مَن كتب ٱلقرءان؟

*لسمير حسن

تكثر مراكز الدرس والبحث في كتاب يحمل عنان “القرءان.” وفي الكتاب اسم لمؤلفه “كتاب الله.” وتكثر الأموال المدفوعة لباحثين كثر. فيما يظنوه تاريخا لذلك الكتاب وتطورا لخط الكلمة فيه

Anba'a-Al-Quranوعلى الرغم من كثرة الأموال والباحثين وبحوثهم بقي خط الكتاب إلى اليوم من دون درس وعلم فيه. ولم يكن لمفهوم التطور في جميع البحوث أي صلة بخطه. وجميع ما كُتب فيه إلى اليوم يقوم على الظن أن خط “اللغة العربية” هو خط “القرءان

ومن ظنون الباحثين في ذلك الكتاب أن مؤلفه لم يكتبه بخط، وأنه لقم كتابه بالصوت لشخص لا يخط بيمينه، وأن هذا الشخص قرأ ما سمعه على آخرين فخطوه بخطوط مختلفة. ومن بعد جاء من طور في الخط. وبذلك الظن فإن مؤلف الكتاب ترك للناس ليخطوه له ويطوروا في خطه

لم أجد بحثا في خط الكتاب. ولم أجد من يسأل مَن كتب كلمة “قرءان”؟ ولماذا تُكتب الكلمة “قرآن” بخط اللغة العربية؟ وأي خط للكلمة هو الأعلى تطورا؟ وهل كلمة “قرآن” بذات الدليل والمفهوم لكلمة “قرءان”؟

لا يوجد في جميع البحوث إشارة إلى خط “القرءان،” وجميعها لا صلة لها به. فكلمة “قرآن” من دليل و مفهوم كلمة “قُرن،” وكلمة “قرءان” من دليل ومفهوم كلمة “قُرء.” فهل في هذا تطور أم هو تحريف؟

منذ سنة ٢٠٠٥ نشرت كتابي “أنباء القرءان تستقرّ في محراب الفيزياء،” وفيه ما رأيته في خط “القرءان” وأبجديته وقوى الفعل (الحركات). وهو ما لم يدركه الدارسون الباحثون إلى اليوم. ووصل كتابي منهم ما يلاقيه “القرءان” من إهمال

.سمير حسن باحث سوري ومؤلف كتب و مقالات كثيرة*

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2014. All rights reserved.

New Book on the Prophet Muhammad’s Adopted Son Zayd

by David S. Powers*

Muhammad may not have had any natural sons who reached the age of maturity, but Islamic sources report that he did adopt a young man named Zayd shortly before receiving his first revelation. The adoption had two important consequences: Zayd’s name changed to Zayd b. Muhammad and mutual rights of inheritance were created between father and son. Zayd was the first adult male to become a Muslim and he was known as the Beloved of the Messenger of God. He was the only Muslim apart from Muhammad whose name is mentioned in the Qur’an, where he is identified as “the one upon whom God and you yourself have bestowed favor” (Q. 33:37). Eventually, Muhammad would repudiate Zayd as his son, abolish the institution of adoption, and send Zayd to certain death on a battlefield in southern Jordan.

Powers_Zayd_cover from publ pgCuriously, Zayd has remained a marginal and little-known figure in both Islamic and Western scholarship. In Zayd—the first scholarly biography of this Companion in a Western language—I attempt to restore Zayd to his rightful place at the very center of the Islamic foundation narrative. To do so, I mine traces left behind in Qur’an commentaries, in biographical dictionaries, and in historical chronicles, reading these sources against analogues in biblical and post-biblical sources. In the Islamic narratives, I argue, Zayd’s character is modeled on those of biblical figures such as Isaac, Ishmael, Joseph, and Uriah the Hittite. He is each one of these men individually and all of them combined. One examines his life as one peers through a kaleidoscope: With each turn of the dial, a new and different image comes into focus.

