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Critical reading of the Qur'an! Attention: Raynier A van Egmond

Reader comment on item: Distinguishing between Islam and Islamism

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Sep 14, 2013 at 09:32

Mr van Egmond

Thank you for your interset in wanting to learn about the tools needed in-order to understand what the Qur'an is really saying. What I will be provding you here is no more than a guide for anyone who is interested in same subject matter

1. Read the Bible both the OT and the NT and also read the non canonical gospels (eg: the Gospel of Thomas and Judas) as well as secular literature of the late antique period and Jewish literary sources external to the OT (eg: Talmud) because the author of the Qur'an assumes that who ever read the Qur'an must be already familiar with these literary sources. You also should have access to the Bible in its original languages Syriac and Greek and Hebrew and in the case on the gospel of Thomas Coptic and all this is available now on line with linear translations

2. You have to be familiar with Greek logic as well as Neoplatonism and Gnosis and yes they both make it to the Qur'an and its exegesis

3. Check and learn the Arabic language alphabet and when you master it then check also Syriac alphabet and it is very easy to learn once you know the Arabic alphabet because it is indeed the source of the Arabic alphabet and there is no way that you can really understand the Qur'an without profound knowledge of Syriac as it appears every where in the Qur'an and where you least expect it and yes there are great web sites for both Arabic and Syriac dictionaries in the web

4. Check al-Tabari's and Ibn Kathir exegesis of the Qur'an in Arabic (do not use translations as I hate to say it but Muslims try to sanitize such material when translating such literary sources)

5. Get a copy of the 1923-1924 Cairo Qur'an and a copy of the 1969 Tunisian Qur'an in Arabic and yes they have differences which as time goes by you will discover that these differences are significant

6. The next step is to really understand that the Qur'an is a book written at a point in time by human beings for other human beings so I suggest that you read Michael Cook very good book The Koran

http://www.amazon.com/The-Koran-Very-Short-Introduction/dp/0192853449

And read it and take your time as this book is full of information and he uses Q105 to explain to the reader how to read the Qur'an as a text and this indeed will be a good start

7. You need to decipher Arabic grammar and I suggest a good start

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Arabic-Grammar-Jane-Wightwick/dp/0071462104/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379164506&sr=1-1&keywords=arabic+grammar

The authors will introduce you to the basics of Arabic grammar and the very important concept of F3L and yes the grammar of Semitic languages is pure genius and as time goes by you will be able to expand your knowledge of Arabic grammar

8 Last you must have knowledge of the late antique world and religions in the Middle East in the late antique period and I suggest that you read Berkey's "The Formation of Islam"

http://www.amazon.com/Formation-Islam-Religion-Society-600-1800/dp/0521588138/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379164924&sr=1-1&keywords=berkey+the+formation+of+islam

Berkey does a great job in introducing the reader to the milieu in which Islam came to be and the Qur'an was written

9. When done with the above start by reading Surat al-Fatiha (Q1) and Surat al-Ikhlas (Q112) and use the methodology used by Michael Cook in his reading of Q105 and good luck

10 Then expand from there

What not to do? Do not believe tendentious and poor translations the likes of Yusuf Ali and his shameful translation

Good luck and keep us informed

Submitting....

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