Conference: Umayyad Syria: A Context for the Qur’an ?

UMR

IQSA is excited to announce an upcoming conference hosted by the University of Strasbourg: Umayyad Syria: A Context for the Qur’an? Please see the English/French announcement below for details, including details on how to register and watch the conference online. 

 La Syrie omeyyade, un contexte pour le Coran ?

Colloque international interdisciplinaire

Université de Strasbourg, 2-3-4 juin 2021

Umayyad Syria: A Context for the Qur’an ?

International interdisciplinary colloquium

University of Strasbourg, 2-3-4 June 2021


À la jonction des études coraniques et de l’histoire, ce colloque entend interroger l’évolution et la place du texte coranique aux débuts de l’Islam dans un contexte spatial et temporel déterminé : la région centrale de la Syrie-Palestine (Bilād al-Shām) sous la dynastie califale omeyyade (661-750). Le but est de favoriser les échanges entre des spécialistes de l’espace syrien à l’époque omeyyade (historiens, littéraires, papyrologues, archéologues) et des spécialistes du texte coranique (islamologues, philologues, codicologues) pour faire le point et avancer de nouvelles pistes sur le Coran dans la Syrie omeyyade.

At the crossroads of Qur’anic studies and History, this conference intends to investigate the evolution and place of the Qur’anic text in early Islam within a specific spatial and temporal context: the central region of Syria and Palestine (Bilād al-Shām) under the Umayyad caliphate dynasty (661-750). The aim is to foster exchanges between specialists of the Syrian area in the Umayyad period (historians, papyrologists, specialists of literature, archaeologists) and specialists of the Qur’anic text (among which specialists of Islam as a religion (“islamologues”), philologists, codicologists) in order to gather the latest academic studies on the Qur’an in Umayyad Syria and propose new directions of research.

Ce colloque interdisciplinaire international est organisé par Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau (Maître de Conférences, Université de Strasbourg, UMR 7044 Archimède)  et Mathilde Boudier (PhD, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerranée), avec la coopération d’Éric Vallet (Professeur en études arabes, Université de Strasbourg). Ce colloque est hébergé au laboratoire UMR7044 Archimède (CNRS / Université de Strasbourg) ; il est soutenu par un financement du Bureau Central des Cultes dans le cadre de la commission « Islam, Religion et Société » des Ministères et un financement de l’ITI Hisaar (Université de Strasbourg).

This interdisciplinary and international colloquium is organized by par Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau (Assistant Professor, Université de Strasbourg, UMR 7044 Archimède) and Mathilde Boudier (PhD, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerranée), with the cooperation of Éric Vallet (Full Professor in Arabic Studies, Université de Strasbourg). It is hosted by UMR7044 Archimède laboratory (CNRS/University of Strasbourg, France) and funded by a grant awarded by the Bureau Central des Cultes withing the framework of the « Islam, Religion and Society » commission of the French Ministries, and a funding awarded by the ITI Hisaar (Interdisciplinary Institute for History, Sociology, Archaeology and Anthropology of Religions, of the University of Strasbourg).

Le colloque sera en français et en anglais. The colloquium will be in French and English.

Pour assister au colloque en direct, rendez-vous sur la chaîne youtube de la MISHA 

NB : Pour les chercheurs ou étudiants désireux de participer au colloque en ligne avec possibilité de poser des questions, une inscription est disponible (sous réserve : nombre de places limité pour préserver la qualité des échanges) en demandant envoyant un email avec pour titre « Inscription colloque » à Mathilde Boudier .

Le colloque est aussi enregistré et sera disponible en ligne (lien à venir après le colloque sur cette page web .

Venue : To follow the colloquium online, please join the MISHA YouTube . Researchers and students interested in participating online directly may register in limited number by sending an email to Mathilde Boudier (email title “Inscription colloque”).

The colloquium will be filmed and available online: a link will appear later on this webpage http://archimede.unistra.fr/activites-de-recherche/programmes-de-recherche/equipes/equipe-i-territoires-et-empires-dorient-teo/la-syrie-omeyyade-un-contexte-pour-le-coran/

Participants :

Sean W. ANTHONY (The Ohio State University)
Mohamed BAKHOUCH (Aix-Marseille Université/IREMAM)
Nicolet BOEKHOFF-VAN DER VOORT (Radboud University)
Antoine BORRUT (University of Maryland)
Hassan BOUALI (Université Paris Nanterre)
Hassan CHAHDI (Collège de France) (t.b.c.)
Arianna D’OTTONE RAMBACH (Sapienza – Università di Roma)
Bastien DUMONT (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Guillaume DYE (Université libre de Bruxelles)
Mattia GUIDETTI (University of Bologna)
Steven C. JUDD (Southern Connecticut State University)
Thierry LEGRAND (Université de Strasbourg)
Paul NEUENKIRCHEN (GIS MOMM)
Mehdy SHADDEL (University of Leiden)
Éric VALLET (Université de Strasbourg)

Programme / Program :

Horaire local / Time is in Paris Time (UTC +2) = CEST (Central European Summer Time)

Mercredi 2 juin

13.30-14.00 Accueil général et introduction / Official welcome and introduction

14.00-15.20 Histoire et Études Coraniques : Communication inaugurale à 2 voix / History and Qur’anic Studies: 2-voices Introduction

15.30-19.00 Session 1 : Le Coran et les ambitions impériales omeyyades / The Qur’an and Umayyad Struggle for Imperial Power

Jeudi 3 juin

10.00-12.00 Session 2 : La Syrie comme contexte de composition et de canonisation du Coran / Syria as a Context for Qur’anic Composition & Canonization

14.00-17.30 Session 3 : Usages sociaux du Coran : lire le Coran dans la Syrie omeyyade / Reading the Qur’an in Umayyad Syria : Social Meanings.

Vendredi 4 juin

13.00-16.30 Session 4 : Le Coran dans les rapports entre musulmans et chrétiens en Syrie omeyyade / Qur’an in Muslim-Christian Relations in Umayyad Syria

16.30-17.30 Conclusion et discussion générale / Conclusion and General Discussion

pour voir le programme détaillé, cliquez ici

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Call for Papers: Esotericism and the Qur’an

Esotericism and the Qur’an / L’ésoterisme et le Coran
Unversity of Lausanne & University of Geneva
Lausanne, May 5–7, 2022

Background and Objectives

The Qur’an proclaims itself a message to all humankind (e.g. Q 14:52, This is a proclamation for all mankind . . .). This does not mean, however, that the verses of the Revelation are easy to grasp and comprehend. The Islamic scholarly tradition developed its science of interpretation or commentary on the text, one which emphasizes two areas in particular: (i) language and (ii) the context of the Prophet’s life in which the various verses were revealed. Early commentators sometimes noted that certain aspects were better understood by Arabic-speakers, or that the Companions of the Prophet possessed a superior understand of the message because they were present at its revelation, but by and large the science of interpretation is open to anyone with the necessary intellectual capacity.

There came to be, however, separate from this scholastic science of interpretation, certain communities which associated true understanding of the Qur’an with particular individuals and with certain methods that are not available to all. Esoteric interpretation of the Muslim scripture is best known in various Sufi and Shiite traditions. In these traditions, the ever-present concept of taʾwīl (in the sense of a hermeneutics aimed at a hidden meaning) and the ẓāhir/bāṭin (exterior/interior sense) dichotomy both imply, inescapably, that the Qur’an remains, in a sense, incomplete without the wisdom and experience of certain privileged interpreters.

Methods and doctrines vary considerably among the learned Shiites and the Sufi masters on how to reach or grasp the bāṭin, the hidden inner meaning. There are numerous variations of the Sufi tendency to the immanence of personal meditation, and the Shi’i teaching of the living Imam expressing the hidden sense’s transcendence to a handful of initiates. Certain communities, such as the Ḥurūfīs or the Bektashīs, fruitfully combined these Shi’i and Sufi practices. Early Shiism established a doctrine that was both dual and dualist, according to which the external, apparent form (al-ẓāhir) of the revelation contains a hidden aspect (al-bāṭin), destined only for a handful of the initiated who are able to embrace and protect it. In its dualist conception, this doctrine can go so far as to create an opposition between the people of knowledge and those of ignorance, even assigning to certain historical figures the role of adversary (ḍidd), actively working against the precepts of the community.

The majority of scholarship has tended to treat such groups and tendencies as representing the outer limits, if not the Twilight Zone, of scriptural hermeneutics in Islam. They represent, nonetheless, the practices of a wide range of groups and communities who produced and preserved a substantial corpus of sources spanning at least twelve centuries.

The objective of this conference is to take stock of these esoteric uses of the Qur’an and to examine how they relate to each other and to non-esoteric traditions and methods, to set them in the broader context of Muslim uses and interpretations of the Qur’an.

We invite proposals for conference papers in the following areas: a) the status and role of the Qur’an in intellectual esoterism, be it exegetical, theological, or juridical; b) the hermeneutic of taʾwīl (methods, sources, ijtihād) mobilised by Sufi and Shiite authors in order to comment on certain Qur’anic verses and, from there, the establishment and legitimation of their doctrines, be they of a theological nature (e.g. al-tawḥīd) or juridical (e.g. the status of women); c) the social status of religious figures who are authorized to comment on the Qur’anic text and their role in the perpetuation or renewal of anterior spiritual or legal traditions; d) the correlation between the development of the science of taʾwīl and the intellectual milieu of the authors concerned.

We are particularly interested in contributions that will make the link between these esoteric traditions and those disciplines that are usually considered separately, viz., jurisprudence, theology, and qur’anic interpretation.

Every effort will be made to fund participants’ travel and accommodation costs. 

We are planning to produce a peer-reviewed collection of essays in 2023 (in both English and French). 

Please send an abstract of 200-300 words, in the body of the email message, to the organizers at the addresses below. Deadline for abstracts: 25 June, 2021

Organizers

Prof. Bruce Fudge
Department of Mediterranean, Slavic and Oriental Languages and Literature
University of Geneva, Switzerland
Bruce.Fudge@unige.ch

Prof. Wissam Halawi
Institute of History and Anthropology of Religions
University of Lausanne, Switzerland
wissam.halawi@unil.ch 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Call for Submissions: “New Approaches to Qur’anic Hermeneutics in the Muslim World”

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The journal Religions is planning a special issue titled “New Approaches to Qur’anic Hermeneutics in the Muslim World,” guest edited by Dr. Hakan Coruh and Dr. Ismail Albayrak. Please see the following announcement for details:

Special Issue Information:

The Qur’an, as a basic Islamic source, and its exegesis have a special place under the broad umbrella of Islamic studies disciplines. In Qur’anic studies, contemporary approaches to Qur’anic exegesis are an area that needs constant updating with the participation of new actors. This Special Issue of the journal Religions (ISSN 2077-1444)—“New approaches to Qur’anic hermeneutics in the Muslim world”—will discuss the approaches that play defining roles in modern Qur’anic interpretation in the Islamic world. It will critically analyze the intellectual efforts to understand the Qur’an in modern times by contemporary Muslim thinkers from different linguistic and geographic backgrounds. The new Qur’an readings, initiated by Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan (d. 1898) and continued with the works of Muhammad ‘Abduh (d. 1905), have been further developed by important names such as the late Fazlur Rahman (d. 1988), Muhammad Arkoun (d. 2010) and Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd (d. 2010), along with contemporary approaches. The participation of feminist Muslim authors in the discussions on their reading of the Qur’an has further expanded the circle of these contemporary approaches. It is also possible to find similar examples of these approaches based on linguistic and historical hermeneutics in the Shi’ite world. This Special Issue discusses to what extent these and other leading figures represent approaches to the Qur’an in the Muslim world. Is there any study of Qur’an commentary that is suitable for the theoretical ground these new approaches put forward? Or are contemporary efforts in the Islamic world taking place within a framework that goes beyond the above mentioned names? If so, what are the important representatives and methods that have guided recent Qur’an interpretations? The subject will be covered from modern Salafi or literalist approaches to different philosophical readings. This issue will handle the representation and classification questions in contemporary approaches to the Qur’an in a way that includes the general Muslim world from different linguistic and geographic backgrounds.

