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Volume I, Issue I, Winter 2018

ALIGARH JOURNAL OF
QURANIC STUDIES
Chief Editor: Professor Abdur Rahim Kidwai
Director, K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies
director.cqs@amu.ac.in
Editor: Dr. Nazeer Ahmad Ab. Majeed
Assistant Professor, K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies
namajeed.cqs@amu.ac.in

EDITORIAL BOARD
Professor Abdul Azim Islahi Hamid Miyan
Professor & Chief Editor Assistant Professor
Journal of Islamic Economics K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies
Islamic Economics Institute hmiyan.cqs@amu.ac.in
King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, KSA Dr. Mohammad Mubeen Saleem
aaislahi@kau.edu.sa Assistant Professor
Professor Akhtarul Wasey K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies
Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi mmsaleem.cqs@amu.ac.in
President Maulana Azad University, Jodhpur Arshad Iqbal
awasey@jmi.ac.in Assistant Professor
Professor Abdallah El Khatib K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies
Professor and Editor-in-Chief aiqbal.cqs@amu.ac.in
Journal of College of Shariah & Islamic Studies
Qatar University, Qatar
aelkhatib@qu.edu.qa

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS


Professor Mohamed Abdellatif Professor Syed Jahangir
Qatar University, Qatar EFLU, Hyderabad
mlatif@qu.edu.qa Professor Zafarul Islam
Dr. Waleed Al-Amri Islamic Studies, AMU, Aligarh
Saudi Arabia
Professor Syed Salman Nadvi
Dr. Abdul Kader Choughuley South Africa
South Africa
Professor Tawqir Alam Professor Ahtisham A. Nizami
Sunni Theology, AMU, Aligarh Nizami Villa, S.S. Nagar, Aligarh
Dr. Mustafa Khattab Professor Mohammad Saud Alam Qasmi
Member, Imam Council, Canada Sunni Theology, AMU, Aligarh
Maulana Bilal Abdul Hai Hasani Nadvi
Daira Shah Alamullah, Takiya Kalan, Professor M. H. Ibrahim Surty
Raebareli UK

Contributions and Editorial Correspondence:


Dr. Nazeer Ahmad Ab. Majeed
Email: quranicstudies.amu@gmail.com, Website link: www.amu.ac.in/ajqs.jsp
Aligarh Journal of
Quranic Studies
VOLUME NO. 1 ISSUE 1 Winter 2018

Contents!
Sr. No. Papers & Authors Pages

1. Lost in Translation: The Ideological Effects of the Translator 1 - 21


and the Interpreter on the Qur’ānic Text

Professor Abdallah El-Khatib


2. The Economic Philosophy of Holy Qur’ān 22 - 35
(A Study of Sources & Foundations)

1. Muhammad Junaid Nadvi


2. Z. Junaid
3. Abdul Majid Daryabadi’s English Translation of and 36 - 55
Commentary on the Quran (1957): An Assessment

Professor Abdur Raheem Kidwai


4. Shura-Democracy Nexus in the Selected Urdu Tafaseer of 56 - 73
the Sub-Continent: A Comparative Study

Dr Tauseef Ahmad Parray


5. A Quran-based Approach to Effective Anger Management in 74 - 87
light of Arabic Sources

Syed Ali Hur Kamoonpuri


6. Maqṣadiyyah (Purposefulness) and Maqāṣid al-Qur’ān 88 - 99
(Objectives of the Qur’ān): A Study

Gowhar Quadir Wani


7. Shura-Democracy Nexus in the Selected Urdu Tafaseer of the 100 - 118
Sub-Continent: A Comparative Study

Dr. Tauseef Ahmad Parray


8. Doctoral Theses on the Qur’anic Studies: A Bibliography 119 - 151

Sajid Shaffi
9. Qur’an Translations in Indian Regional Languages: 152 - 164
A Bibliography

Sajid Shaffi
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

Lost in Translation: The Ideological Effects of the Translator and


the Interpreter on the Qur’ānic Text

Professor Abdallah El-Khatib1


Qatar University, Qatar

ABSTRACT:

T his article focuses on how the ideological views of an interpreter or translator


of the Qur’ān affect the meaning of the translated verse. Extremist Muslim
groups, such as ISIS, have misinterpreted some verses of the Qur’ān
according to their extreme views to facilitate their political agendas. Some
Orientalist translators have also distorted the meanings of some verses of the Qur’ān
due to their weakness in the Arabic language. This article discusses issues in the
Qur’ān that have been interpreted differently by liberal and classical exegetes of the
Holy text, such as those relating to the reality of the stories of the Prophets and
hitting disobedient wives. While the liberal interpreters have not adhered to the
Arabic language and the traditional interpretation of the text, the classical translators
have emphasized the importance of explaining the Qur’ānic text according to its
traditional meaning, relying on the classical Arabic language and the Prophetic
tradition. This article presents these issues with the goal of proving that many
meanings in the original text have been lost and misinterpreted, mainly because of
the ideological views of the interpreters.

Keywords: Qur’ān translation, Liberal translation, extremist Muslim groups, ISIS,


Orientalists.

1
Qatar University, Qatar

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INTRODUCTION:
The Holy Qur’ān has been subject to various interpretations throughout
history due to the ideologies of its exegetes. Therefore, we have traditional Sunni
(Asharī, Ṣufī, and Salafī), Shiī, Mutazilite, Ibaḍī, and philosophical interpretations.
Since translation is a kind of interpretation, the ideologies of the translators of the
holy text are clearly reflected in the various European language and English
translations of the Qur’ān.

In the West, the Holy Qur’ān has been translated into numerous European
languages, such as Latin (1143), Castilian or Aragonese (1455), Italian (1547),
German (1616), French (1647), English (1649), Dutch (1641), and Russian (1716).i
The ideologies of the Western translators are clearly reflected in the texts.
Furthermore, to this date, there are many new translations of the Qur’ān, also
reflecting the ideologies of their translators.ii

The phrase Tradutoretraditore is especially accurate when it comes to


translating religious texts because of the difficulty of the language used and the deep
meaning that the language carries. This observation is especially true in the case of
the Qur’ān for several reasons but, most notably, because of its highly rhetorical
style, which is impossible to transform into any other language. For this reason,
A. J. Arberry has acknowledged, in his English translation, that the Qur’ān is
untranslatable, thus titling his translation “The Koran Interpreted”. The same view
had been adopted by M. M. Pickthall, the first British Muslim translator of the
Qur’ān. Therefore, the Qur’ānic translations represent but a portion of its meaning.

In addition, the battle for interpreting the holy text is an ongoing issue in the
Islamic world as it faces many interior challenges, such as from ISIS and other
extremist and terrorist groups, who alter the text from its real meaning to meet their
political ends.

This article will shed light on the effects of the exegete or translator’s
ideology on the Qur’ānic translation by looking at English translations of the Qur’ān
by translators from various Islamic sects and trends, and by non–Muslims. (The
religious beliefs of the translator could significantly affect the content of the
translation; e.g., a translation of the Bible by a Buddhist would surely be affected by
the translator’s beliefs.)
Additionally, this article will discuss interpretation of the Qur’ān in relation
to subjects such as governing by the Law of God, i.e., Sharīa; the dispute
over the interpretation of some verses related to fighting non-Muslims, such
as Q. 2: 191: “Kill them wherever you find them”; and the battle between
classical and liberal exegesis in relation to various issues, including how to
interpret physical pleasure in the hereafter relating to matters such as
eating and sexual relations, and whether these issues are to be understood
literally or allegorically. Moreover, I will discuss the treatment of the
rebellious wife and whether the husband possesses the right to hit her.

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Lastly, I will discuss the Orientalist ideologies reflected in the English


translations from 1649 until present day.

In conclusion, the Holy Qur’ān has been subject to various interpretations,


motivated by political, ideological, or sectarian factors, as the interpreter’s battle for
a claim on the ultimate truth and the true understanding of the meaning of the holy
text.

Governing by the Law of God, i.e., Sharīa


Muslims believe that sharīa must govern all aspects of their life, be it
personal, political, commercial, educational, and so on. Governments, therefore,
have taken on this responsibility and, throughout Islamic history, have applied
sharīa throughout the Muslim world. However, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire
in 1923, sharīa law was abolished in the Muslim world. Apart from family law,
laws derived from both Western civil law and from the Sharīa, are currently applied
in most Muslim countries. In some areas such as criminal law, sharīah has been
completely dismissed, except in Saudi Arabia.

Muslim scholars continuously call upon governments to apply sharīa


without resorting to violence or accusing the government of apostasy for not
adhering to sharīa. Many extremists believe that, if governments do not apply
sharīa, they have revoked their religion and committed apostasy. The extremists
argue that whoever commits apostasy must be killed or removed from power,
justifying violence to achieve their political agenda. The recent call by the ISIS
leader for the Jihadists to defend Mosul and Neineveh is a clear example of this
phenomenon. He said: “God’s enemies from the Jews, Christians, atheists, Shiites,
apostates, and all the world’s infidels have dedicated their media, money, army, and
munitions to fight Muslims and Jihadists in the state of Nineveh…one of the bases
of Islam and one of its minarets under the Caliphate”. In his recorded communique,
the ISIS leader referred to the governments of Saudi Arabiaiii and Turkey as
apostates, adding: “Turkey today has entered your range of action and the aim of
your jihād…. Invade it and turn its safety into fear”. He also called for launching
multiple attacks against the Saudi government and its rulers for “siding with the
infidel nations in the war on Islam and Sunna [Sunni Muslims] in Iraq and Syria”.iv

Extremist groups such as ISIS have derived their ideologies from


misinterpretation of some Qur’ānic verses, such as the following verse (Q. 5: 44)

“Those who do not judge according to what God has sent down are the
disbelievers”.v

This verse concerns those who totally reject and deny the laws of Allah in
their heart and with their tongues. However, if a person believes in the law of Allah
with his heart and confesses it with his tongue but does something contrary to these
beliefs, he is not regarded as a disbeliever but rather a person who chose not to

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follow the law of Allah. Thus, this verse does not apply to such a personvi, according
to most Muslim jurists.

On the other hand, the Khawārij, an Islamic sect that interpreted this verse in
the same manner as ISIS, hold the view that this verse indicates that anyone who
follows a law other than Allah’s Law is a disbeliever (kāfir), not giving any
consideration to whether this person denies being a disbeliever. The Khawārij
deduced from this verse: ‘Whoever leaves the law of Allah is a disbeliever, the
sinner has left the application of the law of Allah; therefore, the sinner is a
disbeliever (regardless of the severity of the sin).’vii This view of the Kharijites has
been totally rejected by most Muslim theologians and the major schools of lawviii.

It should be noted here that the act of takfīr (applying apostasy upon
somebody) has its roots in Islamic history with the Kharijites, who used this verse
and others to assert their ideological beliefs. The fourth rightly guided Caliph, Alī,
was assassinated by this group in 661 when the Kharijites excommunicated him,
declaring him a disbeliever, claiming that he had committed a sin when he deviated
from Allah’s law by agreeing to arbitration between himself and his rival Muāwiyah
bin AbīSufyān. Furthermore, the mass and brutal killings of Muslims and non-
Muslims by ISIS have been stimulated by many political and religious factors, one
of which is misinterpretation of the Holy Qur’ān verses.

Another factor that can result in misinterpretation of the Holy Qur’ān is


taking verses out of context, which can lead to disastrous consequences. This
phenomenon is one of the main tools used by those promoting Islamophobia in the
West.ix

Hundreds, if not thousands, of articles have been written about the


relationship between Islam and violence, Islamophobiax and the concept of Jihād
(holy war in Islam). Furthermore, film production companies in Hollywood have
produced many films that portray Muslims and Arabs in a stereotypical manner,
usually as killers, plane hijackers or terrorists. This stereotype of Muslims and
Arabs is portrayed in the Western media, especially since the tragic events of 9/11.
This negative portrayal of Islam even crossed over into politics, as clear hatred
towards Muslims was witnessed during the Trump-Clinton race for the White
House. Unfortunately, some prejudiced people in the West, who promote this
negative image of Muslims and Islam, have not understood the real message of
Islam. The true message promotes peace and security throughout the world. These
individuals have misinterpreted the Qur’ānic texts that speak about how Muslims
should defend themselves against tyrants and dictatorial regimes and against those
who have enmity towards Islam and Muslims. The Qur’ān has clearly allowed
Muslims to wage war in self-defence to protect the lives of Muslims and to provide
freedom of worship for its followers and followers of other religions as well, such as
Jews, Christians, and Buddhists who are living in Muslim states. The meaning of
jihād is fighting in the name of Allah and for the sake of Allah in self-defence.
Taking any verse regarding jihād out of context could result in very bad
consequences.xi

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The Interpretation of Q. 2:191 (Kill them wherever you find them) and (Q. 9:5)

There are two verses in the Qur’ān that have been misinterpreted, and
therefore misquoted, by non-Muslims, most often propagandists who claim that
these verses promote violence and encourage Muslims to wage war against those
who do not follow Islam. These verses are:

Firstly: Q. 2: 191 (Kill them wherever you find them).xii

This verse has been misinterpreted, misunderstood and taken out of context.
Some have translated “uqtulūhum” as “slay them” instead of ‘kill them’, and we
found an article entitled “Slay them whenever you find them”.xiii This
misinterpretation lies in the use of the word ‘slay’ instead of ‘kill’, which is the
translation for the Arabic word qatala. The equivalent of “slay” in Arabic is
dhabaḥa, which also means to slaughter; “slay” has a negative connotation and is
not as accurate as “kill”. In addition, the pronoun “them” in “kill them” is not
general in this verse but instead refers to specific polytheists who declared war on
Muslims and broke their oaths of allegiance with Muslims.

We also find some Muslim extremists who deduced from this verse that
Muslims were ordered to kill all the non-believers, which has been totally rejected
by Muslim scholars. Therefore, Abdul Haleem translates this verse as: “Kill them
wherever you encounter them”.xiv

To truly understand this verse, we must understand its context.

The Muslims were driven out of their home country Mecca, their belongings
were confiscated, and they were persecuted by the polytheists who attempted to
convert them back to idolism. The Qur’ān here was addressing whether Muslims
were allowed to defend themselves against the aggression of these Arab polytheists
and their terrible actions against the new religion. Furthermore, the Muslims were
confused about whether it was a sin to fight these aggressors if they encountered
them in the holy sanctuary in Mecca (where killing, hunting, and cutting plants are
prohibited)xv. Therefore, God allowed Muslims to defend themselves by killing the
aggressors wherever they encountered them, whether in the holy sanctuary or not.
The verses go on to impose some restrictions on this kind of killing: “And drive
them out, for persecution is more serious than killing. Do not fight them at the
Sacred Mosque unless they fight you there. If they fight you, kill them-this is what
such disbelievers deserve-but if they stop, then God is most forgiving and
merciful”.xvi

This verse must be understood within this context: otherwise, it will be


misinterpreted as an open call for killing non-believers, which is how some
extremist Muslims and non-Muslims have mistakenly understood this verse.

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Secondly, the other verse that caused controversy among Muslims and others
is the so-called “Sword Verse”, which has no actual mention of the word “sword”,
reads as “When the [four] forbidden months are over, wherever you encounter the
idolaters [who broke the treaty], kill them, seize them, besiege them, ambush
them…”xvii

As indicted above, an accurate translation greatly depends on the context,


which plays an important role in understanding specific words and phrases. The
beginning of sūra of al-Tawba (the repentance chapter) states that the polytheists
broke the peace treaty with the Muslims will suffer the consequences. The pagans
had not only broken the peace agreement with the Muslims but also driven the
Muslims off their land, persecuted them, and were determined to convert them back
to paganism or finish them off.xviii For these reasons and within this context, the
Qur’ān gave permission to the Muslims to defend themselves by waging war against
these aggressors who wanted to destroy and persecute (fitnah) the Muslims.
However, at the same time, the Qur’ān asked Muslims to respect the polytheists who
did not breach the agreement and to safeguard them until they reached a secure and
safe place,xix proving Islam is a pragmatic and just religion. Furthermore, the
Qur’ān balances permission to fight the enemy with a strong mandate to make
peace, as stated by Espositoxx. In addition, Islam promotes freedom of religion by
allowing people of other religions (Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc…) to live
within Muslim communities, evidenced clearly in Q 2: 256: “There is no
compulsion in Religion”.

To conclude, as Prof. Abdu Haleem stated: “The whole of this context to


verses [2:191 & 9:5], with all their restrictions, are ignored by those who simply
isolate one part of a sentence to build their theory of war and violence in Islam”.xxi

Islam is a religion of peace that calls its followers to be messengers of peace.


However, the current political turmoil in the Middle East, widespread poverty, and a
lack of education have led many Muslims to extremism, which is totally at odds
with Islamic principles and teachings.

The Battle between Classical and Liberal Exegesis

Classical exegesis of the Qur’ān has been dominant throughout Islamic


history. During the last century, some liberal interpretations of the Qur’ān have been
put forth. Some of these liberal interpretations are totally unacceptable,
contradicting the basic teachings of Islam known to Muslims in both the Qur’ān and
sunna (sayings of the Prophet).

Some liberal translators such as Muhammad Asad holds the view regarding
all the Prophetic stories and their miracles in the Qur’ān as having parable and
allegorical meanings, as myths and legends that are not real. According to Asad, the
Prophet Abraham was not thrown into fire, The Prophet Solomon did not ride the
wind, and Luqman was a mythical figure. Asad has also denied the existence of
creatures called jinn, regarding them as invisible or unseen beings.xxii The

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miraculous journey of Isrā and Mi’rāj (the miraculous night journey) was not a
physical journey to Jerusalem and then to heaven but rather a spiritual journey.xxiii
Furthermore, Asad claimed that the Qur’ān did not order women to wear the ḥijāb
veil but rather asked women to wear decent clothes according to the customs of their
society.xxiv

Similarly, the translator Laleh Bakhtiarxxv translated the verse related to


hitting rebellious women in a manner that conflicts with the established position in
the books of Sharīa, as we will discuss below.

Qur’ān 4: 34 states that hitting disobedient wives is a way to correct their


behaviour, he verse reads: “If you fear high-handedness from your wives, remind
them [of the teachings of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit
them”.xxvi This hitting must neither be on her face, nor should it be severe but rather
should be carried out with minimal harm, such as a single slap, or with a siwāk, i.e.,
a tooth stick used for cleaning one’s mouth, taken from the roots and branches of
particular trees, most notably the Arak tree.

Some translators have tried to produce a new interpretation for


“iḍribūhunna” (hit them) to suit their own understandings. Laleh Bakhtiar claimed
that her translation, The Sublime Qur’ān, was revolutionary because it was the first
translation written by a woman in the history of Islam, and because it was the first to
translate the verse Q. 4: 34 correctly. She translated the verse Q. 4: 34

“Men are supporters of wives because God has given some of them an
advantage over others and because they spend of their wealth. So the ones (f) who
are in accord with morality are the ones (f) who are morally obligated, the ones (f)
who guard the unseen of what God has kept safe. But those (f) whose resistance you
fear, then admonish them (f) and abandon them (f) in their sleeping place then go
away from them (f) and if they (f) obey you, surely look not for any way against
them (f); truly God is Lofty, Great.”xxvii

Bakhtiar insisted that the main reason for her translation lies in correcting
Muslim scholars’ views concerning the verses related to women in the Qur’ān,
especially Q. 4: 34. She claimed that, for fourteen centuries, Muslim scholars have
dismissed women’s views and misinterpreted this verse and the phrase iḍribūhunna.
In addition, out of twenty-six meanings for ḍarb, she chose only one meaning,
which is ‘go away from them’. She did not choose to translate it as hit, spank,
chastise, beat, etc. because the above-mentioned phrase does not mean ‘hit them’,
she argues, for the following reasons:

Firstly, the word “ḍarb” has many meanings in Arabic; thus, why would we
choose a meaning that validates the oppression of women by means of physical
abuse, and does not concur with the ethical principles of the Qur’ān? Furthermore,
these meanings also do not match the conduct of the Prophet, who never hit a
woman during his life. In addition, the verses that follow this verse ask both parties

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to send an arbitrator to resolve the disputation between the spouses, and these verses
never order the husband to hit his wife.

Secondly, in the case of divorce, which is considered worse than a


high-handedwife, the Qur’ān never resolved this problem by ordering the husband
to hit his wife. Rather, Q. 2: 231 prohibited the husband from causing harm to his
wife: “When you divorce women and they have reached their set time, then either
keep or release them in a fair manner. Do not hold on to them with intent to harm
them and commit aggression: anyone who does this wrongs himself. Do not make a
mockery of God’s revelation”.xxviii Thus, the Qur’ān prevents harming the divorced
women in any way. Therefore, if hitting was not allowed in the case of divorce, then
surely hitting would not be permissible during the marriage.

The arguments put forward by Laleh Bakhtiar are unacceptable for the
following reasons:

Translation relies on interpretation, and interpretation relies on an accurate


understanding of the language. Therefore, to understand the meaning of a specific
word or phrase, one must consult its lexical meaning. Furthermore, once the word
has been defined, the context helps us choose which meaning best suits that specific
text. Additionally, the context helps us decide whether the word was used literally or
metaphorically. This practice is the standard method for understanding any living
language. Therefore, language usage predominates because nobody should impose
his own understanding of a language by producing a new meaning that was not
intended or contradicts already-established precedent. The practice of forcing a
meaning that contains no lexical or contextual connection upon a word is an act of
pure ignorance. Therefore, when the Qur’ān used the phrase iḍribūhunna, ‘hit
them’, it meant ‘hit them’; it did not mean ‘go away from them’ or ‘have intercourse
with them’, as some have suggested, because this phrase in Arabic, and in this
context, means exactly ‘hit them’. Furthermore, iḍribūhunna, ‘hit them’, does not
mean ‘go away from them’ because the latter in Arabic would be iḍribūanhunna,
using the preposition an (from) and the pronoun hunna (them). In addition, the
context and the chronological order of the phrase iḍribūhunna could not mean ‘go
away from them’ because it implies repetition; the second step for solving the
problem of a discordant women is to leave her bed, while the third step is for the
husband to leave her again! The third step was meant to be an escalation of one’s
reaction, and therefore the other interpretation is illogical.

Even stranger than Bakhtiar’s translation is Ahmad Ali’s translation, as he


translated “iḍribūhunna” as "and go to bed with them (when they are willing)".xxix
Ahmad Ali’s translation contradicts the second step because the second step asks the
husband to abandon his wife in her bed. How can the third step request that the
husband go to bed with his discordant wife when he was ordered in the second step
to abandon her bed? Is this not contradictory? It would seem so.

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To conclude, neither Bakhtiar nor Ahmad Ali were correct in their


interpretations of verse Q. 4:34, while the exegetes were right. However, Bakhtiar’s
intention was to protect women from men who misunderstood this verse and
independently interpreted it without referring to the books of law and used it to
justify hitting women in an unacceptable manner. This practice is totally rejected in
Islamic law. However, while the protection of women is important, we cannot
change the meaning of the verse to meet our ends.

Orientalist Translations of the Qur’ān


The holy Qur’ān has been subject to various forms of Western criticism.
There are three main trends in the study of the Qur’ān,xxx one of which is applying
Biblical criticism to the Qur’ān. This method was applied in early Western Qur’ānic
works such as Noldeke’s famous 1859 work, the History of the Qur’ān.xxxi In
addition, Qur’ānic translation has been an arena for severe Qur’ānic criticism and
distortion, beginning in 1143 with the first Latin translation, continuing with the
first English translation in 1649, and onwards. Currently, we have approximately
seven English translations written by Orientalists.

Some Orientalists, such as A. J. Arberry, have declared that the Qur’ān is


one of the greatest literary works and that it is untranslatable. Another stated that
“the Koran is not only one of the greatest books of prophetic literature, but also a
literary masterpiece of surpassing excellence”.xxxii Another was quoted to have said
that “the Koran is the earliest and by far the finest work of Classical Arabic
prose”.xxxiii

On the other hand, some translators have disrespected the Qur’ānic text by
altering its order, which is totally at odds with the norms of translation. Such
translations include those written by Rodwell, Bell, and Dawood. Nobody would
translate Shakespeare’s Macbeth by changing its original order, an act that would be
deemed completely unacceptable and heavily criticized. Why, then, are the
standards different when dealing with the Qur’ānic text, which is revered by more
than two billion Muslims as a holy text?

Rodwell, Bell, and Dawood have changed the order of the text, arranging it
chronologically, i.e., by the dates of the revelations, and not according to its
standard order. Each one of these Orientalists has produced a unique order for the
chapters of the Qur’ān, based on the dates of the revelations, which is a matter of
dispute among scholars.

Here, we will discuss Dawood’s alteration of the order of the Qur’ānic Sūras.

Taking liberties with the order of the Qur’ānic Sūras goes against the
consensus of Muslims worldwide (over the past 14 centuries), starting with the
Companions of the Prophet (pbuh), and is considered a very pernicious act. The
order of these Sūras is best thought of as fixed, the position held by Muslim scholars
such as Al-Bayhaqī, Abū Bakr Al-Anbāri, Al-Karmānī in his Al-Burhān, Ibn Ḥajar,

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and Al-Suyūṭīxxxiv. Al-Suyūṭī says: “The Sūras and verses of the Qur’ān had this
order during the time of the Prophet Muhammad”xxxv.

N. J. Dawood has made quite random changes to the order of the Qur’ānic
Sūras. He expresses regret that those who collected the Qur’ān into book form paid
little or no attention to the chronological sequence of the Qur’ānic revelations, and
he references attempts made by some Orientalists, such as Noldeke, Grimme,
Rodwell and Bell, to re-arrange the Sūras in chronological order. To justify his
departure from the order of the Sūras that is familiar to Muslims, Dawood writes:
“In this edition, the traditional arrangement has been abandoned. The present
sequence, while not following a strictly chronological order, begins with the more
Biblical and poetic revelations and ends with the much longer, and often more
topical, chapters. In short, the new arrangement is primarily intended for the
uninitiated reader who, understandably, is often put off by such mundane chapters
as “The Cow” or “Women”, which are traditionally placed at the beginning of the
book”xxxvi.

In response to those suggesting that the Qur’ān be re-arranged, I would say


that the present order of the Qur’ān was set by the Prophet (pbuh) and, most
probably, inspired by Almighty Allah Himself. There are multiple wisdoms that
explain the reasons behind the ordering of the Sūras. Qur’ānic exegetes have
discussed the harmony or symmetry that exists between the Sūras and the
verses,xxxvii and a clear example is provided in the commentary of the Qur’ān, Naẓm
al-durar fi tanāsub al-ayywa al-suwar (The Qur’ān’s Sūras and Verses Arranged as
a String of Pearls), by Ibrāhīm ibn ‘Umar al-Ribāt al-Biqā’īxxxviii. He has
demonstrated connections between every Sūra, highlighting the relationships
between the Sūra and those that precede and follow it. Both Arabic linguists and
exegetes have argued that the traditional order of the Qur’ān shows a marvellous
coherence in the Sūras and the verses, which are interconnected like pearls in a
perfect necklace. If you take out one pearl from that necklace, you destroy the entire
necklace.

Translation studies caution translators against shifting the order of the


elements of a text. This practice goes against the basic function of translation and
can radically alter the meaning of a text and subvert the aims of the text’s author. If,
for instance, we translated the poem titled BānatSu’ād, written by the Arab poet
Zuhayr bin Abi Sulma, by putting the opening lines at the end, and the ending at the
beginning, the poem would be completely changed and would lose its appeal.
Indeed, changing a single word in poetry negatively affects both its meaning and the
effect that the poet aimed to achieve. Imagine if a poet wanted to title a poem
“A Dialogue with Poverty”. He does not call it “A Dialogue about Poverty” because
the word with indicates that the poverty is present with him, which is his intention.
The word about, on the other hand, indicates that the poverty is not there with him,
and this meaning is not at all his intention.

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If, then, we are so extremely scrupulous with, and avoid tampering with, the
words, phrases and titles produced by humans, how much more this approach
should apply to our interactions with the Book of Almighty Allah – a book whose
sentences, words and even letters contain so much mystery! How, then, can anyone
even think of changing its order?

When I investigated the main reason Dawood changed the order of the
Sūras, I found that he uses the pretext of wanting to begin with the poetic Sūras, or
those relating to the Old Testament. He says that the contemporary reader is put off
by the traditional Muslim order of the Sūras because the initial Suras are about
ordinary and mundane themes, such as ‘The Cow’ (Baqara) and ‘Women’ (Nisā).
The language used by this translator exposes the psychology that lurks behind his
words, in such a way that I feel able to say that, even though he has produced a
translation of the Qur’ān, his translation reveals more about his attitude, and what it
offers is his own reading of the Qur’ān.

The translator’s words reveal what he really wants to say, which is that
Sūras such as Zalzala, Infitār, Takwīr, Insān, Raḥmān, and ‘Adiyāt resemble the
Bible in their content. For instance, he invites the reader to compare Raḥmān with
Psalm 136 in the Old Testament. He also wants to convey that these Sūras are in
fact poetry because of their overall content and their rhythmical schemes and that
they describe things in a romantic style far removed from reality.

Dawood deferred longer Sūras such as Baqara and Nisā, claiming that
readers are put off by them, when both Sūras contain many law-related verses that
enjoin righteous and charitable living. The Sūra Nisā (‘Women’) honours women to
the extent that the entire Sūra is named after them, and it shows clearly how Islam
elevated the status of women and gave them their full rights, which they had
previously been denied. This translator wanted to divert the reader’s attention from
such down-to-earth realities in the Qur’ān, as though the Qur’ān contains no
connection to the real world. Instead, he wished to highlight its poetic themes and
fantastic language, as in the Sūras Zalzala, Infiṭār and Takwīr. When he wishes to
display the more factual side of the Qur’ān, he focuses on the Sūras that resemble
the stories of the Old and New Testaments, such as Maryam (Mary) or
Yusuf (Joseph).

Then, he offers us the pretext that his new arrangement is intended for the
“uninitiated reader”. There is an obvious riposte to that explanation, namely, that
when we are translating any kind of literary text, let alone a sacred text such as the
Holy Qur’ān, we cannot tinker with the text claiming the interests of the “uninitiated
reader”. The Qur’ān is not there to be translated for the benefit of the uninitiated.
Rather, its meanings are to be translated correctly and soundly, without any
corruption or alterations, and for all readers equally, whether they are uninitiated or
otherwise.

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The Qur’ān is a divinely inspired and sacred text of inimitable construction,


and not a single letter of it should be shifted backwards or forwards. What if all the
Sūras were changed based on similarly fragile excuses? Such acts are nothing short
of sabotage, carried out on the pretext of making improvements. The Qur’ān says:
“When it is said to them: ‘Make not mischief on the earth’, they say: ‘Why, we only
want to make peace!’ Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they
realize (it) not”.xxxix

The other form of Orientalist interference in the translation of the text is


distortion to the meaning of the text due to misconceptions, based on either
ideological precepts or linguistic difficulties.

The Orientalists who translated the Holy Qur’ān did not believe that the
Qur’ān is the word of God; they regarded the text as a fabrication by the Prophet
himself, and they regarded Islam as a heretical religion - a distortion of both
Judaism and Christianity. For example, the word ummī in the Qur’ān means
illiterate or unlettered and was used to describe the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Thus, ‘the unlettered Prophet’ and ‘the illiterate people’ are mentioned more than
twice in the Qur’ān. The adjective was also used to describe the Arab tribes to
whom the Prophet was sent. One of the verses reads Q. 62: 2 ‘It is He who sent
amongst the illiterate people, a Messenger.’ The Orientalists have challenged the
Prophet’s illiteracy, as they totally disagree with Muslim scholars and exegetes on
this issue; because they deny his prophecy, they therefore deny his illiteracy. They
argue that the meanings of the words ummī and ummīyyīn are not illiterate and
illiterates but rather ‘the one who worships idols’ and ‘the one who was sent for the
common folk’. This interpretation is incorrect from both linguistic and historical
points of view for the following reasons.

The Qur’ān states clearly that the message of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
completes and consummates the messages of the prophets who preceded him and
that the Qur’ān authenticates the earlier Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The
fact that these texts are similar to the Qur’ān proves that Allah’s Messenger (pbuh)
was a prophet. Muhammad (pbuh) was unlettered throughout his life, and there is no
evidence that he studied with anybody, including Jews or Christians; therefore, the
precise information in the Qur’ān about Jews and Christians surely points to the fact
that the Prophet’s source was divinely revealed. Moreover, the points of
disagreement between the Qur’ān and the Old and New Testaments are clear
indications – according to Maurice Buccaille – that Muhammad (pbuh) did not rely
upon the Bible,xl and his only teacher was God, the Wise and All-Knowing One.

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Another reason for distorting the text concerns linguistic difficulties. Here are some
examples:

Example one:

Sale has misinterpreted the Arabic word wafdan as ambassadors, as in the


following verse (Q. 19: 85): “On a certain day, we will assemble the pious before
the Merciful in an honourable manner, as ambassadors come into the presence of a
prince”.xli Correct translations regarding wafdan are: “On the Day We gather the
righteous as an honoured company before the Lord of Mercy”, xlii or “On the Day
when We shall gather to the Merciful the ones who guard themselves like a
delegation”,xliii or “On the day that We shall muster the god-fearing to the All-
merciful with pomp”.xliv

Example two:

The Qur’ānic verse “wasi’akursiyyuhu al-samāwatiwa al-arḍa”xlv is


rendered by Dawood as “His throne is as vast as the heavens and the earth”.xlvi Thus,
he translates the Arabic word kursi as throne. This word can have several meanings
in English, such as chair, footstool, and throne, and is frequently used to mean
throne in royal contexts; thus, kursiyyu al-malik would be translated as royal
throne.xlvii Nonetheless, even though throne is an acceptable translation of this word,
it is not correct for this verse. One should simply transliterate the word (i.e., kursī),
and then add a detailed explanation in the footnotes. Kursī is the name given to one
of the worlds that encompass the Seven Heavens, and there is another world, called
the ‘arsh, that surrounds the kursi, as related by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The kursī is like a ring flung into a void, with the ‘arsh surrounding the kursī, and
the kursī itself surrounding the Seven Heavens and the Earth.

When ‘arsh is translated in the Qur’ān, it is usually rendered into English as


throne, as, for example, in the following suras and verses: A’rāf v. 54; Tawba v.
129; Yūnus v. 3; Isrā’ v. 42. To avoid the confusion engendered by translating both
‘arsh and kursī into the same word, one must distinguish between them: ‘arsh
should be rendered as throne, and it is a mistake to render kursī using the same
word. Instead, there should be a replacement for throne; the way to handle this
problem is to transliterate kursī and add detailed comments in the footnotes.

When I checked several translations on this point, I found that all the
translators made the same error – except Al-Hilali and Khan, who distinguished
between ‘arsh and kursī, with an explanation in their notes. They put the word kursī,
just as it is, in their translation, which is, in my opinion, the best way for translators
to address this and similar words.

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Al- Hilali and Khan’s translationxlviii reads: “His kursīxlix extends over the
heavens and the earth”. Others have been less careful, translating kursī as throne, as
did both Pickthall and Abdullah Yusuf Ali. The former has translated as “His throne
includes the heavens and the earth”,l while the latter has translated as “His Throne
doth extend over the heavens and the earth”.li

Example three:

We also find Dawood and other translators at fault when they translate Q 5:7
“wa in kuntumjunuban fa aṭṭahharū”. This verse means that, if someone is in a
state of ritual impurity because of sexual relations or some other act, he or she must
cleanse him or herself via a full, ritual washing of the body.

Dawood’s translation, however, reads: “If you are polluted, cleanse


yourselves”.lii This is a mistranslation, since the state of ritual impurity does not
mean “being polluted”, nor does fa aṭṭahharū mean “get cleaned up”. The true
meaning is: If you are in a state of ritual impurity because of sexual intercourse or
something similar, purify yourself by washing your whole body properly. Arberry, liii
Majid Fakhry,liv and Shakerlv made the same mistake with this phrase. Correct
translations, though, have been rendered by Al-Hilali and Khan and by Abdullah
Yusuf Ali. The former reads, “If you are in a state of janaba (i.e., had a sexual
discourse [sic]), purify yourselves (bathe your whole body)”,lvi while Abdullah
Yusuf Ali has, “If you are in a state of ceremonial impurity (which arises from sex
pollution) bathe your whole body”.lvii

The examples above typify the sorts of errors made by Dawood and Sale in
their translations. The objective here has not been to count the errors in these
translations but to provide some examples to readers to help them assess these
translations’ worth. Another objective has been to increase awareness of how flawed
the works of individuals are, and how it is consequently necessary for Muslim
scholars, backed by their governments and institutions, to work on team-based
projects rather than individual ones, so that the Holy Qur’ān may be translated into
all the world’s languages.

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CONCLUSION

This article has discussed how the ideological views of interpreters and
translators affect the translation and interpretation of the Qur’ān, and how the true
meaning of the text might become lost in the process of interpretation and
translation. Therefore, the same verse could have contradictory meanings,
depending on the interpreters’ views. “ISIS” often uses the verse “Kill them
wherever you find them” in their discourse, “justifying” their crimes against
humanity. Sadly, the same verses are also used by Islamophobes to “prove” that
Islam is an intolerant religion. While the fallacy of both arguments is evident in the
contextual understanding of these verses, it is also evident that there is a dire need to
return the religious authority to the scholars, who unfortunately have lost it lately.lviii

Moreover, the views of the liberal translator’s of the Holy Qur’ān, regarding all the
Prophets’ stories and their miracles in the Qur’ān as having parable and allegorical
meanings, as myths and legends, could not be accepted because they contradict
authentic history. Lastly, the Orientalists’ translations of the Qur’ān clearly show
how the meaning of the Qur’ānic text has been distorted, from the first Latin
translation in 1143, until today. This distortion was not limited to the alteration of
the text’s meaning but also included altering the order of the Qur’ānic Sūras
(chapters).

In conclusion, there is no final authority who can claim to be the sole and ultimate
authority on the true meaning and ultimate truth of an open text such as the Qur’ān.
Thus, we need to use traditional linguistics—along with the sayings of the Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh), his companions, and their successors—as well as exercise
tolerance, logic, and interfaith dialogue when translating and interpreting the
Qur’ān.

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REFERENCES AND NOTES

i
A. El-Khatib, Translations of the Meanings of the Holy Qur’ān into English Language (From 1649
till 2013) A Critical Study, (Sharjah: University of Sharjah, 2014), pp.19-22.
ii
The Study of Qur’ān: A New Translation and Commentary, Editor-in-Chief Seyyed Hossein Nasr;
General Editors Caner Dagli, Maria Masse Dakake, Joseph E. B. Lumbard; Assistant Editor
Mohammed Rustom. New York: Harper One.
iii
The Salafī Jihadist like Abu Muhammad Aṣim al-Maqdisī regarded the Saudi government as
apostate; furthermore, Muhammad Abdul Salām, in his book al-Jihād al-Farīḍa al-Ghāibah,
has called to fight the nearest enemy inside the Muslim World instead of the outside enemy. See
the views of the different Salafi schools in Ahmad ZaghlūlShallātah and others,Between
Salafism and Terrorism of Takfir: Ideas for Explanation, (in Arabic), (Beirut: MarkazDirāsat al-
Wahda al-Arabiyyah, 2016); and Abdel HaqqDahmān, “al-Salafiyyah al-Khalījiyyah”, (in
Arabic), ibid., pp.97-101.
iv
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi urges a fight to the death in Iraq, audio claims, retrieved from
https://www.theguardian.com/world Thursday 3 November 2016.
v
Compare this translation with A. J. Dorge, The Qur’ān: A New Annotated Translation, Bristol:
Equinox Publishing Ltd., (reprinted in 2014), p.68; M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, The Qur’ān: English
Translation, 2nd. ed., (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), p.116; and A.J. Arberry, The
Koran Interpreted A Translation, p.76, retrieved from
https://ia801706.us.archive.org/20/items/Qur’ānAJArberry/Qur’ān-A%20J%20Arberry.pdf
Wednesday 20 June 2018.
vi
Muhammad bin Umar al-Rāzī, Mafātīh al-Ghayb, 1st. ed., (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah,
1421/2000), vol.12, p.6.
vii
See ibid. and Aḥmad bin Alī al-Jaṣṣāṣ, Aḥkām al-Qur’ān, ed. by Muhammad Qamhāwi, (Beirut:
DarIhyā’ al-Turāth al-Arabī, n.d.), vol.4, p.94.See also Muhammad al-Hazzat,
“TanẓīmdāishwaTahdīd al-Dawlah al-Waṭaniyyah”, in Ahmad ZaghlūlShallātah and others,
Between Salafism and Terrorism of Takfir: Ideas for Explanation, p.45.
viii
Compare al-Jaṣṣāṣ,Aḥkām al-Qur’ān, vol.4, p.94; and al-Ṭabarī, Muhammad binJarīr,Jāmi al-
BayānanTawīl Ay al-Qur’ān, (Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1405 H.), vol.6, pp.252-257. Some Jurists
have said that the word (kāfirūn) in the verse does not mean literally the one who rejected the
faith but is rather a kind of rejection (kufr) less than the kufr related to denying the religion
(kufrundūnakufrin). Furthermore, some have suggested that the word kufr here means: denying
the grace of Allah, not the religion; therefore, the person is not regarded as a disbeliever. See al-
Tabari, Jāmi al-BayānanTawīl Ay al-Qur’ān, vol.6, p.256; al-Jaṣṣāṣ,Aḥkām al-Qur’ān, vol.4,
p.92; and Muhammad Ibn Abdallāh Ibn al-Arabī,Aḥkām al-Qur’ān, ed. by Muhammad
AbdelQādirAtā, (Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, n.d..), vol.2, p.127.
ix
For further information about the importance of the context, see M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, “The Role
of Context in Interpreting and Translating the Qur’ān”, Journal of Qur’ānic Studies, vol.20,
issue 1, 2018, pp.47.66.
x
See the following important work: EkmeleddinIhsanoglu, Islamophobia from Confrontation to
Cooperation the task Ahead, (Jeddah: Organisation of Islamic Cooperation: 2013).
xi
For the views of al-Būtī on these verses, seeAdel bin KhalīfahBalkahlah, “Mawāqif al-Shaykh
Muhammad Saīd al-Būtī al-Siyāsiyyah: IṣlahīIshtirāīyuḥāribu (al-Rāyāh al-Immiyyah)”, (in
Arabic), Al-Mustaqbal al-Arabī, vol.40, issue 467, January 2018, pp.134-136.
xii
Abdel Haleem, The Qur’ān: English Translation, p.31.

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xiii
For a detailed discussion of this issue, see the following references: Violence in the Qur’ān,
[Wikipedia]; Abdel Haleem, The Qur’ān: English Translation,pp.xxii (footnote 17)-xxiii; and
Abdel Haleem, “The Role of Context in Interpreting and Translating the Qur’ān”, Journal of
Qur’ānic Studies, (2018), Vol.20, Issue 1, pp.57-63.
xiv
See Abdel Haleem, The Qur’ān: English Translation, p.31. and Droge, The Qur’ān: A New
Annotated Translation, p.20.
xv
Abdel Haleem, The Qur’ān: English Translation, p. xxii
xvi
Ibid.,p.31.
xvii
Ibid.,p.xxiii and p.199.
xviii
Ibid.,p. xxiii.
xix
Adel bin KhalīfahBalkahlah, “Mawāqif al-Shaykh Muhammad Saīd al-Būtī al-Siyāsiyyah:
IṣlahīIshtirāiyuḥāribu (al-Rāyāhal-Immiyyah)”, (in Arabic), Al-Mustaqbal al-Arabī, vol.40,
issue 467, January 2018, pp.134-136.
xx
Qur’ān and violence, [Wikipedia]
xxi
Abdel Haleem, The Qur’ān: English Translation, p. xxiii.
xxii
Muhammad Asad, The Message of The Qur’ān, p.899, footnote:1; compare with Prof. Abdur
Raheem Kidwai’s important comments on Asad’s translation in his excellent book: Translating
the Untranslatable: A critical Guide to 60 English Translations of The Qur’ān,(New Delhi:
Sarup Book Publications Pvt. Ltd., 2011), p.70.
xxiii
Muhammad Asad, The Message of The Qur’ān,pp.997-998.
xxiv
Ibid., pp.538-539, footnotes 37-38.
xxv
Compare with Prof. Abdur Raheem Kidwai’s important comments on Bakhtiar’s translation in:
Translating the Untranslatable: A critical Guide to 60 English Translations of The
Qur’ān,p.146.
xxvi
Abdel Haleem, The Qur’ān: English Translation, p.85.
xxvii
Bakhtiar, The Sublime Qur’ān, p.94.
xxviii
Abdel Haleem, The Qur’ān: English Translation, p.38.
xxix
Ahmed Ali, Al-Qur’ān: A Contemporary Translation, (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1993), pp.78-79, 298.
xxx
For further information, see Riḍwān al-Sayyid, al-Mustashriqūn al-Almān: al-Nushū’ wa al-
Ta’thīrwa al-Masā’ir, (Beirut: Dār al-Madār al-Islāmī, 2013.), pp.94-108; and Tarek Elkot, “Is
the Qur’ān Part of the Late Antiquity of Europe? A Reading in German Orientalism”, (in
Arabic), Journal of the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies, Vol.35. issue 2, 2018, pp.101-
130.
xxxi
Theodor Nöldeke,Geschichte des Qorāns, ZweiterTeil: Die Sammlung des Qorāns,
völligumgearbeitet von Friedrich Schwally, 2. Auflage, DieterichʼscheVerlagsbuchhandlung,
Leipzig 1919.
xxxii
N. J. Dawood, The Koran Translated with Notes, (London, 1978), p.11.
xxxiii
Ibid., p.9.
xxxiv
Manna’ Al-Qattan, Mabāhithfī ‘ulūm al-Qur’ān, pp.142-145. For more information on how the
Qur’ān was compiled into book form, and on why we have to respect this ordering as per the
consensus of the Companions of the Prophet, see the two introductions to ‘Ulūm al-Qur’ān, the
Introduction by Ibn ‘Aṭṭiya, and the Introduction to the kītāb al-mabānī, ed. Geoffrey
Arthur,with the assent of Abdullah Ismā’īl Al-Ṣāwī, (Cairo, 1972), pp. 41-42. See also
Muhammad MuhammadAbūShuhba, Al-madkhal li-dirāsāt al-Qur’ān al-karīm, (Cairo, 1972),
p.333.
xxxv
Mannā’ Al-Qaṭṭān, Mabāhith, p.144 – 145.

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xxxvi
Dawood, The Koran Translated, p.11. It should be noted here, editions since 1990 have had the
true Qur’ānic order of Suras, and the translator has added this note: “Note to all readers: The
reader should bear in mind that the familiar [to Muslims] ordering of the Sūras, as observed in
this translation, is not basic to an understanding of the Qur’ānic text, so those new to the Qur’ān
are advised to start with the short, poetic Sūras such as the ones describing the Day of
Resurrection or Heaven and Hell, e.g.,Takwīr and Raḥmān, or ones like Maryam and Yusuf,
which deal with Biblical topics. These come in the second half of the Qur’ān but should be read
before the long and complex Sūras in the first half, such as Baqaraand Mā’ida, which require of
the reader a prior knowledge of events that took place in the early days of Islam”. Dawood, The
Koran Translated, (London: Penguin Books, 1993), p. 5.
xxxvii
See Abdel Haleem’s latest article entitled: “The Role of Context in Interpreting and Translating
the Qur’ān”, Journal of Qur’ānic Studies, 20:1, (2018): pp.47-63.
xxxviii
Ibrāhīm bin ‘Umar al-Ribāt Al-Biqā’ī,TafsīrNaẓm al-durar fi tanāsub al-ayywa al- suwar,
(Hyderabad, 1398 AH/1969), vol. 1.
xxxix
Qur’ān 2, 11-12 (From A. Yusuf Ali’s translation, p. 19).
xl
Maurice Buccaille, The Bible, the Qur’ān and Science, (Tripoli, 1987), p. 269.
xli
George Sale, Koran,p.234. [Online Archive]
xlii
Abdel Haleem, The Qur’ān: English Translation, p.312.
xliii
A. J. Dorge, The Qur’ān: A New Annotated Translation, p.198.
xliv
A. J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted A Translation [Online version]
xlv
Q. 2: 255.
xlvi
Dawood, The Koran Translated, p. 316.
xlvii
Hans Wehr, Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, ed. J. Milton Cowan, (New York, 1976), p.
820.
xlviii
M. Al-Hilali and M. Khan, Interpretation of the Meanings of the Holy Qur’ān, (Riyadh, 1995), p.
96.
xlix
The kursī is literally a footstool or a chair or a throne. In the Qur’ān, it means a world that
surrounds our universe. Our universe compared to kursī is nothing but is like a ring thrown out
upon space of the desert. The kursī compared to the ‘Arsh is nothing but is like a ring thrown
out upon space of the desert.
l
Pickthall, The Glorious Qur’ān, p.42.
li
A. Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’ān, p.103.
lii
Dawood, The Koran Translated, p. 488.
liii
Arthur J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, p.100.
liv
Majid Fakhry, The Qur’ān: A Modern English Version, (London: Garen Publishing Limited,
1998),p.68.
lv
M. H. Shakir, The Koran, (New Delhi: Goodword Books, 2000), p. 66.
lvi
M. Al-Hilali and M. Khan, Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur’ān, p. 212.
lvii
A. Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’ān, p. 242.
lviii
< http://jihad.info/isis-a-disgrace-to-islam.html>

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AbūShahba, Muhammad Muhammad.Al-madkhal li-dirāsāt al-Qur’ān al-karīm, Cairo, 1972.

