Study Quran Endorsements

The Study Quran
A New Translation and Commentary
A HISTORIC PUBLICATION
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“This scholarly yet accessible work speaks directly to the tensions and misunderstandings of our gravely polarized world. It should be on the shelves of libraries and universities throughout the English-speaking world. The contributors guide the reader through the intricacies of the sacred text in a way that lays bare the superficiality, selectivity and inaccuracy of some modern interpretations of the Quran at a time when this is sorely needed.”
   — Karen Armstrong, author of Fields of Blood

“In our post-9/11 world, the Qur’an is becoming a more public document in the West than it has ever been throughout its history. Ultimately, this has the potential to validate misunderstanding as easily as it affords insight into the meaning of the text for Muslims. In this context, The Study Quran could not be more timely. This painstaking work will do much to enlighten and inform the reading strategies of all who seek to understand the Holy Writ of Islam, especially as it relates to the beliefs and practices of Muslims.”
   — Sherman A. Jackson, King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Practice, The University of Southern California

“A huge and significant scholarly undertaking, a major service not only to Islamic studies but also to connected fields such as theology and religious studies. More importantly, this work solves the perennial problem of how to introduce students to the Quranic text, offering what is perhaps the closest one can get to an ecumenical exegesis or gloss of the Quran.”
   — Jonathan Brown, Associate Director, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University

“The tradition of commentary on the Quran is rich and extensive, having unfolded over centuries and occupied some of the greatest minds of Islamic civilization. The Study Quran provides a valuable means of accessing this tradition. Even the non-Arabist will gain an impression of the way specific verses have been understood. By giving attention to a wide range of commentators the editors capture the diversity and depth of the exegetical ideas that have been brought to the Quran — a useful resource.”
   — Peter Adamson, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King's College London

“A truly magisterial and the most comprehensive study of the Quran to date. In addition to providing an elegant translation, the editors have provided commentaries on the chapters culled from some of the most important exegetical works from the pre-modern and modern periods from a variety of perspectives — a truly herculean endeavor! Highly recommended as an unparalleled reference work for engaging the Quran in its many different aspects.”
   — Asma Afsaruddin, Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University Bloomington

“A monument of religious literature in its own right, The Study Quran presents the sacred text in a meticulous new English rendering. Sixteen thematic essays by as many recognized specialists in Quranic studies offer greater depth on a host of topics. One of this ambitious project’s greatest strengths is the breadth and variety of exegetical sources and methods that inform the commentary on the Quran throughout. These broadly representative materials illustrate the underlying and too seldom appreciated cultural, theological, and intellectual diversity in the global history of the interpretation of the Quran and Hadith. The editors have been laudably inclusive, not privileging one sub-community of Muslims over another. Their selection acknowledges and honors the riches of the larger tradition — most impressive.”
   — John Renard, Professor of Medieval Islam at Saint Louis University

“Seyyed Hossein Nasr and his team have done the English speaking world an enormous favor with their erudite and profound translation and commentary on the Qur’an. This book, which combines a masterful translation and commentary with essays by some of the most learned scholars on the Qur’an, is a unique contribution in a world that has become infected and diseased by Islamophobia and other forms of intolerance of religion. I think this is clearly the dispositive text for any school course on Islam or the Qur’an. Non-Muslims and Muslims with any interest in the Islamic faith must have this book as an essential reference source.”
   — Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, UCLA School of Law, and author of The Great Theft

“A stupendous achievement! The Study Quran contains everything a reader needs to know about this difficult and beautiful scripture. Muslim readers will benefit as much as non-Muslim readers. The translation is both lucid and eloquent and the extensive commentaries offer continuous insight into the text. Even more impressive, the various essays appended to the book cover virtually every aspect of the Qur’an that a reader needs to know. I believe that this will prove to be the indispensable handbook to the sacred text. Last but not least, it is not a dry academic tome but a lively and genuine guide that is also a constant pleasure to read. Seyyed Hossein Nasr is a pre-eminent expert on the Quran and he has assembled a brilliant team. I cannot praise their collective work enough!”
   — Eric Ormsby, Deputy Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications at The Institute of Ismaili Studies

The Study Quran marks a major milestone for the study of the Qur’an in the English-speaking world. The commentaries and essays are elegantly written, and the approach taken in the volume is set forth clearly in the general introduction. The scope of the project was ambitious; yet the project amply fulfilled its promise. The Study Quran will be invaluable for anyone interested in understanding the Qur’an and essential reading for students of the Qur’an at all levels. No university or major public library should be without it.”
   — Dr. Michael Sells, Barrows Professor of the History and Literature of Islam, University of Chicago

“This impressive tome-the fruit of a patient collective venture-offers an extraordinary panoptic survey of the history of tafsir: some forty traditional commentaries-ancient and modern, Sunni and Shi’i-have been summoned here, highlighting the multiplicity of existing interpretative modes (theological, mystical, legal, etc.) Special mention is due to the translators of the Qur’an for their often remarkable achievement. Students will find here promising directions for future research as well as judicious methodological caveats. As to believers, this reading should give them adequate preparation for the ruminative recitation of the Word of God.”
   — Dr. Michel Chodkiewicz, author of Seal of the Saints and An Ocean Without Shore

The Study Qur’an is the stunningly successful result of a collaboration of scholars who have produced a modern masterpiece of clarity and eloquence. As a translation, it stands above other fine renditions by individual scholars for its display of the polysemic possibilities of the sacred text. Beyond the translation, what makes this text truly unique and indispensable, are the commentary, annotations and contextualizing essays. Never before in one place has so much Qur’anic scholarship been made accessible to the intelligent general reader.”
   — Ingrid Mattson, PhD, London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies

The Study Quran is an extraordinary scholarly achievement and it reads with remarkable ease. For years so many readers who are curious about Islam’s foundational scripture have been intimidated by the Quran’s unconventional structure. The Study Quran brings the text to life, gently guiding readers into the exciting interpretive worlds of Muslims in all of their rich diversity.”
    — Zareena A Grewal, PhD, professor of Religious Studies at Yale University

“The publication of The Study Quran is joyous occasion for all lovers of scripture. We are treated to a new English translation that celebrates the dignity and formality of a sacred discourse, enriched by running commentary that draws from tafsir literature of the first generations through the modern period. There are freshly composed introductions that welcome a broad range of contemporary readers to the history, character, and nobility of the Qur’an and of each Surah. And, as a very special signature, The Study Quran closes with compelling, challenging, and deeply instructive essays by fifteen of today’s leading scholars of Qur’an and Islam.”
     — Peter Ochs, Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies University of Virginia

“The monumental new The Study Quran is a truly indispensable reference for anyone studying or teaching the Quran in English. As with every sacred scripture, the understanding and meanings of the Quran are mediated by an immense range of interpretive traditions which have long been accessible only to Muslim religious scholars deeply familiar with those foundational Arabic commentaries. Now the team of editors and translators of The Study Quran have provided an impressively accessible synthesis of those major commentary traditions for the entire Quran, while still preserving and ably conveying the underlying diversity of those traditional approaches. At the same time, for those readers encountering the Quran for the first time, The Study Quran also incorporates a number of introductory essays by leading academic specialists, which carefully contextualize the central topics of the Quran and the many ways that they have continued to shape and articulate key facets of Islamic civilization down to this day.”
     — James W. Morris, Dept. of Theology and Islamic Civilization and Societies Program, Boston College

“Although many excellent studies of Arabic and Persian commentaries on the Quran have been published in recent years, this rich and voluminous exegetical genre has remained mostly hidden from English language readers. The Study Quran gives us not just a glimpse into this treasure trove but a well-guided tour through its highlights. The work of the editors is uniformly meticulous, comprehensive and erudite. Whether the reader of The Study Quran is a novice to the Quranic text, a longtime student, or a scholar, they will find much to reflect upon in this extraordinarily valuable resource.”
     — Kristin Zahra Sands, Harlequin Adair Dammann Chair in Islamic Studies, Sarah Lawrence College

“This work is an invaluable resource that the general reader and students of various Islamic disciplines will benefit from. Drawing upon a wide variety of classical and contemporary sources, The Study Quran introduces its readers to the collection, compilation and standardization of the Qur’an along with its main features, structure, and themes. It also examines the different interpretive processes and approaches employed by exegetes to yield meaning that is relevant to the lives of Muslims and their interaction with humanity at large. The wealth of detailed information it contains makes The Study Quran a valuable text in understanding the centrality of the Qur’an and its role in shaping the spiritual and mundane lives of Muslims throughout the centuries. The book also opens a window on how various strategies can be utilized to read a seventh century event, and how these strategies can shape social milieus in which more than a billion people live.”
     — Liyakat Takim, Sharjah Chair in Global Islam, McMaster University

