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The Fatimid Egyptian Convert Who Shaped Christian Views of Islam
Author: David Bertaina
Būluṣ ibn Rajāʾ (ca. 955–ca. 1020) was a celebrated writer of Coptic Christianity from Fatimid Egypt. Born to an influential Muslim family in Cairo, Ibn Rajāʾ later converted to Christianity and composed The Truthful Exposer (Kitāb al-Wāḍiḥ bi-l-Ḥaqq) outlining his skepticism regarding Islam. His ideas circulated across the Middle East and the Mediterranean in the medieval period, shaping the Christian understanding of the Qurʾan’s origins, Muḥammad’s life, the practice of Islamic law, and Muslim political history. This book includes a study of Ibn Rajāʾ’s life, along with an Arabic edition and English translation of The Truthful Exposer.
Editor: Nicolai Sinai
The Qur’anic surahs and passages that are customarily taken to postdate Muhammad’s emigration to Medina occupy a key position in the formative period of Islam: they fundamentally shaped later convictions about Muhammad’s paradigmatic authority and universal missionary remit; they constitute an important basis for Islam’s development into a religion with a strong legal focus; and they demarcate the Qur’anic community from Judaism and Christianity. The volume exemplifies a rich array of approaches to the challenges posed by this part of the Qur’an, including its distinctive literary and doctrinal features, its relationship to other late antique traditions, and the question of oral composition.

Contributors are Karen Bauer, Saqib Hussain, Marianna Klar, Joseph E. Lowry, Angelika Neuwirth, Andrew J. O’Connor, Cecilia Palombo, Nora K. Schmid, Nicolai Sinai, Devin J. Stewart, Gabriel S. Reynolds, Neal Robinson and Holger Zellentin.
From its Hijazi Origins to its Classical Reading Traditions
What was the language of the Quran like, and how do we know? Today, the Quran is recited in ten different reading traditions, whose linguistic details are mutually incompatible. This work uncovers the earliest linguistic layer of the Quran. It demonstrates that the text was composed in the Hijazi vernacular dialect, and that in the centuries that followed different reciters started to classicize the text to a new linguistic ideal, the ideal of the ʿarabiyyah. This study combines data from ancient Quranic manuscripts, the medieval Arabic grammarians and ample data from the Quranic reading traditions to arrive at new insights into the linguistic history of Quranic Arabic.
Late Antique Responses to the Arab Conquests is a showcase of new discoveries in an exciting and rapidly developing field: the study of the transition from Late Antiquity to Early Islam. The contributors to this volume engage with previously neglected sources, such as Arabic rock inscriptions, papyri and Byzantine archaeological remains. They also apply new interpretative methods to the literary tradition, reading the Qur’an as a late antique text, using Arabic poetry as a source to study the gestation of an Arab identity, and extracting settlement patterns of the Arabian colonizers in order to explain regional processes of Arabicization and Islamization. This volume shows how the Arab conquests changed both the Arabian conquerors and the conquered.
Sayyid Ahmad Khan's (1817-1898) Muslim Exegesis of the Bible
Set in British India soon after the Uprising of 1857, God’s Word, Spoken and Otherwise explores the controversial and ingenious ideas of one of South Asia’s most influential public thinkers, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898). Bringing to light previously unpublished material from his exegetical commentaries on the Bible and Qur’an, this study explores the interplay of natural and prophetic revelation from an intertextual perspective. The book provides fresh insight into Sir Sayyid’s life and work, and underscores both the originality of his ideas, and also their continuity within a dynamic Muslim intellectual tradition.
Contemporary psychology is highly influenced by positivism and scientific naturalism. Psychological studies make efforts to control the variables and provide operational definitions of subjective constructs in order to reach the most concrete conclusions. Such efforts are admirable in natural sciences since they have led to a better life. But, this worldview has deprived contemporary psychology of more qualitative sources of knowledge like waḥy (revelation). The present book introduces Islamic psychology as a paradigm, which can apply waḥy knowledge and consider religious/spiritual dimensions of humans in scientific exploration. The first part discusses the possibility, foundations, and characteristics of Islamic psychology. The second part introduces research methodology in Islamic psychology. The third part reviews the Quranic theory of personality and highlights the concept of shakeleh. Finally, the fourth part presents the theories and methods of religious psychotherapy in the Islamic tradition. Each part provides introductory content for readers interested in Islamic psychology.
Reading the Arabic Bible in the Tafsīrs of Ibn Barraǧān and al-Biqāʿī
In Interpreting the Qurʾān with the Bible, R. Michael McCoy III brings together two lesser known yet accomplished commentators on the Qurʾān and the Bible: the muʿtabir Abū al-Ḥakam ʿAbd al-Salām b. al-Išbīlī (d. 536/1141), referred to as Ibn Barraǧān, and qāriʾ al-qurrāʾ Ibrāhīm b. ʿUmar b. Ḥasan al-Biqāʿī (d. 885/1480). In this comparative study, comprised of manuscript analysis and theological exegesis, a robust hermeneutic emerges that shows how Ibn Barraǧān’s method of naẓm al-qurʾān and al-Biqāʿī’s theory of ʿilm munāsabāt al-qurʾān motivates their reading and interpretation of the Arabic Bible. The similarities in their quranic hermeneutics and approach to the biblical text are astounding as each author crossed established boundaries and pushed the acceptable limits of handling the Bible in their day.
A Semantic Study of the Roots n-z-l and w-ḥ-y
Author: Simon P. Loynes
In Revelation in the Qur’an Simon P. Loynes presents a semantic study of the Arabic roots n-z-l and w-ḥ-y in order to elucidate the modalities of revelation in the Qur’an. Through an exhaustive analysis of their occurrences in the Qur’an, and with reference to pre-Islamic poetry, Loynes argues that the two roots represent distinct occurrences, with the former concerned with spatial events and the latter with communicative. This has significant consequences for understanding the Qur’an’s unique concept of revelation and how this is both in concord and at variance with earlier religious traditions.
Language and Politics of the Ummah in the Qurʾan
Author: Hamza M. Zafer
In Ecumenical Community, Hamza M. Zafer explores the language and politics of community-formation in the Qurʾan. Zafer proposes that ecumenism, or the inclusivity of social difference, was a key alliance-building strategy in the western Arabian proto-Muslim communitarian movement (1st/7th century). The Proto-Muslims imagined that their pietistic community—the ummah—transcended but did not efface prior social differences based in class, clan, and custom. In highlighting the inclusive orientation of the Qurʾan's ummah-building program, Zafer provides new insights into the development of early Islam and the period preceding the Arab conquests.
Ibn Mujāhid and the Founding of the Seven Readings
Author: Shady Nasser
In The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān, Nasser studies the transmission and reception of the Qurʾānic text and its variant readings through the work of Ibn Mujāhid (d. 324/936), the founder of the system of the Seven Eponymous Readings of the Qurʾān. The overarching project aims to track and study the scrupulous revisions the Qurʾān underwent, in its recited, oral form, through the 1,400-year journey towards a final, static, and systematized text.
For the very first time, the book offers a complete and detailed documentation of all the variant readings of the Qurʾān as recorded by Ibn Mujāhid. A comprehensive audio recording accompanies the book, with more than 3,500 audio files of Qurʾānic recitations of variant readings.