Submissions: Scholars interested in submitting manuscripts can find complete instructions here.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

IQSA International Meeting: Format Updates & Reminders

Due to circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the International Qur’anic Studies Association’s fourth international conference from July 4-11, 2021 hosted by the “Giorgio La Pira” Library will be fully virtual for IQSA members. The Programming Committee extends a thanks to all participants for their understanding and flexibility during these uncertain times.

The deadline for submitting abstracts and panel proposals is today, May 7, 2021! The Palermo IQSA Conference Committee welcomes proposals of single papers as well as panels that gather selected speakers invited by the proponent to present on a specific topic.

Please note that all proposals for single papers must include:

  • Author name and affiliation
  • Paper title
  • 200-word paper abstract (in English)

while proposals for panels must include:

  • Chair name and affiliation
  • Panel title
  • 200-words panel abstract (in English)
  • speakers contacted and selected by the proponent and title of each paper.

Applicants are kindly asked to submit their abstracts to the attention of Dr. Alba Fedeli at iqsa2021@fscire.it, by May 7, 2021. The organizing committee will send a notification of acceptance for abstracts on May 23, 2021.

Should you have any questions regarding the submission of proposals, please contact the conference director, Dr Alba Fedeli, at iqsa2021@fscire.it.

Find more information about registration and the conference theme at this link.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

IQSA International Meeting CfP Deadline Approaching

Friends of IQSA,

A friendly reminder that the Call for Papers deadline for IQSA’s fourth biennial International Meeting held in partnership with the “Giorgio La Pira” Library and Research Centre in Palermo, Sicily has been extended, and all paper and panel proposals are due this Friday May 7th, 2021.The organizing committee will send a notification of acceptance for abstracts by May 23, 2021.

Please note that all proposals for single papers must include:

  • Author name and affiliation
  • Paper title
  • 200-word paper abstract (in English)

while proposals for panels must include:

  • Chair name and affiliation
  • Panel title
  • 200-words panel abstract (in English)
  • speakers contacted and selected by the proponent and title of each paper.

Applicants are kindly asked to submit their abstracts to the attention of Dr. Alba Fedeli at iqsa2021@fscire.it. 

Conference registration fees are structured as follows:

  • Students to assistant professors – IQSA members: $50 USD / Non-IQSA members: $100 USD
  • Associate professors and above – IQSA members $75 USD / Non-IQSA members: $150 USD
  • Members of the public – $150 USD
  • Affiliates to the “Giorgio La Pira” Library will receive a special code for registration.

The event registration page is https://members.iqsaweb.org/event-4189882

Individuals in the Global South interested in attending the conference should email contactus@iqsaweb.org for accommodations. Any other questions concerning the registration process should also be addressed to contactus@iqsaweb.org.

The organizing committee thanks the IQSA community for its understanding and flexibility during these extraordinary times, and looks forward to convening in July!

Copyright © 2021 International Qur’anic Studies Association, All rights reserved.

New Publication: “Syrisches Christentum und früher Islam” by Joachim Jakob (Innsbruck Tyrolia, 2020)

Tyrolia recently published “Syrisches Christentum und früher Islam. Theologische Reaktionen in syrisch-sprachigen Texten vom 7. bis 9. Jahrhundert” (Syriac Christianity and Early Islam: Theological Reactions in Syriac Texts from the 7th to 9th Centuries) by Joachim Jakob. Interested readers may purchase the book here

pasted image 0Author’s Description
The emergence and rapid spread of Islam posed a major challenge to Christianity. Syriac Christians were among the first who have been in touch with Muslims. This study examines the earliest theological reactions to Islam written by authors of this Christian tradition. The focus is on texts which were composed in Syriac (the Aramaic dialect of the ancient city Edessa). While the sources handed down from the 7th century can predominantly be assigned to the apocalyptic genre and handle the Arabic expansion in terms of a theology of history, the authors of the 8th and 9th centuries already dealt with the main controversial subjects between Christian and Muslim theology, especially the doctrine of the Trinity and Christology. A comparison with Islamic theology of the period in question shows that some Syriac Christians of the 8th and 9th centuries knew the positions and arguments of the Muslim theologians of their time and used them for their own Christian apologetics. Thus, this study demonstrates by means of concrete examples that there must have been contacts between Muslim and Christian intellectuals.

