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    Usul Al-Tafsir

    by Recep Dogan
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    • PAPERBACK : 2014-06-15 • 366 Pages • 6.5 x 9.5 inches inches • ISBN 9781597843218
    • CATEGORIES Interfaith Dialogue, Backlist, Forthcoming
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    DESCRIPTION

    This valuable work on the methodology of exegesis by Dr. Recep Dogan will serve as an important measure for future works in this area. With his expertise in the history and exegesis of the Qur’an, as well as his familiarity and comprehensive understanding of Islamic disciplines, Dr. Dogan has managed to combine both classical and modern acquis. Those who benefit from this study will witness a centuries-old tradition at the same time learning modern developments and formations. Dr. Dogan displays a clear procedure for his readers with his method of explanation on the continuity of Quranic exegesis. He at all times maintains a serious balance and builds a meaningful bridge between the past and the present through the many examples he gives. Presenting a variety of different approaches, Dr. Dogan also offers a broad range of Western approaches in reading the Qur’an. Western institutes that offer and those who receive education in the ‘Introduction to the Qur’an’ or ‘Approaches to the Qur’an’ will especially appreciate this work. It will also serve as reference to those who have an interest in the field or any Muslim who wants to deepen their understanding of their Muslim identity in the light of the Qur’an.

    INTRODUCTION


    Review In the field of Qur'anic studies, Usul Al-Tafsir is a major subfield about which one can find abundant literature from the classical period. In modern times, both Muslims and non-Muslims have contributed a number of books on the subject in English. Some important contributions by Muslims in English include Ahmad Von Denfer's 'Ulum al-Quran (1983), Yasir Qadhi's An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an (1999), Hasanuddin Ahmad's Introducing the Qur'an (2005), Abdullah Saeed's Interpreting the Qur'an (2006) and Quran: An Introduction (2008). According to the author of the book under review, all these books remain both 'limited in content and fewer in number' (p.xiv). The scholarship of orientalists in this branch of study is also neither satisfying nor flawless, for they give a feeling of 'manipulation due to certain deductions in their approaches to the Qur'an.'
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    For these reasons, Recep Dogan (Centre of Islamic Sciences and Civilizations, Charles Sturt University, Australia) has attempted to fill this gap. Apart from the Foreword by Ismail Albayrak (pp. xiii-xv), the book consists of twelve chapters with Glossary and Bibliography. The book deals with the following topics: "History and Development of Qur'anic Exegesis", "Wahy (Revelation): Meaning, Nature, and Forms"; "Transmission of the Quanic Revelation", "Form, Structure, Coherence, and I'jaz of the Qur'an"; "History of the Interpretation and Interpreters of the Qur'an"; Asbab al-Nuzul (Occasions of the Revelation) and Isra'iliyyat; "Muhkamat and Mutashabihat (Clear and ambiguous Verses)'; "The Notion and Theory of Naskh (Abrogation)"; "Qira'at and the Abruf al-Sab'ah (Qur'anic Readings and Seven Letters)"; Qasas and Tanasub (Qur'anic Stories and Thematic Unity in the Qur'an)"; Ishari Tafsir (Allegorical Interpretations of the Qur'an)"; and "Textual Analysis and Translation of the Qur'an".
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    All these chapters are very detailed but written in a lucid and simple manner. One of the unique features of this work is that each chapter, except for chapters 11 and 12, presents in "Summary" some of the major points of each section. Dogan's Usul al-Tafsir is a welcome addition to this genre of literature which I recommend for all serious students of Islam, Qur'anic studies, especially those students who have little or no knowledge of Arabic.
