December 1, 2015


Could this Quran curb extremism? (Daniel Burke, 11/27/15, CNN)

Ten years in the making, "The Study Quran" is more than a rebuttal to terrorists, said Seyyed Hossein Nasr, an Iranian-born intellectual and the book's editor-in-chief. His aim was to produce an accurate, unbiased translation understandable to English-speaking Muslims, scholars and general readers.

The editors paid particular attention to passages that seem to condone bloodshed, explaining in extensive commentaries the context in which certain verses were revealed and written.

"The commentaries don't try to delete or hide the verses that refer to violence. We have to be faithful to the text, " said Nasr, a longtime professor at George Washington University. "But they can explain that war and violence were always understood as a painful part of the human condition."

The scholar hopes his approach can convince readers that no part of the Quran sanctions the brutal acts of ISIS.

"The best way to counter extremism in modern Islam," he said, "is a revival of classical Islam."

At the Georgetown panel, after a musician played a Persian lute, Nasr introduced his hand-picked translation team as "his children." All are his former students and Muslims, the scholar said, a condition he set before signing the contract with the publisher, HarperOne.

The book has been endorsed by an A-list of Muslim-American academics. One, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, called it "perhaps the most important work done on the Islamic faith in the English language to date." [...]

On many pages of "The Study Quran," that commentary takes up more space than the verses, making the book resemble a Muslim version of the Jewish Talmud.

And for the first time in Islamic history, said Nasr, this Quran includes commentary from both Shiite and Sunni scholars, a small but significant step at a time when the two Muslim sects are warring in the Middle East.

Posted by at December 1, 2015 6:51 PM