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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.
In The Semantics of Qurʾanic Language: al-Āḫira, Ghassan el Masri offers a semantic study of the concept al-āḫira ‘the End’ in the Qurʾān. The study is prefaced with a detailed account of the late antique concept of etymologia (Semantic Etymology). In his work, he demonstrates the necessity of this concept for appreciating the Qurʾān’s rhetorical strategies for claiming discursive authority in the Abrahamic theological tradition. The author applies the etymological tool to his investigation of the theological significance of al-āḫira, and concludes that the concept is polysemous, and tolerates a large variety of interpretations. The work is unique in that it draws extensively on Biblical material and presents a plethora of pre-Islamic poetry verses in the analysis of the concept.
Translator: Ovamir Anjum
This is an unabridged, annotated, translation of the great Damascene savant and saint Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s (d. 751/1350) Madārij al-Sālikīn. Conceived as a critical commentary on an earlier Sufi classic by the great Hanbalite scholar Abū Ismāʿīl of Herat, Madārij aims to rejuvenate Sufism’s Qurʾanic foundations. The original work was a key text for the Sufi initiates, composed in terse, rhyming prose as a master’s instruction to the aspiring seeker on the path to God, in a journey of a hundred stations whose ultimate purpose was to be lost to one’s self ( fanāʾ) and subsist ( baqāʾ) in God. The translator, Ovamir (ʿUwaymir) Anjum, provides an extensive introduction and annotation to this English-Arabic face-to-face presentation of this masterpiece of Islamic psychology.
Translator: Ovamir Anjum
This is an unabridged, annotated, translation of the great Damascene savant and saint Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s (d. 751/1350) Madārij al-Sālikīn. Conceived as a critical commentary on an earlier Sufi classic by the great Hanbalite scholar Abū Ismāʿīl of Herat, Madārij aims to rejuvenate Sufism’s Qurʾanic foundations. The original work was a key text for the Sufi initiates, composed in terse, rhyming prose as a master’s instruction to the aspiring seeker on the path to God, in a journey of a hundred stations whose ultimate purpose was to be lost to one’s self ( fanāʾ) and subsist ( baqāʾ) in God. The translator, Ovamir (ʿUwaymir) Anjum, provides an extensive introduction and annotation to this English-Arabic face-to-face presentation of this masterpiece of Islamic psychology.
This is an unabridged, annotated, translation of the great Damascene savant and saint Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s (d. 751/1350) Madārij al-Sālikīn. Conceived as a critical commentary on an earlier Sufi classic by the great Hanbalite scholar Abū Ismāʿīl of Herat, Madārij aims to rejuvenate Sufism’s Qurʾanic foundations. The original work was a key text for the Sufi initiates, composed in terse, rhyming prose as a master’s instruction to the aspiring seeker on the path to God, in a journey of a hundred stations whose ultimate purpose was to be lost to one’s self ( fanāʾ) and subsist ( baqāʾ) in God. The translator, Ovamir (ʿUwaymir) Anjum, provides an extensive introduction and annotation to this English-Arabic face-to-face presentation of this masterpiece of Islamic psychology.
Author: Harry T. Norris
In this work translations of four texts are provided from Ghadāmis and from Mali. The first is a biography of the Ghadāmisī scholar ʿAbdallāh b. Abī Bakr al-Ghadāmisī (1626–1719 AD), written by the eighteenth-century author Ibn Muhalhil al-Ghadāmisī. A second text is “The History of al-Sūq”, concerning al-Sūq, the historic town of Tādmakka and the original home of the Kel-Essouk Tuareg. The third text is “The Precious Jewel in the Saharan histories of the ‘People of the Veil’” by Muḥammad Tawjaw al-Sūqī al-Thānī, a contemporary Tuareg author. It pertains to the Kel-Essouk and their historical ties with the Maghreb and West Africa. The final text is a description of the Tuareg from the book “Ghadāmis, its features, its images and its sights” by Bashīr Qāsim Yūshaʿ, published in Arabic in 2001 AD.
Some Problems in English Translations of the Qurʾān with Reference to Rhetorical Features
In The Inimitable Qurʾān: Some Problems in English Translations of the Qurʾān with Reference to Rhetorical Features, Khalid Yahya Blankinship examines certain Arabic rhetorical features of the Qurʾān as represented in seven English translations. The author addresses the intersection of two important topics in Qurʾānic studies: the critique of the available English translations and the role of rhetoric in the interpretation of the Qurʾān. He identifies a number of figures characteristic of Qurʾanic style which represent some of the chief stumbling blocks for readers who are used to English in attempting to understand, interpret, and appreciate the text. The book should be useful to all those interested in rhetorical and translation studies and theory as well as Islamic studies.