This book provides a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the various schools of Qur'anic exegesis, from the earliest periods through to the present day.
Employing a comparative-contrastive methodology, the author examines traditional and rational schools of thought – such as the Mu’tazili, Shi’i, Ibadi, Sufi, metaphysical, modern, and scientific approaches to the interpretation of the Qur’an – to give a detailed analysis of the similarities and differences in their theological views. The study spans a broad period, covering exegetical techniques adopted in Qur’anic exegesis from its infancy during the 1st/7th century up to the beginning of the 15th/21st century. Furnished with copious micro- and macro-level examples which explicate the Qur’anic notions and the points of view relevant to each school and exegetical approach, the book provides a rounded empirical study of Islamic thought.
This thorough and holistic historical investigation is an important contribution to the study of Qur’anic exegesis and Islamic theology, and as such will be of enormous interest to scholars of religion, philosophy and Islamic studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. School of Traditional Exegesis (al-tafsir bil-ma’thur) 2. School of Personal Opinion Exegesis (al-tafsir bil-ra’i) 3. School of Linguistic Exegesis 4. Comparative-Contrastive Exegesis 5. Contextual and Co-Textual Relevance in Qur’anic Exegesis
Hussein Abdul-Raof is a Professor of Linguistics in the Faculty of Arts, University of Taibah, Saudi Arabia. His research interests lie in Arabic and Qur’anic linguistics and rhetoric, Qur’anic studies and Qur’anic textual analysis.
"An innovation in qur’anic studies for what it accomplishes in comparing (in English) the various exegetical schools... This book is a helpful resource for those who wish to study classical and modern exegetical approaches to qur’anic studies." - Majid Daneshgar, Academy of Islamic Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, 2013
'Abdul-Raof has some interesting analysis and insights, and this book serves to highlight a traditional Sunni understanding of permissible and non-permissible Qur’anic exegesis' - Herbert Berg; Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies, vol. 6, no. 3 (2013).