John Burton’s “The Collection of the Qur’an” published in Persian

April 11, 2022 - 18:25

TEHRAN – British author John Burton’s book “The Collection of the Qur’an” has been published in Persian.

First published on October 28, 1977, the book has been translated by Hassan Rezai Haftadar. The Persian edition has been published by the Mofid University Press.

The most surprising feature of the Muslim traditions on the compilation of the Holy Quran is their denial of any role attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (S) himself in the collection process. 

The merit of assembling and preserving the record of the momentous divine revelations has been variously ascribed to some half dozen of the Prophet’s associates or companions, and these ascriptions have usually been treated as hopelessly conflicting. 

Burton argues that they are in perfect agreement. Their sole function was the deliberate exclusion of Muhammad (S). 

Burton demonstrates in his analysis of the original Muslim sources a series of subtle distinctions, the most significant being that between the Quran document and source. 

This analysis of early Muslim traditions challenges existing scholarly interpretations, and Burton argues his case with a wealth of detail. 

It is a book, which all students of Islam will find required reading.

Born in London in 1921, John was initially tempted to study medicine, but already as a teenager developed a passion for Western classical music.

In 1939 he enrolled at the Royal College of Music, London, as a horn player, where his fellow student was Dennis Brain, destined to become the best English horn player of the post-World War II period.

It was in India that John discovered both an attraction and aptitude for Oriental languages, becoming fluent in Hindi and Nepali, and partly in Urdu, within only a few years.

Gradually John’s interest in Muslim culture prevailed, and he started to research and write on different aspects of Indo-Islamic history and architecture.

How exactly John made the seemingly arbitrary transition from the world of European Classical music to Indian languages, and then to Indo-Islamic architecture, must remain something of a mystery. He never discussed it and perhaps never reflected upon it, but merely pursued the different trajectories of his interests with natural facility and unbridled enthusiasm.

Photo: Front cover of the Persian edition of John Burton’s book “The Collection of the Qur’an”.

MMS/YAW

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