Do you recommend the Study Quran?

Study-Quran-Syed-Hossein-NasrThe Study Quran is a 2000 page discussion of the Qur’an, by 15 contributors led by renowned scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Containing maps, annotations, timelines and indices, it is said to offer a rigorous analysis of the Qur’an’s theological, metaphysical, historical, and geographical teachings and backgrounds.

Scholars and commentators from around the world have lauded The Study Quran as “perhaps the most important work done on the Islamic faith in the English language to date.” Read the reviews here.

Others, such as Dr Shadee Elmasry have expressed grave concern over The Study Quran‘s promotion of perennialism and for being “dishonest with the evidence” while Imam Suhaib Webb has said, “I’m concerned about certain positions taken in the text and encourage those who have it to read it with a local scholar, using them to clarify any concerns. Let me add that this is the first edition. The translation of Yusuf Ali has gone through a number of editions and is still lauded till this day. My over all experience with this edition has been a positive one and I’m hopeful that further editions will continue in that direction.”


faraz rabbaniShaykh Faraz Rabbani was asked if he would recommend The Study Quran, and responded with:

The brief answer is yes, but with consideration.

Yes, because it is a deep, rich, valuable study companion for any English-speaker seeking to deepen their understanding and appreciation for the Book of Allah.

The consideration or caution is that this is not meant to be an authoritative reference work. It presents a range of views–Sunni, Shia, mainstream and sometimes (such as on the issue of perennialism–the “universal validity of all religions”) non-mainstream. Its editors, such as Joseph Lumbard, whom I respect and consider a friend from a distance, have said as much.

Thus, I would recommend this impressive work. Benefit from it in your connecting to the Quran, and in your gaining understanding of its guidance and beauty but don’t take it as “the final word” or an authoritative reference on matters of theology or law. It isn’t meant to be this.

Rather, it remains our duty–for each and every concerned believer–to find reliable teachers, and to learn our religion with clarity. Study Islamic beliefs, worship, spirituality, and other core sciences with qualified teachers who themselves studied–with contiguous chains connecting back to the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk). This will give you clarity and will nurture your certitude, as you navigate the challenges of life, and the nuances of knowledge, writings, books, and opinions.

May Allah reward the editors of The Study Quran for their work and service. May He accept its good and place benefit in it. And may He grant us the insight and awareness to take this benefit, and to recognize the Truth and uphold it.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.


Resources for seekers: