THE DENIAL OF SUPERNATURAL SORCERY IN CLASSICAL AND MODERN SUNNĪ TAFSĪR OF SŪRA AL-FALAQ (113:4) : A REFLECTION ON UNDERLYING CONSTRUCTIONS

In: Al-Bayan: Journal of Qur'an and Hadith Studies
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One of the main trends in Islamic modernism is the pursuit of rational exegesis of the Qur’ān. As a response to this trend many Sunni Islamic modernists have been labelled of being neo-Mu‘tazilites because of their use of independent reason, the historicizing of the Qur’ān, the emphasis on metaphorical interpretation of verses with supernaturalistic contents, the de-emphasizing of tradition, and the use of non-Islamic sources and thought. The similarities between modernists and classical rationalistic schools are seen in their exegeses on verse 113:4 wherein the dominant traditional interpretation of supernatural sorcery is denied. This paper tries to show why many forms of Islamic modernism are labelled as modern versions of Mu‘tazilism.

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