The Devotional Qur’an: Beloved Surahs and Verses (Hardcover)

The Devotional Qur’an: Beloved Surahs and Verses By Shawkat M. Toorawa (Translated by) Cover Image

The Devotional Qur’an: Beloved Surahs and Verses (Hardcover)

By Shawkat M. Toorawa (Translated by)


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A beautifully curated and translated collection of the Qur’anic surahs and verses that are most cherished and memorized by Muslims the world over

Muslim devotional practices vary greatly over time and across regions, communities, and denominations, but they share core Qur’anic surahs (chapters) and verses rooted in the practice of earlier figures—the Prophet Muhammad, his closest Companions, the Shiite Imams, saintly figures, learned scholars, Sufi masters, local imams and religious teachers, forebears, and parents.

This volume is the first to present a curated English translation of these core passages, offering a powerful distillation of the recitational tradition that is at the heart of Muslim faith and practice. In these translations of thirty-two surahs and some forty verses, Shawkat M. Toorawa gives attention to rhythm, assonance, and end rhyme, as well as to the musicality and emotional force of the original Arabic. He organizes the selections according to devotional use and explains the place and role of the surah, verse, or passage in Muslim devotional practice.

This book is for anyone interested in the Qur’an, its aesthetic qualities, and its place in Muslim devotion, including any Muslims seeking a sensitive English translation of these essential surahs and verses.
Shawkat M. Toorawa is professor of Arabic in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and professor of comparative literature at Yale University. He lives in North Haven, CT.
Product Details ISBN: 9780300271942
ISBN-10: 0300271948
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English
“This is a work of consummate scholarship, attention, devotion, and craft. The Qur’an privileges the sacredness of sound itself, and Shawkat Toorawa has endeavored to be as faithful to that priority as possible. It is a gift to have such a clear window into this tradition of both poetry and faith.”—Christian Wiman, author of Zero at the Bone: Fifty Entries Against Despair

“Among the many translations of Islam’s Holy Book, Shawkat Toorawa’s Devotional Qur’an is unique in its sensitive selection of Surahs and verses most familiar to and dearly beloved by Muslims, and its careful attention to the literary and acoustic qualities of the text.”—Tahera Qutbuddin, University of Oxford

“For all the attention that has traditionally gone into translating the ‘meaning’ of the Qur’an, its devotional value and function goes beyond its ‘meaning.’ The Devotional Qur’an brilliantly captures not only the meaning of a selection of Qur’anic verses but the meaning of the Qur’an itself for Muslims, by deftly signaling the various and beautiful ways in which ‘meaning’ is imparted, savored, and passed on through this indefatigably sacred text.”—Sherman A. Jackson, the University of Southern California

“A splendid introduction to the Qur’an. Toorawa’s English rides the currents and swells of the Arabic’s magnificent soundscape, so we sense its telltale force field giving form and feeling to the translation as it unfurls. Marvelous, daring, and distinctive.”—Peter Cole, The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition

“Shawkat Toorawa gives familiar chapters and verses a fresh feel. By turns lucid and lyrical, the translation hums and sings and occasionally roars. The Devotional Qur’an deserves a place on syllabi and gift lists alike.”—Kecia Ali, author of The Lives of Muhammad