpin how Muslim ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-class
I read portions of this book (roughly half of it) for a class I took this summer.

What I loved about this book: It is thorough. The level of detail is fantastic and really helps put the Qur'an in context. I especially found interesting the section in the first chapter about the Arabian Peninsula during the seventh century.

What didn't work so well for me: The style. The transitions between paragraphs sometimes don't make sense to me, and it takes me a little while to follow Mattson's train of tho
Peter Mcloughlin
Being the heathen that I am I have never been keen on monotheism or holy books. At least with Christian scriptures I can catch cultural allusions here and there which can make studying the texts a little less tedious. I do not blame the author but myself and the subject for not enjoying this book. I prefer modernity or even colorful pagan mythology to dreary monotheism. Reading about a religion so similar in many ways to the Christianity I was raised in yet with few familiar tidbits makes readi ...more
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sebuah buku yg sesuai utk mereka yg ingin mengenali Quran. Antara teks dan kalam Tuhan. Satu usaha memahami teks agung terutama kpd yg masih mencari makna al-Quran dlm diri.
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Non-Muslims & Muslims
Shelves: quran, gone
A very good overview of the Qur'an and what it means for a Muslim. I think Mattson did a fantastic job balancing being an academic with being a believer.
Nurul Mohammad
rated it really liked it
Dec 12, 2013
rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2014
Aiman Waris
rated it really liked it
Oct 19, 2014
Mary C.
rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2018
rated it really liked it
Sep 01, 2016
Nabeel Jafri
rated it it was ok
Dec 28, 2015
Hazel Gomez
rated it it was amazing
Oct 02, 2012
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Dr. Ingrid Mattson is a Muslim religious leader, a professor of Islamic Studies focused on ethical living, and an expert in interfaith relations.