Spirituality-Religions Sacred Texts ALKORAN OF MOHAMMED - The Koran

ALKORAN OF MOHAMMED - The Koran

ALKORAN OF MOHAMMED - The Koran
Catalog # SKU1374
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 3.00 lbs
Author Name George Sale
 
$24.95
Quantity

Description

THE ALKORAN
OF
MOHAMMED

COMMONLY CALLED
THE KORAN
Sale Translation

Translated Into English
From The Original Arabic
George Sale


THERE is surely no need to-day to insist on the importance of a close study of the Koran for all who would comprehend the many vital problems connected with the Islamic World; and yet few of us, I imagine, among the many who possess translations of this book have been at pains to read it through. It must, however, be borne in mind that the Koran plays a far greater role among the Muhammadans than does the Bible in Christianity in that it provides not only the canon of their faith, but also the textbook of their ritual and the principles of their Civil Law.


Excerpt:

It was the Great Crusades that first brought the West into close touch with Islam, but between the years 1096 and 1270 we only hear of one attempt to make known to Europe the Sacred Book of the Moslems, namely, the Latin version made in 1143, by Robert of Retina (who, Sale tells us, was an Englishman) , and Hermann of Dalmatia, on the initiative of Petrus Venerabilis, the Abbot of Clugny, which version was ultimately printed by T. Bibliander in Basel in 1543, nearly a hundred years after the fall of Constantinople.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, several translations appeared both in Latin and in French, and one of the latter, by Andre du Ryer, was translated into English by Alexander Ross in 1649. But by far the most important work on the Koran was that of Luigi Marracci which was published in Padua in 1698. George Sale's translation first appeared in November, 1734, in a quarto volume; in 1764 it was first printed in medium octavo, and the reprint of 1825 contained the sketch of Sale's life by Richard Alfred Davenant which has been utilized in the article on Sale in the Dictionary of National Bibliography. The Chandos Classics edition in crown octavo was first issued in 1877.

Soon after the death of the Prophet, early Muhammadan theologians began to discuss, not only the correct reading of the text itself, but also to work out on the basis of first-hand reports the story connected with the revelation of each chapter. As the book at present stands in its original form the chapters are arranged more or less according to their respective length, beginning with the longest; except in the case of the opening chapter, which holds a place by itself, not only in the sacred book of Islam, corresponding as it does in a manner to our Pater Noster, but also in its important ceremonial usages. The presumed order in which the various chapters were revealed is given in the tabular list of Contents, but it may be mentioned that neither Muhammadan theologians, nor, in more recent times, European scholars, are in entire agreement upon the exact chronological position of all the chapters.

It is well for all who study the Koran to realize that the actual text is never the composition of the Prophet, but is the word of God addressed to the Prophet; and that in quoting the Koran the formula is "He (may he be exalted) said" or some such phrase. The Prophet himself is of course quoted by Muhammadan theologians, but such quotations refer to his traditional sayings known as "Hadis," which have been handed down from mouth to mouth with the strictest regard to genealogical continuity.

It would probably be impossible for any Arabic scholar to produce a translation of the Koran which would defy criticism, but this much may be said of Sale's version: just as, when it first appeared, it had no rival in the field, it may be fairly claimed to-day that it has been superseded by no subsequent translations. Equally remarkable with his translation is the famous Preliminary Discourse which constitutes a tour de force when we consider how little critical work had been done in his day in the field of Islamic research. Practically the only works of first-class importance were Dr. Pocock's Specimen Historio Arabum, to which, in his original Address to the Reader, Sale acknowledges his great indebtedness, and Maracci's Koran.

In spite of the vast number of eminent scholars who have worked in the same field since the days of George Sale, his Preliminary Discourse still remains the best Introduction in any European language to the study of the religion promulgated by the Prophet of Arabia; but as Wherry says: "Whilst reading the Preliminary Discourse as a most masterly, and on the whole reliable, presentation of the peculiar doctrines, rites, ceremonies, customs, and institutions of Islam, we recognize the fact that modern research has brought to light many things concerning the history of the ancient Arabs which greatly modify the statements made in the early paragraphs."

For many centuries the acquaintance which the majority of Europeans possessed of Muhammadanism was based almost entirely on distorted reports of fanatical Christians which led to the dissemination of a multitude of gross calumnies. What was good in Muhammadanism was entirely ignored, and what was not good, in the eyes of Europe, was exaggerated or misinterpreted.

It must not, however, be forgotten that the central doctrine preached by Muhammad to his contemporaries in Arabia, who worshipped the Stars; to the Persians, who acknowledged Ormuz and Ahriman; the Indians, who worshipped idols; and the Turks, who had no particular worship, was the unity of God, and that the simplicity of his creed was probably a more potent factor in the spread of Islam than the sword of the Ghazis.


430+ pages - 10.5 x 7.5 inches SoftCover
Large Style Edition


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