About the Author
Joachim Jakob is an expert in the historical relations between the three monotheistic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), especially in the Middle East. His research focuses mainly on Christian textual sources written in Syriac and partly in Arabic during the medieval period. He has also published on the situation of Christians in the Ottoman Empire. Joachim studied Catholic theology (Mag.theol., 2011) as well as history (B.A., 2011; M.A., 2013) at the University of Salzburg, Austria. He received awards for academic excellence (“Leistungsstipendien”) for his efforts from the University of Salzburg’s Catholic Theological School (2012) and from its School of Social and Cultural Sciences (2014). Joachim completed his doctoral studies (Dr.theol., 2018) in Salzburg with a thesis entitled “Syriac Christianity and Early Islam: Theological Reactions in Syriac Texts from the 7th to the 9th Centuries” (“Syrisches Christentum und früher Islam. Theologische Reaktionen in syrisch-sprachigen Texten vom 7. bis 9. Jahrhundert”; reviewers: Prof. Dr. Dietmar W. Winkler, Salzburg, and Prof. Dr. Herman Teule, Leuven). In 2019, Joachim received the Karl Rahner Award for Theological Research (funded by the Karl Rahner Foundation, Munich, and granted at the University of Innsbruck) for his doctoral thesis.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 7 no. 4 (2021)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 7, no.4), Ameena Yovan (University of Chicago) reviews Gabriel Said Reynolds’ Allah: God in the Qur’an (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2020).

7.4In the review, Yovan writes “Gabriel Said Reynolds’ most recent book, Allah: God in the Qur’an, explores Allah’s characterization in the Qurʾān through His relationship with creation. Reynolds frames his discussion around the dichotomy of divine mercy and justice (or vengeance) in the Qurʾān; but the book is more than an analysis of the Qur’ān’s presentation of these characteristics. Rather, the book offers a wide-ranging introduction to theological debates framed by the Qurʾān, with a methodological intervention by Reynolds as to how to reconcile these dichotomous elements and the contentious debates they engender…”

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, 2021. All rights reserved.

Deadline Extended! IQSA International Meeting 2021

Due to certain circumstances, the Call for Papers deadline for IQSA’s fourth biennial International Meeting held in partnership with the “Giorgio La Pira” Library and Research Centre in Palermo, Sicily has been extended to May 7, 2021. The organizing committee will send a notification of acceptance for abstracts by May 23, 2021.

Please note that all proposals for single papers must include:

  • Author name and affiliation
  • Paper title
  • 200-word paper abstract (in English)

while proposals for panels must include:

  • Chair name and affiliation
  • Panel title
  • 200-words panel abstract (in English)
  • speakers contacted and selected by the proponent and title of each paper.

Applicants are kindly asked to submit their abstracts to the attention of Dr. Alba Fedeli at iqsa2021@fscire.it. 

Conference registration fees are structured as follows:

  • Students to assistant professors – IQSA members: $50 USD / Non-IQSA members: $100 USD
  • Associate professors and above – IQSA members $75 USD / Non-IQSA members: $150 USD
  • Members of the public – $150 USD
  • Affiliates to the “Giorgio La Pira” Library will receive a special code for registration.

The event registration page is https://members.iqsaweb.org/event-4189882

Individuals in the Global South interested in attending the conference should email contactus@iqsaweb.org for accommodations. Any other questions concerning the registration process should also be addressed to contactus@iqsaweb.org.

