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Author: Ramon Harvey

Abstract

As a scripture revealed in a historical moment, the Qurʾan calls to matters of eternal significance. Muslims seeking to apply its ethical message in the contemporary world need to be aware of both the imaginal leap to its age and the perpetual presence of its moral values. In this chapter, I will explore the idea of reading Qurʾanic values within modernity through the work of two significant figures: Taha Abderrahmane and Fazlur Rahman (1919–1988). While both seek to elucidate extrahistorical values from the Qurʾan in order to ensure revelation remains meaningful today, comparing the ways in which they theoretically frame their projects shines a light on the particularities of each, and engenders a more coherent conversation between Islamic ethics in Arabic and English. I also locate the discussion with respect to recent forays into Islamic ethical thought which respond to and develop their ideas.

Open Access
In: Islamic Ethics and the Trusteeship Paradigm: Taha Abderrahmane’s Philosophy in Comparative Perspectives
Author: Ramon Harvey

Abstract

As a scripture revealed in a historical moment, the Qurʾan calls to matters of eternal significance. Muslims seeking to apply its ethical message in the contemporary world need to be aware of both the imaginal leap to its age and the perpetual presence of its moral values. In this chapter, I will explore the idea of reading Qurʾanic values within modernity through the work of two significant figures: Taha Abderrahmane and Fazlur Rahman (1919–1988). While both seek to elucidate extrahistorical values from the Qurʾan in order to ensure revelation remains meaningful today, comparing the ways in which they theoretically frame their projects shines a light on the particularities of each, and engenders a more coherent conversation between Islamic ethics in Arabic and English. I also locate the discussion with respect to recent forays into Islamic ethical thought which respond to and develop their ideas.

Open Access
In: Islamic Ethics and the Trusteeship Paradigm: Taha Abderrahmane’s Philosophy in Comparative Perspectives
Author: Ramon Harvey

Abstract

Despite recognition of Abū l-Ḥasan al-Rustughfanī (d. ca. 345/956) as the most important student of Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī (d. 333/944), a sustained treatment of his theological views has not hitherto appeared. One of the challenges that has been identified in prior studies is a lack of primary sources. To overcome this obstacle, I analyse manuscripts of “Bāb al-mutafarriqāt min fawāʾid” and “al-Asʾila wa-l-ajwiba,” two texts recording al-Rustughfanī’s theological responsa, locating them within available bibliographic information and discussing the question of literary structure. I then contextualise the material within the polemical milieu of mid-fourth/tenth century Samarqand, arguing that al-Rustughfanī is the earliest figure in the Samarqandī Ḥanafī kalām tradition to self-consciously adopt the full name ahl al-sunna wa-l-jamāʿa to express his theological identity. Finally, I provide an annotated theological overview of the main doctrines found in the texts with a detailed case study on divine speech and the Qurʾān, showing how al-Rustughfanī bridges the gap between al-Māturīdī’s rationalistic kalām and the Ḥanafī traditionalism of al-Ḥakīm al-Samarqandī (d. 342/953).

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