Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 5 no. 10 (2019)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 5, no.10), Majd Al-Mallah (Grand Valley State University) reviews Richard Serrano’s Qurʾān and the Lyric Imperative (New York: Lexington Books, 2016).

5.10In his review, Al-Mallah writes “As the title suggests, Richard Serrano’s Qurʾān and the Lyric Imperative examines the Qurʾān, but the intention is not to explain the holy book of Islam. The Qurʾān, as the author puts it, “continues to defy explanation, despite the legions engaged in the vast Islamic and Orientalist intellectual industry intent on doing just that” (1). Instead, the book examines the connections between the Qurʾān and poetry in the classical Arabic tradition and the ways in which those connections have served a central role in preserving people’s understanding of the text…

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

 

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 5 no. 9 (2019)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 5, no.9), Eléonore Cellard (Collège de France) reviews Asma Hilali’s The Sanaa Palimpsest: The Transmission of the Qurʾan in the First Centuries AH (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).  

palimpsestIn her review, Cellard writes “‘The Sanaa Palimpsest: The Transmission of the Qurʾan in the First Centuries AH’ by Asma Hilali aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion of the transmission of the Qurʾān in the early Islamic centuries, presenting a new interpretation of one of the most discussed documentary witnesses in recent years: the palimpsest of Ṣanʿāʾ. This monograph is the culmination of a long investigation, that started with the digitization project De l’Antiquité tardive à l’Islam (2005–2008) funded by the French ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche). One of the aims of this project, directed by Christian J. Robin, was the digitization of three Qurʾān manuscripts found in the Ṣanʿāʾ mosque in 1972 or 1973 and kept in one of the mosque’s libraries, Dār al-Makhṭūṭāt. Of the three digitized manuscripts, one—inventoried as DAM 01-27.1—is of particular interest because it is a palimpsest, parchment leaves from which a previous text has been erased in order to write a new text above. The most intriguing feature is that its lower and upper texts are both qurʾānic. Then, what are the motivations behind this recycling operation?…”

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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…”

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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).

Insearch

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…”

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Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 5 no. 6 (2019)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 5, no.6), Stephen R. Burge (Institute of Ismaili Studies) reviews Harald Motzki’s Reconstruction of a Source of Ibn Isḥāq’s Life of the Prophet and Early Qurʾān Exegesis: A Study of Early Ibn ʿAbbās Traditions (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2017).

Motzaki

In his review, Burge writes “Harald Motzki, famous for his isnād-cum-matn method of analysing ḥadīth, provides a thorough examination of the way in which Ibn Isḥāq, the author of one of the more famous of the sīrahs (biographies) of Muḥammad, gathered his sources, particularly his use of one source named Muḥammad b. Abī Muḥammad, about whom little is known. In so doing, Motzki’s Reconstruction of a Source of Ibn Isḥāq’s Life of the Prophet and Early Qurʾān Exegesis takes the reader on a journey through a number of sources, along which the reader can learn much about how Ibn Isḥāq used his sources, about the final product subsequently produced by his student Ibn Hishām, and about this little-known transmitter Muḥammad b. Abī Muḥammad…”

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

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 5, no.5), David Cook (Rice University) reviews Michel Cuypers (ed.) A Qurʾānic Apocalypse: A Reading of the Thirty-Three Last Sūrahs of the Qurʾān (Atlanta, GA: Lockwood Press, 2018). 

Cuypers

In his review, Cook writes “That the Qurʾān as a text has apocalyptic affinities has been the focus of scholarly research for the past century. Of late, due to the work of Fred Donner and others, defining the Qurʾānic apocalypse has come into vogue. Michel Cuypers’ ‘A Qurʾānic Apocalypse: A Reading of the Thirty-Three Last Sūrahs of the Qurʾān’ is a welcome addition to this genre. However, one should note that Cuypers’ work is quite different from other research and readings on the subject. While most scholars seek to place the Qurʾān within an apocalyptic framework, and then relate the text to outside events, or to extract history—such as it is—from the text, Cuypers seeks to read the entire text as if it were an apocalypse in terms of its rhetoric…”

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Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 5 no. 4 (2019)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 5, no.4), Suleyman Dost (Brandeis University) reviews Abdur Raheem Kidwai’s God’s Word, Man’s Interpretations: A Critical Study of the 21st Century Translations of the Quran (New Delhi: Viva Books, 2018).

Godsword

In his review, Dost writes “Colleagues and fellow scholars of Islam, how many times have you been asked about the best English translations of the Qurʾān and how many times have you mumbled in response something along the lines of “Arberry is good, there is Yusuf Ali, Abdel Haleem’s is more recent I guess”? Abdur Raheem Kidwai’s God’s Word, Man’s Interpretations is the book to read for a better, more learned answer concerning the English translations of the Qurʾān that have appeared since 2000. Kidwai’s admirable effort in this book can truly spare the scholars of Islam the time of sifting through the ever-growing numbers of recent translations…”

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