Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2018


The International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) is proud to announce the second annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize. The  Prize is awarded to the best paper delivered at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston, typically by a graduate student or early career scholar (Ph.D. awarded 2012 or later).

Interested scholars should submit a draft of the paper which they read at the 2017 Annual Meeting at Boston; this draft should be no longer than fifteen double-spaced pages (or 3750 words). Submissions should be sent to by January 5, 2018. The prize winner will receive $250, and an expanded and fully sourced edition of the paper will be subject to review and likely publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association Volume 2 (2017).The winner must be prepared to submit a revised “journal article” version of the paper by May 1, 2018. Publication of the final version is contingent upon review by the award committee and editorial staff of JIQSA.

The first annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize was awarded to Jawad Anwar Qureshi of the University of Chicago for his paper “Ring Composition, Virtues, and Qurʾanic Prophetology in Sūrat Yūsuf (Q 12)”. Visit this link for more details.

Andrew Rippin was the inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014).  He is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”


Andrew Rippin (third from left) and colleagues at the spring 2014 IQSA board meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, USA


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.

IQSA 2017 Annual Meeting – Conference Report

The fifth Annual Meeting of the International Qur’ānic Studies Association, held in Boston from November 17-21, brought together many of the foremost scholars within qur’ānic studies, for four days of engaging panels, presentations, and roundtables on all aspects of the text and its reception. Taking place concurrently with the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature conferences, IQSA served as a nexus for conversations which brought together new research from historians, philologists, Late Antique specialists, manuscript scholars, and many others.


Daniel Madigan (Georgetown Unviersity) and others participate in the joint session roundtable Discussion of Islam and Its Past: Jahiliyya, Late Antiquity and the Qur’an 

The weekend began on Friday afternoon with the program unit on The Qur’ān and the Biblical Tradition with talks from Devin Stewart and Nicolai Sinai, focusing on Abraham’s lies and his general qur’ānic profile respectively, from Shari Lowin, on the nature of the Qur’ān’s claim that “the Jews say the Hand of God is chained” (Q. 5:64), Gavin McDowell, on the Qur’ān and Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer, and Faris Casewit, on Jesus’ sayings in al-Harrālī’s exegesis. This was followed by Gerald Hawting’s presidential address, entitled “The House and the Book”, which focused on the tensions between scripture and sanctuary, as early elements of the emergent Islamic movement, and for which Sean Anthony served as respondent.

Saturday kicked off with a lively roundtable on the new book Islam and Its Past: Jahiliyya, Late Antiquity, and the Qur’an (OUP, 2017), co-edited by Carol Bakhos, who chaired the session, and Michael Cook. The discussion focused on paradigms for the study of early Islam vis-à-vis the jāhilī and/or Late Antique milieux, from which it is seen to have emerged. The early afternoon saw a panel on various aspects of sūrat al-Aḥzāb, including its legislative content (Joseph Lowry), its relevance for blasphemy law (Matthew Anderson), the translation of verse 35 (Bruce Lawrence), and a comparative reading of sūra 45 (Ghazala Anwar). The late afternoon/early evening slot was the busiest of the weekend, with three concurrent panels: one on Mustafa Akyol’s new monograph The Islamic Jesus (Macmillan, 2017), one on the implications of sūra titles for the study of the Qur’ān, and one on reconceptualizing Late Antiquity before and after Muhammad.

The third day of the conference continued these conversations with Late Antiquity with a session dedicated to qur’ānic themes and rites seen against their Late Antique background. Abraham Winitzer began with a presentation on the Akkadian expression ‘kipir kishâdim‘ and its possible qur’ānic resonances. He was followed by talks from Javad Hashmi, on the influence of a jāhilī ethos on the Qur’ān’s view of just war; Johanne Christiansen, on the notion of processions; Ari Gordon, on Late Antique discussions of ‘liturgical direction’ and their potential importance for understanding the Qur’ān’s qibla; and Karen Bauer, on comparing the emotional content of the Qur’ān and pre-Islamic poetry. The afternoon concluded with another session from the unit on The Qur’ān and the Biblical Tradition, with presentations by Rachel Dryden (biblical angels in the Qur’ān), Holger Zellentin (the prohibition of incest), Thomas Hoffman (the doxological mode of religiosity in the Qur’ān), Gabriel Said Reynolds (biblical turns of phrase in the Qur’ān), and Cornelia Horn (oral and written transmissions between the Bible and the Qur’ān).


