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Shah, Mustafa, ed. (2013) Tafsir: Interpreting the Qur'an. Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies. London: Routledge. (Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies, v.4)

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Within the classical Islamic tradition, the field of Qur'anic exegesis, more commonly referred to as tafsir, occupies a revered place among the traditional Muslim sciences. In the same way that the study of hadith, jurisprudence, variae lectiones (liturgical readings of the Qur’an), theology, and the linguistic disciplines were all separately defined traditions of learning, tafsir carved out a exclusive niche for itself among the traditional religious sciences. Historically, some of the earliest forms of Qur’anic exegesis were initially inspired by the efforts to preserve and enshrine the sacred text; this endeavour was meticulously broached through reference to features of the Qur’an’s distinctive language. However, the need to flesh out and contextualize the text’s content and teachings soon witnessed the development of broader and more comprehensive explanatory treatments of the Qur’an. Critically, methodologies and strategies aimed at regulating such activity were soon devised by classical scholarship. Such was the rapidity and sophistication with which the genre of tafsir developed that by the end of the third/ninth century not only had voluminous commentaries been devoted to the Qur’an, but likewise texts which set out principles and guidelines for the pursuit of tafsir had become prolific.

Item Type: Edited Book or Journal Volume
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East > Centre of Islamic Studies
ISBN: 9780415582490
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 12:00

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