The Meaning of the Word: Lexicology and Qur'anic Exegesis

The Meaning of the Word: Lexicology and Qur'anic Exegesis

by S. R. Burge (Editor)


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The basic intention of Qur'anic exegesis (tafsir) is to understand what the text of the Qur'an means. Before attempting to understand anything of the Qur'anic worldview, its theology and ethical values, there is a need for exegetes to engage with the individual words found in the Qur'an itself. Yet, exegetes and translators, whether medieval or modern, have different theological perspectives, which influence how they do this. Many modern scholars have recognised that lexicology plays an important part in exegesis, but there are few studies of how exegetes use it to develop their interpretations of the Qur'an or that address lexicology in Qur'anic exegesis in any depth. This volume of articles will begin to address this gap in the scholarship.

The Meaning of the Word will provide an overview of the development of lexicological analysis in the tafsir tradition, and examine how exegetes interpreted words in the Qur'an. The contributions reflect on lexicology in Qur'anic exegesis through studies of a wide range of subjects, from linguistics to literary criticism, and law and gender to mysticism; from examinations of the issue of lexicology in the Arab, Persian and Turkish worlds to its examination in the European world; and from studies of the earliest discussions of Qur'anic lexica to those made in twentieth-century Turkey and recent English translations of the Qur'an. This volume will become a subject-specific reference volume for anyone working on the interpretation of the Qur'an, but also in Islamic Studies and the wider field of Religious Studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198724131
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/04/2015
Series: Qur'anic Studies Series
Pages: 410
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Stephen R. Burge is Research Associate at Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. He is the author of Angels in Islam: Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti's al-Haba'ik fi akhbar al-mala'ik (Routledge, 2012).

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
Note on Transliteration, Conventions and Abbreviations

1. Introduction: Words, Hermeneutics, and the Construction of Meaning
S. R. Burge

Section I: Lexicology and the Formative Period of Qur'anic Exegesis
2. In Search of Meaning: Lexical Explanation in Early Qur'anic Commentaries
Kees Versteegh

3. Lexicological Hadith and the 'School' of Ibn 'Abbas
Herbert Berg

4. The Interpretation of Three Qur'anic Terms (Siyaha, Hikma and Siddiq) of Special Interest to the Early Renunciants
Christopher Melchert

Section II: Lexical Methodologies Iin Action: Four Case Studies
5. The Use of Lexicography in the Great Qur'anic commentary of al-Wahidi (d. 468/1076)
Claude Gilliot

6. Authority and the Defence of Readings in Medieval Qur'anic Exegesis: Lexicology and the Case of Falaq (Q. 113:1)
S. R. Burge

7. Poetic License and the Qur'anic Names of Hell: The Treatment of Cognate Substitution in al-Raghib al-Isfahani's Qur'anic Lexicon
Devin Stewart

8. Paradoxes in Shahrastani's Lexicological Methodology
Toby Mayer

Section III: Words, Interpretation and Legal Disputes
9. From Qur'an to Fiqh: Sunni and Shi'i Tafsir on the Inheritance Verses and the 'Named' Cases' (al-Masa'il al-Mulaqqaba)
Agostino Cilardo

10. Marital Discord in Qur'anic Exegesis: A Lexical Analysis of Husbandly and Wifely Nushuz in Q. 4:34 and Q. 4:128
Ayesha S. Chaudhry

11. The Optional Ramadan Fast: Debating Q. 2:184 in the Early Turkish Republic
M. Brett Wilson

Section IV: The Word in Translation: Medieval and Modern Disputes
12. The Persian Fatiha of Salman al-Farisi and the Debates Modern Controversy over Translating the Qur'an
Travis Zadeh

13. The Qur'an Today: Translating the Translatable
Stefan Wild

Index of Qur'anic Citations
General Index

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