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    Reflections on the Qur'an (Hardcover)

    by Fethullah Gulen
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    • HARDCOVER : 2012-12-12 • 336 Pages • 16 x 23,5 inches • ISBN 9781597842761
    • CATEGORIES Interfaith Dialogue, Backlist, Forthcoming
    • PRICE : $22.95
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    DESCRIPTION

    The Qur'an is a Universal Book, addressing not only God's Messenger and his Companions in the Age of Bliss, but all of humanity and all times to come until the Last Day. It is the greatest Divine blessing on us, but we are unable to fully benefit from the blessings of the Qur'ān unless we sincerely commit ourselves to understanding it. Through these awe-inspiring reflections of the Qur'ān, the honorable scholar and author of this book invites us to read and ponder upon its verses and to be mindful of them. He suggests every Qur'ān reader how to read and better understand it, "With the exception of the fact that I am not a Prophet, the Qur'ān addresses me directly." The author further emphasizes throughout this work that the Qur'ān is a Divine call that demands implementation and practice in life and is by no means a book for simply analyzing religious teachings or rules. Indeed, if the spirit of his words were to be wrung out, the results would be his sincere call to follow the guidance of the Qur'ān in all of our thoughts, words, and actions in our practical, daily lives.This extensive commentary on selected verses of the Qur'ān is penned in a clear yet grand style that is accessible to both the general and scholarly audience of the contemporary age. Along with frequent references to a variety of classical and contemporary sources, the author presents new insights and fresh interpretations to the understanding of the modern age. His in-depth analyses and perspectives are of exacting relevance to everyone, including born Muslims reinvestigating the Qur'ān as well as new Muslims and all interested seekers striving to explore the depths of meanings and purpose of the Divine Speech.M. Fethullah Gulen is one of the most influential scholars in the Muslim world today. His ideas have inspired millions to take part in a movement of intercultural and interfaith dialogue and educational activism, which has produced hundreds of quality schools and dialogue organizations in more than 130 countries. Gulen is the author of numerous books, many of which are also available in various world languages.