The Study Quran represents a breakthrough for bringing the message of the Quran as traditionally understood by Muslims to the English-speaking world. The translation itself is beautiful, but the commentary provided by the editors of The Study Quran truly makes this an indispensable resource for anyone -- whether Muslim or non-Muslim -- who wishes to appreciate the Quran’s message.”
     — Mohammad Fadel, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toronto Faculty of Law

“A magnificent scholarly achievement, The Study Quran offers an eminently readable, thought-provoking and nuanced understanding of Islam’s sacred text. Insightful thematic essays by many respected figures in the field of Quranic Studies provide the context and framework for understanding the scripture. In particular, the book makes a monumental contribution to appreciating the pluralism of interpretations that the revelation elicited over the course of centuries, across disparate geographical and cultural regions, and among believers belonging to diverse traditions. Philosophers and mystics, theologians and scientists, artists and linguists, all drew inspiration from the Quran, and their contributions to the extraordinary corpus of commentaries on the sacred text is judiciously and expertly incorporated throughout this study. The Study Quran is a landmark achievement that will help both Muslims and non-Muslims appreciate the richness and diversity of understandings of the Quran through the ages.
     — Shafique N. Virani, Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Toronto

“This work is both a milestone and a touchstone: a monumental milestone in the scholarly study of the Qur’an in western academia; and a veritable touchstone of authenticity for all those who are, understandably, asking the question: what does the Qur’an actually say? And, perhaps more importantly: how has this text been interpreted and understood by those within the tradition deemed to be its most authoritative and normative commentators? In answering both these questions with such clarity and comprehensiveness, the editors and translators of this magnificent volume have helped to distinguish, once and for all, the true spirit of Islamic faith, rooted in divine revelation, from the ideological caricatures of Islam, arising out of human fabrication.”
     — Reza Shah-Kazemi, The Institute of Ismaili Studies

“For anyone wishing to learn how some of the most influential Muslim scholars, medieval and modern, have approached and interpreted the Islamic holy book, The Study Quran is a treasure trove of insights and information. There is nothing quite like it in English: a single volume comprising an accessible translation of the Quran, a survey of classical commentaries on individual passages, numerous essays by prominent scholars on a wide array of fascinating topics pertaining to Islamic scripture, informative appendices, and multiple maps. This was indeed a massive, unprecedented undertaking, one that I imagine will be greatly appreciated by many readers, be they scholars or students.”
     — Mohammad Hassan Khalil, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of the Muslim Studies Program, Michigan State University

The Study Quran is a fascinating and pioneering academic achievement. With analytical depth and clarity, it offers to both specialist and general readers, Muslim and non-Muslim, uniquely learned insights into the reception and interpretation of Islam’s sacred scripture within the various Muslim intellectual and spiritual traditions.”
     — Sebastian Günther, Professor and Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Göttingen, Germany

“This new English translation conveys the music and meaning of the Arabic. That it is accompanied by a learned commentary distilled from the highly varied classical, modern and contemporary exegetical traditions provides unparalleled access to a uniquely influential yet understudied scripture sacred to one out of four human beings.”
     — Todd Lawson, Professor of Islamic Thought, University of Toronto

“Conceived on an epic scale, The Study Quran is a unique work. It provides a clear, readable translation of the Quran, a judicious selection of the rich and diverse tradition of classical Quranic interpretation in both its intellectual and its spiritual aspects, and detailed explanations of Quranic ideas and concepts as well as Quranic terms and phrases. The General Introduction, a compact treatment of the character and significance of the Quran, and the essays following the translation and commentary throw highly useful light on a wide variety of issues and subjects in the field of Quranic studies. Although a collaborative work, The Study Quran has a unity of vision and an integrity of its own. And while it sets the bar of Quranic scholarship formidably high, its accessibility is likely to gain for it a large readership. An indispensable Quranic studies resource for scholar and student.”
     — Mustansir Mir, Youngstown State University

“A work of extraordinary significance, The Study Quran makes accessible in English Islam’s sacred scripture along with an array of material necessary to appreciate the complex nuances of the text. The carefully annotated and eloquently translated text is seamlessly complemented by extensive commentaries, citations and cross-references, as well as well-crafted essays that help the general reader appreciate the rich and multilayered ways in which Muslim scholars have dynamically engaged with their holy book. An invaluable and much needed resource for anyone seeking to better understand the Quran and Islam as it has been traditionally interpreted through the centuries. Congratulations to Dr Nasr and his team for this monumental accomplishment.”
     — Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures and Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, Harvard University

