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.
A Parallel English-Arabic Text. Volume 1
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.
A Parallel English-Arabic Text. Volume 2
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.

Abstract

Amthāl are loaded with metaphorical and cultural elements. The translation of texts with elements of culture and metaphors requires specific approaches and deep understanding of both the source and target languages. The objectives of this research are to investigate the role of context in explaining the meaning of amthāl and to review the best approaches for translating corpus with elements of culture and metaphors. The corpus of this research consists of selected hadiths by The Prophet (PBUH). In this research, the background events of the amthāl are reconstructed by referring to the context of the speech. Next, the metaphors in the corpus are taken out and the meanings are analyzed through analysis of context and meaning. Based on this analysis of context and meaning, suitable strategies for translating metaphorical elements in the research corpus are determined. Findings from the study show that The Prophet (PBUH) incorporated Arabic metaphors and cultural elements in his speech. Elements such as folklore and features of Arabic sociolinguistics were used effectively to deliver meaning. Thus, specific approaches to retain the essence and hidden elements in hadiths are required for translating amthāl by The Prophet.

In: Al-Bayan: Journal of Qur'an and Hadith Studies

Abstract

Phonological awareness and letter knowledge are essential elements needed for a person to be able to read and this includes the reading of the Quran. This study examined and explored the role of phonological awareness and letter knowledge, via A-ba-ha-ta method for teaching to read and write the Qurʾan. A-ba-ha-ta is a fast method to teach reading the Quran that uses a compilation of books structured aiming to instil the Quranic reading knowledge in 30 hours. Six students from different backgrounds took part in this case study. Their reading achievements were investigated based on the teaching for 30 hours within the duration of three weeks, three months and 1 year. The findings show that the students performed best when A-ba-ha-ta method was taught within the period of 3 months in an informal home setting. This is followed by the students taught within 1 year in a school setting and lastly the ones taught within three weeks in an informal school setting. Based on the findings, students who were taught with the A-ba-ha-ta method for three months’ period performed better in the assessment compared to those taught within three weeks and 1 year. Additionally, students who were taught within 1 year performed better in the assessment compared to those within three weeks.

In: Al-Bayan: Journal of Qur'an and Hadith Studies

Abstract

This paper discusses and examines intercultural differences between the Arabic use of ironic language in the Quran and its English translation equivalents by Arberry. The data samples of the study are methodologically classified and interpreted in accordance with Haverkate’s “Speech Acts Theory of Irony” (SATI), the “Echoic Account Theory” by Sperber and Wilson, and Nida’s “Theory of Equivalence”. Throughout the application of pragmatic and translation theories, qualitative analysis is used. Analysis and interpretation led to the conclusion that Arabic traditional culture, semantically complex language concepts like polysemy, idiomatic multi-word expressions and, above all, emotive images play fundamental roles that are impeding the translations of ironic speech acts from the Qurʾan into adequate English equivalents. The study also shows how verbal irony intersects with other figures and tropes. Its interface produces a vast range of various functions and dissociative thoughts, while being open to many interpretations. Lastly, the study shows how translational techniques can mitigate, minimize and overcome the problems of corresponding equivalence. The study suggests future research into the role that discourse parameters play for the translational transfer of Qurʾanic ironic speech acts and for all other figurative language types that are interrelated with verbal irony.

In: Al-Bayan: Journal of Qur'an and Hadith Studies

Abstract

This article addresses the problem represented by the state of imbalance in looking at the nature of the relationship between reason and the Prophetic Sunna. This relationship should be balanced between accepting the role of reason in dealing with the sunna according to many logical rules and principles or completely rejecting its role. Hence, this article aims to clarify the role of reason in dealing with the sunna: chain of narrators, text, and indication. It also aims to reach a state of balance in the relationship between reason and narrations in general, and the sunna in particular according to scientific methodologies. The article first explained the role of reason in dealing with sunna in relation to Isnād, therefore, it explained the role of reason in the science of ḥadīth proving that this science is based on logic, and that reason plays a role in proving whether the ḥadīth is continuous (muṭṭaṣil) or sectioned (munqaṭiʿ). Secondly, the article discussed the role of reason in dealing with the text of the ḥadīth (matn) in the followings: how to harmonize between contradictory ḥadīths, weighing between the texts, considering the implications of texts and deduction from them. Lastly, the author adopted the deductive approach, as he decided the rule or theory and then inferred from the texts and sources what it proves and indicates its validity. Moreover, he used the historical analytical method based on the analysis of texts from their sources and their use in arriving at specific results which are apparent in this article.

In: Al-Bayan: Journal of Qur'an and Hadith Studies
In: Ranks of the Divine Seekers