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al-Hazzat, Muhammad. “TanẓīmdāishwaTahdīd al-Dawlah al-Waṭaniyyah”, in Ahmad


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Al-Hilali, M. and Khan, M.. Interpretation of the Meanings of the Holy Qur’ān, Riyadh, 1995.

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Al-Jaṣṣāṣ, Ahmad bin Alī.Aḥkām al-Qur’ān, ed. by Muhammad Qamhāwī, Beirut: Dar Ihyā’ al-
Turāth al-Arabī, n.d..

Al-Qaṭṭān, Mannā’. Mabāhithfī ‘ulūm al-Qur’ān, Kuwait, n.d.

Al-Rāzī, Muhammad bin Umar. Mafātīh al-Ghayb, 1st. ed., Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah,
1421/2000.

Al-Sayyid, Riḍwān. al-Mustashriqūn al-Almān: al-Nushū’ wa al-Ta’thīrwaal-Masā’ir, Beirut: Dār


al-Madār al-Islāmī, 2013.

Al-Ṭabarī, Muhammad bin Jarīr. Jāmi al-BayānanTawīl Ay al-Qur’ān, Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1405 H.

Arberry, A.J..The Koran Interpreted A Translation, retrieved from


https://ia801706.us.archive.org/20/items/Qur’ānAJArberry/Qur’ān-A%20J%20Arberry.pdf,
Friday 22 June 2018.

Arberry, Arthur J..The Koran Interpreted, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Asad, Muhammad. The Message of the Qur’ān, Gibraltar: Dāral-Andalus, 1980.

Balkahlah, Adel bin Khalīfah, “Mawāqif al-Shaykh Muhammad Saīd al-Būtī al-Siyāsiyyah:
IṣlahīIshtirāiyuḥāribu (al-Rāyāh al-Immiyyah)”, (in Arabic), Al-Mustaqbal al-Arabī, vol.40,
issue 467, January 2018, pp.133-144.

Bewley, Abdulhaqq and Bewley, Aisha. The Noble Qur’ān, A New Rendering of its Meaning in
English, Norwich: Bookwork, 1999.

Buccaille, Maurice. The Bible, the Qur’ān and Science, Tripoli, 1987.

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Dawood, N. J..The Koran Translated with Notes, London, 1978.

Dawood, N.J., The Koran Translated, London: Penguin Books, 1993.

Dorge, A. J..The Qur’ān: A New Annotated Translation, Bristol: Equinox Publishing Ltd., reprinted
in 2014.

El-Khatib, A..Translations of the Meanings of the Holy Qur’ān into English Language (From 1649
till 2013) A Critical Study, Sharjah: University of Sharjah, 2014.

Elkot, Tarek, “Is the Qur’ān Part of the Late Antiquity of Europe? A Reading in German
Orientalism”, (in Arabic), Journal of the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies, 35:2,
(2018):101-130.

Fakhry,Majid.The Qur’ān: A Modern English Version, London: Garen Publishing Limited, 1998.

Ibn al-Arabī, Muhammad Ibn Abdallāh.Aḥkām al-Qur’ān, ed. by Muhammad AbdelQādirAtā,


Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, n.d..

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Organisation of Islamic Cooperation: 2013.

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https://www.theguardian.com/world Thursday 3 November 2016.

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of The Qur’ān, (New Delhi: Sarup Book Publications Pvt. Ltd., 2011).

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völligumgearbeitet von Friedrich Schwally, 2. Auflage, DieterichʼscheVerlagsbuchhandlung,
Leipzig 1919.

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Explanation, (in Arabic), Beirut: MarkazDirāsat al-Wahda al-Arabiyyah, 2016.

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General Editors Caner Dagli, Maria Masse Dakake, Joseph E. B. Lumbard; Assistant Editor
Mohammed Rustom. New York: Harper One.

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Geoffrey Arthur, with the assent of AbdullahIsmā’īl Al-Ṣāwī, Cairo, 1972.

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Wehr, Hans.Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, ed. J. Milton Cowan, (New York, 1976).

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The Economic Philosophy of Holy Qur’ān


(A Study of Sources & Foundations)

Muhammad Junaid Nadvi1


International Islamic University,
Islamabad, Pakistan

Z. Junaid2
Al-Hamd Islamic University,
Islamabad, Pakistan

ABSTRACT

his article attempts to understand the economic philosophy of Qur’ān with the

T support of five renowned commentaries (Tafasīrs) of the 20th century, and some
notable scholars of Islamic Economics. This study has identified Qur’ānic
teachings to provide a basis for an understanding of the economic life of human beings
and nations as the conventional economic thinking provides. The study has probed in
to the basic foundations of Islamic Economic System. The article has carried out a
comparative analysis of the secular concept of life with the Islamic concept of life and
linked it to the Islamic Economic Philosophy. This paper has identified that Qur’ānic
approach to economic life clearly differs from the conventional approach on Economic
matters. This article leads to some new dimensions not covered in conventional
Economics.

Keywords: Islamic Economics, Qur’ānic Philosophy of Economics,


Foundations of Islamic Philosophy

1
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Management Sciences, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan

2
Visiting Lecturer, Al-Hamd Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan

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INTRODUCTION
According to Will Durant, “Every science begins as philosophy and ends as
art; it arises in hypothesis and flows into achievement. Philosophy is a hypothetical
interpretation of the unknown (as in metaphysics), or of the in-exactly known (as in
ethics or political philosophy); it is the front trench in the siege of truth. Science is the
captured territory; and behind it are those secure regions in the captured territory; in
which knowledge and art build our imperfect and marvelous world. Philosophy seems
to stand still, perplexed; but only because she leaves the fruits of victory to her
daughters the sciences, and herself passes on, divinely discontent, to the uncertain and
unexplored”.i

Paul A. Samuelson has explained economics as a field of study and discourse


which should be considered as the sixth field of study of Philosophy. He says,
“Economics covers all kinds of topics. But at the core it is devoted to understanding
the way businesses, households, and governments behave; it attempts to figure out the
1001 puzzels of everyday life”.ii

Economics today has become a very important branch of social sciences. It


starts with philosophy or a hypothetical interpretation or solution to an economic
problem and becomes a theory for practice, which is confirmed by implementation or
experience.

With this brief introduction of philosophy, we shall now discuss the


philosophy of contemporary economics.

Contemporary Philosophy of Economics


Contemporary economics has developed in an environment of atheistic
materialism. Instead of finding nectar for genuine human welfare, the contemporary
economics has injected the poison of utilitarianism in to the most useful subject of
economics. It claims that economic struggle is necessary because of the scarcity of
resources and man’s ultimate goal is, therefore, to gain maximum material benefit.
Modern economists have plunged man into the hazardous state of selfish conflict. In this
selfish struggle, a few strong and unscrupulous individuals attain prosperity by fair or
unfair means but the majority of human beings are suffering poverty and destitution.
Consequently, this economic philosophy has ruined man’s peace of mind and satisfaction
of heart. Modern economic philosophy lacks in divine guidance. It is based on the
denial of the metaphysical phenomenon or holds a mechanical concept of life in
which the existence of non-material things is not recognized. It holds secular
concepts regarding the creation of Man and other creations; creation and
administration of the universe by Laws of Nature; the mechanical or accidental
concept of universe; universe being subservient to Man to benefit according to his
personal instincts and whims; concept of life Hereafter and trial; people’s
sovereignty; concept of humanism; concept of rights and obligations; laws for the
protection of life, property and honour.iii

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This philosophy considers man completely free in his thought and action
and regards this worldly life alone to be the sole target. It is the material gain alone,
which counts. This concept of natural and social sciences disregards the soul and its
requirements and gives exclusive attention to human body and its demands. In
consequence, moral values, which prove to be a barrier in the realization of worldly
objectives are either rejected, or regarded as merely relative subject to the needs of
time. Thus, secular philosophy of modern-day economics originating in the West is
not compatible with Islamic philosophy of economics. In simple words, Man
fabricates secular philosophy of economics and the Lord of this universe reveals the
Islamic philosophy of economics to Man.iv

Qur’ānic Philosophy of Economics v (The Concept of Hereafter or Day of


Reckoning on Worldly Life)
There is no disagreement among the economists on this viewpoint that all
economic systems are based on certain philosophies, so is the case with Islamic economic
system, which is based on revelation, a metaphysical phenomenon, revealed to Man,
based on Qur’ān, Sunnah, Ijmā‘ (consensus), Qiyās (analogy) etc.

A philosophy, howsoever attractive, remains lifeless and ineffective if not


integrated with practice. The Muslims own a philosophy, which encompasses every
branch of social sciences. The economic philosophy of the Holy Qur’ān does not
only demand to have certain beliefs, and practice some rituals, but it also fervently
demands to have firm belief in the revealed knowledge (Holy Scriptures), sent by
Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘āla, through His Messengers (Peace be upon them), to
confirm the Truths of this universe and the Man itself. Thus, the economic
philosophy of Qur’ān means, true belief in the revealed knowledge, total
submission to the Will of Allah, to live a life according to the teachings of Allah
and his Messengers, to understand the purpose of Man’s life on this planet as a unit,
and an organic whole, which cannot be divided into several compartments.vi
Consequently, the economic philosophy of the Qur’ān does not bifurcate Man’s life
of this world and the Hereafter. This philosophy has been clearly mentioned at
many places in the Holy Qur’ān.vii However, the contemporary commentators like
Muhammad Shafī‘, Amin Ahsan Islāhi, Sayyid Abu al-a‘la Mawdûdī and
Muhammad Karam Shah have also elaborated this philosophy in their Tafsīrs,
especially in the verses cited in the end note number six.viii

This may be kept in mind that before the advent of Western colonialism,
which legalized interest, and on its basis promoted banks, the Muslim world was
following the Islamic economic system without any problem. This fact can be
compiled from the older works on ahādīth and fiqh covering mu‘amalāt.

Foundations of the Islamic Philosophy of Holy Qur’ān


The Islamic Philosophy of the Holy Qur’ān holds major foundations which
are adapted from Qur’ān and Sunnah. Figure-1 below enlists these foundations:

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Oneness to Almighty Allah

Foundations of Islamic Philosphy


Laws of Nature are Governed by Almighty Allah

Universe is Subservient to Man

Life is a trial for Humankind

Sovereignty Belongs to Almighty Allah

All humans are equal

The Economic Philosophy of Qur’ān is based on Wahī

Eternal Moral Values

Source of Fundamentals of Islamic economic philosophy are Qur’ān and Sunnah

The truth is exclusive and should be accepted without compromise

Holy Qur’ān encourages judicious economic thinking

FIGURE-1 - FOUNDATIONS OF THE ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY OF HOLY QURAN

(1) Man and all other creations owe their existence, to Allah alone. (2) The
universe is created and administered in accordance with the regulations set by
Almighty Allah, known as "Laws of Nature”. Negation of the mechanical concept
of universe, which claims, it a product of an accident. (3) Whole universe is
subservient to Man for his use and benefit. (4) Life of the humankind in this world
in a place of trial, on which depends his life of the Hereafter. (5) Allah alone is the
Sovereign; this concept of sovereignty gives birth to the concept of human unity
and human equality. It slashes the roots of rule of man over man, and negates the
concept of kingship, dictatorship, priesthood. (6) Every one is equal according to
Islam. All humans enjoy equal rights and can seek remedy, if wronged, through a
court of law. Everyone has protection of his life, property, and honour. (7) The
economic philosophy of Qur’ān is based on Wahī (revelation), which demand a
believer to adopt a balance between the requirements of body and soul and function
for the larger interest of human good. (8) This Philosophy is not against morality. It
believes in eternal moral values, through which nations rise and fall. (9)
Fundamentals of Islamic economic philosophy come from Qur’ān and Sunnah. The
Qur’ān condemns every innovation, for which there is no proof in the fundamentals.
However, Islamic economic philosophy is not static. It gives a golden tenet of
Ijtihād, an instrument, for use in all places and times of need. (10) Regarding the
reason of truth, the Qur’ān prescribes that where there is valid evidence for another
point of view, it should be accepted with humbleness. However, where the evidence
is fake or lacking in truth, the Qur’ānic philosophy feels obligated to expose that
discrepancy. The truth is exclusive and should be accepted without compromise.
The good value is recognition of Allah as the source of all truth. (11) A common
misunderstanding about the economic philosophy of Qur’ān is that it demands blind
faith in its principles and blocks the way of evaluation. This is a mistaken view,

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which has created hostility between the Qur’ānic and non-Qur’ānic philosophy of
social sciences, which certainly includes economics. The Holy Qur’ān on the
contrary, repetitively invites and encourages humankind for judicious economic
thinking about every phenomena including that of economics.ix

The Concept of Two-Lives


The first important element that helps in understanding the economic
philosophy of the Holy Qur’ān is the concept of two lives. The conventional
economics confines itself to activities having an impact on the economic aspects of
our life in this world only. It is believed that the human life is merely confined to this
world in which we are living in. In contrast the first significant point that brings out a
marked difference in the approach of human beings towards economic activities
according to Qur’ān is the very fact that our activities have impact not only in this
world but also in another world that we have to live after we finish our life in this
world.x

“Flair in the eyes of men is the love of thing they covet: Women and sons;
heaped-up hoards of gold & silver; horses branded for (blood & excellence); and
(wealth) of cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this worlds' life; but
in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to). Say shall I give you glad
tidings of things for better than those? For the righteous are gardens in nearness to
their Lord, with rivers flowing beneath; Therein is their eternal home; with
companions pure (and holy) and the good pleasures of Allah. For in Allah's sight are
(all) His servants”.xi

These verses clearly display the concept of two lives both of which have
economic gains and benefits of their own kind and taste. The first life has material
pleasures like women, sons, gold, silver, horses, cattle and good land and the other life
of the Hereafter has spiritual pleasure, gardens, rivers, eternal houses and companions.

"Nay (behold), ye prefer the life of this world; but the Hereafter is better and
more enduring”.xii

Similarly, in verse 2:62 it has been mentioned that those who live a righteous and
pious life, they will not have fear in this world, nor shall they grieve in the Hereafter.
All these verses also show the difference of two lives; the achievements in the
Hereafter showing a priority over this worldly life because of its much better, enduring
and eternal economic benefits.xiii

The concept of two lives, in fact is like two phases. The first phase is
transitional which begins with the present life on this earth. All of its material
conveniences and pleasures will end on an appointed day. From here starts the second
phase, the life of the Hereafter which is eternal and endless in terms of life and its
pleasure and pain, possessions and punishments.xiv
This concept of two lives is very important to understand in order to explore
the economic philosophy and the economic teachings of Holy Qur’ān.

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Nature and Significance of Worldly Life (according to Qur’ān)


With emphasis on priority of work for the second life and the eternity of that
life, the nature and scope of economic activity in the first life can be understood by
realizing the nature and significance of the worldly life. Life on this planet is a
splendid demonstration of Allah’s wisdom and knowledge. For a Muslim it is a
transitory stage, an introduction to the eternal life in the hereafter. Verse 19:74 of the
Qur’ān tells the history of countless generations of the past destroyed by Allah, who
were even better in equipment and in glitter to the eye but that has been repeatedly
mentioned as temporary and transitional. The transitional nature of our present life is
explained by a parable in verses 10:24-25, that perhaps the people think that this world
will last eternally, but it will not. All that of this material life will be left in dust and
ashes. This is more clarified in verses 26:146 to 149, that people will not be left secure
forever in the enjoyment of all that they have here in the form of gardens, springs,
cornfields, date palms with cobs near breaking with the weight of fruits, and the
houses made with great skill in the mountains.xv

The Qur’ān describes nature of this world in these words: "What is the life of
this world but a play and amusement" xvi and "The life of this world is nothing but
goods and chattels of deception”.xvii These verses again refer to the lower value and
transitory condition of this world. Similarly verses 3:14, 18:46, 28:60, 42:36, 43:35,
mention that the material things like women, sons, heaped up hoards of gold and
silver, excellent branded horses, wealth of cattle, well-tilled land are nothing but
conveniences and possessions of the present life which is a fleeting show and the only
reality will be when man has attained his final goal.xviii

The Qur’ān also tells us in verses 7:32, 17:21 and 28:61, that the good, clear
and pure things of this life are beautiful gifts of Allah produced for his servants for
their use, convenience and sustenance in this worlds' fleeting life, but are not more in
rank, gradation and excellence in comparison with those of the Hereafter. It is also
mentioned in verses 92:11 and 104:3, that amassed wealth and material advantages of
this world will not last forever nor will they be of any use on the Day of Judgment. In
the light of above, and from verses 2:2, 42:36, 46:15, it can be understood that the
system of this world is not eternal, because it will end at a certain time which is only
known to Allah, and after using the material possessions and conveniences of this
world for a limited period of life every soul will leave empty handed and everything
will be annihilated on an appointed day.xix

Man should not be occupied seriously in seeking an increase of wealth,


position, number of adherents or followers, supporters, mass production and mass
organization that he forgets his departure from this world and that he has to start
another life, which will be eternal.xx

The Qur’ān also describes the importance of the next world and emphasizes
upon man to prefer the next world over this world. In verses 9:38 and 87:16-17, it
says: "Do you prefer the life of this world; but the Hereafter is better and some more
enduring". These verses show that these two lives are not equal in value. Very little
value is attached to worldly material things and ranks comparing with those of the
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Hereafter. The gifts of the Hereafter are far higher and superior in dignity, quality and
real worth than the transitory ones of this world. So, it is rationale to look and go for
those having more value. For these reasons Qur’ān requires to give priority to the
Hereafter and demands sacrifice of worldly profits on those of the Hereafter.xxi

In contrast with ephemeral and uncertain pleasure of this material life there is a
general call from the Lord to all human beings for the higher good and that is the best
and eternal home of peace of the Hereafter, better and more lasting which is within the
sight of Allah, only for those who believe, work-righteous and put their trust in
Lord.xxii It does not mean at all that the present worldly life and its comforts are not
important to Muslims and they are required to ignore the first life and just try to pursue
the second life, but in fact, the first life provides the opportunities to succeed in the
second life. The important thing is that success in second life depends on how one
behaves in the first life and the behaviour in first life to enable one to succeed in the
second life does not require one to ignore first life. He is rather required to be fully
active to get rewards in the world hereafter.xxiii

The two lives are not two independent lives but are two integral parts of same
life. One life leads to the other. The life of this world is in fact a place of test in
different ways for men, people and nations to earn their comforts in the permanent life
of the Hereafter. All human beings on the earth are under trial by having or not having
the sustenance and possessions of this life, which are provided by Allah to the just and
the unjust as a test, the result or reward of which is not given in this world but in the
Hereafter which will bring Paradise for the successful and Hell for the those who
failure.xxiv

"Verily we have created man for toil and struggle". xxv This means that man is
born to strive, struggle, and suffer hardships to achieve the objective of his life. Verses
23:30 and 29:2-3, clearly state that there are signs for men to understand that they will
not be left alone by only saying this that they believe, but for sure they will be tested,
like those before them. The Qur’ān also gives the historical proof in verses 7:94-95,
about trial taking, that whenever a prophet was sent to a town (means nation), Allah
took up its people in suffering and adversity, in order that they might learn humility.
Then Allah changed their suffering into prosperity, until they grew and multiplied, and
began to say that their fathers too were touched by suffering and affluence. Both
suffering and prosperity were referred to as a trial of Allah in this case. In the same
context the parable about "People of the Garden" mentioned in verses 68:17 to 20,
illustrates the test of Allah by economic losses and also refers to the history of the
people of Makkah, who were tested at the time of this divine revelation.xxvi

"That what is on earth we have made but as a glittering show for the earth, in
order that we may test them as to which of them are best in conduct". xxvii The purpose
of testing the people by prosperity and adversity is also explained in verses 11:7, 29:3,
39:49 and 89:15-16, by saying that most of the people do not understand that Allah
tries the people to see their true and false conduct.

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"Be sure We shall test you with something or fear and hunger, some loss in
goods or lives or the fruits; ---". xxviii The Holy Qur’ān mentions more in verses
3:186, 6:165, 20:131, 21:35 and 64:15, that the trial by Allah may be loss of
possessions, gifts, riches and children, by raised ranks above others, by splendor of life
and by evil and good. In other words, the economic achievements of the first life are
merely a form of a test.xxix

The philosophy of Hereafter discussed above, is the continuity of this life with
a break by death. The soul will not die but the death of the body will give a taste of
death to the soul when the soul separates from the body. The soul will then know that
this life was but, a probation. The denial of the life after death make all other beliefs
meaningless but the concept of Hereafter with its belief of answering to Allah on the
day of judgment for all the deeds and the distribution of reward or punishment keeps
the man alert in his worldly activities and plays a very important role in the Islamic
system of life. The Holy Qur’ān says: "And fear the Day when ye shall be brought
back to Allah. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt
with unjustly". xxx Moreover "On that day will men proceed in companies sorted out,
to be shown the deeds that they (had done). Then shall anyone who has done an
atom’s weight or good, see it. And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil,
shall see it".xxxi Pick hall translated same verses in these words: “That day mankind
will issue forth in scattered groups to be shown their deeds. And whoso doeth good
an atom’s weight will see it then. And whoso doeth ill an atom’s weight will see it
then”.
The Qur’ān tells more of its nature in al-Qur’ān: 3:57, 3:185, 6:36, 19:40,
29:8, 34:11, 40:40, 45:22 and 89:5, that every soul shall have a taste of death, all will
be raised up by Allah, all the good and bad deeds will be shown and all will be
rewarded justly and all the seeming inequalities will be adjusted finally on the day of
judgment.xxxii

"On that Day no power shall they have over each other for profit or harm and
we shall say to the wrong-doers, taste ye the penalty of the Fire, the which ye were
wont to deny!" (al-Qur’ān: 34:42). “The day whereon neither wealth nor sons will
avail." (al-Qur’ān: 26:88). In the above verses and in verses 2:134, 39:47-48 & 92:11,
Qur’ān makes us aware that on the Day of Judgment no one will have the power over
each other for profit or harm. Wealth amassed in this world will be of no use on that
day, nor will the sons and any material advantages of this life bring profit by
themselves in the Hereafter. Everybody shall reap the fruits of his doings according to
his merits.xxxiii "Ye shall certainly be called to account for all your actions". xxxiv
Moreover, “For every act of hearing or seeing or of (feeling) in the heart will be
enquired into".xxxv

The Qur’ān informs Man of his responsibility in this world and warns him by
telling that he will certainly be questioned in the Hereafter for his actions, for the joy
he indulged in, and for every engagement he will have to stand before Allah’s tribunal
to answer all his deeds.xxxvi So one should fear and be prepared of the questioning and
its bad consequences in case of guilty of the day of disaster when hearts and eyes will
be transformed in wholly new world.xxxvii And for those who do not believe in the

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Hereafter Allah has made their deeds pleasing in their eyes and so they wander about
in distraction. For such, a grievous penalty of fire is waiting and, in the Hereafter will
be the greatest loss.xxxviii

Qur’ānic Concept of Worldly Life


Despite all this contrast between the two lives and the insignificance of the
first life vis-à-vis the second life, the Holy Qur’ān nowhere implies to ignore and
neglect the first life. All the fruits and enjoyments of first life are required to be
enjoyed, but only in a way that it becomes a source of achievements in second life.
The following verses clears this concept: "Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of
Allah, which he hath produced for his servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which
he hath provided) for sustenance."xxxix; "It is Allah who made out of the things he
created some things to give you shade of the hills, he made some for your shelter, he
made you garments to protect you from heat, and coats of mail to protect you from
your (mutual) violence. Thus, does he complete his favours on you, that ye may bow to
his will".xl

The Qur’ān encourages Muslims to take their portion of the beautiful bounties
of Allah in this world and use these worldly gifts which he has produced for his
servants. "Do not forget thy portion in this world". xli It suggests a middle course
between the two different conceptions of life, which is "moderation" in every walk
of life. "Hold a just balance between those extremes." (al-Qur’ān 25:67). It also
means neither to renounce this world, because the life of asceticism destroys all
working potentialities, nor to be engrossed and involve in the economic pursuits of life
to such an extent, that the second life is forgotten.

Qur’ān describes the objective of both lives by using the term "Falah" which
means prosperity, betterment and success of both worlds which depend upon the
righteous behaviour and good deeds related to the second life. "The believers must
(eventually) win through" (al-Qur’ān 23:1). To achieve this objective, it enjoins the
Believers to go for the greatest success of this world without endangering the good and
benefits of the next world by walking on the path of truth and piety that is to believe
and obey Allah and his Apostles instructions and do good and righteous work, which
will certainly bring peace, happiness, calmness of heart and the prosperity of this life
and that of the Hereafter. (al-Qur’ān: 2:35, 2:62, 2:197, 2:281, 2:200-201, 23:51, 72:16)

The greediness of this world should not be the objective of a Muslim but to
live a life of honour and piety by lawful economic activities looking for the good of
both worlds. Al-Qur’ān: "But whosoever turns away from my message, verily
for him is a life narrowed down, and we shall raise him blind on the Day of
Judgment". xlii Holy Qur’ān considers only those worldly successes as valuable, which
are pure and possess good of both worlds even it may be very little in quantity it
counts the reward of the next world as the profits of this world. On the other hand, by
walking on the path of faith, righteousness and piety, if one looses all the worldly
pleasures or possessions of this life, he is not considered as a failure in the view of the
Qur’ān because he will for sure get excellent rewards and will be successful in the

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next life forever in the Paradise, without any fear and grieve. And those who don't
obey Allah, will go to hell fire. (al-Qur’ān: 2:38-39, 2:62, 2:175).xliii

The comfort and order in this world is an important element of Qur’ānic


teachings on pursuing the benefits of this world. Qur’ān abhors "Fasad" which is
equivalent to mischiefness, and condemns it very strongly and informs of the severe
punishment in this world and the Hereafter. “--- And do no mischief on the earth after
it has been set in order. That will be the best for you if ye have Faith.
" (al-Qur’ān: 7:85); " --- Allah loveth not mischief." (al-Qur’ān: 2:205); "(Those who)
do mischief on earth these cause loss only to themselves."(al-Qur’ān: 2:27). Those
who are involved in this act of "Fasad" are informed of severe punishment in this
world and the Hereafter. The things which the Qur’ān considers in the category of
fasad is breaking Allah’s covenant after it is ratified; breaking of relationships,
mischief on earth by hoarding, mixing, blending, black-marketing; fraud in weights
and measures. All these things results in Mans own loss in both worlds.xliv

CONCLUSION
Economic philosophy creates a system of Islamic life, which stands on this
concept that Allah has created Man and all that is in the heavens and on the earth and
he loves his creation.xlv He is the only one to be worshiped without any rival. He is the
real sustainer and owner of all that is in the heavens and to him belong the entire
heritage and He has all the knowledge.xlvi Allah has placed Man as trustee and
inheritor on this earth and all that is created in the heavens and on the earth is for him
to explore by the perfect knowledge inspired to him by Allah to use and enjoy its fruits
in good ways to achieve the success of both worlds. Allah has given many things in
his hands as a trust with an authority, power and freedom of its use and enjoyment
according to his wish. But, the use of these worldly bounties of Allah should be in
accordance to the instructions of Allah, not merely to his own Lusts. He should handle
this trust with honesty and skill, with mindfulness of Allah and with the consciousness
of responsibility to Allah.xlvii

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Notes & References


i
Will Durant, “The Story of Philosophy” Pakistan: Services Book Club, 1985, pp.
xxii.
ii
Paul A. Samuelson & William D.Nordhaus, "Economics", New York: Mc-
GrawHill Co., 13th ed., 1989, p.4
iii
Khurshid Ahmad, Islami Nazriyah-e-Hayat, Karachi University: 1982, Pp. 13-15; 72-103; 127-145
iv
___________ , Islami Nazriyah-e-Hayat, Karachi University: 1982, pp. 13-15; 17-31; 50-71
v
English translation & meanings used in this paper are taken from “THE HOLY
QURÂN” tr. by Abdullah Yousuf Ali, revised & edited by “The Presidency of
Islamic Researchers, Ifta, Call & Guidance”, King Fahad Holy-Qurân printing
complex, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, u.d.
vi
M.A. Manan, Islamic Economics, Theory & Practice, (Lahore: Sh. M. Ashraf,
1987, pp.15-19)
vii
See: al-Qur’ân:2:28; 2:148; 2:246-248; 4:150 &151; 4:163; 5:100; 6:32; 13:31; 19:76; 21:33;
23:12-13; 23: 51-52; 28:68; 32:9; 37:142, 40:78; 51:21; 67:2; 73:20; there are many more references
of similar kind in the Holy Qur’ân.
viii
See commentaries on the verses cited in the end-note # 6 by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, “THE HOLY
QURÂN” English translation & meanings, revised & edited by “The Presidency of Islamic
Researchers, Ifta, Call & Guidance”, King Fahad Holy-Qurân printing complex, Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia, u.d.; Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Ma-ârif-ul- al-Qur’ân, (Karachi: Dârul-Ishâ‘at); Mawlâna
Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Tadabbur al-Qur’ân,(Lahore:Idara Tadabbur al-Qur’ân); Sayyid Abul-a‘la
Mawdûdi, Tafheem-ul-Qur’ân,(Lahore: Idara Tarjuman al-Qur’ân); Pîr Muhammad Karam Shah al-
Azharî, Zia-ul-Qur’ân, (Lahore: Zia-ul-Qur’ân pub.)
ix
For details see: Abdul Hakeem Malik, Qur’ânic Prism: Trilingual subject index
of Holy Qur’ân, (Pakistan/UK/USA: Islamic Research Foundation, 3rd ed.,2002);
Thomas Ballantine Irving, Khurshid Ahmad & M. Manazir Ahsan, The Qur’ân:
Basic Teachings, (Islamabad: D.A.,International Islamic University, 1994);
M.N.Rizavi, The Final Message of Allah: The substance of the Holy Qur’ân
arranged topic wise, (Islamabad: IRI, International Islamic University, 1996);
Muhammad Junaid Nadvi, Index of Qur’ânic Verses on Islamic Economics,
(Islamabad: Da‘wah Academy, International Islamic University, 2000); Imam Abu
Zakariya Yahya-ibn-Sharaf al-Nawawi, Riyād al-Salihīn, English tr., Muhammad
Saghir Hasan Masumi, Gardens of the Righteous, (Islamabad: National Hijra
Council, 1992).
x
Abdul Hameed Dar & Mian M. Akram “Islamic Economics” (Lahore: Ilmi Kitab Khana, 2004,
pp.1-2)
xi
al-Qur’ân: 3:14-15; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Ma-ârif-ul-Qur’ân; Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Tadabbur al-
Qur’ân; Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Tafheem-ul-Qur’ân; Pîr Muhammad Karam
Shah al-Azharî, Zia-ul-Qur’ân.

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xii
al-Qur’ân: 87:16-17; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Ma-ârif-ul-Qur’ân; Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Tadabbur al-
Qur’ân; Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Tafheem-ul-Qur’ân; Pîr Muhammad Karam
Shah al-Azharî, Zia-ul-Qur’ân.
xiii
al-Qur’ân: 2:62; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Ma-ârif-ul-Qur’ân; Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Tadabbur al-
Qur’ân; Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Tafheem-ul-Qur’ân; Pîr Muhammad Karam
Shah al-Azharî, Zia-ul-Qur’ân.
xiv
al-Qur’ân: 2: 210, 3:14-15, 3:117, 9:25, 9:38, 9:64, 10:24, 16:74-76, 17:18-20,
18:16-17, 18:46-49, 22:56, 28:60, 43:35, 52:1-10, 82:1-5,102:1-8; also see
commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Ma-ârif-ul-Qur’ân;
Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Tadabbur al-Qur’ân; Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi,
Tafheem-ul-Qur’ân; Pîr Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî, Zia-ul-Qur’ân; also
see: Khurshid Ahmad, Islami Nazriyah-e-Hayat, (Karachi University, 1982, 7th ed.
Pp.127-147)
xv
Also see commentary on the verses cited, by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xvi
al-Qur’ân 6:32, 29:64, 47:36; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali,
Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xvii
al-Qur’ân 3:185, 57:20; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xviii
Also see commentary on the verses cited by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti Muhammad Shafi,
Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xix
Also see commentary on the verses cited by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti Muhammad Shafi,
Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xx
al-Qur’ân 75:20-21, 102:1-2; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr Muhammad
Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxi
Also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti Muhammad Shafi,
Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr Muhammad Karam
Shah al-Azharî.
xxii
al-Qur’ân: 6:32, 20:131, 28:60, 42:36, 43:35; also see commentary by: A. Yousuf
Ali, Mufti M. Shafi, Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxiii
Also see commentary on the verses cited, by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti Muhammad Shafi,
Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.

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xxiv
See commentary on the verses cited, by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxv
al-Qur’ân: 90:4; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxvi
Also see commentary on the verses cited, by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti Muhammad Shafi,
Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxvii
al-Qur’ân: 18:7; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxviii
al-Qur’ân: 2:155; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxix
Also see commentary on the verses cited, by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti Muhammad Shafi,
Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxx
al-Qur’ân: 2:281; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxxi
al-Qur’ân: 99:6-8; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxxii
Also see commentary on the verses cited, by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti Muhammad Shafi,
Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxxiii
Also see commentary on the verses cited, by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxxiv
al-Qur’ân: 16:93; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxxv
al-Qur’ân: 17:36; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxxvi
al-Qur’ân: 2:281, 17:34, 102:8; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali,
Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxxvii
al-Qur’ân: 45:15; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.

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xxxviii
al-Qur’ân: 22:55, 27:4-5, 34:42; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf
Ali, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xxxix
al-Qur’ân 7:32; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xl
al- Qur’ân 16:81; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xli
al- Qur’ân 28:77; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xlii
al-Qur’ân: 20:124; also see commentary by: Abdullah Yousuf Ali, Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr
Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xliii
Also see commentary on the verses cited, by: A.Yousuf Ali, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Mawlâna
Amin Ahsan Islâhi, Sayyid Abul-a‘la Mawdûdi, Pîr Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azharî.
xliv
al-Qur’ân: 2:11, 5:36, 11:85, 18:28, 20:81, 26:183, 28:32, 28:82; ________ , .
xlv
al-Qur’ân: 2:21, 2:29-30-31, 3:180; ______________ , .
xlvi
al-Qur’ân: 2:22, 2:29, 3:129, 3:180, 24:64; ________ , .
xlvii
al-Qur’ân: 2:30-31, 2:33, 4:27, 6:165; ___________ , .

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Abdul Majid Daryabadi’s English Translation of and Commentary


on the Quran (1957): An Assessment

Professor Abdur Raheem Kidwai


Director*

ABSTRACT

A
bdul Majid Daryabadi (1892-1977) holds the distinction of being the first
Muslim scholar to represent the Ahl Al-Sunnah wa Al-Jama stance on
things Quranic in his English translation of the Quran (1957). The field was then
dominated by the Orientalist, Qadyani and pseudo-rationalist English translations of
the Quran. The other laudable element of his translation is his faithfulness to the
original Quranic text in his version, a quality conspicuous by its absence in most of
the English translations in his day. Equally remarkable is the comparative note in
his elucidation of the Quran by way of contrasting it with the Bible. Needless to
add, this brings into sharper light the truth of the Quran as the eternal book of
guidance par excellence for all time and place.
This paper attempts at critically examining Daryabadi’s contributions to the
Quranic scholarship, as evidenced by his remarkable commentary on the Quran.

---------------------------------------------
*K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies, AMU, Aligarh, Sulaim_05@yahoo.co.in
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Amid Abdul Majid Daryabadi’s (1892-1977) many works, standing out as


valuable contributions to philosophy, Urdu literature and journalism and Islamic
studies, his magnum opus is his English translation of the Quran, The Holy Quran:
Translated from the original Arabic, with lexical, grammatical, historical,
geographical and eschatological comments, and explanations and sidelights on
comparative religion (1957). Its unusually long subtitle is fairly indicative of the
wide range of material, especially comparative religion, covered in this feat of
scholarship. On the genesis of this pious venture Daryabadi’s own account is worth-
noting:
In 1933 while I had been staying for weeks at Mawlana Ashraf Ali
Thanwi’s khanqah (spiritual training centre) I came into contact
with the Mawlana’s disciple, Maulwi Sirajul Haq Machhlishahri,
who was a teacher at Majidia Intermediate College, Allahabad. Our
acquaintance soon grew into friendship. It was he who first
suggested to me to embark upon the English translation of the
Quran, arguing that no English version, representative of the
mainstream Muslim viewpoint (ahl al–Sunnah wa al–Jama) was
available. As I was fully aware of my inadequacies, especially of my
command over English and Arabic, his suggestion took me by
surprise. However, he kept insisting on the pressing need for this
work. His sincere persuasion prevailed and I embarked upon this
project, notwithstanding my inability.

As I commenced the job, its enormity gradually dawned upon me … I


temporarily closed down my Urdu weekly Sach (from 1933 until
1935), and cut down my other engagements. However, I realized that
it was essential to go through a plethora of tomes on lexicon,
geography, history, world religions, culture and civilizations, tafsir,
Hadith, scholasticism and jurisprudence etc for writing the
commentary on the Quran.

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The job of translation proved to be very tough, though the earlier


translations by Pickthall, Sale, Bell and Syed Hussain Bilgrami’s
unpublished ones were helpful. The first draft was completed in less
than two years. Then its typing took very long. Its pre-publication
copy was sent to many for review and suggestions. However, there
was hardly any response. Throughout, I missed these two stalwarts
who had by then passed away: i) Mawlana Hamiduddin Farahi who
would have resolved my queries about the Arabic usage and idiom,
and ii) Mawlana Muhammad Ali Jawhar who would have
improved much my English presentation.

In 1939, Taj Company, Lahore signed the contract, promising that


its thirty parts will be published in the next 30 months. In 1941 the
first part came out, though it was highly defective. The second part
appeared after a gap of two years in 1943. Despite numerous
reminders and all possible efforts it was published in full only in
1957, some 18 years after signing its contract.(1)

It is indeed a pity that the publication of such a valuable work was so much
delayed by the publisher’s apathy. Its three reprints were issued in 1962, 1970 and
1971. During all these years Daryabadi kept on revising his tafsir, especially in
terms of updating it with the latest archaeological studies having some bearing on
the historical sites referred to in the Quran. After Daryabadi’s demise in 1977,
Mawlana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi took the initiative of acquiring the publishing
rights of Daryabadi’s both English and Urdu tafasir under the aegis of the Nadwatul
Ulema’s publishing house, the Academy of Islamic Research and Publications,
Lucknow. Accordingly the revised edition of Daryabadi’s English tafsir in four
volumes came out between 1981- 1985.
Another significant development in the publication of Daryabadi’s English
tafsir was also at the behest of Mawlana Nadwi. At the request of the leading
publisher of books on Islam in the West, the Islamic Foundation, Leicester, UK,
Mawlana Nadwi granted it permission to bring out a single volume edition of this
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work. This abridged edition contains the full English translation by Daryabadi and
an intelligent, careful selection of his explanatory notes. This edition has been
re-issued several times by the Islamic Foundation. It is gratifying that its
distribution at a large scale, especially among new Muslims in the West has been
sponsored by some Arab philanthropists. Moreover, this edition has been reprinted
by the Sidq Foundation, Lucknow, thanks to the laudable initiative and efforts of
Hafiz Naimur Rahman Siddiqi. As a result, readers in the subcontinent now have
easy access to this single volume abridged edition.

Daryabadi’s work indeed filled a big gap in the then Quranic scholarship in
English. For there was hardly any reliable, satisfactory English translation by a
Muslim scholar in 1930s when he undertook it. The only translations were by
Abul Fadl (1911), Hairat Dihlawi (1916), Ghulam Sarwar (1920), Muhammad
Marmaduke Pickthall (1930) and Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1934-1937). The ones by
Abul Fadl and Hairat Dihlawi are eminently forgettable. For they were not the
scholars of Islam. They were fired by their pious zeal to vindicate the truth of
Islam/the Quran against the aggressive and menacing Christian missionary
onslaught in the early twentieth century British India. Their presentation, however,
leaves much to be desired. As to Ghulam Sarwar, he was a judge in Singapore. A
remarkable feature of his work is his extensive, scathing critique on the Orientalists’
forays, namely the English translations of George Sale (1734) J. M. Rodwell (1861)
and E. H Palmer (1880). His critique is a testament to his sound, sterling
scholarship, his discerning familiarity with the Orientalist discourse, his painstaking
attention to detail and his sharp critical eye. However, all these qualities are not
inexplicably reflected in his own translation of the Quran. Since he had his career in
Malaya (present day Malaysia) as a civil servant, his translation did not receive
attention in the subcontinent. Another reason could be his ambivalent position on
Qadyanism. Although the Qadyani translator Muhammad Ali’s work (1917) figures
in his critique, he is all praise for the latter. Amid his glowing tribute he makes no
mention of Muhammad Ali’s Qadyani credentials. Nor does he say a word about
the interpolation of Qadyani beliefs into Ali’s explanatory notes on the Quran
which misguide the unsuspecting readers. Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall’s is a
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translation only, with almost no explanatory note about the Quranic allusions or any
background to the Quranic Surahs. For those new to Islam this translation is not
helpful. Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s, no doubt, contains copious notes, illustrating his
wide range of scholarship. However, his is a pseudo- rational, apologetic account of
the Quranic description of al-ghayb (all that which lies beyond the domain of man’s
sense perception). His branding of miracles and of the joys and punishments of the
Hereafter as symbolic or allegorical is discordant with the basic articles of Islamic
faith.(2) Little wonder then that the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Saudi Arabia
which used to distribute thousands of free copies of Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s work
discontinued this practice and got his work thoroughly revised by an expert
committee. Since 1989 this revised and considerably abrogated edition has been in
circulation.(3) The two other English translations, bearing Muslim names as
translators – Muhammad Abdul Hakim Khan (1905)(4) and Muhammad Ali (1917)
were by Qadyanis and hence patently unreliable.

Maulwi Sirajul Haq was not off the mark in his significant observation
about the non-existence of a credible English translation by a Muslim scholar.
Armed with his mastery over English, his thorough familiarity with the Western
thought patterns, his first hand knowledge of comparative religion, and his Islamic
fervour after his return to Islam and his knowledge of the finer details of the
meaning and message of Islam which he had gained at the feet of Mawlana Thanwi,
Daryabadi was suited best for taking up this formidable task. As he set out, he
received much encouragement from Mawlana Thanwi, Mawlana Hussain Ahmad
Madni, Mawlana Manazir Ahsan Gilani, Syed Suleman Nadwi, Saiyyid Abul Ala
Mawdudi and others. Let us first recount Mawlana Thanwi’s advice to him, as
reported by Daryabadi as part of his correspondence with the Mawlana:
Daryabadi: I seek your blessings and advice about a highly important
matter. For the last some weeks I have been thinking seriously of translating
the Quran into English.

Thanwi: I have felt its need for years. However, it calls for these two
requisites: i) competent translators, and ii) ample funds for its production.
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For these constraints it has remained so far my wish only. May be it is time
for the actualization of this dream.
Daryabadi: Mawlana Hussain Ahmad Madni too, had asked me to
undertake this work. However, I told him about my incompetence for this
undertaking. Although I am still aware of my inadequacies, I strongly
realize the urgent need for this work. During this period I have supplicated
many times after prayers that I be blessed with guidance and ability by
Allah.

Thanwi: You should embark upon it, taking Allah’s name. Allah may
provide you with all that is required for it. The most important requirement
is that a responsible person should undertake this job. Who is better suited
than you for this? More importantly, this will give us the peace of mind. In
your case we will have the satisfaction that you would keep consulting us. In
other words, it would be our collaborative effort.

Daryabadi: Your encouragement about undertaking the English translation


has indeed inspired me much. Inshallah I will commence it in Ramadan.

Thanwi: This news is so delightful for me like celebrating Idd in Ramadan


itself.(5)

Another significant piece is by Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi. On learning about


Daryabadi’s venture he wrote this editorial note:
I have gone through the special number of Sach (Daryabadi’s
weekly) in which Abdul Majid Daryabadi has spelled out the need
for an authentic English translation and tafsir of the Quran. He has
mentioned the efforts he has already undertaken for accomplishing
this task. We endorse the view that a standard, reliable English
translation is the need of the hour for not only non-Muslim English
readership, but also for another very large constituency comprising
modern educated Muslims. They need it for gaining the correct
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understanding of Islam. It is an accepted fact that among our


modern educated group, the best person to take up this job is
Mawlana Abdul Majid Daryabadi. For he has already passed
through the stages in which most of the Western educated persons
find themselves entangled. He is fully alive to the fact how skepticism
and atheism make their inroads into the hearts and minds. By
Allah’s grace he is equipped well with the knowledge and resources
to counter the challenges posed by skepticism and atheism. Since he
is the most suitable person, it is likely that he would accomplish this
job. (6)
Let us now turn to some of the distinctive features of Daryabadi’s venture.
First, he holds the distinction of being the pioneer in the Indian subcontinent to have
authored his tafsir in English which is perfectly in accordance with the primary
Islamic sources. Moreover, far from being a loose, lax paraphrase of the original
Quran as in the case of Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s work, his is faithful to the original to
the extent possible. His tafsir abounds in material on comparative religion, gleaned
from primary sources. Moreover, his elucidation of eschatology, polygamy, jihad
and miracles etc. does not smack of apologia. Rather, his cogent tafsir, drawing at
places on the Bible and modern Western thought, succeeds largely in establishing
and highlighting the eternal message and truth of the Quran. It goes a long way in
allaying the doubts agitating the minds of the Muslims exposed to Western thought
patterns. Gifted with a deep insight into the nuances of the Quranic idiom and a
thorough, first-hand knowledge of the latest anthropological, archaeological and
sociological studies, he explicates the meaning and significance of some enigmatic
Quranic expressions. The Quranic term Nasara (al-Baqarah 2: 62) is usually
translated carelessly as Christians, even by Muslim translators. Daryabadi, however,
renders it as “Nazarenes” on the ground that the “Nazarenes or the primitive
Christians were the followers of the pre-Pauline Church, not quite like the present-
day Christians of the Pauline variety.” (7) At another place Daryabadi vindicates the
veracity of the Quranic description (al-Baqarah 2: 60) of the twelve springs gushing
forth miraculously from a rock in Sinai, as Prophet Moses (peace and blessings be
upon him) struck it with his rod: “This wonderful rock, real, not fictitious, exists
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even to this day. It stands in the wide valley of Leja, under the Rass of Sufsafeh.”(8)
Significantly enough, while the Qadyani translator Muhammad Ali denies this
incident altogether, Abdullah Yusuf Ali plays it down as some local tradition which
should be better interpreted as a parable.
While elucidating the Quranic statement: “And Sulaiman did not
blaspheme” (al-Baqarah 2: 102), Daryabadi contributes this insightful explanatory
note:
The Jews, true to their traditions of ingratitude and malevolence
have not hesitated to malign their own hero and national benefactor,
Prophet Solomon (peace and blessings be upon him) and to accuse
him of the most heinous of all offences – idolatry (The Bible, The
First Book of Kings, ii, iv, ix and x)… The Quran upholds the honour
of all Prophets of God, to whatever race or age they may belong.(9)
Among the Muslim English translators of the day it was thus Daryabadi
alone who explained the above enigma, as blasphemy is unthinkable in the context
of a Messenger of Allah. He adds that the Quranic assertion about Prophet
Solomon’s unblemished conduct is corroborated by modern Biblical studies which
show that “Solomon was a sincere worshipper of Yahwe.”(10) It is common
knowledge that the Quran addresses in particular the children of Israel, repeatedly
mentions their history and confers upon them the coveted title of being Allah’s
favourites (al-Baqarah 2: 40 and 47). This special attention to them is explained
thus by Daryabadi:
The children of Israel had been the nation of priests, patriarchs and
prophets,… blessed of their Lord and … were in the early days of
Islam, in effect intellectually, the dominating masters of the country.
In matters religious and divine they were the trusted advisors of the
unlettered pagans and their acknowledged superiors. It helps to
explain the extent of attention they receive in the Quran and the long
series of admonitions, warnings and exhortations addressed to
them.(11)

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In al-Baqarah 2: 102 the Quran designates Harut and Marut as the two
angels sent down by Allah, who taught magic to men. Unnerved by this apparently
anomalous Quranic statement, Abdullah Yusuf Ali resorts to pleading: “The word”
angels “as applied to Harut and Marut is figurative. It means good men, of
knowledge, science (or wisdom), and power.” (12) Without any streak of apologia,
Daryabadi explains away that these angels were sent down
in order that its nature [i.e. of magic and witch craft] be explained
and its mischief be demonstrated in full, and people may be weaned
from the engulfing superstitions, just as a physician acquires an
intimate knowledge of diseases not of course to propagate but to
combat these…(13)

For pressing home Allah’s Omnipresence and the pre-requisites for piety the
Quran says:
The east and the west belong to Allah. To whichever direction you
turn, you will turn to Allah. Surely Allah is All Embracing, All
Knowing.
(al-Baqarah 2: 115)
It is not virtue that you turn your faces to the east or west. Virtue is
to believe in Allah…
(al-Baqarah 2:177)

Insightfully Daryabadi points out that the above verses aim also at
denouncing the prevalent practice of “Direction Worship”, a popular form of
polytheism:
To the East the Christians, in common with the sun-worshippers and
many other polytheists attach special sanctity. From the very early
times and in more than one ethnic religion, the direction towards
which the worshipper made his prayer was considered of great
importance. The Essenes prayed in the direction of the rising sun
and the Syrian Christians also turned eastward at prayer. To the
Christians again the West is full of meaning: “In the rite of
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baptism… the catechumen was placed with the face toward the
west.” (Taylor, Primitive Culture, p. 428) “In Greek religion, deities
were classified as Olympians and Chthonians. The East was the
abode of the Olympian gods … while the West was the direction
which the worshippers of the Chthonian gods faced” (Hastings,
Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 5, p. 143). According to Hindus, the
direction of south-east was to Manu …“(Hastings, Encyclopaedia of
Religion and Ethics, Vol. 12, p. 618).

