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Medieval interpretations of the Qur'an often serve as points of reference for Muslim thought; yet Qur'an commentaries were shaped not only by the Qur'an itself, but also by their authors' ideological viewpoints, their theories of interpretation, their methods, and the conventions of the genre. This volume is the first to focus solely on the complicated relationship between exegetes' theoretical aims, their practical methods of writing, and the historical and intellectual contexts of Qur'an commentaries (tafsīr). Experts in various aspects of the Qur'an and its interpretation have contributed essays, spanning the 2nd/8th to the 9th/15th centuries, the period in which the commentarial tradition developed and flourished. They emphasise the ways in which geography, human networks, hermeneutical systems and genre boundaries affected the writing of these texts. This volume offers fresh analytical perspectives and addresses new methods for the study of tafsīr. It also provides resources for scholars, by including editions and translations of the introductions to al-Basīt of Abū'l-Ḥasan 'Alī al-Wāḥidī (d. 486/1076) and the Tahdhīb fī Tafsīr al-Qur'ān of al-Ḥākim al-Jishumī (d. 494/1101), as well as translated selections from the introduction to the tafsīr of 'Abd al-Razzāq al-Kāshānī (d. 736/1336). The detailed studies in this volume will help scholars and students alike to comprehend accurately the purpose and content of Qur'an commentaries individually and as a genre.
Table of Contents
1: The Aims of Tafsīr 1. Tafsīr and Unlocking the Historical Qur'an: Back to Basics?', Feras Hamza 2. The Aims of Tafsīr, According to Introductions, 10th-12th Centuries, Karen Bauer 3. The Introduction of al-Basīt of al-Wāḥidī: An Edition, Translation and Commentary, Walid A. Saleh 4. Toward a Reconstruction of the Mu'tazilī Tradition of Qur'anic Exegesis: Reading the Introduction of the Tahdhīb of al-Ḥākim al-Jishumī (d. 494/1101), Suleiman A. Mourad 2: Methods and Sources of Tafsīr 5. Early Shi'i Hermeneutics: Some Exegetical Techniques Attributed to the Shi'i Imams, Robert Gleave 6. The Construction of the Arabian Historical Context in Muslim Interpretation of the Qur'an, Andrew Rippin 7. Methods and Contexts in the Use of Hadiths and Traditions in Classical Tafsīr Literature: The Exegesis of Q. 21:85 and Q. 17:1, Roberto Tottoli 8. Letter by Letter: Tracing the Textual Genealogy of a Sufi Tafsīr, Martin Nguyen 9. Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī's System of Inquiry: Doubt and the Transmission of Knowledge, Tariq Jaffer 10. Master of the Obvious: Understanding Zāhir Interpretations in Qur'anic Exegesis, Ludmila Zamah 11. Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī, the Mu'awwidhatān and the Modes of Exegesis, Stephen Burge 3: Contextualizing Tafsīr 12. A Schoolmaster, Storyteller, Exegete, and Warrior at Work in Khurāsān: al-Daḥḥāk b. Muzāḥim al-Hilālī (d. 106/inc. 29 May 724), Claude Gilliot 13. Methodologies for the Dating of Exegetical Works and Traditions: Can the Lost Tafsīr of al-Kalbī be Recovered from Tafsīr Ibn 'Abbās (a.k.a. Al-Wādiḥ)?, Michael E. Pregill Bibliography