Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Review: Key to Al-Baqarah

Key to al-Baqarah: The Longest Surah of the Qur'an by Khurram Murad. Published by The Islamic Foundation. 1996/1417. ISBN 0 86037 270 7. 36 pp.

This book is a good example of one of the most urgent duties of a Muslim--the attempt to understand the Qur'an. And what I mean by that is that each time we hear an aaya of Qur'an, we should try to discover some new meaning in it. We may not succeed, but with consistent effort and sincere intention, Allah subhanah wa ta'aala allows us to see something that will benefit us in this life and the next.

The book is the author's framework for understanding this chapter of the Qur'an. He does not claim that it is the only way to understand it. For all we know, perhaps today, nine years after the initial publication of the book, the author himself might have a different understanding of the suurah. And I think the author would believe that to be a sign of personal growth.
The author introduces the subject of interacting with the Qur'an. The author mentions some of the characteristics of surat al-Baqara and some of its merits. The author also has a good discussion about the Qur'an came to be arranged in its agreed upon order and the wisdom behind that ordering.

As is so often, in my mind, this introduction is the most valuble part of the book. Based on the principles outlined in the introduction, the author then puts forth his current understanding of the suurah's narrative. He divides the suurah into sections and themes. And he pointed out things about suurat al-Baqarah's meanings which I had never considered.

I purchased the book from Astrolabe.

The author has a book in which he goes into more depth on the topic of how the contemporary Muslim should approach the Qur'an. It is The Way to the Quran. I hope to read that soon and report on it.

Last updated April 20, 2005.

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