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The Koran (Classics) Mass Market Paperback – 22 Feb 1990

3.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 22 Feb 1990
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; 1st Revised edition edition (22 Feb. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140445587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140445589
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,496,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Across the language barrier Dawood captures the thunder and poetry of the original (The Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Born in Baghdad, N J Dawood came to England as an Iraq State Scholar and graduated from London University. His translation of the Tales from the Thousand and One Nights was first published as Penguin No.1001 in 1954 and has since been printed in eighteen various editions. He is best known for his translation of the Koran, the first in contemporary English idiom, which was published as a Penguin Classic in 1956. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
Dawood's 1956 translation of the Qur'an has seen several editions and revisions, and many printings by Penguin Books. It's not the most popular, nor the most esteemed by academics, but has sold well and endured so presumably is seen by most Arabic linguists as reasonably accurate to the original text. I can't personally confirm the accuracy of translation, as despite having worked in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states my Arabic language skills remain basic and not up to the task.

For the curious reader unfamiliar with the Qur'an, this might be a good place to start as this edition is inexpensive, light and portable, and easy to read. The pages lack the extensive footnotes and commentaries found in more scholarly translations but this is no disadvantage to the reader who simply wants to read the text and get a flavour of the message.

As many readers will know, the Qur'an was originally "revealed" (or "channelled") in episodic bite-sized chunks known as "Suras", variously written down on palm leaves, pieces of cloth or stones, or simply committed to memory. The original Kufic script used to write all this down contained very limited vocabulary and no vowels, so various interpretations are possible and recognised by scholars as of equal merit. This is in contrast to for example the Old Testament mainly written in Hebrew, a very precise language allowing little nuance or ambiguity, and the New Testament written mainly in Classical Greek, a language with a huge vocabulary and sophisticated grammatical structure allowing precision of meaning unmatched by any other classical language.
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By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
The version of this that I read was back in 1973 before Islamist issues had become so central to our own culture. I read it because I was generally into things spiritual as a youngster, and also because my aunt had got a job as Cat Stevens' secretary at the big mosque near Victoria (that's what she said anyway, she was always a bit bonkers so we'll never really know). Anyway what I read shocked and appalled me, and seemed to have nothing to do with religion in any sense with which I had been raised. I knew the Old Testament had some grim bits, but nothing could prepare me for the blood-thirsty and sickening torrent of vitriol that poured forth from its pages. I gather from looking at other reviews that this has since been watered down in more recent revisions to join the ranks of the sanitised translations that have been prepared for English speakers consumption. My reading made it quite clear that in no sense was Allah a God of Love, or Islam a religion of peace. Considering how many thousands of words a day are generated by our mainstream media on Islamist issues it seems absurd that none of them have anything to do with the book at the centre of it all. You don't need dodgy Imams smuggled in to radicalise Muslim youngsters. You just need to raise them with just enough of a chip on their shoulders, then give them this book at just that age when they start to wonder what it's all about (the unsanitised version I read, not one of the cotton wool facsimiles). Job done. We need a public debate - what does the Koran actually say? If there are ambiguities of interpretation then make them explicit so we can be clear just how amiss tender young minds might be inclined to take them.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I often hear people in the news say that Islam is a tolerant, peaceful religion. After seeing the Charlie Hebdo massacre in the news, and hearing mixed opinions from different people about Islam. This prompted me to read The Koran and see for myself what Islam really stood for.

While there are plenty of verses suggesting that Islam is peaceful, there are many verses about Jihad in this book, with true followers being instructed to make war on the unbelievers, and if they did not convert then kill them.

One quote from Allah to the prophet Mohammed - "Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and deal with them sternly. Hell shall be their home. Evil their fate."

If you look at clear instructions to make war such as the above quotation, and then look at history, where Mohammed made war against Mecca and other countries in the holy land, you will see that Mohammed was carrying out a religious purge after being 'instructed by Allah'.

Now, if you look at the modern day terrorist organisations such as ISIS and Boko Haram, you may at first glance think that they are just groups of random nutters. Then, however, if you look at what is instructed of believers in the Qu'ran, and look at the conquests of Mohammed and his followers, you will see that these terrorist organisations are simply Qu'ran following Muslims carrying out a religious duty known as 'Jihad'.

To say that ISIS and their like are 'not real Muslims' is to say that the prophet Mohammed himself was not a real Muslim.

On that note, brace yourself before reading this, a very hateful, violent book.
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