This powerful modeling process was deployed by early Muslim storytellers to address two important issues: first, the bitter conflict over succession to Muhammad and, second, the key theological doctrine of the finality of prophecy. Zayd’s leadership credentials arguably were as strong—if not stronger—than those of either Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Ali or `Uthman. In a tradition related on the authority of `A’isha, the Prophet’s widow is reported to have said, “Had Zayd outlived the Prophet, he would have appointed him as his successor.” And in his commentary on Q. 33:40—a verse that contains the sole Qur’anic reference to Muhammad’s status as khatam al-nabiyyin or the Seal of Prophets, Muqatil b. Sulayman (d. 150/767) states, “Had Zayd [continued to be] Muhammad’s son, he would have been a prophet.” Both Zayd’s death on a battlefield and Muhammad’s repudiation of his adopted son and heir, I argue, were after-the-fact constructions driven by political and theological imperatives.

* Powers is Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University, and author of Muhammad Is Not the Father of Any of Your Men: The Making of the Last Prophet, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2014. All rights reserved.

New Book: Never Wholly Other: A Muslima Theology of Religious Pluralism

by  Jerusha T. Lamptey*

The observation that the Qur’an has a lot to say about various religious communities and religious diversity in general is not novel. Even a casual reader will quickly encounter references to the Children of Israel, the Jews, and the People of the Scripture; discussions of a multitude of prophets, revelations and scriptures; and descriptions of different types of people, including believers, disbelievers, hypocrites, and associators/idolaters.

Lamptey_NWO_coverThroughout history, these rich and complex facets of the Qur’anic discourse have spurred polemic and apologetic treatises; juridical debates and delineations of the boundaries between believers and disbelievers; and Sufi reflections on the diversity of prophecy in relation to the unicity of God. These facets continue to preoccupy many contemporary scholars, who are particularly interested in how the text is or can be invoked to promote religious intolerance or religious tolerance.

In Never Wholly Other: A Muslima Theology of Religious Pluralism (New York: Oxford, 2014), I offer a critique of some contemporary engagements with the Qur’an’s discourse on religious diversity. While the majority of these interpretations arising in the US context offer a positive read on the reality of religious diversity, they do so by oversimplifying the Qur’anic content. This occurs by privileging parts of the Qur’an that affirm diversity over other more diversity-ambivalent parts of the text. On an interpretive level, such privileging is accomplished by appealing to methods such as progressive revelation, ethical principles, chronology and abrogation.

In response, I propose a new hermeneutical approach that draws its foundational principles—including Qur’anic unity, polysemy, and textual silence—from Muslim women interpreters of the Qur’an. These foundational principles provide a unique starting point, but they require supplementation in order to avoid oversimplification of the Qur’an’s complex discussion of religious diversity. I find this in a critical retrieval of Toshihiko Izutsu’s method of semantic analysis, in particular his focus on semantic fields and relational meaning of Qur’anic concepts.

Combining the methods of Muslim women interpreters of the Qur’an and Izutsu, I then engage in a close and relational re-reading of the text. This re-reading begins with the identification of two distinct, yet overlapping, semantic fields: that of taqwā (God-consciousness) and that of umma (community of revelation). I then explore the complex interconnections among central Qur’anic concepts, including belief, disbelief, submission, association, and hypocrisy, and argue that they fall within the semantic field of taqwā, rather than umma. This means that these concepts or characteristics are not automatically affiliated with particular communities.

This argument leads to my constructive articulation of a Muslima theology of religious pluralism in which I offer an integrated account of the Qur’anic discourse on religious diversity, weaving together questions of creation, human nature, revelation(s), human diversity and interactions, and divine evaluation.

*Lamptey is Assistant Professor of Islam and Ministry at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. She earned her Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies, with a focus on Religious Pluralism, from Georgetown University in 2011. Her research focuses on theologies of religious pluralism, comparative theology, and feminist theology.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2014. All rights reserved.

New Book: The Arabs and Islam in Late Antiquity*

AlAzmeh coverAziz al-Azmeh’s new book, The Arabs and Islam in Late Antiquity: A Critique of Approaches to Arabic Sources, is a critical study of Arabic textual sources for the history of the Arabs in late antique times, during the centuries immediately preceding Muhammad and up to and including the Umayyad period. Its purpose is to consider the value and relevance of these sources for the reconstruction of the social, political, cultural and religious history of the Arabs as they were still pagans, and to reconstruct the emergence of Muhammadan and immediately post-Muhammadan religion and polity.