Members of the IQSA community gather over light refreshments at the General Reception following Gerald Hawting’s Presidential Address

The first panel of the final day began with some of the widest-ranging discussions of the weekend, under the theme of ‘Minority and Marginalized Hermeneutics.’ Falling under this ambit were new theorizations of Ismāʿīlī hermeneutics (Khalil Andani), the trajectory of the Indian Nazm school of Qur’anic exegesis (Charles Ramsey), conversations around women’s veiling at the turn of the twentieth century (Orhan Elmaz), the importance of critiques of gender and gender inequality within Islamic studies (Shehnaz Haqqani), and medieval Islamic debates over whether Samaritans were ‘people of the Book’ (Joseph Stewart). This was followed by two afternoon panels, one on the Qur’ān Gateway project and the digital study of the Qur’an, the other on re-evaluating the relevance of ‘Jewish Christianity’ as a lens through which to study early Islam. Finally, the last session of the day focused on the manuscript tradition and textual criticism. Shady Nasser (the evolution of the system of qirāʾāt or variant qur’ānic readings) and Raymond Farrin (the evidence for consistent verse numbering systems), both used the extant Islamic literature to study the Qur’ān’s changing status in early Islam, while Joshua Falconer (systems of marking variant readings in different colors) and Elif Behnan Karabiyik (dating the MS 4313 Qur’ān) worked with extant manuscripts themselves.

islamic jesus

An eager crowd attends the roundtable book discussion of Mustafa Akyol’s recent monograph The Islamic Jesus (Macmillan, 2017)

The conference was one of IQSA’s most successful yet, with consistently high attendance, wonderful presentations, and growing conversations with other units under the general umbrella of the Society for Biblical Literature. We look forward to seeing many of the same faces, and many new ones, next year in Denver for IQSA’s 2018 Annual Meeting!


-Conor Dube (Harvard University) and Rachel Dryden (University of Cambridge



*A special thanks to Conor Dube (Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University) and Rachel Dryden (Graduate Student – Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge) for their assistance at conference events and composition of the above report.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.

IQSA – Promoting Scholarship & Building Bridges #GivingTuesday

Dear Friends,

For over five years the International Qur’anic Studies Association has made fostering Qur’anic scholarship its mission. The Qur’an is an integral part of world literature, and it has shaped and continues to shape the world in which we live. By giving to IQSA you are promoting high quality scholarship and building bridges across the globe, which in turn has positive ripple effects on high quality education, journalism, publishing and public engagement.


IQSA is the only non-profit learned society exclusively dedicated to convening regular Qur’an conferences in North America and in Muslim majority countries around the world, as well as to publishing rigorous cutting edge scholarship on the Qur’an. Within five short years IQSA has convened seven major conferences. These have included large scale conferences in throughout major US cities, Carthage, Tunisia and Jogjakarta, Indonesia, as well as co-sponsored panels in Berlin, Germany and St Andrews, Scotland. IQSA conferences showcase cutting edge research on manuscripts, historical documents, and high tech digital resources, as well as debate critical issues including methodology, hermeneutics and gender. This is possible because IQSA members include the very best scholars in the field.

The first issue of the bilingual Journal of the International Qur’an Studies Association (JIQSA) is now in print and online; and IQSA’s first book is in production for 2018. IQSA members receive free access to JIQSA, the Review of Qur’an Research (RQR), the exclusive member directory (including world renowned Qur’an specialists) and PhD students and recent graduates gain valuable professional development experience. Lifetime Membership and Institutional Membership will be available in early 2018, and carry additional member benefits. IQSA also rewards junior scholars and international academics with the opportunity to learn from colleagues around the world and publish their research. By giving, you help IQSA keep membership dues low and you reward those members of our community who need it most.

Donate NOW

It goes without saying that the current political climate has made our task — especially critical scholarship and building bridges — more important than ever. As academics, professionals and philanthropists we have a duty to support the Humanities and Social Sciences at a time when they are under threat. This also means we have the opportunity to bring about a much more intellectual discussion of the Qur’an when the public needs it most.

IQSA was founded by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, and is now funded through the generous support of its members, partners and friends.

Donate NOW

Most gratefully,

Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.

NEW Membership Tiers: Institutional & Lifetime

The International Qur’anic Studies Association is pleased to announce the addition of two new membership tiers: Institutional and Lifetime Membership. These levels are NOW AVAILABLE for registration and have been introduced by the Board of Directors to further IQSA’s mission of facilitating collaboration in the field of Qur’anic Studies across parties around the world.

Renewal Policy: One Time Installment (No Renewals required)
Special Benefits:
– Automatic access/subscription to all paid individual member benefits (JIQSA online, RQR online & Membership database)
– Free online & print subscription to JIQSA
– Discounts on Lockwood publications 

Renewal Policy: Annual
Special Benefits:
– SAME benefits as above, plus…
– One free advertisement annually (program book, JIQSA, online or mailing list)
– Discounted registration

To register for IQSA Membership, click HERE. Questions or concerns? Email! We hope you join us soon!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.


