Designed for both Muslims and Western non-Muslim students, it examines the Qur'an in Western scholarship as well as giving an overview of the rich interpretive traditions from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day.
This guide is a concise introduction to all aspects of the Qur'an: history, understanding and interpretation, providing:
Abdullah Saeed is Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab & Islamic Studies and Director, Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His previous works include Islamic Thought (2006) and Interpreting the Qur'an (2005) both published by Routledge.
Saeed explores the current debates surrounding the interpretation of the Qur'an, and their impact on contemporary understanding of this sacred text. Discussing the text's relevance to modern issues without compromising the overall framework of the Qur'an and its core beliefs and practices, he proposes a fresh approach, which takes into account the historical and contemporary contexts of interpretation.
Inspiring healthy debate, this book is essential reading for students and scholars seeking a contemporary approach to the interpretation of the Qur'anic text.
He goes on to list many of the surprising contradictions found in the Qur'an. He shows how the Qur an claims that Allah can say one thing today, and then change it tomorrow. Is Allah error free? Of interest are the statements in the Qur'an which clearly connect people who even secular history reveal lived over 1,000 years apart. Make no doubt: Moshay is writing from a Christian perspective. What makes him unique is his in-depth knowledge of the Qur'an and its problems.
reflects on one of the most dominant approaches to interpretation in the pre-modern period, textualism, and the reaction to that in Muslim feminist readings of the Qur’an today.
covers issues such as identifying the hierarchical nature of Qur’anic values, the criteria for the use of hadith in interpretation, fluidity of meaning and ways of ensuring a degree of stability in interpretation.
examines key Qur'anic passages and compares pre-modern and modern interpretations to show the evolving nature of interpretation. Examples discussed include: the authority of men over women, the death of Jesus, shura and democracy, and riba and interest.
Abdullah Saeed provides a practical guide for interpretation and presents the principal ideas of a contextualist approach, which situates the original message of the Qur’an in its wider social, political, cultural, economic and intellectual context. He advocates a more flexible method of interpretation that gives due recognition to earlier interpretations of the Qur’an while also being aware of changing conditions and the need to approach the Qur’an afresh today.