Holy Qur'an by John Herlihy
An Intimate Portrait: A Book's Journey into Light

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Written by an American Muslim who converted to Islam over 40 years ago, this intimate portrait identifies the Qur’an as a companion and friend to the Muslims wherever they may be, especially in this anti-spiritual world with its emphasis on money, power and material possessions as the main goal of life and the answer to life’s mysteries. It recounts the journey of a book that began in 7th century Arabia in the darkness of a cave in the black mountains outside of Makkah in present-day Saudi Arabia. The author explains in depth the many reasons why the Muslims—and he himself as a practicing Muslim—continue to respect and love their holy book as a treasure of great value in this world, even now in the present era with its secular outlook on life and its emphasis on a modern-day scientific rather than traditional worldview that provides no opening into the life and world of the Spirit.

The book has been divided into two parts, each with nine chapters on a selected topic. Part One presents and clarifies the historical context in which the Qur’an was delivered, the circumstances around which the descent of the revelation was made known to humanity, how it came to be compiled and codified into a single book for future generations, and finally the influence the Qur’an had in the development of Islamic culture and science across the early centuries of Islam’s growing stature as a global force. Many people today know of the existence of the Qur’an as the holy book of the Muslims, no doubt because the verses are often quoted by media pundits and terrorists alike to prove some obscure point that has nothing to do with the universal truths of the revelation, but the average person nowadays has very little idea of the historical narrative that brought the Islamic scripture to humanity in the first place or the context in which it was delivered.

Part Two explores more deeply the spiritual life of the book which becomes the spiritual life of the Muslims who read and recite its verses. The Religion of Islam actually began with the descent of the initial verses through the Archangel Gabriel to the Prophet of Islam. It is virtually the heart and soul of the religion. The book is identified as "An Intimate Portrait” because in unveiling its very heart as a living presence for the Muslims, the author hopes to reveal the source and origin of all the emotions and higher sentiments that have descended to humanity through the book and will ascend back to God through its recitation and study. In addition to several chapters that identify the Qur’an as a book of knowledge and a book of blessing, the author has included a practical first-hand account of how the Muslims, whether they are young children, natural born Muslims, non-Arabic speaking Muslims, or Muslim converts such as the author himself, learn to come to terms with the correct recitation of the verses, including a focused knowledge of the exact pronunciation of the Arabic letters through the science of tajwid that governs the sonorous chanting of the sacred words and verses.

Readers will not be disappointed in having this unique access to the historical, devotional and spiritual record of this “final revelation” of divine origin. It is a book that provides a complete and traditional worldview that present and future generations can live by, a book that has virtually changed the way billions of people down through the ages understand the purpose and meaning of life, a book that gives a sense of personal identity to individuals in search of the profound questions and mysteries they must confront and come to terms with in their lives. In short, according to the Muslims, it is a book like no other in this world.
 

About John Herlihy

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Published September 26, 2014 by Ansar Books. 234 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality.

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In addition to several chapters that identify the Qur’an as a book of knowledge and a book of blessing, the author have included a practical first-hand account of how the Muslims, whether they are young children, natural born Muslims, non-Arabic speaking Muslims, or Muslim converts such as the au...

Aug 02 2015 | Read Full Review of Holy Qur'an: An Intimate Port...