Understanding The Qur’an Today
Understanding The Qur'an Today works because it is neither a dense study of Islam's most holy book nor a political essay.
Mahmoud Hussein - a pen name for Bahgat Elnadi and Adel Rifaat, two French-Egyptian authors - offers a refreshing, straightforward take on the Quran's historical origins.
Both writers claim contemporary Islamic teaching is stymied by the unquestionable belief the Quran is a completely timeless work.
The authors contend that while the messages are eternal, the verses were revealed to directly address situations facing the Prophet Mohammed and his companions more than 1,400 years ago.
Through talks with the polytheistic Arab tribes of Quraish to setting up the first Islamic community in Medina, both writers argue that the Quran is spiritually agile.
The book is by no means an authoritative work, but Elnadi and Rifaat still succeed in helping us look at the Quran more deeply. As such, it is a worthy addition for those studying the Quran and interested in Islam's origins.
* Saeed Saeed