Robert Campbell’s Reading the Qur’an in English is an introductory guide to help readers experience the Qur’an on its own terms. Following his guidance, in conjunction with reading an English language version of the Qur’an, can reveal a great deal about the nature of Islam and about how the Qur’an compares with other Abrahamic scriptures. People who are unwilling or unable to delve into the text of the Qur’an on their own will always be at risk of having their opinions shaped by others.
In this new book, Dr. Campbell expands the journey through his analysis of the thematic structure of the fourth surah (The Women), a large and complex surah containing some of the most controversial verses and ideas in the Qur’an. The key issues addressed are women (on marriage, lewdness, wife beating and hijab), war (on killing, battle, jihad and terrorism) and hypocrites (on believers, the People of the Book, idolatry, intoxication and the crucifixion of Jesus).
Given that Islam traces its prophetic heritage from Noah through to Abraham, Moses, Jesus and finally Muhammad, much of the content of the Qur’an will be familiar to those with even a passing exposure to the scriptures of the Jews and Christians.