Moses in the Qur'an and Islamic Exegesis: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Moses in the Qur'an and Islamic Exegesis

1st Edition

By Brannon M. Wheeler


232 pages

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Relating the Muslim understanding of Moses in the Qur'an to the Epic of Gilgamesh, Alexander Romances, Aramaic Targums, Rabbinic Bible exegesis, and folklore from the ancient and medieval Mediterranean, this book shows how Muslim scholars authorize and identify themselves through allusions to the Bible and Jewish tradition. Exegesis of Qur'an 18:60-82 shows how Muslim exegetes engage Biblical theology through interpretation of the ancient Israelites, their prophets, and their Torah. This Muslim use of a scripture shared with Jews and Christians suggests fresh perspectives for the history of religions, Biblical studies, cultural studies, and Jewish-Arabic studies.


'This monograph by Brannon Wheeler is a welcome addition to the ever-expanding literature of tafsir or Qur'anic exegesis. The chief merit of the work lies in its exhaustive reassessment of the body of writings on Moses in the Islamic tradition' - Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I. Focusing on Q 18:60-83, the only Qur'anic Moses Narrative that Does Not Seem to Have a Biblical Parralel 1. Examination of the Claim that Q 18:65-83 is Derived from an Earlier Oral Jewish Source as Identified by a Number of Scholars, including Ginzburg and Wensinck 2. "Moses or Alexander?" Raises the Issues of the Identification of both Moses and Alexander with the Qur'anic Figure "Dur Al-Qarnayn" (horned one) Part 2. Focusing on Q 28:21-28, Moses in Midian and his Association with the Prophet Jacob 3. "Moses at Jacob's Well". Analyzes the Conflation of Moses at Midian Part 3. Focusing on the exegetical association of Dhu al-Qarnayn with the Prophet Abraham 4. "Well of Beersheba and the Water of Life" 5. "Duh al-Qarnayn and the Water of Life" 6. Conclusion "Duh al-Qarnayn and the Prophet Muhammed"

About the Author

Brannon Wheeler is Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, and Comparative Religion at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he is also Head of the Comparative Islamic Studies program. His research and teaching focuses on Islamic Law, Quranic Studies, and the History of Religions.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Qur'an

In its examination of critical issues in the scholarly study of the Qur'an and its commentaries, this series targets the disciplines of archaeology, history, textual history, anthropology, theology and literary criticism. The contemporary relevance of the Qur'an in the Muslim world, its role in politics and in legal debates are also dealt with, as are debates surrounding Quranic studies in the Muslim world.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Islam / Koran & Sacred Writings
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies