1st Edition

The Qur'an Heard Sound Poetics in Three American Sermons

By Timur R. Yuskaev Copyright 2025
    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    For many Muslims, there is an inseparable connection between sound and meaning, particularly when it comes to Islamic verse and scripture. This provides fertile ground for a comparative study across traditions and forms. 

    Timur Yuskaev offers a meditation on the Qur’an and human sensibilities, heard together, in American Muslim sermons. Foregrounding sound, poetry and music, it is a cultural anthropology of the Qur’an, carried out in conversation with colleagues in multiple disciplines, including Religions in America, Qur’anic, Islamic, Memory, Communication, and Sound Studies. The author draws upon the works of Mikhail Bakhtin, Charles Long, Mary Douglas and many others to hear mysticism in a homiletic symphony by Warith Deen Mohammed, to sense the experience of the covenant in a three-minute, ribbon-cutting speech by Aras Konjhodzic, and to appreciate the Qur’anic musicality of a down-to-earth interfaith address by Sarah Sayeed. 

    A creative guide to an organic engagement with texts, this book will be of particular interest to those studying scriptures and the Qur’an.

    1.  Introduction: On Sound; 2. “pitch”; 3. “emanet”; 4. “habits of the heart”; Addendum: Sarah Sayeed, “Moving From Walls to Bridges”; References; Index


    Timur Yuskaev is Associate Professor of Contemporary Islam, Hartford International University for Religion and Peace, U.S.A.

    "This work gives voice to our lived experience as Muslims living in the West."

    Aisha al-Adawiya, Women in Islam, Inc.

    "The Qur'an Heard is a marvel of interdisciplinary finesse. At once panoramic and ethnographic, this sensory monograph is also critical and historical, a call to listen and act for non-Muslim as also Muslim readers."

    Bruce B. Lawrence, Duke University

    "A hallmark of Jesuit education is eloquentia perfecta, which means more than the literal translation of “perfect eloquence”, and instead refers to cultivating a whole person who works for the betterment of the world. In this lovely study, Prof. Yuskaev looks at rhetoric and musicality as essential components of Muslim sermons, and shows how Muslim preachers attend to this important goal."

    Amir Hussain, Loyola Marymount University