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Narratives of Tampering in the Earliest Commentaries on the Quran (Gordon NICKEL)

Narratives of Tampering in the Earliest Commentaries on the Quran (Gordon (…)

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Gordon D. Nickel, est docteur (Ph.D. 2004) en islamologie de l’Université de Calgary. Il enseigne à l’Université de la British Columbia. Il est un expert dans la littérature exégétique musulmane.

Presentation de l’éditeur

The Muslim accusation of the corruption or deliberate falsification of pre-Qur’ānic scriptures has been a major component of interfaith polemic for a millenium or more. The accusation has frequently sought attestation from a series of ’tampering’ verses in the Qur’ān. Investigation of the interpretation of these verses in the earliest commentaries on the Qur’ān, however, reveals a discrepancy between the confident polemical accusation and the tentative understandings of the first Muslims. Of greater interest to early commentators was a story of deception and obstinacy by the ’People of the Book’ in response to the truth claims of Islam. Focusing on the eighth-century commentary of Muqātil ibn Sulaymān and the great exegetical compendium of al-Ṭabarī (d. 923), this book sketches the outlines of the earliest Muslim approach to pre-Qur’ānic scriptures. The resulting discoveries provide a rare opportunity to peek behind the curtain of doctrinaire claim and polemical debate.

Présentation de l’auteur

Muslim scholars in the first three centuries of Islam were very reluctant to accuse the Bible of textual corruption. I researched the exegesis of Muqatil ibn Sulayman (died 767) and the great classical commentator al-Tabari (d. 923) on a group of 25 verses which Muslim polemicists have tended to cite when they accuse the Bible of corruption and/or falsification. Muqatil’s commentary is the earliest extant complete Muslim commentary on the Qur’an. Perhaps my most interesting discovery was that both Muqatil’s and Tabari’s interpretations of most of these verses assume an intact Torah in the hands of the Jews of Medina during Muhammad’s career there... (suite)

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