Muslims have always used verses from the Qur'an to support opinions on law, theology, or life in general, but almost no attention has been paid to how the Qur'an presents its own precepts as conclusions proceeding from reasoned arguments. Whether it is a question of God's powers of creation, the rationale for his acts, or how people are to think clearly about their lives and fates, Muslims have so internalized Qur'anic patterns of reasoning that many will assert that the Qur'an appeals first of all to the human powers of intellect. This book provides a new key to both the Qur'an and Islamic intellectual history. Examining Qur'anic argument by form and not content helps readers to discover the significance of passages often ignored by the scholar who compares texts and the believer who focuses upon commandments, as it allows scholars of Qur'anic exegesis, Islamic theology, philosophy, and law to tie their findings in yet another way to the text that Muslims consider the speech of God.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Introduction 1. The Covenant 2. Signs and Precedents 3. The Sunna of God 4. Rules, Commands, and Reasons Why 5. Legal Arguments 6. Comparison 7. Contrast 8. Categorical Arguments 9. Conditional and Disjunctive Arguments 10. Technical Terms and Debating Technique 11. Conclusions
Rosalind Ward Gwynne studied at Portland State University, the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies, Shemlan, Lebanon, and the University of Washington. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Yemen. She is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee.
'A study of the forms and content of the Qur'an's argument and how it pertains to religion is very welcome indeed and Gwynne is to be commended for broaching this topic.' - The Muslim World Book Review
'The result is a unique study on the form of the Qur'anic arguement that will be of interest to Qur'an scholars, Biblical scholars, classicists, theologians, logicians, legal philosophers, rhetoricians and philosophers alike.' - Jawad A Quereshi