    INTRODUCTION

    INTRODUCTION
    The Qur’ān addresses the whole of humanity and jinn, namely all
    conscious and responsible beings. Along with the Divine commands
    and prohibitions it gives them, it also takes their words
    and conveys them to us. It is always miraculous in all its content. However,
    the miraculousness of the Qur’ān lies not solely in the subject matter
    it conveys, but also in the nature of its conveyance. In addition, the
    fact that the message it conveys is knowledge of the Unseen is yet another
    miraculous aspect.
    Indeed, first and foremost, the selection of material in the Qur’ān is
    miraculous. The subjects found in the Qur’ān are conveyed with such
    material and in such a distinct fashion that its eloquence is unequalled,
    exceeding the power of any human, jinn, or angel. To experience this
    miraculousness, however, we need to study the verses of the Qur’ān
    comprehensively.
    Sometimes, we experience things in our hearts which are impossible
    to explain, and in such situations we weep in desperation, as the renowned
    Turkish poet and author Mehmet Akif Ersoy (1873–1936) said:
    I weep, but I cannot make others weep; I feel, but I cannot
    explain my feelings;
    The tongue of my heart is in knots, unable to express itself, and
    this causes me great affliction.
    Indeed, many individuals who listen to the depths of their hearts
    while speaking and writing constantly experience the desperation of the
    inability to express their emotions. This, in a sense, is a weakness. By
    comparing this state of weakness with that which is successful in expressing
    everything with great ease, we can easily say that such a weakness,
    both in its relative or absolute sense, reveals the latter’s miraculous powers.
    In the eternal plan, there is only one ensemble of statements of this
    level, and that undoubtedly is the Holy Qur’ān .
    Studying the verses of the Qur’ān from this point of view, we can say
    that whoever speaks in the Qur’ān , whether this is the jinn, angels, Satan,
    or even the Pharaoh, Nimrod, or Shaddad, the language used as the
    means of expression is unique to the Qur’ān . This superb language is
    open to all depths of meanings and allusive senses while it is also open
    to extensive interpretation and commentary. No human and no declaration
    other than the Qurān have ever been able to express such meaning
    with this kind of material, themes, and symbols—and they never will.
    So now let’s approach the subject from a different point of view:
    every word is aimed at the latīfatu’r-Rabbāniyah, or “the spiritual intellects
    or faculties,” that can directly perceive the spiritual realities that
    the mind cannot grasp. These faculties include the qalb (the spiritual faculty
    of the “heart”), sirr (the faculty of the “secret”—the spiritual faculty
    that is more subtle than the “heart”), khafī (the private—the faculty that
    is more subtle than the “secret”) and akhfā (the more private—the most
    subtle faculty). These subtleties are the actual target of the words
    expressed. If words cause any kind of contradiction or variation of meaning
    between these subtleties, this indicates a deficiency in the words.
    While reserving their differing degrees of deficiency, there is such a deficiency
    in almost all human declarations. The Qur’ān , however, is superior
    and exempt from such deficiencies.
    In the realm of human language (Divine Words exceed our perception),
    if the meanings felt in the heart undergo no change while passing
    through the various sense filters such as the imagination, conception,
    and intelligence and reach the level of explanation in their original state,
    then this is classified as reaching an excellent declaration or way of
    expression in terms of the topic in question. On some occasions, a word
    cannot exceed these stages in its original state but remains at the level
    of sensual language, thus failing the opportunity of true expression. If
    words have been expressed in the form visualized in the imagination, in
    other words, if the determination of declaration and intention comply
    with the expression, then these words are complete. On the contrary, if
    the envisagement has not completely embraced the imagination, then
    this is a defective expression and an incomplete declaration of what was
    originally imagined. If the intelligence was unable to transfer that which
    was intended to be conveyed, this means it was eliminated in the depths
    of one of the areas of conception. So the words that lose a great deal
    Introduction xix
    xx Reflections on the Qur’ān
    according to the imaginative level while passing through these filters
    over and over again, are deficient, whereas the meaning, concept, and
    intention, which are expressed with the depths of envisagement, is complete.
    Indeed, the unique masterpiece of such perfection is the Qur’ān .
    This perfection of the Qur’ān should be sought amidst the preservation
    of its depth, in a sense, beyond the imagination and conception even as
    it conveys the words of others. In that sense, it is impossible for anyone
    to accomplish producing words and declarations like the Qur’ān .
    Indeed, it is impossible for human beings and other creations—
    mainly jinn and angels—to capture and express the meaning and its concept
    in their own words at the level of intention and imagination. In
    other words, there is absolutely no possibility for us to accomplish declarations
    or words to this perfection. Therefore, the Qur’ān , which displays
    such perfection in its totality, is a miracle, and its statements and
    declarations as the first things that stimulate the intention and imagination
    of others in their expressions not only correspond perfectly to the
    discussion, but also are miraculous and Divine.
    PUBLISHER’S NOTE
    In this work, the transliteration of Arabic words and phrases are given
    in italics and are transcribed with certain diacritical marks in order to
    aid the correct pronunciation for the English-speaking readers.
    The macron, which is a diacritical mark placed over a vowel, is used
    to indicate that the vowel is long, as in the words Qur’ān and sūrah.
    Moreover, the diacritics for the hamza (’) and the ‘ayn (‘) are used in the
    transliteration of Arabic words and expressions. The symbols representing
    the hamza, which is the sign used in Arabic orthography representing
    a glottal stop, and the ‘ayn are similar. Therefore, the readers should
    be aware that the hamza is shown by an apostrophe (’), as in the expressions
    mu’min and wudū’, and the ‘ayn by a single opening quotation mark
    (‘), as in the expressions ‘ Umar, ‘adl, and A‘ūdhu-Basmala in this book.
    All the transliterated words are italicized except the Arabic proper
    nouns—including the names of the Qur’anic chapters—as well as the
    anglicized forms of words used for the names of persons or places. In
    addition, a transliterated term that is used throughout this work is italicized
    only on its first occurrence, as in hadīth.
    In this work, we have followed English capitalization rules for transliterated
    words and, therefore, capitalized proper names and major
    terms but not the Arabic articles, prefixes, prepositions, or conjunctions,
    except when it is the first word of a sentence or a footnote. Moreover,
    apostrophes and hyphens are employed after articles, prepositions, and
    conjunctions. For instance, the hyphen is used after the Arabic definite
    article al, as in al-Musnad, and the apostrophe is used after the conjunction
    of wa, as in al-Bidāya wa’n-Nihāya.
    In addition, for the convenience of the non- Arabic readers, the
    unpronounced sound of “l” in the Arabic definite article al is removed in
    all transliterations and assimilated into the consonants d, n, r, s, sh, t, th,
    and z (which are known by the name of al-hurūfu’sh-shamsiyyah) when it
    is joined to a noun beginning with any one of these consonants, as in
    “Sūratu’d-Duhā”, “Sūratu’n-Nūr” and “Sūratu’r-Rūm.” Also, when any of
    the Arabic prefixes, prepositions, or conjunctions (such as wa, bi, li, la) is
    followed by the definite article al, the “a” in al is elided, forming a contraction
    rendered as wa’l-, bi’l-, li’l-, and la’l-. Ex. “al-amr bi’l-ma‘rūf wa’n-nahy
    ‘ani’l-munkar.”
    Finally, the English interpretations of the Qur’anic verses are given
    in italics, followed by the references to the related verses given in parentheses
    with the sūrah and āyah number that follow the name of the
    Qur’anic chapter, as in (Al-Fātihah 1:5). All the interpretations of the
    verses in this work are quoted from Ali Unal’s “The Qur’ān with Annotated
    Interpretation in Modern English.” In addition, references to the hadīth
    literature are given with the italicized name of the collection in which it
    is to be found; therefore, Bukhārī, for instance, indicates that the hadīth
    is in the collection put together by al-Bukhārī. In this work, the word
    hadīth, when not capitalized, refers to a single, specific hadīth of the
    Prophet while the Hadīth, which is identical to the concept of Sunnah,
    refers to the collection of the Prophet’s words, and actions, as well as the
    actions that he approved of in others.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    CONTENTS