It was the belief of the early Church that the evil entered from the
north. The above quoted Quranic verse (al-Baqarah 2: 177) strikes
at the root of the “Direction Worship” and says in effect that there is
no merit at all in turning towards any particular direction. Islamic
worship, it must be manifest to the reader, is not directed towards
any direction as such – east west, north or south, but towards Ka’ba,
a particular House, on whatever side of the worshipper it may
happen to be.(14)

Daryabadi achieved another distinction of bringing into sharper light the


excellence of the Quran by comparing and contrasting several Quranic and Biblical
passages. Apart from reinforcing the conviction of Muslim readers, this feature of
his tafsir is of immense appeal to the new Muslims. A weighty testimony to this
contention is afforded by the assertion of a leading new Muslim lady of our time,
Maryam Jameelah. In her piece “How I Discovered the Quran,” she states:
… my immature mind regarded the Quran as nothing more than
distorted and garbled versions of the former stories from the
Bible. …I found his (Daryabadi’s) commentary excellent,
particularly the parts dealing with comparative religion and learned
much from it.(15)

Apart from hundreds of quotations from the Authorized Version of the


Bible, as part of his comparative study, Daryabadi draws also upon these
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prestigious Western sources on comparative religion: Pallen and Wyne’s New


Catholic Dictionary; Josephus’s Antiquities of the Jews; Hastings’s Dictionary of
the Bible; Smith’s and Cheetham’s Dictionary of Christian Antiquities; Hastings’s
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics; Cohen’s Everyman’s Talmud; and Valentine’s
Jewish Encyclopaedia.

Instances illustrative of Daryabadi’s comparative strain are as follows:


1) In explaining the Quranic expressions al-sama (heavens) occurring
in al-Baqarah 2: 22, Daryabadi is quick to “refute the Biblical notion
of heaven as the dwelling place of God as mentioned in The Book of
Psalms 11: 4 and 33: 13 and 14. In a sharp contrast to this, Islam
looks upon the idea of God occupying a certain space as
preposterous.”(16)
2) While elucidating al-Baqarah 2: 48, which states the concept of
Allah’s forgiveness, Daryabadi points out that it aims to “repudiate
the Rabbinical doctrine that ‘grace is to be given to some because of
the merits of their ancestors, to others because of the merits of their
descendants’ (The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 6, p. 61).(17)
3) That the Quranic concept of God, as outlined in al-Baqarah 2:160, is
radically different from the Biblical one is brought into sharper focus
by Daryabadi thus: “The God of Islam, unlike the God of so many
religions, is neither jealous nor vindictive. This requires frequent
reiteration not only in view of the doctrines of the pagans but also of
the teachings of the Bible (See Joshua 24: 19).”(18)
4) In spelling out the Quranic laws of war laid down in al-Baqarah
2: 190, Daryabadi compares these with the laws of war in the Bible
by citing 2 Kings 3: 25, 1 Kings 11:16 and 1 Samuel 15: 3, which
brings out the ethical superiority of the Quranic laws of war. (19)
5) In elaborating the Quranic directive that a believer should seek good
in both this and the Next world, as mentioned in al-Baqarah 2: 201,
Daryabadi contrasts it with the Biblical directive in John 18: 36 and
informs readers that the Bible is concerned only with the Next Life.
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Daryabadi’s exposition is indeed gratifying and reassuring for those


engaged in lawful worldly activities. For, according to the Quran he
is one who performs a religious duty and is assured of divine reward
in the Hereafter.(20)
6) While discussing the Quranic observation about the menstruating
women in al-Baqarah 2: 222 Daryabadi demonstrates that the
Biblical regulations in this respect, as recorded in Leviticus 15:19-21,
are far more rigid.(21)
7) Daryabadi’s note on al-Baqarah 2: 228 compares the Quranic and
Biblical stances on divorce. It conclusively shows Islam as the
natural way, representing the middle path. He maintains:
The course of divorce, or dissolution of the marriage tie,
among ancient nations has been erratic, some making it too
loose, others making it too tight … The Jewish law allows it
as a matter of no great concern (See Deuteronomy 24: 1 and
2). Christianity, on the other hand, taking its stand on the
reported saying of Prophet Jesus (See Mark 10:9 and 11) and
also upon the dictum of Paul (See 1 Corinthinians 7: 10) has
interdicted divorce altogether… The climax was reached in
the rules of the Roman Catholic Church… It treats marriage
as a sacrament and demands indissolubility and unchanging
fidelity. Islam has steered the course midway between the
two, avoiding the extremes of either making divorce too rigid
and banning it altogether, or of making it too loose and
frivolous.(22)
8) Likewise, on comparing the status of women in the Quran
(al-Baqarah 2: 228) and the Bible, Daryabadi points to the lead taken
by Islam in according rights and honour to woman:
According to the Quran, women have rights quite similar to
those of men. This bold and explicit declaration of the rights
of women centuries before a Mill dreamt of writing on the
“Subjection of women” has no parallel in the pages of other
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Scriptures. Contrast this with the attitude of the Bible which


as a punishment of the sin of Eve makes wife a subject to her
husband who is to rule over her. According to the Old
Testament, woman is responsible for the fall of man, and this
became the cornerstone of Christian teachings … It is a
remarkable fact that the Gospels (barring Matthew 19: 9)
contain not a word in favour of woman… The Epistles of
St. Paul definitely insist that no change be permitted in the
position of woman … St. Jerome has aught but good to say of
woman:” Woman is the gate of devil, the road of evil, the
sting of the scorpion.” Canon Law declares: “Man only is
created in the image of God, not woman; therefore woman
shall serve him and be his handmaid.” Kraft Ebing,
Psychopathia Sexualis).(23)
9) In explaining the Quranic injunction prohibiting usury (al-Baqarah
2:275) Daryabadi, once again, points to the ethical superiority of the
Quran:
The devastating propensities of usury are visible to every
eye… Yet it is Islam alone that has the unique distinction of
declaring this pernicious practice illegal absolutely and
unconditionally. The Bible… forbade the usurious loans to
the Israelites (see Exodus 22: 25 and Deuteronomy 23: 19).
But even the Biblical prohibition did not include usurious
loans to non-Israelites. It is the Holy Quran, which to its
everlasting glory has forbidden usury in all its forms
categorically.(24)

Mawlana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, who besides his other distinctions, was a
Quranic scholar par excellence. His following note on Daryabadi’s work draws
attention to some other merits of Daryabadi’s work:
There was, however, the need for another English translation of the
Holy Quran, complete with explanatory notes, which could be
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recommended with confidence to Muslims and non-Muslims… The


author of such an exegesis inevitably had to expound the Quranic
text in terms acceptable to scholars of Ahl al Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah;
to avoid putting forward his own views and ideas into the exegesis;
to be fully conversant with Arabic lexicon and rules of grammar and
to avoid apologetic approach in expounding the Quranic injunctions
and institutions; to have faith in Life-After-Death and the rewards
and retributions promised in the Quran as divine pronouncements
instead of taking them merely as symbolical expressions…, to
expound the significance of the Quranic injunctions in regard to
polygamy, slavery, dowry, the execution of apostates, blood money
etc… Taking all these factors into account, Abdul Majid Daryabadi’s
translation and commentary is undoubtedly unique and most
acceptable among all the exegetical renderings of the Holy Quran so
far attempted in the English language.

The exegesis by Daryabadi throws ample light on all those


communities who have been mentioned in the Holy Quran along
with their geographical locations and the eras in which they
flourished. His exegesis also demonstrates in the light of human
experience and researches made in the field of anthropology and
sociology, the superiority of Islamic social order and its legislations
pertaining to marriage, divorce, inheritance etc. It shows how
Islamic injunction represents the most refined and elaborate system
of social existence known to the civilized world.

In addition to these, a distinguishing feature of Daryabadi’s exegesis


is that it provides a conclusive answer to those Jewish and Christian
critics who claim that the Holy Quran draws its material from the
Scripture and apocryphal writings of Judaism and Christianity.

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Another distinctive feature of Daryabadi’s rendering of the Quranic


text is that he has always kept in view the most appropriate
expressions in English or the one which is the nearest to the
interpretation of a word used in the Holy Quran.

Abdul Majid Daryabadi has acquitted himself of this onerous task in


a laudable manner. Throughout his life he preoccupied himself with
the study of the Holy Quran and wrote an exegesis in Urdu in
addition to the English one. His translation and commentary, is, to
my mind, unique and most reliable among all translations and
commentaries of the Quran so far attempted in the English
language.(25)

That Daryabadi was alive to the present day challenges for a mufassir
(the Quran exegete) comes out in his tafsir, as Mawlana Nadwi points out, and also
in his following piece which he wrote in his last days. This illustrates his alertness
to the current issues and his keen desire that these be studied and resolved in the
light of the Quran. His profound observations offer much food for thought for the
Quran scholars of our time. Furthermore, these give a clear idea of some of the
concerns which Daryabadi had in mind while writing his tafsir in both English and
Urdu. These project him as a genuine seeker of the truth embodied in the Quran and
the perfect amalgam of tradition and modernity, and faith and reason in his
approach to tafsir. More importantly, the issues raised by him should be taken up by
the present day Quran scholars. The sooner it is done, the better it would be for the
cause of a better understanding of the meaning and message of the Quran:
There has been information explosion in the twentieth century. The
challenges posed by modern scholarship were therefore not faced by
earlier Quran scholars. Some new questions, however, today stare in
the face of the students of the Quran. Many recent historical,
geographical and archaeological findings need to be investigated in
line with their Quranic version.

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History holds the pride of place as an academic discipline in that the


Quran cites several historical communities and personalities…
Regarding Prophets John and Zakariyya (peace and blessings be
upon them) the latest historical studies have unearthed a mine of
information. What is needed is that the new sources should be
tapped, irrespective of what the classical mufassirun have said about
them.

Likewise, a great deal of new information is now available about the


life and times of earlier Messengers namely, Jonah, Jacob, Abraham
and Noah (peace and blessings be upon them). Some time ago these
figures were very much clouded in oblivion. The version of the
classical mufassirun regarding them is not sacrosanct. Only the
Word of God is unaltered and unalterable.

That Prophet Solomon (peace and blessings be upon him) possessed


boats and ships is now a historically established fact. His
sea voyages are sufficient enough to bring into sharper relief now the
veracity of the Quranic statement about him. What the Quran says is
that Prophet Solomon (peace and blessings be upon him) exercised
control over wind, hence his sea voyages are to be cited as a
historical proof. Next to history, a mufassir in our time should make
much use of the latest studies in geography. The Quranic events have
their place fixities. There are many geographical allusions to towns,
places, rivers, mountains and buildings in the Quran. Recent
archaeological excavations have solved many puzzling questions.
The Quranic allusions can be explained better in the light of this new
knowledge. It might take some time and effort. However, a mufassir
should draw on all sources of knowledge in his pursuit of elucidating
the Quranic allusions.

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The Quran has recounted at length the beliefs and history of both the
Jews and Christians. Since the classical mufassirun had no direct
interaction with other faiths, they have often failed to grasp the
Quranic allusions to other faiths. With easy and direct access to
numerous sources on comparative religion, we should be in a better
position to explain these now.

At an earlier time the articles of faith held the central position in that
the detractors of Islam evaluated the Quran with reference to the
beliefs it prescribed such as monotheism, the Hereafter and divine
attributes. The classical tafsir discourse is accordingly devoted
mainly to these issues. However, there is now a greater need for
discussions on matters related to social life and individual conduct.
Public affairs have assumed greater importance and urgency. The
issues in need of elaboration are: the form of government, role of
interest (usury) in economy, gender equality, war on religious
grounds and the state policy of the total prohibition of wine. In sum,
numerous ramifications of ethics, politics, and economics have to be
resolved within the Quranic terms of reference.
With the dawn of modern science, many Quranic verses
(14:33, 36:38 and 40 and 55:5) have been identified which
seemingly support modern scientific theories. A mufassir, must,
however, exercise utmost caution and moderation. As it is, the Quran
is not some text book of science. Nor does it seek to impart
knowledge about the laws of nature. Essentially it deals with faith
and moral teachings with the objective of providing guidance to
everyone. Matters related to science are incidental to the Quran. A
mufassir should adopt a balanced approach in that the Quran should
not be presented as opposed to science. Nor should the current
scientific theories be discovered in each and every Quranic verse.
Even the Quranic words have to be explained carefully and
cautiously. For example, the Quran says that Allah taught Prophet
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David (peace and blessings be upon him) how to manufacture coats


of mail (Saba 34: 10). He, of course, excelled in this art. Yet this
does not prove any way that he was the first to do so or that it was
something unknown in the days before him. For, insistence on his
being the pioneer in this art might run counter to some current
historical research, pointing out that the coats of mail existed at a
date earlier than that of Prophet David (peace and blessings be upon
him). The Quranic statement need not be generalized illogically. A
mufassir today owes a far greater responsibility in explaining more
logically and precisely the meaning of the Quran by taking recourse
to the latest, modern knowledge. Nonetheless, it is not a plea, in the
least, for adopting a modernistic outlook.(26)

To sum up, Daryabadi set in motion the trend of the English translations of
the Quran by Muslim scholars. It is gratifying that after 1980 some presentable
translations by Muslim scholars have appeared which cater to the needs of those
who have access to the meaning of the Quran only in English. Some notable
additions to the field after Daryabadi are by Muhammad Muhsin Khan and
Taqi al- Din al- Hilali (1977), M. M. Khatib (1986), the English version of
Tafsir-i Usmani by Mahmudul Hasan and Shabbir Ahmad Usmani (1991), and of
Tafhim al-Quran by Saiyyid Abul Ala Mawdudi (1967-1988), Ali Ozek and others
(1992), M.A.S. Abdel Haleem (2004), Unal Ali (2006), Ahmad Zaki Hammad
(2007) and Tarif Khalidi (2008).(27)

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Notes and References

1. Abdul Majid Daryabadi, Aap Biti, (Urdu) pp. 292-295 (abridged)

2. See the following for the serious flaws in Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s approach to
understanding the Quran:
 Q. Arafat, Incorrect Equivalents Chosen by Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his
Translation of the Quran. Leicester, UK.
 A Discussion on the Errors of Yusuf Ali. By Majlisul Ulama, Transval,
South Africa.
 Abdur Raheem Kidwai, “Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s Views on the Quranic
Eschatology”, Muslim World League Journal, Makkah, 12:5 February 1985,
pp. 14-17.
 S. A. H. Rizvi, “Some Errors in Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s English Translation
of the Quran”, Muslim and Arab Perspectives, New Delhi. 1:1 October
1993, pp. 4-19.
3. Abdur Raheem Kidwai, “Review on Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s Translation of the
Quran”, Muslim World Book Review, Leicester, UK, 12: 20, 1992, pp. 18-23.
4. Abdur Raheem Kidwai, “Mohammad Abdul Hakim Khan’s The Holy Quran
(1905): The First Muslim or the First Qadyani English translation?”, Insights,
Islamabad, Pakistan 2:1, 2009, pp. 57-75.
5. Abdul Majid Daryabadi, Hakim al-Ummat, (Urdu) pp. 317-321 (abridged)
6. Abu Ala Mawdudi, “Quran Majid ka Angrezi Tarjuma”, Tarjuman al-Quran,
Hyderabad, 4: 4, Rabi al-Thani 1353H.
7. Abdul Majid Darayabadi, Tafsirul Quran: Translation and Commentary of the
Holy Quran. Lucknow, Academy of Islamic Research and Publications, 1981-
1985, 1, 13A.
8. Ibid., 1, 12B.
9. Ibid., 1,18.
10. Encyclopedia Britannica, London, 14th edition, 20, 952.
11. Tafsirul Quran, 1, pp. 10A and 10B.
12. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Glorious Quran, Beirut, Dar al-Kitab,
n.d., 1, 45.
13. Tafsirul Quran, 1, 18B.
14. Ibid., pp. 20A and 28A.
15. Maryam Jameelah, Why I Embraced Islam, New Delhi, Crescent Publishing,
n.d., pp. 3 and 5.
16. Tafsirul Quran, 1, 16.
17. Ibid., 1, 31.
18. Ibid., 1, 102.
19. Ibid., 1, 123.
20. Ibid., 1, 131.
21. Ibid., 1, 148.
22. Ibid., 1, 152-153.
23. Ibid., 1, 154.
24. Ibid., 1, 192.

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25. Ibid., 1, xii-xiii, xv and xvi-xvii.


26. Abdul Majid Darayabadi, “Tafsir in Modern Times: Pre-requisites and
Challenges,”. Translated by Abdur Raheem Kidwai, Muslim World Leauge
Journal, Makkah, 23: 6, November 1995, pp. 23,24,26,27 and 28.
27. For a critique on complete English translations of the Quran see the following:
 Abdur Raheem Kidwai, Bibliography of the Translations of the Meanings of
the Glorious Quran into English: 1649-2002. Madina, King Fahd Quran
Printing Complex, 2007. 469 pages.
 Abdur Raheem Kidwai, Translating the Untranslatable, A Critical Guide to 60
English Translations of the Quran. Delhi, Sarup Book, 2011, 345 pages.
 Muhammad Mohar Ali, The Quran and the Orientalists. Norwich, UK, Jamiyat
Ihya Minhaj al-Sunnah, 2004.
 Basim Muflin Badr, “A Critique of Six English Translations of a Quranic
Text”, Islamic Culture, Hyderabad, India, 68: 3, July 1994, pp. 1-17.
 Ahmad Zaki Hammad, “Representing the Quran in English,” in The Gracious
Quran: A Modern Phrased Interpretation in English. Lisle, LA, Lucent, 2007,
pp. 67-87.
 Khaleel Mohammad, “Assessing English Translations of the Quran,” Middle
East Quarterly 122, Spring 2005, pp. 58-71.
 Neal Robinson, “Sectarian and Ideological Bias in Muslim Translations of the
Quran,” Islam and Christian – Muslim Relations 8: 3, 1997, pp. 261-278.
 Abdur Raheem Kidwai, God’s Word Man’s Interpretations: A Critical Study of
the 21st Century English Translations of the Quran. New Delhi, Viva Books,
2018.

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Shura-Democracy Nexus in the Selected Urdu Tafaseer of the


Sub-Continent:
A Comparative Study
Dr Tauseef Ahmad Parray
Asst. Prof., Jammu & Kashmir*

ABSTRACT

T he concept of Shura (mutual consultation)—an explicit injunction occurring


three times in the Qur’an (as in Q. 2: 233, 3: 159, and 42: 38)—is one of the
basic principles having important implications for social and political theory.
In the tafsir literature, there are diverse views regarding the context, nature,
importance and significance of Shura, as a concept and as an institution. In the
modern period, Shura is considered as a crucial concept in contemporary Islamic
political thought and is seen as a key concept for Islamic governance. It is
interpreted, by the Muslim exegetes as well as other scholars, in the light of new
socio-politico-cultural contexts, and is seen to have close connections and similarity
with democracy (its ideas, values, and institutions) and participatory systems of
governance. In a nutshell, Shura is interpreted as a key operational element in the
relationship between Islam and democracy, or as the source and basis of ‘Islamic
democracy’.
This paper, in this backdrop, attempts to explore the theme of
Shura-Democracy Nexus in some Selected Urdu Tafaseer of the Sub-Continent, by
offering a comparative study, of the relevant verses, viz. Q. 3: 159, and Q. 42: 38.
The five (5) Urdu Tafaseer selected in this study are: Tarjuman al-Qur’an of
Mawlana Abul Kalam Azad (d.1958), Ma’ariful Qur’an of Mufti Muhammad Shafi
(d.1976), Tafsir-i-Qur’an/ Tafsir-i-Majidi of Abdul Majid Daryabadi (d.1977),
Tafhim al-Qur’an of Mawlana Syed Abu Ala Mawdudi (d.1979), and
Tadabbur al-Qur’an of Amin Ahsan Islahi (d.1997). The objective is to explore
how these modern exegetes examine and interpret the concept of Shura, and thus
contribute to the theme of Shura-Democracy nexus.

Key Words: Noble Qur’an; Shura; Democracy; Urdu Tafaseer; Indo-Pak


Mufassirun; Ideological Influence; Contextualist Approach.

-----------------------------------------------
* Dr Tauseef Ahmad Parray, Assistant Professor, Islamic Studies, Govt. Degree College, Pulwama,
(Higher Education Deptt.), Jammu & Kashmir; Email: tauseef.parray21@gmail.com

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INTRODUCTION: Setting the Contexti


The concept of Shura—generally translated as mutual consultation or the
decision-making process of the Muslim community—is an explicit injunction which
occurs three (3) times in the Qur’an: as Tashawur in Q. 2: 233, as Shawirhum in
Q. 3: 159, and as Shura in Q. 42:38. It is one of the basic principles having
important implications for social and political theory. In the tafsir literature, there
are diverse views regarding the context, nature, and importance/ significance of
Shura, as a concept and as an institution. In the modern period, Shura is considered
as a crucial concept in contemporary Islamic political thought and is seen as a key
concept for Islamic governance. It is interpreted, by the Muslim exegetes as well as
other scholars, in the light of new socio-politico-cultural contexts, and is seen to
have close connections and similarity with democracy and the ideas, values, and
institutions of democracy and participatory systems of governance. In a nutshell,
Shura is interpreted as a key operational element in the relationship between Islam
and democracy, or as the source and basis of ‘Islamic democracy’.
In this backdrop, the theme of this paper is to reveal—through a
comparative analysis/ examination—the diverse translations/ approaches and
interpretations of the Qur’anic concept of Shura (with a focus on Q. 3: 159 and
42: 38—by the five (5) prominent Mufassirun of 20th century Sub-Continent. These
exegetes are: Mawlana Abul Kalam Azad (d.1958)ii, Mufti Muhammad Shafi
(d.1976)iii, Mawlana Syed Abu Ala Mawdudi (d.1979),iv Mawlana Abdul Majid
Daryabadi (d.1977),v and Amin Ahsan Islahi (d.1997).vi The names of their tafaseer
are, respectively, as: Tarjuman al-Qur’an, Ma’ariful Qur’an, Tafhim al-Qur’an,
Tafsir-i-Qur’an/ Tafsir-i-Majidi, and Tadabbur al-Qur’an. It is pertinent to mention
here that all these tafaseer, originally written in Urdu, have been translated into
English as well; also it is noteworthy that among these exegetes, Daryabadi has two
tafaseer to his credit—both in Urdu and English; and a summary (talkhees) of his
Tafsir, in a single volume, was published by the Islamic Foundation, UK, in 2001.vii
The major aim and objective here is to reveal how Shura (with particular
reference to Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38)—a crucial concept in contemporary Islamic
political thought—is interpreted, by these selected exegetes of the Sub-Continent in
the light of new socio-politico-cultural contexts, and how their (varied)
interpretations show its similarity (and differences) with democracy, institutions of
democracy, and participatory systems of governance. It is true that Shura (with
particular reference to Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38) is equated, compared and connected, in
the present times, with democracy. In the modern period, this Qur’anic concept has
been (re) interpreted and compared with the concept of (Western) democracy, both
by exegetes and by general scholars as well; and thus is regarded as a key
operational element in the relationship between Islam and democracy, or as the
source and basis of ‘Islamic democracy’. To achieve the major objective, this paper
is divided into the following main sections: in section first, it throws light on
‘Shura: Text, Context, and Connotation’. This is followed by a section on the
‘Varied Translations and Interpretations of Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38 in the Selected
Urdu Tafaseer’. This section prepares ground for ‘Exploring the theme of Shura-
Democracy Nexus in the Selected Tafaseer’. Having provided a detailed discussion

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on this, the next section provides a comparative analysis on the ‘Similarities and
Differences in Interpretation(s) of Shura’. This is followed by the Conclusion.
This discussion helps us to know the various approaches—which are in
many ways similar but are different from each other as well—of the exegetes on
this particular concept as well as reveals the contribution of these five (5) exegetes
of the Sub-Continent to the theme of Shura-democracy nexus.

Shura: Text, Context, and Connotation


Shura is derived from the root ‘sh.w.r.’(‫ر‬-‫و‬-‫ )ش‬which has a broad spectrum
of meanings including to consult, mutual consultation, opinion, to express opinions
with each other, consideration, advice, counsel, conference, and deliberation and
discussions with other individuals or groups, or ‘the decision-making process of the
community’.viii The derivatives of this root occur three (3) times in the Qur’an each
in a different form: as ‘Tashawur’/ٍ‫َاور‬ ُ ‫( تَش‬a verbal noun) meaning ‘consultation’ in
Surah al-Baqarah (2: 233); as ‘Shawirhum’ (an imperative: wa Shawirhum fi’l
Amr/‫ٍاْل َ ْمر‬
ْ ‫ ) ٍ َوشَا ِو ْر ُه ْم ٍفِي‬as command, meaning ‘consult with them’ occurs in Surah
-Âl-‘Imran, 3: 159; and as ‘Shura’ (consultation/ mutual consultation: wa Amruhum
Shura Baynahum/‫ورى ٍ َب ْي َن ُه ٍْم‬ ُ ٍ ‫ ) ٍ َوأَ ْم ُر ُه ْم‬in Surah al-Shura (42: 38)—the name of this
َ ‫ش‬
ix
Surah of holy Qur’an. On each occasion, the attestation is related to important
issues in human life, and as such, the word Shura, has important implications for
social and political theory.
These three attestations and evidences relate to different situations and
categories of Muslims. These describe the most important issues of human life, and
in the sense of consultation, it has “important implications for social and political
theory”.x All these instances (especially in Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38) reveal the “social
and political dimensions of consultation” as well as demonstrate its inevitability at
the individual and collective levels. As noted by, among others, Ahmad Mubarak
al-Baghdadi (in the Encyclopedia of the Qur’an) reference in Q. 2: 233 applies
particularly “to the potential controversy between two divorced partners concerning
the matters of weaning [or giving up of sucking of] an infant”; Q. 3: 159 is a
“special text related to the Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] in the shadow of occurrence
of battle of ‘Uhud” in which the Muslims suffered a reverse and nearly lost the
battle; and Q. 42: 38 applies “to all Muslims”. Among these, for instance, Q. 42: 38
suggests that in true consultation, the view adopted is communal, and the decisions
made are shared in common rather than made by a single individual. The verse
Q. 3: 159 is viewed as a foundational principle in Islamic government and
leadership, and in the relationship between Muslim rulers and their subjects.xi
These attestations show—as Ahmad al-Raysuni observes in his Al-Shura:
The Qura’nic Principle of Consultation—that “Consultation is a necessity in
connection with private affairs, including issues pertaining to the individual, the
individual in relation to other individuals, between husbands and wives, and parents
and their children, and is clearly vital regarding public affairs and the major issues
they raise”.xii

Reading these two verses completely and keeping in view the asbab-i-nazul,
what becomes clear is that in 3: 159, Shura as ‘shawirhum’ (plural), literally

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meaning ‘consult with them’, is a special text related to the Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh) in the shadow of occurrence of battle of Uhud. This verse gives direct order
to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to consult believers in the worldly affairs and
governmental matters and to respect the opinion of the majority (of them). The
verse has been of central interest both to the mufassirun (exegetes/ commentators)
and general scholars alike.
While as, in 42: 38, Shura (as mutual consultation/ deliberation among
themselves) applies “to all Muslims”, as in this verse, Allah praises those Muslims
who conduct their affairs through consultation, i.e., one of the best qualities and
attributes of true believers is that they conduct their affairs by mutual consultation.
The expression ‘wa amruhum Shura baynahum’ means that in every matter which
needs deliberation—whether it belongs to the field of authority and government or
other social or communal aspect—the customary practice of the true Muslims is
that they work through mutual consultation. Here the term Shura is understood in
the context of verses 37-39 of surah 42 as one of a series of attributes of Muslims:
they shun/ avoid heinous sins and indecencies, forgive when angry, obey the
command of their Lord and persevere in Prayer, their rule is to consult one another,
spend out of what God provides and, when tyranny affects them, defend
themselves.xiii
In the tafsir literature of classical and pre-modern eras, one comes to know
that Shura (consultation) is described and detailed as one of the foremost rule of
law in the Islamic system of political administration and social set up. The
institution of Shura, the intrinsic component of Islamic Polity, plays a cordial role
in the socio-political system as it discusses most important issues of human life.
And in the words of Asma Afsaruddin,

The predominant sentiment in the literature is that shura as mutual


consultation in various spheres (political-administrative, communal, military,
[and] familial) is the preferred and desirable method of resolving matters. In the
political realm, it is often considered a duty incumbent on the ruler to confer
[deliberate and discuss] with knowledgeable advisors.xiv

Especially the verses 3: 159 and 42: 38 have been debated significantly, but
variedly. There has been substantial debate among Muslim commentators
surrounding the context the meaning of this command.
On the basis of these Qur’anic injunctions, modern Muslim scholars and
theorists (whether traditionalists, modernists/ reformists, or Islamists in orientation)
venerate Shura as the example par excellence of Islam’s inherent democratic
impulse. Resonating the way to just and consultative power-sharing in contrast to
arbitrary despotism (istibdad), the concept of Shura is conflated with modern
notions of democracy—and thus it becomes first and foremost key operational
concept and element in the relationship between Islam and democracy—or ‘Islamic
democracy’. To put in the words of Abdullah Saeed (Australia), in the modern
times, Shura is “a central concept in contemporary Muslim political thought” which
is seen not only as the “foundation for thinking about governance in an Islamic
context”, but is (re)interpreted and regarded as being “very closely connected to the
kind of ideas, values, and institutions of democracy and participatory systems of

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governance” and thus “akin to democracy and democratic institutions”.xv Or as


Asma Afsaruddin, in her Contemporary Issues in Islam, puts it, “the principle of
shura or consultation, endorsed in the Qur’an as the basis for collective decision-
making and administration of public affairs” is generally understood, in the present
times, “to provide the conceptual grounding for consultative governance and
collective decision-making”.xvi

Varied Translations and Interpretations of Q. 3: 159 & 42: 38 in the Selected


Urdu Tafaseer
In this section, the (varied) Translations and Interpretations of the five (5)
selected Muffasirun—Azad (d.1958), Shafi (d.1976), Daryabadi (d.1977), Mawdudi
(d.1979), and Islahi (d.1997)—related to the Qur’anic verses on ‘Shura’ (Q. 3: 159
and 42: 38) in their respective tafaseer are presented: it reveals both the varied
translations and the approaches and influences of these commentators on the
translations (both in Urdu and English, as almost all of these exegesis have been
rendered into English as well).xvii For example, the verse Q. 3: 159, “wa shawirhum
fil amr” is translated/ rendered by them as:xviii
1. Azad: “nez is tarha ke ma’amlaat main (yeni Jung wa aman ke ma’amlaat
main) unse mashwara kar liya karo”; (‘and consult them in matters of
importance [i.e., in matters related to war and peace]’);
2. Shafi: “aur mashwara le unse kaam main” (‘and consult them in the matter’);
3. Daryabadi: “aur unse ma’amlaat main mashwara letey rahiye” (‘and take
counsel with them in the affair’);
4. Mawdudi: “aur deen ke kaam main unko sharik-i-mashwara karo” (‘and in
matters of religion take mutual consultation from them’);
5. Islahi: “aur ma’amlaat main unse mashwara letey raho” (‘take counsel with
them in the conduct of affairs’).
And they render Q. 42: 38, “wa amruhum shura baynahum” into Urdu/ English as:

1. Azad: “aur unko hukm diya ki mashwara kar ke tamaam amuur anjaam
dein”(‘and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation’);
2. Shafi: “aur kaam kartey hain mashwara se aapas ke” (‘and whose affairs are
(settled) with consultation between them’);
3. Daryabadi: “aur unka (ye aham) kaam bahami Mashwara se hota hai” (‘and
whose affair being a matter of counsel among themselves’;
4. Mawdudi: “apne ma’amlaat aapas ke mashwarey se chalatey hain” (‘the
conduct of their affairs is by mutual consultation’);
5. Islahi: “aur unka nizam shura par hai” (‘their system is based on mutual
consultation’): [For comparison, see Table on next page]

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S. Sura: Verse no. Translator Translation(s) in Urdu English Renderings


No.

1(a) 3:159: “wa shawirhum fil Azad “nez is tarha ke ma’amlaat main “and consult them in
amr”/ (yeni Jung wa aman ke ma’amlaat matters of importance [i.e.,
main) unse mashwara kar liya in matters related to war and
‫َوشَا ِو ْر ُه ْم فِي ْاْلَ ْم ِر‬ karo”/‫ مشورہ‬/‫ معامالت‬/ peace]”

1(b) Shafi “aur mashwara le unse kaam main” “and consult them in the
matter”
---- ‫ مشورہ‬/‫کام‬

1(c) Daryabadi “aur unse ma’amlaat main “and take [thou] counsel
mashwara letey rahiye” with them in the affair”
----
‫ مشورہ‬/ ‫معامالت‬

1(d) Mawdudi “aur deen ke kaam main unko bi “and take counsel with
sharik-i-mashwara rakho” them in the conduct of the
---- affairs”
‫ شریک مشورہ‬/ ‫کام‬

1(e) Islahi “aur ma’amlaat main unse “take counsel with them in
mashwara letey raho” the conduct of affairs”
----
‫ مشورہ‬/ ‫معامالت‬

“aur unko hukm diya ki mashwara “and who conduct their


kar ke tamaam amuur sar anjaam affairs by mutual
2(a) 42:38 “wa amruhum shura Azad dein” consultation”
baynahum”/
‫ مشورہ‬/ ‫امور‬
َ ‫َوأ َ ْم ُر ُه ْم ش‬
‫ُورى بَ ْينَ ُه ْم‬

2(b) Shafi “aur kaam kartey hain mashwara se “and whose affairs are
aapas ke” (settled) with consultation
---- between them”
‫ مشورہ‬/ ‫کام‬

2(c) Daryabadi “Aur Unka (Ye Aham) Kaam “and whose affair being
Bahami Mashwara Se Hota Hai” matter of counsel among
----- themselves”
‫ باہمی مشورہ‬/ ‫کام‬

2(d) Mawdudi “apne ma’amlaat aapas ke “and conduct their affairs by


mashwarey se chalatey hain” mutual consultation”
----
‫ مشورہ‬/ ‫معامالت‬

2(e) Islahi “aur unka nizam shura par hai”ٍ “their system is based on
‫شؤرئ‬ mutual consultation”
----

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The translations of these two specific verses, by these 5 exegetes/ mufasirun,


shows that in Q. 3: 159, Shawirhum is translated as ٍMashwara / ‫ مشورہ‬or
Sharik-i- Mashwara/‫شریکٍمشورہ‬/, and they translate Shura (Q. 42: 38) variedly as
Mashwara/‫ ٍمشورہ‬, Bahami Mashwara/ ‫ ٍباہمی ٍمشورہ‬/ or simply as Shura/‫ ٍشؤرئ‬.
Similarly, they translated the word Amr/‫( ٍامر‬in Q. 3: 159) as Ma’amlaat/‫ ٍمعامالت‬,
Kaam/‫کام‬, and Amruhum (Q. 42: 38) as Amuur/‫ امور‬, Ma’amlaat/ٍ ‫ ٍمعامالت‬, and
Kaam/‫کام‬. This is both due to their adoption of ‘contextualist approach’ as well as
the result of their varied ‘theological/ ideological orientations’. This becomes more
evident by their interpretations on the verses under study; and at the same time
reveals the wide ranging scope of Shura-Democracy nexus in these tafaseer of
20th century Sub-Continent.

Exploring the theme of Shura-Democracy Nexus in the Selected Tafaseer


The translations of these two verses clearly reveal the marks of
‘contextualist approach’ as well as the influence of ‘theological/ ideological
orientations’ of these Mufasirrun. They also bear evidence to the fact that each
translation/ commentary of the noble Qur’an is, at the end, a result of that
translator’s own understanding; for it is beyond the comprehension and
understanding, capacity and ability, of any person, to translate exactly the holy
Qur’an, the Word of Almighty Allah. All the translations and exegesis of the
Qur’an are attempts of ‘Translating the Untranslatable’.xix Thus, it is understood
that those who translate the Qur’an had never been able to—nor will anyone in the
future—translate its real meaning(s), but they only make attempts and efforts to
translate its meanings and what they—on the basis of knowledge, comprehension
and understanding and on the basis of guidance from the Sunnah/ Prophetic sayings
(ahadith)—understand and comprehend from it. That is why one sees/ observes a
variety/ diversity not only in the interpretations but in the translations of the noble
Qur’an as well.
This is clearly evident form the above translations of Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38,
and will become more evident in the interpretation(s) of these two verses by the 5
Muffasirun; i.e., their views/ interpretations show the way(s) in which they have
approached these verses—and by that way to the Qur’an. All of them agree that in
Q. 3: 159, Prophet (pbuh) is commanded/ ordered to take deliberation with or
consult his Companions in matters of importance. For example, contextualizing Q.
3: 159 with the situation of battle of Uhud, Abul Kalam Azad asserts that here
Qur’an addresses the Prophet (pbuh) “to draw his attention to the function of
leadership” (Mansab-e-Imammat); among them: (i) Your procedure in matters of
peace and war should not be decided without consultation (with those who are
competent to advise); and (ii) The procedure may take this form: first, hold
consultations and then make up your mind to decide on something definite. Once
you are resolved in your mind on anything, stick to it with firmness. Consultation at
the proper moment is necessary, and resolution at the proper moment is equally
necessary. The question of resolution or decision does not arise till the consultation
is over. He further adds that it tells Muslims that “when the Prophet (pbuh) takes

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counsel of them before deciding on any line of action, it should behove them to
obey him implicitly”. xx
For Mufti Muhammad Shafi, the terms like Shura, mashwarah, and
mashawarat (which literally mean counsel, consultation, and mutual consultation,
respectively) all mean “the soliciting of advice and counsel in something that needs
deliberation”.xxi For him, the expression ‘and consult them in the matter’
(Q. 3: 159) means that the Prophet (pbuh) has been commanded “to consult with or
seek the advice of his noble Companions” in matters of concern and those needing
“deliberation, which include those of authority and government”, so that they are
“fully satisfied and emotionally at peace” and thus “will become an act of
mollifying grace”.xxii He further adds that Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38 collectively “not
only highlight the need for consultation very clearly; they also point out to some
basic principles of Islam’s system of government, and its constitution. The Islamic
government is a government by consultation [Shuracracy/ Shura-cratic] in which
the amir or chief executive is chosen by consultation and definitely not as a matter
of family inheritance”.xxiii Referring to the then two superpowers, Persian/ Sasanian
Empire and Roman/ Byzantine Empire—which were both headed by hereditary
emperors and were despotic monarchies based on power/ supremacy and not on
merit/ ability—Shafi asserts that through Shura, “Islam demolished the unnatural
principle of government through hereditary and gave the choice of appointing and
dismissing the chief executive to the people”. Shura is “a just and natural system”,
which later became the “spirit of a system of government” known as democracy.xxiv
For Amin Ahsan Islahi, in this verse (3: 159) along the guidelines of seeking
Allah’s forgiveness, Prophet (pbuh) is advised to consult the Sahabah
(Companions) in matters requiring deliberation. Regarding the religious matters,
Prophet (pbuh) was not in need of consultation as he was guided by Revelation, but
in political and administrative matters, Prophet (pbuh) used to consult Companions
constantly. In this way, he himself laid the foundations of the Shurai’yat (institution
of Shura) that has been an important feature of the Islamic political system, notes
down Islahi.xxv
For Shafi, the expression ‘wa Shawirhum fi-l Amr’ (and consult them in the
matter) in the present verse means that holy Prophet (pbuh) has been commanded to
consult with or seek advice of his noble companions in matters that need
deliberation, which include those of authority and government;xxvi and for Islahi, the
matters requiring deliberation means “the political and administrative matters”, as
Prophet (pbuh) used to engage Companions in deliberations on same. xxvii
Furthermore, for Islahi, the general literary style (uslub) of the holy Qur’an is to
describe the Salah (prayer) along with Zakah (poor-due/ alms tax) or Infaq (to
spend in the way of God). But here, contrary to this, the Qur’an has adopted a
distinctive approach of illustration by mentioning Shura in between the two
fundamentals of Islam—Salah and Zakah—which demonstrates the significance of
the institution of Shura in social life.xxviii This view-point is also shared by
Daryabadi saying that by mentioning Shura (in Q. 42: 38) in between the two
fundamentals of Islam—Salah and Zakah—demonstrate its significance and at
collective level it stands for the “consultative government—same as was during the
Khulafa-i-Rashidun period”.xxix However, it does not mean (for example as pointed

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out Prof. M. Y. Faruqi) that the Shura is one of the pillars of Islam; however, the
style of its description provides ample evidence of its special importance in the
Islamic polity.xxx
Similarly, sharing the related view-point, Daryabadi and Azad are of the
opinion that Q. 3: 159 refer to take counsel in the important affairs of the
community, such as peace and war. But Daryabadi goes even further to say that it
denotes the “essentially democratic character of the commonwealth of Islam”.xxxi
For him, in this verse, the Islamic political system, one of the fundamental basis of
which is being consultative, is different both from despotic as well as (secular)
democratic system.xxxii Here it is pertinent to mention that Mawdudi does not make
any comments on Q. 3: 159, and has made a detailed discussion on Shura and its
various dimensions in Q. 42: 38, which is highly political.
Almost all of them have made a detailed and meticulous discussion, in their
tafaseer, on the verse Q. 42: 38, and share almost same opinion that it applies “to all
Muslims”. In this verse, Allah praises those Muslims who conduct their affairs
through consultation, i.e. it’s one of the best qualities and attributes of true believers
is that in every matter which needs deliberation—whether belonging to the field of
authority and government or to social aspect—they work through mutual
consultation.
For example, in the explanation of Q. 42: 38, Azad, who identifies the
compatibility between democracy and community deliberation and consultation
(Shura), writes:

“To take consultation or deliberation from each other is one of the best
qualities of Muslims mentioned in this verse and Prophet (pbuh) is commanded
to take consultation from the Companions in 3: 159 [and consult with them
(Shawirhum) in the affairs]. Except Obligatory Commandments [Ahkam–i-
Mansusa], Prophet (pbuh) himself used to consult with his noble Companions
on every matter related to state and administration [Masaleh Mulki]. Later
Shura was made into the very foundations of [the government of the] Pious
Caliphate period [r. 632-60CE], and Abu Bakr [the first caliph; r. 632-34 CE]
was nominated/ selected under the same procedure. This proves that Islamic
social order (Nizam-i-Ijtimayi’) is a pillar of Islamic way of life, having
peculiar importance in it.”xxxiii

However, he also cautions here that there are some basic/ fundamental
differences between modern democracy and Islamic Shura System, and further adds
that “in modern democracy, the elected representatives have wide authority role/
rights in legislation; but in Islam, the Caliph has no authority to intervene (or take
consultation) in matters wherein there are clear guidelines in the Islamic sources
(nassus). He has right to take consultation only in matters—which he confronts—
about which there are no clear injunctions in the Qur’an and Sunnah; and it is only
here that the ‘Consultative Council’ is authoritative to decide”.xxxiv It is noteworthy
to mention here that this view is also shared by Mufti Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani
(d. 1949), in his tafsir, Qur’an Majeed.xxxv

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Mawdudi’s approach to Q. 42: 38 is highly political, as he interprets


Mashawarat (on the basis of both verses: Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38) as being “an
important pillar of the Islamic way of life”, which is obligatory for the Muslim
Ummah, and “to conduct the affairs of collective life without consultation is not
only the way of ignorance but also an express violation of the law prescribed by
Allah”.xxxvi
It is pertinent to mention here that Mawdudi interpreted the concept of
Khilafah as the basis of democracy in Islam, and criticized Western (secular)
democracy as well. What is more pertinent to mention is that he is the only scholar
among his contemporaries who utilized the concept of Khilafah as a basis for the
interpretation of as well as basis of democracy in Islam, while others focused on
Shura.xxxvii
To describe this alternate view, Mawdudi coined the term theo-democracy
(a divine democratic government): “If I were permitted to coin a new term, I would
describe the system of government as a ‘theo-democracy’, that is to say a divine
democratic government, because under it the Muslims have been given a limited
popular sovereignty under the suzerainty [paramount sovereignty] of God” (Italics
added).xxxviii Mawdudi called this a ‘theo-democracy’ in order to distinguish it from
a theocracy (or a clergy-run state) and from the Western secular democracy as well,
both of which he rejected, and criticized. For example, for Pakistani Dr Israr
Ahmed, by coining the term ‘theo-democracy’, Mawdudi has emphasized the point
that the “Islamic political system is neither a pure theocracy nor a full-fledged
Western style democracy, but that it has elements of both”.xxxix
Mawdudi has made a detailed discussion on this verse (Q. 42: 38) and
understood mashawarat obligatory on the Muslim community due to these three (3)
reasons: (i) the decision of one person according to his/ her own opinion is injustice
when the interests of many are concerned; (ii) arbitrary action is morally detestable,
as it is only the result of felt superiority or usurping of others’ rights; and (iii)
deciding in matters of common interest is a grave responsibility, so consultation is
needed to share the burden.xl “A deep consideration of these three things”, he
further elaborates, “can enable one to fully understand that consultation is a
necessary demand of the morality that Islam has taught to man, and departure from
it is a grave immorality”. He also indicates that Shura extends beyond government
and should permeate all aspects of Muslim life: ranging from the domestic affair,
family, tribe/ city, to nation. He criticizes, specifically, the act of obtaining power
by force or deception as being un-Islamic. xli
He further points out that the principle of consultation as enshrined in
‘amruhum shura baynahum’ by its very nature and structure (Naw’iyat wa Fitrat)
demands five things, which are: (1) collective decision making, that is, “people
whose interests and rights are directly affected by collective decisions should have
the absolute right to express their opinions” (i.e., there should be freedom of
opinion and freedom of information); (2) that the appointment of the person
responsible for the collective affairs [Representatives] of the Muslims should be
with the free will of people”; (3) that representatives of people involved in
consultation with the head of the state should be appointed on the basis of the
“genuine trust of people”; (4) that there should be freedom of expression for

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people’s representatives to present their opinions correctly and honestly; and finally
(5) the unanimous or majority verdict of the consultative body should be
accepted.xlii Thus, for him, the implication of this verse is that Muslims can consult
in order to come up with the most correct ruling in legal matters, but not give
independent judgment in settled matters. Therefore, consultation and deliberation
should be done in all collective matters of Ummah.
Islahi translates/ interprets Shura here as ‘their system is based on mutual
consultation’, which, for him, indicates that “the socio-political system of Muslims
should be based on mutual consultation, and not on stubbornness, monarchy, family
monopoly/ social prestige, and tribal lineage”.xliii Similarly, for Daryabadi, at
collective level, Shura here stands for consultative government—same as was
during the Khulafa-i-Rashidun period.
Thus, Shura is interpreted by them—and majority of the present-day
scholars do so with more rigor—both in the historical context with examples from
the Prophetic and Pious Caliphate period as well as with modern re-interpretations
so that to present it as “a key operational element in the relationship between Islam
and democracy” as well as to make the efforts for the transition of listing
“democratic doctrines of Islam” into creating and forming “coherent theories and
structures of Islamic democracy that are not simply reformulations of Western
perceptions in some Muslim idiom” (Italics added).xliv

Similarities and Differences in Interpretation(s) of Shura: A (Brief)


Comparison
From their translation(s) and by their interpretation(s) and their approaches,
it becomes clear that Islahi and Shafi approach the concept of the Shura from the
etymological and linguistic point of view; while Shafi also refers to this concept
vis-à-vis democracy, showing that, although a traditional Deobandi scholar and
juridical exegete/ mufassir, he tackles with the modern issues as well. Also, what
becomes clear is that he translates the verses related to shura in the same vein, and
that he emphasizes on this concept from both perspectives—classical as well as
modern.
Similarly, Islahi, who also authored a book on “Islamic State”xlv—wherein
he has provided details on the concept of Shura and its functioning during prophetic
and Pious Caliphate period (632-660 CE)—approaches this concept from the
socio-political angle: he emphasizes its importance from the social/ communal
point of view, and form the political angle, and that makes him argue that it is main
source and the very basis of Shura-cracy/ shuraiyat in Islam.
Moreover, Mawdudi and Azad also take their own approaches: while Azad
has in brief mentioned about it but he regards it as the real foundation of Islamic
socio-political system and this concept that has “peculiar importance in Islam”.
Azad also speaks of Shura both in terms of “war and peace”, as becomes clear from
his very translation of this verse, and as the basis of “Islamic democracy”—or what
he calls “the real basis of democracy in Islam”, and even goes further to argue that:
“Qur’an uses the term Shura for describing it [the real democracy] and what else
term (other than Shura) can we use for describing it”.xlvi Almost similar approach is
offered by Daryabadi.

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Mawdudi, unlike them, emphasized on 42: 38 only but in “political terms”;


and while others have given importance, speaking from the political point of view,
to 3: 159, in which Shura occurs as a command, Mawdudi emphasized on the verse
42: 38. Also noteworthy is that only Shafi has discussed 42: 38 in political terms
while others have just simply pointed out that it is one of the main traits of
Muslims; so here both are similar, and distinct from others.
Also, much noteworthy and striking is the point that while almost all the
exegetes and other scholars have emphasized on the concept of Shura, speaking in
modern terminology/ phraseology, as the basis of democracy in Islam (or as the
main source of democratic ethics in Islam) Mawdudi is the only scholar who
interpreted Khilafah as the basis of democracy in Islam and coined the term
“theo-democracy” for it. Thus, it demonstrates the diversity and variety of
approaches that these exegetes have adopted while translating and interpreting the
holy Qur’an.
From this brief comparison, what becomes evident is that there are some
common points in their interpretations as well, which are:
(i) They interpret Shura in historical and contextual milieu;
(ii) They (re) interpret Shura in the modern context;
(iii) All of them consider Shura as an important feature of Islamic socio-political
system; and
(iv) All of them stress that basis of Shura-cracy (Shurai’yat) was laid by Prophet
(pbuh) himself, and that the foundation of Pious Caliphate period was laid on
Shura.

Thus, these similarities and differences in the interpretations (of Q. 3: 159


and 42: 38), by these five exegetes (mufasirun), demonstrate the diversity and
variety of approaches that they have adopted while translating and interpreting the
holy Qur’an and while meeting the challenges of modern times. They also
demonstrate that since the 20th century, the general trend is to interpret Shura in the
light of new social, political and cultural contexts. Muslim exegetes and
intellectuals have been slowly but surely reinterpreting the concept of Shura—to
use the lexis of Abdullah Saeed—not only as being “akin to democracy and
democratic institutions” but is “very closely connected to the kind of ideas, values,
and institutions of democracy and participatory systems of governance” as well
(Italics added).xlvii
Summarizing these varied translations and different interpretations of these
five commentators of Sub-Continent on the concept of Shura, it becomes evident
that:
(i) All of them have approached the concept of Shura in different perspectives
as per their own theological and ideological orientation(s), which has
resulted in diversity and multiplicity of translations of the verses. There is
no concordance and agreement between their views (although, as such,
there are many similarities) as they interpret and translate the verses,
3: 159 and 42: 38, in different contexts—from traditionalist to modernist,
from linguistic/ thematic aspect to socio-political/ contemporary
approach—and keeping in view the nazm, asbab-i-nazul, and the practice

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of the Prophet (pbuh) as well.


(ii) They have not been able to come to an agreed and established conclusion
whether, all in all, Shura is obligatory or just recommendatory: on the
basis of 3: 159, where it occurs in command form, they regard Shura as
obligatory; and on the basis of 42: 38, it is recommendatory. But it
becomes clear that those who approach it from political angle, which is
done by most of them, they regard Shura as an important and obligatory
duty for the leader to consult with others.
(iii) Shura has been (re)interpreted from the “political” angle and from the last
few decades, has been regarded and discussed as the alternate as well as an
important “operational key concept” for describing democracy in Islam.
And all these exegetes have approached the concept from this perspective
as well: whether they are traditionalist like Shafi or modernists like
Mawdudi, or others. Islahi and Mawdudi, who wrote separate books on
“Islamic State” as well, have described this concept as the basis of
“Shuraiyat” in Islamic polity.
(iv) Shura has been translated and interpreted in various ways, variedly and
differently, thus making it an “issue” and subject of concern and as there
are no guidelines about the form, structure, and other related details of this
concept, and as such no mufassir has tackled with this issue. e.g., Azad,
regarding structure/ form of Shura, in its explanation says: “It needs more
discussion”/Ye Masla Tafseel Talb Hai (thus avoids the issue); similarly
Islahi says, for details see my book (and here he discusses Shura under
Khualfa-i-Rashidun).

From these points it becomes clear that Shura has remained a “contested”
concept, and thus a number of questions and issues are still unanswered—which are
not new, but are centuries old—and range from the nature, scope and necessity of
application of Shura, to the procedure for the selection/ election of Shura members.
So the need of the hour is to address the below issues/ questions:
 What is the scope/ necessity of application of Shura?
 Is Shura Obligatory or Recommended?
 Are results of Shura process binding or non-binding?
 What is the procedure for the selection/ election of Counsellors? And many
other related issues—which are not new, but are centuries old.

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CONCLUSION
The above discussion, thus, reveals that the concept of Shura is directly
raised in the Qur’an, and Muslim exegetes, especially of modern period, have
explored it in detail. It plays an amiable role in the socio-political system as it
discusses most important issues of human life. For Muslim Ummah, Shura is the
preferred and desirable method of resolving matters of all walks of life—whether
social, communal, or political. Moreover, it also becomes clear that since the 20th
century, Muslims have been slowly but surely reinterpreting the concept of Shura as
being akin to democracy and democratic values and ideas.
The preceding discussion also reveals that attitudes towards Shura—in the
tafsir literature of Sub-Continent—exist in a wide variety, which range, in Abdullah
Saeed’s lexis, “from hostility to the notion of democracy to caution to the assertion
that Shura and democracy are compatible”: while some have argued “for a return to
pre-modern understanding of Shura”, others are providing “a new and quite
different understanding of Shura by equating it with democracy”, and many others
have “identified a degree of crossover between the values of Shura with those of
democracy”.xlviii But, among these trends, the dominant trend—from the final
decades of last century—consists of the reformist Muslim thinkers, who are
“working toward a new interpretation of shura that is in line with contemporary
understanding of what is acceptable in the governance of Muslim states”.xlix
It is also noteworthy to mention, and thus apt to conclude—that in his
Reading the Qur’an in the Twenty-First Century, Abdullah Saeed—in a special
chapter on “Shura and democracy”—concludes that the modern interpretations of
‘Shura as democracy’ demonstrate that since the 20th century, the general trend is to
interpret Shura in the light of new social, political and cultural contexts. Muslim
exegetes and intellectuals “have been slowly but surely reinterpreting the concept of
Shura as being [not only] akin to democracy and democratic institutions” but is
“very closely connected to the kind of ideas, values, and institutions of democracy
and participatory systems of governance” as well.l

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NOTES & REFERENCES

i
The first draft of this paper, entitled as “The Theme of Shura-Democracy Nexus
in the Selected Urdu Tafaseer of the Sub-Continent”, was presented as a
Special Lecture at K. A. Nizami Center for Quranic Studies (KAN-CQS),
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh, 2nd March’ 2018. I am grateful
to the Director KAN-CQS, AMU, for his gracious consent/ permission to
publish the draft of this Lecture as a separate paper.
ii
For details, see, Mawlana Abul Kalam Azad, Tarjuman al-Qur’an, 3 vols.
(Lahore: Islami Academy, n.d.); Idem., The Tarjuman al-Qur’an, 5 Vols.
(Edited and Trans.), Syed Abdul Latif (Hyderabad: Dr Syed Abdul Latif
Trust for Qur’anic Cultural Research, 1962-78; New Delhi: Sahita Academy,
1966) [hereafter abbreviated as Azad, Tj.Q (Urdu); Azad, TTQ (Eng.)]
iii
For details, see, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Ma’ariful Qur’an, (English Trans.)
Muhammad Shamim (New Delhi: Farid Book Depot, 2008) [hereafter
abbreviated as Shafi, MQ]
iv
For details, see, Mawlana Abul Ala Mawdudi, Tafhim al-Qur’an/ “Towards
Understanding the Qur’an” [English translation Zafar Ishaq Annsari,
assisted by A R Kidwai], (Markfield, Leices., London: Islamic Foundation,
1989; also published and reprinted in New Delhi by Markazi Maktaba Islami
Publishers, 1999) [hereafter abbreviated as Mawdudi, Tf.Q]. Its English
version (S. A. A. Mawdudi, Tafhim al-Qur’an—The Meaning of the Qur’an)
is also available online at www.englishtafsir.com
v
For details, see Abdul Majid Daryabadi, Tafsir-i-Qur’an: Translation and
Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, 4 vols. (Karachi: Darul Ishaat, 1991);
Idem., Tafsir-i-Qur’an: Tafsir-i-Majidi, 2nd ed. (Urdu) (Lucknow, India:
Academy of Islamic Research and Publications, 2003) [hereafter abbreviated
as Daryabadi, TM]
vi
For details, see Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur al-Qur’an (Delhi: Taj Company,
1989) [hereafter abbreviated as Islahi, Td.Q]
vii
For details, see Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, The Glorious Qur’an: Text,
Translation, and Commentary (Leicester, Mark.: The Islamic Foundation,
2001) [hereafter abbreviated as Daryabadi, GQ];
viii
See for example, Ibn Manzoor, Lisan al-Arab (Beirut: Dar Sadr, 1900), 4: 434;
Qazi Zain al-Abidin Sajad Meerthi, Qamus al-Qur’an: Qurani-Dictionary
(Meerut, India: Maktaba Ilmiya, 1954), pp. 281-2; Zahoor Ahmad Azhar,
“Shura”, in Urdu Dai’rah al-Ma’arif Islamiya (Lahore: Danishgah Punjab,
1975), 11: 810; Bernard Lewis, “Shura”, in The Encyclopedia of Islam, New
Edition, Eds. C.E. Bosworth et al., (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 9: 504 [hereafter
cited as EI2]; Ahmad Mubarak al-Baghdadi “Consultation”, (trans.) Brannon

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M. Wheeler, in EQ, 1: 406; Afzalur Rehman (Ed.), Muhammad:


Encyclopedia of Seerah (London: Seerah Foundation, 1998), VI: 395
ix
These verses read as: “and if they decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and
after due consultation, there is no sin on them” (2: 233); “and consult with
them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in
Allah” (3: 159); and “and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation”
(42: 38). The English translations of the Qur’anic verses here are mainly
based on: (a) Muhsin Khan and Taqi ud Din Hilali, The Translations of The
meanings of Noble Qur’an (Madinah: King Fahd Complex, 1419 A.H.); and
(b) Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and
Commentary, 2nd ed. (U.S: American Trust Publications, 1977).
x
Al-Baghdadi, “Consultation”, in EQ, 1: 407
xi
Al-Baghdadi, “Consultation”, in EQ, 1: 407
xii
Ahmad al-Raysuni, Al-Shura: The Qura’nic Principle of Consultation (Trans.
Nancy Roberts, and Abridged by Alison Lake (Herndon, VA: The
International Institute of Islamic Thought [IIIT], [2011] 2012), p.3
xiii
These verses read as: “What you have been given is only the fleeting enjoyment
of his world. Far better and more lasting is what God will give to those who
believe and trust in their Lord; who shun great sins and gross indecencies;
who forgive when they are angry; respond to their Lord; keep up the prayer;
conduct their affairs by mutual consultation; give to others out of what We
have provided for them; and defend themselves when they are oppressed”
(Q. 42: 36-39)
xiv
Asma Afsaruddin, “Consultation, or Shura”, in Josef W. Meri (Ed.), Medieval
Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, 2 vols. (New York: Routledge, 2006),
I: 171-2
xv
Abdullah Saeed, Reading the Qur’an in the Twenty-First Century: A
Contextualist Approach (Routledge, 2013), pp. 148, 157
xvi
Asma Afsaruddin, Contemporary Issues in Islam (Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University Press, 2015), p. 77
xvii
My major previous publication on this theme is Tauseef Ahmad Parray, “Text,
Tradition, and Interpretations of Shura: A Study of the views of Modern
Indo-Pak Mufassirun (Exegetes)”, Hamdard Islamicus (Karachi, Pakistan),
Vol. xxxiv [34], No. 3, July-Sep 2011, pp. 7-22. It includes the views of all
the mufasirun studied here excluding Daryabadi (but includes Mufti Shabbir
Ahmad ‘Uthmani).
xviii
For details, see, Azad, Tj.Q & TTQ; Shafi, MQ; Mawdudi, Tf.Q; Islahi, Td.Q;
Daryabadi, GQ & TM

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xix
This phrase is taken from Abdur Raheem Kidwai, Translating the
Untranslatable: A Critical Guide to 60 English Translations of the Quran
(New Delhi: Sarup Publishers, 2011)
xx
Azad, Tj.Q, 1: 317-18, fn. 15, 16; Cf. Azad, TTQ, 2: 194-5
xxi
Shafi’, MQ, 2: 227. References are made from the English version.
xxii
Shafi, MQ, 2: 226
xxiii
Shafi, MQ, 2: 233
xxiv
Shafi, MQ, 2: 233-34
xxv
Islahi, Td.Q, 2: 208-09
xxvi
Shafi, MQ, 2: 227
xxvii
Islahi, Td.Q, 2: 202, 208
xxviii
Islahi, Td.Q, 2: 170-180
xxix
Daryabadi, TM, fn. 43, p. 974 (Urdu)
xxx
For this view–point, see for example, among others, Muhammad Yusuf
Faruqi, “The Institution of Shura: Views of Early Fuqaha’ and the Practices
of the Rashidun Khulafa’ ”, in Jihat al-Islam, 1: 2, June-July, 2008, 9-30, p.
12 [hereafter cited as Faruqi, JI, 1(2): 2008]
xxxi
Daryabadi, GQ, fn. 239, p. 146; Daryabadi, TM, fn. 300 & 301, 1: 280 (Eng)
xxxii
Daryabadi, TM, vol. 1, fn. 325/ 326, p. 655 / Daryabadi, TM, fn. 325 & 326,
1: 196 (Eng) [Tafsir-i-Qur’an: Translation and Commentary of the Holy
Qur’an, 4 vols. (Karachi: Darul Ishaat, 1991)
xxxiii
Azad, Tj.Q, 3: 330-31; Azad, TTQ, 5: 334-35. Cf. Al-Hilal, 8 Sep, 1912, p. 8.
Translation is mine.
xxxiv
Azad, Tj.Q, 3: 331. Translation is mine.
xxxv
See, Mufti Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani, Qur’an Majeed (New Delhi: Taj
Company, n.d.), p. 632; Cf. Parray, “Text, Tradition, and Interpretations of
Shura…”, Hamdard Islamicus, 34, 3 (July-Sep 2011), pp. 14-15
xxxvi
Mawdudi, Tf.Q, 4: 508-510, fn. 61, esp. p. 508 (Eng. version: fn. 61, pp. 548-
51, esp. p. 508); English version is also available online at
www.englishtafsir.com/Quran/42/index.html. Here references are provided both
from the original Urdu and English versions.
xxxvii
For details see, Syed Abu ‘Ala Mawdudi, Khilafat wa Mulikiat [Caliphate
and Monarchy] (Lahore: Islamic Publication, 1966); Idem., Islamic Way of
Life, (Trans.), Khurshid Ahmad (Delhi: Markazi Maktaba Islami, 1967);
Idem., “Political Theory in Islam”, in Khurshid Ahmad (Ed.), Islam: Its
Meaning and Message (London: Islamic Council of Europe, 1975), Chapter
10, 147-171; Idem., Islami Riyasat [Islamic State] (New Delhi: Islamic Book
Foundation, 1991)
xxxviii
Mawdudi, “Political Theory in Islam”, p. 160; Idem., Islami Riyasat, p. 130
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xxxix
Dr Israr Ahmed, “The Constitutional and Legislative Framework of the
System of Khilafah in Modern Times”, [article no. 2] in Khilafah in
Pakistan: What, Why and How? A collection of two articles written by Dr
Israr Ahmad, compiled by Shoba Samo Basr (Lahore, Pakistan: Markazi
Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qur’an, n. d.), p. 8
xl
Mawdudi, Tf.Q, 4: 508-9
xli
Mawdudi, Tf.Q, 4: 509
xlii
Mawdudi, Tf.Q, 4: 509-510 (Eng. Version, pp. 549-50)
xliii
Islahi, Td.Q, 7: 179
xliv
John L. Esposito, and John O. Voll, Islam and Democracy (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1996), pp. 28, 31
xlv
Amin Ahsan Islahi, The Islamic State (Trans.) Tariq Mahmood Hashmi
(Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2012)
xlvi
Mawlana Abul Kalam, Islami Jamhurriyah/ “Islamic Democracy” (Lahore: Al
Hilal Book Agency, 1956), pp. 1-3; Idem, Al-Hilal, 1(8): 9, 1 September
1912, (Calcutta)
xlvii
Saeed, Reading the Qur’an, p. 157
xlviii
See, Saeed, Reading the Qur’an, p. 156
xlix
Saeed, Reading the Qur’an, p. 156
l
See, Chapter 13, “Shura and democracy” in Saeed, Reading the Qur’an, pp.
156-57

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A Quran-based Approach to Effective Anger Management in light


of Arabic Sources

Syed Ali Hur Kamoonpuri


Department of Arabic, AMU1

ABSTRACT

C
lassical Arabic Sources - such as the Quran and Hadith literature as well as
the extensive body of commentaries which have sprung up around them –
provide us with a rich array of diverse yet highly effective strategies for the
attainment of human excellence and moral enhancement through positive
self-refinement and empowerment.
Perhaps one of the greatest impediments to the actualization and realisation of
human excellence and self-empowerment is the impulse of uncontrolled and
unchecked anger. Psychologists are agreed that anger is a very dangerous and
destructive impulse, and one which, if not subdued and brought under control,
certainly has the potential to do irreparable and often irreversible damage to a
person’s life and social relationships.
Since anger control and management represent a crucial aspect of a human being’s
constant struggle for attaining moral excellence and psychological self-
empowerment, this paper will attempt to shed light on effective strategies and tips
for anger management which have been put forward in the classical Arabic sources,
with special focus on the Quran, as well as classical Arabic sources such as Hadith
compilations and exegetical literature.

Keywords: Quran, Hadith, Psychological Approach, Anger Management,


Forgiveness, Classical Arabic Sources, Clinical Psychology.

1
Senior Research Fellow, Department of Arabic, AMU

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INTRODUCTION
Psychologists are unanimously agreed that anger is a very dangerous and
destructive human impulse which can do irreparable damage to a person’s life and
social relationships if it is not controlled, subdued, and managed properly. It is
therefore crucial for every human being desirous of attaining moral excellence and
psychological self-empowerment to make concerted efforts to deal with anger and
the problems arising therefrom.

It is not in vain or for no reason that many big corporate firms, companies
and institutions organise anger management classes and courses for their
employees. They do so because they recognise that even at a worldly level, their
operations cannot achieve efficiency and smooth progress until and unless their
employees have received proper training on how to manage and channelize their
anger.

Anger has adverse and pernicious effects on people, and harms them not
only emotionally, psychologically, physiologically, mentally, but also spiritually.
This can be discerned and deduced from the fact that securing control over anger
and making a habit of swallowing it is one of the most critical skills which the
Quran lists as part of the qualities that distinguish the paradise-bound Muttaqeen
(God-fearing and pious people).
In the Quran, Allah (SWT) Declares:
ْ ‫ض أ ُ ِعد‬
َ‫) الَّذِين‬133( َ‫َّت ِل ْل ُمتَّقِين‬ ُ ‫س َم َاواتُ َو ْاْل َ ْر‬
َّ ‫ض َها ال‬
ُ ‫ع ْر‬ َ ‫عوا ِإلَى َم ْغ ِف َرةٍ ِم ْن َر ِب ُك ْم َو َجنَّ ٍة‬ُ ‫ار‬
ِ ‫س‬
َ ‫َو‬
ْ َّ ‫اس َو‬
)134( َ‫َّللاُ ي ُِحبُّ ال ُمحْ ِسنِين‬ ِ َّ‫ع ِن الن‬ ْ
َ َ‫ظ َوال َعافِين‬ ْ
َ ‫اظ ِمينَ الغَ ْي‬ ْ
ِ ‫اء َوال َك‬ ِ ‫اء َوالض ََّّر‬ َّ ‫يُ ْن ِفقُونَ فِي ال‬
ِ ‫س َّر‬
“Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose
width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the
righteous.
Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain
anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good.”i

In the first verse, the believers are being urged to strive and struggle in order
to win the forgiveness of Allah (SWT) and the ultimate reward of Jannah
(paradise). However, we are also informed that both the forgiveness of God and His
Jannah are not out there for free distribution; rather these two priceless prizes are
reserved for pious and God-fearing people. Jannah, therefore, is specifically built
and created for the Muttaqeen, i.e. pious people who fear God and exercise Taqwa.
Then in the next verse, Allah (SWT) lists down some of the salient features and
qualities that one is supposed to have in order to be eligible for the two prizes being
offered, and the quality of restraining one’s anger and swallowing it features quite
prominently in that list. The verse also serves to showcase the intimate relationship
between Taqwa and control of one’s anger, since the Muttaqeen are being defined
as people who frequently swallow their anger and refrain from venting it out on
other people.

From a spiritual perspective, perhaps one of the reasons why anger


management is so important and why it is regarded as one of the greatest obstacles

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in the path to attaining Taqwa is because anger, when left uncontrolled, leads to a
lot of other immoral, forbidden and sinful deeds. This can be seen from the
statement of Imam Hasan al Askari (as), who remarked:
‫الغضب مفتاح كل شر‬
“Anger is the key of every evil.”ii
In other words, anger opens the door to a host of other sins and a variety of other
vices.

Even from a worldly perspective, anger takes away the peace and calmness
from people’s lives. It divests lives of all the fun, joy, pleasure and enjoyment that
would have otherwise adorned it. Anger disturbs and upsets the symmetry and flow
of life and turns it into a living hell not just for the person who suffers from a habit
of not controlling it, but also for those who live around this sort of person, such as
the person’s family, friends, and relatives.

The anguish, pain, trauma, conflict and general unpleasantness that is caused
by anger has broken homes, torn apart families, ruined relationships, destroyed
friendships, started wars and wreaked havoc in the lives of countless people in the
past, and still continues to do so even to this very day. Hence, anger is an impulse
that can ruin one’s worldly life as well as one’s future prospects in the hereafter.

One can easily see how effectively the devil is using the power of
uncontrolled anger nowadays to corrupt the masses. We can also observe the
damage that is being caused by anger and the havoc it is wreaking all around us – at
home, at the workplace, in the classroom, and even on the roads and streets – so
much so that a special new term (i.e. road rage) has had to be coined to describe
such instances when there is outpouring of such anger on the roads or streets.

To save us from all this gratuitous loss and unnecessary distress, the Arabic
sources tell us that God has enjoined human beings to restrain their anger and
refrain from letting it out or pouring it on others, and as always, He promises great
and handsome rewards for those who comply with this Divine Directive.

The Holy Prophet (Saww) is reported to have said:


.‫وجبت محبة هللا على من أغضب فحلم‬
The love of Allah (SWT) becomes incumbent on a person who is in the habit of
restraining his/her anger when it is provoked.”iii
Thus the love of Allah is arguably the first and greatest of all rewards promised for
those who control and restrain their anger and resist the urge to vent it on others.

Imam Jafar bin Mohammad al-Sadiq (as) further highlights another great advantage
that is associated with controlling one’s anger in the following statement:
.‫من كف غضبه ستر هللا عورته‬
“Whoever restrains his/her anger, Allah (SWT) will cover up and conceal such a
person’s defects and shortcomings.”iv

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Furthermore, the Prophet (Saww) is also reported to have said:


.‫ مأل هللا قلبه أمنا وإيمانا‬،‫من كظم غيظا وهو يقدر على إنفاذه‬
“Whoever controls his anger when he has the ability to vent it out and pour it on
someone, Allah will fill such a person’s heart with the light of Iman and peace of
mind.”v
Another great reward promised for those who make it a habit to control their anger
and restrain it instead of unleashing it on their fellow human beings is that God will
protect such people from His Wrath and Punishment on the day of Judgement:
.‫ من كف غضبه عن الناس كف هللا عنه عذاب يوم القيامة‬: )‫قال اإلمام موسى بن جعفر الكاظم (ع‬
Imam Musa bin Jafar al Kaadhim (as) says: “Whoever restrains his anger from
people, God will restrain His punishment from him on the day of judgement.”vi

The Arabic sources also provide us with another fascinating narration in this
regard:
‫ علمني‬:)‫ قال رجل للنبي (ص‬:‫ قال‬،)‫ عن أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب (ع‬،‫عن الرضا (ع) عن آبائه‬
.‫ ال تغضب وال تسأل الناس شيئا وارض للناس ما ترضى لنفسك‬:)‫ قال (ص‬.‫عمال ال يحال بينه وبين الجنة‬
Imam Ali bin Musa al Ridha (as) narrates on the authority of his forefathers, who in
turn narrate on the authority of Ameerul Muminen Ali bin Abi Talib (as) that a man
once came to the Prophet of Allah (Saww), and asked him: can you teach me or
inform me of something that will remove and clear all the hurdles and obstacles on
the path to Jannah (so that I may enter into Jannah straight away without any
problems, difficulties or complications)?
The Prophet (Saww) replied: “Do not lose your temper (lit. don’t get angry); do not
ask people for any of your needs; and desire for others what you desire for
yourself.”vii
In another narration, we are told that the Prophet (Saww) said to one of his
companions:
‫ال تغضب ولك الجنة‬
viii
“Don’t get angry (at people) and Jannat (paradise) is yours.”

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REFUTATION OF A LONG STANDING WESTERN MISCONCEPTION


CONCERNING ANGER MANAGEMENT
The idea that venting out anger is a good, positive, and desirable thing dates
back to the Greek philosopher, Aristotleix, who has profoundly impacted the
western mind, such that his theories and ideas are still studied to this day. Aristotle
introduced this idea about “catharsis” which both students and specialists in
literature will be very familiar with. Catharsis signifies “purgation” or
“purification” or both in Greek. Aristotle tried to account for the undeniable, though
remarkable, fact that many tragic representations of suffering and defeat leave an
audience feeling not depressed, but relieved, or even exalted.x

This is one of the reasons why they show so much violence and bloodshed
on television today via the medium of action movies, films, thrillers and drama
series – with the idea being that watching such programmes, the viewer gets to
vicariously exact revenge and vent out all his pent up anger on a suitable candidate
– who is usually the villain.
Interestingly, however, this Aristotelian concept has been proved wrong because
study after study has shown that watching violence on television makes teenagers
and youths more prone to violence and aggression in real life.

In a very useful book entitled “50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology –


Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behaviour”, which is a
critically acclaimed book by a team of four specialists and experts in the field of
psychology, all of whom are university professors, this is one of the myths that the
authors have debunked. In the aforementioned book, myth # 30 reads: “It’s Better to
Express Anger to Others than to Hold it in.”xi
That venting out one’s anger is better than holding it in was a very common and
widely promoted idea in western philosophy, but it has been debunked and refuted
by their own researches, and now their own scholars are beginning to acknowledge
and endorse what our beautiful religion has taught us fourteen centuries ago.

THE INTIMATE CONNECTION BETWEEN ANGER MANAGEMENT


AND FORGIVENESS IN THE QURAN
It is worth noting that when God speaks of the importance of controlling the
impulse of anger and restraining it in 03: 133 of the Quran, He doesn’t just end the
verse on the phrase ‫ والكاظمين الغيظ‬i.e. “those who restrain their anger”, rather the
verse continues and adds the quality of ‫“ والعافين عن الناس‬and those who are forgiving
of people”. This serves to demonstrate that while restraining one’s anger is a very
crucial and critical first stage in the process of anger management and control,
however, merely swallowing it is not sufficient to treat the malaise of anger and
neutralise it completely. The restraining and swallowing of anger needs to be
followed by another critical and crucial step, and that is forgiving the person who
became the cause of the anger, and provoked it in the first place.

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Thus, Allah (SWT), while describing the qualities believers in Surah Shoora, Says:
)37( َ‫َضبُوا ُه ْم يَ ْغ ِف ُرون‬
ِ ‫ش َو ِإذَا َما غ‬ ِ ‫اإلثْ ِم َو ْالفَ َو‬
َ ‫اح‬ ِ ْ ‫َوالَّذِينَ يَجْ تَنِبُونَ َكبَائِ َر‬
“Those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and, when they are angry
even then forgive.”xii
This verse makes it clear that swallowing one’s anger is not sufficient, but rather
one has to learn to forgive those who provoke it in the first place.

Therefore, diluting pent up anger through forgiveness is extremely


important for successful anger management. This is especially so because different
people have different ways, methods, and techniques for expressing and letting out
their anger. Not everyone is prone to reacting explosively when they become angry.
A lot of people have the ability to swallow their anger. But this gives rise to another
major problem. Once anger is suppressed, it doesn’t just go inside one’s system and
disappear from there into thin air. On the contrary, suppressed anger has a tendency
to accumulate inside, and if nothing is done to positively channelize it, it can
consume a person from within. Worse yet, it can metamorphose and transform itself
into a host of other negative emotions, impulses, and feelings such as bitterness or
jealousy or suspicion or resentment or lifelong hatred and enmity of the person who
has provoked the anger in the first instance.

In both cases, the accumulation of anger from within is going to lead the
person to commit acts that will have some very evil, pernicious, devastating,
deleterious and harmful consequences and ramifications for him or her – both in
this world as well as in the hereafter.
As a wise man once said: “Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other
guy dies.” In other words, when we resent others or harbour grudges against them,
we hurt only ourselves, and suffer as a result. We do not harm the person we resent
in the least by resenting him or her. In fact, as another wise saying goes, “holding a
grudge is like letting someone (i.e. your enemy against whom you harbour the
grudge) live rent-free inside of your head!”

FORGIVENESS AS AN INTEGRAL STEP IN THE QURANIC APPROACH


TO ANGER MANAGEMENT
To save us from all the gratuitous and counterproductive emotional baggage
that may develop inside of us if we simply swallow our anger and do nothing to
positively channel it out, the Quran provides us with a truly beautiful solution that is
guaranteed to nip the problem in the bud. The solution is: forgiveness.

Forgiveness has in it the power to dilute and neutralise pent up anger, and
not only helps in alleviating it but also in eliminating it completely.
For this reason, the Quran actively exhorts and urges the believers to adopt a
forgiving attitude towards their fellow human beings. In Surah Noor, God Almighty
Says:
َّ ‫سبِي ِل‬
ِ‫َّللا‬ َ ‫اج ِرينَ فِي‬ َ ‫س َع ِة أ َ ْن يُؤْ تُوا أُو ِلي ْالقُ ْربَى َو ْال َم‬
ِ ‫ساكِينَ َو ْال ُم َه‬ َّ ‫ض ِل ِم ْن ُك ْم َوال‬ ْ َ‫َو َال يَأْت َ ِل أُولُو ْالف‬
)22( ‫ور َر ِحي ٌم‬ ٌ ُ‫غف‬ َ ُ‫َّللا‬ ْ َ‫َو ْليَ ْعفُوا َو ْلي‬
َّ ‫صفَ ُحوا أ َ َال ت ُ ِحبُّونَ أ َ ْن يَ ْغ ِف َر‬
َّ ‫َّللاُ لَ ُك ْم َو‬

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“Let not those among you who are endued with grace and amplitude of means
resolve by oath against helping their kinsmen, those in want, and those who have
left their homes in Allah's cause: let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish
that Allah should forgive you? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”xiii

It is true that sometimes forgiving someone who has done you wrong can be
very difficult, but after understanding and internalising the message of this verse, it
becomes so much easier. This is so because this verse awakens and sensitises us to
the fact that just as someone under our authority may have provoked our anger by
making a mistake, we too have disobeyed an Entity that has authority over us; if we
want that supreme Authority to show us forgiveness and pardon our sins,
shortcomings, and wrongdoings, then we need to do the same with those who have
angered us by wronging us as well.

In fact, the Quran not only recommends that we show forgiveness to our
fellow believers, but rather it even teaches believers to extend forgiveness to
unbelievers and non-Muslims. In Surah Jaathiyah, God Almighty admonishes and
exhorts the believers to be forgiving towards those who don’t have faith:
)14( َ‫ي قَ ْو ًما بِ َما َكانُوا يَ ْك ِسبُون‬ َ ‫قُ ْل ِللَّذِينَ آ َ َمنُوا يَ ْغ ِف ُروا ِللَّذِينَ َال يَ ْر ُجونَ أَي‬
َّ ‫َّام‬
َ ‫َّللاِ ِليَجْ ِز‬
“Tell those who believe, to forgive those who do not look forward to the Days of
Allah: It is for Him to recompense (for good or ill) each People according to what
they have earned.”xiv

Not adopting a forgiving attitude towards one’s fellow human beings is not
without its adverse and pernicious consequences both here and in the hereafter. Not
forgiving those who anger us means that our anger for them remains bottled up
inside of us and slowly and gradually transforms itself into a variety of negative
emotional feelings such as resentment, malice, and ill will, and this kind of
emotional baggage ultimately harms us more than anyone else.

As mentioned earlier, resentment is like swallowing poison while hoping the


other guy dies, or better yet, resentment is the real estate equivalent of letting the
person you resent live inside your head rent-free.
But the deleterious consequences are not limited to this world only. Imam Jafar bin
Mohammad al Sadiq (as) narrates from the Prophet Mohamad (Saww) that he said:
‫ ومن‬،‫ إقبلوا العذر من كل متنصل محقا كان أو مبطال‬:)‫ قال رسول هللا (ص‬:‫عن أبي عبد هللا الصادق (ع) قال‬
.‫لم يقبل العذر منه فال نالته شفاعتي‬
“Whenever someone apologises to you, accept his/her apology, regardless of
whether the excuses he/she presents in the apology are plausible or not. Whoever
does not accept apologies, then may he be deprived of my intercession.”xv

This Hadith is essentially teaching us that we should be easy-going and


forgiving, and that we should not analyse or scrutinise the excuses people offer us
in their apologies, rather once a person says they’re sorry, we should just forgive
the person instead of giving them a tough time. There are indeed some people who
find it extremely difficult to forgive and forget. Such people, the Prophet (Saww)

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warns, will not receive his intercession. Indeed such people don’t deserve the
Prophet’s intercession.
Why should the Prophet plead with Allah to forgive the mistakes and shortcomings
of a person who used to arrogantly refuse to forgive and overlook the oversights
and mistakes of his or her fellow human beings?
Being deprived of the Prophet’s intercession, therefore, seems to be a fitting
punishment for such inconsiderate and merciless people.

As for the positive outcomes promised for those who are forgiving, we have
the following narration from Imam Sadiq (as):
‫ فتعافوا يعزكم‬،‫ فإن العفو ال يزيد العبد إال عزا‬،‫ عليكم بالعفو‬:)‫ قال رسول هللا (ص‬: ‫عن أبي عبد هللا (ع) قال‬
.‫هللا‬
“I advise you to act with forgiveness, because forgiveness only elevates the status
of a servant. Therefore, forgive one another, Allah will give you a high and lofty
status.”xvi
This notion is reiterated in other narrations as well. In another narration we are told
that Prophet Musa (as) addressed God with the following question:
.)‫ من إذا قدر غفر! (رواه البيهقي‬:‫ يا رب من أعز عبادك عندك؟ قال‬:‫قال موسى بن عمران‬
“O Lord, who is the dearest of your servants to You? He (God) replied: “He who
forgives when he has the power to punish.”xvii

Another narration highlights the special honours that will be received by


people who were very forgiving of others:
‫ فال يقوم إال من عفا‬،‫ أال من كان له على هللا أجر فليقم‬: ‫ ينادي مناد يوم القيامة‬:)‫قال اإلمام موسى الكاظم (ع‬
.‫ فأجره على هللا‬،‫وأصلح‬
Imam Musa al Kaadhim (as) reports: “On the day of judgement, an announcer will
make the following announcement: whoever has the promise of a (special) reward
from Allah should present himself for the receipt of the award. When this
announcement will be made, none shall present themselves for it except those who
forgave and reconciled, so their reward shall be with Allah.”xviii
This narration contains an allusion to the verse of Surah Shoora in which God
Almighty Says:
َّ ُّ‫َّللاِ إِنَّهُ َال ي ُِحب‬
)40( َ‫الظا ِل ِمين‬ َ ُ‫صلَ َح فَأَجْ ُره‬
َّ ‫علَى‬ ْ َ ‫عفَا َوأ‬
َ ‫سيِئ َةٌ ِمثْلُ َها فَ َم ْن‬
َ ‫س ِيئ َ ٍة‬
َ ‫َو َجزَ ا ُء‬
“The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person
forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loveth
not those who do wrong.”xix

According to some dictionaries, to ‘forgive’ implies not only giving up on


the idea of punishment or retaliation, but also relinquishing any feelings of
resentment or vengefulness. As such, forgiveness is the best way to get rid of
bottled up anger, and in light of this, it is not surprising to see that the Quran
mentions forgiveness as a quality that God-fearing people have in them
immediately after mentioning the quality of swallowing anger in 03: 133.

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THE PSYCHOLOGICAL UNDERPINNING OF ANGER IN ARABIC


SOURCES

The Classical Arabic sources provide us with a narration that is very useful in
helping us uncover and unearth the deep-seated psychological underpinnings of
anger and rage. The narration in question has been transmitted on the authority of
Imam Sadiq (as) as follows:
‫ يا معلم الخير علمنا أي اْلشياء أشد؟ فقال‬: )‫ قال الحواريون لعيسى بن مريم (ع‬:‫عن أبي عبد هللا (ع) قال‬
‫ وما بدء‬:‫ قال‬.‫ بأن ال تغضبوا‬:)‫ فبما يتقى غضب هللا؟ قال (ع‬:‫ قالوا‬.‫ أشد اْلشياء غضب هللا عز وجل‬:)‫(ع‬
.‫ الكبر والتجبر ومحقرة الناس‬:)‫الغضب؟ قال (ع‬
“The disciples said to Isa son of Maryam (as): O teacher of goodness, teach us what
is the deadliest and most dangerous of all things. He replied: The deadliest and most
dangerous of all things is the Wrath of Allah, the Almighty, the Exalted. They (i.e.
the disciples) said: so how can we save ourselves from the Wrath of God. He
replied: by not getting angry yourself. They asked: What is the root cause of anger?
He replied: Pride/arrogance, haughtiness, and contempt for people.”xx

This narration gives us useful insight into why anger is regarded as such an
evil impulse. It is not so much that anger in itself is a negative feeling or evil
impulse, rather it is what lies beneath it and underpins it that represents the true
problem.
Anger is symptomatic of another more complex, deadly and spiritually
lethal human vice, and that is pride and arrogance. When a person has a very
inflated opinion of himself and thinks very highly of himself, then such a person is
more prone to uncontrolled outbursts of anger at the slightest feeling that his self-
worth has been compromised. If such feelings are accompanied by a concurrent
disregard and contempt for other people, then such a person is definitely more
likely to lose his temper on others.

Anger has a very natural, deep, and intimate connection and relationship
with pride. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that anger is sometimes nothing
more than one of the multiple manifestations of pride. It is a conduit for its
transmission and a channel for its outburst. Anger is therefore the inevitable
outcome and corollary of pride.
Of course, in some instances, anger can simply be an uncontrolled and spontaneous
outburst of emotions resulting from human weaknesses inherent in the very nature
and personality of a person. But in other cases, it can take the form of a calculated
outburst, and this is especially so in the case of people who suffer from spiritual
ailments and diseases like pride, arrogance, and superiority complex.

According to Prophet Isa (as), pride is the underpinning of the deadliest and
most pernicious forms of anger. Perhaps that is why, Christianity, even today, has a
fairly clear concept of this. Those who have studied Christian theology must be
familiar with the concept of the “Seven deadly sins”. Many may have heard of this
concept in the context of the release of an updated version of the “seven deadly
sins” in March 2008, which was the subject of the usual media hype and fixation.

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The list contained some new deadly sins such as drug abuse and environmental
pollution which had not been included in the list previously but which the Vatican
felt needed to be included in light of modern developments. However, in classical
Christian theology as it was promulgated in the medieval period, the seven deadly
sins were listed as pride, covetousness, lust, envy, gluttony, anger and sloth. These
sins were termed ‘deadly’ because according to the Christian teaching, these mortal
sins and vices were such that they put the soul of anyone involved in them in peril
of eternal damnation. It was taught that anyone guilty of any of these evils would
rot and burn in hell forever, unless the doer were to repent by the act of confession.

What is particularly relevant and noteworthy for us, in the context of our
discussion on anger and the subtle yet profound links and connections it has with
pride, is the fact that both ‘anger’ and ‘pride’ have been listed as deadly, cardinal,
mortal sins in the official list.
It is also interesting to note that among all these sins and vices, pride has been given
primary importance and attention as can be seen from the fact that it has been
placed at the head of the list and is mentioned before all other sins.
Theologians have explained the reason for this by pointing out that ‘pride’ was the
vice which triggered and motivated the first known sin and act of defiance against
God ever, and led to the expulsion of Satan from the domain of God’s Mercy and
His Grace.

Indeed the classical Arabic sources also present us with a similar picture and
confirm that pride was at the root of Satan’s rebellion against God as well as his fall
from grace.
In his iconic and deeply insightful sermon entitled Al Qaasiah, Imam Ali bin Abi
Talib (as) remarks:
‫ وكان قد عبد هللا ستة آالف سنة ال‬،‫"فاعتبروا بما كان من فعل هللا بإبليس إذ أحبط عمله الطويل وجهده الجهيد‬
‫ فمن ذا بعد إبليس يسلم على هللا بمثل‬،‫يدرى أمن سنين الدنيا أم من سنين اآلخرة عن كبر ساعة واحدة‬
‫معصيته؟‬
‫ إن حكمه في أهل السماء وأهل اْلرض‬.‫كال ما كان هللا سب حانه ليدخل الجنة بشرا بأمر أخرج به منها ملكا‬
".‫ وما بين هللا وبين أحد من خلقه هوادة في إباحة حمى حرمه على العالمين‬،‫لواحد‬

“You should take a lesson from how Allah dealt with Satan, when He nullified
(annihilated, obliterated, wiped clean in one stroke) the record of his great acts and
extensive efforts on account of the vanity (arrogance) of one moment. Iblees had
worshipped Allah for six thousand years, and it is not known whether these were
earthly years or heavenly years. Who, then, can remain safe from Allah’s Wrath and
Retribution after Satan by/while committing a similar disobedience?
Never and none at all, for Allah the Glorified would not let a human being enter
paradise after committing a sin for which He expelled an angel from it.xxi His
command for the inhabitants of the sky and the inhabitants of the earth is one and
the same. There is no special relationship between Allah and any of His creations
which might entitle that creation to a license for violating a sanctuary which he has
deemed off limits for all and sundry.”xxii

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The Arabic sources also teach us that arrogance and pride are qualities for
which God Almighty has a zero tolerance policy. This can be seen from numerous
reports such as the following one by Imam Sadiq (as):
.‫ال يدخل الجنة من في قلبه مثقال ذرة من كبر‬
“He who has even an atom’s weight of pride in him shall not enter paradise.”xxiii

In the final analysis, subduing anger and bringing it under control represents
one of the most significant impediments and obstacles that one has to surmount in
order to secure one’s salvation in the afterlife. It is for this reason that Arabic
sources place such great emphasis on the necessity of developing positive and
constructive methods for anger management and devote such importance to
adopting practical and viable solutions and strategies and employing them wisely in
order to rein in this dangerous and destructive human impulse.

The Quran and Hadith both make it clear that one cannot attain Taqwa
without mastering the art of controlling one’s anger and learning to forgive those
who provoke it. Our sources further emphasise the role of forgiveness in
neutralising anger and purifying our hearts and minds of any negative emotional
residues bottled up anger may leave inside us. Great material as well as spiritual
rewards are promised for those who battle their inner self and overcome this deadly
impulse.

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NOTES AND REFRENCES



Senior Research Fellow, Department of Arabic, AMU.

Email: syedalihur@gmail.com
i
. The Quran: 03: 133-134.
ii
. Al Harrani, Tuhaf al Uqool, pg. 362.
iii
. Al Tabarsi, Mishkaatul Anwaar, pg. 751 (Hadith no. 1795).
iv
. Al Kulayni, Al Kaafi, vol. 2, pg. 303; Bundle of Flowers, pg. 238 (Hadith no. 428).
v
. Al Hindi, Al Muttaqi, Kanzul Ummal, vol. 3, pg 131 (Hadith no. 5823).
vi
. Fascinating Discourses of 14 Infallibles, pg. 182 (Hadith no. 23).
vii
. Bundle of Flowers, pp 237-238.
viii
. Al Hashimi, Mukhtaarul Ahaadith, pg. 144 (Hadith no. 22).
ix
. I think we should apportion the lion’s share of blame for this idea to Sigmund Freud because he is

the one who propounded and promoted it in modern western thought perhaps more than anyone else.
x
. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms, Seventh Edition, pg. 322.
xi
. Lilienfeld, Scott O., et al., 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread

Misconceptions about Human Behaviour, pp 55-56.


xii
. The Quran: 42: 37.
xiii
. The Quran: 24: 22.
xiv
. The Quran: 45: 14.
xv
. Al Tabarsi, Mishkaatul Anwaar, pg. 573 (Hadith 1354).
xvi
. Al Tabarsi, Mishkaatul Anwaar, pg. 571 (Hadith no. 1348).
xvii
. Al Hashimi, Mukhtaarul Ahaadith, pg. 99 (Hadith no. 27).
xviii
. Al Dakhayyul, Imam Musa al Kadhim (as), pg. 42 (Hadith no. 6).
xix
. The Quran: 42: 40.
xx
. The World Federation, Exhortations of Prophet Isa (as) – 40 Ahadith, pg. 27 (Hadith no. 27).
xxi
. Technically speaking, Iblees was not an angel; rather he was from among the Jinn, as the Quran

states in 18: 50. The Imam (as) has referred to him here as an angel probably because he was treated

on par with angels, and perhaps even outranked several of the senior angels, hence the Imam refers

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

to him as an angel to highlight and emphasise his rank and position, and not his actual nature or

essence.
xxii
. Al Radhi, Nahjol Balaagha, Sermon 191, pg. 409.
xxiii
. Al Kulayni, Al Kaafi, vol. 2, pg. 310; Bundle of Flowers, pg. 209.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Quran
Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Singapore: Thomson Heinle, 1999.
Al Dakhayyul, Ali Mohammad Ali. Imam Musa al Kadhim (as). Beirut: Daar al
Turaath al Islami. Second Edition. n.d.
Al Harrani, Abu Mohammad al Hasan bin Ali bin al Husain bin Shubah. Tuhaf al
Uqool an Aal Al Rasool. Edited by Shaikh Husain Al Aalami. Beirut: Al Alami
Library, 1996.
Al Hashimi, Sayyid Ahmad. Mukhtaarul al Ahaadith al Nabawiyyah wal Hikam al
Muhammmadiyyah. Beirut: Dar al Fikr, 2004.
Al Kulayni, Mohammad bin Yaqub. Usool Al Kaafi. Beirut: Manshooraat al Fajr,
2007.
Lilienfeld, Scott O., et al. 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering
Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behaviour. West Sussex: Wiley-
Blackwell, 2010.
Al Muttaqi al Hindi, Allama Alauddin Ali bin Husamuddin al Burhanpuri. Kanzul
Ummal Fi Sunan al Aqwaal wal Af’aal, Ed. Sheikh Bakri Hayyaati and Sheikh
Safwat al Saqqa, Beirut: Mu’assasah al Risaalah, n.d.
Al Radhi, Sayyid Shareef. Nahjol Balaagha (Peak of Eloquence). Translated by
Sayyid Ali Reza. Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2003.
Al Tabarsi, Hasan bin Fadhl bin Hasan. Mishkaatul Anwaar Fi Ghurar il-Akhbar
(The Lamp Niche for the Best Traditions). Research and Translation: Ms. Lisa
Zaynub Morgan & Dr. Ali Peiravi. Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2002.
Eshtehardi, Muhammad Muhammadi. Fascinating Discourses of 14 Infallibles.
Translated by Javed Iqbal Qazilbash. Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2001.
Imani, Sayyid Kamal Faghih. A Bundle of Flowers. Translated by Sayyid Abbas
Sadr Ameli. Edited by Ms. Celeste Smith. Esfahan: The Scientific and Religious
Research Center, 1998.
The World Federation. Exhortations of Prophet Isa (as) – 40 Ahadith. Stanmore:
The World Federation, 2004.

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

Maqṣadiyyah (Purposefulness) and Maqāṣid al-Qur’ān (Objectives


of the Qur’ān): A Study 1

Gowhar Quadir Wani


D/o.Islamic Studies, AMU

ABSTRACT
he Noble Qur’ān, the Divine Scripture of Islam, lays an unequivocal

T emphasis on purposiveness and purposefulness. This is testified by the


frequent and recurrent references to the wisdom and purpose in various
Divine acts like the creation of the universe and the multitude of phenomena
occurring in it continuously. Given that human beings represent the pinnacle of the
Divine act of creation being honored with the status of the cream of creation, human
life cannot be meaningless. The Qur’ān draws our attention to the meaningfulness
of human life. It asks its adherents to refrain from living a vain life and exhorts
them to search for the meaning in their lives thereby adopting a purposive attitude
to the same. In the modern period, humanity has severed its connection with the
Transcendent due to its over-reliance on matter and over-confidence in its
exploitation by the human reason. This, ultimately, culminated in increased
nihilistic tendencies in human beings as testified by the surge of postmodernism in
various domains of being and becoming. In this backdrop, highlighting the Qur’ānic
discourse on purposiveness and meaningfulness becomes all the more important as
it is an ultimate source of optimism in the worst pessimistic milieu. The present
paper seeks to discuss the importance of purposiveness in the light of Qur’ānic
teachings along with the objectives of the Qur’ān itself.

Keywords: Maqsadiyyah (Purposiveness), Maqasid al-Qur’ān, Qur’ān

The Noble Qur’ān, the Divine scripture of Islam, is replete with verses that
highlight the significance of purposefulness in the Divine scheme of creation, in
general, and human life, in particular. A cursory look at the Qur’ānic content
reveals that it recurrently and frequently draws our attention towards the objectives
of and wisdom in the creation of life and death, universe and everything therein,
sending of messengers, its own revelation as well as the commandments and
prohibitions it lays down for its adherents. One of the Beautiful Names
(Asmā’ al-Husnā) of Allah (SWT) is al-Ḥakīm—The Absolute Wise (Q.
i
02: 32, 129, 220, etc.). Likewise, the Qur’ān is qualified by the adjective al-

1
Gowhar Quadir Wani, D/o. Islamic Studies, AMU

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

ḥakīm in several Qur’ānic verses (e.g., Q. 36: 02). All this but testifies that the
Creator has created the universe and everything therein on the basis of wisdom and
not for the sake of futile play. Given this, it is inconceivable that the Sharī‘ah—the
Divine path laid down for the human beings to live their life in accordance with the
approval of their Creator—established for the one who is most advanced in
intelligence and intellect (i.e., human being) in the whole creation consists of mere
rulings devoid of any wisely set objectives. Thus, it becomes imperative to
undertake a purposive (objectives-based) reading of the Qur’ān, the primary source
of the sharī‘ah, so that the overriding objectives of its revelation are identified. This
will facilitate the realization of these objectives in human life on one hand, and on
the other, it will prevent the readers/adherents of the Qur’ān from resorting to
fragmented/atomist approach to the Qur’ānic text that violates its spirit and higher
objectives. The Qur’ānic verses highlighting the wisdom/objectives in different
Divine Acts are discussed below followed by the verses reflecting the objectives of
the Sharī‘ah. Finally, the objectives of the Qur’ān (Maqasid al-Qur’ān) are
discussed briefly.

Objectives of Human Creation (Maqāṣid Khalq al-Kawnwa al-Insān):


‫ور‬ُ ُ‫يز ۡٱلغَف‬ ُ ‫سنُ َع َم الۚ َوُ َُو ۡٱل َع ِز‬ َ ‫ٱلَّذِى َخلَقَ ۡٱل َم ۡوتَ َو ۡٱل َح َي ٰوةَ ِل َي ۡبلُ َو ُك ۡم أَيُّ ُك ۡم أ َ ۡح‬
He Who created death and life, that He may try which of you is best in deed. And
He is the exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving.ii
‫نس إِ ََّّل ِليَعۡ بُدُون‬ َ ‫ٱۡل‬ ِ ۡ ‫َو َما َخلَ ۡقتُ ۡٱل ِج َّن َو‬
iii
I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me.
َ ََِ‫اطلؕ ٰٰ ل‬
ِؕ َّ‫َ ُّن الَّذ ِۡينَ َكفَ ُُ ۡواۚ ََ َو ۡيٌ ِلللَّذ ِۡينَ َكفَ ُُ ۡوا ِمنَ الن‬
‫ار‬ ِ َ‫ض َو َما بَ ۡينَ ُه َما ب‬ َ ‫س َما ٓ َء َو ۡاَّلَ ۡر‬ َّ ‫َو َما َخلَ ۡقنَا ال‬
Not without purpose did We create heaven and earth and all between! That were the
thought of Unbelievers! But woe to the Unbelievers because of the Fire (of Hell)!iv
َ‫ض َو َما بَ ۡي َن ُه َما ٰل ِعبِ ۡين‬ َ ‫ت َو ۡاَّلَ ۡر‬ ِ ‫َو َما َخلَ ۡقنَا السَّمٰ ٰو‬
َ‫ق َو ٰل ِك َّن ا َ ۡكث َ َُُ ُۡم ََّل َيعۡ لَ ُم ۡون‬ ِ ‫َما َخلَ ۡق ٰن ُه َم ۤا ا ََِّّل ِب ۡال َح ل‬
We created not the heavens, the earth, and all between them merely in (idle) sport:
We created them not except for just ends: but most of them do not understand.v
‫ض َج ِم ۡيعا‬ ِ ‫ِى َخلَقَ لَـ ُك ۡم َّما َِى ۡاَّلَ ۡر‬ ۡ ‫ُ َُو الَّذ‬
It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; then He turned to
heaven and made them into seven firmaments; and of all things He hath perfect
knowledge.vi
‫اس َم ۡن‬
ِ َّ‫اطنَة ؕ َو ِمنَ الن‬ ِ َ‫َاُ َُِة َّوب‬َ ٗ‫ض َوا َ ۡسبَ َغ َعلَ ۡي ُك ۡم نِ َع َمه‬ ِ ‫ت َو َما َِى ۡاَّلَ ۡر‬ ِ ‫س َّخ َُ َل ُك ۡم َّما َِى السَّمٰ ٰو‬ ‫اَلَ ۡم ت ََُ ۡوا ا َ َّن ه‬
َ َ‫ّٰللا‬
ٍُ ‫ب ُّمنِ ۡي‬ ٰ ۡ
ٍ ‫ّٰللاِ بِغ َۡي ُِ ِعل ٍم َّو ََّل ُُدى َّو ََّل ِكت‬ ‫يُّ َجا ِد ُل َِى ه‬
Do ye not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on
earth, and has made His bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and
unseen? Yet there are among men those who dispute about Allah without
knowledge and without guidance, and without a Book to enlighten them!vii
All the above verses make it clear, explicitly or implicitly, that both the
creation of the universe as well as that of the human beings are purposeful and
based on wisdom. While the objective of human creation is to subject them to a test
and trial in this worldly life so that they prove themselves worthy of the eternal
blessings in the afterlife, the objective of the universe and everything therein is to

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remain in the service of humankind and help them realizing the creation plan of the
Creator.

Objectives of Sending Prophets (Maqāṣid ’Irsāl al-Rusul):


According to the Qur’ān, Almighty Allah has sent messengers and revealed
books on them throughout human history closing the chain of Prophets at Prophet
Muhammad (SAAW). The Qur’ān is replete with the account of how these prophets
conveyed the Divine message to their peoples, how they responded in turn, and
what the ultimate fate of both believers and disbelievers was. A considerable
portion of the Qur’ānic text is composed of only the stories of these Prophets. What
is significant to mention here is that the Qur’ān recurrently mentions the objectives
of this Divine scheme of sending guidance to humanity through the Prophets and
Divine Books.
ۡ ََ ‫س ۡو ٍل ا ََِّّل نُ ۡو ِح ۡۤى اِلَ ۡي ِه اَنَّهٗ َ َّۤل ا ِٰلهَ ا َّ َِّۤل اَنَا‬
‫اعبُد ُۡو ِن‬ ُ ‫س ۡلنَا ِم ۡن قَ ۡبلََِ ِم ۡن َّر‬ َ ‫َو َم ۤا ا َ ۡر‬
Not a messenger did We send before thee without this inspiration sent by Us to him:
that there is no god but I; therefore worship and serve Me. viii
‫ّٰللاُ َو ِم ۡن ُه ۡم َّم ۡن َحقَّ ۡت َعلَ ۡي ِه‬ ‫غ ۡوتَ ۚ ََ ِم ۡن ُه ۡم َّم ۡن َُدَى ه‬ ُ ‫طا‬ َّ ‫اجت َ ِنبُوا ال‬ ۡ ‫ّٰللاَ َو‬ ‫اعبُد ُوا ه‬ ۡ ‫س ۡوَّل ا َ ِن‬ ُ ‫َولَـقَ ۡد َب َع ۡثنَا َِ ۡى ُك ِلٌ ا ُ َّم ٍة َّر‬
‫ل‬ ۡ ُ
َ‫َ َكانَ َعاقِبَة ال ُم َك ِذبِ ۡين‬ ُ
َ ‫ض ََا ظنُ ُُ ۡوا ك َۡي‬ ِ ‫الض َّٰللَة ُؕ ََس ِۡي ُُ ۡوا َِ ۡى ۡاَّلَ ۡر‬
For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger, (with the Command)
"Serve Allah, and eschew Evil": of the people were some whom Allah guided, and
some on whom Error became inevitably (established). So travel through the earth,
and see what was the end of those who denied (the Truth).ix
‫ع ُِ ۡي ٍم‬
َ ‫اب يَ ۡو ٍم‬َ َ‫َاف َعلَ ۡي ُك ۡم َعذ‬ ُ ‫ّٰللاَ َما لَـ ُك ۡم ِ لم ۡن ا ِٰل ٍه غ َۡي ُُ ٗهؕ اِنلِ ۡۤى اَخ‬ ‫اعبُد ُوا ه‬ ۡ ‫س ۡلنَا نُ ۡوحا ا ِٰلى قَ ۡو ِم ٖه ََقَا َل ٰيقَ ۡو ِم‬ َ ‫لَقَ ۡد ا َ ۡر‬
We sent Noah to his people. He said: "O my people! worship Allah! ye have no
other god but Him. I fear for you the punishment of a dreadful Day! x
َ‫ّٰللاَ َما لَـ ُك ۡم ِ لم ۡن ا ِٰل ٍه غ َۡي ُُ ٗهؕ اَََ َل تَتَّقُ ۡون‬ ‫اعبُد ُوا ه‬ ۡ ‫َوا ِٰلى َعا ٍد اَخَاُ ُۡم ُ ُۡوداؕ قَا َل ٰيقَ ۡو ِم‬
To the Ad people, (We sent) Hud one of their (own) brethren: he said: "O my
people! worship Allah! ye have no other god but Him. Will yet not fear (Allah)?" xi
‫س ۡول اَ ِم ۡين ََاتَّقُ ۡوا ه‬
ۚ‫ّٰللاَ َو ا َ ِط ۡيعُ ۡو ِن‬ ُ ‫س ِل ۡينَ ا ِٰۡ قَا َل لَ ُه ۡم ا َ ُخ ۡوُ ُۡم نُ ۡوح ا َ ََّل تَتَّقُ ۡونَ ۚ اِنلِ ۡى لَـ ُك ۡم َر‬ َ ُۡ ‫ح ۨ ۡال ُم‬ ِ ‫َكذَّبَ ۡت قَ ۡو ُم نُ ۡو‬
The people of Noah rejected the messengers. Behold, their brother Noah said to
them: "Will ye not fear (Allah)? "I am to you an messenger worthy of all trust: "So
fear Allah, and obey me.xii
َ‫ش ُِِ ۡينَ َو ُم ۡنذ ِِر ۡين‬ ‫ّٰللاُ النَّ ِب ٖيلنَ ُمبَ ل‬
‫ث ه‬ َ َ‫احدَةََبَع‬ ِ ‫اس ا ُ َّمة َّو‬ُ َّ‫َكانَ الن‬
Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and
warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in
matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs
came to them did not differ among themselves, except through selfish contumacy.
Allah by His Grace guided the believers to the Truth concerning that wherein they
differed. For Allah guides whom He will to a path that is straight.xiii
‫ّٰللاُ َع ِز ۡيزا َح ِك ۡيما‬‫س ٌِؕ َو َكانَ ه‬ ُّ َ‫ّٰللاِ ُح َّجة ب بَعۡ د‬
ُ ُ‫ال‬ ‫اس َعلَى ه‬ ِ َّ‫ش ُِِ ۡينَ َو ُم ۡنذ ِِر ۡينَ ِلئ ََّل َي ُك ۡونَ ِللن‬ ‫سل ُّمبَ ل‬ ُ ‫ُر‬
Messengers who gave good news as well as warning, that mankind, after (the
coming) of the messengers should have no plea against Allah: for Allah is Exalted
in Power, Wise.xiv
َ‫ش ُِِ ۡينَ َو ُم ۡنذ ِِر ۡينَ ۚ ََ َم ۡن ٰا َمنَ َواَۡۡ لَ ََ ََ َل خ َۡوف َعلَ ۡي ِه ۡم َو ََّل ُ ُۡم يَ ۡحزَ نُ ۡون‬ َ ُۡ ‫َو َما نُ ُۡ ِس ٌُ ۡال ُم‬
‫س ِل ۡينَ ا ََِّّل ُمبَ ل‬

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We send the Messengers only to give good news and to warn: so those who believe
and mend (their lives),― upon them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.xv
The above verses highlight the various objectives and purposes of sending Prophets
for the propagation of the Divine message. These include, as is explicit from the
above verses textually, calling people towards the worship of Allah (‘ibādah), His
awful reverence and fear (taqwā), giving glad tidings (bashārah) to the believers,
and warning (indhār) the disbelievers. An exhaustive study of the Qur’ān reveals
that these objectives are universal as they are common to all prophets. However, in
case of Prophet Muhammad (SAAW), the Qur’ān makes a special mention of some
objectives of his messengerhood in an emphatic way. These are discussed below
under a separate heading.

Objectives of the Sending Muhammad (SAAW) as a Messenger


(Maqāṣid ’IrsālMuḥammad {SAAW}):
َ‫س ۡل ٰنََ ا ََِّّل َر ۡح َمة ِلل ۡـلعٰ لَ ِم ۡين‬
َ ‫َو َم ۤا ا َ ۡر‬
xvi
We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures.
‫ب َو ۡال ِح ۡك َمةَ َوا ِۡن‬ َ ‫س ۡوَّل ِ لم ۡن ا َ ۡنفُ ِس ِه ۡم َي ۡتلُ ۡوا َعلَ ۡي ِه ۡم ٰا ٰي ِت ٖه َويُزَ ِ لك ۡي ِه ۡم َو ُي َع ِلل ُم ُه ُم ۡال ِك ٰت‬ َ ‫ّٰللاُ َعلَى ۡال ُم ۡؤ ِم ِن ۡينَ ا ِٰۡ َب َع‬
ُ ‫ث َِ ۡي ِه ۡم َر‬ ‫لَقَ ۡد َم َّن ه‬
ٰ
‫ضل ٌٍ ُّمبِ ۡي ٍن‬ َ ‫كَانُ ۡوا ِم ۡن قَ ۡب ٌُ ل ِف ۡى‬
َ
Allah did confer a great favour on the Believers when He sent among them a
Messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah,
sanctifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that,
they had been in manifest error.xvii
‫ّٰللاَ ََّل‬
‫اسؕ ا َِّن ه‬ ِ َّ‫ِ ُمََ ِمنَ الن‬ ‫س ۡو ُل بَ ِلل ۡغ َم ۤا ا ُ ۡن ِز َل اِلَ ۡيََ ِم ۡن َّر ِبلََ ؕ َوا ِۡن لَّ ۡم ت َۡف َع ٌۡ ََ َما بَلَّ ۡغتَ ِرسٰ لَـتَ ٗهؕ َو ه‬
ِ ۡ‫ّٰللاُ يَع‬ َّ ‫ٰۤيـاَيُّ َها‬
ُ ُ‫ال‬
َ‫يَهۡ دِى ۡالقَ ۡو َم ۡال ٰـك ِف ُِ ۡين‬
O Messenger! proclaim the (Message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord.
If thou didst not thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His Mission: and
Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those
who reject Faith.xviii
َ‫ـق ِلي ُُۡ ِه َُ ٗه َعلَى الدل ِۡي ِن ُك ِلل ٖه َولَ ۡو ك َُِهَ ۡال ُم ۡش ُِ ُك ۡون‬ ِ ‫س ۡولَهٗ بِ ۡال ُه ٰدى َود ِۡي ِن ۡال َح ل‬ ُ ‫س ٌَ َر‬ َ ‫ِى ا َ ۡر‬ ۤۡ ‫ُ َُو الَّذ‬
It is He who hath sent His Messenger with Guidance and Religion of Truth to
proclaim it over all religion, even though the pagans may detest (it).xix
ٌَ ‫ض ُُ َع ۡن ُه ۡم اِۡۡ َُُ ُۡم َو ۡاَّلَ ۡغ ٰل‬ َ َ‫ث َوي‬ َ ‫ت َويُ َح ِ لُ ُم َعلَ ۡي ِه ُم ۡالخ َٰۤب ِٕٮ‬ َّ ‫ف َويَ ۡنهٰ ٮ ُه ۡم َع ِن ۡال ُم ۡنك َُِ َوي ُِح ٌُّ لَ ُه ُم ال‬
ِ ‫ط ِيل ٰب‬ ِ ‫يَ ۡا ُم ُُُ ُۡم ِب ۡال َمعۡ ُُ ۡو‬
ۤ
َ‫ولٮََِٕ ُُ ُم ۡال ُم ۡف ِل ُح ۡون‬ ٰ ُ ‫ِى ا ُ ۡن ِز َل َمعَهٗ ۤ ا‬ ۤۡ ‫ِ ُُ ۡوهُ َو اتَّبَـعُوا النُّ ۡو َر الَّذ‬ َ َ‫الَّتِ ۡى كَان َۡت َعلَ ۡي ِه ۡمؕ ََالَّذ ِۡينَ ٰا َمنُ ۡوا بِ ٖه َو َع َّز ُر ۡوهُ َون‬
… for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil: he allows them
as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and
impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are
upon them. So it is those who believe in him honour, him, help him, and follow the
Light which is sent down with him― it is they who will prosper."xx
‫س ِلل ُم ۡوا ت َۡس ِل ۡيما‬ َ ُ‫ض ۡيتَ َوي‬ َ َ‫ش َج َُ َب ۡينَ ُه ۡم ث ُ َّم ََّل َي ِجد ُۡوا َِ ۡۤى ا َ ۡنفُ ِس ِه ۡم َح َُجا ِ لم َّما ق‬ َ ‫ََ َل َو َر ِبلََ ََّل ي ُۡؤ ِمنُ ۡونَ َحتهى يُ َح ِ لك ُم ۡوكَ َِ ۡي َما‬
But no, by thy Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all
disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against thy decisions,
but accept them with the fullest conviction. xxi
It can be easily discerned from the above verses that Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)
was sent as a messenger to fulfill the objectives of showering mercy on the
creatures especially humankind, propagating the Divine message, reciting the verses
of the Holy Qur’ān, purifying his followers of the filth of disbelief and misdeeds,

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teaching the Book (Qur’ān) and wisdom (ḥikmah) establishing the truth of Islam
against all forms of falsehood, commanding good, forbidding evil, settling the
disputes and relieving humanity from the burden and chains of false customs,
beliefs, practices that had troubled it for a long time. It is noteworthy that the
objective of (teaching) wisdom (Q, 03: 164) is intricately linked to the maqāṣidīfiqh
so much so that maqāṣid are sometimes defined in terms of ḥikmah. Likewise, the
objective of relieving humanity from the shackles and burdens (of false customs,
beliefs, practices) as mentioned in Q, 07: 157, is glaringly reflective and reminding
of the very definition of maṣlaḥa (a key term in maqāṣidifiqh) as “jalb al-
manfa‘ahwadaf‘u al-madarrah (attainment of benefit and removal of harm).”xxii

Objectives of the Revelation of the Qur’ān(MaqāṣidInzāl al-Qur’ān):

ِ َ‫ت ِ لمنَ ۡال ُه ٰدى َو ۡالفُ ُۡق‬


‫ان‬ ٍ ‫اس َو بَ ِيل ٰن‬ ِ َّ‫ِى ا ُ ۡن ِز َل َِ ۡي ِه ۡالقُ ُۡ ٰانُ ُُدى ِلللن‬ ٓ ۡ ‫ضانَ الَّذ‬ َ ‫شَهۡ ُُ َر َم‬
Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’ān as a guide to mankind
also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).xxiii
َ‫ِ ۡل ٰنهُ َع ٰلى ِع ۡل ٍم ُُدى َّو َر ۡح َمة ِللـقَ ۡو ٍم ي ُّۡؤ ِمنُ ۡون‬ َّ ََ ‫ب‬ ٍ ‫َولَقَ ۡد ِج ۡئ ٰن ُه ۡم ِب ِك ٰت‬
For We had certainly sent unto them a Book, based on knowledge, which We
explained in detail― a guide and a mercy to all who believe.xxiv
َ‫ُة ِلل ۡل ُمت َّ ِق ۡين‬
َ ‫اس َوُُدى َّو َم ۡو ِع‬ ِ َّ‫ُٰذَا بَيَان ِلللن‬
Here is a plain statement to men, a guidance and instruction to those who fear
Allah! xxv
َ‫ِد ُۡو ِر َوُُدى َّو َر ۡح َمة ِلل ۡـل ُم ۡؤ ِمنِ ۡين‬ ُّ ‫ُة ِ لم ۡن َّر ِبل ُك ۡم َو ِشفَا ٓء ِلل َما َِى ال‬ َ ‫اس قَ ۡد َجا ٓ َء ۡت ُك ۡم َّم ۡو ِع‬ُ َّ‫ٰۤياَيُّ َها الن‬
O mankind! There hath come to you an admonition from your Lord and a healing
for the (diseases) in your hearts and for those who believe, a Guidance and a
Mercy. xxvi
‫َِ ۡيما‬ ِ ‫ّٰللاُؕ َو ََّل تَ ُك ۡن ِلل ۡـل َخا ٓ ِٕٮنِ ۡينَ خ‬
‫اس بِ َم ۤا ا َ ٰرٮََ ه‬ ِ َّ‫ـق ِلت َۡح ُك َم بَ ۡينَ الن‬ ِ ‫ب بِ ۡال َح ل‬ َ ‫اِنَّ ۤا ا َ ۡنزَ ۡلن َۤا اِلَ ۡيََ ۡال ِك ٰت‬
We have sent down to thee the Book in truth, that thou mightest judge between
men, as guided by Allah: so be not (used) as an advocate by those who betray their
trust.xxvii
ِ ‫ِك ٰتب ا َ ۡنزَ ۡل ٰنهُ اِلَ ۡيََ ُم ٰب َُك ِلليَدَّب َُُّ ۡۤوا ٰا ٰي ِت ٖه َو ِليَتَذَ َّك َُ اُولُوا ۡاَّلَ ۡلبَا‬
‫ب‬
(Here is) a Book which We have sent down unto thee, full of blessings, that they
may meditate on its Signs, and that men of understanding may receive
admonition.xxviii
The objectives of the revelation of the Holy Qur’ān become all the more
clear from the above verses. These include guidance, differentiating criterion
(between truth and falsehood), Divine admonition and address to human beings,
arbitrator and judge in mutual disputes, and a source of reflection and
contemplation. The Muslim scholars have pondered over the content of the Qur’ān
to identify its grand objectives. Al-Tabari, one of the earliest Qur’ān commentators,
is of the view that the Qur’ān comprises three things: Tawḥīd (monotheism), akhbar
(stories of early nations or information on important events of human history) and
diyanat (legislation).xxixFor Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, the ultimate objective of the
Qur’ān is calling people unto Allah. On the basis of this objective, the verses and
chapters of the Qur’ān can be classified into six categories including three
fundamental principles and three complementing accessory principles. The former

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includes introducing the One towards Whom people are called, description of the
right path and the ultimate destiny (of humanity). The latter includes the description
of the fate of those who respond positively to the Divine call with the aim of
encouraging them, description of the fate of the disbelievers with the aim of
warning them and description of the means and capabilities for traversing the right
path.xxx It is quite obvious that the objectives of the Qur’ān as identified by the
eminent Muslim scholars are but the major themes of the Qur’ān. That is why the
debates and discussions revolving around these objectives have led to the evolution
of a separate full-fledged sub-field of Qur’ānic Studies termed as ‘thematic exegesis
of the Qur’ān’ or al-tafsir al-mawdu‘i or al-tafsir al-maqasidi. It is worth pondering
that the significance of purposefulness in Islamic perspective is such that a separate
genre of Qur’ānic commentary and Qur’ānic studies has come into existence only
for the sake of the understanding and explaining the objectives of the Qur’ān. It is
beyond the scope of the present paper to go into the details of maqasid al-Qur’ān or
al-tafsir al-mawdu‘i. However, to cut a long story short, it will be beneficial to
discuss the objectives of the Qur’ān as mentioned by Tahir ibn Ashur in the
introduction to his voluminous commentary of the Qur’ān, al-Tahrirwa al-Tanvir.

After undertaking an exhaustive survey of the Qur’ānic content for about


forty years, Ibn Ashur arrived at the eight objectives of the Qur’ān. These include
guidance towards right creed (iṣlāh al-i‘tiqād), refining of morals (tahdhīb al-
akhlāq), legislation (tashrī‘), governing of ummah (siyāsah al-ummah), educating
the addressees as per their requirements (al-ta‘līm bi māyunāsibhāl al-mukhāṭabīn),
admonitions and warnings (al-mawā‘iẓwa al-tahdhīr) and establishing the
miraculousness of the Qur’ān.xxxiThese objectives of the Qur’ān are briefly
discussed below:

Iṣlāh al-I‘tiqād: Even a cursory look at the Qur’ān reveals that guiding people
towards the unity and unicity of Allah (SWT) is the most fundamental objective of
its revelation. Tawḥīd is the foundation of all principles and the purpose of all
purposes. It is the necessary condition for the acceptance of the righteous deeds. For
Ibn Ashur, it is the most important objective of the Qur’ān and the essence of the
Islamic faith. It is the strong rope (connecting humanity to the Transcendent) that is
never meant to be severed as is testified by the verse: Whoever submits his whole
self to Allah, and is a doer of good, has grasped indeed the trustworthy hand-hold:
and with Allah rests the End and Decision of (all) affairs. xxxii According to Ibn
Ashur, the Qur’ān seeks to discuss and explain the Islamic faith, especially Tawḥīd,
in different phraseologies and employing varied styles. No chapter of the Qur’ān,
rather no single page, misses the mention of the unity of Allah (SWT). Allah
created this universe to manifest His glorious attributes: existence, knowledge,
power; and enabled human beings to acquire from these attributes in proportion to
their inherent capacities. Besides, Allah bestowed human mind and soul with an
insatiable urge towards gradual perfection so that human beings ever-increasingly
benefit from the grace of the Divine attributes.xxxiii Ibn Ashur discusses at length the
Qur’ānic discourse on Tawḥīd and its antithesis, polytheism (shirk), so much so that
the realization of Tawḥīd can be genuinely and inarguably regarded as the

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overarching objective of the Qur’ān. Besides, he has not failed to mentioned belief
in prophethood and hereafter while discussing the teaching of right creed as the
objective of the Qur’ān. Regarding the first five verses of Chapter 96, the first
revelation on Prophet Muhammad (SAAW), Ibn Ashur says: These five verses
encompass the principal Divine attributes. The attribute of al-Rabb is reflective of
God’s existence and unity, khalq and ‘ilm are the attributes of Divine action (sifat
al-af’al) and the word al-akram is indicative of God’s transcendent perfection.xxxiv

Tahdhīb al-Akhlāq: The attainment and realization of lofty morals has been much
lauded in Islam. In the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (SAAW), one who is best
in morality has been regarded as the best in the sight of Allah.xxxv Likewise, the
Prophet is reported to have said, “I have been sent to perfect the lofty moral
virtues.”xxxvi Drawing on some important verses of the Qur’ān as well as some
aḥādīth, Ibn Ashur discusses the refinement of morality as an objective of the
Qur’ān. For him, one of the biggest concerns of the Qur’ān is the ultimate
amelioration of ummah and righting the conduct of believers by strengthening their
morals, keeping them steadfast and guiding them towards salvation.xxxvii

Legislation of Universal and Particular Rulings: Drawing on some significant


Qur’ānic verses, Ibn Ashur opines that the Qur’ān is inclusive of the universal
rulings as well as important particular ones. He interprets the Qur’ānic phrases of
“tibyānan li kullishay’in” and “al-yaumaakmaltulakumdīnakum” as the completion
of the universals which serve as the foundation for analogical reasoning to arrive at
the particular rulings. Likewise, he sees the objective of the prohibition of interest
as the fellow-feeling and kindness on the part of the rich for the poor in times of
need.xxxviii

Governing the Ummah: A considerable portion of the Qur’ānic content grapples


with the various aspects of the socio-politico-economic life of the Muslim society.
Based on such Quranic verses like Q. 03:103, Q. 04: 59 and Q. 42: 38, Ibn Ashur
discusses the importance of mutual consultation, obedience to the rulers and those
in charge of the affairs and paying heed to the call of Allah and His Prophet for the
health and well-being of a Muslim society.xxxixThese verses testify in the most
unambiguous terms that siyāsah al-ummah is one of the important objectives of the
revelation of the Qur’ān.

Qur’ānic Stories: The Qur’ān bears a good number of stories of the earlier nations
and important events in the Divine scheme of creation. The creation of Adam is an
important case in this regard. The purpose of these Qur’ānic stories is to serve as
the historical testimony to the truth Qur’ān stands for. Besides they serve the
purposes of admonition, glad tidings to believers and warning to the disbelievers.
That is why these stories are not mentioned in a sequential way but are apparently
scattered throughout the Qur’ān. However, whatever story or its part is mentioned
at any place in the Qur’ān, it is thematically related to the objective of that chapter
or the immediate discussion.xl

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Ibn Ashur has discussed the other objectives of the Qur’ān, too, properly
substantiated by the related Qur’ānic verses and convincing argumentation. He
holds the purposive approach to the Qur’ānic interpretation in such a high esteem
that he makes it mandatory for a Qur’ānic exegete to be cognizant of the objectives
of the Qur’ān.xli

Objectives of the Practical Commandments/Rulings:


The above discussed verses of the Qur’ān are sufficient enough as an
inspiration and authentication of the purposive reading of the Qur’an including fiqh,
the practical commandments and prohibitions. However, there are also certain
verses that bring to fore the objectives of the practical commandments (al-aḥkām
al-‘amalī) like regular prayers, fasting, pilgrimage, etc. These are more emphatic
Qur’ānic proofs of the maqāṣidīfiqh as fiqh is essentially the science of such
practical commandments laid down by the Sharī‘ah . Some representative verses in
this regard are:
‫ِ ٰلوة َ ِلذ ِۡك ُِ ۡى‬ َّ ‫َواَقِ ِم ال‬
xlii
… and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise.
َ‫ب َعلَى الَّذ ِۡينَ ِم ۡن قَ ۡب ِل ُک ۡم لَعَلَّ ُك ۡم تَت َّقُ ۡون‬ َ ‫ِيَا ُم َک َما ُك ِت‬ ‫ب َعلَ ۡي ُک ُم ال ِ ل‬ َ ‫ٰ ٓيـاَيُّ َها الَّذ ِۡينَ ٰا َمنُ ۡوا ُك ِت‬
O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before
you that ye may (learn) self-restraint.xliii
ٍ ‫ام ٍُ ي َّۡا ِت ۡينَ ِم ۡن ُك ِلٌ ََ لجٍ َع ِم ۡي‬
‫ق‬ ِ ‫ض‬ َ ٌ‫اس ِب ۡال َح لجِ َي ۡات ُ ۡوكَ ِر َجاَّل َّو َع ٰلى ُك ِل‬ ِ َّ‫َواَٰل ِۡن َِى الن‬
ۡ ۡ ُ ۡ ۡ ‫ب‬ ۡ
‫ت َعلى َما َرزَ قَ ُه ۡم ِ لمن بَ ِه ۡي َم ِة اَّلَنعَ ِام ۚ ََ ُكل ۡوا ِمن َها َواَط ِع ُموا‬ ٰ ُ ۤ
ٍ ٰ‫ّٰللاِ َِ ۡى ا َ ي ٍَّام َّمعۡ ل ۡوم‬ ‫اس َم ه‬ ۡ
ۡ ‫ِلليَ ۡش َهد ُۡوا َمنَاَِ َُ ل ُه ۡم َويَذ ُك ُُوا‬
َ
َ ‫س ۡالفَ ِق ۡي‬
ُ‫ـ‬ َ ‫ۡال َبا ٓ ِٕٮ‬
"And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and
(mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and
distant mountain highways; "That they may witness the benefits (provided) for
them, and celebrate the name of Allah, through the Days appointed over the cattle
which He has provided for them (for sacrifice): then eat ye thereof and feed the
distressed ones in want.xliv
As is manifested by the above verses, the most fundamental practical
commandments of Islam which are designated as its pillars (arkān) are not devoid
of purposes. The Qur’ān highlights their purposes in the most unambiguous terms.
These purposes include remembrance of Allah, attainment of piety and
God-conciousness along with a number of benefits (manāfi‘), both material and
spiritual, for the human beings. The Qur’ān not only mentions the purposes of these
specific ritual practices but also draws our attention to the general purposes in
unconditional terms.
َ‫ِى َخلَقَ ُك ۡم َوالَّذ ِۡينَ ِم ۡن قَ ۡب ِل ُك ۡم لَعَلَّ ُك ۡم تَتَّقُ ۡون‬ ۡ ‫اعبُد ُۡوا َربَّ ُك ُم الَّذ‬ ۡ ‫اس‬ ُ َّ‫ٰۤياَيُّ َها الن‬
O ye people! adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came
before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness.xlv
xlvi
ٍ‫ّٰللاُ ِل َي ۡج َع ٌَ َعلَ ۡي ُك ۡم ِ لم ۡن َح َُج‬ ‫َما ي ُُِ ۡيد ُ ه‬
Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty ….
َُ ‫ّٰللاُ ِب ُک ُم ۡالي ُۡس َُ َو ََّل ي ُُِ ۡيد ُ ِب ُک ُم ۡالعُ ۡس‬‫ي ُُِ ۡيد ُ ه‬
Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties….xlvii
xlviii
ٍؕ‫َو َما َج َع ٌَ َعلَ ۡي ُك ۡم َِى الدل ِۡي ِن ِم ۡن َح َُج‬
… and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion.

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While the first verse mentioned above establishes the attainment of taqwā as the
objective of the all forms of worship, the rest three verses declare in general terms
that facilitation (taysīr), prevention and elimination of harm (raf‘ al-ḥarj) are the
objectives of Islamic Sharī‘ah . The maqāṣidīfiqh is but grounded on and revolves
around these Qur’ānic themes that relate the Divine commandments as well as
prohibitions with their objectives impregnated with profound wisdom.

Discouraging Aimlessness: The Qur’ān not only emphasizes purposefulness and


highlights its own objectives, as discussed above, but also discourages aimlessness.
It asks its readers, in general, and its adherents, in particular, to remain conscious of
what they do, refrain from living a purposeless life by just satisfying their material
needs and carnal pleasures, and be sagacious enough not to waste their
achievements. Some of the illustrative verses in this regard are mentioned below:
َ‫سولَهُ ۥ َو ََّل ت ََولَّ ۡواظ َع ۡنهُ َوأَنت ُ ۡم ت َۡس َمعُون‬ ُ ‫ٱَّللَ َو َر‬َّ ‫يَ ٰـٓأَيُّ َہا ٱلَّذِينَ َءا َمنُ ٓواظ أ َ ِطيعُواظ‬
َ‫س ِمعۡ نَا َوُ ُۡم ََّل يَ ۡس َمعُون‬ َ ‫َو ََّل ت َ ُكونُواظ كَٱلَّذِينَ قَالُواظ‬
ُ َّ ۡ
َ‫ِ ُّم ٱلبُك ُم ٱلذِينَ ََّل يَعۡ ِقلون‬ ۡ ُّ ‫ٱَّللِ ٱل‬ َّ َ‫إِ َّن ش ََُّ ٱلد ََّوآبل ِ ِعند‬
َ‫يہ ۡم خ َۡي اُا ََّّل َ ۡس َم َع ُه ۡمۖ َولَ ۡو أَ ۡس َم َع ُه ۡم لَت ََولَّواظ َّوُُم ُّمعۡ ُِضُون‬ َّ ‫َولَ ۡو َع ِل َم‬
ِ َِ ُ‫ٱَّلل‬
O ye who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him
when ye hear (him speak) Nor be like those who say "we hear", but listen not: For
the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb― those who
understand not. If Allah had found in them any good, He would indeed have made
them listen; (as it is) if He had made them listen, they would but have turned back
and declined (faith).xlix
َ‫ف يَعۡ لَ ُمون‬ َ ‫س ۡو‬ َ ََ ٌُۖ ‫ڪلُواظ َويَت َ َمتَّعُواظ َوي ُۡل ِه ِه ُم ۡٱَّل َ َم‬ ُ ‫َٰ ۡرُ ُۡم يَ ۡأ‬
Leave them alone, to enjoy (the good things of this life) and to please themselves:
let (false) hope amuse them: soon will knowledge (undeceive them).l
‫ب‬ ‫و ََّل ت َ ُكونُواظ كَٱلَّتى َنقَض ۡت غ َۡزلَها م بن بعۡ د قُوة أَن ا‬
ۚ‫ِى أ َ ۡربَ ٰى ِم ۡن أ ُ َّم ٍة‬ ُ
َ ُ ‫ڪ ٰـثا تَت َّ ِخذُونَ أ َ ۡي َم ٰـ َن ُك ۡم دَ َخلَ بَ ۡينَ ُك ۡم أَن ت َ ُكونَ أ َّمة‬ َ ٍ َّ ِ َ ِ َ َ ِ َ
َ‫ٱَّللُ ِبِۦهۚ َولَيُ َب ِيلن ََّن لَ ُك ۡم َي ۡو َم ۡٱل ِق َي ٰـ َم ِة َما ُكنت ُ ۡم َِي ِه ت َۡختَ ِلفُون‬
َّ ‫ڪ ُم‬ ُ ‫ِإنَّ َما َي ۡبلُو‬
And be not like a woman who breaks into untwisted strands the yarn she has spun,
after it has become strong. Nor take your oaths to practise deception between
yourselves, lest one party should be more numerous than another: for Allah will test
you by this; and on the Day of Judgment He will certainly make clear to you (the
truth of) that wherein ye disagree.li
ِ‫ى ي ُُِيد ُونَ َو ۡج َههُ ۖۥ َو ََّل تَعۡ د ُ َع ۡينَاكَ َع ۡن ُہ ۡم ت ُ ُِيد ُ ِزينَةَ ۡٱل َحيَ ٰوة‬ ‫سََ َم َُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَ ۡدعُونَ َربَّ ُہم ِب ۡٱلغَدَ ٰوةِ َو ۡٱل َع ِش ِ ل‬ َ ‫َوٱۡۡ ِب ُۡ ن َۡف‬
‫ُ ا‬
‫ٱلد ُّۡنيَاۖ َو ََّل ت ُ ِط ُۡ َم ۡن أَ ۡغفَ ۡلنَا قَ ۡلبَه ُۥ َعن ٰ ِۡك ُِنَا َوٱتَّبَ َُ ُ ََو ٰٮهُ َو َكانَ أَمۡ ُُهُ ۥ َ ُُطا‬
And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening,
seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them seeking the pomp and
glitter of this Life; nor obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the
remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond
all bounds.lii
َ‫ش َع َُآ ُء يَت َّ ِبعُ ُه ُم ۡٱلغ َُاو ۥن‬ ُّ ‫َوٱل‬
‫ا‬
َ‫ڪ لٌِ َوا ٍد يَ ِهي ُمون‬ ُ ‫أَلَ ۡم ت ََُ أن ُه ۡم َِى‬
َّ َ
ۡ
َ‫َوأَنَّ ُہ ۡم يَقُولُونَ َما ََّل يَف َعلُون‬
And the Poets― it is those straying in Evil, who follow them: Seest thou not that
they wander distracted in every valley?― And that they say what they practise
not?liii

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َ‫يَ ٰـٓأَيُّ َہا ٱ َّلذِينَ َءا َمنُواظ ِل َم تَقُولُونَ َما ََّل ت َۡف َعلُون‬
َّ َ‫ڪب َُُ َم ۡقتا ِعند‬
َ‫ٱَّللِ أَن تَقُولُواظ َما ََّل ت َۡفعَلُون‬ َ
O ye who believe! why say ye that which ye do not? Grievously odious is it in the
sight of Allah that ye say that which ye do not.liv
The above verses make it clear that the Qur’ān discourages and warns
against aimless attitude and actions. It calls for attentive listening in a gathering and
ridicules absent-minded physical presence. Again, it disregards such false claims
that are not supported by actions as they serve no purpose either for the individual
or for the community. Likewise, it does not approve of such vain poetry that is but
an aimless wandering here and there and contradictory to the poets’ real life actions.

CONCLUSION
It can be justifiably concluded from the above discussion that Islam lays an
unequivocal emphasis on purposiveness in almost everything. It draws our attention
to the objectives, purposes, and wisdom in the creation of the universe, human life,
Divine scheme of sending Prophets, etc. frequently and recurrently. The Qur’ān
does not impose its teachings on its adherents but highlights their objectives that
strengthen one’s conviction in it. Besides, the Quran does not miss to mention its
own objectives The Qur’ānic verses discussed above are a convincing proof of the
fact that the maqāṣidī approach to interpret the Qur’ān and develop Islamic
jurisprudence is not a modernist innovation but rooted in Qur’ānic inspiration and
authentication.

References and Notes

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

i
The references to the Qur’anic verses (āyāt) are given as Q followed by the numeric
figures separated by the colon mark. The numeric figure before the colon mark
represents the Chapter (sūrah) number and the one after it represents the verse (āyah)
number.
ii
Q. 67:02, Abdullah Yusuf Ali (tr.), The Glorious Qur’an, 2nd Edition (USA: American
Trust Publications, 1977), p.1576. The English rendering of all the verses mentioned in
this paper is from the same translation.
iii
Q. 51: 56.
iv
Q. 38: 27.
v
Q. 44: 38-39.
vi
Q. 02: 29.
vii
Q. 31: 20.
viii
Q. 21: 25.
ix
Q. 16: 36.
x
Q. 07: 59.
xi
Q. 07: 65.
xii
Q. 26: 105-108.
xiii
Q. 02: 213.
xiv
Q. 04: 165.
xv
Q. 06: 48.
xvi
Q. 21: 107.
xvii
Q. 03: 164.
xviii
Q. 05: 67.
xix
Q. 61:09; 09:33.
xx
Q. 07: 157.
xxi
Q. 04: 65.
xxii
Abū-Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī, Al-Mustaṣfā Min ‘Ilm al-‘Uṣūl (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-
Islāmiyyah, 1998), vol.1., p. 174.
xxiii
Q. 02: 185.
xxiv
Q. 07: 52.
xxv
Q. 03: 138.
xxvi
Q. 10: 57.
xxvii
Q. 04: 105.
xxviii
Q. 38: 29.
xxix
Al-Tabari quoted in Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Al-Itqānfī‘Ulūm al-Qur’ān (Beirut: Dar al-
Kitab al-Arabi, n.d.), vol.2, p.266.
xxx
Al-Ghazali, Jawāhir al-Qur’ān, p.4. [Online Version]
xxxi
Tahir ibn Ashur, Al-Tahrīrwa al-Tanvīr (Tunisia: Al-Dar al-Tunisiyya, 1984), vol.1, pp.
39-41.
xxxii
Q. 31: 22.
xxxiii
Ibn Ashur, Al-Tahrīrwa al-Tanvīr, vol.1, p.182.
xxxiv
Ibn Ashur, Al-Tahrīrwa al-Tanvīr, vol.30, p.440.
xxxv
MuḥammadibnIsmā‘ῑl al-Bukhārῑ, al-Ṣaḥῑḥ(Kitāb al-Adab), ed. Muṣṭafa al-Bughā, 5th
ed. (Beirut: DāribnKathῑr, 1993), vol. 5, p. 2243 (Hadith No. 5682).
xxxvi
Zurqani, Sharh al-ZurqanialaMuwatta Imam Malik (Commentary on Malik’s
Muwatta), ed. Muhammad ibnAbd al-Rahman al-Mara‘shali (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-
Turath al-Arabi, 1997), vol.4, p. 344(Hadith No. 1742).
xxxvii
Ibn Ashur, Al-Tahrīrwa al-Tanvīr, vol.1, p.81.
xxxviii
Ibn Ashur, Al-Tahrīrwa al-Tanvīr, vol.3, p.86-87
xxxix
Ibn Ashur, Al-Tahrīrwa al-Tanvīr, vol.5, p.98

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

xl
Ibn Ashur, Al-Tahrīrwa al-Tanvīr, vol.1, p.64.
xli
Ibn Ashur, Al-Tahrīrwa al-Tanvīr, vol.1, pp.39-41.
xlii
Q. 20: 14.
xliii
Q. 02: 183.
xliv
Q. 22: 27-28
xlv
Q. 02: 21.
xlvi
Q. 05: 06.
xlvii
Q. 02: 185.
xlviii
Q. 22: 78.
xlix
Q. 08: 20-23.
l
Q. 15: 3.
li
Q. 16: 92.
lii
Q. 18: 28.
liii
Q. 26: 224-226
liv
Q. 61: 2-3.

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

Shura-Democracy Nexus in the Selected Urdu Tafaseer of the


Sub-Continent: A Comparative Study
Dr. Tauseef Ahmad Parray1
Asst. Prof., Islamic Studies

ABSTRACT:

T he concept of Shura (mutual consultation)—an explicit injunction occurring


three times in the Qur’an (as in Q. 2: 233, 3: 159, and 42: 38)—is one of the
basic principles having important implications for social and political theory.
In the tafsir literature, there are diverse views regarding the context, nature,
importance and significance of Shura, as a concept and as an institution. In the
modern period, Shura is considered as a crucial concept in contemporary Islamic
political thought and is seen as a key concept for Islamic governance. It is
interpreted, by the Muslim exegetes as well as other scholars, in the light of new
socio-politico-cultural contexts, and is seen to have close connections and similarity
with democracy (its ideas, values, and institutions) and participatory systems of
governance. In a nutshell, Shura is interpreted as a key operational element in the
relationship between Islam and democracy, or as the source and basis of ‘Islamic
democracy’.

This paper, in this backdrop, attempts to explore the theme of


Shura-Democracy Nexus in some Selected Urdu Tafaseer of the Sub-Continent, by
offering a comparative study, of the relevant verses, viz. Q. 3: 159, and Q. 42: 38.
The five (5) Urdu Tafaseer selected in this study are: Tarjuman al-Qur’an of
Mawlana Abul Kalam Azad (d.1958), Ma’ariful Qur’an of Mufti Muhammad Shafi
(d.1976), Tafsir-i-Qur’an/ Tafsir-i-Majidi of Abdul Majid Daryabadi (d.1977),
Tafhim al-Qur’an of Mawlana Syed Abu Ala Mawdudi (d.1979), and Tadabbur
al-Qur’an of Amin Ahsan Islahi (d.1997). The objective is to explore how these
modern exegetes examine and interpret the concept of Shura, and thus contribute to
the theme of Shura-Democracy nexus.

Key Words: Noble Qur’an; Shura; Democracy; Urdu Tafaseer; Indo-Pak


Mufassirun; Ideological Influence; Contextualist Approach.

1
Islamic Studies, Govt. Degree College, Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

Introduction: Setting the Contexti


The concept of Shura—generally translated as mutual consultation or the
decision-making process of the Muslim community—is an explicit injunction which
occurs three (3) times in the Qur’an: as Tashawur in Q. 2: 233, as Shawirhum in Q.
3: 159, and as Shura in Q. 42:38. It is one of the basic principles having important
implications for social and political theory. In the tafsir literature, there are diverse
views regarding the context, nature, and importance/ significance of Shura, as a
concept and as an institution. In the modern period, Shura is considered as a crucial
concept in contemporary Islamic political thought and is seen as a key concept for
Islamic governance. It is interpreted, by the Muslim exegetes as well as other
scholars, in the light of new socio-politico-cultural contexts, and is seen to have
close connections and similarity with democracy and the ideas, values, and
institutions of democracy and participatory systems of governance. In a nutshell,
Shura is interpreted as a key operational element in the relationship between Islam
and democracy, or as the source and basis of ‘Islamic democracy’.

In this backdrop, the theme of this paper is to reveal—through a


comparative analysis/ examination—the diverse translations/ approaches and
interpretations of the Qur’anic concept of Shura (with a focus on Q. 3: 159 and
42: 38—by the five (5) prominent Mufassirun of 20th century Sub-Continent.
These exegetes are: Mawlana Abul Kalam Azad (d.1958)ii, Mufti Muhammad Shafi
(d.1976)iii, Mawlana Syed Abu Ala Mawdudi (d.1979),iv
Mawlana Abdul Majid Daryabadi (d.1977),v and Amin Ahsan Islahi (d.1997).vi The
names of their tafaseer are, respectively, as: Tarjuman al-Qur’an, Ma’ariful
Qur’an, Tafhim al-Qur’an, Tafsir-i-Qur’an/ Tafsir-i-Majidi, and Tadabbur al-
Qur’an. It is pertinent to mention here that all these tafaseer, originally written in
Urdu, have been translated into English as well; also it is noteworthy that among
these exegetes, Daryabadi has two tafaseer to his credit—both in Urdu and English;
and a summary (talkhees) of his Tafsir, in a single volume, was published by the
Islamic Foundation, UK, in 2001.vii

The major aim and objective here is to reveal how Shura (with particular
reference to Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38)—a crucial concept in contemporary Islamic
political thought—is interpreted, by these selected exegetes of the Sub-Continent in
the light of new socio-politico-cultural contexts, and how their (varied)
interpretations show its similarity (and differences) with democracy, institutions of
democracy, and participatory systems of governance. It is true that Shura
(with particular reference to Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38) is equated, compared and
connected, in the present times, with democracy. In the modern period, this
Qur’anic concept has been (re) interpreted and compared with the concept of
(Western) democracy, both by exegetes and by general scholars as well; and thus is
regarded as a key operational element in the relationship between Islam and
democracy, or as the source and basis of ‘Islamic democracy’. To achieve the major
objective, this paper is divided into the following main sections: in section first, it
throws light on ‘Shura: Text, Context, and Connotation’. This is followed by a

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

section on the ‘Varied Translations and Interpretations of Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38 in


the Selected Urdu Tafaseer’. This section prepares ground for ‘Exploring the theme
of Shura-Democracy Nexus in the Selected Tafaseer’. Having provided a detailed
discussion on this, the next section provides a comparative analysis on the
‘Similarities and Differences in Interpretation(s) of Shura’. This is followed by the
Conclusion.

This discussion helps us to know the various approaches—which are in


many ways similar but are different from each other as well—of the exegetes on
this particular concept as well as reveals the contribution of these five (5) exegetes
of the Sub-Continent to the theme of Shura-democracy nexus.

Shura: Text, Context, and Connotation


Shura is derived from the root ‘sh.w.r.’(‫ر‬-‫و‬-‫ )ش‬which has a broad spectrum
of meanings including to consult, mutual consultation, opinion, to express opinions
with each other, consideration, advice, counsel, conference, and deliberation and
discussions with other individuals or groups, or ‘the decision-making process of the
community’.viii The derivatives of this root occur three (3) times in the Qur’an each
in a different form: as ‘Tashawur’/ٍ‫َاور‬ ُ ‫( تَش‬a verbal noun) meaning ‘consultation’ in
Surah al-Baqarah (2: 233); as ‘Shawirhum’ (an imperative: wa Shawirhum
fi’l Amr/‫يٍاْل َ ْمر‬
ْ ِ‫ )ٍ َوشَا ِو ْر ُه ْمٍف‬as command, meaning ‘consult with them’ occurs in Surah
-Âl-‘Imran, 3: 159; and as ‘Shura’ (consultation/ mutual consultation:
wa Amruhum Shura Baynahum/‫ورى ٍبَ ْينَ ُه ٍْم‬ َ ‫ش‬ُ ٍ ‫ ) ٍ َوأ َ ْم ُر ُه ْم‬in Surah al-Shura (42: 38) the
ix
name of this Surah of holy Qur’an. On each occasion, the attestation is related to
important issues in human life, and as such, the word Shura, has important
implications for social and political theory.

These three attestations and evidences relate to different situations and


categories of Muslims. These describe the most important issues of human life, and
in the sense of consultation, it has “important implications for social and political
theory”.x All these instances (especially in Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38) reveal the “social
and political dimensions of consultation” as well as demonstrate its inevitability at
the individual and collective levels. As noted by, among others, Ahmad Mubarak
al-Baghdadi (in the Encyclopedia of the Qur’an) reference in Q. 2: 233 applies
particularly “to the potential controversy between two divorced partners concerning
the matters of weaning [or giving up of sucking of] an infant”; Q. 3: 159 is a
“special text related to the Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] in the shadow of occurrence
of battle of ‘Uhud” in which the Muslims suffered a reverse and nearly lost the
battle; and Q. 42: 38 applies “to all Muslims”. Among these, for instance, Q. 42: 38
suggests that in true consultation, the view adopted is communal, and the decisions
made are shared in common rather than made by a single individual. The verse
Q. 3: 159 is viewed as a foundational principle in Islamic government and
leadership, and in the relationship between Muslim rulers and their subjects.xi

These attestations show—as Ahmad al-Raysuni observes in his Al-Shura:


The Qura’nic Principle of Consultation—that “Consultation is a necessity in

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connection with private affairs, including issues pertaining to the individual, the
individual in relation to other individuals, between husbands and wives, and parents
and their children, and is clearly vital regarding public affairs and the major issues
they raise”.xii

Reading these two verses completely and keeping in view the asbab-i-nazul,
what becomes clear is that in 3: 159, Shura as ‘shawirhum’ (plural), literally
meaning ‘consult with them’, is a special text related to the Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh) in the shadow of occurrence of battle of Uhud. This verse gives direct order
to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to consult believers in the worldly affairs and
governmental matters and to respect the opinion of the majority (of them). The
verse has been of central interest both to the mufassirun (exegetes/ commentators)
and general scholars alike.

While as, in 42: 38, Shura (as mutual consultation/ deliberation among
themselves) applies “to all Muslims”, as in this verse, Allah praises those Muslims
who conduct their affairs through consultation, i.e., one of the best qualities and
attributes of true believers is that they conduct their affairs by mutual consultation.
The expression ‘wa amruhum Shura baynahum’ means that in every matter which
needs deliberation—whether it belongs to the field of authority and government or
other social or communal aspect—the customary practice of the true Muslims is
that they work through mutual consultation. Here the term Shura is understood in
the context of verses 37-39 of surah 42 as one of a series of attributes of Muslims:
they shun/ avoid heinous sins and indecencies, forgive when angry, obey the
command of their Lord and persevere in Prayer, their rule is to consult one another,
spend out of what God provides and, when tyranny affects them, defend
themselves.xiii

In the tafsir literature of classical and pre-modern eras, one comes to know
that Shura (consultation) is described and detailed as one of the foremost rule of
law in the Islamic system of political administration and social set up. The
institution of Shura, the intrinsic component of Islamic Polity, plays a cordial role
in the socio-political system as it discusses most important issues of human life.
And in the words of Asma Afsaruddin,

The predominant sentiment in the literature is that shura as mutual consultation in


various spheres (political-administrative, communal, military, [and] familial) is the
preferred and desirable method of resolving matters. In the political realm, it is often
considered a duty incumbent on the ruler to confer [deliberate and discuss] with
knowledgeable advisors.xiv

Especially the verses 3: 159 and 42: 38 have been debated significantly, but
variedly. There has been substantial debate among Muslim commentators
surrounding the context the meaning of this command.

On the basis of these Qur’anic injunctions, modern Muslim scholars and


theorists (whether traditionalists, modernists/ reformists, or Islamists in orientation)

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venerate Shura as the example par excellence of Islam’s inherent democratic


impulse. Resonating the way to just and consultative power-sharing in contrast to
arbitrary despotism (istibdad), the concept of Shura is conflated with modern
notions of democracy—and thus it becomes first and foremost key operational
concept and element in the relationship between Islam and democracy—or ‘Islamic
democracy’. To put in the words of Abdullah Saeed (Australia), in the modern
times, Shura is “a central concept in contemporary Muslim political thought” which
is seen not only as the “foundation for thinking about governance in an Islamic
context”, but is (re)interpreted and regarded as being “very closely connected to the
kind of ideas, values, and institutions of democracy and participatory systems of
governance” and thus “akin to democracy and democratic institutions”.xv Or as
Asma Afsaruddin, in her Contemporary Issues in Islam, puts it, “the principle of
shura or consultation, endorsed in the Qur’an as the basis for collective
decision-making and administration of public affairs” is generally understood, in
the present times, “to provide the conceptual grounding for consultative governance
and collective decision-making”.xvi

Varied Translations and Interpretations of Q. 3: 159 & 42: 38 in the


Selected Urdu Tafaseer
In this section, the (varied) Translations and Interpretations of the five (5)
selected Muffasirun—Azad (d.1958), Shafi (d.1976), Daryabadi (d.1977), Mawdudi
(d.1979), and Islahi (d.1997)—related to the Qur’anic verses on ‘Shura’ (Q. 3: 159
and 42: 38) in their respective tafaseer are presented: it reveals both the varied
translations and the approaches and influences of these commentators on the
translations (both in Urdu and English, as almost all of these exegesis have been
rendered into English as well).xvii For example, the verse Q. 3: 159, “wa shawirhum
fil amr” is translated/ rendered by them as:xviii

1. Azad: “nez is tarha ke ma’amlaat main (yeni Jung wa aman ke ma’amlaat


main) unse mashwara kar liya karo”; (‘and consult them in matters of
importance [i.e., in matters related to war and peace]’);
2. Shafi: “aur mashwara le unse kaam main” (‘and consult them in the matter’);
3. Daryabadi: “aur unse ma’amlaat main mashwara letey rahiye” (‘and take
counsel with them in the affair’);
4. Mawdudi: “aur deen ke kaam main unko sharik-i-mashwara karo” (‘and in
matters of religion take mutual consultation from them’);
5. Islahi: “aur ma’amlaat main unse mashwara letey raho” (‘take counsel with
them in the conduct of affairs’).
And they render Q. 42: 38, “wa amruhum shura baynahum” into Urdu/ English as:

1. Azad: “aur unko hukm diya ki mashwara kar ke tamaam amuur anjaam
dein”(‘and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation’);
2. Shafi: “aur kaam kartey hain mashwara se aapas ke” (‘and whose affairs are
(settled) with consultation between them’);
3. Daryabadi: “aur unka (ye aham) kaam bahami Mashwara se hota hai”
(‘and whose affair being a matter of counsel among themselves’;

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4. Mawdudi: “apne ma’amlaat aapas ke mashwarey se chalatey hain”


(‘the conduct of their affairs is by mutual consultation’);
5. Islahi: “aur unka nizam shura par hai” (‘their system is based on mutual
consultation’): [For comparison, see Table on next page]

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S. Sura: Verse no. Translator Translation(s) in Urdu English Renderings


No.

1(a) 3:159: “wa shawirhum fil Azad “nez is tarha ke ma’amlaat main “and consult them in
amr”/ (yeni Jung wa aman ke ma’amlaat matters of importance [i.e.,
main) unse mashwara kar liya in matters related to war and
‫َوشَا ِو ْر ُه ْم فِي ْاْلَ ْم ِر‬ karo”/‫ مشورہ‬/‫ معامالت‬/ peace]”

1(b) Shafi “aur mashwara le unse kaam main” “and consult them in the
matter”
---- ‫ مشورہ‬/‫کام‬

1(c) Daryabadi “aur unse ma’amlaat main “and take [thou] counsel
mashwara letey rahiye” with them in the affair”
----
‫ مشورہ‬/ ‫معامالت‬

1(d) Mawdudi “aur deen ke kaam main unko bi “and take counsel with
sharik-i-mashwara rakho” them in the conduct of the
---- affairs”
‫ شریک مشورہ‬/ ‫کام‬

1(e) Islahi “aur ma’amlaat main unse “take counsel with them in
mashwara letey raho” the conduct of affairs”
----
‫ مشورہ‬/ ‫معامالت‬

“aur unko hukm diya ki mashwara “and who conduct their


kar ke tamaam amuur sar anjaam affairs by mutual
2(a) 42:38 “wa amruhum shura Azad dein” consultation”
baynahum”/
‫ مشورہ‬/ ‫امور‬
َ ‫َوأ َ ْم ُر ُه ْم ش‬
‫ُورى بَ ْينَ ُه ْم‬

2(b) Shafi “aur kaam kartey hain mashwara se “and whose affairs are
aapas ke” (settled) with consultation
---- between them”
‫ مشورہ‬/ ‫کام‬

2(c) Daryabadi “Aur Unka (Ye Aham) Kaam “and whose affair being
Bahami Mashwara Se Hota Hai” matter of counsel among
----- themselves”
‫ باہمی مشورہ‬/ ‫کام‬

2(d) Mawdudi “apne ma’amlaat aapas ke “and conduct their affairs by


mashwarey se chalatey hain” mutual consultation”
----
‫ مشورہ‬/ ‫معامالت‬

2(e) Islahi “aur unka nizam shura par hai”ٍ “their system is based on
‫شؤرئ‬ mutual consultation”
----

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The translations of these two specific verses, by these 5 exegetes/ mufasirun,


shows that in Q. 3: 159, Shawirhum is translated as ٍMashwara / ‫ مشورہ‬or
Sharik-i- Mashwara/‫شریکٍمشورہ‬/, and they translate Shura (Q. 42: 38) variedly as
Mashwara/‫ ٍمشورہ‬, Bahami Mashwara/ ‫ ٍباہمی ٍمشورہ‬/ or simply as Shura/‫ ٍشؤرئ‬.
Similarly, they translated the word Amr/‫( ٍامر‬in Q. 3: 159) as Ma’amlaat/‫ ٍمعامالت‬,
Kaam/‫کام‬, and Amruhum (Q. 42: 38) as Amuur/‫ امور‬, Ma’amlaat/ٍ ‫ ٍمعامالت‬, and
Kaam/‫کام‬. This is both due to their adoption of ‘contextualist approach’ as well as
the result of their varied ‘theological/ ideological orientations’. This becomes more
evident by their interpretations on the verses under study; and at the same time
reveals the wide ranging scope of Shura-Democracy nexus in these tafaseer of
20th century Sub-Continent.

Exploring the theme of Shura-Democracy Nexus in the Selected Tafaseer


The translations of these two verses clearly reveal the marks of
‘contextualist approach’ as well as the influence of ‘theological/ ideological
orientations’ of these Mufasirrun. They also bear evidence to the fact that each
translation/ commentary of the noble Qur’an is, at the end, a result of that
translator’s own understanding; for it is beyond the comprehension and
understanding, capacity and ability, of any person, to translate exactly the holy
Qur’an, the Word of Almighty Allah. All the translations and exegesis of the
Qur’an are attempts of ‘Translating the Untranslatable’.xix Thus, it is understood
that those who translate the Qur’an had never been able to—nor will anyone in the
future—translate its real meaning(s), but they only make attempts and efforts to
translate its meanings and what they—on the basis of knowledge, comprehension
and understanding and on the basis of guidance from the Sunnah/ Prophetic sayings
(ahadith)—understand and comprehend from it. That is why one sees/ observes a
variety/ diversity not only in the interpretations but in the translations of the noble
Qur’an as well.
This is clearly evident form the above translations of Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38,
and will become more evident in the interpretation(s) of these two verses by the
5 Muffasirun; i.e., their views/ interpretations show the way(s) in which they have
approached these verses—and by that way to the Qur’an. All of them agree that in
Q. 3: 159, Prophet (pbuh) is commanded/ ordered to take deliberation with or
consult his Companions in matters of importance. For example, contextualizing
Q. 3: 159 with the situation of battle of Uhud, Abul Kalam Azad asserts that here
Qur’an addresses the Prophet (pbuh) “to draw his attention to the function of
leadership” (Mansab-e-Imammat); among them: (i) Your procedure in matters of
peace and war should not be decided without consultation (with those who are
competent to advise); and (ii) The procedure may take this form: first, hold
consultations and then make up your mind to decide on something definite. Once
you are resolved in your mind on anything, stick to it with firmness. Consultation at
the proper moment is necessary, and resolution at the proper moment is equally
necessary. The question of resolution or decision does not arise till the consultation
is over. He further adds that it tells Muslims that “when the Prophet (pbuh) takes
counsel of them before deciding on any line of action, it should behove them to
obey him implicitly”. xx

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For Mufti Muhammad Shafi, the terms like Shura, mashwarah, and
mashawarat (which literally mean counsel, consultation, and mutual consultation,
respectively) all mean “the soliciting of advice and counsel in something that needs
deliberation”.xxi For him, the expression ‘and consult them in the matter’
(Q. 3: 159) means that the Prophet (pbuh) has been commanded “to consult with or
seek the advice of his noble Companions” in matters of concern and those needing
“deliberation, which include those of authority and government”, so that they are
“fully satisfied and emotionally at peace” and thus “will become an act of
mollifying grace”.xxii He further adds that Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38 collectively
“not only highlight the need for consultation very clearly; they also point out to
some basic principles of Islam’s system of government, and its constitution.

The Islamic government is a government by consultation [Shuracracy/


Shura-cratic] in which the amir or chief executive is chosen by consultation and
definitely not as a matter of family inheritance”.xxiii Referring to the then two
superpowers, Persian/ Sasanian Empire and Roman/ Byzantine Empire—which
were both headed by hereditary emperors and were despotic monarchies based on
power/ supremacy and not on merit/ ability—Shafi asserts that through Shura,
“Islam demolished the unnatural principle of government through hereditary and
gave the choice of appointing and dismissing the chief executive to the people”.
Shura is “a just and natural system”, which later became the “spirit of a system of
government” known as democracy.xxiv

For Amin Ahsan Islahi, in this verse (3: 159) along the guidelines of seeking
Allah’s forgiveness, Prophet (pbuh) is advised to consult the Sahabah
(Companions) in matters requiring deliberation. Regarding the religious matters,
Prophet (pbuh) was not in need of consultation as he was guided by Revelation, but
in political and administrative matters, Prophet (pbuh) used to consult Companions
constantly. In this way, he himself laid the foundations of the Shurai’yat (institution
of Shura) that has been an important feature of the Islamic political system, notes
down Islahi.xxv

For Shafi, the expression ‘wa Shawirhum fi-l Amr’ (and consult them in the
matter) in the present verse means that holy Prophet (pbuh) has been commanded to
consult with or seek advice of his noble companions in matters that need
deliberation, which include those of authority and government;xxvi and for Islahi, the
matters requiring deliberation means “the political and administrative matters”, as
Prophet (pbuh) used to engage Companions in deliberations on same.xxvii
Furthermore, for Islahi, the general literary style (uslub) of the holy Qur’an is to
describe the Salah (prayer) along with Zakah (poor-due/ alms tax) or Infaq
(to spend in the way of God). But here, contrary to this, the Qur’an has adopted a
distinctive approach of illustration by mentioning Shura in between the two
fundamentals of Islam—Salah and Zakah—which demonstrates the significance of
the institution of Shura in social life.xxviii This view-point is also shared by
Daryabadi saying that by mentioning Shura (in Q. 42: 38) in between the two
fundamentals of Islam—Salah and Zakah—demonstrate its significance and at

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collective level it stands for the “consultative government—same as was during the
Khulafa-i-Rashidun period”.xxix However, it does not mean (for example as pointed
out by Prof. M. Y. Faruqi) that the Shura is one of the pillars of Islam; however, the
style of its description provides ample evidence of its special importance in the
Islamic polity.xxx

Similarly, sharing the related view-point, Daryabadi and Azad are of the
opinion that Q. 3: 159 refer to take counsel in the important affairs of the
community, such as peace and war. But Daryabadi goes even further to say that it
denotes the “essentially democratic character of the commonwealth of Islam”.xxxi
For him, in this verse, the Islamic political system, one of the fundamental basis of
which is being consultative, is different both from despotic as well as (secular)
democratic system.xxxii Here it is pertinent to mention that Mawdudi does not make
any comments on Q. 3: 159, and has made a detailed discussion on Shura and its
various dimensions in Q. 42: 38, which is highly political.

Almost all of them have made a detailed and meticulous discussion, in their
tafaseer, on the verse Q. 42: 38, and share almost same opinion that it applies “to all
Muslims”. In this verse, Allah praises those Muslims who conduct their affairs
through consultation, i.e. it’s one of the best qualities and attributes of true believers
is that in every matter which needs deliberation—whether belonging to the field of
authority and government or to social aspect—they work through mutual
consultation.

For example, in the explanation of Q. 42: 38, Azad, who identifies the
compatibility between democracy and community deliberation and consultation
(Shura), writes:

“To take consultation or deliberation from each other is one of the best qualities of
Muslims mentioned in this verse and Prophet (pbuh) is commanded to take consultation
from the Companions in 3: 159 [and consult with them (Shawirhum) in the affairs]. Except
Obligatory Commandments [Ahkam–i-Mansusa], Prophet (pbuh) himself used to consult
with his noble Companions on every matter related to state and administration [Masaleh
Mulki]. Later Shura was made into the very foundations of [the government of the] Pious
Caliphate period [r. 632-60CE], and Abu Bakr [the first caliph; r. 632-34 CE] was
nominated/ selected under the same procedure. This proves that Islamic social order
(Nizam-i-Ijtimayi’) is a pillar of Islamic way of life, having peculiar importance in it.”xxxiii

However, he also cautions here that there are some basic/ fundamental
differences between modern democracy and Islamic Shura System, and further adds
that “in modern democracy, the elected representatives have wide authority
role/ rights in legislation; but in Islam, the Caliph has no authority to intervene
(or take consultation) in matters wherein there are clear guidelines in the Islamic
sources (nassus). He has right to take consultation only in matters—which he
confronts—about which there are no clear injunctions in the Qur’an and Sunnah;
and it is only here that the ‘Consultative Council’ is authoritative to decide”. xxxiv
It is noteworthy to mention here that this view is also shared by Mufti Shabbir

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Ahmad ‘Uthmani (d. 1949), in his tafsir, Qur’an Majeed.xxxv

Mawdudi’s approach to Q. 42: 38 is highly political, as he interprets


Mashawarat (on the basis of both verses: Q. 3: 159 and 42: 38) as being “an
important pillar of the Islamic way of life”, which is obligatory for the Muslim
Ummah, and “to conduct the affairs of collective life without consultation is not
only the way of ignorance but also an express violation of the law prescribed by
Allah”.xxxvi

It is pertinent to mention here that Mawdudi interpreted the concept of


Khilafah as the basis of democracy in Islam, and criticized Western (secular)
democracy as well. What is more pertinent to mention is that he is the only scholar
among his contemporaries who utilized the concept of Khilafah as a basis for the
interpretation of as well as basis of democracy in Islam, while others focused on
Shura.xxxvii

To describe this alternate view, Mawdudi coined the term theo-democracy


(a divine democratic government): “If I were permitted to coin a new term, I would
describe the system of government as a ‘theo-democracy’, that is to say a divine
democratic government, because under it the Muslims have been given a limited
popular sovereignty under the suzerainty [paramount sovereignty] of God”
(Italics added).xxxviii Mawdudi called this a ‘theo-democracy’ in order to distinguish
it from a theocracy (or a clergy-run state) and from the Western secular democracy
as well, both of which he rejected, and criticized. For example, for Pakistani
Dr. Israr Ahmed, by coining the term ‘theo-democracy’, Mawdudi has emphasized
the point that the “Islamic political system is neither a pure theocracy nor a
full-fledged Western style democracy, but that it has elements of both”.xxxix

Mawdudi has made a detailed discussion on this verse (Q. 42: 38) and
understood mashawarat obligatory on the Muslim community due to these three (3)
reasons: (i) the decision of one person according to his/ her own opinion is injustice
when the interests of many are concerned; (ii) arbitrary action is morally detestable,
as it is only the result of felt superiority or usurping of others’ rights; and (iii)
deciding in matters of common interest is a grave responsibility, so consultation is
needed to share the burden.xl “A deep consideration of these three things”, he
further elaborates, “can enable one to fully understand that consultation is a
necessary demand of the morality that Islam has taught to man, and departure from
it is a grave immorality”. He also indicates that Shura extends beyond government
and should permeate all aspects of Muslim life: ranging from the domestic affair,
family, tribe/ city, to nation. He criticizes, specifically, the act of obtaining power
by force or deception as being un-Islamic. xli

He further points out that the principle of consultation as enshrined in


‘amruhum shura baynahum’ by its very nature and structure (Naw’iyat wa Fitrat)
demands five things, which are: (1) collective decision making, that is, “people
whose interests and rights are directly affected by collective decisions should have

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the absolute right to express their opinions” (i.e., there should be freedom of
opinion and freedom of information); (2) that the appointment of the person
responsible for the collective affairs [Representatives] of the Muslims should be
with the free will of people”; (3) that representatives of people involved in
consultation with the head of the state should be appointed on the basis of the
“genuine trust of people”; (4) that there should be freedom of expression for
people’s representatives to present their opinions correctly and honestly; and finally
(5) the unanimous or majority verdict of the consultative body should be
accepted.xlii Thus, for him, the implication of this verse is that Muslims can consult
in order to come up with the most correct ruling in legal matters, but not give
independent judgment in settled matters. Therefore, consultation and deliberation
should be done in all collective matters of Ummah.

Islahi translates/ interprets Shura here as ‘their system is based on mutual


consultation’, which, for him, indicates that “the socio-political system of Muslims
should be based on mutual consultation, and not on stubbornness, monarchy, family
monopoly/ social prestige, and tribal lineage”.xliii Similarly, for Daryabadi, at
collective level, Shura here stands for consultative government—same as was
during the Khulafa-i-Rashidun period.

Thus, Shura is interpreted by them—and the majority of the present-day


scholars do so with more rigor—both in the historical context with examples from
the Prophetic and Pious Caliphate period as well as with modern re-interpretations
so that to present it as “a key operational element in the relationship between Islam
and democracy” as well as to make the efforts for the transition of listing
“democratic doctrines of Islam” into creating and forming “coherent theories and
structures of Islamic democracy that are not simply reformulations of Western
perceptions in some Muslim idiom” (Italics added).xliv

Similarities and Differences in Interpretation(s) of Shura:


A (Brief) Comparison
From their translation(s) and by their interpretation(s) and their approaches,
it becomes clear that Islahi and Shafi approach the concept of the Shura from the
etymological and linguistic point of view; while Shafi also refers to this concept
vis-à-vis democracy, showing that, although a traditional Deobandi scholar and
juridical exegete/ mufassir, he tackles with the modern issues as well. Also, what
becomes clear is that he translates the verses related to shura in the same vein, and
that he emphasizes on this concept from both perspectives—classical as well as
modern.

Similarly, Islahi, who also authored a book on “Islamic State”xlv—wherein


he has provided details on the concept of Shura and its functioning during prophetic
and Pious Caliphate period (632-660 CE)—approaches this concept from the
socio-political angle: he emphasizes its importance from the social/ communal
point of view, and form the political angle, and that makes him argue that it is main
source and the very basis of Shura-cracy/ shuraiyat in Islam.

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Moreover, Mawdudi and Azad also take their own approaches: while Azad
has in brief mentioned about it but he regards it as the real foundation of Islamic
socio-political system and this concept that has “peculiar importance in Islam”.
Azad also speaks of Shura both in terms of “war and peace”, as becomes clear from
his very translation of this verse, and as the basis of “Islamic democracy”—or what
he calls “the real basis of democracy in Islam”, and even goes further to argue that:
“Qur’an uses the term Shura for describing it [the real democracy] and what else
term (other than Shura) can we use for describing it”.xlvi Almost similar approach is
offered by Daryabadi.

Mawdudi, unlike them, emphasized on 42: 38 only but in “political terms”;


and while others have given importance, speaking from the political point of view,
to 3: 159, in which Shura occurs as a command, Mawdudi emphasized on the verse
42: 38. Also noteworthy is that only Shafi has discussed 42: 38 in political terms
while others have just simply pointed out that it is one of the main traits of
Muslims; so here both are similar, and distinct from others.

Also, much noteworthy and striking is the point that while almost all the
exegetes and other scholars have emphasized on the concept of Shura, speaking in
modern terminology/ phraseology, as the basis of democracy in Islam (or as the
main source of democratic ethics in Islam) Mawdudi is the only scholar who
interpreted Khilafah as the basis of democracy in Islam and coined the term
“theo-democracy” for it. Thus, it demonstrates the diversity and variety of
approaches that these exegetes have adopted while translating and interpreting the
holy Qur’an.

From this brief comparison, what becomes evident is that there are some
common points in their interpretations as well, which are:

(i) They interpret Shura in historical and contextual milieu;


(ii) They (re) interpret Shura in the modern context;
(iii) All of them consider Shura as an important feature of Islamic socio-political
system; and
(iv) All of them stress that basis of Shura-cracy (Shurai’yat) was laid by Prophet
(pbuh) himself, and that the foundation of Pious Caliphate period was laid on
Shura.

Thus, these similarities and differences in the interpretations (of Q. 3: 159


and 42: 38), by these five exegetes (mufasirun), demonstrate the diversity and
variety of approaches that they have adopted while translating and interpreting the
holy Qur’an and while meeting the challenges of modern times. They also
demonstrate that since the 20th century, the general trend is to interpret Shura in the
light of new social, political and cultural contexts. Muslim exegetes and
intellectuals have been slowly but surely reinterpreting the concept of Shura—to

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use the lexis of Abdullah Saeed—not only as being “akin to democracy and
democratic institutions” but is “very closely connected to the kind of ideas, values,
and institutions of democracy and participatory systems of governance” as well
(Italics added).xlvii
Summarizing these varied translations and different interpretations of these
five commentators of Sub-Continent on the concept of Shura, it becomes evident
that:
(i) All of them have approached the concept of Shura in different perspectives
as per their own theological and ideological orientation(s), which has
resulted in diversity and multiplicity of translations of the verses. There is
no concordance and agreement between their views (although, as such,
there are many similarities) as they interpret and translate the verses,
3: 159 and 42: 38, in different contexts—from traditionalist to modernist,
from linguistic/ thematic aspect to socio-political/ contemporary
approach—and keeping in view the nazm, asbab-i-nazul, and the practice
of the Prophet (pbuh) as well.
(ii) They have not been able to come to an agreed and established conclusion
whether, all in all, Shura is obligatory or just recommendatory: on the
basis of 3: 159, where it occurs in command form, they regard Shura as
obligatory; and on the basis of 42: 38, it is recommendatory. But it
becomes clear that those who approach it from political angle, which is
done by most of them, they regard Shura as an important and obligatory
duty for the leader to consult with others.
(iii) Shura has been (re)interpreted from the “political” angle and from the last
few decades, has been regarded and discussed as the alternate as well as an
important “operational key concept” for describing democracy in Islam.
And all these exegetes have approached the concept from this perspective
as well: whether they are traditionalist like Shafi or modernists like
Mawdudi, or others. Islahi and Mawdudi, who wrote separate books on
“Islamic State” as well, have described this concept as the basis of
“Shuraiyat” in Islamic polity.
(iv) Shura has been translated and interpreted in various ways, variedly and
differently, thus making it an “issue” and subject of concern and as there
are no guidelines about the form, structure, and other related details of this
concept, and as such no mufassir has tackled with this issue. e.g., Azad,
regarding structure/ form of Shura, in its explanation says: “It needs more
discussion”/Ye Masla Tafseel Talb Hai (thus avoids the issue); similarly
Islahi says, for details see my book (and here he discusses Shura under
Khualfa-i-Rashidun).

From these points it becomes clear that Shura has remained a “contested”
concept, and thus a number of questions and issues are still unanswered—which are
not new, but are centuries old—and range from the nature, scope and necessity of
application of Shura, to the procedure for the selection/ election of Shura members.
So the need of the hour is to address the below issues/ questions:

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 What is the scope/ necessity of application of Shura?


 Is Shura Obligatory or Recommended?
 Are results of Shura process binding or non-binding?
 What is the procedure for the selection/ election of Counsellors? And many
other related issues—which are not new, but are centuries old.

CONCLUSION:
The above discussion, thus, reveals that the concept of Shura is directly
raised in the Qur’an, and Muslim exegetes, especially of the modern period, have
explored it in detail. It plays an amiable role in the socio-political system as it
discusses most important issues of human life. For Muslim Ummah, Shura is the
preferred and desirable method of resolving matters of all walks of life—whether
social, communal, or political. Moreover, it also becomes clear that since the 20th
century, Muslims have been slowly but surely reinterpreting the concept of Shura as
being akin to democracy and democratic values and ideas.
The preceding discussion also reveals that attitudes towards Shura—in the
tafsir literature of Sub-Continent—exist in a wide variety, which range, in Abdullah
Saeed’s lexis, “from hostility to the notion of democracy to caution to the assertion
that Shura and democracy are compatible”: while some have argued “for a return to
pre-modern understanding of Shura”, others are providing “a new and quite
different understanding of Shura by equating it with democracy”, and many others
have “identified a degree of crossover between the values of Shura with those of
democracy”.xlviii But, among these trends, the dominant trend—from the final
decades of last century—consists of the reformist Muslim thinkers, who are
“working toward a new interpretation of shura that is in line with contemporary
understanding of what is acceptable in the governance of Muslim states”.xlix
It is also noteworthy to mention, and thus apt to conclude—that in his
Reading the Qur’an in the Twenty-First Century, Abdullah Saeed—in a special
chapter on “Shura and democracy”—concludes that the modern interpretations of
‘Shura as democracy’ demonstrate that since the 20th century, the general trend is to
interpret Shura in the light of new social, political and cultural contexts. Muslim
exegetes and intellectuals “have been slowly but surely reinterpreting the concept of
Shura as being [not only] akin to democracy and democratic institutions” but is
“very closely connected to the kind of ideas, values, and institutions of democracy
and participatory systems of governance” as well.l

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Notes & References

i
The first draft of this paper, entitled as “The Theme of Shura-Democracy Nexus
in the Selected Urdu Tafaseer of the Sub-Continent”, was presented as a
Special Lecture at K. A. Nizami Center for Quranic Studies (KAN-CQS),
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh, 2nd March’ 2018. I am grateful
to the Director KAN-CQS, AMU, for his gracious consent/ permission to
publish the draft of this Lecture as a separate paper.
ii
For details, see, Mawlana Abul Kalam Azad, Tarjuman al-Qur’an, 3 vols.
(Lahore: Islami Academy, n.d.); Idem., The Tarjuman al-Qur’an, 5 Vols.
(Edited and Trans.), Syed Abdul Latif (Hyderabad: Dr Syed Abdul Latif
Trust for Qur’anic Cultural Research, 1962-78; New Delhi: Sahita Academy,
1966) [hereafter abbreviated as Azad, Tj.Q (Urdu); Azad, TTQ (Eng.)]
iii
For details, see, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Ma’ariful Qur’an, (English Trans.)
Muhammad Shamim (New Delhi: Farid Book Depot, 2008) [hereafter
abbreviated as Shafi, MQ]
iv
For details, see, Mawlana Abul Ala Mawdudi, Tafhim al-Qur’an/ “Towards
Understanding the Qur’an” [English translation Zafar Ishaq Annsari,
assisted by A R Kidwai], (Markfield, Leices., London: Islamic Foundation,
1989; also published and reprinted in New Delhi by Markazi Maktaba Islami
Publishers, 1999) [hereafter abbreviated as Mawdudi, Tf.Q]. Its English
version (S. A. A. Mawdudi, Tafhim al-Qur’an—The Meaning of the Qur’an)
is also available online at www.englishtafsir.com
v
For details, see Abdul Majid Daryabadi, Tafsir-i-Qur’an: Translation and
Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, 4 vols. (Karachi: Darul Ishaat, 1991);
Idem., Tafsir-i-Qur’an: Tafsir-i-Majidi, 2nd ed. (Urdu) (Lucknow, India:
Academy of Islamic Research and Publications, 2003) [hereafter abbreviated
as Daryabadi, TM]
vi
For details, see Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur al-Qur’an (Delhi: Taj Company,
1989) [hereafter abbreviated as Islahi, Td.Q]
vii
For details, see Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, The Glorious Qur’an: Text,
Translation, and Commentary (Leicester, Mark.: The Islamic Foundation,
2001) [hereafter abbreviated as Daryabadi, GQ];
viii
See for example, Ibn Manzoor, Lisan al-Arab (Beirut: Dar Sadr, 1900), 4: 434;
Qazi Zain al-Abidin Sajad Meerthi, Qamus al-Qur’an: Qurani-Dictionary
(Meerut, India: Maktaba Ilmiya, 1954), pp. 281-2; Zahoor Ahmad Azhar,
“Shura”, in Urdu Dai’rah al-Ma’arif Islamiya (Lahore: Danishgah Punjab,
1975), 11: 810; Bernard Lewis, “Shura”, in The Encyclopedia of Islam, New
Edition, Eds. C.E. Bosworth et al., (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 9: 504 [hereafter
cited as EI2]; Ahmad Mubarak al-Baghdadi “Consultation”, (trans.) Brannon

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M. Wheeler, in EQ, 1: 406; Afzalur Rehman (Ed.), Muhammad:


Encyclopedia of Seerah (London: Seerah Foundation, 1998), VI: 395
ix
These verses read as: “and if they decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and
after due consultation, there is no sin on them” (2: 233); “and consult with
them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in
Allah” (3: 159); and “and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation”
(42: 38). The English translations of the Qur’anic verses here are mainly
based on: (a) Muhsin Khan and Taqi ud Din Hilali, The Translations of The
meanings of Noble Qur’an (Madinah: King Fahd Complex, 1419 A.H.); and
(b) Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and
Commentary, 2nd ed. (U.S: American Trust Publications, 1977).
x
Al-Baghdadi, “Consultation”, in EQ, 1: 407
xi
Al-Baghdadi, “Consultation”, in EQ, 1: 407
xii
Ahmad al-Raysuni, Al-Shura: The Qura’nic Principle of Consultation (Trans.
Nancy Roberts, and Abridged by Alison Lake (Herndon, VA: The
International Institute of Islamic Thought [IIIT], [2011] 2012), p.3
xiii
These verses read as: “What you have been given is only the fleeting enjoyment
of his world. Far better and more lasting is what God will give to those who
believe and trust in their Lord; who shun great sins and gross indecencies;
who forgive when they are angry; respond to their Lord; keep up the prayer;
conduct their affairs by mutual consultation; give to others out of what We
have provided for them; and defend themselves when they are oppressed”
(Q. 42: 36-39)
xiv
Asma Afsaruddin, “Consultation, or Shura”, in Josef W. Meri (Ed.), Medieval
Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, 2 vols. (New York: Routledge, 2006),
I: 171-2
xv
Abdullah Saeed, Reading the Qur’an in the Twenty-First Century: A
Contextualist Approach (Routledge, 2013), pp. 148, 157
xvi
Asma Afsaruddin, Contemporary Issues in Islam (Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University Press, 2015), p. 77
xvii
My major previous publication on this theme is Tauseef Ahmad Parray, “Text,
Tradition, and Interpretations of Shura: A Study of the views of Modern
Indo-Pak Mufassirun (Exegetes)”, Hamdard Islamicus (Karachi, Pakistan),
Vol. xxxiv [34], No. 3, July-Sep 2011, pp. 7-22. It includes the views of all
the mufasirun studied here excluding Daryabadi (but includes Mufti Shabbir
Ahmad ‘Uthmani).
xviii
For details, see, Azad, Tj.Q & TTQ; Shafi, MQ; Mawdudi, Tf.Q; Islahi, Td.Q;
Daryabadi, GQ & TM

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xix
This phrase is taken from Abdur Raheem Kidwai, Translating the
Untranslatable: A Critical Guide to 60 English Translations of the Quran
(New Delhi: Sarup Publishers, 2011)
xx
Azad, Tj.Q, 1: 317-18, fn. 15, 16; Cf. Azad, TTQ, 2: 194-5
xxi
Shafi’, MQ, 2: 227. References are made from the English version.
xxii
Shafi, MQ, 2: 226
xxiii
Shafi, MQ, 2: 233
xxiv
Shafi, MQ, 2: 233-34
xxv
Islahi, Td.Q, 2: 208-09
xxvi
Shafi, MQ, 2: 227
xxvii
Islahi, Td.Q, 2: 202, 208
xxviii
Islahi, Td.Q, 2: 170-180
xxix
Daryabadi, TM, fn. 43, p. 974 (Urdu)
xxx
For this view–point, see for example, among others, Muhammad Yusuf
Faruqi, “The Institution of Shura: Views of Early Fuqaha’ and the Practices
of the Rashidun Khulafa’ ”, in Jihat al-Islam, 1: 2, June-July, 2008, 9-30, p.
12 [hereafter cited as Faruqi, JI, 1(2): 2008]
xxxi
Daryabadi, GQ, fn. 239, p. 146; Daryabadi, TM, fn. 300 & 301, 1: 280 (Eng)
xxxii
Daryabadi, TM, vol. 1, fn. 325/ 326, p. 655 / Daryabadi, TM, fn. 325 & 326,
1: 196 (Eng) [Tafsir-i-Qur’an: Translation and Commentary of the Holy
Qur’an, 4 vols. (Karachi: Darul Ishaat, 1991)
xxxiii
Azad, Tj.Q, 3: 330-31; Azad, TTQ, 5: 334-35. Cf. Al-Hilal, 8 Sep, 1912, p. 8.
Translation is mine.
xxxiv
Azad, Tj.Q, 3: 331. Translation is mine.
xxxv
See, Mufti Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani, Qur’an Majeed (New Delhi: Taj
Company, n.d.), p. 632; Cf. Parray, “Text, Tradition, and Interpretations of
Shura…”, Hamdard Islamicus, 34, 3 (July-Sep 2011), pp. 14-15
xxxvi
Mawdudi, Tf.Q, 4: 508-510, fn. 61, esp. p. 508 (Eng. version: fn. 61, pp. 548-
51, esp. p. 508); English version is also available online at
www.englishtafsir.com/Quran/42/index.html. Here references are provided
both from the original Urdu and English versions.
xxxvii
For details see, Syed Abu ‘Ala Mawdudi, Khilafat wa Mulikiat [Caliphate
and Monarchy] (Lahore: Islamic Publication, 1966); Idem., Islamic Way of
Life, (Trans.), Khurshid Ahmad (Delhi: Markazi Maktaba Islami, 1967);
Idem., “Political Theory in Islam”, in Khurshid Ahmad (Ed.), Islam: Its
Meaning and Message (London: Islamic Council of Europe, 1975), Chapter
10, 147-171; Idem., Islami Riyasat [Islamic State] (New Delhi: Islamic Book
Foundation, 1991)
xxxviii
Mawdudi, “Political Theory in Islam”, p. 160; Idem., Islami Riyasat, p. 130
117
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xxxix
Dr Israr Ahmed, “The Constitutional and Legislative Framework of the
System of Khilafah in Modern Times”, [article no. 2] in Khilafah in
Pakistan: What, Why and How? A collection of two articles written by Dr
Israr Ahmad, compiled by Shoba Samo Basr (Lahore, Pakistan: Markazi
Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qur’an, n. d.), p. 8
xl
Mawdudi, Tf.Q, 4: 508-9
xli
Mawdudi, Tf.Q, 4: 509
xlii
Mawdudi, Tf.Q, 4: 509-510 (Eng. Version, pp. 549-50)
xliii
Islahi, Td.Q, 7: 179
xliv
John L. Esposito, and John O. Voll, Islam and Democracy (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1996), pp. 28, 31
xlv
Amin Ahsan Islahi, The Islamic State (Trans.) Tariq Mahmood Hashmi
(Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2012)
xlvi
Mawlana Abul Kalam, Islami Jamhurriyah/ “Islamic Democracy” (Lahore: Al
Hilal Book Agency, 1956), pp. 1-3; Idem, Al-Hilal, 1(8): 9, 1 September
1912, (Calcutta)
xlvii
Saeed, Reading the Qur’an, p. 157
xlviii
See, Saeed, Reading the Qur’an, p. 156
xlix
Saeed, Reading the Qur’an, p. 156
l
See, Chapter 13, “Shura and democracy” in Saeed, Reading the Qur’an, pp.
156-57

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

Doctoral Theses on the Qur’anic Studies: A Bibliography

Sajid Shaffi
D/o.Islamic Studies, AMU1

ABSTARCT

T his bibliography lists more than 350 doctoral theses on varied aspects of
Qur’anic Studies, specified under various sections and sub-sections— The
Qur’an Commentaries and Commentators: Classical and Modern; Issues of
the Qur’an Translatability: Comparative Studies and Lexical Issues; Contemporary
Issues in the Qur’an: Gender Issues and Current Issues; Thematic and Conceptual
Studies of the Qur’an; Comparative Religions/Scriptures and the Qur’an;
Theological Debates in the Qur’an; Political Debates in the Qur’an; Western
Scholarship and the Qur’an; Qur’anic Sciences; Prophets and Personalities in the
Qur’an; Collection, Codices and Manuscripts of the Qur’an; Juristic Issues in the
Qur’an; Readings of the Qur’an; Knowledge, Education and Ethics in the Qur’an
and The Qur’an & Science. The data has been retrieved from more than 100 online
official archives and other data bases of different universities for which access has
been provided by Maulana Azad Library, Aligarh Muslim University.

Key Words: Qur’anic Studies; Bibliography; Universities; Theses.

1
D/o. Islamic Studies, AMU

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

A. The Qur’an Commentaries and Commentators: Classical


1. ABDUL, Musa Oladipupo Ajilogba, “The Qur’an: Tabarsi’s Commentary:
His Approach to Theological Issues,” McGill University: Montreal, Quebec,
Canada, 1970

2. AHMAD, Abd El-Gadir Muhammad, “Some Aspects of the Tafsir of


Mujahid,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1993

3. AHMAD, Rashid, “Tafsir in Sufi Literature, with Particular Reference to


Abu al-Qasim Quashairi,” University of Cambridge: Cambridge, England,
1968

4. ALI, Sayyid Rizwan, “Izz al-Din al-Sulami: His Life and Works, Together
with his Farvaid fi Tafsir al-Qur’an,” University of Cambridge: Cambridge,
England, 1963

5. ALLY, Shabir, “The Culmination of Tradition-based Tafsir: The Qur’an


Exegesis al-Durr al-Manthur of al-Suyuti (d. 911/1505),” University of
Toronto: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2012

6. AL-MAJALI, Mohammad Khazer, “Ibn Qutaybah’s Contribution to


Qur’anic Studies,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1993

7. AL-SAWWAF, M. M., “Muqatil b. Sulayman, An Early Zaydi Theologian,


with Special Reference to his Tafsir al-Khamsmi’at Aya,” University of
Oxford: Oxford, England, 1970

8. AL-SHUAILY, Sulaiman Ali Ameer, “Ibadi Tafsir with Special Reference


to the Tafsirs of Hud al-Huwwari and Sa’id ibn Ahmad al-Kindi,”
University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 2000

9. AL-UWISHEQ, Abdullah H. A., “A Critical Edition and a Study of the


Commentary on the Qur’anic Reading of Nafi Sharh al-Durar al-Lawami
by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Malik al-Minturi (d. 834/1431),” University of
London: London, England, 1988

10. ARAIN, Hafiz Abdul Latif, “Ibn Kathir Some Aspects of Scholastic
Theology in his Commentary,” Durham University: North East England,
1970

11. BAZZANO, Elliott Allen, “The Qur’an According to Ibn Taymiyya:


Redefining Exegetical Authority in the Islamic Tradition,” University of
California: Oakland, California, 2013

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12. BELHAJ, M. M., “A Critical Edition of the First Part of Kitab Majaz al-
Qur’an by Ibn Abd as-Salam (d. 660/1261),” University of Exeter: Devon,
South West England, 1984

13. BERG, Herbert, “The Use of Ibn Abbas in al-Tabari’s Tafsir and the
Development of Exegesis in Early Islam,” University of Toronto: Toronto,
Ontario, Canada, 1996

14. BLAU, Yael, “The Tafsir of Tabari on Surah 13,” University of South
Africa: Gauteng, South Africa: Gauteng, South Africa, 1983

15. BOEWERING, Gerhard, “A Textual and Analytical Study of the Tafsir of


Sahl al-Tustari (d. 283/896),” McGill University: Montreal, Quebec,
Canada, 1975

16. CEYLAN, Yasin, “Theology and Tafsir in the Major Works of Fakhr al-Din
al-Razi,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1980

17. COPPENS, Pieter, “Seeing God in this World and the Otherworld: Crossing
Boundaries in Sufi Commentaries on the Qur’an,” Utrecht University:
Utrecht, Netherlands, 1983

18. CURTIS, Roy Young Muhammad Mukhtar, “Authentic Interpretation of


Classical Islamic Texts: An Analysis of the Introduction of Ibn Kathir’s
Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Azim,” University of Michigan: Ann Arbor, Michigan,
1989

19. FIRESTONE, Reuven, “The Evolution of Islamic Narrative Exegesis in the


Abraham- Ishmael Legends,” New York University: New York, 1988

20. FITZGERALD, L. P., “Creation in al-Tafsir al-Kabir of Fakhr al-Din al-


Razi,” Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 1992

21. FUDGE, Bruce Gordon, “The Major Qur’an Commentary of al-Tabrisi (d.
548/1153),” Harvard University: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2003

22. GODLAS, Alan A., “The Ara’is al-Bayan: The Mystical Qur’anic Exegesis
of Ruzbihan al-Baqli,” University of California: Oakland, California, 1991

23. GWYNNE, Rosalind Ward, “The Tafsir of Abu Ali al-Jubbai: First Steps
Towards a Reconstruction, with Texts, Translation, Biographical
Introduction and Analytical Essay,” University of Washington: Seattle,
Washington, 1982

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24. HARBER, Jean Dickenson, “Medieval Creation Commentary as Literary


Interpretation: St. Augustine’s De Genesi ad Litteram and al-Tabari’s Tafsir
of Sura 2:29-38,” University of Wisconsin: Madison, Wisconsin, 1979

25. HUSSAIN, Hafiz Fida, “Usage of Arabic Poetry Towards an Understanding


of the Holy Qur’an: A Study of the Tafseer Literature, Compiled During
Early Five Centuries,” Allama Iqbal Open University: Islamabad, Pakistan,
2010

26. IBRAHIM, Lutpi, “Theological Questions at Issue Between Zamakhshari


and al-Baydawi with Special Reference to al-Kashshaf and Anwar at-
Tanzil,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1977

27. ISMAIL, U. Y., “A Critical Edition of al-Masabih fi Tafsir al-Qur’an al-


Azim Attributed to Ibn Kaysan al-Nahwi Together with Introduction and
Notes,” University of Manchester: Manchester, England, 1979

28. JAFFER, Tariq, “Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d. 606/1210): Philosopher and
Theologian as Exegete,” Yale University: New Haven, Connecticut, 2005

29. KEELER, Annabel, “Persian Sufism and Exegesis: Maybudi’s Commentary


on The Qur’an: The Kashf al-Asrar,” University of Cambridge: Cambridge,
England, 2001

30. KIFAYAT ULLAH, “Al-Kashshaf: Al-Zamakhsharis’ (d. 538/1144)


Mutazilite Exegesis of the Qur’an,” Georgetown University: Washington,
D.C., 2013

31. KULINICH, Alena, “Representing a Blameworthy Tafsir: Mutazilite


Exegetical Tradition in al-Jami fi Tafsir al-Qur’an of Ali Ibn Isa al-
Rummani (d. 384/994),” University of London: London, England, 2011

32. LANE, Andrew J., “Al-Zamakhshari (d. 538/1144) and his Qur’an
Commentary al-Kashshaf: A Late Mutazilite Scholar at Work,” University
of Toronto: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2003

33. MATALKAH, Hamdan Ezzet, “Systematic Ways of Explaining and


Commentating on the Qur’anic Word Surah al-Baqarah a Comparison
Between al-Zamakhshari in (al-Kashshaaf) and Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi in
(al-Bahr al-Muheet),” University of Petra: Amman, Jordan, 2017

34. MIRZA, Younus Y., “Ibn Kathir (d. 774/1373): His Intellectual Circle,
Major Works and Qur’anic Exegesis,” Georgetown University: Washington,
D.C., 2012

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

35. NAHIDI, Shahram, “Towards a New Qur’anic Hermeneutics Based on


Historico-critical and Intertextual Approaches: The Case of the Crucifixion
of Jesus in the Tafasir of Eight Muslim Exegetes,” Universite de Montreal:
Quebec, Canada, 2013

36. NGUYEN, Martin Tran, “The Confluence and Construction of Traditions:


al-Qushayri (d. 465/1072) and the Intersection of Qur’anic Exegesis,
Theology, and Sufism,” Harvard University: Cambridge, Massachusetts,
2009

37. NURAD DAIM, al-Hibr Yusuf, “The Charge of Shi’ism Against al-Tabari
with Special Reference to his Tafsir,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh,
Scotland, 1969

38. OKEH, Atefa, “Tafsir al-Qur’an attributed to Abdullah Ibn Abbas (d.
68/668),” University of Wales: Cardiff, Wales, 2008

39. SALEH, Walid A., “The Qur’an Commentary of al-Thalabi (d. 427/1035),”
Yale University: New Haven, Connecticut, 2001

40. SANDS, Kristin L. (Zahra), “Commentary (Tafsir) and Allusion (Ishara): A


Comparative Study of Exoteric and Sufi Interpretations of the Qur’an in
Classical Islam,” New York University: New York, 2000

41. SCHUB, Michael B., “Linguistic Topics in al-Zamchshari’s Commentary on


the Qur’an,” University of California: Oakland, California, 1977

42. STREET, Tony, “Angels in Medieval Islamic Theology: A Study in Fakhr


al-Din al-Razi,” Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 1988

43. THAVER, Tehseen, “Ambiguity, Hermeneutics, and the Formation of Shi’i


Identity in al-Sharif al-Radi’s (d. 1015 C.E.) Qur’an Commentary,”
University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2013

44. TOHE, Achmad, “Muqatil Ibn Sulayman: A Neglected Figure in the Early
History Of Qur’anic Commentary,” Boston University, Boston,
Massachusetts, 2015

45. TROUDI, Khaled, “Qur’anic Hermeneutics with Reference to Narratives: A


Study in Classical Exegetical Traditions,” University of Exeter: Devon,
South West England, 2011

46. WAJAN, Walid Hwaimel Abdelaziz, “Early Literary Trends for Qur’anic
Exegesis During the First Three Centuries of Islam,” University of London:
London, England, 1989

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47. ZADEH, Ensieh Nasrollahi, “The Qur’an Commentary Attributed to Imam


Ja’far Sadiq (AS): A Study of its Dating and Interpretive Method,”
University of Birmingham: Birmingham, 2003

48. ZUBIR, Badri Najib, “Balagha as an Instrument of Qur’an Interpretation: A


Study of Al-Kashshaf,” University of London: London, England, 1999

B. The Qur’an Commentaries and Commentators: Modern


49. AB RAHMAN, Asyraf Hj., “The Concept of Social Justice as Found in
Sayyid Qutb’s Fi Zilal al-Qur’an,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh,
Scotland, 2000

50. AHMAD, Nadzrah, “Methodology and Issues within Tafsir al-Qur’an al-
Karim by Abdul Halim Hasan et al., An Analytical Study,” International
Islamic University, Malaysia: Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, 2014

51. ALI, Akbar, “Revelation and Qur’anic Hermeneutics: An Analysis of Four


Contemporary Discourses,” University of Melbourne: Melbourne, 2017

52. ALRAJAIBI, Iman M., “Aesthetics in the Qur’an: A Thematic Study Based
on Selected Modern Exegeses,” University of Birmingham: Birmingham,
West Midlands, 2016

53. ARKADAN, Salah Eddine S., “A Critical Edition of Fath al-Mannan bi


Tafsir al-Qur’an by al-Hasan b. Ahmad Akish (d. 1289/1874),” University
of Glasgow: Glasgow, Scotland, 1994

54. AZMAT, Tanveer, “Understanding and Qur’anic Revelation: The Dynamic


Hermeneutics of Irfan A. Khan,” Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago:
Chicago, Illinois, 2016

55. CALIS, Halim, “Akbari Hermeneutics in Shams al-Din al-Fanari’s Qur’an


Commentary on the Chapter al-Fatiha,” University of Chicago: Chicago,
Illinois, 2018

56. ELMI, Mohammad Jafar, “An Objective Approach to Revelation: S. M. H.


Tabataba’i’s Method of Interpreting the Qur’an,” University of
Birmingham: Birmingham, West Midlands, 2002

57. IBRAHIM, Esam Eltigani Mohamed, “al-Tafsir al-Tawhidi: A Study on the


Ideological Aspect of Hasan al-Turabi’s Exegetical Work,” International
Islamic University, Malaysia: Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, 2012

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58. IKHWAN, Munirul, “An Indonesian Initiative to Make the Qur’an Down-
To-Earth: Muhammad Quraish Shihab and his School of Exegesis,” Freie
Universitat Berlin: Berlin, 2015

59. KHATOON, Uzma, “A Critical Study of Select Urdu Tafasir of 20th


Century,” Aligarh Muslim University: Aligarh, India, 2015

60. LARSEN, John Moller, “Art & Activism: The Qur’anic Exegesis of Sayyid
Quṭb, University of Aarhus: Aarhus, Denmark,” 2006

61. LAWSON, B. Todd, “The Qur’an Commentary of Sayyid Ali Muhammad


Shirazi: The Bab,” McGill University: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1987

62. MEDOFF, Louis Abraham, “Ijtihad and Renewal in Qur’anic


Hermeneutics: An Analysis of Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai’s al-Mizan fi
Tafsir al-Qur’an,” University of California: Oakland, California, 2000

63. MEFTAH, Jilani Ben Touhami, “The Arab Modernists of the Last Three
Decades and the Qur’anic Text: A Critical Study,” University of Malaya:
Kuala Lumpur, 2003

64. MIR, Mustansir, “Thematic and Structural Coherence in the Qur’an: A


Study of Islahi’s Concept of Nazm,” University of Michigan: Ann Arbor,
Michigan, 1983

65. MOHD-NOOR, Ahmad Yunus, “Scientific Exegesis Reappraised: A


Critical Study of al-Jawahir fi Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Karim,” Durham
University: North East England, 2013

66. OSMANI, Noor Mohammad, “Mawdudi’s Tafhim al-Qur’an and Islamic


Dawah: A Methodology Study,” International Islamic University, Malaysia:
Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, 2002

67. ROBORGH, Herman, “A Critical Analysis of Amin Ahsan Islahi’s


Approach to Understand the Qur’an,” Aligarh Muslim University: Aligarh,
India, 2006

68. SEFERTA, Y. H. R., “The Concept of Religious Authority According to


Tafsir al-Manar and other Writings of Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida
and its Bearing upon their Critique of Christianity and Judaism,” University
of Birmingham: Birmingham, West Midlands, 1984

69. SHAFTI, Farhad, “A Comparative Analysis of the Farahi School of


Thought: A Case Study Approach,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh,
Scotland, 2016

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ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

70. SIDDIQUE, Bashir Ahmad, “Modern Trends in Tafseer Literature


Miracles,” University of Punjab: Lahore, 1972

71. YUSOF, Wan Sabri Wan, “Hamka’s Tafsir al-Azhar: Qur’anic Exegesis as
a Mirror of Social Change,” Temple University: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
1997

72. YUSOOF, M.Y. Zulkifli Haji Mohd, “A Study of Tafsir Abr al-Athir and
Sonhadji’s Methodology on Tafsir al-Qur’an,” University of Wales:
Cardiff, Wales, 2000

73. ZAR, Wali, “Aspects of Mysticism in the Tafseer of Imam Isme’al Haqqi’s
Rooh-ul-Bayan,” Allama Iqbal Open University: Islamabad, Pakistan, 2009

C. Issues of the Qur’an Translatibility: Comparative Studies


74. AL-GHAMDI, Saleh A. S., “Critical and Comparative Evaluation of the
English Translations of the Near-Synonymous Divine Names in the
Qur’an,” University of Leeds: West Yorkshire, England, 2015

75. AL-JABARI, Raed, “Reasons for the Possible Incomprehensibility of Some


Verses of Three Translations of the Meaning of the Holy Qur’an into
English,” University of Salford: Greater Manchester, England, 2008

76. AL-MALIK, Fahad M., “Performative Utterances their Basic and Secondary
Meaning with Reference to Five English Translations of the Holy Qur’an,”
Durham University: North East England, 1995

77. AL-MISNED, Othman A., “Metaphor in the Qur’an: An Assessment of the


Three English Translations of Surat Al–Hajj,” Durham University: North
East England, 2001

78. AL-SAHLI, Abdullah, “Non-Cannonical Word Order: Its Types and


Rhetorical Purposes with Reference to Five Translations of the Meanings of
the Holy Qur’an,” Durham University: North East England, 1996

79. AL-SALEM, Reem Salem, “Translation of Metonymy in the Holy Qur’an:


A Comparative, Analytical Study,” King Saud University: Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia, 2008

80. AL-SHAJE’A, Hilal Abdullah, “Translation of the Collocations in the Holy


Qur’an into English: A Comparative Study,” University of Mysore:
Karnataka, India, 2014

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81. EL-MAGAZY, Rowaa, “An Analytical Study of Translating the Qur’an:


Comparative Analysis of Nine English Translations of Surah Al-Anam,”
University of Portsmouth: Hampshire, England, 2004

82. HASSEN, Rim, “English Translations of the Qur’an by Women: Different


or Derived?,” University of Warwick: Coventry, England, 2012

83. HERRAG, El-Hassane, “The Ideological Factor in the Translation of


Sensitive Issues from the Qur’an into English, Spanish and Catalan,”
Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona: Bellaterra, Spain, 2012

84. JUMEH, Mohammed, “The Loss of Meaning in Translation: Its Types and
Factors with Reference to Ten English Translations of the Meanings of the
Qur’an,” University of Wales: Cardiff, Wales, 2006

85. KHAN, Abdul Majid, “A Critical Study of Muhammad Asad’s The


Message of the Qur’an (1980),” Aligarh Muslim University: Aligarh, India,
2005

86. KHAYYAT, Mustafa Monther, “Using Exegesis in Translating the Meaning


of the Glorious Qur’an,” University of Petra: Amman, Jordan, 2013

87. LAHMAMI, Abdulilah, “The Importance of Tafsir in Qur’an Translation,”


Durham University: North East England, 2016

88. MAULA, Aizul, “A Metaphor Translation of the Holy Qur’an: A


Comparative Analytical Study,” State Islamic University Syarif
Hidayatullah: South Tangerang, Indonesia, 2011

89. MUSHTAQ, Aroosha, “A Critical Study of Abdul Majid Daryabadi’s


English Translation and Exegetical Notes on the Holy Qur’an,” Government
College University: Lahore, 2018

90. NAJJAR, Sumaya Ali, “Metaphors in Translation: An Investigation of a


Sample of Qur’an Metaphors with Reference to Three English Versions of
the Qur’an,” John Moores University: Liverpool, England, 2012

91. NASEEF, Riyad, “Translating Metonymy in the Holy Qur’an: A Case Study
of Four English Translations,” King Saud University: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,
2008

92. NASSIMI, Daoud Mohammad, “A Thematic Comparative Review of Some


English Translations of the Qur’an,” University of Birmingham:
Birmingham, West Midlands, 2008

127
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93. PRAMBUDI, Adha, “Comparative Analysis of Dr. Mohsin Khan and


Maulawi Sher Ali’s Translation of Surah adh-Dhuha and Ash-Sharh,” State
Islamic University Sunan Ampel: Surabaya, Indonesia Surabaya, 2017

94. QUDA-REFAI, Somia, “Dogmatic Approaches of Qur’an Translations:


Linguistic and Theological Issues,” University of Leeds: West Yorkshire,
England, 2014

95. STARCZEWSKA, Katarzyna K., “Latin Translation of the Qur’an


(1518/1621): Commissioned by Egidio da Viterbo: Critical Edition and Case
Study,” Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona: Bellaterra, Spain, 2018

96. WILSON, Brett, “The Qur’an After Babel: Translating and Printing the
Qur’an in Late Ottoman and Modern Turkey,” Duke University: Durham,
North Carolina, 2009

D. Issues of the Qur’an Translatibility: Lexical Issues


97. AHMED, Adam, “Towards a Structured Theory on Qur’an Translation:
Testing House’s Model for Theoretical Relevance and Practical Adequacy
to Qur’an Translation,” University of Westminster: London, 2014

98. AHMED, Noor-Ud-Din, “Influence of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith on
the Arabic Prose Literature in Medieval India,” Gauhati University: Assam,
India, 2005

99. ALALDDIN T., Al-Tarawneh, “Towards a New Methodology for


Translating the Qur’an into English: A Hybrid Model,” Queen’s University
Belfast: Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland, 2016

100. AL-AZZAM, Kabri H. S., “Certain Terms Relating to Islamic Observances:


Their Meaning with Reference to Three Translations of the Qur’an and a
Translation of Hadith,” Durham University: North East England, 2005

101. AL-BULUSHI, Saleh Khudabakhsh Hashim, “The Translation of the Names


of Allah Mentioned in the al-Qur’an into English,” Universiti Sains
Malaysia: Malaysia, 2009

102. AL-HALAWANI, Sami, “Towards a Text-Linguistic Definition of Qur’anic


Inimitability: A Discourse Perspective and Problems of Translation,”
Heriot-Watt University: Edinburgh , 2003

103. AL-HARBI, Tahani Ateeqallah, “A Socio-Pragmatic Study of Forms of


Address and Terms of Reference in Classical Arabic Represented in the
Chapter of Joseph in the Holy Qur’an,” University of Leeds: West
Yorkshire, England, 2015

128
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104. AL-OMAR, Mustafa Hassan Ali, “The Importance of Time in Establishing


Meaning in the Holy Qur’an,” Jadara University: Irbid, Jordan, 2011

105. ALOMARY, Shaban, “Conative Utterances: A Qur’anic Perspective,”


University of Salford: Greater Manchester, England, 2011

106. AWAD, Abdul Kareem, “Translating Arabic into English with Special
Reference to Qur’anic Discourse,” University of Manchester: Manchester,
England, 2005

107. BADARNEH, Muhammad A., “The Rhetorical Question as a Discursive


and Stylistic Device in the Qur’an,” Arizona State University: Tempe,
Arizona, 2003

108. BIRNSTIEL, Daniel, “Selected Features of Arabic Syntax in the Qur’an,”


University of Cambridge: Cambridge, England, 2011

109. DAGHMASH, Hanan Mustafa, “Unconsistency of Qur’anic Translation: A


Case Study of Qur’anic Ghareeb (Unusual) Lexicons,” University of Petra:
Amman, Jordan, 2014

110. DAYEH, Islam, “Exegesis as Literary Criticism Studies in Qur’anic


Interpretation and Rhetorical Theory,” Freie Universitat Berlin: Berlin, 2012

111. DOST, Suleyman, “An Arabian Qur’an: Towards a Theory of Peninsular


Origins,” University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois, 2017

112. EL-AWA, Salwa Mohamed Selim, “Textual Relations in the Qur’an,”


University of London: London, England, 2002

113. EL-MALLAH, Fuzi, “Arabic-English Translational Crossover Viewed from


a Linguistic/Cultural Perspective: With Special Reference to the Major
Principles Involved in Translating the Metaphorical Language of the
Qur’an,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 2008

114. EL-TAHRY, Nevin Reda, “Textual Integrity and Coherence in the Qur’an:
Repetition and Narrative Structure in Surat al-Baqara,” University of
Toronto: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2010

115. EL-TAYEB, Khadiga Karrar El-Shaikh, “Principles and Problems of the


Translation of Scriptures: A Case of the Qur’an,” Temple University:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1985

129
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

116. GULNAZ, Fahmida, “Sign of Water in the Holy Qur’an: A Semiotic Study
with De Saussure and Sayyid Qutub’s Strategic Frames of Reference,”
National University of Modern Languages: Islamabad, Pakistan , 2014

117. HAGGAR, Dalia Abo, “Repetition: A Key to Qur’anic Style, Structure and
Meaning,” University of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2010

118. HASAN MOHAMED, Ahmed Mahmoud, “Bridging the Linguistic and


Cultural Gap Between Arabic and English: Polysemy and Culture-Specific
Expressions in Qur’an Translation,” University of Leeds: West Yorkshire,
England, 2013

119. IBRAHIM, Abd al-Rahim Ali Muhammad, “The Literary Structure of the
Qur’anic Verse (Aya),” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1977

120. ILYAS, Asim Ismail, “Linguistic and Extra-Linguistic Problems in the


Translation of the Holy Qur’an,” University of St. Andrews: Fife, Scotland,
1981

121. KABALI, Sulayiti Dawuda, “Semantics of Metaphor: An Overview of


Majaz Interpretation in the Holy Qur’an,” International Islamic University,
Malaysia: Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, 2006

122. KADI, Samar Afif, “Hatta Idha in the Qur’an: A Linguistic Study,”
Columbia University: New York, 1994

123. KEY, Alexander, “A Linguistic Frame of Mind: Ar-Ragib al-Isfahani and


what it Meant to be Ambiguous,” Harvard University: Cambridge,
Massachusetts, 2012

124. KHAN, Muhammad, “Stylistic and Communicative Dimensions in


Translations of Surah Yasin into English,” National University of Modern
Languages: Islamabad, Pakistan , 2009

125. LEEMHUIS, F., “The D And H Stems in Koranic Arabic: A Comparative


Study of the Function and Meaning of the Fa’ala and Af’ala forms in
Koranic Usage,” University of Groningen: Groningen, Netherlands, 1977

126. LOCATE-TIMOL, Samia, “Makkan and Madinan Revelations: A


Comparative Study,” University of Leeds: West Yorkshire, England, 2008

127. MUHAMMAD, Abdul Baquee, “Annotation of Conceptual Co-reference


and Text Mining in the Qur’an,” University of Leeds: West Yorkshire,
England, 2012

130
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

128. NOFAL, Nour Mohammad, “Rendition of the Arabic Conditional Structures


in the Glorious Qur’an Surat al-Baqara into English: A Study in Translated
Corpora,” University of Petra: Amman, Jordan, 2013

129. OMAR, Nida S., “Translating Qur’anic Vocative Sentences into English: A
Rhetorical Study,” University of Malaya: Kuala Lumpur, 2013

130. RAMLI, Bashir M., “Philology, Rhetoric and Literary Criticism in the Study
of ‘Ijaz’: During the 4th Century A.H.,” Leiden University: Leiden,
Netherlands, 1969

131. RAZZAQ, Abdul, “Qur’anic Story and its Influence on Urdu Story,”
Government College University: Lahore, 2014

132. SAIDAT, Ahmad Mahmoud, “The Syntax of Qur’anic Classical Arabic: A


Principle and Parameters Approach,” University of Texas: Austin, Texas,
2006

133. SALEH ELIMAM, Ahmed Abdelmoneim, “Clause-Level Foregrounding in


the Translation of the Qur’an into English: Patterns and Motivations,”
University of Manchester: Manchester, England, 2009

134. SALIM, Huda Yaseen Ali, “Collocation and Other Lexical Relationships in
Translations of the Qur’an: A Corpus Based Application of Lexical Priming
Theory to a Unique Theological Text,” University of Liverpool: Liverpool,
England, 2012

135. SHEHAB, Hana Mahmood, “The Philological Treatment of Qur’an Similes


in the Works of Philologists, Exegetes, Literary and Rhetorical Theorists,”
University of St. Andrews: Fife, Scotland, 1985

136. SHEIKH, Fauzia Tanveer, “Nature Imagery in al-Qur’an,” National


University of Modern Languages: Islamabad, Pakistan , 2007

137. SHEPARDSON, Dainel, “The Arabic Negative Sentences as Illustrated by


the Koran,” Yale University: New Haven, Connecticut, 1891

138. SWEITY, Ahmad, “Al-Jurjaanii’s Theory of Nazm (Discourse


Arrangement): A Linguistic Perspective,” University of Texas at Austin,
1992

139. TAQIYAN, Muḥammad Abd al-Fattaḥ Abd Allah, “Problematic Translation


of Mutashabihat Qur’anic Verses: A Lexico-Semantic Study, Cairo
University: Giza, Egypt, 2013 Lexical Issues

131
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

140. ZADEH, Travis E., “Translation, Geography, and the Divine Word:
Mediating Frontiers in Pre-Modern Islam,” Harvard University: Cambridge,
Massachusetts, 2007

E. Contemporary Issues in the Qur’an: Gender Issues


141. ABBOUD, Hosn, “Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Qur’anic Text: A
Feminist Literary Study,” University of Toronto: Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
2006

142. ABDULAZIZ, A., “Female and Muslim: A Study of Identity in the Qur’an,”
University of Birmingham: Birmingham, West Midlands, 1994

143. ADAM, Ibrahim Ilyasu, “Gender-Sensitive Verses in the Qur’an: An


Analytical Study of Amina Wadud’s and Asma Barlas’ Hermeneutics,”
International Islamic University, Malaysia: Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia,
2015

144. ADNAN, Gunawan, “Women and the Glorious Qur’an: An Analytical


Study of Women-Related Verses of Sura An-Nisa,” Universitat Gottingen:
Gottingen, Germany, 2004

145. AL-MATRAFI, Salihah Huwaydh, “Woman’s Issues in the Exegesis of


Imam al-Wahidi and Ibn Ashur: Comparative Methodological Study,”
International Islamic University, Malaysia: Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia,
2017

146. AL-SULAIMI, Nadeen, “Islamic and Western Approaches to the Qur’an: A


Rhetorical and Thematic Analysis of Surah 4 ‘The Women’ (al-Nisa),” The
Catholic University of America: Washington, D.C.,

147. ALY, M. G. A., “Linguistic Exegetical and Jurisprudential Analysis of


Chapter 24 of the Qur’an,” University of Leeds: West Yorkshire, England,
2006

148. BAUER, Karen A., “Room for Interpretation: Qur’anic Exegesis and
Gender,” Princeton University: New Jersey, 2008

149. CARTER, Constance, “A Degree Above: A Study of Translation of Qur’an


4: 34 Exegesis on it, and its Influence on the Gender Position of African-
American Muslim Woman,” Temple University: Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, 2003

150. CHAUDHRY, Ayesha Siddiqua, “Wife-Beating in the Pre-Modern Islamic


Tradition: An Inter-Disciplinary Study of Hadith, Qur’anic Exegesis and
Islamic Jurisprudence,” New York University: New York, 2009

132
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

151. EBRAHIM, Rahim, “Moral and Socio-Legal Dimensions of Surat al-Nur


(Chapter 24 of The Qur’an),” University of Durban: South Africa, 2002

152. EISSA, DAHLIA, “Defining Woman as Less than Man : The Influence of
Sex and Gender Stereotyping in the Interpretation of the Qur’an and the
Implications for a Modernist Exegesis of Rights,” Harvard University:
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999

153. EROGLU, Selahaddin, “Divorce According to the Qur’an: The Jurists and
Practice in Turkey,” University of Exeter: Devon, South West England,
1979

154. FIRDOUS, Rehana, “Discussions of Polygamy and Divorce by Muslim


Modernists in South Asia, with Special Reference to their treatment of
Qur’an and Sunna,” University of London: London, England, 1990

155. GEISSINGER, Aisha, “Gendering the Classical Tradition of Qur’an


Exegesis: Literary Representations and Textual Authority in Medieval
Islam,” University of Toronto: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2008

156. INLOES, Amina, “Negotiating Shi’i Identity and Orthodoxy Through


Canonizing Ideologies about Women in Twelver Shi’i Ahadith on Pre-
Islamic Sacred History in the Qur’an,” University of Exeter: Devon, South
West England, 2015

157. IQBAL, Roshan, “A Thousand and one Wives: Investigating the


Intellectual History of the Exegesis of Verse 4:24,” Georgetown University:
Washington, D.C., 2016

158. JARDIM, Georgina L., “She who Disputes: A Qur’anic Precedent for Sacral
Interlocution,” University of Gloucestershire: Gloucester, England, 2008

159. LAMPTEY, Jerusha Tanner, “Toward a Muslima Theology of Religious


Pluralism: The Qur’an, Feminist Theology and Religious Diversity,”
Georgetown University: Washington, D.C., 2011

160. MEHTA, Bothwell, “The Utilization of Scripture in the Feminist Debate in


Islam with Particular Reference to Amina Wadud’s Qur’an and Woman
(1992) in Conversation with Classical and Contemporary Qur’anic
Exegetical Works,” The University of Johannesburg: Johannesburg, 2016

161. MUBARAK, Hadia, “Intersections: Modernity, Gender, and Qur’anic


Exegesis,” Georgetown University: Washington, D.C., 2014

133
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

162. RAHEMTULLA, Shadaab Haiderali, “Through the Eyes of Justice: A


Comparative Study Of Liberationist and Woman’s Reading of the Qur’an,”
University of Oxford: Oxford, England, 2013

163. RAHMAN, Israt Turner, “Consciousness Blossoming: Islamic Feminism


and Qur’anic Exegesis in South Asian Muslim Diaspora Communities,”
Washington State University: Pullman, Washington, 2009

164. SHIRAZ, L. S., “Gender in Qur’an and its Exegesis,” University of


Birmingham: Birmingham, West Midlands, 2008

F. Contemporary Issues and the Qur’an: Current Issues


165. ABDULAH, Arif Kemil, “The Qur’anic Conception of Normative Religious
Pluralism: Hermeneutical Study,” University of Aberdeen: Aberdeen,
Scotland, 2012

166. ADLI, Wan, “A Traditionalist Theological Evaluation of Muslim Liberal


Interpretation of the Qur’an on the Subject of ‘Religious Pluralism’,”
University of Wales: Cardiff, Wales, 2011

167. AMIN, El-Sayed Mohamed Abdalla, “Terrorism from a Qur’anic


Perspective: A Study of Selected Classical and Modern Exegesis and their
Interpretation in the Modern Context,” University of Birmingham:
Birmingham, West Midlands, 2010

168. FARGHAL, Mahmoud Hasan, “Theory of Modernization in the Qur’an and


Some Implications for the Arab World,” State University of New York:
Albany, New York, 1978

169. GOKKIR, Necmettin, “The Application of Modern Critical Theories to the


Study of the Qur’an—With A Particular Focus on Qur’anic Studies in
Turkey Between 1980-2002,” University of Manchester: Manchester,
England, 2004

170. ISLAM, Tazul, “Maqasid al-Qur’an: An Analytical Study of Some


Contemporary Muslim Scholars’ Views,” International Islamic University,
Malaysia: Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, 2012

171. LOAN, Nadia, “Critical Reading: Devotional Reflections in the Pursuit of


Qur’anic Understanding in Contemporary Pakistan,” Columbia University:
New York, 2012

172. RAFIQ, Ahmad, “The Reception of the Qur’an in Indonesia: A Case Study
of the Place of the Qur’an in a Non-Arabic Speaking Community,” Temple
University: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2014

134
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173. RAHMAN, Yusuf, “The Hermeneutical Theory of Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd:
An Analytical Study of his Methods of Interpreting the Qur’an,” McGill
University: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2001

174. SIRRY, Munim, “Reformist Muslim Approaches to the Polemics of the


Qur’an against other Religions,” University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois,
2012

175. SOLIHU, Abdul Kabir Hussain, “Historicist Approach to the Qur’an:


Impact of Nineteenth-Century Western Hermeneutics in the Writings of
Two Muslim Scholars,” International Islamic University Malaysia, 2003

176. VOELKER, K., “Qur’an and Reform: Rahman, Arkoun, Abu Zayd,”
University of Otago: Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, 2012

177. WRIGHT, Peter Matthews, “Modern Qur’anic Hermeneutics,” University of


North Carolina: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2008

178. YUSKAEV, Timur Raufovich, “The Qur’an Comes to America: Pedagogies


of Muslim Collective Memory,” University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill,
North Carolina, 2010

G. Thematic and Conceptual Studies of the Qur’an


179. AL-HASSEN, Leyla Ozgur, “Qur’anic Stories: God as Narrator, Revelation
as Stories,” University of California: Oakland, California, 2011

180. ALWANI, Ahmed J., “Epistemological and Ontological Elements of


Transpersonal Human Development in the Qur’an,” Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University: Blacksburg, 2014

181. AMADU, Mohammed Hafiz, “The Qur’anic Concept of ‘Adl as a


Significant Resource to the Qur’anic Concepts of Salam And Sulh,”
University of Aberdeen: Aberdeen, Scotland, 2015

182. BAJWA, Rabia, “Divine Story-Telling as Self-Presentation: An Analysis of


Surat al-Kahf,” Georgetown University: Washington, D.C., 2012

183. BEHAIRI, Hanadi Muhammad, “Dialogism in the Qur’an: A Literary


Analysis of the Story of Abraham,” University of London: London,
England, 2007

184. BLOCK, Corrie John, “Expanding the Qur’anic Bridge: Historical and
Modern Interpretations of the Qur’an in Christian-Muslim Dialogue with

135
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Special Attention Paid to Ecumenical Trends,” University of Exeter: Devon,


South West England, 2011

185. DARNELL, Robert Carter, “Idea of Divine Convenant in the Qur’an,”


Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 1970

186. DENNY, Frederick Mathewson, “Community and Salvation: The Meaning


of the Ummah in the Qur’an,” Harvard University: Cambridge,
Massachusetts, 1974

187. EBRAHIM, Jalaledin, “Towards an Integral Psychology of Islam: From al-


Fatiha, the Opening, to the Gardens of Paradise,” Pacifica Graduate
Institute: California, 2012

188. FADZIL, Ammar, “The Concept of Hukm in the Qur’an,” University of


Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1999

189. FIEGENBAUM, J. W., “Prophethood from the Perspective of the


Qur’an,”McGill University: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1973

190. HAQ, Md. Jahirul, “The Four Terms of the Qur’an in the Discourse of
Maududi: An Analysis of his Methodology,” International Islamic
University, Malaysia: Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, 2015

191. JOMAA, Katrin A., “A Conceptual Analysis of Umma in the Qur’an and
Sunna and the Aristotelian Polis,” Indiana University, Bloomington, 2012

192. KHALIL, Atif, “Early Sufi Approached to Tawba: From the Qur’an to Abi
Talib Al-Maki,” University of Toronto: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2009

193. MADIGAN, Daniel, “‘The Kitab of Which There is no Doubt...’ Books,


Writing and Canon in the Qur’an’s Understanding of Itself,” Columbia
University: New York, 1997

194. NAGUIB, Shuruq Abdul Qader, “The Meaning of Purity in Classical


Exegesis of the Qur’an,” University of Manchester: Manchester, England,
2003

195. NOR, Amir Husin Mohd, “The Concept of Jihad According to Sayyid Qutb
in his Fi Zilal Al-Qur’an,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland,
1997

196. PIROOZ, Mehri Zendehnam, “An In-Depth Study of the Concept of


Muttaqeen in the Qur’an and its Implications for Women in Islam,”
California Institute of Integral Studies: San Francisco, California, 2007

136
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

197. RAOUF, Mohamed Mohamed Abdul, “The Qur’anic Concept of Sin,”


University of London: London, England, 1963

198. SADEDDIN, Marwan Fathi, “A Study of Surat al-Rahman: Explanation and


Analysis with Quotes of Interpreters,” University of Arizona: Tucson,
Arizona, 2000

199. SAHIN, Harun, “The Textual Analysis of the Concepts Laid Down in the
First Verses of Qur’anic Revelation: Language and Meaning,” University of
Texas: Austin, Texas, 2001

200. SMITH, Jane Katharine, “An Historical and Semantic Study of the Term
‘Islam’ as Seen in a Sequence of Qur’an Commentaries,” Harvard
University: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1970

201. TLILI, Sarra, “From an Ants Perspective: The Status and Nature of Animals
in the Qur’an,” University of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
2009

202. TORREY, Charles C. “The Commercial-theological Terms in the Koran,”


University of Strasburg: Strasbourg, France, 1892

203. WAHAB, Abdul, “A Study of Surat al-Araf: Development in Tafsir


Studies,” University of Peshawar: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, 1997

204. ZAIN-UL-ABIDEEN, Ali, “Semantic Study of Structures of Negation in the


Holy Qur’an,” International Islamic University, Islamabad: Pakistan, 2010

H. Comparative Religions / Scriptures and the Qur’an


205. AFSAR, Ayaz, “A Comparative Study of Qur’anic and Biblical Narrative in
the Light of Modern Literary Critical Approaches,” University of
Manchester: Manchester, England, 2004

206. AHMAD, M., “A Study of the Principles Related to Peace in the Gospels
and the Qur’an,” University of Birmingham: Birmingham, West Midlands,
2000

207. AIRNS, Ian J., “The Role of Theophany in the Formation of Scripture, in
Early Israel and in the Qur’an,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh,
Scotland, 1970

208. ASHKAR, Dominic F., “Mary in the Syriac Christian Tradition and Islam:
A Comparative Study,” Temple University: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
1996

137
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

209. AZIZ, F., Righteousness in the Epistle to the Romans and the Qur’an: A
Comparative Study, University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1972

210. BRADFORD, Brian C., “The Qur’anic Jesus: A Study of Parallels with
Non-Biblical Texts,” Western Michigan University: Kalamazoo, Michigan,
2013

211. BRIDGER, Jason Scott, “Christian Exegesis of the Qur’an: A Critical


Analysis of the Apologetic use of the Qur’an in Select Medieval and
Contemporary Arabic Texts,” Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:
North Carolina, 2013

212. CATE, Patrick O’hair, “Each Other’s Scripture the Muslims’ Views of the
Bible and the Christians’ Views of the Qur’an,” Hartford Seminary
Foundation: Hartford, Connecticut, 1974

213. DARMA, Dikko Bature, “The Analysis of the Contextual use of Qur’anic
Terminologies in the Translation of the Bible into Hausa Language,”
International Islamic University, Malaysia: Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia,
2016

214. EMRAN, El-Badawi, “Sectarian Scripture: The Qur’an’s Dogmatic Re-


Articulation of the Aramaic Gospel Traditions on the Late Antique East,”
University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois, 2011

215. HAQQ, Akbar Abdiyah Abdul, “Christologies in Early Christian Thought


and in the Qur’an (Being a Critical Analysis and Comparison of Selected
Christological Views in Christian Writings to 785 A. D. and those of the
Qur’an),” Northwestern University, Illinois, 1953

216. HURWITZ, Joseph J., “Jewish Influence on the Koranic Narratives,”


Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, 1953

217. K., Arifa, “A Comparative Study of the Treatment of Information,


Knowledge and Wisdom in the Bible and the Qur’an Within the Context of
the Emerging Cybersociety,”University of Calicut: Kerala, India, 2003

218. KATCH, Abraham Issac, “Aggadic Background of the Qur’an: Surah II and
III,” Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning: Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, 1944

219. KHOURY, Nabil Edward, “Selected Ethical Themes in the Qur’an and the
Gospel of Matthew,” Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California,
1999

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220. MAJEED K. K., Abdul, “The Concept of Man in Bhagavadgita and Qur’an:
A Comparative Study,” University of Calicut: Malappuram, Kerala, India,
2016

221. MCAULIFFE, Jane Dammen, “Perceptions of the Christians in Qur’anic


Tafsir,” University of Toronto: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1984

222. MUHAMMAD, “Dispute of the Four Groups in the Qur’an Jews-Christian-


Polytheists-Hypocrites,” University of Sindh: Jamshoro, Pakistan,
Jamshoro, 1994

223. NICKEL, Gordon Daniel, “The Theme ‘Tampering with the Earlier
Scriptures’ in Early Commentaries on the Qur’an,” University of Calgary:
Alberta, Canada, 2004

224. PEMBERTON, Barbara Butler, “Islamic and Judaic Perceptions of the


Inheritance of the Righteous in the Qur’an and Tanakh: A Rhetorical Study
of Sura 21 and Psalm 37,” Baylor University: Waco, Texas, 2000

225. RESNICK, Max, “Punishment in Civil Delicts According to the Old


Testament, Akkadian Codes and the Qur’an,” University of South Africa:
Gauteng, South Africa: Gauteng, South Africa, 1980

226. ROSS, Samuel, “The Biblical Turn in Modern Qur’an Commentary,” Yale
University: New Haven, Connecticut, 2018

227. SCHAFFNER, Ryan, “The Bible Through a Qur’anic Filter: Scripture


Falsification (Tahrif) in 8th and 9th Century Muslim Disputational
Literature,” Ohio State University: Columbus, Ohio, 2016

228. SESI, Stehen Mutuku, “Prayer in the Qur’an and in the Bible: A Bridge for
Christian Witness Among Muslims,” Fuller Theological Seminary,
Pasadena, California, 1999

229. SHAH, Zulfiqar Ali, “A Study of Anthropomorphism and Transcendence in


the Bible and Qur’an: Scripture and God in the Jewish, Christian and
Islamic Traditions,” University of Wales: Cardiff, Wales, 1977

230. SHALOM, Goldman, “The Joseph Story in Jewish and Islamic Lore,” New
York University: New York, 1986

231. SINGH, Harbup, “The Oneness of God in the Qur’an and Guru Granth: A
Critical Study,” Temple University: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1986

139
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232. SMITH, Andrew C., “Prostration as Discourse: A Comparative Literary,


Semiotic, and Ritual Analysis of the Action in the Qur’an and Hebrew
Bible,” Claremont Graduate University: Claremont, California, 2016

233. THOMAS, R. W., “Resurrection and Immortality in the New Testament and
the Qur’an,” University of Glasgow: Glasgow, Scotland, 1964

234. TIDSWELL, T., “Women in the Qur’an and Hebrew Scriptures: The
Development of Text Story and Character,” University of New England:
New South Wales, Australia, 2006

235. TIMMER, Kirsten Thea, “Yahweh and Allah: The Same God? A Study of
Five Key Concepts Relating to the Nature of God in the Bible and in the
Qur’an,” Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Texas, 2005

236. VARTANIAN, Vahan H., “Concepts of Reward and Punishment in the


Qur’an in their Relation to Old Testament and New Testament Concepts,”
University of Lowa: Iowa City, Iowa, 1938

237. WILDE, Clare, “Produce Your Proof if you are Truthful (Q 2: 111): The
Qur’an in Christian Arabic Texts (750-1258 C.E.),” Catholic University of
America: Washington, D.C., 2011

238. WILLIAMS, W. Wesley, “Tajalli Wa-Ru’ya: A Study of Anthropomorphic


Theophany and Visio Dei in the Hebrew Bible, the Qur’an and Early Sunni
Islam,” University of Michigan: Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2008

239. WITZTUM, Joseph Benzion, “The Syriac Millieu of the Qur’an: The
Recasting of Biblical Narratives,” Princeton University: New Jersey, 2011

240. WOODWARD, F. W. M., “1. The Meaning of the Transfiguration, 2. The


Gospel Histories in the Koran Dogmatically Considered,” University of
Oxford: Oxford, England, 1906

I. Theological Debates in the Qur’an


241. ACHTAR, Ahmad Sakhr, “Contact Between Theology, Hermeneutics and
Literary Theory: The Role of Majaz in the Interpretation of
Anthropomorphic Verses in the Qur’an from the 2nd AH/8th CE until the 7th
AH/13th CE,” University of London: London, England, 2012

242. BODMAN,Whitney S., “The Poetics of Iblis: Qur’anic Narrative as


Theology,” Harvard University: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2004

140
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

243. DEVENNY, Joseph Austin, “Al-Maturidi’s Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar and his
Qur’anic Argument for Qadr,” Harvard University: Cambridge,
Massachusetts, 1954

244. GIRDNER, Scott Michael, “Reasoning with Revelation: The Significance of


the Qur’anic Contextualization of Philosophy in al-Ghazali’s Mishkat al-
Anwar (The Niche of Lights),” Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts,
2010

245. MSAKI, Joachim J., “The Catholic Doctrine that Revelation is Closed and
its Impact on the Theological Evaluation of the Koran,” Duquesne
University: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2001

246. OMAR, Farahat, “Between God and Society: Divine Speech and Non-
Construction in Islamic Theology and Jurisprudence,” Columbia University:
New York, 2016

247. RAMLI, Rushdi Bin, “The Qur’anic Method of Man’s Relationship with
God with Special Reference to the Thought of Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah
(1263-1328 C. E.),” University of Birmingham: Birmingham, West
Midlands, 1999

248. ROUZTI, Nasrin, “Notion of Divine Trial in the Qur’an: A Critical Analysis
and Reappriasal of the Bala Narratives,” Durham University: North East
England, 2013

249. RUSTOM, Mohammed, “Qur’anic Exegesis in Later Islamic Philosophy:


Mulla Sadra’s Tafsir Surat al-Fatiha,” University of Toronto: Toronto,
Ontario, Canada, 2009

250. SALEH, Mohsen Mahmoud, “The Verse of Light: A Study of Mulla Sadra’s
Philosophical Qur’an Exegesis,” Temple University: Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, 1994

251. SAYILGAN, Gurbet, “The Ur-Migrants: The Qur’anic Narratives of Adam


and Eve and their Contribution to a Constructive Islamic Theology of
Migration,” Georgetown University: Washington, D.C., 2015

252. THOMAS, J. G. S. S., “The Doctrine of Man in the Qur’an,” University of


Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1953

253. TUFT, Anthony K., “The Origins and Development of the Controversy over
Ru’ya in Medieval Islam and its Relation to Contemporary Visual Theory,”
University of California: Oakland, California, 1979

141
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254. WELCH, Alford T., “The Pneumatology of the Qur’an,” University of


Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1969

255. ZARASI, Mohammad, “Dialogue Between Allah and Iblis in the Qur’an,”
International Islamic University, Malaysia: Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia,
2013

J. Political Debates in the Qur’an


256. ADAM, Fadzli Bin, “The Concept of Khilafah According to Selected Sunni
and Shi’i Qur’anic Commentaries,” University of Leeds: West Yorkshire,
England, 2001

257. AL-JOMAIH, Ibrahim A., “The Use of Qur’an in Political Argument: A


Study of Early Islamic Parties (35-86 A. H./656-705 A.D.),” University of
California: Oakland, California, 1988

258. ANSARI, Mohammed Abus Salam, “An Evaluation of the Qur’an and of
Western Sociology as Guided for Implementing the Goals of the Pakistani
Constitution with Special Reference to Problems of Conflict,” Pennsylvania
State University: Pennsylvania, 1958

259. DE GIFIS, Vanessa, “Qur’anic Rhetoric in the Politics of al-Ma’mun’s


Caliphate,” University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois, 2008

260. DIN, Fadzilah, “The Contribution of Tafsir al-Manar and Tafsir al-Azhar
Towards Understanding the Concept of Ta’ah and its Observance: A
Theological Enquiry,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 2001

261. EL-SOUDANI, Aslam, “Can one Speak of Qur’anic Political Theory: A


Hermeneutical Study Employing Semantic and Thematic Approaches,”
Durham University: North East England, 2014

262. FATIMA, Syed Kaniz, “Philosophy of the Holy Qur’an: A Socio-Political


Study,” Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University: Maharashtra,
India, 2013

263. IBRAHIM, M. Zakyi., “Prophecy of Woman in the Holy Qur’an: With a


Special Focus on Ibn Hazm’s Theory,” McGill University: Montreal,
Quebec, Canada, 2002

264. JASTANIAH, Abdulaziz Saddiq, “The Islamic State in Light of the Qur’an
and Sunnah,” Claremont Graduate School, 1982

142
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265. MAHMOOD, Hamza, “The Qur’an’s Communal Ideology Rhetoric and


Representation in Scripture and Early Historiography,” Cornell University:
Ithaca, New York, 2014

266. MARWAT, Muhammad Zaman, “Al-Shura: An Analysis of its Significance


and the Need for its Implementation and Institutionalization in the
Contemporary Muslim World,” Temple University: Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, 1990

K. Western Scholarship and the Qur’an


267. ALAM, Towqueer, “The Holy Qur’an and the Orientalists: Literary
Perspective,” Aligarh Muslim University: Aligarh, India, 1992

268. ALBAYRAK, Ismail, “Qur’anic Narrative and Isra’iliyyat in Western


Scholarship and in Classical Exegesis,” University of Leeds: West
Yorkshire, England, 2000

269. FISCHBACH, Rahel, “Politics of Scripture: Discussions of the Historical-


Critical Approach to the Qur’an,” Georgetown University: Washington,
D.C., 2016

270. GOKKIR, Bilal, “Western Attitudes to the Origins of the Qur’an


Theological and Linguistic Approaches of Twentieth- Century English-
Speaking Scholars from William Muir to William Montgomery Watt,”
University of Manchester: Manchester, England, 2002

271. JEFFERY, Arthur, “The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur’an,” University of


Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1929

272. JOHNSON, Wesley Irvin, “Evangelicals Encountering Muslim: A Pre-


Evangelistic Approach to the Qur’an,” University of South Africa: Gauteng,
South Africa: Gauteng, South Africa, 2015

273. JOHNSTON-BLOOM, Ruchama Jerusha, “Oriental Studies and Jewish


Questions: German-Encounters with Muhammad, the Qur’an, and Islamic
Modernities,” University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois, 2013

274. KHAN, Mohd Saleem, “A Comparative Study of the Qur’anic and Western
Ethical Theories,” Aligarh Muslim University: Aligarh, India, 2013

275. MUHAMMAD, Akilu Aliyu, “David Samuel Margoliouth’s Views on the


Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh) and Revelation of the Qur’an: A Critical
Assessment,” International Islamic University, Malaysia: Gombak,
Selangor, Malaysia, 2016

143
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

276. ZIA, M. U. I., “Studies in Qur’anic Narratives: A Structural Analysis of


Surat Yusuf and al-Naml,” University of Leeds: West Yorkshire, England,
1989

L. Qur’anic Sciences
277. ABDUL-RAHIM, Roslan, “Naskh al-Qur’an: A Theological and Juridical
Reconsideration of the Theory of Abrogation and its Impact on Qur’anic
Exegesis,” Temple University: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2011

278. AHMAD, Usman, “Isharatal-Nass in the Qur’an: An Analysis of its Role in


the Qur’anic Interpretation,” International Islamic University, Malaysia:
Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, 2015

