Though some scholars of note have raised crucial questions about the authenticity and reliability of the Koran and Muslim tradition, Koranic studies by and large have failed to take advantage of critical skeptical methodologies. Today the majority of interpreters of Islam's sacred text appear content to lie in the Procrustean bed prepared by Muslim tradition more than a thousand years ago.
To correct this neglect of objective historical scholarship, Ibn Warraq has assembled this excellent collection of critical commentaries on the Koran published by noted scholars from the beginning of the twentieth century to recent times. These important studies, as well as his own lengthy introduction, show that little about the text of the Koran can be taken at face value. Among the fascinating topics discussed is evidence that early Muslims did not understand Muhammad's original revelation, that the ninth-century explosion of literary activity was designed to organize and make sense of an often incoherent text, and that many of the traditions surrounding Muhammad's life were fabricated long after his death in an attempt to give meaning to the Koran. Also of interest are suggestions that Coptic and other Christian sources heavily influenced much of the text and that some passages even reflect an Essenian background reaching back to the community of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Complete with a glossary of Arabic terms and appendices on Semitic languages and scripts, this outstanding volume is a welcome resource for interested lay readers and scholars alike.
Nevo, Yehuda. “Towards a Prehistory of Islam.” In What the Koran Really Says: Language, Text, & Commentary. Edited by Ibn Warraq. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2002. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Michael
Excellent English translation of the Koran with explanations for many of the customs, cultural references and nuances of the Koran - including the politically incorrect but... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Tamara Wilhite
This is a very detailed record. It is for people wanting more than a cursory knowledge of the topic. Still it is worthwhile and adds to ones knowledgePublished 1 month ago by David Gillooly
Very interesting, takes a while to read and digest. Some material dated but great for bibliography and laying the ground work for further study.Published 7 months ago by David D. McConkey
The introduction is the best part of the book for the non-specialist. The rest is mostly older (and I mean older, many are 50-100 years old; nothing wrong with that, just pointing... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Omar N. Ali
Its nice to know from people who are fluent in Arabic what this book, the Koran, really says. But I will always have problems with the quote from it; "It pleases Allah to kill... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Barbara Renton
What the Koran Really Says is a somewhat misleading title for Ibn Warraq's book since the subject is not Islamic theology or Koranic exegesis. Read morePublished 23 months ago by David Hoffman
It is almost unbelievable just how much ignorance and hatred can pervade the hearts and minds of such a previously great culture.Published on February 19, 2013 by Steve Lotto
the real meaning of the lies of allah and muhammad are telling in their quest to conquer and enslave the worldPublished on December 23, 2012 by George W. Newport