“Never before the publication of this much-needed translation has the full depth and breadth of traditional Quranic exegesis been made available in a single volume to contemporary students of Islam. In a time when intellectual and spiritual provincialism is no longer possible, the failure of modernist and fundamentalist readings of the Quran to arrive at a more comprehensive point of view entails serious consequences that are now all too familiar. We can think of few tasks more urgent in the present global climate than the discovery of the sacred and universal character of this widely misunderstood text. It is for aiding us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, in this discovery that we owe the editors of The Study Quran our profound gratitude.”
— Dr. Waleed El-Ansary, University Chair of Islamic Studies at Xavier University

“Seyyed Hossein Nasr has assembled a magnificent team of younger scholars, not only competent in Quranic studies but suffused with Muslim faith as well, to open its reaches in the world today. A prodigious effort of scholarship in the service of faith. ”
     — David Burrell, Theodore Hesburgh C.S.C. Professor Emeritus in Philosophy and Theology, University of Notre Dame

The Study Quran, which is a collaborative work of a large team of distinguished scholars of Islamic Studies under the general editorship of S.H. Nasr, is certainly one of the most important translations of the Muslim holy missal to date in print. Each chapter of the Quran is preceded by a brief introduction recapitulating its key teachings, highlighting its significance within the entire scripture and later Islamic history. Aside from its significance as a original literary translation, The Study Quran vastly enriches the reader’s understanding by providing multifaceted commentaries on individual verses, contextualizing the historical background of their revelation, presenting a broad range of traditional legalistic interpretations as well as mystical exegeses drawn from the famous Sufi commentaries by the likes of Ahmad ibn ‘Ajibah, Isma’il Haqqi, Mulla Sadra, ‘Abd al-Razzaq Kashani, Maybudi and Qushayri. The reference to analogous verses and parallel passages of the Ouran in the commentary reveals their inter-textuality, showing how identical families of concepts pervade the entire scripture. The Study Quran will remain for many decades to come the key reference work on the Quran in English for students of Islamic Studies and scholars of religion alike, as well as ordinary readers interested in the spiritual content, historical context and literary monument of the revelation of Islam.”|
     — Dr. Leonard Lewisohn, Senior Lecturer in Persian, University of Exeter, U.K.

The Study Quran is a milestone in Islamic studies. It will become the standard reference for anyone interested in traditional Muslim interpretation of the Quran.”
     — Carl W. Ernst, William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

“This is perhaps the most important work done on the Islamic faith in the English language to date. We owe a great debt to Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, one of the intellectual giants of our time, and his team for bringing this labor of love to fruition.” 
     — Hamza Yusuf, Co-Founder of Zaytuna College

“The publication of The Study Quran is an important event in the history of Quranic studies. It will make available in a convenient form the Quranic text along with a clearly written commentary drawing on the main works of tafsir in the Islamic tradition and other related works on the Quranic sciences. It has the advantage of introducing the reader to the topics associated with particular verses in the commentarial tradition, as well as some of the traditional debates surrounding the texts in question. The Study Quran also includes sixteen general essays designed to convey to the reader the various frameworks through which the Quran has been understood historically, including Arabic language, commentary, law, theology, Sufism, and other sciences. Its appearance is thus much more important than the publication of yet another English translation. Along with the Encyclopaedia of the Quran and Rudi Paret’s Kommentar und Konkordanz, it will be an extremely useful work, particularly since it will allow readers who are not Arabists to engage easily with the complex scaffolding of scholarship that has arisen around the Quran.”
     — Devin Stewart, Associate Professor at Emory University 

“Both a new translation as well as a thorough commentary on the Quran, The Study Quran will be an essential book for every English speaking student of Islam and every Muslim (and every Sufi) for generations to come. It provides both traditional exoteric and esoteric commentary, including material from all the major Sunni, Shi’i, and Sufi Qur’an commentaries and answers every question about the meaning of Quranic verses that the vast majority of readers of the Quran will have.” 
     — Dr. Alan Godlas, Associate Professor, Department of Religion, University of Georgia 

       


PRAISE FOR THE STUDY QURAN

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