One God, the Everlasting Refuge : Commentary and Vocabulary Reference of Surat al-Ikhlas

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9780965074667: One God, the Everlasting Refuge : Commentary and Vocabulary Reference of Surat al-Ikhlas
About the Author:

The author, Dr. Ahmad Zaki Hammad, is a leading scholar on the Quran and the principal sources of Islam. He received his Islamic and Arabic training at the world's foremost center of Islamic learning, al-Azhar University, Cairo, and was awarded the graduate degree of 'Alamiyya from the Faculty of Theology. He also holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago. Dr. Hammad is the author of several well-received volumes on the Quran and Islamic law. They are: Lasting Prayers of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); The Opening to the Quran: Commentary & Vocabulary Reference of al-Fatiha; One God, the Everlasting Refuge: Commentary & Vocabulary Reference of Surat al-Ikhlas; and Father of the Flame: Commentary & Vocabulary Reference of Surat al-Masad. He has also written Islamic Law: Understanding Juristic Differences and the study and translation of al-Ghazali's quintessential work on Islamic jurisprudence, al-Mustasfa min 'Ilm al-Usul.

Review:

I believe the author, Ahmad Zaki Hammad, a man of learning and scholarship, has grasped a firm handhold of wisdom's sacred threads and the lines of modern scientific inquiry. Moreover, he lives in a milieu that cries out to have its vision of human existence re-ensouled with godliness. If this task of reformation is to gel, in my view, it will rest surely on two bases: (1) The unadulterated truth of monotheism (which the author shows in the first part of this book to be abundantly accessible to him and well-penned in his own words); and (2) empirical inquiry into the foundations of the universe (which should augment the cosmological arguments that this book presents, in a way that is consistent with contemporary thought and understanding). This book's extended commentary introduces God (His divine character and attributes) in a style remarkable for its grace in furnishing a composite of subtle meanings, and in a manner that befits modern refined sensibilities. The author has long lived amidst the progenitor of the civilization he now addresses and has well understood its taste and the best of its spirit. . . . Finally, let me call to the attention of the reader that this book is but one part of a monumental endeavor that aims to introduce to the English-speaking world [the] Quran. Its method is far more befitting to the modern mind than are the traditional commentaries, whose rightly revered tomes are nonetheless encumbered by dense formats and lengthy digressions. What the modern reader requires, I believe, are books wherein one readily finds the answers to the many questions he or she pursues. These works must have something of an analytical approach to the signification of the Arabic root words and style of the Quran. Moreover, they ought to present historical context when discussing the meanings of the Quran's revelation: A well-honed explication of the themes and aims of its chapters (suras); an anatomy of its commandments; and, above all, a contemplative discussion of its splendid verses. All of this you will find masterfully composed in these pages. In point of fact, I empathize with its author for the weightiness of this responsibility and the length of its road. Yet I think it evident to anyone who has listened to him that he has every confidence about the accomplishment of this endeavor through the auspices of the Quranic Literacy Institute, God willing. With him are people fully dedicated to the task of advancing Quranic literacy. They believe in their mission and are resolved to reach their goal, first and last, relying on their Lord. I suspect that this entire work will be, God willing, one of those grand events that shake many of the presumptive foundations of modern human thought. I see it as an approaching brilliant light dispelling darkness in every direction and conveying the modern mind to its own inmost need of conversing with the Word of God and thereby freeing itself from narrowness. Only then can it escape its aberrant bigotries and obsessions, which befit no human being of a new era, at the threshold of the 21st century. And God alone is the Guarantor of true success. -- Abdul-Sabur Shahin, Professor of Arabic Linguistics, University of Cairo

The convergence of civilizations, largely due to the enormous advances in telecommunications, is probably the single most important occurrence of our era. But while the consequences of this for the human family are momentous, the ventures to realize the great promise of this meeting between peoples are few indeed. It is for this reason that I am pleased to take part in the truly civilizational endeavor of the Quranic Literacy Institute (QLI) to bridge the spiritual breach between humanity and the Quran, and thus bring to the global table of ideas the Quran's ever-relevant themes and universal message of human righteousness and sincere belief in our one, great Maker. It is our shared conviction for the ideals of mutual understanding, good will, and peace on earth-for which QLI stands-that has inspirited me, I am grateful to say, to commend works of lasting integrity, scholarly reliability, and moral elevation, God willing, like the one now in the hands of a reader whom we genuinely esteem for the journey he or she is undertaking. I see in QLI a vision that promotes original understanding between people who truly care about their fellows in humanity and about the age-old virtues of uprightness, moderation, and equity that lead to the ultimate human goal for which Islam literally stands-"Universal Peace." -- Yassin A. Kadi

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AhÌ£mad ZakiÌ? MansÌ£uÌ?r HÌ£ammaÌ?d; Ahmad Zaki Hammad
Published by Quranic Literacy Institute (1998)
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