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The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an : Explanatory Translation by Marmaduke William Pickthall (Translator), Arafat Kamil Ashshi (Editor), Arafat El Ashi (Editor), Muhammad M. Pickthall (Translator), Amana Pubns; ISBN: 0915957221; 1996, $12.50 USD

Muslims believe tha the Qur'an was revealed by God to Muhammad. Therefore, unlike the Bible it is not an inspired book that has human authors who proclaim God's message to mankind. Rather, for Muslims, the Qur'an is the Word of God Revealed. According to Muslim theology the original Qur'an exists in heaven. Consequently, the Qur'an cannot be translated from Arabic into any other language. Therefore, all one can do is offer a rendition of the text in other languages which is what Pickthall has done. Many believe tha this is the best book to read if you want to understand the message of the Qur'an but don't read Arabic.

 
 

The Koran: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Michael Cook , Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0192853449; 2000, $9.95 USD

Reading the Qur'an is not easy because the reader needs to know something about its composition and the doctrine of abrogation. Cook does a wonderful job in introducing thest topics to the uninitiated.

Islam and the Muslim Community by Frederick M. Denny, Waveland Press; ISBN: 1577660072; Reprint edition 1998, $12.50 USD

This is a good basic introduction to Islam used in many university courses.

 
 

Muhammad and the Christian by Kenneth Cragg, Oneworld Publications Ltd; ISBN: 1851681795; 1999, $17. 95 USD

A lively discussion by a leading expert on Islam.

 

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