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This introductory guide to reading the Qur'an in English is meant to raise the comfort level of Western readers trying to gain a greater appreciation of Islam by reading what might be considered a foreign and confusing text.
Designed to be read in conjunction with an English translation of the Qur'an, this book provides practical advice to readers who have no knowledge of Arabic or Islam and who need guidance when their expectations about the use of narrative, description, and dialogue are challenged by this seemingly difficult text. One of the first pieces of advice given is not to try to read the Qur'an from beginning to end. Rather, a suggested reading order is provided, along with explanations about the use of such literary devices as contrast, repetition and chiastic structure, all of which will help readers to ease their way into the Qur'an. The book also examines the way in which the Qur'an deals with themes and personalities, such as judgment, prophecy, Joseph and Moses, that readers may be familiar with from reading the Bible.