    </br></br>
    Jammu &Kashmir, India </br>
    Tauseef Ahmad Parray
    Extra Contents
    Transliteration Table...........................................................................................................................................................xi
    Foreword................................................................................................................................................................................xiii
    Preface....................................................................................................................................................................................xvii
    Chapter One
    Introduction to the Methodology of Qur’anic Exegesis.................................................................................3
    1.1 Definition of Qur’anic Sciences (‘Ulūm al-Qur’ān)....................................................................................3
    1.2 The History of ‘Ulūm Al-Qur’ān.........................................................................................................................5
    1.3 General Topics of ‘Ulūm al-Qur’ān...................................................................................................................9
    1.4 Benefits of Studying the Sciences of the Qur’ān.....................................................................................10
    1.5 Origin of the Term ‘Qur’ān’..............................................................................................................................11
    1.6 What Kind of Book Is the Qur’ān?.................................................................................................................11
    1.7 Concepts of the Exegesis, Interpretation and Translation (Tafsīr and Ta’wil).........................17
    1.8 The Differences between Interpretation (Tafsīr) and Translation (Tarjama)..........................22
    1.8.1 Two Types of Translation (Tarjama)...............................................................................................24
    1.8.2 Meal ................................................................................................................................................................28
    Chapter Two
    The Notion of Revelation (Waḫy)............................................................................................................................31
    2.1 The Nature of Revelation..................................................................................................................................31
    2.2 The Meaning of Revelation (Waḫy)..............................................................................................................34
    2.2.1 The First Revelation.................................................................................................................................36
    2.2.2 Receiving the Revelation.......................................................................................................................37
    2.3 The Forms of Revelation...................................................................................................................................40
    2.3.1 Revelation without an Intermediary................................................................................................41
    2.3.2 Revelation with an Intermediary.......................................................................................................42
    2.3.3 The Stages of Revelation........................................................................................................................43
    2.4 The Wisdom behind the Gradual Revelation of the Qur’ān...............................................................45
    2.5 The Scribes of the Qur’ān and the Materials for Writing the Qur’ān............................................46
    2.6 The Spoken and Written Word of God........................................................................................................48
    Chapter Three
    Transmission of the Qur’anic Revelation...........................................................................................................57
    3.1 Memorisation and Oral Transmission of the Qur’ān............................................................................57
    3.2 The Written Text of the Qur’ān at the Time of the Prophet (pbuh)..............................................59
    3.2.1 The Preservation of the Written Materials....................................................................................64
    3.2.2 The Collection of the Qur’ān (Jam’ al-Qur’ān)..............................................................................65
    3.2.3 The Collection of the Qur’ān during Abū Bakr’s Time..............................................................68
    3.2.4 Zayd ibn Thabit and the Collection of the Qur’ān.......................................................................70
    3.2.5 The Reasons for Choosing Zayd ibn Thabit for the Collection of the Qur’ān.................71
    3.2.6 ‘Umar’s Role in the Dissemination of the Qur’ān........................................................................72
    3.2.7 The Methodology in the Collection of Zayd...................................................................................74
    3.2.8 The Specifications of the Collection of Zayd.................................................................................75
    3.3 The Collection of the Qur’ān during the Time of Uthman..................................................................77
    3.3.1 The Reasons behind the Copying of the Qur’ān..........................................................................77
    3.3.2 The Methodology in the Collection of Uthman............................................................................79
    3.3.3 The Activities of the Committee for the Uthman Collection..................................................80
    3.3.4 What Happened to the Copies of Uthman?....................................................................................83
    3.3.5 Differences between the Two Collections......................................................................................85
    3.4 Qur’anic Script.......................................................................................................................................................85
    Chapter Four
    Form, Structure, Coherence and the I’jāz of the Qur’ān.............................................................................93
    4.1 The Theory of I’jāz ..............................................................................................................................................93
    4.1.1 Conditions of Mu’jizah............................................................................................................................94
    4.2 The Qur’ān is a Miracle (Mu’jizah)................................................................................................................96
    4.2.1 The Challenge of the Qur’ān (I’jāz al-Qur’ān)...............................................................................96
