The Qur’an, Orientalism, and the Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an

The Qur’ān entered the flow of human history over a twenty-three year period, beginning in 610 CE with the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad while he was in the cave of Hira, some fifteen kilometers from the Ka‘bah, the ancient House of Allah, built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma‘il, approximately twenty-five hundred years before the event. Its final Ayahs were revealed in 632 CE, just a few days before the death of the Prophet in Madinah—the oasis town to where he had migrated in 622 CE. Ever since its revelation, the Qur’ān has drawn two fundamental responses from humanity: (i) belief in its Divine origin and in the veracity of the Messenger to whom it was revealed; and (ii) disbelief in its Divine origin and consequently disbelief in the Prophetic status of Muhammad. The first responses to the Qur’ān came from those who lived in Makkah and its environs. At that time, most residents of Makkah were either polytheists or atheists. In addition, there were some people who called themselves Hunafā’, the followers of what was left of the religion of Ibrahim. There were also pockets of Jewish and Christian tribes in northern and central Arabia.

Read Review 1

Read a second review of EQ