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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

New Publication: Communities of the Qur’an (Oneworld, 2019)

Oneworld Publications has just released a new book, Communities of the Qur’an: Dialogue, Debate and Diversity in the 21st Century, edited by IQSA’s own Executive Director, Emran al-Badawi (Associate Professor and Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program at the University of Houston), and Paula Sanders (Professor of History and Director of the Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance at Rice University).

On numerous occasions throughout history, believers from different schools and denominations, and at different times and places, have agreed to disagree. The Qur’anic interpreters, jurists and theologians of medieval Baghdad, Cairo and Cordoba coexisted peacefully in spite of their diverging beliefs. Seeking to revive this ‘ethics of disagreement’ of Classical Islam, this volume explores the different relationships societies around the world have with the Qur’an and how our understanding of the text can be shaped by studying the interpretations of others. From LGBT groups to urban African American communities, this book aims to represent the true diversity of communities of the Qur’an in the twenty-first century, and the dialogue and debate that can flow among them.

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From the Foreword by Reza Aslan:

“From the very beginning there were deep disagreements among Muslims over how to read and interpret the sacred text, to what degree it has been affected by the cultural norms of the society in which it was revealed, and whether historical context and independent reasoning should have a role in its interpretation. It’s just that the unique properties of the Qur’an, and the unique role it has had in the Muslim community, has, for the most part, excluded a large swath of Muslim voices from this fifteen-century debate.

This collection aims to remedy that situation by bringing together a diverse array of textual scholars who are engaging the Qur’an from perspectives that have been sorely lacking in Islamic scholarship for far too long. The inclusion of, for example, African-American, female, LGBTQ, Ahmadi, and even Baha’i voices to the centuries-long conversation about the meaning of the Qur’an is vital to ensuring the viability of this extraordinary text in the twenty-first century. Most importantly, by prioritizing engagement and disagreement, rather than the pretense of forced unity, this book is symbolic of the increasingly diverse Muslim community itself.”

Want to read more? Purchase this book online or find it in your local library!

Emran El-Badawi is Associate Professor and Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program at the University of Houston.

Paula Sanders is Professor of History and Director of the Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Text and image accessed and reproduced with kind permission of Emran El-Badawi.

 

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

 

 

 

 

New Book Project from Gorgias Press: Library of Arabic and Islamic Heritage

LIAIH

Classical Islamic Texts Series

Call For Book Submissions

Gorgias Press and The King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) are delighted to announce the launch of an important new academic book project: the Library of Arabic and Islamic Heritage مكتبة التراث العربي والاسلامي. The project will make available to academics, independent scholars and research institutes a diverse range of classical Arabic texts that continue to play a central role in the rich and vast development of Islamic thought and culture.

The first series of publications to emerge from the Library of Arabic and Islamic Heritage will be ten Arabic-English translations housed in the new Classical Islamic Texts Series (CITS). The series will make available the single-volume translations of renowned classical Arabic works, showcasing texts that are of central importance to the fields of Qurʾānic studies, Islamic law, Ḥadīth, Theology, History, and Philosophy. Proposed texts can be important short treatises, a compilation of several thematically-related treatises or a key section from a larger compendium. Each proposal should be for a text that is or will be used as an important reference work.

Series Editorial Board

  • Michael Cook, Princeton University
  • Alba Fedeli, Universität Hamburg
  • Robert Gleave. University of Exeter
  • Linda Jones, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
  • Marcus Milwright, University of Victoria
  • Christian Robin, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  • Saud al-Sarhan, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies
  • Isabel Toral-Niehoff, Freie Universität Berlin  

Submit a Proposal

Interested specialists are invited to send their submissions via email to the series manager, Adam Walker (adam@gorgiaspress.com). The following information should be included:

  • Description of the book, including: (1) title and author, (2) broad description of the text, (3) the manuscript(s)/edition(s) that will form the basis of the translation, (4) why the book is important, and (5) a timetable for the translation’s completion
  • Updated CV
  • Sample of previous translation work

The series is interested in important single-volume classical works that would serve as essential reading and reference texts for specialists in the field. The Arabic text will sit side-by-side with the English translation and be typeset in the Amīrī Font, a classical Arabic typeface in the Naskh style. The English text will be typeset in Gorgias Press’ bespoke font, Gorgias Garamond.

Project Support

  • Substantial grant for each translator
  • Subvention grant to reduce retail price of books
  • Free professional copyediting

Statements from Gorgias Press & KFCRIS

Dr Saud al-Sarhan, Secretary General of KFCRIS, said:

“We are very proud to be able to launch the Library of Islamic and Arabic Heritage in partnership with Gorgias Press. I see a great deal of potential in this project, which I hope can further help us in serving our role of providing a platform for researchers and academics to gain valuable insight on Islamic thought and culture.”

“Our partnership with Gorgias Press will help us grant access to a wide range of classical Arabic texts to academics and researchers across the world, further enriching scholarly discussions on the role of the classical Islamic world.”

Dr George Kiraz, Editor-in-Chief of Gorgias Press, said:

‘‘It gives us great pleasure to launch the Library of Islamic and Arabic Heritage in partnership with the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. This is an exciting project and will help us to further our commitment to the field of Islamic studies and realise our core motto of ‘Publishing for the Sake of Knowledge’.

‘‘With the expertise and support of KFCRIS, these books will not only showcase a phenomenal range of texts, but also make them easily accessible to students and lecturers alike. I am certain that these books, once published, will enrich the field of Islamic studies. Now the hard work begins!’’

Text and image accessed and reproduced with kind permission of Gorgias Press: https://www.gorgiaspress.com/library-of-arabic-and-islamic-heritage

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

New Benefits: IQSA Institutional Membership

The International Qur’anic Studies Association is pleased to announce the addition of new benefits for IQSA’s Institutional Members. Institutions can now provide collective access to the Review of Qur’anic Research in addition to IQSA’s flagship Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association by becoming IQSA institutional members. Access to these resources for institutions is the result of collaboration with IQSA’s affiliate publisher, Lockwood Press.

Institutional Membership is $400 USD annually and includes the following benefits:
– Automatic access/subscription to all paid individual member benefits (JIQSA online, RQR online & Membership database)
– Discounts on Lockwood publications
– One free advertisement annually (program book, JIQSA, online or mailing list)
– Discounted registration for designated individual at IQSA’s Annual Meeting

To enable collective access to IQSA’s resources, institutions must provide IP ranges to Lockwood Press. Institutional partners can register for membership HERE. Questions or concerns? Email contact@iqsaweb.org! We hope you join us soon to start enjoying these new benefits!

 

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

 

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 5 no. 3 (2019)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 5, no.3), Gabriel Said Reynolds (University of Notre Dame) reviews Francisco del Río Sánchez (ed.), Jewish Christianity and the Origins of Islam (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2018).

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In his review, Reynolds writes “While the volume under review is dedicated to the Qurʾān’s relationship to Jewish Christianity, a number of its contributions call into question the very usefulness of this category. Accordingly, the work is more than a consideration of the relationship between supposedly Jewish Christian groups such as the Ebionites, or supposedly Jewish Christian scriptures such as the Pseudo-Clementines, and the Qurʾān. It offers a broad consideration of the nature of Judaism and Christianity in late antiquity and the ways in which the Qurʾān engages with this sectarian milieu. The volume, which emerged from an ASMEA panel in 2015, is a significant contribution to the study of the Qurʾān in its late antique context…”

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.