Tag: Quran

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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Transformational Teaching: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a Teacher and Murabbī

This article analyzes the transformative role of Prophet Muhammad as a murabbī. I apply the hermeneutic of reading the divine text as a structural unity, a concept known as al-waḥda al-binā’iyya li-l-Qur’ān. After defining the concept of murabbī, I suggest that a holistic reading of the Qur’an can help us rebuild our concepts from within the Qur’an, a methodological approach that we can use to reshape the current religious discourse. I present the Prophet’s (pbuh) mission as a roadmap, a model that envisions a holistic relationship between the Qur’an and the Sunna as its final goal. I then devote special attention to this model by focusing on his teaching strategies and how they impacted the first generation of Muslims. I argue that a strong methodology based on the Qur’an and Sunna can help revive the role of a compassionate Muslim community. I close by stressing the significance of developing this traditional role and applying it in all aspects of contemporary life.

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