Have you ever wanted to dive into the Qur’an, yet didn’t know where to even start? “The Qur’an Dilemma” allows Muslims and non-Muslims to examine the Qur’an and look at each sura (or chapter) critically. Written by numerous former Muslims, who remain anonymous throughout the book, the book is divided into three main parts.
Part I consists of different articles on a host of controversial issues, such as women, the treatment of people of other faiths, and the chronological order of the Qur’an. This portion proved to be the most interesting for me. The authors explained that much like the Bible, the Qur’an has many different versions, published and edited by scholars of differing opinions on how the Qur’an should be organized. Also, the section covering people of other faiths, such as the Jewish population, served as a real eye-opener. The book continues on in Part II as the first nine suras are examined. Think of this as an intricate Bible study. The authors examine what certain words refer to and historical meanings behind passages. Part III holds resources, such as maps and a glossary, to aid the reader.
Overall, this book proves interesting if you enjoy examining other cultures. As for those who are already Muslim, I would imagine this take on the Qur’an would be intriguing as well. The authors claim that the Qur’an has never been critically analyzed before, as Muslims consider this holy book infallible. The core of this book rightly reflects the title: “The Qur’an Dilemma.” The authors continually point out that this holy book contains errors and issues that no longer apply to today’s society. However, no revisions are authorized. Therefore, many Muslims are presented with a true dilemma: how do you separate the truth from the negations in the Qur’an. My only issue with the book was the level of difficulty it presented. For an individual who has a basic understanding of Islam, I was constantly rereading sentences and continually flipping to the glossary to define a term. Some parts still leave me confused, however, I enjoyed expanding my knowledge concerning a religion that remains a mystery to many Americans.
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions.