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Useful Works of Reference

The Holy Quran's Translation in English by Abdullah Yousuf Ali

The wide compass of the Quran makes it necessary to consult works of reference on almost every conceivable subject, to enable us to elucidate the various points that arise. To deal adequately with such a Book, the widest reading is necessary as well as the most varied experience in life. But the interests of readers require that a handy Commentary should not roam too far afield. Bearing this in view the three essential kinds of books would be: (a) Previous Commentaries ; (b) previous Translations ; (c) Dictionaries and General Works of Reference easily accessible.

I have set out (a) and (b) in the previous two Notes. l note a few under (c):

1. Imam Abul-Qasim Husain Ragib's Mufradat: a concise Arabic dictionary of words and phrases in the Quran. Already mentioned under Commentaries.

2. The well-known Arabic Dictionary, Qamus.

3. The well-known Arabic Dictionary, Lisan-ul-Arab.

4. The concise Arabic-Perisan Dictionary, Surah.

5. J. Penrice's Dictionary & Glossary of the Koran.

6. E. W. Lane: Eniglish-Arabic Lexicon.

7. Imam Jalal-ud-din Suyuti's Itqanfil ulum-il-Quran: a veritable encyclopedia of Quranic sciences.

8. Noldeke and Schwally: Geschichte des Qorans. A German Essay on the Chronology of the Quran. Its criticisms and conclusions are from a non-Muslim point of view and to us not always acceptable, though it is practically the last word of European scholarship on the subject.

9. Encyclopedia Of Islam. Nearly completed. Very unequal in its various parts.

10. Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th edition. A great advance on previous editions, as regards the attention it devotes to Arabic learning.

11. Hughes's Dictionary of Islam. Out of date, but still useful.

12. lbn Hisham : Sirat-ur-Rasul. A fairly detailed Life of the Apostle.

13. Maulvi Shibli Nu'mani.(d. 1914 = 1334 H.) : Sirat-un-Nabi (an Urdu Life of the Apostle).

14. Fath-ur-Rahman, an Arabic Concordance to the Quran, by Faidh-ullah Bik Hasani, printed in Cairo in 1346 H. Full and well arranged, and easy to use.

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