The Qur'an, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Considered in Islam to be the infallible word of God, The Qur'an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel in a series of divine revelations over many years after his first vision in the cave.

In 114 chapters, or surahs, it provides the rules of conduct that remain fundamental to Muslims today - most importantly the key Islamic values of prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and absolute faith in God, with profound spiritual guidance on matters of kinship, marriage and family, crime and punishment, rituals, food, warfare and charity.

Through its pages, a fascinating picture emerges of life in seventh-century Arabia, and from it we can learn much about how people felt about their relationship with God and their belief in the afterlife, as well as attitudes to loyalty, friendship, race, forgiveness and the natural world.

It also tells of events and people familiar to Christian and Jewish readers, fellow 'People of the Book' whose stories are recorded in the Gospels and Torah.

Here we find Adam, Moses, Abraham, Jesus and John the Baptist, among others, who are regarded, like Muhammad, to be prophets of the Muslim faith.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: The Koran
  • ISBN: 9780143105886



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This is the third English translation of the Qur'an that I have read (along with those by AJ Arberry and Ahmed Ali) and I can say that this is the one that I would whole-heartedly recommend to a first-time reader.Verse numbers are not included; this choice seems to have those first-time readers in mind, especially those with a literary bent. It is, however, an inconvenience for the serious student of the text. The text is not annotated per se but does include a helpful glossary of terms & names. More importantly it captures and conveys the poetic aspects of the text, allowing the repetitive elements to better succeed outside of their original Arabic context.Khalidi says that his intention was to allow modern readers "to come face to face with the Qur'anic text unencumbered by any commentary, as were its earliest listeners"; to the extent that it is possible, he seems to have accomplished this.This edition seems set to supplant the older, much criticized though top-selling Dawood translation (1956) as the preferred Penguin edition, just as the Abdel Haleem translation (2004) has trumped the Arberry (1955) for Oxford. In both cases the newer translations have been given the more accurate/contemporary spelling "Qur'an", replacing the older English "Koran" with its Orientalist associations.There remains the fact that for a contemporary non-Muslim reader the Qur'an is anything but a self-explanatory text, but Khalidi has helped the reader considerably with an excellent summary note on "Further Reading."