For this religion (including the composition and canonization of the Qur’an), the label Paleo-Islam has been coined, in order to lend historical specificity to this particular period, distinguishing it from what came before and what was to come later, all the while indicating continuities that do not, in themselves, belie the specificity attributed to this period of very rapid change. This is argued further in Aziz Al-Azmeh’s The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity: Allah and His People (Cambridge University Press, 2014), to which this book is both a companion and a technical preface.

Al-Azmeh illustrates his arguments through examination of orality and literacy, transmission, ancient Arabic poetry, the corpus of Arab heroic lore (ayyam), the early narrative, the Qur’an, and other literary sources. The work includes a very extensive bibliography of the works cited.

* This post is based on the publisher’s announcement. The book is the first in the Gerlach Press series, Theories and Paradigms of Islamic Studies.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2014. All rights reserved.

EQ Persian Translation Project پروژة ترجمة ايکيو به زبان فارسي

By Mehrdad Abbasi *

مهرداد عباسي

The Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān (EQ) is a major academic reference for Qur’anic studies in the English language, compiled under the editorship of Jane Dammen McAuliffe and published in five volumes (plus index) (Brill Academic Publishers, 2001-2006). Upon the completion of EQ, my fellows and I initiated its translation into Persian. The first translated volume appeared in Spring 2013 by Hekmat Publication Ins. in Tehran, and the second volume has recently appeared in this Spring 2014. We hope this translation project will be complete by 2016.طرح ج1

دائرةالمعارف قرآن (اي‌کيو) اثری مرجع در حوزة مطالعات قرآنی است که با رويکردي آکادميک و مطابق با معيارهاي بين‌المللي به سرويراستاري جين دمن مک‌اوليف تدوين شد و در نخستين سالهاي قرن بيست‌ويکم (2001-2006) در پنج جلد (به‌علاوة جلد ضميمه) در انتشارات بريل منتشر شد. بلافاصله پس از پايان يافتن کار انتشار نسخة انگليسي اين مجموعه، من و گروهي از دوستان و همکارانم به فکر ترجمة اين دائرةالمعارف به زبان فارسي افتاديم و پس از چند سال کار مداوم، سرانجام جلد نخست ترجمة فارسي اين مجموعه در بهار 1392/2013 در مؤسسة انتشارات حکمت در تهران به چاپ رسيد. جلد دوم اين مجموعه نيز در بهار سال جاري منتشر شد. اميدوارم کار انتشار مجلدات باقيمانده تا سال 1395/2016 پايان يابد

In 2003, Iranian journals initially publicized EQ with some informative essays and translations of short entries. Later, I translated into Persian the full entry, ‘Exegesis of the Qur’ān: Early Modern and Contemporary,’ by Rotraud Wielandt, published in Āyene-ye Pazhūesh 86 (1383/2004). Readers’ attention to this translation, the popularity of EQ among scholars, and their encouragement altogether instigated our present translation of the entirety of EQ.

نام اي‌کيو نخستين بار در نوشته‌هاي فارسي حدود سال 1381/2003 در برخي نشريه‌هاي ايران مطرح شد. پاره‌اي از اين نوشته‌ها صرفاً جنبة اطلاع‌رساني داشتند و برخي ديگر به ترجمة کامل و خلاصه از برخي مقالات کوتاه آن اختصاص يافتند. دو سال بعد، يکي از مقاله‌هاي مهم و بلند اي‌کيو يعني «تفسير در دورة جديد» (به قلم رتراود ويلانت) را نگارندة اين سطور به فارسي برگرداند و در نشرية آينة پژوهش (قم، شمارة 86، 1383) منتشر کرد. اقبال‌ها به آن مقاله، شناخته‌تر شدن اي‌کيو در ميان محققان و تشويق و دلگرمي‌هاي آنها رفته‌رفته ايدة ترجمة کل دايرةالمعارف را به ذهن من و برخي دوستانم متبادر کرد

Initial discussions about the compilation process took place with the scientific manager of Hekmat Publication in 2006, which led to the formation of our four-member ‘Planning and Compilation Team’: Hossein Khandaqabadi (Encyclopaedia Islamica Foundation, Tehran), Masoud Sadeghi (University of Tehran), Amir Maziar (Tehran University of Art), and myself. Our main responsibilities were to (a) codify the Persian list of entries; (b) set the general policies for manuscript preparation and editing guidelines; and (c) identify translators and advisers for the project. Upon receiving solicited translations, the ‘Planning and Compilation’ team, now called the ‘Editorial Board,’ reviews the scientific and technical aspects of each translation. Twenty translators familiar with Islamic studies have translated the entries of the two initial EQ Persian volumes, with about thirty professors and scholars providing editorial suggestions for quality improvements, all with the ongoing support of our friends at Hekmat Publication.

