The Integrated Encyclopedia of the Qur'an (IEQ). Volume 1: Allah, Ahmad, A-Beautiful Names of Allah. General Editor: Muzaffar Iqbal
The reputable historian of Islamic science Muzaffar Iqbal initially conceived this project in 2007, and the realisation of this first volume of a projected seven covering over six hundred entries is a welcome event. In his Introduction to this volume Iqbal emphasises the need for contemporary Muslims to reconnect with the Arabic sources of their faith, given that “only 20 percent of all Muslims today understand the language of the primary sources of their tradition”, whereas until fairly recent times a much larger proportion of literate Muslims had a working knowledge of Arabic. Cultural schizophrenia induced by colonial projects and modern mass education have “exiled most Muslims from their spiritual and intellectual traditions, primarily by severing their links to the language of revelation and traditional scholarship” (p. xi). IEQ is intended to be a unique resource to rectify this rupture by seeking to reconnect modern educated Muslims with the central source of their faith and practice - the Qur’an as the actual Word of God, and traditional scholarship treating it - through a deeper source-based understanding of this text. It also seeks to serve the needs of non-Muslims interested in understanding the message of the Qur’an, as well as of academic scholars interested in the range of Muslim understandings of their revealed Book.