نمایش مقاله

Objectivity and Extra-Historicity in Understanding the Qur’an

صفحه: 5تا 21

نشریه: Journal of shi'a Islamic Studies

شماره : 27 دوره هفتم تابستان 1393

نویسندگان: Dr. M. J. Elmi ,

کلیدواژگان: Qur’an; hermeneutics; tafsir; Hans-Georg Gadamer; Nasr Abu Zayd; Fazlur Rahman; Islam; modernity

چکیده مقاله:
The aim of this paper is to examine the hermeneutical method of understanding the Qur’an with regard to the authorial intention and in the light of the possibility of new and different readings and understandings of the Qur’an. According to Islamic teachings, there is a fundamental, determinative and inalienable mode of communication between humankind and the Divine, and this communication is embedded in religious scriptures in general and in our case the Qur’an. In this paper two main questions about understanding the Qur’an will be explored. The first question concerns the possibility of discerning the authorial intention from the text itself. The importance of this question is clearly manifest in regard to religious scriptures which have been with us now for many centuries. When we look at different interpretations of these scriptures, it can be seen that each of them directly or indirectly presents itself as the true understanding of the scripture in question. Then, the issue immediately arises: which of these different and in some cases contradictory modes of understanding of the text is in fact the true one and in accord with the Divine intention? In addition, some influential hermeneutical scholars have denied the possibility of attaining the authorial intention with any degree of objective verifiability. According to them, ‘understanding’ is the act of the reader, and the meaning which is presented by the interpreter has to be considered as his or her own production not the author’s intention. The second question is about the possibility of new readings and understandings of the Qur’an in relation to the new contexts which differ from the context from which the Qur’an emerged. The root of the second question goes back to the fundamental Islamic belief that Islam is the final religion and that the Qur’an is the final revelation which guides mankind forever. Therefore, some Muslim scholars such as Fazlur Rahman and Nasr Abu Zayd suggest that there is a need for a new hermeneutical method, through which one may transcend the literal meaning of Qur’anic verses to fulfil the demand of the new context on the one hand, and also objectively attribute the new modes of understanding to God, on the other. Finally, the conventional hermeneutical method of Shi‘a scholars in response to these two questions is explored in this article


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