An old review I happened to revisit today. It was written for the Pakistani news-magazine Herald in 2002, you can see a reference to “colonization of the Middle East” which indicates it was a different era and a different me 😉
The Koran (in the OUP “Very Short Introductions” series,) Oxford 2000.
Pious Muslims may feel that in the presence of the text and its commentaries, they do not need Professor Michael Cook’s “very short introduction” to the Koran. The pious may also wish to stay away because Professor Cook was once associated with the notorious “Hagarene hypothesis” (put forth in the 1977 book: Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World by Patricia Crone and Michael Cook) though he has since backed away from some of the more extreme claims of that book. But “The Koran, a very short introduction” turns out to be a very witty and interesting book, full of insights that the most pious Muslim will find informative and stimulating. Continue reading The Koran; a very short introduction