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Compare and contrast Micheal Cook and Neil Robinson The Quran has stimulated much debate discussion and polemic from the very start of its revelation It was a proselytizing tool a source of guidance consolation and edification for the early Muslims and a reaction to the intransigence scorn and disbelief of the pagan Arabs Since then the Quran despite its sacred status for Muslims as the word of God has not simply been immortalised in history and then carefully stored in a safe elevated place beyond reach rather it has been handled and worked memorised utilized and exploited understood and misunderstood It has pervaded every element of Muslim life ideology politics and theology it has been stretched to breaking point to cover every exigency dilemma and controversy and to this the colossal lore of Islamic literature bears testimony However the analysis and interpretation of the Quran has been until recent years the sole province of Muslims who by definition take their unquestioned premises with regard to the divinity and appearance of the Quran as point of departure However with the rising tide of European scholars investing interest in the Quran new and fresher perspectives of the Quran have been brought to the fore perspectives which are only objective in the sense that the scholars are not existentially involved in the subject under scrutiny that is a potent and all-pervasive belief does not define their worldviews and therefore constrain their visions this is not to say however that their starting postulates do not reflect their own worldviews preconceptions and ideologies The differences in the starting postulates of Neil Robinson and Michael Cook are manifest in the methodologies they adopt to analyse the Quran which reflect their preconceptions and worldviews Cook approaches the Quran from an existential point of view He concentrates on the practical and historical aspects of the Quran on what it actually looked like and how it is interpreted understood and applied to the
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