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Home > BOOKS > Quranic Studies
Atlas of the Quran [HB]
Part Number 488-155
Atlas of the Quran [HB]
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The Noble Qur'an is the last Divine Book which has been revealed by Allah for the guidance of mankind up to the Day of Resurrection. One of the bright sides of this Book is that it is read and recited much more than any other book of the world. In a real sense this very Book has encircled into it the ever shining pearls of all the visible and invisible knowledge and the wisdom, the world needs for survival and eternal success. Hence the reading of the Qur'an, understanding of its meanings and interpretations is important and obligatory on all the followers of Islam.

Muslim Community should be proud for having the last Divine Book in a well-preserved form. This blessed opportunity has not been provided to any other heavenly religion. Before the revelation of the Qur'an, hundred of Scriptures including the three former heavenly Books as well have been annihilated. Whatever they have at hand as they disclose are nothing but only the Collections of narratives and sayings of spiritual guides. On the other hand, today the Noble Qur'an has its originality as it was, in the hearts of thousands of the memorizers (Huffaz) of the Qur'an. As regards to its manuscripts written from time to time in various periods, their samples are available even today and found in museums, government under-taken libraries as well as many of the private libraries and various publication institutes at large scales. After revelation of the Qur'an, various artifice skills developed. Besides its modulation forms, some of them pertained to its literal terms - explanatory points, religious decrees, themes, topic and issue discussions etc. But along with these skills, other techniques and arts such as calligraphy, designing, printing, binding, etc., also developed.

Later on the reference of the Qur'anic geography, descriptions of the Prophets, the Qur'anic habitations, the Qur'anic landmarks etc., were described in scores of the books, by the end of 20th century. But in the third millennium of the world civilization, these descriptions appeared on surface in the form of a new way of 'understanding the Qur'an'. For the first time an effort has been made to bring out the places, the same time, I decided, considering it a valuable presentation, that our institution, Darussalam, would certainly bring out its Urdu and English editions.

So, a contact was made with Dar Al-Fikr, Damascus - the publisher of Atlas of the Qur'an, but they refused. Then some common friends were asked to do something in this regard, and the publisher was addressed through a letter also, but nothing could be finalized. Last year, Mr. Hasan Salim, the son of Mr. Muhammad Adnan Salim, owner of Dar Al-Fikr, came to Riyadh. He visited the offices of Darussalam and was very much impressed after knowing about the aims and objects of Darussalam and its efforts for the spread of Islamic knowledge, he promised to have a talk with his father regarding the publication of the Atlas of the Qur'an.

In the beginning of the year 2003, 1 specially went to Damascus, which is like a second home to me. In the past ten or twelve years, I must have gone there at least 30 or 35 times. In Damascus, the second name of Darussalam is Darul Fika'. Its owner, Mr. Muhammad Yasir Tabba' is dear to me like a younger brother. After reaching Damascus, I informed my hosts that the only purpose of my visit is to have a conversation with Dar Al-Fikr regarding the books Atlas of the Qur'an and the Atlas on the Prophet's Biography. The next day we were at the offices of Dar Al-Fikr. Mr. Hasan Salim greeted me heartily. I started talking him about the books again. He proposed to have a talk with his father who was a very busy person. I asked for a few minutes talk with him. His secretary agreed to allow us time for a short talk reminding about the appointments previously assigned.

The meeting that was scheduled to be of a short duration, exceeded one hour and a half until the secretary of Mr. Muhammad Adnan Salim interrupted to remind about the visitors that were waiting.

