I have considerable respect for Islam, so I’ve wanted to read its Holy Book for a long time, despite its degree of difficulty for the modern American Christian. A while back, I started reading some guide to the Qur’an by a Christian author, but I put it down because I felt cheated and lied to, as when reading my Bob Jones science textbooks at my Christian high school. I had to read Islam’s holy book itself, translated and edited by a Muslim scholar (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

The Qur’an is bizarrely organized, and just as dependent on context as the Bible, so I was happy to read all the annotations and explanations provided for the Western mind by this “Study Qur’an.” The copious footnotes addressed issues of translation, meaning, context, and even current practice. Indeed, if I had money enough to buy books these days, this would make an excellent addition to my bookshelf.

The Qur’an has many passages very similar to those of Jewish and Christian Scriptures, and Islam’s God, Allah, bears many similarities to Yahweh. The moralities of these three Abrahamic faiths are very similar. The Qur’an gives similar accounts of creation, Moses, Jesus, etc.

I chose not read the entire thing, because my time is limited. But I did read enough to get a decent impression of the origins of Islamic thought, practice, and culture, and for that I am grateful.

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