Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 5 no. 8 (2019)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 5, no.8), Sami Helewa, S.J. (Campion College, University of Regina) reviews Khaleel Mohammed’s David in the Muslim Tradition: The Bathsheba Affair (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015).

davidIn his review, Helewa writes… “The biblical story of the Israelite king David son of Jesse contains multi-dimensional elements regarding his achievements as a leader, a military strategist, a conqueror, a pious man of considerable intensity, a lover, and a monarchist. Occurring at the apex of David’s religio-political leadership, the Bathsheba storyline is perhaps the most controversial narrative element in David’s story. It stands out as an oddity in the overall narrative of David’s excellence, of his otherwise outstanding achievements in securing his people among other, rather hostile, neighbouring tribes or nations. The Qurʾān (Ṣād 38:20–26) makes strong reference to the biblical account of the episode with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 12. More so, the qurʾānic commentaries through the centuries that followed the advent of Islam enriched the Islamic tradition with a variety of interpretations of David’s story. The mention of David in the Qurʾān and in the Islamic tradition had the prophetic purpose of setting the Muslim prophet Muḥammad in the same line as the biblical prophets. It is within the genre of tafsīr (qurʾānic commentary) that Khaleel Mohammed’s David in the Muslim Tradition: The Bathsheba Affair makes its mark in the important study of the Bathsheba narrative detail of David’s story. With the introduction and the conclusion chapters, the monograph is segmented into a total of seven chapters…”

Want to read more? For full access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), members can log in HERE. Not an IQSA member? Join today to enjoy RQR and additional member benefits!

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

A. Jamme’s Miscellanées d’ancient arabe

jammeFor those interested in Arabic philology and pre-Islamic Arabia, a new online resource is now available.

The Institute of Christian Oriental Research (ICOR), in conjunction with the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures, at The Catholic University of America is pleased to announce that digital copies of A. Jamme’s twenty-one volume Miscellanées d’ancient arabe have been made available here.

Thanks are due to Katie DeFonzo for overseeing the digitization.

ICOR is currently in the process of digitizing other items from The Père Albert Jamme, M.Afr. Collection. In addition, they aim to create a series of digital tools to facilitate access to this collection, beginning with an index of inscriptions cited in the Miscellanées d’ancient arabe.

The Père Albert Jamme, M.Afr. Collection in CUA’s Semitics/ICOR Library brings together in one place 55 years of work (ca. 1946-1999) by an eminent scholar of the languages and scripts of pre-Islamic Arabia.

Fr. Jamme (1916-2004) was a faculty member of CUA’s Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures between 1953 and 1997. He served as research epigrapher for important archeological expeditions to the Arabian peninsula.

The Jamme Collection is a large ‘integrated’ epigraphic library in which the evidence of inscribed stones, latex and paper squeezes or impressions, photographs, slides, rubbings, and line drawings of the inscriptions can be studied side by side with Fr. Jamme’s site maps, work notes and published studies, with the comparative lexical data of his Old South Arabian and Old North Arabian card indexes, and with his professional correspondence and research archives. Additional support is provided by his reference library of books and serials.

Content reproduced with the kind permission of the ICOR library.

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Introduction to Islamic Manuscript Culture

In May 2019, UCLA hosted a workshop on Islamic manuscripts and manuscript culture sponsored by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and co-sponsored by UCLA’s Islamic Studies Program, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and the California Rare Book School. Participants obtained hands-on experience using the Collections at the Charles E. Young Research Library.

UCLA has recently made the presentations from this workshop available to the public, as well as PDF’s of lecture material, which can be accessed here

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Qiṣṣat al-Sindbād al-baḥrī wa-l-Hindbād al-barrī, UCLA Bound Manuscript Collection, MS 170/46, fol. 10r. Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

Topics included:

Overview: Luke Yarbrough, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (UCLA)

Session 1 – An Introduction to Codicological Studies; Writings Materials; Parchment and Paper

Evyn Kropf, Librarian for Middle East Studies and Religious Studies; Curator of Islamic Manuscripts (University of Michigan)

Session 2: Structures: The Codex and Beyond; Bindings

Evyn Kropf (University of Michigan)

Medical and Scientific Manuscripts at UCLA

Alexandre Roberts, Classics (USC)

Session 3:  Layout / Ruling, Media, and Ornament; Scripts and Hands

Evyn Kropf (University of Michigan)

Visual and Artistic Elements in Islamic Manuscripts at UCLA

Lamia Balafrej, Art History (UCLA)

Session 4: Paratexts, Annotations, Marks of Ownership

Evyn Kropf (University of Michigan)