نخستين گام در آغاز پروژة ترجمة اي‌کيو گفتگويي بود که در سال 1385 ميان من و مدير علمي انتشارات حکمت دربارة فرآيند تدوين مجموعه انجام گرفت. پس از مدتي کوتاه جمعي چهارنفره با عنوان «گروه برنامه‌ريزي و تدوين» شامل حسين خندق‌آبادي (بنياد دائرةالمعارف اسلامي)، مسعود صادقي (دانشگاه تهران)، امير مازيار (دانشگاه هنر) و من شکل گرفت. اين گروه در جلسات متعدد به اين وظايف عمده پرداختند: تدوين مدخلنامة فارسي، تنظيم خط‌مشي کلي براي تهية شيوه‌نامة ترجمه و ويرايش مقاله‌ها، و تعيين مترجمان و مشاوران. پس از آن به‌تدريج کار سفارش مقاله‌ها به مترجمان آغاز شد. پس از دريافت ترجمه‌هاي مربوط به جلد نخست، کار مقابله، بازبيني و ويرايش علمي و فني مدخلها را نيز همان اعضاي «گروه برنامه‌ريزي و تدوين» به انجام رساندند که از اين پس «گروه ويراستاران ترجمة فارسي» نام گرفتند. حدود بيست مترجم از دوستان و همکاران فعال در حوزة مطالعات اسلامي کار ترجمة مدخلهاي جلد اول و دوم را بر عهده داشته‌اند؛ قريب به سي تن از استادان و محققان بزرگوار نيز در مراحل گوناگونِ ترجمه و ويرايش متن مقالات طرف مشورت ويراستاران بوده‌اند؛ و جمعي از همکاران انتشارات حکمت نيز در امور پشتيباني علمي و فني گروه ويراستاران را در به‌سامان رساندن اين مجموعه ياري کرده‌اند

Prior to the start of this project, Western scholarship on the Qur’an had not been seriously taken into account in academic and research forums in Iran. Our main interest in translating the EQ into Persian is to present the efforts of non-Muslim scholars in Qur’anic studies and to show a real image of a great Qur’anic project in the West. Although members of the translation project perceived some errors or deficiencies in some original entries, they do not endeavor to critique, revise, or change the authors’ viewpoints; this project intends to render a faithful and authentic translation of entries to Persian readers.

واقعيت آن است که مطالعات قرآني غرب تقريباً در هيچ دوره‌اي آن‌گونه که بايد در محافل علمي و پژوهشي ايران جدي گرفته نشده و در جاي خود قرار نگرفته است. يکي از مهم‌ترين انگيزه‌هاي متوليان پروژة ترجمة اي‌کيو نماياندن تلاشها و پژوهشهاي غربيان و غيرمسلمانان دربارة قرآن و عرضة تصويري درست و حتي‌الامکان مطابق با واقع از اثري معيار متعلق به حوزة مطالعات قرآني در غرب بوده است. ويراستاران مجموعه با وجود آگاهي از برخي نقايص در پاره‌اي از مقالات اي‌کيو، تصميم‌شان بر آن بوده است تا ترجمه‌اي منقح و دقيق و امانت‌دارانه از اين اثر به خوانندة فارسي‌زبان عرضه کنند و هرگز مدعي تکميل و ترميم مقاله‌ها يا در پي نقد و رد نظريات و ديدگاههاي نويسندگان اي‌کيو يا به دنبال پاسخ‌گويي به اشکالات و ايرادات آنها نبوده‌اند

The major objective of our members is to introduce Iranian readers to the advancing global academic discourses on Qur’anic studies. We believe that the questions, methods, data, and viewpoints declared in the EQ entries, along with their references, will encourage interested Iranian scholars to pave the way toward reviving Persian academic discourses on Qur’anic studies with well-written and systematic works.