The organizing committee thanks the IQSA community for its understanding and flexibility during these extraordinary times, and looks forward to convening in July!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Deadline Approaching: IQSA International Meeting 2021 Call for Papers

Call for Papers: IQSA International Meeting 2021
“Giorgio La Pira” Library, Palermo, Sicily

The International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) is happy to announce its fourth biennial conference from July 4-11, 2021, hosted by the “Giorgio La Pira” Library (Palermo, Italy). This international conference will welcome papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Qur’anic text encouraging in particular papers that will explore the theme Qur’an in contact: Plurality of views from other traditions, disciplines and peripheries

PalermoThe “Giorgio La Pira” Library and Research Centre in Palermo, Sicily, is a ‘twin’ of the “Giuseppe Dossetti” Library in Bologna, both established by the Foundation for Religious Studies “John XXIII” (FSCIRE).

FSCIRE is a leading research institution in Italy. It coordinates the European starting community ReiReS (Research Infrastructure on Religious Studies) and the European research infrastructure RESILIENCE; it is the founder and promoter of the European Academy of Religion and it hosts the UNESCO Chair on Religious Pluralism and Peace.

In October 2018, the “Giorgio La Pira” Library was established as a research centre specialised in the history and doctrines of Islam, with the aim of representing all its linguistic, doctrinal, and cultural varieties. The library is dedicated to Giorgio La Pira (1904-1977), a Sicilian scholar and political leader who played a key role in the peace movement throughout his life and career.

One of the main goals of the “Giorgio La Pira” Library and Research Centre is to represent all traditions of Islam and to encourage their research cooperation, in an effort to create an area of rights and understanding through scientific progress in the fields of history, theology, jurisprudence, philosophy, and philology.

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The organizers encourage submissions of proposals in any topic of Qur’anic scholarship, and in particular:

  1. a) themes related to other traditions within and outside Islam in order to foster plurality of views and a comparative perspective;
  2. b) contributions from scholars in other disciplines who are tangentially connected to the Qur’an and Qur’anic studies literature thus contributing their original voice into the flourishing of the discipline of Qur’anic studies.

If circumstances will allow for travelling and for people gathering in Palermo, the conference will be held in a hybrid format. The meeting will be structured as follows:

  • July 4-7, 2021: this portion of the conference will be entirely virtual.
  • July 8-11, 2021: this portion of the conference will be Hybrid. In-person attendees will be able to present at the La Pira Library. All equipment necessary to facilitate interaction between virtual and in-person attendees will be made available.

During registration you will be asked if you are interested in attending the conference in person. This is not a commitment to attending in person. We know that for many people, travel planning is currently not possible, and we expect the majority of participants to attend virtually. However, if circumstances do allow, and you would be open in coming in-person, please note your interest. We have a limited number of spots for which we can provide full or partial accommodation.

The Palermo IQSA Conference Committee welcomes proposals of single papers as well as panels that gather selected speakers invited by the proponent to present on a specific topic.

Please note that all proposals for single papers must include:

  • Author name and affiliation
  • Paper title
  • 200-word paper abstract (in English)

while proposals for panels must include:

  • Chair name and affiliation
  • Panel title
  • 200-words panel abstract (in English)
  • speakers contacted and selected by the proponent and title of each paper.

Applicants are kindly asked to submit their abstracts to the attention of Dr. Alba Fedeli at iqsa2021@fscire.it, by April 23, 2021. The organizing committee will send a notification of acceptance for abstracts on May 16, 2021.

Should you have any questions regarding the submission of proposals, please contact the conference director, Dr Alba Fedeli, at iqsa2021@fscire.it.

Conference registration fees are structured as follows:

  • Students to assistant professors – IQSA members: $50 USD / Non-IQSA members: $100 USD
  • Associate professors and above – IQSA members $75 USD / Non-IQSA members: $150 USD
  • Members of the public – $150 USD
  • Affiliates to the “Giorgio La Pira” Library will receive a special code for registration.

The event registration page is https://members.iqsaweb.org/event-4189882

Individuals in the Global South interested in attending the conference should email contactus@iqsaweb.org for accommodations. Any other questions concerning the registration process should also be addressed to contactus@iqsaweb.org.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.