SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

Allah: God in the Qur’an

Yale Univ. Mar. 2020. 344p. ISBN 9780300246582. $30. REL
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Reynolds (theology, Univ. of Notre Dame; The Qur’an and the Bible) reviews what the Qur’an says about the nature of God. The first part of the book serves as an introduction as it explores salient differences between the Qur’an and Bible, such as prophethood and heaven and hell. Parts 2 and 3 form the foundations for the book’s conclusions by discussing, respectively, Allah’s mercy and vengeance from Qur’anic verses. Later chapters try to summarize a portrait of God, concluding that God in the Qur’an remains beyond comprehension, yet, overall, appears to be a just and personal one. The epilog makes the case that it is God’s prerogative to seek revenge on blasphemers, not anybody else’s. As an experienced scholar, Reynolds ensures that the narrative remains close to the Qur’anic text, and he resists drawing from other scriptures when determining the nature of God. His insightful discussion draws parallels and distinctions from the Bible, while also adding context from Medieval and recent scholarship.
VERDICT By remaining close to the source and being careful to retain a contemporary worldview, this portrait of God in the Qur’an is a welcome addition to the field of Qur’anic studies.

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