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The Koran For Dummies Paperback – May 21, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“…I was quickly humbled by this guide, which showed me how much I had misunderstood.  I would recommend this to anyone interested in Islam…”  (Catholic Herald, 26 November 2004)

The Qur'an's overall context of hostility to those who disbelieve in Mohammed's prophecy is downplayed in one forthcoming book, The Koran for Dummies by Sohaid Sultan. Under the heading "Discovering the Basic Messages of the Koran," Sultan lists as Mohammed's basic themes "The unity of God," "Worship and service to God," "Prophets to teach and guide," "Completion of past revelations," "Guidance to a spiritual path," "Movement for social change," "Accountability of deeds." All of which sounds pretty harmless—nothing about making war on unbelievers. (Publishers Weekly, May 10, 2004)

"...provides an introduction to Islam's holy book." (Publishers Weekly, February 9, 2004)

From the Back Cover

See what the Koran says about women, family, and law

Grasp the wisdom and power of Islam's sacred Scripture

Want to understand the Koran? This straightforward guide explains what the Koran says, how it says it, and how believers live according to its guidance. From how the Koran was revealed to Mohammad to how the Book relates to today's world, you'll see how to put the Islamic faith in perspective.

THE DUMMIES WAY®

Explanations in plain English
"Get in, get out" information
Icons and other navigational aids
Tear-out cheat sheet
Top ten lists
A dash of humor and fun

Discover:

How Islam relates to other faiths
What the Koran says about God, prophets, humankind, and the self
The Koran's teachings on morality
Common misconceptions about the Koran

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (June 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764555812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764555817
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey D. Joseph on March 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This books gives an insight into the Qu'ran and the Islamic religion. It is broken into sections that explain various aspects of life using the spritual and life practice guidance of the Koran. The author repeatly explains that the laws and language of the Koran is misinterpreted yet one cannot help but feel he is rationalizing. Still, I believe we get a good sense of Islamic law and the Koran, and frankly, some of the core concepts make much sense as the true words brought forth by Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. I have bought a translation of the Qu'ran and following the reading of Dummies, will begin to tackle it. I would suggest to readers to find other sources to compare and contrast opinions; The complexities of the Islamic tradition need to be examined through the eyes of more than one source.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Chris Luallen on March 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I attempted to read the Qu'ran on my own a few years back and found it to be one of the most difficult and incomprehensible texts I have ever encountered. Besides the difficulty of translating 7th century Arabic to English, the Qu'ran does not follow a linear narrative such as most Westerners are used to. But instead has its own method of organization and logic which Sohaib Sultan does an excellent job of explaining. So this book does serve as a helpful guide to understanding the Qu'ran, though most Westerners will still likely find the Qu'ran a hard book to comprehend. But, of course, the Bible has it's challenges as well.

Sultan is a moderate American Muslim and clearly intends to present the Qu'ran and Islam in the most positive light. But he is also honest about some of the harsher aspects of what the Qu'ran says that are difficult for most non-Muslims to accept. For instance, the Qu'ran prescribes the amputation of one or both hands for thieves and execution by stoning for several other crimes including murder, rape and even adultery. The Qu'ran also strictly forbids alcohol, gambling and pork.

The Bible contains some similarly extreme punishments for homosexuals, adulterers and others as well as an even stricter code of dietary regulations. But while many modern Jews and Christians are inclined to interpret the Bible metaphorically, virtually all orthodox Muslims believe the Qu'ran to the perfect and indisputable word of God for all times and all circumstances. The Qu'ran also places much emphasis on the Day Of Judgement, when the righteous will go to Paradise while the wicked are left to suffer the agonies of Hell, which the Qu'ran decribes in lengthy and often very gory detail.
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73 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Waseem on September 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I saw this book on my sister's desk and casually picked it not expecting much from a "for dummies" type book. However, I was quite pleased by the surprising quality of this book. I've read many of the intro to Islam and Quran type books, and would have to say this is probably the best, and it clearly beats out and of the other "for Dummies," "for Idiot's," "for beginners," etc, books on Islam.

Sohaib Sultan manages to not only introduce basic concepts about Islam and the Quran, but he takes the reader through many deeper and more complicated issues - all without sacrificing an ounce of clarity or readability. What emerges is an engaging, readable, and surprisingly in depth survey of Islam. The book is also remarkably through and even-handed. Flip through it at the bookstore (or using the "look inside" feature), my guess is you'll be impressed - something that will likely only increase when you read the author's bio and see that he was only 23 when he finished the book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stephen T. Dexter on October 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought "the Koran for Dummies" because I needed a companion to guide me through a reading of the Quran (alternative spelling) in order to assess the many claims that wing nuts on the web have been passing around around concerning Islam and Moslems. I figured that if I had a better understanding of the Quran I could either accept or reject/modify those claims. So far (I have read only seven chapters) the book has been excellent and has given me a better understanding of the links of the Quran to the Torah and the Bible as well as those areas where it differs from them. To date I have yet to find any written passages that would justify the extremist behavior of Islamist terrorists. More Americans need to read this book and the Quran so that we can quell reactionary behavior among some of our fellow Americans and to facilitate a more tolerant and accepting attitude toward other world religions.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Aban Babur Usmani on June 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I expected a better book from dummies. The Author has tried to preach Islam, detailed the different sects of Muslims and their differences which are much beyond the scope of the study of Quran (Koran). I wish the author had stuck to Quran and its proper interpretation.
The tips and facts are good but the supportive material is lengthy. The author sways away from the topic.
The author has been awe struck by the magnanimity of the project and limited by the limitation of his knowledge and grasp of the subject
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33 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Creating a book that is accessible to a Western audience and at the same time does not dilute traditional/classical Islamic studies, is not an easy feat. The author navigates this balancing act with aplomb. Western readers will find many of their questions about Islam answered here. Recomended.
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