هدف محوري من و همکارانم در گروه ويراستاري از انجام اين پروژه آن بوده است که گفتمان آکادمیک مطالعات قرآنی را، آن گونه که در طراز بين‌المللي در جريان است، به خوانندة ايراني معرفی کنيم و گامي در مسير تثبيت اين گفتمان و رويکرد تحقيقي و انتقادي به مطالعات قرآني برداريم. به باور ما، مسأله‌ها، روش‌ها، ابزارها، داده‌ها، و ديدگاههاي مطرح‌شده در مدخلهاي اين دائرةالمعارف، منابع معرفي‌شده در هر مقاله و نوع نگرش و رهيافت نويسندگان آنها، همگي، مي‌توانند بصيرتهايي نوين در ذهن دانشجويان و پژوهشگران ايراني ايجاد کنند تا با تحقيقاتي بنيادي و تأليفاتي روشمند زمينه‌ساز رونق و طراوت مطالعات قرآني به زبان فارسي شوند

*Mehrdad Abbasi is Assistant Professor of Qur’anic Studies at Islamic Azad University in Tehran. Correspondence is welcome to abbasimehrdad@yahoo.com.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2014. All rights reserved.

Recent Updates and Plans

Dear Friends of IQSA,

On May 29 the inaugural board of the International Qur’anic Studies Association held their first spring meeting. At the meeting the executive director reported to council the achievements of IQSA thus far, and plans for the future. Furthermore, the quorum of council members reviewed and ratified the articles of incorporation as well as bylaws, thereby officially establishing IQSA as a learned society. We are soon to file for non-profit status.

From left to right: Hamza Zafer, Fred Donner, Andrew Rippin, Emran El-Badawi, Gabriel Reynolds, Jane McAuliffe, John Kutsko

From left to right: Hamza Zafer, Fred Donner, Andrew Rippin, Emran El-Badawi, Gabriel Reynolds, Jane McAuliffe, John Kutsko

Thanks to the progress we have made thus far, we are continuing to make important updates to our website. If you have not done so already, I invite you to become members of IQSA here, which is free for 2014. Our first membership drive was a huge success and we received even more membership requests than originally anticipated. (members are still eligible to register for the San Diego meeting this November here) I also invite you to explore who our members of council, officers and committee members are here. Over the next several months, website changes will include publicizing editorial board members; bringing on line and integrating publishing resources; a new membership form; and more Arabic translation to accommodate international interest overall. Finally, online visitors can expect to have access to the 2014 San Diego program book this fall.

I hope you share our joy and excitement during this time, and that you become members (for free!) and consider joining us in San Diego this November. On behalf of members of council and all those serving with IQSA, I thank you for your support and friendship.

Yours,

Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director

IQSA’s New Blog Coordinator Invites Submissions

VDG profile with tafsirGreetings! My name is Vanessa De Gifis, and I pleased to introduce myself as the new blog coordinator for IQSA. I earned my Ph.D. in Islamic thought from the University of Chicago, and I am presently Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where I teach (among other things) a course on the Qur’an and tafsir. My own research takes place at the interface between thematic study of the Qur’an text and study of Qur’anic themes in later Islamic thought. My recent book, Shaping a Qur’anic Worldview (Routledge, 2014), is the first sustained analysis of Qur’anic referencing in the political rhetoric of the classical Caliphate. Currently my research digs deeper into the scriptural underpinnings of Muslim moral thought by taking a closer look at one of the most pervasive motifs in the Qur’an and Muslim socio-political discourse, that of divine “favor,” with an eye to better understanding the dynamics of its interpretation and ideological use.

The IQSA blog has become a popular and authoritative venue for showcasing new developments in Qur’anic studies, and I am excited to support its ongoing vitality. With that in mind, I welcome blog submissions from all members of our scholarly community. If you are interested in sharing an aspect of your current research, reviewing a new publication, or reporting on an event in Qur’anic studies, please feel free to email me at vdegifis@wayne.edu. Blog entries are typically about 500 words, and the blog format is flexible. I hope to hear from you!

If you have not already become an IQSA member, please join us! Membership is free for 2014. Simply submit a Membership Form herehttp://membership.iqsaweb.org/Join.aspx.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2014. All rights reserved.