Category: Quranic Studies

With A’isha In Mind: Reading Surat Al-Nur Through The Quran’s Structural Unity

While a multiplicity of interpretations is a consistent historical feature in Qur’anic scholarship, the
intratextual method (tafsir al-Qur’an bi-l-Qur’an) has been accepted as a central method of
interpretation. Building upon this method, this chapter explores and furthers the methodology of Al-wahda al-bina’iyya li-l-Qur’an (the Qur’an’s structural unity) and argues that reading the sura/chapter as a structural unit can yields significant exegetical insights. By focusing on Surat al-Nur (Qur’an 24), and focusing on an incident involving ʿA’isha bint Abu Bakr (d. 678/57) as an example, this chapter draws attention to hadith scholarship identified with a revisionary body of literature that takes as its scope the verification and validation of a prophetic tradition. Herself representing an example of Muslim women’s scholarly contributions, Alwani argues for the significance in identifying the organic interconnections between the Qur’an and Prophetic sunna in order to further hermeneutical insights. Read More

A Methodology for Understanding the Qurʾān in the Modern Day

This paper is concerned with the Qurʾānic methodology of Al-waḥda al-bināʾiyya li-l-Qurʾān and its impact in the arena of religious sciences and beyond. I provide a concise overview of the classical and contemporary debates concerning the genealogy of this method, including examples and a brief analysis of the works of a number of modern scholars who have contributed to the development of this methodology. Approaching the Qurʾān as a unitary structure, as a consistent hermeneutic, contributes to our understanding of critical issues not only in the Qurʾān and Sunna, but also in other religious disciplines, such as Islamic law. More importantly, I argue that this method provides an important hermeneutic resolution to critical debates surrounding Islam’s moral and ethical framework. I conclude by stressing that Al-waḥda al-bināʾiyya li-l- Qurʾān is essential for enhancing religious scholarship in general and for advancing the spheres where Islamic knowledge is applied.

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Seeking Guidance: Contemplating the Qur’an

In this age of globalization, technology and the vast spread of information, we as Muslims need a model to better capture dimensions of Muslim reality more effectively. We need guidance. As it was well stated from the first surah, al-Fatihah the Opening. “You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help. Guide us on the straight path, the path of those who have received your grace; not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray” (1:5-7). Surah al-Fatihah teaches us the attitude of a seeker-after-truth and to recognize the fact that the Lord of the Universe is the source of all knowledge. God continues revealing his love and mercy upon us by teaching us where to find the guidance.  The Qur’ān is Huda (guidance), as stated in the second surah 2:2-5, “This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who are cautious and mindful of Allah.” Read More

The Qur’anic Model on Social Change: Family Structure as a Method of Social Reform

Islam emphasizes the belief that the family is the cornerstone of human civilization. This article explains that Islamic teachings regarding family structure are unique in providing theoretical and practical answers to modern challenges and have the ability to reform any deviation. Read More