Call for Papers: International Conference and Workshop “The Translation of the Qur’an in Indonesia”

International Conference and Workshop
“The Translation of the Qur’an in Indonesia”

Organised by
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Department of Islamic Studies,
Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, Graduate School 

Yogyakarta, July 30-31, 2018


Indonesia, the worlds most populous Muslim-majority country, has brought forth an ever-growing number of Qur’an translations during the colonial period and after the nation’s independence in 1945. The formation of Bahasa Indonesia during the colonial period, its nomination as official language of the Indonesian Republic and its use as a standard medium of literacy after independence have been instrumental to that development. Even the Indonesian government has been active in the production of Qur’an translations. However, the translation of the Qur’an in Indonesia is not restricted to works in Bahasa Indonesia. The country is home to a great number of local languages and a variety of regional customs, a fact that is reflected in the substantial number of Qur’an translations into these languages.

Despite the importance and – at times – highly contested nature of this genre of religious literature, it has received comparatively little scholarly attention. This conference invites scholars, researchers, and advanced students in Islamic studies, social sciences, literature or translation studies to contribute to the study of Qur’an translations both into Bahasa Indonesia and into local Indonesian languages. The event aims to elucidate and discuss, among other issues, the role of specific translations, the intentions of their authors, their social relevance, the linguistic dimension of transferring Arabic content into a local target language, and the emergence of conflicts focusing on the translation of the Qur’an.

Please submit your abstracts (approx. 1000 words) by February 28, 2018 to Professors Moch. Nur Ichwan ( and Johanna Pink ( The abstracts should be submitted in English as a PDF file. The working language of the conference will be English.

You will be notified of the acceptance of your paper by March 31, 2018, at the latest. You will then be required to submit a draft of your paper by July 15, 2018. Your travel costs and accommodation during the conference will be fully funded.

All accepted papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited volume on the translation of the Qur’an in Indonesia that will be submitted to an international publisher.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 3 no.10 (2017)

In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 3 no.10), Feras Hamza (University of Wollongong in Dubai) reviews Christian Lange’s Paradise and Hell in Islamic Traditions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).  


“There was a time not long ago in Islamic Studies when one was hard pressed to find much about the Islamic afterlife, Paradise and Hell, or eschatology in general…A watershed in the field was the 2009 symposium held in Göttingen, entitled Roads to Paradise, which despite its title, included papers on several different aspects of the afterlife, including eschatology in general and Hell in particular. However, the voluminous proceedings of the symposium were not published until this year. During the eight-year period between the Göttingen symposium and the publications of its proceedings, Christian Lange’s research has constituted a mainstay in this subfield of Islamic Studies with his Justice, Punishment and the Medieval Muslim Imagination(2008), a major European Research Council-funded project from 2011–2015 that resulted in his Locating Hell in Islamic Traditions(2015), as well as several smaller publications on key related topics. In short, Lange’s work over the last decade has become a major reference for scholars interested in Muslim ideas about the afterlife and the understanding of eschatology within Muslim piety, practice and tradition. His latest work, under review here, is a consummation of several years of Lange’s immersion in and thinking about the question of the afterlife in Islam…” 

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, 2017. All rights reserved.

Le parfait manuel des sciences coraniques al-Itqān fī ʿulūm al-Qurʾān de Ğalāl ad-Dīn as-Suyūṭī (849/1445–911/1505)

Dans Le parfait manuel des sciences coraniques al-Itqān fī ʿulūm al-Qurʾān de Ğalāl ad-Dīn as-Suyūṭī (849/1445–911/1505), nous avons une description complète des problèmes relatifs au texte coranique qui se posent encore aujourd’hui, des solutions proposées et des méthodes employées. Ce texte témoigne de la liberté du débat et de la variété des solutions. Il s’agit d’un recueil de témoignages multiples antérieurs et contemporains à l’auteur et non d’une opinion subjective et isolée. Son but est d’être le guide de tout bon commentateur du Coran, en raison de la profusion des informations fournies sur l’ensemble des sciences coraniques. Cet ouvrage est un précieux point de repère pour l’histoire de la culture arabo-musulmane, en général, et de la linguistique, en particulier.


In al-Suyūṭī’s (1445-1515) The Perfect Handbook of the Qurʾānic Sciences, we find a complete description of the problems concerning the Qurʾānic text that still arise today, of the solutions proposed and the methods employed. This text bears witness to both freedom of debate and the variety of solutions. It is a collection of multiple accounts, both prior to and contemporary with the author, and not simply an isolated, subjective opinion. Its aim is to be the guide for every good Qurʾān commentator because of the abundant information it provides on all the Qurʾānic sciences. This work is an invaluable point of reference for the history of the Arab-Islamic culture in general and of linguistics in particular.

Translated by Michel Lagarde, Le parfait manuel des sciences coraniques is published by E. J. Brill (2018) and can be ordered on their website or at a library near you.

*Accessed from the publisher’s product page.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.