Understanding the Book

Dr. Tauseef Ahmad Parray has penned down yet another well researched book depicting some Key Terms and Basic Concepts of Qur’an

Dr Aashiq ul Islam
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 14 2018 9:45PM | Updated Date: Nov 14 2018 9:45PM
Understanding the BookRepresentational Pic

Book: Towards Understanding Some Qur’anic Terms, Concepts, and Themes

Publisher: Qirtas Publishers Karachi, Pakistan

Publishing Year: June, 2017

Author: Dr. Tauseef Ahmad Parray

Pages: 296

Price: 340

ISBN: 9789699540446


The Qur’an is the Ultimate Source of Guidance as per the Islamic beliefs. It’s The Divinely revealed final Testament to humankind. The miracle of this Holy Book is it’s all encompassing and holistic marvel in the form of its unique socio-spiritual teaching which, if implemented in its totality, will usher in an era of Absolute Justice and Peace. Besides it’s the most eloquent book in the Arabic language, unparalleled and full of wonders. The Quran is the only ancient religious scripture which is preserved in its pristine pure originality and its historicity is undoubtedly the most trusted among world historians. It’s the only religious book which is intact in the minds of thousands of believers from generations to generations. The book which revolutionized the whole Arabia in its beginning and cleansed the hearts of early Muslims making them saints from barbarians. The arguments in the Quran are rational and logical and it instigates humanity to make full use of their intellect as well as their spiritual faculties. The present review is on the book with a similar theme. Dr. Tauseef Ahmad Parray has penned down yet another well researched book depicting some Key Terms and Basic Concepts of Qur’an.

The book begins with the foreword by Prof. A. R. Kidwai followed by preface and introduction.  Introductory part of the book is very informative as it provides the comprehensive analysis of the modern scholarship in the Qur’anic studies in which author highlights the contribution of Muslims and Non-Muslims with regard to the Tafsir literature, and translation of the Qur’an in many languages like the anthological works of Mahmoud Ayub, The Qur’an and its Interpreters, Ghulam Ahmad Hariri, Tarikh Tafsir wa Mufasirun. Besides the tafsir literature, there have been numerous works in English language dealing with ulum-ul-Qur’an (the sciences of Qur’an) like Ahmad Von Deniffer, Yasir Qadhi and more recently Israr Ahmad Khan. Similarly, western scholars have also contributed in the field of Qur’anic studies starting from translations to exegesis constitute one of the significant portion. 

The book under review is divided in two sections; first section in which a detailed key terms and basic concepts and second section about major themes and some contemporary issues of Holy Qur’an have been taken into consideration. The author has remarkably explained the Qur’anic terms by a thorough study of Qur’an as well as considering the view point of the scholars of repute. On worldly and life here-after author explains that Holy Qur’an considers life ‘like the rain and quotes Richard Netton who in his article on “Life” observes that one of the paradigm ‘interwoven into, and to be extrapolated from, the fabric of the Qur’an is that life is a journey from territorial to celestial life. Human life involves much exertion towards his Lord but the final encounter is assured” (P.76). The author says that by obeying Allah, one orients one’s life and existence in terms of Reality. He talks about piety which signifies protecting, preserving, warding off, guarding and being mindful of right and wrong. (p.100). Holy Qur’an associates virtuousness with mercy, compassion, paradise, and beauty and Qur’an has used the term Salih are those who live in harmony, accord and concord, with the real and establish wholesomeness through their activity, action and movement. He further says that people should not love the temporary, transitory, beauty that attracts and interests their cravings, desires and passions rather should love Allah and to follow his beloved Prophet in letter and spirit. ‘Excellence’ is the highest form of faith (Iman); it implies the deep bond, profound love, genuine faithfulness and sacrifice which make a Muslim identity himself completely with Islam (p.127). On Intellect/Reason and Thinking (Tafakkur) author quoting Ibrahim Kalin who puts it as: “Reason is that by which we protect ourselves from falsehood, error and evil-doing; this basic meaning underlies the essential component of thinking and contemplation as the proper human response to the call of reality” (p.130). The concept of thinking is highly promoted in the Qur’an. By contemplating and pondering on different ‘signs’ lead us to understand the Ultimate reality. The author talks about ‘time and the dynamics of change’ by citing Surah al Asr and says that a time cannot be recaptured and  suggests us that time is invaluable, it should be seen as an opportunity to pursue truth and do good, otherwise it would be lost in vain. 

Second section of the book is about major themes and contemporary issues of Holy Qur’an in which author talks that human being is created to love and worship Allah and this responsibility makes him the ‘crown of the creation’. There is no place for isolation, tribalism, nor nationalism and relativism in Islam as stated in Qur’an (49:13). He says that Qur’an presents itself as a universal ethical code for humankind. The Quran gives us explicit commandments regarding our duties and obligations towards parents. He says justice forms core values of Islamic ethics (p.183). On Modesty (Haya) he says that modesty is one of the parts of faith (Iman) and it leads to goodness and paradise. He further says Islam condemns the exclusiveness, nationalism, racialism and group rather advocates a peaceful co-existence, integration, unity and peace in the world. 

The author writes about ‘concept of history’ in which he says that Qur’an gives due consideration to his history and is full of historical passages. The Qur’an uses history as a guide to the pitfalls of the future and the stress is always on the lessons that can be drawn from the historical narrative (p.223). He further says by citing the Qur’anic verse that there are four factors responsible for the rise and fall of nations (Ummah); justice and injustice; unity and disunity; neglect of the principle of Amr Bil Mar’uf wa Nahy an al-Munkar; and moral corruption. On Ijtihad, he says is to strive with one’s total ability and efforts to reach a goal which in this case is to endeavor to deduce the divine laws of Shari’ah from the reliable sources and proofs. The author about ‘Shura- Nexus democracy’ and is a significant part of Islamic political system and shows it to similar with democracy. On Shura-democracy relationship, author quotes Sadek Jawad Sulaiman who suggests that democracy and Shura are synonymous in conception and principle, though both may differ in application, and thus states: as a concept and a principle and Shura does not differ from democracy. The author in the concluding topic talks about the religious pluralism, as one of the crucial issues in the era of globalization. Islam ensures harmonious relations among the religions without subjecting its adherents to disgrace and mutilation. The Holy Qur’an is presented as a source for universal justice and harmony among humankind. 

The book by and large is well documented, enriched with its contents and provides an excellent opportunity to achieve and rebuild confrere with the meaning and message of Qur’an. Over all, this masterpiece is to be quite enlightening.  

Author teaches at Department of Islamic Studies, GDC Pampore. 




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