    4.2.2 The Works against the Challenge of the Qur’ān.......................................................................100
    4.3 Arguments for the Divine Authorship of the Qur’ān.........................................................................102
    4.4 The Types of I’jāz in the Qur’ān..................................................................................................................106
    4.4.1 The Language of the Qur’ān..............................................................................................................107
    4.4.2 The Abundant Meanings in Its Words and Forms (Jazalat an-Nazm)...........................107
    4.4.3 The Beauty in Its Expressions..........................................................................................................109
    4.4.4 The Greatness in the Detached Letters .......................................................................................111
    4.4.5 The Encompassing Meaning of the Qur’ān.................................................................................113
    4.6 The Thematic Unity of the Qur’ān..............................................................................................................117
    4.7 The Predictions of the Qur’ān......................................................................................................................120
    4.7.1 The Predictions about the Past........................................................................................................120
    4.7.2 The Predictions about the Future .................................................................................................120
    4.7.3 The Predictions about the Unseen Truths..................................................................................122
    Chapter Five
    History of the Interpretation and Interpreters of the Qur’ān.............................................................125
    5.1 The History and Development of Exegeses of the Qur’ān (Tafsīr)..............................................125
    5.1.1 The Need for Tafsīr................................................................................................................................125
    5.2 Conditions for the Interpretation of the Qur’ān..................................................................................130
    5.2.1 Religious and Ethical Conditions for the Interpreter.............................................................130
    5.2.2 The Required Sciences for the Interpretation of the Qur’ān..............................................131
    5.3 Tafsīr of the Qur’ān by the Qur’ān.............................................................................................................132
    5.4 The Tafsīr of the Prophet (pbuh)...............................................................................................................133
    5.5. The Types of Tafsīr of the Prophet (pbuh) and Examples.............................................................135
    5.5.1 His Tafsīr by the Qur’ān......................................................................................................................135
    5.5.2 His Tafsīr by Explaining What Is Mentioned Briefly in the Qur’ān..................................136
    5.5.3 His Tafsīr by Strengthening the Meaning of the Verse..........................................................136
    5.5.4 His Tafsīr by Explaining the Contradicting Expressions (tawdih al-mushkil).............137
    5.5.5 His Tafsīr by Explaining the Ambiguous Expressions...........................................................137
    5.5.6 His Tafsīr by Explaining the Abrogated Verses (Bayān al-naskh)....................................138
    5.5.7 His Tafsīr by His Practises ................................................................................................................138
    5.5.8 His Tafsīr by Philological Explanations .......................................................................................139
    5.5.9 His Tafsīr by His Descriptions..........................................................................................................139
    5.5.10 His Tafsīr by Parables .......................................................................................................................140
    5.6 Tafsīr by the Companions..............................................................................................................................141
    5.7 Tafsīr by the Tabi’in (the Successors)......................................................................................................143
    5.7.1 The School of Mecca.............................................................................................................................144
    5.7.2 The School of Medina...........................................................................................................................144
    5.7.3 The School of Kūfa.................................................................................................................................145
    5.8 Tradition or Reason-Based Tafsīr..............................................................................................................147
    5.8.1 Narration (Riwāyah) Tafsīr................................................................................................................147
    5.8.2 Intellectual (Dirāyah) Tafsīr..............................................................................................................148
    5.9 The Well-Known Tafsīr Scholars ...............................................................................................................150
    5.9.1 Abd Allah Ibn ‘Abbās ...........................................................................................................................150
    5.9.2 Muqātil b. Sulayman ............................................................................................................................150
    5.9.3 Yahya b. Sallam ......................................................................................................................................151
    5.9.4 Muhammad b. Jarir at-Tabarī ..........................................................................................................151
    5.9.5 Ibn Abī Hatim...........................................................................................................................................152
    5.9.6 Zamakhshari.............................................................................................................................................153
    5.9.7 Fakhr ad-Din al-Rāzī.............................................................................................................................154
    5.9.8 Ibn Kathīr...................................................................................................................................................154
    5.10 New Interpretation of Islam: Main Feature of Modernist Qur’anic Scholarship................156
    5.10.1 M. Fethullah Gülen and His Tafsīr................................................................................................158
    Chapter Six
    Occasions of Revelation (Asbāb al-Nuzūl) and Isra’iliyyat....................................................................165
    6.1 The Occasions of Revelations (Asbāb an-Nuzūl).................................................................................165
    6.1.1 The Benefits of Knowing the Asbāb an-Nuzūl...........................................................................168
    6.1.2 Status of the Asbāb al-Nuzūl Reports from Companions......................................................176
    6.1.3 The Wording of Asbāb al-Nuzūl Reports.....................................................................................177
    6.1.4 Specific and General..............................................................................................................................179
    6.1.5 Types of Reports....................................................................................................................................180
    6.1.6 Multiple Asbāb for One Verse...........................................................................................................181
    6.1.7 Multiple Revelations for One Occasion (Sabab).......................................................................185
    6.1.8 Some Issues Related to the Occasion of Revelation...............................................................185
    6.1.9 Summary of Asbāb an-Nuzūl.............................................................................................................188
    6.1.10 Books on Asbāb an-Nuzūl................................................................................................................188
    6.2 The Notion of Isra’iliyyat................................................................................................................................189
    6.2.1 Definition of Isra’iliyyat.......................................................................................................................189
    6.2.2 The Approaches towards Isra’iliyyat.............................................................................................191
    6.2.3 When the Narration of Isra’iliyyat Started..................................................................................193
    6.2.4 Important Figures in Isra’iliyyat Report Transmission.........................................................194
    6.2.5 Categories of Isra’iliyyat......................................................................................................................194
    Chapter Seven
    Clear and Ambiguous Verses (Muḫkam and Mutashābih).....................................................................197
    7.1 The Clear and Unclear Verses (Muḫkam Mutashābih)......................................................................197
    7.1.1 Definition of Muḫkam...........................................................................................................................197
    7.1.2 Definition of Mutashābih....................................................................................................................198
    7.1.3 The Usage of Muḫkam and Mutashābih in the Qur’ān...........................................................198
    7.1.4 How Can We Know Mutashābih Verses.......................................................................................203
    7.1.5 Status of Muḫkamāt..............................................................................................................................205
    7.1.6 Categories of Muḫkam and Mutashābih.......................................................................................205
    7.1.7 Benefits of Mutashābih in the Qur’ān............................................................................................207
    7.2 Abbreviated / Detached Letters (Huruf al-Muqatta’a).....................................................................208
    7.3 General and Specific (Āam and Khās).......................................................................................................210
    7.4 The Unconditional (Mutlaq) and the Conditional (Muqayyad).....................................................212
    7.5 Literal Meaning (Mantuq)..............................................................................................................................213
    7.6 Meaning (Mafhum)...........................................................................................................................................214
    7.7 Literal Meaning (Haqiqah) and Metaphoric Meaning (Majāz)......................................................216
    7.8 The Ambivalent and the Unequivocal (Mujmal and Mufassar).....................................................216
    Chapter Eight
    The Notion of Abrogation (Naskh).......................................................................................................................221
    8.1 Abrogation (Naskh)..........................................................................................................................................221
    8.2 Some Important Points Regarding Naskh..............................................................................................223
    8.3 The Way to Know Naskh................................................................................................................................226
    8.4 Evidence for the Existence of Naskh.........................................................................................................227
    8.5 The Conditions for Naskh..............................................................................................................................229
    8.6 Classification of Naskh....................................................................................................................................230
    8.7 Difference Between Abrogation (Naskh) and Specification (khās-takhsis).............................232
    8.8 The Number of Naskh Verses in the Qur’ān..........................................................................................233
    8.9 Benefits of Naskh...............................................................................................................................................237
    8.10 One Unique Approach to the Notion of Naskh...................................................................................237
    Chapter Nine
    Qur’anic Readings and the Seven Letters (Qiraat and Ahruf al-Sab’ah)........................................243
    9.1 The Various Readings of the Qur’ān (Qiraat).......................................................................................243
    9.1.1 Definition of the Readings (Qiraat)................................................................................................243
    9.2 The Acknowledgment of the Various Readings...................................................................................244
    9.3 The Classification of the Various Readings............................................................................................246
    9.3.1 The Authentic Readings......................................................................................................................246
    9.3.2 The Exceptional (Shazz) or Unauthentic Readings.................................................................247
    9.4 The Issue of Seven Letters (Ahruf al-Sab’a)..........................................................................................249
    9.4.1 The Meaning of Seven Letters..........................................................................................................252
    9.4.2 Benefits of Seven Letters in the Qur’ān........................................................................................253
    9.4.3 Important Points about Seven Letters.........................................................................................255
    9.5 Famous Readings (Qiraat) and the Reciters (Qurra)........................................................................257
    9.6 The Relationship between the Seven Letters and Various Readings.........................................259
    Chapter Ten
    Qur’anic Stories (Qasas al-Qur’ān) and Thematic Unity in the Qur’ān (Tanāsub)..................265
    10.1 Qur’anic Stories (Qasas al-Qur’ān)..........................................................................................................265
    10.1.1 Major Features of Qur’anic Stories..............................................................................................265
    10.1.2 The Wisdoms behind the Stories of the Qur’ān.....................................................................267
    10.1.3 The Repetitions of Qur’anic Narratives.....................................................................................269
    10.1.4 The Books about the Stories of Qur’ān......................................................................................270
    10.2 The Notion of Unclear (Mubhamāt) in the Qur’ān...........................................................................270
    10.2.1 The Types of Mubhamāt...................................................................................................................274
    10.3 The Notion of Addressing (Khitāb) in the Qur’ān............................................................................275
    10.4 Questions and Answers in the Qur’ān...................................................................................................279
    10.5 The Relationship between Chapters and Verses/Thematic Unity (Tanāsub).....................282
    10.5.1 The Examples for the Interrelation among the Verses......................................................284
    10.5.2 Examples for the Interrelation between the Surah..............................................................285
    10.6 Thematic Unity in the Qur’ān....................................................................................................................285
    Chapter Eleven
    Mystical Interpretation of the Qur’ān (Ish’ārī Tafsīr)..............................................................................293
    11.1 Sufi Exegeses and Its Development........................................................................................................293
    11.2 Important Sufi and Ish’ārī Exegetical Works......................................................................................300
    11.2.1 Tustarī and His Tafsīr........................................................................................................................300
    11.2.2 Sulami and His Tafsīr.........................................................................................................................304
    11.3 Narratives of Moses and Khidir................................................................................................................308
    11.4 The Special Knowledge of God’s Presence (‘Ilm Ladun)...............................................................313
    11.4.1 Verse of Light........................................................................................................................................314
    Chapter Twelve
    Textual Analysis and Translation of the Qur’ān..........................................................................................321
    12.1 The Need for Philological Exegesis.........................................................................................................321
    12.1.1 Al-Farrā and Ma’āni al-Qur’ān.......................................................................................................325
    12.1.2 Abū Ubayda and Majāz al-Qur’ān.................................................................................................326
    12.1.3 Ibn Qutayba and Ta’wil-u Mushkil al-Qur’ān...........................................................................327
    12.2 Foreign Words in the Qur’ān.....................................................................................................................327
    12.3 I’rāb al-Qur’ān..................................................................................................................................................327
    12.4 Wujūh and Nazāir...........................................................................................................................................328
    12.4.1 Words with Multiple Meanings.....................................................................................................330
    12.4.2 Disagreement among Linguists about the Meaning of Words........................................330
    12.4.3 Disagreements about Absolute or Restricted Expressions..............................................330
    12.4.4 Disagreements about Real or Metaphoric Expressions.....................................................331
    12.4.5 Disagreements about General or Specific (Āam-Khās) Expressions............................331
    12.4.6 Disagreements about Some Letters............................................................................................332
    12.4.7 Disagreement about the Reference of the Pronoun.............................................................332
    12.4.8 Poetry in the Explanation of the Qur’ān....................................................................................332
    12.5. Orientalist Works about the Qur’ān......................................................................................................333
    12.5.1 Nicetes of Byzantium, Refutation of the Qur’ān....................................................................334
    12.5.2 Ignaz Goldziher....................................................................................................................................334
    12.5.3 Theodor Noldeke - F. Schwlly, the History of the Qur’ān..................................................334
    Glossary.................................................................................................................................................................................337
    Bibliography........................................................................................................................................................................343