Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize Winner 2017

The International Qurʾānic Studies Association is delighted to announce that the first annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize (open to papers delivered by junior scholars at the 2016 annual meeting) has been awarded to Jawad Anwar Qureshi of the University of Chicago for his paper “Ring Composition, Virtues, and Qurʾanic Prophetology in sūrat Yūsuf (Q 12)”. The winner of the Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize receives a cash award. In addition, an expanded and edited version of the winning paper qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association. An announcement regarding submissions for the second annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize will follow the 2017 IQSA annual meeting in Boston.

This award is given in honor of Prof. Andrew Rippin (1950-2016), a leading scholar of the Qurʾān and inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). Prof. Rippin is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”


An abstract of Jawad Qureshi’s award winning paper follows:

This paper focuses on the structure of Surat Yusuf (Q. 12), arguing that the surah demonstrates the most prominent features of ring composition, then noting how its structure informs the larger argument of the surah concerning prophetology. The first half of Joseph’s story of betrayal, exile, slavery, temptation, and imprisonment is mirrored inversely in the second half by his freedom, exoneration, elevation in society, and reunion, forming a perfect chiasm. Scholarship has noted this chiastic structure and building on the work of Michel Cuypers, I argue that the ring structure of Q. 12 is in fact more intricate and detailed than scholarship has considered thus far. Specifically, I demonstrate that Q. 12 is composed of not merely of one ring but that there are in fact four distinct rings—a ring addressing the Prophet (which frames the surah), followed by Joseph’s dream, then Jacob’s narrative, and at the center is a retelling of Joseph’s experience in Egypt. After detailing the surah’s intricate ring composition, using the surah’s ring structure, I argue that each ring argues a set of qurʾānic teachings, namely, the Qurʾan’s monotheistic message and the reality of revelation (Joseph’s ring), trust in God’s plan along with patience through trials (Jacob’s ring), and the truth of revelation (the dream ring). All of this is framed in the ring addressed to the Prophet, putting him in line with Jacob and, more directly, Joseph as a continuity of prophetic missions, shaping the Qurʾān’s unique prophetology. 

Jawad Anwar Qureshi



Jawad Anwar Qureshi, PhD Candidate
University of Chicago (Divinity School)