Book reviews

The noble Qur’an and the translation of its meaning into the German language

Always remembering that according to the tenets of Islam the text of the Koran can never legitimately be translated, only its “meaning” (p. xi), this is certainly the most significant Islamic Arabic-German version to date, even if the Introduction (p. xii) implies at the first glance it is the first ever by completely passing over the Ahmadiyya translation which has been available for decades.

Günter Kettermann: Atlas on the History of Islam

This is not only an atlas with numerous maps that illustrate the history of Islam from its origins through the modern age. At the same time it uses numerous articles, charts and pictures to convey much more information about Islam in the Near and Middle East, in Europe and North Africa than the title would allow one to assume.

Ursula Neumann (Ed.): Islamic Theology: International Contributions to the Hamburg Debate

This book presents a debate from March 2001 that dealt with the issue of establishing a professorship for Islamic Theology at the University of Hamburg. By way of this professorship Muslim teachers would receive academic training in Islam; thus, it was thought, leaders of mosques (Imams), teachers at Koran schools and religion teachers would be trained in Germany.

Hans Zehetmair (Ed): Islam in Tension between Conflict and Dialogue

The Berlin Wall no longer exists, and Hans Zehetmair hopes that there will not be any insurmountable hindrance between Islam and Europe in the future. The chairman of the “Hanns Seidel Foundation” has edited a collection of essays, which aims at offering background information as a necessary tool for those who want to build bridges between the Orient and the Occident.

Hamid Molla Djafari: God Has the most Beautiful Names

In the Koran we read: “The most beautiful names belong to Allah. So call on him by them” (surah 7.180). “The most beautiful names” are understood by Muslim theologians as names and attributes of God which are used during prayer, Sufi-meditation or while saying the rosary. God’s names are important as God has not revealed himself in Islam, as Muslim theologians hold, but has only sent down his Holy Book, the Koran.