Concepts of the Quran: A Topical Reading is a comprehensive in-depth discussion of the verses of the Quran, theme-by-theme. Focusing in turn on the subjects of faith, worship, moral values, and law, the book includes the pertinent Arabic verses on each topic and their English translation, followed by in-depth interpretations and exegeses for each that are based both on the work of classical commentators, jurists, and historians and on the contemporary approach and perspectives of modern scholars. The most comprehensive topical reading of the Quran in English, Concepts of the Quran renders the message of the Quran more accessible to the average reader, and is a key reference for scholars and researchers.
Individuals and societies are distinct based on the objective environmental circumstances of the time and place in which they live, their own subjective motivations, and the interaction between the two elements. However, human beings, with all their diversity, are equal in their human origin: Religious faith cannot mean exclusive and permanent rightness for a certain individual or group, and the opposite for all others, since all human beings have their free will and intellect, and no human is errorless, except those individuals who were entrusted by God to convey His message to people and were protected by Him against making any error in delivering the divine message. This book represents a comprehensive ijtihad on the subject of "The Other" within an Islamic framework. Ijtihad in Arabic means the practice of the greatest possible intellectual effort to interpret and implement the divine guidance. This includes considering the sources in their entirety and recognizing their structure and their inter-relations. This book will enhance the understanding of the Islamic conceptualization of relations between the rulers and the ruled, the haves and the have-nots, the national and the universal, different genders and generations, and Muslims and non-Muslims.
This book posits and discusses a heretofore unexamined subject: the existence in the Quran side-by-side of edicts that were meant to be permanent, universal legal principles, and instructions that were intended to be transitional local rules for Arabian reform at the time of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). The author emphasizes that the Prophet had to address what needed to be reformed in Arabia during his time, while simultaneously delivering God’s final message with its enduring principles and guidance for all humanity. Taking some circumstantial past incidents as binding permanent laws has led to grave errors in understanding particularly the rules of Sharia about fixed punishments for certain crimes (hudud) and about the moral and practical struggle against evil, tyranny and corruption (jihad). In shedding light on the permanent universal and the transitional local in these central contexts, Sharia can be seen as an ever-inspiring and enriching legal source that addresses the needs of modern-day society, rather than as a restricted set of draconian punishments that seem more related to a past stage of humanity.
A world renowned scholar of Islam and pioneering thinker, Dr. Fathi Osman (1928-2010) was the recipient of many distinguished awards around the world “in recognition of his great contribution to the contemporary Islamic thought.” This, his final book, represents the culmination and pinnacle of his thinking over 6 decades. Originally a series of lectures, it was collected and edited in book format by his daughter, Dr. Ghada Osman, who holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.
From pre-revolutionary Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood, and from imprisonment to exile, this is the life of Fathi Osman: a leading Egyptian-born thinker at the forefront of modern Islamic reformism for nearly four decades. Joining the Muslim Brotherhood as a young man, Fathi Osman rose through the ranks of the organization thanks to his own considerable oratory skills and his relationship with leading Brotherhood figures, Sayyid Qutb and Hasan al-Hudaybi. But as he began to recognize the covert violent aspects of the Brotherhood, he increasingly distanced himself and voiced his opposition. He was, due to his association with the Muslim Brothers, imprisoned a number of times before he eventually left Egypt in self-imposed exile. Using interviews, family documents, and archival materials to chronicle Fathi Osman’s ideological development from spokesperson for the prototypical Islamist movement to formulator of a radical Islamic reformist ideology, Ghada Osman sheds light on the lure and inner workings of a major Islamist movement and the role of Islamic reform in the global arena. In the process, she has produced a dispassionate and thoroughly researched biography of a major figure of the twentieth-century Arab and Muslim intellectual world.