Sarra TliliOct 17, 2013
Animals in the Qurâ€™an
Cambridge University Press 2013
In her book Animals in the Qur'an (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Sarra Tlili carefully addresses a complex issue. What does the Qur'an say about non-human animals? And their relationship to humans? Tlili begins her study by discussing conceptions of animals in various religions, in addition to Islam, and not just "Abrahamic" traditions. The remainder of the book focuses on the Qur'an, its presentation of animals, and a range of exegetical literature that treats the topic of animals in the Islamic holy text. Tlili also ventures into Arabic literature more broadly. She adroitly demonstrates that classical Muslim scholars did not understand non-human animals as existentially inferior, and notes societal shifts in the modern world with reference to anthropocentrism and privileging human existence. Tlili also provides a comprehensive appendix that lists a host of qur'anic names for animals, demonstrating the significance of her topic as well as the lexical challenge that scholars face. Sarra Tlili's articulate prose reads smoothly, moreover, and gives the reader an incentive to explore this fascinating text. The monograph should interest specialists and non-specialists alike as it provides an accessible window into the rich world of Animals in the Qur'an.