Tantawi Jawhari and the Qur'an : Tafsir and Social Concerns in the Twentieth Century book cover
1st Edition

Tantawi Jawhari and the Qur'an
Tafsir and Social Concerns in the Twentieth Century

ISBN 9780367281052
Published March 28, 2019 by Routledge
194 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Shaykh Ṭanṭāwī Jawharī was an Egyptian exegete known for having produced a scientific interpretation of the Qurʾān. A pioneering scholar in terms of familiarising the people of his time with many previously neglected matters regarding Islam and science, his publications shocked the Cairo educational system and other Muslim places of learning in the early twentieth century.

This book examines the intersection between Ṭanṭāwī Jawharī and Egyptian history and culture, and demonstrates that his approach to science in the Qurʾān was intimately connected to his social concerns. Divided into three parts, part one contains three chapters which each introduce different aspects of Ṭanṭāwī Jawharī himself. The second part explores the main aspects of his tafsīr, discussing his approach to science and the Qurʾān, and how he presented Europeans in his tafsīr, and then addressing the impact of his tafsīr on wider Muslim and non-Muslim society. The third section draws attention to the themes from all 114 sūras of the Qurʾān that are discussed within his commentary. It then analyses the current status of his views and the post-Jawharism perspective on science and the Qurʾān, both today and in an imaginary future, in 2154.

Providing new English translations of Ṭanṭāwī Jawharī’s work, the book delivers a comprehensive assessment of this unique figure, and emphasises the distinctive nature of his reading of the Qurʾān. The book will be a valuable resource for anyone studying modern Egypt, the Qurʾān, Islam and Science, and scientific interpretation and inimitability.

Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Acknowledgments PART I: Ṭanṭāwī Jawharī: His Life and Thoughts  1. Introduction: Rational Progress and the Reception of a Modern Tafsīr 2. Background and Social Concerns  3. A Mufassir and Nature PART II: Inside and Outside of a Tafsīr  4. An Approach to Science in the Qurʾān 5. Europeans in a Twentieth-Century Tafsīr: A Different View  6. Post-Jawharism: Maurice Bucaille, the Qurʾān, and Science PART III: Reading the Qurʾān with Ṭanṭāwī Jawharī   7. 114 Sūras Final Thought  Appendix Ṭanṭāwī Jawharī’s books and treatises   Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Bibliography

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Majid Daneshgar teaches Islamic Studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand. His research interests pertain to the connection between Islamic intellectual and exegetical progress in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as well as Malay Islamic studies. His main volumes are: Islamic Studies Today: Essays in Honor of Andrew Rippin, co-edited with Walid A. Saleh (2016) and The Qur’an in the Malay-Indonesian World: Context and Interpretation, co-edited with Peter G. Riddell and Andrew Rippin (Routledge 2016)


Daneshgar’s scrupulous study of the life and thought of Ṭanṭāwī Jawharī is a substantial contribution to the field of Quranic studies which also sheds light on one of the significant aspects of the Islamic reform movement, i.e. its stance towards science in the nineteenth century. Mahmoud Pargoo, in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies