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The Oxford Handbook of Qur’anic Studies by Mustapha Shah & M. A. S. Abdel Haleem -eds- (May 2020)

The Oxford Handbook of Qur'anic Studies by Mustapha Shah & M. A. S. (…)

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Mustafa Shah studied for his BA in Arabic with Linguistics at SOAS. He later completed his PhD in Islamic Studies with a thesis entitled Religious Orthodoxy and the Development of Arabic Linguistic Thought in 1997. He was appointed a lecturer in Islamic Studies at SOAS in 2002, having previously taught in the Department of Religions and the Near and Middle East Department. He is the editor of Tafsir: Interpreting the Qur’an (Routledge, 2012) and The Hadith: Articulating the Beliefs and Constructs of Classical Islam (Routledge, 2009).

M. A. S. Abdel Haleem was born in Egypt, and learned the Qur’an by heart from childhood. Educated at al-Azhar, Cairo, and Cambridge Universities, he has taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at Cambridge and London Universities since 1966, including courses in advanced translation and the Qur’an. He is now Professor of Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His publications include Understanding the Qur’an: Themes and Style (I. B. Tauris, 2010) and Sharia and the Concept of Benefit: The Use and Function of Maslaha in Islamic Jurisprudence (I. B. Tauris, 2015).


The Qur’an is the foundational sacred text of the Islamic faith. Traditionally revered as the literal word of God, its pronouncements and discussions form the bedrock of Islamic beliefs and teachings. Notwithstanding its religious pre-eminence and the fact that it is the sacred text for over one billion of the world’s Muslims, the Qur’an is also considered to be the matchless masterpiece of the Arabic language. Its historical impact as a text can be discerned in all aspects of the heritage of the Arabic literary tradition. Over recent decades, academic engagement with the Qur’an has produced an impressive array of scholarship, ranging from detailed studies of the text’s unique language, style and structure, to meticulous surveys of its contents, concepts and historical contexts. The Oxford Handbook of Qur’anic Studies is an essential reference and starting point for those with an academic interest in the Qur’an. It offers not only detailed reviews of influential subjects in the field, but also a critical overview of developments in the research discourse. It explores the tradition of Qur’anic exegesis and hermeneutics, making it a comprehensive academic resource for the study of the Qur’an. No single volume devoted to such a broad academic survey of the state of the field currently exists.


List of Illustrations
List of contributors
Introduction, Mustafa Shah and Muhammad Abdel Haleem

Part I: The State of Qur’anic Studies
1: Academic Scholarship and the Qur’an, Andrew Rippin
2: Modern Developments in Qur’anic Studies, Oliver Leaman
3: Islamic Origins and the Qur’an, Herbert Berg
4: Qur’anic Studies: Bibliographical Survey, Anna Akasoy

Part II: The Historical Setting of the Qur’an
5: Late Antique Near Eastern Context: Social and Religious Aspects, Muntasir F. al-Hamad and John F. Healey
6: Arabian Context of the Qur’an: History and the Text, Harry Munt
7: The Linguistic Landscape of pre-Islamic Arabia: Context for the Qur’an, Ahmad Al-Jallad
8: Qur’anic Exempla and Late Antique Narratives, Marianna Klar
9: The Qur’an and Judaism, Reuven Firestone
10: The Qur’an and Christianity, Neal Robinson

Part III: The Qur’an: Textual Transmission, Codification, Manuscripts, Inscriptions and Printed Editions
11: The Manuscript and Archaeological Traditions: Physical Evidence, François Déroche
12: The Form of the Qur’an: Historical Contours, Yasin Dutton
13: The Corpus of Qur’anic Readings (qirā’āt): History, Synthesis and Authentication, Mustafa Shah
14: Glorifying God’s Word: Manuscripts of the Qur’an, Sheila S. Blair
15: Inscribing God’s Word: Qur’anic texts on Architecture, Objects, and Other Solid Supports, Sheila S. Blair
16: A History of Printed Editions of the Qur’an, Efim A. Rezvan

Part IV: Structural and Literary Dimensions of the Qur’an
17: Language of the Qur’an, A. H. Mathias Zahniser
18: Vocabulary of the Qur’an: Meaning in Context, Mustafa Shah
19: Qur’anic Syntax, Michel Cuypers
20: Rhetorical Devices and Stylistic Features of Qur’anic Grammar, Muhammad Abdel Haleem
21: Inner-Qur’anic Chronology, Nicolai Sinai
22: The Structure of the Qur’an: The Inner Dynamic of the Sūra, Mustansir Mir
23: Discussions of Qur’anic Inimitability: The Theological Nexus, Ayman A. El-Desouky
24: The Qur’an and the Arabic Medieval Literary Tradition, Geert Jan van Gelder
25: The Qur’an and Arabic Poetry, Stefan Sperl

Part V: Topics and Themes of the Qur’an
26: Revelation and Prophecy in the Qur’an, Ulrika Martensson
27: Doctrine and Dogma in the Qur’an, Stephen Burge
28: Law and the Qur’an, Joseph Lowry
29: Qur’anic Ethics, Ebrahim Moosa
30: Eschatology and the Qur’an, Sebastian Günther
31: Prophets and Personalities of the Qur’an, Anthony H. Johns
32: Politics and the Qur’an, Stefan Wild
33: Jihad and the Qur’an: Classical and Modern Interpretations, Asma Afsaruddin
34: Women and the Qur’an, Asma Afsaruddin

Part VI: The Qur an in Context: Translation and Culture
35: Translations of the Quraan: Western Languages
36: Translations of the Qur an: Islamicate Languages, M. Brett Wilson
37: Presenting the Qur’an Out of Context, Muhammad Abdel Haleem
38: Popular Culture and the Qur an: Classical and Modern Contexts, Bruce Lawrence
39: The Western Literary Tradition and the Qur an: an Overview, Jeffrey Einboden

Part VII: Qur anic Interpretation: Scholarship and Literature of Early, Classical, and Modern Exegesis
40: Early Qur’anic Commentaries, Andrew Rippin
41: Exegetical Designs of the Sira: Tafsir and Sira, Maher Jarrar
42: Early Qur’anic Exegesis: From Textual Interpretation to Linguistic Analysis, Kees Versteegh
43: Early medieval tafsīr (800-1000), Ulrika M:artensson
44: Medieval Exegesis: The Golden Age of Tafsīr, Walid A. Saleh
45: The Corpora of Isrāaīliyyāt, Roberto Tottoli
46: Contemporary Tafsīr: The Rise of Scriptural Theology, Walid A. Saleh

Part VIII: Qur anic Exegesis: Discourses, Formats, and Hermeneutics
47: Twelver Shiai Exegesis, Sajjad Rizvi
48: Ismāaīlī Scholarship on Tafsīr, Ismail Poonawala
49: Ibāḍī Tafsīr Literature, Valerie J. Hoffman and Sulaiman bin Ali bin Ameir Al-Shueili
50: Sufi Commentary: Formative and Later Periods, Alexander Knysh
51: Theological Commentaries, Tariq Jaffer
52: Philosophical Commentaries, Jules Janssens
53: Aesthetically Oriented Interpretations of the Qur an, Kamal Abu-Deeb
54: Tafsīr and Science, Robert Morrison
55: Classical Qur anic Hermeneutics, Johanna Pink
56: Sunni Hermeneutical Literature, Martin Nguyen
57: Modern Qur’anic Hermeneutics: Strategies and Development, Massimo Campinini

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