“Text and performance through the manuscripts of al-Ḥarīrī’s Impostures”

Michael Cooperson, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (UCLA)

Session 5: “Overview of Describing Manuscripts”

Evyn Kropf (University of Michigan)

“Demonstration of Describing a Manuscript”

Evyn Kropf (University of Michigan)

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

New Publication: Approaches to the Qur’an in Contemporary Iran (Oxford University Press, 2019)

Oxford University Press, in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, has recently published a new volume in its Qur’anic Studies Series, Approaches to the Qur’an in Contemporary Iran, edited by Alessandro Cancian (Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies).approaches

The volume is composed of seventeen chapters that touch upon different aspects of the impact, understanding and use of the Qur’an in contemporary Iran. It covers the last two centuries of reflection on revelation and scripture in the Persian-speaking world. The collection is meant to provide academics working in the fields of the intellectual and religious history of early modern and modern Iran, as well as in Qur’anic Studies, with a comprehensive overview of the richness and plurality of Iran’s engagement with the Qur’an. It achieves this by bringing together different approaches from theology, mysticism, exegesis, reformism, cinema, music, and visual and popular culture.

Lloyd Ridgeon, Reader in Islamic Studies at the University of Glasgow, gave the following review of the volume:

This essential work, composed of chapters authored by some of the world’s leading academics in Islamic and Iranian studies, provides a comprehensive analysis of how the Qur’an is received in modern Iran. The collection’s range of topics has been carefully considered, shedding light on modern hermeneutical problems, mystical ways of perceiving the sacred text, and its significance in modern cultural forms including cinema and music, among others. The chapters have been researched with meticulous care to detail. Approaches to the Qur’an in Contemporary Iran looks set to become a classic work.

 

For more information on the contributions to this volume, see the table of contents below:

Introduction: Alessandro Cancian

Section I: Power, Authority and Exegesis

1 Rational-analytical Tafsīr in Modern Iran: The Influence of the Uṣūlī School of Jurisprudence on the Interpretation of the Qur’an 19
Seyfeddin Kara

2 Striving Beyond the Balance (al-Mīzān): Spiritual Practice and the Qur’an in the Ṭabāṭabāʾī Ṭarīqa 41
Sajjad Rizvi

3 Privileging the Qur’an: Divorce and the Hermeneutics of Yūsuf Ṣāniʿī 77
Liyakat Takim

4 Al-Amr bi’l-maʿrūf and the Semiotics of Sovereignty in Contemporary Iran 101
Neguin Yavari

5 The Limits of a ‘Fixed’ Qur’an: The Iranian Religious Intellectual Movement beyond the Historical Methods 123
Banafsheh Madaninejad

6 Soroush’s Theory of Qur’anic Revelation: A Historical-Philosophical Appraisal 149
Yaser Mirdamadi

 

Section II: Alternative Approaches: Between Marginality and Legitimacy

7 A Sufi Defence of the Qur’an: Ḥusayn ʿAlī Shāh’s Rebuttal of Henry Martyn 185
Reza Tabandeh

8 Abrogation and Falsification of Scripture according to Shi‘i Authors in Iraq and Iran (19th–20th Centuries) 225
Rainer Brunner

9 Speaking the Secrets of Sanctity in the Tafsīr of Ṣafī ʿAlī Shāh 243
Nicholas Boylston

10 Exegesis and the Place of Sufism in Nineteenth-Century Twelver Shi‘ism: Sulṭān ʿAlī Shāh Gunābādīand his Bayān al-saʿāda 271
Alessandro Cancian

11 In the Company of the Qur’an by Muḥyī al-Dīn Ilāhī Ghomshei 291
Leonard Lewisohn

 

Section III: The Arts, Material Culture and Everyday Life

12 A Contemporary Illustrated Qur’an: Zenderoudi’s Illustrations of Grosjean’s Translation (1972) 325
Alice Bombardier

13 Women, the Qur’an and the Power of Calligraphy in Contemporary Iran 353
Anna Vanzan

14 The Divine Word on the Screen: Imaging the Qur’an in Iranian Cinema 375
Nacim Pak-Shiraz

15 Notes on Ritual Prayer in Iran: Qunūt Choices among a Group of Shi‘i Women 409
Niloofar Haeri

16 Twelver Shi‘i Women’s Appropriation of the Qur’an in Contemporary Iran 421
Ingvild Flaskerud

17 The Qur’an as an Aesthetical Model in Music? The Case of Muḥammad Riḍā Shajariyān between the Qur’an and radīf 445
Giovanni De Zorzi

Want to read more? Buy this book online.

 

Text accessed and reproduced with the kind permission of Alessandro Cancian.

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

 

Call for Papers: Sharḥ, Tafsīr, and Ḥāshiya, University of Zurich

zurichThe University of Zurich will host Sharḥ, Tafsīr, and Ḥāshiya,  a workshop on the form, function, and context of pre-modern commentary writing in Arabic, on June 15-16, 2020.

About the workshop: The pre-modern Arabic literary landscape is full of commentaries, meta-commentaries, and auto-commentaries of various shapes and sizes, such that commentary-writing indisputably stood as one of the main forms of scholarly textual output over the centuries. Some features of this tradition have received their fair share of attention; others remain yet to be explored. While the importance of, for example, Quranic or philosophical commentary as a source for Muslim intellectual history has been recognised in the last decades, commentaries in most other fields are often mentioned only for the purpose of demonstrating the popularity of the text commented upon. Questions relating to why commentaries were composed in the first place, in what institutional settings, according to what conventions and with what techniques remain generally under-explored.  This workshop will focus on two principal aspects of the study of commentary and commentating practices: (1.) the techniques of commentary-writing; and (2.) its audience and reception. In the first area, we are interested in the interaction and connections between text and commentary.  This could be summarised with the simple question, “how does commentary work?”. In the second, we encourage papers that give consideration to readers and likely readerships of commentaries, either by studying the para-texts of commentaries (e.g. marginalia etc.) or sociologically, by looking at groups of readers, and owners of manuscripts. This could be summarised with the question, “how was commentary used?”.

We invite papers dealing with commentaries written in Arabic any time before roughly the 15th century, belonging to any genre (philosophy, theology, literature, medicine, sciences, etc.). Possible questions to be dealt with may include (but are not limited to):

  • How does a commentary work? Which elements of a text receive what kind of attention, which parts are not commentated upon? What kinds of relationship exist between the text and the commentary?
  • What is considered a good commentary, a bad commentary?
  • Why was it ever important to write a commentary? Are there different kinds of motivation that lead to different kinds of commentary?
  • Who wrote commentaries and when? Is commentary writing something a beginner does or rather the opposite? Do people write different kinds of commentaries at different stages in their careers?
  • Who are the intended readers and audiences?
  • Who really commissioned, read, owned, or taught a commentary? Where were they composed?
  • How are commentaries presented in their manuscripts? How is the link between the base-text and the commentary established, both linguistically and at the level of layout?
  • Why are there so many “auto-commentaries”, i.e. commentaries written by the author of the commented work?

 

Please send a 400-word abstract to james.weaver@uzh.ch and forster@zedat.fu-berlin.de no later than August 31, 2019.  We welcome contributions in English, French or German.

The selected participants will be notified by October 30, 2019.

Accommodation in Zurich will be provided.  We will probably also be able to cover travel costs, but please try to obtain funding for travel from your home institution in the first instance.

Conveners:
Dr. James Weaver, University of Zurich
Prof. Dr. Regula Forster, Freie Universität Berlin/University of Zurich

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

 

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 5 no. 7 (2019)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 5, no.7), Maria De Cillis (The Institute of Ismaili Studies) reviews Seyfeddin Kara’s In Search of ʿAlī Ibn Abī Ṭālib’s Codex: History and Traditions of the Earliest Copy of the Qurʾān (Berlin: Gerlach Press, 2018).

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In her review, Cillis writes “In his new volume, In Search of ʿAlī Ibn Abī Ṭālib’s Codex: History and Traditions of the Earliest Copy of the Qurʾān, Seyfeddin Kara takes into account how the Shiʿi claim—that the fourth caliph and first Shiʿi Imam carried out the compilation of the Qurʾān before anyone else—has frequently been perceived as politicised bias. This, our author observes, as many scholars have done before him, has contributed to the crystallization of a negative attitude in Western academia towards the study of Shiʿi ḥadīth compilations. What is admirable and innovative in this new work is Kara’s goal of refusing to espouse any distorted, standardized preconception, and his yearning to shatter any sectarianized perspective…”

Want to read more? For full access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), members can log in HERE. Not an IQSA member? Join today to enjoy RQR and additional member benefits!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

San Diego Program Now Available

Copy of 2019 AM smallThe conference schedule for IQSA’s 2019 Annual Meeting in San Diego held in conjunction with the Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion is now available online! Click here for details on presenters, panels, sessions, and abstracts.

Remember that you can save on the registration fee by joining IQSA and registering for the Annual Meetings as an Affiliate Member HERE. Reserve your spot before rates increase on May 23rd! To become an IQSA member click HERE. For more information on the Annual Meeting, including FAQ’s, visit this page. We hope to see you in San Diego!

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.