Book Reviews of The Koran

The Koran
The Koran
Author: Anonymous
ISBN-13: 9780140445589
ISBN-10: 0140445587
Publication Date: 7/1/2000
Pages: 464
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 8 ratings
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

6 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Koran on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Fantastic book,all in english so very easy to read
reviewed The Koran on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
At 435 pages long, I recommend everyone read the Koran. All of us have heard so many controversial things about Muslims and the Islamic faith that I think that it behooves all of us to inform ourselves instead of relying on what others say about the Muslim religion.

The translation I read is the most popluar by N.J. Dawood. Dawood is a Iraqi native, born in Baghdad. He originally wrote this translation in the fifties but it has since been revised and updated. I have heard Muslims say that a translation doesn't do the Koran justice therefore an English reader would be misled to its actual meaning. My response is: Does God expect the entire world to learn Arabic? Is it fair of Him to judge us if He knows we can't? Do most Muslims speak Arabic? (FYI:the answer to that question is no.) Can Arabic speaking Muslims translate their thoughts into English in order to communicate? Then why can't God?

Overall the tone of the Koran is menacing. It is very repetitive, in a nutshell, warning everyone that they had better worship God and obey His prophet (Muhammad) or they will burn in fire, drink scalding water and eat foul food for all of eternity. Those that believe in God and perform good works will return to the Garden of Eden where rivers will flow by their feet, they will have plenty of good things to eat with many blushing virgins. (Jonah 10:10) It repeats this over and over and over again.

This is interspersed with mention of different Biblical figures, mainly Moses and Pharaoh, Abraham and Lot and Noah. The stories about these people are fragments, sometimes distorted from the Biblical stories and also repeated several times throughout the book. Others, such as Job, Jonah and David are mentioned once or twice.

Jesus is mentioned once or twice but only as the son of Mary. He performed miracles by being strengthened by the Holy Spirit. He wasn't crucified. At one point a conversation takes place between God and Jesus (Cattle 5:114)

Then God will say, Jesus, son of Mary, did you ever say to mankind: 'Worship me and my mother as gods besides God?'

'Glory to You,' he will answer, 'how could I ever say that to which I have no right? If I had ever said so, You would have surely known it. You know what is in my mind, but I know not what is in yours. You alone know what is hidden. I told them only what You bade me. I said: 'Serve God, my Lord and your Lord. ; I watched over them while living in their midst, and ever since You took me to Yourself, You have been watching over them...

It does allow men and women to divorce, several times, if necessary. It allows men to have more than one wife, though it doesn't mention that women can have multiple husbands, except serially through divorce and remarriage. At one point it allows marrying orphan girls as a way of providing for them.

Much of the Koran is a cut and paste from the Bible and I don't know how anyone could even understand the stories of the Bible figures mentioned in the Koran without first reading the Bible.

An interesting story that is repeated more than once is about why Satan fell. It was not because he tried to overthrow God but because he would not bow to Adam.

And when We said to the angels: 'Prostrate yourselves before Adam,' they all prostrated themselves except Satan who in his pride refused and became an unbeliever. (The Cow 2:27)

That is another interesting point. In the Koran, God proclaims to be one but is always referring to Himself in the plural as in the above quote.

Over and over again, in every chapter, the day of reckoning and the sound of the trumpet is mentioned and the fate of unbelievers and believers. Jews and Christians are mentioned specifically as people who received God's word but changed it and consequently are going to burn in hell.

They declare: 'None but Jews and Christians.' Say: 'Let us have your proof, if what you say be true...' (The Cow 2:111)

"The Jews say the Christians are misguided and the Christians say it is the Jews who are misguided. Yet they both read the Scriptures. And the ignorant say the same of both. God will judge their disputes on the Day of Resurrection. (The Cow 2:112)

In the book Repentance 9:121 It says,

Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous.

Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe neither in God nor the Last Day... who do not embrace the true Faith until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued...

The Jews say Ezra is the son of God, while the Christians say the Messiah is the son of God. Such are their assertions by which they imitate the infidels of old. God confound them! How perverse they are!... (Repentance 9:27-31)

Whether unarmed or well-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of God..(Repentance 9:41)

One thing that is utterly lacking is any mention of man's sinful nature and a plan of salvation. There is no reparation of sin only:

Those that have faith and do good works, they shall be given their reward in full. God does not love the evil-doers.(The 'Imrans 3:56)

I recommend that anyone who wants to read the Koran get an edition with the Arabic included. That way if someone disputes the translation you'll have the Arabic there for them to compare. I believe the Dawood's translation is supposed to the most reliable.
reviewed The Koran on + 186 more book reviews
i read through alot of this book.there is alot of interesting points to it.a good read.
reviewed The Koran on + 2 more book reviews
Easy to read!

As far as i know, this is the only major, modern translation of the Koran/Quran available that is NOT written in 15th century King James English.
reviewed The Koran on + 8 more book reviews
i only ordered this book to read the account of Genesis which differs from the usual American versions, which depict women as the lowlife sinners of all time, which is a blatant lie. i was also interested in discovering what all the fuss was about since 'their' bible is based on the same basic story as the rest of the world's. i guess people have the need to kill in the name of god no matter what. i did find that the Koran is much more extremist in its dictates and what not. do this or die! mentality, which i guess some people in the world still need for what reason i personally can't imagine, but there it is. at least i was open enough to give it a chance. so that's my story and i'm stickin to it!
reviewed The Koran on + 191 more book reviews
book in good shape but has mended cover