Special Issue "New Approaches to Qur'anic Hermeneutics in the Muslim World"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Theologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ismail Albayrak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Theology, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia
Interests: Islamic studies; Qur'anic studies; interfaith dialogue; Muslims in modern world; Ibadi exegesis, Hizmet movement; Islamic mysticism
Dr. Hakan Coruh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University, Auburn, NSW 2144, Australia
Interests: medieval exegesis of the Qur’an (classical tafsīr); modern Qur’an exegesis (modern tafsīr); contemporary Islamic thought; Islamic legal theories (usul al-fiqh) and jurisprudence (fiqh); Hanafi-Maturidi theology and jurisprudence; Islamic law and practices in the modern period; radicalisation, theological ideologies, and counter-radicalisation; Islamic theology (Kalām); comparative theology and interfaith relations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

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 analyse 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 abovementioned 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.

Prof. Dr. Ismail Albayrak
Dr. Hakan Coruh
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • the Qur’an
  • Qur’anic hermeneutics
  • exegesis
  • historicism
  • semantic
  • semiotic
  • Muslim feminism
  • Salafism
  • literalist
  • universalism
  • localism
  • scientific exegesis
  • contemporary
  • classical

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Rereading of the Quran in Light of Nursi’s Risale-i Nur Collection: Shuhudi Exegesis
Religions 2021, 12(12), 1088; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121088 - 09 Dec 2021
Viewed by 482
Abstract
The concept of tafsiri şuhudi (transempirical exegesis) was coined for the first time by Said Nursi (d. 1960) and was reflected throughout his works. In his tafsiri şuhudi (pronounced shuhudi) methodology, Nursi views the Qur’an as an interpretation of the universe, that is [...] Read more.
The concept of tafsiri şuhudi (transempirical exegesis) was coined for the first time by Said Nursi (d. 1960) and was reflected throughout his works. In his tafsiri şuhudi (pronounced shuhudi) methodology, Nursi views the Qur’an as an interpretation of the universe, that is Kitab al-Kabir (a big book). According to Nursi, such an exegesis is needed to reach the degree of iman tahkiki (investigative belief), also known as authentic faith. As part of his methodology, Nursi uses spiritual experience (kashf) and secular sciences as evidence for gaining true faith. Tafsiri şuhudi is an offshoot of ishari (inner meaning) tafsir but one that is injected with rationalism. This tafsir type also injects witnessing (şuhudi) into the dry body of scientific and modern tafsir that emerged in the Muslim world after European enlightenment. This article first examines the original hermeneutical concept of tafsir şuhudi in Nursi’s works and then analyses the sound heart, an essential part of iman tahkiki, in light of Nursi’s transempirical experience. The article argues that Nursi injects rationalism into the ishari tafsir methodology and infuses şuhudi experience by making it not only an epistemic but also an existential understanding of modern tafsir methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Qur'anic Hermeneutics in the Muslim World)
Article
Hermeneutics in Contemporary Turkey: An Analysis of Turkish Historicists
Religions 2021, 12(11), 1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12111027 - 22 Nov 2021
Viewed by 773
Abstract
The hermeneutical turn in Islamic studies has also affected Islamic scholarship in Turkey, a country where traditional Sunnism historically dominates. Historicism in Islamic studies became an influential intellectual and academic current in Turkey after the 1990s. This was mostly because the first generation [...] Read more.
The hermeneutical turn in Islamic studies has also affected Islamic scholarship in Turkey, a country where traditional Sunnism historically dominates. Historicism in Islamic studies became an influential intellectual and academic current in Turkey after the 1990s. This was mostly because the first generation of Turkish scholars, who associated themselves with historicism through complex engagement with Quranic hermeneutics in their studies, emerged in the 1990s. In this article, I analyze Mustafa Öztürk, İlhami Güler, and Ömer Özsoy, the architects of the historicist turn of the 1990s in Turkey who are still prominent. The article explains: (i) The Turkish historicists’ views on the nature of the Quran; (ii) Their hermeneutical approach in interpreting the Quran; and (iii) Illustrates how they apply the hermeneutical approach to the interpretation of the Quran by presenting how they interpret the Quran’s relevant verses on corporal punishment/chopping and divorce. The article aims to detail historicism in Turkey by studying its leading scholars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Qur'anic Hermeneutics in the Muslim World)
Article
Ayatollah Yusuf Sanei’s Contribution to the Discourse of Women’s Rights
Religions 2021, 12(7), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070535 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 702
Abstract
Ayatollah Yusef Sanei was a prominent contemporary Shia scholar whose particular methodological approach led him to issue some of the most progressive Shia fatwas on the subject of women’s rights. However, the ideas he expressed in the last decades of his life have [...] Read more.
Ayatollah Yusef Sanei was a prominent contemporary Shia scholar whose particular methodological approach led him to issue some of the most progressive Shia fatwas on the subject of women’s rights. However, the ideas he expressed in the last decades of his life have scarcely been addressed in the English language scholarship. This article explores Sanei’s broader jurisprudential approach and how he applied it to analyzing and often challenging traditional Shia rulings related to gender issues. The article first differentiates Sanei’s approach towards jurisprudence from established methodologies, particularly in relation to his consideration of the Sunna as secondary to the Qurʾān, his rejection of the practice of using consensus as an independent basis of legal rulings, his idea that Sharia rulings may change over time, and his strong emphasis on the Qurʾān’s messages of justice and human dignity. The article illuminates how this combination led Sanei to challenge traditional ideas about men’s authority over women, a fixed socio-political role for women, and men’s superiority in the areas of divorce rights, testimony and worth in blood money (dīya), while concurring with earlier scholars on the unequal division of inheritance. Notwithstanding this latter exception, the article demonstrates that Sanei drew upon jurisprudential approaches in arguing in favor of equality between men and women in many areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Qur'anic Hermeneutics in the Muslim World)
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