God is BeautifulThe Aesthetic Experience of the Quran
God is Beautiful
The Aesthetic Experience of the Quran
Translated by Tony Crawford
The melodious recitation of the Quran is a fundamental aesthetic experience for Muslims, and the start of a compelling journey of ideas. In this important new book, the prominent German writer and Islamic scholar Navid Kermani considers the manner in which the Quran has been perceived, apprehended and experienced by its recipients from the time of the Prophet to the present day.

Drawing on a wide range of Muslim sources, from historians, theologians and philosophers to mystics and literary scholars, Kermani provides a close reading of the nature of this powerful text. He proceeds to analyze ancient and modern testimonies about the impact of Quranic language from a variety of angles. Although people have always reflected on the reception of texts, images and sounds that they find beautiful or moving, Kermani explains that Islam provides a particularly striking example of the close correlation, grounded in a common origin, between art and religion, revelation and poetry, and religious and aesthetic experience.

This major new book will enhance the dialogue between Islam and the West and will appeal to students and scholars of Islam and comparative religion, as well as to a wider readership interested in Islam and the Quran.
Show More
Buy Now

From Wiley.com

Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • February 2015 (hb)
    September 2018 (pb)
  • 400 pages
  • 61 x 102 mm / 2 x 4 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $45.00
  • 9780745651675
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9780745651682
Table of Contents
I. The First Listeners
II. The Text
III. The Sound
IV. The Miracle
V. The Prophet among the Poets
VI. The Sufi Listeners
About the Author
Navid Kermani is a writer and Islamic scholar who lives in Cologne, Germany. He has been awarded numerous prizes for his literary and academic work, the most recent being the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal in 2011.

This work was translated by Tony Crawford
Show More


This outstanding work fills a major lacuna in both the study ofthe Qur'ân as scripture and the study of Muslim faith,practice, and sprituality.  It is an estimable scholarly andintellectual accomplishment that will be of significant interest toany student of Islam or the general history ofreligion.’
William Graham, Harvard University

Navid Kermani, himself an highly accomplished and honored writer ofartistic prose, sets out to (and succeeds) in articulating theMuslim response to the Qur'an as a work of inimitable beauty, abeauty, moreover, that is only available to those capable ofreading it in Arabic. Reading Kermani has opened me up to an evengreater appreciation than ever of the Muslim tradition and awakenedin me an even greater desire to someday read the Qur'an in Arabic.The book is anything but a "fundamentalist" defense of the Qur'anon aesthetic terms but rather a beautiful evocation of the meaningof that beauty for Muslims in the past and today.
Daniel Boyarin, University of California, Berkeley

Navid Kermani has written one of the most insightful books onreligion to appear in decades. His approach is ground breaking, adazzling display of his profound knowledge of Islam, and hisextraordinary insight into the nature of religiousexperience.
Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College

Show More