279. AKRAM, Mohammad, “The Principles of Abrogation with Special


Reference to the Usul of al-Jassas,” University of St. Andrews: Fife,
Scotland, 1986

280. AL-BTUSH, Amin M. Salam Al-Manasyeh, “The Question of Abrogation


(Naskh) in the Qur’an,” New York University: New York, 1990

281. ALI, Suleiman Ali, “Al-Tafsir bi al-Mathur: The Qur’anic Exegesis of the
Prophet Muhammad his Companions and Successors,” University of
Michigan: Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1996

282. AL-JEMAEY, Awad, “Al-Rummani’s Al-Nukat fi Ijaz al-Qur’an: An


Annotated Translation with Introduction,” University of Michigan: Ann
Arbor, Michigan, 1994

283. ANSARY, Mir Raiz, “The Tafsir Genre Devoted to Addressing Perceived
Difficulties in the Qur’an,” International Islamic University, Malaysia:
Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, 2015

284. BHUTTA, Sohaib Saeed, “Intraqur’anic Hermeneutics: Theories and


Methods in Tafsir of the Qur’an Through the Qur’an,” University of
London: London, England, 2017

285. BURTON, John, “Al-Nasikh wa al-Mansukh,” University of London:


London, England, 1969

286. HABIL, Abdurrahman Yousif, “The Methodology of Abrogation and its


Bearing on Islamic Law and Qur’anic Studies,” Indiana University,
Bloomington, 1989

144
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287. HAFIZ, Abd-Ar-Rahman Mahmud, “The Life of Az-Zuhri and his


Scholarship in Qur’anic Sciences and Tradition (Hadith and Sunnah),”
University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1977

288. HAYAT, Amjad, “Dawah al-Naskh in Holy Qur’an: Comparative and


Critical Study of the Views of Mufassireen Abu Jafar Annahas, Habbatullah
Ibn Salamah Makki, Ibn Abi and Ibn al-Jauzi,” International Islamic
University, Islamabad: Pakistan, 2016

289. MACKAY, Floyd W., “Ibn Qutayba’s Understanding of Qur’anic Brevity,”


McGill University: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1991

290. NOLIN, Kenneth Edward, “The Itqan and its Sources : A Study of Al-Itqan
fi Ulum al-Qur’an by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuṭi with Special Reference to al-
Burhan fi Ulum al-Qur’an by Badr al-Din al-Zarkashi,” Hartford Seminary
Foundation: Hartford, Connecticut, 1968

291. RIPPIN, Andrew, “The Qur’anic Asbab al-Nuzul Material: An Analysis of


its Use and Development in Exegesis,” McGill University: Montreal,
Quebec, Canada, 1981

292. SAMAD, Muhammad Amin A., “Ibn Qutaybah’s Contribution to Qur’anic


Exegesis: An Analytical Study of his Work Ta’wil Mushkil al-Qur’an,”
University of Melbourne: Melbourne, 1995

293. WHITTINGHAM, Martin, “The Qur’anic Hermeneutics of Abu Hamid al-


Ghazali with Special Reference to his Understanding of Ta'wil,” University
of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 2002

294. YUNUS, Muhammad Rafi’i, “Modern Approaches to the Study of Ijaz al-
Qur’an,” University of Michigan: Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1994

M. Prophets and Personalities in the Qur’an


295. AZMI, Ahmad Sanusi bin., “Qur’anic Reference to Prophet Muhammad’s
Early Life: An Analysis of Selected Works of the Third/Ninth Century,”
University of Birmingham: Birmingham, West Midlands, 2017

296. BRONSON, Catherine, “Imagining the Primal Woman: Islamic Selves Of


Eve,” University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois, 2012

297. CALABRIA, Michael D., “The Foremost of Believers: The Egyptians in the
Qur’an, Islamic Exegesis, and Extra-Canonnical Texts,” University of
Exeter: Devon, South West England, 2014

145
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298. FARSTAD, Mona Helen, “Chaste, Chosen, and Purified: An Analysis of the
Qur’anic Narratives about Maryam,” University of Bergen: Bergen,
Norway, 2012

299. HALMAN, Hugh Talat, “’Where Two Seas Meet’ the Qur’anic Story of
Khidr and Moses in Sufi Commentaries as a Model for Spiritual Guidance,”
Duke University: Durham, North Carolina, 2000

300. JERVIS, James Paul, “Al-Khadir: Origins and Interpretations a


Phenomenological Study,” McGill University: Montreal, Quebec, Canada,
1993

301. LATIF, Amer, “Qur’anic Narrative and Sufi Hermeneutics: Rumi’s


Interpretations of Pharaoh’s Character,” Stony Brook University: New
York, 2009

302. WILLIAMS, Rebecca R., “An Analysis of the Supernatural Archetype of


the Prophet Muhammad as Found in the Sira/Tarikh and Tafsir Works of al-
Tabari and Ibn Kathir,” McGill University: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2006

303. WILSON, J. Christy, “Muhammad’s Prophetic Office as Portrayed in the


Qur’an,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1949

N. Collection, Codices and Manuscripts of the Qur’an


304. ABOU-KHATWA, Noha, “Calligraphers, Illuminators and Patrons:
Mamluk Qur’an Manuscripts from 1341–1412 AD in Light of the Collection
of the National Library of Egypt,” Toronto University, 2017

305. BRUBAKER, Daniel Alan, “Intentional Changes in Qur’an Manuscripts,”


University of Houston: Houston, Texas, 2014

306. FEDELI, Alba, “Early Qur’anic Manuscripts, their Text, and the Alphonse
Mingana Papers held in the Department of Special Collections of the
University of Birmingham: Birmingham, West Midlands,” University of
Birmingham: Birmingham, West Midlands, 2015

307. KARAME, Alya, “Qur’ans from the Eastern Islamic World Between the
4th/10th And 6th/12th Centuries,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh,
Scotland, 2016

308. LOPEZ-MORILLAS, Consuelo, “Lexical and Etymological Studies in the


Aljamiado Koran based on Manuscript 4838 of the Biblioteca Nacional,
Madrid,” University of California: Oakland, California, 1974

146
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309. SHEHZAD, Saleem, “Collection of the Qur’an: A Critical and Historical


Study of Al-Farahi’s View,” University of Wales: Cardiff, Wales, 2010

310. SILZELL, Sharon Lyn, “In Hearts and Hands: Sanctity, Sacrilege, and
Written Qur’an in Pre-Modern Sunni Muslim Society,” University of Texas:
Austin, Texas, 2015

311. SMALL, Keith E. “Mapping a New Country: Textual Criticism and Qur’an
Manuscripts,” London School of Theology, 2008

312. SUIT, Natalia Kasprzak, “Qur’anic Matters: Media and Materiality,”


University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2014

313. ZAIN, D’zul Haimi Bin Md., “Safavid Qur’ans: Style and Illumination,”
University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1996 CCM

O. Juristic Issues in the Qur’an


314. ALFAGHI, Latifa, “Application of Qur’anic Legal Verses in Contemporary
Times: Ijtihad in Practice,” University of Wales: Cardiff, Wales, 2013

315. BRUNELLE, Carolyn Anne, “From Text to Law: Islamic Legal Theory and
the Practical Hermeneutics of Abu Jafar Ahmad al-Tahawi (d. 321/933),”
University of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2016

316. FRIEDMAN, Rachel Anne, “Clarity, Communication, and


Understandability: Theorizing Language in al-Baqillani’s I’jaz al-Qur’an
and Usul al-Fiqh Texts,” University of California: Berkeley, 2015

317. OTHMAN, Abdul Hamid Bin Haji, “Shafi’i and the Interpretation of the
Role of the Qur’an and the Hadith,” University of St. Andrews: Fife,
Scotland, 1976

318. SMITH, Antar Ibn-Stanford, “Significant Features of Al-Jassas


Methodology for Deriving Legal Ruling from the Qur’an,” University of
Michigan: Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1985

319. SOUAIAIA, Ahmed E., “The Sociology of Inheritance: Privileged Parlance


and Unearned Rights,” University of Washington: Seattle, Washington,
2002

P. Readings of the Qur’an


320. ABD ALLAH, Ahmad Ali Muhammad, “The Variant Readings of the
Qur’an: A Critical Study of their Historical and Linguistic Origins,”
University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1984

147
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321. ABU FAYYAD, Fawzi Ibrahim, “The Seven Readings of the Qur’an: A
Critical Study of their Linguistic Differences,” University of Glasgow:
Glasgow, Scotland, 1989

322. ABU-BAKR, Yousef El-Khalife, “Text of the Qur’an with Reference to the
Phonetic Aspects of Tajwid,” University of Manchester: Manchester,
England, 1974

323. ALSURF, Saeed Saad Saeed, “The Phonetics of the Qur’anic


Pharyngealised Sounds: Acoustic and Articulatory Studies,” Macquarie
University: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2013

324. AL-WOHAIBI, Saleh Sulaiman, “Qur’anic Variants (Ilm Al-Qiraat): An


Historical-Phonological Study,” Indiana University: Bloomington, 1982

325. AMIN, A.M.F.M., “The Place of the Science of Qiraat and Tajwid Among
the Sciences,”Rand Afrikaans University 1998

326. BROCKETT, Adrian Alan, “Studies in two Transmissions of the Qur’an,”


University of St. Andrews: Fife, Scotland, 1984

327. EL-ASHIRY, Mohammad Riyad Mahmoud, “Some Phonetic Aspects of


Qur’anic Recitation,” University of London: London, England, 1996

328. GADE, Anna M., “An Envy of Goodness: Learning to Recite the Qur’an in
Modern Indonesia,” University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois, 1999

329. GOUDA, Ahmed Saher, “Qur’anic Recitation: Phonological Analysis,”


Georgetown University: Washington, D.C., 1988

330. HABIS, Ayman Abdullah Hamid, “Comparing Expert and Non-expert


Reciters of the Qur’an: Emphatic Assimilation in Classical and Modern
Standard Arabic: An Experimental Approach to Qur’anic Recitaion,”
University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1998

331. JARRAR, Rola Neyazi, “The Discipline of Qur’an Recitation in Britain and
its History and Status in the Islamic Curriculum,” University of
Birmingham: Birmingham, West Midlands, 2017

332. NASSER, Shady Hekat, “The Transmission of the Variant Readings of the
Qur’an the Problem of Tawatur and the Emergence of Shawadhdh,”
Harvard University: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2011

148
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333. PACHOLCZYK, Josef Marcin, “Regulative Principles in the Koran: Chant


of Shaikh Abdul Basit Abdus Samad,” University of California: Oakland,
California, 1970

334. SAID, S. A. A. M., “A Study of the Philologist Ibn Khalawayhi and Critical
Text of his Kitab I’rab Al-Qira’at As-Sab’ Wa’ Illalina, Known as Al-
Qiraat,” University of Manchester: Manchester, England, 1975

Q. Knowledge, Education and Ethics in the Qur’an


335. ABDULLAH, Adbul-Rahman Salih, “Educational Theory: A Qur’anic
Outlook,” University of Edinburg: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1981 \

336. AHMAD, Mushtaq, “Business Ethics in the Qur’an: A Synthetic Exposition


of the Qur’anic Teachings Pertaining to Business,” Temple University:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1983

337. AL-EDRUS, Syed Muḥammad Dawilah Bin Syed Abdullah, “Concept of


Ilm in the Qur’an: An Introduction to Qur’anic Epistemology,” 1984

338. AL-SHAMMA, Ṣalih Hadi, “The Ethical System Underlying the Qur’an: A
Study of Certain Negative and Positive Notions,” University of Edinburg:
Edinburgh, Scotland, 1959

339. ANSARI, Shabana Muhammad Saleem, “The Concept of Moral Education


in the Holy Qur’an,” Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University:
Maharashtra, India, 1994

340. BONE, Amra, “Knowledge: The Qur’anic Discourse Concerning Reason


and Revelation and its Impact,” University of Birmingham: Birmingham,
West Midlands, 2016

341. RAHBAR, M. D., “Studies in the Ethical Doctrine of the Qur’an,”


University of Cambridge: Cambridge, England, 1953

342. RISHA, Sarah, “Education and Curricular Perspective in the Qur’an,”


Arizona State University: Tempe, Arizona, 2013

343. SALEEM, Muhammad Tahir, “The Qur’anic Knowledge from Scientific


Perspective,” National University of Modern Languages: Islamabad,
Pakistan , 2013

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R. The Qur’an and Science


344. ABDEL-HADY, Zakariyya Mohamed, “The Human Being in the Holy
Qur’an: A Psychological Approach,” University of Glasgow: Glasgow,
Scotland, 1997

345. ABU-MILHA, Khalid Yahya, “Scientific Issues in the Hoy Qur’an:


Meaning and Translation of Verses Relating to the Creation of the
Universe,” Durham University: North East England, 2003

346. CHAUDHURY, Abul Hassan, “A Study on the Scientific Indications in the


Qur’an with Special Reference to Astronomy,” Assam University: Silchar,
Assam, India, 2013

347. HUSAIN, Shaikh Azimuddin Mohammed, “The Concept of Science as


Revealed in the Holy Qur’an and its Impact on Modern Education: A
Study,” Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University: Maharashtra,
India, 2002

348. NADEEM, Abid, “Qur’anic Fauna and Flora in the Light of Islamic
Literature and Biology,” University of Punjab: Lahore, 2011

349. SHAD, Tabasam Jamal, “Geographical Science and the Holy Qur’an: An
Experimental Study of Physical and Agricultural Geography in the Holy
Qur’an,” University of Glasgow: Glasgow, Scotland, 1997

350. SHAH, Sultan, “The Origin of Life and its Continuity: A Comparative
Study of Holy Qur’an and Biology,” Islamia University: Bahawalpur,
Pakistan: Bahawalpur, Pakistan, Bahawalpur, 1999

351. YAHYA, Firdaus Bin, “Cosmic Creation Theory According to the Qur’an
and Sunnah,” International Islamic University, Malaysia: Gombak,
Selangor, Malaysia, 2012

S. The Qur’an in the Digital World


352. ABDULLAH, Matin Saad, “Teaching and Understanding Qur’an Using
Adaptive Intelligent System for Collaborative Online Learning,”
International Islamic University, Malaysia: Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia,
2006

353. AHMAD, Mohammad Abdul Lateef, “Protection of the Digital Holy Qur’an
Using I T Techniques,” International Islamic University, Malaysia:
Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, 2014

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354. JILANI, Aisha, “Parallel Corpus Multi Stream Question Answering with
Application to the Qur’an,” University of Huddersfield: West Yorkshire,
England, 2013

355. MOHAMMED, Lampeter, “An Information Approach to Document and


Intelligent Retrieval Systems: Problems and Alternatives for Representing
Subjects in the Qur’anic Text,” University of Wales: Cardiff, Wales, 1991

356. YAURI, Aliyu Rufai, “Automated Semantic Query Formulation for


Qur’anic Verse Translation Retrieval,” University of Putra, Malaysia:
Selangor, Malaysia, 2004

T. Other Theses on the Qur’an


357. AL-SID, Muhammad Ata, “The Hermeneutical Problem of the Qur’an in
Islamic History,” Temple University: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1975

358. AMER, Amin Fateh, “A Critical Study of the Anti-Hadith Ideology from a
Qur’anic Perspective,” University of Birmingham: Birmingham, West
Midlands, 2010

359. HUSSEIN, Hassan Soleiman, “The Koran and Courtly Love: A Study of the
Koran and its Influence on the Development of Divine and Courtly Love,”
University of Southern California: Los Angeles, California, 1971

360. JALABI, A. A., “An Edition of Part I of Maani al-Qur’an wa Irabuha by


Ibrahim bin al-Saraj al-Zajjay,” University of London: London, England,
1971

361. JAMES, David, “The Development of the Qur’anic Calligraphy and


Illumination Under the Mamlukes, 1300-1376 and in Iraq and Iran in the
Same Period,” Durham University: North East England, 1982

362. KHAN, Muhammad Arif, “New Dimensions of the Study of the Qur’an in
the Light of Dr Rafiuddin’s Thought,” Allama Iqbal Open University:
Islamabad, Pakistan, 2011

363. SAFDAR, Syed Safdar Hussain, “Qur’anic Sociology of Philosophy,”


Bahauddin Zakariya University: Multan, Pakistan, Multan, 1987

364. SEADON, Yasser Hussein, “The Second Migration Between History and
Qur’anic Interpretation,” University of South Africa: Gauteng, South Africa:
Gauteng, South Africa, 2006

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Qur’an Translations in Indian Regional Languages:


A Bibliography1

Sajid Shaffi
D/o. Islamic Studies, AMU

ABSTARCT
resent study aims to highlight the bibliographical setting of complete Qur’an

P Translations in Indian Regional Languages— there is scarcity of works in


this field in English language, though some outstanding works are there but
not updated—World Bibliography of Translations of the Meanings of the Holy
Qur’an: Printed Translations 1515-1980 (1986), by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, The
Holy Koran in the Library of Congress: A Bibliography (1993), by Fawzi Mikhail
Tadroos and Islam in India: Studies and Commentries (1982) by Christian W. Troll.
A part from this various Islamic centers of the Qur’an in India, U. A. E and United
Kingdom rendered the Qur’an in Worldly as well as in Indian Regional Languages
(IRL’s). In which Markazi Maktaba Islami Publishers, Delhi rendered Syed
Mawdudi’s Tafheem ul Qur’an in eleven IRL’s (Assamese; Bengali; Gujarati;
Hindi; Kannada; Malayalum; Marathi; Odia; Punjabi; Tamil; Telugu). There is a
growing trend in translating Wahidudin Khan’s Tazkir-ul-Qur’an in various IRL’s,
Khan’s version of Qur’an has been rendered by Center for Peace and Spiritual
Studies, New Delhi in seven IRL’s (Gujarati; Hindi; Kannada; Marathi; Punjabi;
Tamil; Telugu). King Fahd Qur’an Complex (K F Q C)- Riyadh: Saudi Arabia had
also rendered some earlier versions of the Qur’an translations in IRL’s, K F Q C
had so for produced about nine translations of the Qur’an in IRL’s (Bengali; Hindi;
Kannada; Kashmiri; Malayalum; Nepali; Sindhi; Tamil; Telugu). Qadiyani’s had
also translated their version of the Qur’an in IRL’s, there are about fourteen Qur’an
translations available online/offline (Assamese; Bengali: Gujarati; Hindi;
Kannada; Kashmiri; Malayalum; Manipuri; Marathi; Nepalese; Odia; Punjabi;
Telugu; Sindhi; published and rendered by Islam International Publications
Limited, Tilford, Surrey, U.K.

There are twenty two constitutionally approved languages in India out of


which Qur’an has been translated in seventeen languages; keeping in view the study
will only focus on constitutionally approved languages of India and will highlight
bibliographical details and number of the Quran translations done/available in each
language. As per the present study only two languages has the higher rating in
Qur’an translations—Malayalum and Bengali, apart from these Hindi; Tamil;
Punjabi; Sindhi; Gujarati; and Telugu—has the average rating in the Qur’an
translations in IRL’s. So for, Kashmiri; Kannada and Marathi these have the below
average rating in the Qur’an translations in IRL’s. Most worrying fact is that

1
D/o. Islamic Studies, AMU

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only 1-3 translations of the Qur’an in IRL’s have been published so for in
Assamese; Sanskrit; Nepali; Odai; and Manipuri. Rest four translations of the
Qur’an in Bodo; Dogri; Konkani; Maithili and Santhali are yet to be explored—if
there are translations done/available. Apart from these languages, translations of the
Qur’an in Urdu language are excluded.

Key Words: Qur’an, Translations, Indian Regional Languages, Bibliography.

ASSAMESE
1. ALI, Muhammad Sadr, Pawitra Koraana, Gauhati: Lawyers Book Stall,
1970

2. KHAN, Bahadur Ataur Rahman, The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text with
Assamese Translation, Tilford Surry, UK: Islam International Publications,
1989

3. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Muzammil Haq, Translation of Tafhim-ul-


Qur’an in Assamese, Guahati: Assameya Islami Sahatiya Prakashan, 2010

BENGALI
4. ABU AHMAD, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Calcutta: The Model Litho and Printing
Works, 1940

5. AHMAD, Bahadur Taslim-u-din, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Calcutta, Oriental


Printers and Publishers Limited, 1922-1923

6. AHMAD, Idris, Tarjama-i Qur’an Dhaka: Murshid Press, 1912

7. AHMAD, Khadikar Fayd-u-din, Tarjama-i Tafsir-i Azizi, Muhammad


Shahid-ul-Allah, 1925

8. ALI, Abbas, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Calcutta: Altafi Press, 1909

9. BARI, Muhammad Abdul, Kurana Pak, Praptisthan Cherag Ali Book


House, 1969

10. CHAUDHURY, Akhtar Kamal, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Chittagong, 1923

11. CHAUDHURY, Fadl-ur-Rahim, Tarjama-i Qur’an, 1931-1932

12. GOLDSACK, Willaim, Al-Qur’an, Calcutta: Calcutta Baptist Mission


Press,1908-1920

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13. HABIB-UL-ALLAH, Muhammad, Tarjama-i Qur’an, 1923

14. HAFIZ-UR-RAHMAN, Muhammad, Qur’an Majid: Mutarjam,


Bahawalpur, 1952

15. HAKIM, Muhammad Abdul, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Calcutta: Hafiz


Muhammad Fadl and Sons, 1922

16. HASSAN, Muhammad Ali, Al-Qur’an al-Hakim: Qur’ana Sharifa, Dhaka:


Osmania Book Depot

17. KHAN, Abdul Rahman, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Dhaka Universal Press, 1962

18. KHAN, Muhammad Akram, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Dhaka, 1958-1959

19. KHAN, Muhammad Naqib-u-din, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Calcutta: Altafi Press,


1925

20. MANNAN, Abdul, Qur’an Sharif Hakim, Taj Company

21. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Abdul Raheem, Translation of Tafhim-ul-
Qur’an in Bengali, Calcutta: Bengali Islamic Prakashan Trust, 1980

22. MUQAMI, Fadil, Tarjama-i Qur’an, 1924

23. RUH-UL-AMIN, Muhammad, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Calcutta: Hanafi Press,


1918-1930

24. SATTAR, Abu Ata Abdul, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Calcutta: Altafi Press, 1916

25. SAYYID, Muhammad, Qur’ane Mukhtasar, Dhaka: Self Publication, 1968

26. SEN, Girish Chandra, Qur’an Sharif, Mymensingh, Bangladesh:


Charuyantra Charu Press 1881

27. SHAFI, Mufti Muhammad, ed., Muhiuddin Khan, Maariful Qur’an: Bengali
Translation and Short Tafsir

28. SHAMS-UL-HUDA, Muhammad, Neyamula-Qur’ana, Dhaka East: Bengal


Book Syndicate, 1959-1960

29. SIDDIQUI, Abdul Wathiq, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Calcutta: Afdaliya Press,


1933

30. SIDDIQUI, Mukhtar Ahmad, Tarjama-i Qur’an, Dhaka: Muslim Sahitya


Samiti, 1932

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31. TAHIR, Muhammad, Al-Qur’an, Calcutta: Madani Mission, 1970-72

32. UNKNOWN, Kuraanul Karima, Dhaka Islamic Academy, 1964

33. UNKNOWN, The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text with Bengali Translation,
Punjab: Nazarat Nashro Isha‘at, 2001 (First published in Bangladesh-1989)

34. WADUD, Qadi Abdul, Pabitra Qur’ana, Calcutta Bharati Library, 1966

35. WAHID, Abdul, Qur’an Sharif, Calcutta: Dar al-Isha‘at Islamia, 1964

36. ZAKARIYA, Abu Bakr Muhammad, Translation of the Meanings of the


Qur’an in Bengali, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah: King Fahd Complex for
the Printing of the Holy Qur’an, 2014

GUJARATI
37. BHAUNAGRI, Ghulam Ali Ismail, Holy Qur’an, Ahmadabad: Ithna Ashari
Press, 1901

38. GODHARWI, Aziz-ul-Allah Khatib, Gujrati Translation of Qur’an,


Ahmadabad: Fayz Publisher, 1955

39. ISFAHANI, Muhamad, Al-Qur’an, Bombay: Mustafawi Press, 1900

40. ISMAIL, Ghulam Ali Haji, Al-Qur’an, Ahmedabad: Ithna ‘Ashari Press,
1901

41. LUQMAN, Abdul Qadir ibn, Holy Qur’an Bombay, 1879

42. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Zaheer-u-din Sheikh, et al., Translation of
Tafhim-ul-Qur’an in Gujarati, Ahmadabad: Islamic Sahatiya Prakashan,
1981

43. MUSAWI, Gujrati Harfon Nen Tarjama Wala Qur’an-i-Majid,


Ahmadabad: Khatib Kitab Ghar,

44. PATIWALA, Muhammad Jamal, The Holy Qur’an in Gujarati Language,


New Delhi: Good Reads, 2017

45. RANDIRI, Ghulam Muhammad Sadiq, Gujrati Translation of Qur’an,


Suret: Muslim Gujrat, 1946

46. RASHID, Hafiz Abdul, Gujrati Translation of the Qur’an, Delhi, 1893-94

155
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47. SABRI, Muhamad Yaqub Chisti, Pavitra Kurannum, Bombay: Khilafat


Press 1925

48. THAMANI, Ahmed Bha’i Sulayman, Gujrati Translation of Qur’an,


Bombay: Habib Memorial Trust, 1938

49. UNKNOWN, The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text with Gujarati Translation,
Tilford Surry, UK: Islam International Publications, 1990

HINDI
50. AHMAD, Hafiz Nazar, trans., Understand Qur’an Academy, Aasan Hindi
Anuvad Hyderabad: Understand Qur’an Academy,

51. AL-AMRI, Sheikh Aziz-ul-Haq, Translation of the Meanings of the Qur’an


in Hindi, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah: King Fahd Complex for the
Printing of the Holy Qur’an, 2010

52. DARYABADI, Abdul Majid, ed., Vinay Kumar Awasti, Qur’an Shareef-
Tafsir Majidi, Lucknow Kitabghar, Vani Press, 1983

53. FARANGMAHALI, Bashir and Ghulam Muhammad Qurayshi, Hindi


Tarjama-i-Qur’an, Aminabad: Bhargo Press, 1947

54. JALANDARI, Fateh Muhammad Khan, Qur’an Translation in Hindi


Language, New Delhi Farid Book Depot Pvt. Ltd,

55. MASIHI, Ahmad Shah, Al-Qur’an, Rajpur, Dehradun, 1915

56. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Kousar Yazdani, Translation of Abridged
Tafhim-ul-Qur’an in Hindi, Delhi: Markazi Maktaba Islami Publishers,
2005

57. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Muhammad Farooq Khan, Translation of
Tafhim-ul-Qur’an in Hindi, Delhi: Markazi Maktaba Islaami Publishers,
2001

58. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Naseem Ahmad Ghazi, Translation of
Tafhim-ul-Qur’an in Hindi, Delhi: Markazi Maktaba Islami Publishers,
2015

59. NADWI, Mehraj-u-din, et al., Al-Qur’an Al-Azeem, Aman Publishers, 2014

60. NADWI, Muhammad Sarwar Farooqi, Qur’an Ka Paigham, Qur’an Majeed


ka Aasaan Hindi Anuvad, Jamiyaat Paiyam-e-Aman, 2011

156
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61. NIZAMI, Khawja Hasan, Hindi Tarjama-i-Qur’an, Delhi Hindustan


Electric Printing Work, 1922-1929

62. PICKTHALL, Muhammad Marmaduke, ed., Muhammad Faruq Khan,


Hindi Tarjama-i-Qur’an, Rampur: Maktabat al-Hasanat, 1966

63. SIDDIQUI, Muslema, et al., The Holy Qur’an in Hindi Language, New
Delhi: Goodword, 2014

64. UNKNOWN, Qur’an Majeed, Mutarjam Ma Arabi Matan, Jamia Masjid,


Delhi: Asif Book Depot, 2006

65. UTHMANI, Muhammad Taqi, Tauzeeh ul Qur’an: Aasaan Tarjam-e-


Qur’an Tashreehat Ka Sath, Deoband, 2008

66. YUSUF, Sheikh Muhammad, Qur’an Sharif Ka Hindi Anuvada, Amritsar:


Star Press, 1915

KANNADA
67. KESARI, R. A., Pavitra Qur’an, 1949

68. MAHMOOD, Sheikh Muhammad, Translations of the Meanings of the


Noble Qur’an in Kannada, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah: King Fahd
Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an,

69. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Muhammad, Noor and Sadullah,
Translation of Tafhim-ul-Qur’an in Kannada, Manglore: Shanti Prakashana,
2016

70. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Saeed, Ibrahib et al., Translation of
Tafhim-ul-Qur’an in Kannada, Manglore: Shanti Prakashna, 1978

71. PUTHIGE, Abdussalam, The Holy Qur’an in Kannada Language,


Bangalore: Madyama Prakashan, Printed by Goodword, 2015

72. QADIR, Abdul, et al., Divya Qur’an, Banglore: Islami Sahitya Prakashan
1978

73. YUSUF, Muhammad, Pavitra Qur’an: The Holy Qur’an Arabic Text with
Kannada Translation, Qadian: Nazarat Nashiro Ishaat, 2004

KASHMIRI
74. ANDRABI, Syed Jallal-u-din, Ijaz-ul-Qur’an, New Delhi: Self Publications,
2000

157
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75. BEG, Mirza Ghulam Hussain Arif, Irfan-e-Qur’an, Srinagar: Iqra


Publications, 2009

76. BUKHARI, Muhammad Qasim, Kifaayat-ul-Bayaan, Budshah Chowk,


Srinagar: Book Bell, 2000

77. NAQASHBANDI, Peer Ahmadullah, Marifat-ul-Qur’an, Kareem Abad,


Pulwama: Self Publication,

78. NAZIR, Gulam Nabi, Qur’an-e-Majeed, Tilford Surry, UK, Islam


International Publishing,

79. SHAH, Muhammad Yusuf, Bayan-ul-Furqan, Srinagar: Ali Muhammad &


Sons, 1973

MALAYALUM
80. AHAMED, C. N., Tafseerul Qur’an: Paribhasayum Vyakyanavum, Kerela:
Perumbavoor Ansari Press, 1963

81. AL-QASIMI, Rahmat-ul-Allah, Vishuda Qur’an Paribhasha, Kozhikode,


Kerela: Islamic Sahitya Academi, 2007

82. AL-QASMI, Abdul Kareem, Mariful Qur’an, Al-Marif Publications, 1998

83. AL-RAZI, Fakhr-u-din, ed., A group of Scholars, Tafsir-i-Kabir, Thrissur,


Kerela: Qur’an for the World Publication 2010

84. AL-SUYUTI, ed., Moulavi, T. K. Abdulla, Malayalam Translation of


Tafsir-i-Jalalain, Parappanagadi, Kerela, Bayaniyya Book Stall, 1967

85. AMANI, Muhammed, Vishudha Qur’an Vivaranam, Calicut, Kerala:


Najwathul Mujahideen, 1963

86. AZAD, Abul Kalam, ed., K. Umer Moulavi, Tarjuman-ul-Qur’an,


Tiruranagd, Kerela: C. H . Muhammed and Sons, 1970

87. FAISY, M. P. Musthafal, Vishudha Qur’an Vyakhyanam, Dubai Indian


Islamic Center, 1994

88. GAFFAR, Hafis P. H. Abdul, Al-Qur’an, Kottayam, Kerela: D C Books,


1997

89. HAMEED, Abdul, Vishudha Qur’an, Kozhikode, Kerela: Yuvatha Book


House, 1976

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90. KARAKUNNU, Sheikh Muhammed and Vanidas Elayavur, Qur’an Lalitha


Saram Calicut: Dialogue Centre, 2003

91. KAYAKKUTTI, Muttanisseril M., Al-Qur’an: Parisudha Qur’an,


Kayamkulam, Kerela: Lekha Publications, 1970

92. KHAN, Wahidudin, ed., unknown, The Holy Qur’an in Malayalum


Language, New Delhi: Goodword, 2016

93. KOYAKKUTTY. M., Qur’an Malayala Paribhasha, Kayamkulam, Kerela:


Lekha Publications, 1967

94. MADNI, Sheikh Abdul Hamid Haider, et al., Translations of the Meanings
of the Noble Qur’an in Malayalum, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah: King
Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an, 1996

95. MAQDUMI, Abdur Rahman, Tasrih-ul-Qur’an, Tirurangadi, Kerela: K.


Muhammed Kutty and Sons, 2000

96. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Sheikh Muhammad Karkunu, Translation
of Tafhim-ul-Qur’an in Malayalam, Kozi Kot, Kerela: Islamic Publishing
House, 2003

97. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., T. K Abdulla, et al., Tafhim-ul-Qur’an,


Kozhikode: Islamic Publishing House, 1972

98. MOIDEEN, P. Muhammed, Vishudha Qur’an, Malayala Paribhasa


Trivandrum, University of Kerala , 2009

99. MUSLIYAR, K. V. Muhammed, Bayan-ul-Qur’an, Thalassery, Kerela:


Fatima Books 1986

100. MUSLIYAR, K. V. Muhammed, Fathu-Rahman fi Tafsir-ul-Qur’an,


Chemmad, Kerela: Sunni Publication Centre, 1980

101. NADVI, Bahaudeen Muhammed, Vishudha Qur’an Malayala Paribhasha,


Chemmad, Kerela: Darul Huda Islamic University, 2015

102. NAIR, Konniyur Raghavan, Divya Deepthi, Calicut: IPH, 1994

103. NAIR, Konniyur Raghavan, Amrutha Vani, Calicut: Islamic Publishing


House, 1997

104. QADIR, Muhiyuddin Abdul, Tarjamah al-Tafsir al-Qur’an, 1872-1877

159
ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES • VOLUME NO. 1 • ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018

105. QUTB, Syed, ed., V. S. Salim and Kunji Muhammed Pulavathu, Qur’ante
Thanalil, Perumbavoor, Kerela, Manas Foundation, 1995

106. RAHMAN, K. Abdul, et al., Al Qur’an Kottayam, Kerela: DC books, 1996

107. SALIM, V. S. and Kunji Muhammed Pulavathu, Qur’an Malayala Saram,


Perumbavoor, Kerela, Manas Foundation, 1998

108. SHIHABUDIN, Sayyid Ahmed, Al-Bayan Fi Maanil Qur’an,


Thiroorangadi, Kerela: Ashrafi Book Stall, 1999

109. SULLAMI, Abdul Salam, Quraante Velicham, Calicut: Ayyobi Book House
2001

110. THANGAL, U. C. K., et al., Qur’an te Vivarthanam, S I S O Books, 2006

111. UBAID, T. K., Qur’an Bhashyam, Calicut: Islamic Publishing House, 1988

112. UNKNOWN, Vishudha Qur’an Vazhiyum Velichavum, Kozhikode: Kerela,


Academy for Islamic Studies and Research, 2011

113. WAFA, Muhammed Abdul, Vishudha Qur’an, Tilford Surey, UK: Islam
International Publications, 1991

114. ZAKARIYA, K. P., Vishudha Qur’an Aswadana, Calicut: Yuvatha Book


House, 2015

MANIPURI
115. HASAN, Ahmad, The Holy Qur’an Arabic Text with Manipuri Translation,
Tilford, Surrey, UK: Islam International Publications Limited, 1991

MARATHI
116. CHAUS, Abdur-Rahman, The Holy Qur’an in Marathi Language, Chennai:
Goodword Books, 2015

117. KHAN, Muhammad Yaqub, The Holy Qur’an, Bombay: Saad Adam Trust,
1973

118. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Abdul Jabbar Quraishi, et al., Translation
of Tafhim-ul-Qur’an in Marathi, Mumbai: Marathi Islamic Publications,
1991

119. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Abdur Rahman, Translation of Tafhim-ul-
Qur’an in Marathi, Mumbai: Marathi Islamic Publications, 2017

160
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120. UNKNOWN, The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text with Marathi Translation
Tilford, Surrey, UK: Islam International Publications, 2001

NEPALI
121. JAMAIT AHLE HADITH, Markaz Nepal, Translations of the Meanings of
the Noble Qur’an in Nepali, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah: King Fahd
Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an, 2015

122. UNKNOWN, The Holy Qur’an with Nepalese Translation, Tilford, Surrey,
UK: Islam International Publications Limited, 2001

ODIA
123. KHAN, Abdul Qadir and Muhammad Anwar-ul-Haq, Pabitra Qur’an,
Tilford Surrey, UK: Islam International Publications, 1989

124. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala ed., Tanzeemi Group, Translation of Tafhim-
ul-Qur’an in Odai, Bhubaneswar: Odia Islamic Sahatiya Prakashan, 2011

PUNJABI
125. AZIZ, Abdul, Tafsir Azizi, Lahore, 1908

126. BARAKALLAH, Muhammad bin, Tafsir Muhammadi, Lahore: Matba


Muhammadi, 1882-1884

127. BUKHARI, Shams -u-din, Punjabi Tarjama-i-Qur’an, Amritsar, 1894

128. FIRUZ-U-DIN, Punjabi Tarjama-i-Qur’an, Amritsar, 1903

129. HABIB, Muhammad and Bhai Harpreet Singh, The Holy Qur’an in Punjabi,
Chennai: Goodwords, 2017

130. HALWANI, Muhammad Nabi Bakash, Tafsir Nabawi ba Zaban-i-Punjabi,


Lahore, 1902-1904

131. HIDAYATULLAH, Punjabi Tarjama-i-Qur’an, Lahore, 1887

132. HIDAYATULLAH, Qur’an Majid, Lahore: Panjabi Adabi League, 1969

133. JALANDAHRI, Abdul Ghafur Aslam, Tafsir Yasir, Gujarat: Shawkat Book
Depot, 1968

134. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala ed., Ramzan Saeed, Translation of Tafhim-ul-
Qur’an in Punjabi, Malair Kotla: Punjabi Islamic Publications, 1998

161
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135. NAWAZ, Muhammad, Tarjama Qur’an Majid, Lahore: Istiqlal Press,

136. RAMZAN, Muhammad, Qur’an Translation in Punjabi (Gurmukhi)


Maliyar Colta, Punjab:

137. SARWARI, Nizam-u-din Hanafi, Qur’an Majid Batarjama Panjabi,


Lahore: Matba Siddiqui, 1895

138. SINGH, Gurdat, Qur’anSant, Wazirabad: Sardar Mila Singh,

139. UNKNOWN, The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text with Punjabi Translation,
Tilford Surrey, UK: Islam International Publications Limited, 1983

Sanskrit

140. UNKNOWN, Qur’an Sharif, Razzaqi Press, 1897

141. VERMA, Satya Devo, Sanskritam Kuranam, New Delhi: Laxmi


Publication, 1990

142. YUSUF, Muhammad, Qur’an Majid, Amritsar, 1932

SINDHI
143. AL-AMROOWATI, Taj Mahmood, Translations of the Meanings of the
Noble Qur’an in Sindhi Language, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah: King
Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an, 2002

144. AL-AMROOWATI, Taj Mahmud, Qur’an Majid Mutarjam Bazaban-i-


Sindhi, Lahore: Shranwala Publications, 1948

145. AL-RAZZAQ, Qadi Abd, Qur’an-i-Majid, Karachi: Abbasi Kutubkhana


1962

146. DAHRI, Abdul Qadir and Ghous Baksh Shaikh, The Holy Qur’an: Arabic
Text with Sindhi Translation, Tilford Surrey, UK, Islam International
Publications Limited, 1991

147. MADANI, Muhammad, Qur’an Sharif Sindhi Tarjama, Karachi, 1953

148. MANAGASI, Abdul Rahim, Qur’an-i-Majid, Karachi: Jamaat al-Ulama-i-


Sindh, (Abbasi Litho Press), 1932

149. MULLA, Ahmad, Nur al-Qur’an, Karachi: Haqqi Offset Press

150. MUTAAWALI, Qadi Azizullah, Qur’an Majid, Gujarat: Muhammadi Press,


1870

162
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151. NIZAMANI, Qadi Fath Muhammad, Tafsir Miftah Rushdullah, Bombay:


Matba Husayni, 1889

152. NURANGZAD, Muhammad Uthman Muhammad, Tanwir al-Iman fi Tafsir


al-Qur’an Shikarpur: Sindh Ablasi Press, 1952

153. SIDDIQ, Muhammad, Qur’an Sharif Sindhi Tarjama, Bombay: Din


Muhammad, 1879

154. UNKNOWN, Qur’an Sharif Sawali Sindhi Tarjama San, Hyderabad Qur’an
Company

TAMIL
155. ALI, Abdullah Yusuf, ed., Sadaqat-ul-Allah Alim Baqwi and Abdul
Wahhab, Qur’an Majid, John Trust, 1983

156. ALIM, Nuh, Fath al-Karim, Bombay: Fath al-Karim Press, 1890

157. AL-NURI, Sirajuddin, Tarjamat al-Qur’an al-Karim, Chennai: Al-


Basharath Publishers, 2002

158. AL-QAHIRI, Habib Muhammad, Al-Qur’an, 1879-1884

159. AL-QAHIRI, Nuh bin ‘Abd al-Qadir, Tafsir Fath al-Karim, Bombay: Al-
Karimi Press, 1911

160. BAQVI, Abdul Hamid, Tarjumat al-Qur’an fi Altaf al-Bayan, 1943

161. BAQVI, Abdul Qadir, Tafsir al-Hamid fi Tafsir-i-Qur’an al-Majid, 1937

162. BAQWI, Abdul Rahman, Anwar al-Qur’an, Kutanallur, Tanjore Adam


Trust, 1969-1975

163. BAQWVI, Abdul Hamid, Translations of the Meanings of the Noble Qur’an
in Tamil, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah: King Fahd Complex for the
Printing of the Holy Qur’an, 1993

164. IQBAL, Moḥammed, Sangai Mikka Qur’an, 1992

165. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Lutfullah, Aziz, Translation of Tafhim-ul-
Qur’an in Tamil, Chennai: Islamic Book Foundation Trust, 2012

166. WAHHAB, Abdul and Niẓamuddin Manbayee, Qur’an Tarjamah, Chennai:


Threeyem Printers, 1992

163
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167. ZAIN-UL-ABIDIN, Thiru Qur’an, Moon Publishers 2002

TELUGU
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Muhammad Abdul Ghafoor, 1949

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171. KHAN, Muhammad Qasim, Qur’an-e-Sharif, Hyderabad:Telugu Academy,


1944

172. MAWDUDI, Syed Abul Ala, ed., Malik, S. M., Translation of Tafhim-ul-
Qur’an in Telugu, Hyderabad: Telugu Islamic Publications Trust, 2010

173. NARAYANA, Rao Chilkoori, Koran Sharif, Aathreyashramamu, Madra:


Sharada Press, 1938

174. NASIR, Ibrahim, The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text with Telugu Translation,
Tilford Surrey, UK, Islam International Publications Limited, 1988

175. RAHEEM, Abdul, Translations of the Meanings of the Noble Qur’an in


Telugu, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah: King Fahd Complex for the Printing
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164
CALL FOR PAPERS

ALIGARH JOURNAL OF QURANIC STUDIES


Prof. K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies invites articles, book reviews and research papers on
Quranic Studies for the next issue of its online Aligarh Journal of Quranic Studies scheduled to be
published by April 2019. The deadline for submissions (within 5000-8000 words) is 28 February,
2019.

Thrust Areas

1) Quranic Guidance on Current Issues


2) Quranic Studies in the Indian Sub-continent
3) Translations of the Quran in English and Indian Regional Languages
Guidelines for Contributors

1. The authors are required to submit an abstract, not exceeding 150 words along with their
manuscripts. Manuscripts must be typed double spaced with at least one-inch margins on all
sides.

2. References and notes should be marked serially and placed at the end of the manuscript. The
use of op.cit.is to be avoided. Quoted material should have full location reference.

3. Authors are requested to quote the English translation of the Quranic verses from the
edition of A. Yusuf Ali only.

4. The authors are requested to provide along with the manuscripts, their present postal
address, phone number, mobile number and e-mail address.

5. Authors must include in their articles, versions of Arabic and Persian terms in the original
script also.

Transliteration

Words in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Urdu should follow this Journal’s transliteration table.

Copyright

Publication of material in the Journal means that the author assigns copyright to K. A. Nizami
Centre for Quranic Studies, including the right to electronic publishing. This is, inter alia, to ensure
the efficient handling of requests from third parties to reproduce articles as well as to enable wide
dissemination of the published material. Authors may, however, use their material in other
publications acknowledging the Aligarh Journal of Quranic Studies as the original place of
publication. Requests by third parties for permission to reprint should be addressed to the Director,
K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies, AMU, Aligarh, UP, India (director.cqs@amu.ac.in).

Editorial rights

Submissions will be blind peer reviewed. The editor reserves the right to copy-edit and make
necessary alterations in the material contributed for publication. The editor also reserves the right to
modify or omit any material deemed inappropriate for publication.

For Publishers

Publishers may submit books and journals, in duplicate, for review to the Editor, Aligarh Journal of
Quranic Studies, K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies, AMU, Aligarh, UP, India.

Disclaimer

The responsibility for the accuracy of the stated facts rests solely with authors. Opinions expressed
in Islamic Studies are those of the authors are not necessarily endorsed by either the K. A. Nizami
Centre for Quranic Studies or the Aligarh Journal of Quranic Studies. Authors are themselves
responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyright material for other sources.

Contact Information

Dr. Nazeer Ahmad Ab. Majeed

Editor, Aligarh Journal of Quranic Studies

K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies, AMU, Aligarh, UP, India.

Email: quranicstudies.amu@gmail.com
English:
1. Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation of the Quran: An 80-Year Retrospective, 2013
by Prof. Bruce B. Lawrence ISBN: 978-81-928837-1-7
2. Personality Development in the light of Quran and Hadith, 2016
by Er. Muhammad Matloob Khan ISBN: 978-93-84354-85-5
3. God’s Word, Man’s Interpretations: A Critical Study of the 21st Century English Translations of the Quran, 2018
by Professor Abdur Raheem Kidwai ISBN: 9789387486294
4. 21st Century Quranic Studies in English: A Bibliography, 2018
by Sajid Shaffi,ISBN: 9789387486355
5. How to Study the Quran: Sayyid Abdul Hasan Ali Nadwi’s Approach, 2018
by Dr. Abdul Kader Choughley ISBN: 978-0-620-77954-8
6. Sayyid Abdul Hasan Ali Nadwi’s Contribution to Quranic Studies, 2018
by Dr. Abdul Kader Choughley

Urdu:
1. Relation of Quran with Hadith, 2013 by Professor Syed Salman Nadwi
2. Kitab-e-Ilahi ke Panch Mutalabat, 2013 by Dr. Fazlur Rahman
3. Climate change in the light of Quran and Hadith, 2013 by Maulana Aneesur Rahman Nadvi
4. Hayat-e-Shaikh Abdul Haq Mohaddis Dehlavi, 2015 by Prof. K. A. Nizami, ISBN: 978- 9384354-19-0
5. Quran Aur Insani Nafsiyat translated and annotated, 2015 by Prof. M. Salahuddin Umari
ISBN: 978-93-84354-59-6
6. Quran Aur Insan, 2016 by Brigadier Mukhtar Alam ISBN:978-93-845354-98-5
7. Husne Akhlaq Aur Hum, 2016 by Dr. Mohammad Mubeen Saleem ISBN: 978-93-84354-99-2
8. Aligarh Aur Deeni Talim, 2017 by Prof. Khaliq Ahmad Nizami ISBN: 978-93-84354-46-6
9. Idara-e-Sir-Syeed Aligarh MuslimUniversity Ke Mashahir ki Qurani Khidmat, 2017
by Professor Abu Sufyan Islahi ISBN: 978-93-87497-06-1

Arabic/English/ Hindi /Urdu:


1. Manzoom Mazamin al-Quran al-Majid, 2013 by Brigadier Mukhtar Alam (in Urdu and Hindi Version)
2. Proceedings of National Seminar on Peaceful Coexistence in Multi-Cultural Societies: The Quranic
Perspective, 2014 ISBN: 978-93-83842-18-6
3. Quran Aap Se Kya Kahta Hai, 2015 by Brigadier Mukhtar Alam (in Urdu and Hindi Version)
ISBN: 978-93-84354-39-8
4. Proceedings of International Conference on Social and Spiritual Teachings of the Quran in
Contemporary Perspective, 2016 ISBN: 978-93- 85777-55-4
5. Six issues of The Reformist, 2017 (Students' Newsletter)
6. The Quran for You (100 Quranic sayings), 2017 Compiled by Dr. Nazeer Ahmad Abdul Majeed
7. Proceeding of National Seminar on Teaching of the Quran in Madrasas: Issues in Syllabus and
Methodology, 2018 (in English and Urdu languages) ISBN: 978-93-87497-50-4

© Prof. K. A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies,


Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202002 UP INDIA
Contact: +91 0571-2701230, Email: quranicstudies.amu@gmail.com, www.amu.ac.in/ajqs.jsp