    Foreword .............................................................................................................................................vii


    Introduction .................................................................................................................................... xviii


    Publisher’s Note ............................................................................................................................... xxi


    Sūratu’l-Fātihah (The Opening) .................................................................................................... 1


    Sūratu’l-Baqarah (The Cow)........................................................................................................... 3


    Sūrah Āl ‘Imrān (The Family of ‘Imrān) ...................................................................................64


    Sūratu’n-Nisā’ (Women) .................................................................................................................82


    Sūratu’l-Māedah (The Table) .......................................................................................................94


    Sūratu’l-An‘ām (Cattle) ................................................................................................................ 104


    Sūratu’l-A‘rāf (The Heights) ...................................................................................................... 114


    Sūratu’l-Anfāl (Gains of War) .................................................................................................... 119


    Sūratu’t-Tawbah (Repentance) ................................................................................................ 127


    Sūrah Yūnus ( Jonah) ..................................................................................................................... 133


    Sūrah Hūd ......................................................................................................................................... 143


    Sūrah Yūsuf ( Joseph) .................................................................................................................... 145


    Sūratu’r-Ra‘d (Thunder) ............................................................................................................. 155


    Sūrah Ibrāhīm ( Abraham) .......................................................................................................... 157


    Sūratu’l-Hijr ...................................................................................................................................... 159


    Sūratu’n-Nahl (The Bee) ............................................................................................................. 161


    Sūratu’l-Isrā’ (The Night Journey)........................................................................................... 164


    Sūratu’l-Kahf (The Cave) ............................................................................................................. 166


    Sūrah Maryam ( Mary) .................................................................................................................. 186


    Sūrah Tā-Hā ..................................................................................................................................... 194


    Sūratu’l-Anbiyā’ (The Prophets) .............................................................................................. 201


    Sūratu’l-Hajj (The Pilgrimage) ................................................................................................. 208


    Sūratu’n-Nūr (The Light) ............................................................................................................ 210


    Sūratu’sh-Shu‘arā’ (The Poets) ................................................................................................. 214


    vi Reflections on the Qur’ān


    Sūratu’n-Naml (The Ant) ............................................................................................................ 225


    Sūratu’l-Qasas (The Narrative)................................................................................................. 236


    Sūratu’l-‘Ankabūt (The Spider) ................................................................................................ 246


    Sūrah Luqmān ................................................................................................................................. 248


    Sūratu’l-Ahzāb (The Confederates) ........................................................................................ 250


    Sūratu’s-Saba’ ( Sheba) ................................................................................................................. 253


    Sūrah Yā-Sīn ..................................................................................................................................... 257


    Sūrah Sād .......................................................................................................................................... 261


    Sūratu’l-Mu’min (The Believer) ................................................................................................ 263


    Sūrah Fussilat (Distincly Spelled Out) ................................................................................... 266


    Sūratu’sh-Shūrā (Consultation) ................................................................................................ 272


    Sūratu’l-Fath (Victory)................................................................................................................. 276


    Sūratu’n-Najm (The Star) ........................................................................................................... 282


    Sūratu’r-Rahmān (The All-Merciful) ...................................................................................... 284


    Sūratu’l-Wāqi‘ah (The Event to Happen) ............................................................................. 286


    Sūratu’l-Hashr (The Gathering) ................................................................................................ 294


    Sūratu’l-Munāfiqūn (The Hypocrites) .................................................................................... 300


    Sūratu’t-Talaq (Divorce) ............................................................................................................. 303


    Sūratu’t-Tahrīm (Prohibition) .................................................................................................. 306


    Sūratu’l-Jinn (The Jinn) ................................................................................................................ 308


    Sūratu’l-A’lā (The Most High) ................................................................................................... 310


    Sūratu’d-Duhā (The Forenoon) ................................................................................................ 312


    Sūratu’l-Inshirāh (The Expansion) .......................................................................................... 317


    Suggested References .................................................................................................................. 319


    Index ................................................................................................................................................... 321


    ABOUT AUTHOR
    Fethullah Gulen
    Fethullah Gulen

    M. Fethullah Gulen (1941 – ) is one of the most influential scholars in the Muslim world today. His ideas have inspired millions to take part in a civic movement of intercultural and interfaith dialogue and educational activism, which produced hundreds of quality schools and dialog organizations in more than 110 countries. Gulen is the author of numerous books, including The Essentials of the Islamic Faith, Questions and Answers about Islam, Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism, Pearls of Wisdom, and Toward a Global Civilization of Love and Tolerance. His official web site: http://fgulen.com/en/

    1.30 min video: http://youtu.be/eOd1WxyHQtA?list=UUn8DlgcqRDIdmfPlD2prkuQ