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The Perfect Guide to the Sciences of the Qur'an: Al-Itqan fi 'Ulum Al-Qur'an (Volume 1) (Great Books of Islamic Civilization) Paperback – December 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1859642429 ISBN-10: 185964242X Edition: Bilingual

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About the Author

Imam Jalal-Al-Din Al-Suyuti (849 - 911 AH / 1445 - 1505 AD) was born, lived and was buried in Cairo. The ascription 'Al-Suyuti' is a reference to Asyut, a town in Upper Egypt from which his family hailed. Known as the 'son of books' from the numerous books he studied and referred to in his works, he could equally be called the 'father of books' because of the many books he produced.

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Product Details

  • Series: Great Books of Islamic Civilization
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Garnet Publishing; Bilingual edition (December 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185964242X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859642429
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,521,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Reid Ross on September 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first part of a projected four-part translation of Imam Suyuti's classic overview of mediaeval Islamic studies into the Qur'an. In this part, Suyuti runs through occasions of revelation, the historical sequence of suras, to what extent the suras were revealed / composed as a whole, the order(s) of suras, their (often multiple) names, the process of the Qur'an's collection, and how the suras are to be recited.

For instance: did you know that the whole of sura 6 was revealed at once - and that it was the only sura of the longer ones to be so revealed? Did you know that the Qur'an was revealed in Mecca, Madina AND SYRIA? Did you know that "Sajda" described not only sura 32 but also 41? Suyuti knew! Suyuti knew almost everything (and, not entirely humbly, knew that he knew it). And now, thanks to this translation, we can know too.

Suyuti has been a primary source of Qur'anic studies in the West since Noeldeke at least; particularly Arthur Jeffery used him; and non-Arab Muslims, too, should get a lot of understanding out of this work. Unfortunately it has only been available to the rest of us in Arabic, and here and there the odd excerpt into Western languages.

We've needed a full translation into English for over a century. Now, this is starting to happen.

In that light it is unfortunate that this translation is so amateurishly edited. There are typoes all over the place - some of them egregious, like giving the wrong number for a sura. Further, the editors didn't impose any discipline on the three translators; Michael Schub, or "Chop" as the introduction hilariously calls him, put his notes as endnotes where the other two inlined their notes as parentheses or else footnotes.

So a second edition of this book is going to have to happen. But I remain thankful that the book exists.
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