Dar Al-Fikr was established 50 years ago. Mr. Muhammad Adnan Salim has passed 70 years of life, having a very good health by the grace of Allah and running the organization with full enthusiasm. He told me about the visit of Maulana Maudoodi to Damascus in 1960 and that the Maulana paid a visit to his house for a social call. Mr. Muhammad Adnan Salim had arranged a dinner for his reception and invited prominent scholars and writers in it. We were engrossed in the past memories. He has a wide experience of publishing books and is personalities and nations etc., as indicated in the Qur'an, in the form of a unique presentation comprising maps, photographs and tables. This great endeavor is Atlas of the Qur'an by a prominent research scholar of geography and an Arabian renowned figure, Dr Shawqi Abu Khalil. For the interpretation and explanation of the religious books, the ancient and modern orientalists have done a notable work, and whatever work they did, it is of course a landmark for other research scholars. The habitations and personalities mentioned in Torah, or the land marks, places and personalities mentioned in four books of New Testament are available (in a beautiful manner) in more than a dozen geographical books with maps, known as atlas. But in various chapters of the Qur'an, the descriptions replete with the events of the Hijaz, Arab nations, places, personalities, oceans, rivers, gulfs, lakes, mountains, forests, caves, cities etc., are available and hundreds of the writers, scholars and authors have also gone through their details, and many of the research books have also been compiled on these topics, but on the other hand, all this fruitful information has yet not been presented in the form of a book (atlas) consisting of maps, photographs and tables. These concerned contents or literary compositions containing the Qur'anic maps and tables were not before me so that a reciter of the Qur'an may think of the details of the indications found in the Qur'an while reciting it.

Since the dawn of the establishment of Darussalam, the multilingual institution for the publication of the Qur'an and the Qur'anic sciences and ideologies, we have been on the line of our objectives, i.e., the circulation & publication of the Qur'an in various languages with its ideologies in scientific manner. In this regard, we keeping in view the modern opportunities, are applying all kinds of modern scientific means and techniques in the teaching & the publication of the Qur'an. Being an ordinary student of the Qur'an, it has been my sincere effort to bring out the books (published in Arabic language) on teaching of the Qur'an, teaching of Hadith, biography of the Messenger into the Urdu, English and other languages. Then after two and half years ago, when I went through the great work: (Atlas of the Qur'an: Places, Nations, Landmarks) by the distinguished author of Arabic language, Dr Shawqi Abu Khalil, I found it adorned with colored maps besides the Qur'anic topics and Verses. I was happily surprised and impressed after looking through its pages, and then at
well known in the Islamic world. He provided me valuable guidance as regards the publishing field.

However, this meeting ended upon the permission to print both of the books. It was decided that Darussalam will pay regular royalty on them and some money will be paid as advance. Thanks are to Allah that after some weeks when he visited Riyadh to participate in a conference of writers, an agreement was signed between us, and so I was able to fulfill the wish I was most eager of. I am thankful to Mr. Muhammad Adrian Salim for his cooperation and permission to publish the translations of the books.

It may be perceived that the compilation of the Qur'anic Atlas consisting of personalities, nations, events and landmarks, places etc., as mentioned in the Qur'an, was not an easier task. Certainly the author might have made a journey toward the passed period, and imaginarily perceived the pictures of the events mentioned in the Noble Qur'an. It seems in the journey to the past, other heavenly books, history, narratives and the modern archaeological studies were also proved helpful to this great writer. Certainly this journey in the back direction consisting of several periods would have been a typical and unique experience of his life, but this experience itself is one of the best rewards of the struggles the author did. Having a dip in the ocean of this beautiful experience, the writer has compiled both of his atlases. I am sure that both of them would open for the readers the channel of intelligence and spiritual journey which the author found.

Now the work on the other valuable presentation: Atlas on the Prophet's Biography is under process, and Insha Allah with high standards of printing and designing, it will soon be in the hands of the readers.

The readers are humbly requested to accept from us this unique presentation, and pray to Allah for us to be more active in the struggle towards the multilingual publications of much needed books, treatises etc., based on Islam.
May Allah bless us with splendid success.

Abdul-Malik Mujahid, 
General Manager Darussalam, Riyad

Author: Dr. Shauqi Abu Khalil
Size, Format: 392 pages, 7"x 10" Hardcover
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