Full course description
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This course aims to introduce students to the academic study of the Qurʾan (ʿulūm al-Qurʾan). After defining the field and providing a brief historical background to the discipline, this course traces the history of the Qurʾan from the time of its revelation, its compilation, and considers the early manuscripts of the Qurʾan. This course then acquaints students with classical texts written on Qurʾanic studies, examining several of the major themes covered in such works.
Upon completion of this module, students should be able to discuss the development and compilation of the Qurʾan critically, be aware of the main disciplines of Qurʾanic studies, understand the structure and stylistic features of parts of the Qurʾanic text, and begin to appreciate some of the theological debates pertinent to Qurʾanic studies.
Lesson 1 Introduction to Qurʾanic studies (ʿulūm al-Qurʾan)
Lesson 2 The phenomenon of revelation (waḥī)
Lesson 3 Revelation (waḥī) of the Qurʾan
Lesson 4 Compilation of the Qurʾan
Lesson 5 The reasons for revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl)
Lesson 6 Distortion (taḥrīf) in the Qurʾan
Lesson 7 Variant readings and modes (qirāʾāt)
Lesson 8 Abrogation (naskh)
Lesson 9 Miracles of the Qurʾan
Lesson 10 Qurʾan as a linguistic miracle
Lesson 11 Qurʾanic openers
Lesson 12 Clear (muḥkam) and ambiguous (mutashābih) verses
Lesson 13 Interpretation (taʾwīl) and exegesis (tafsīr)
Lesson 14 Methodologies of Shīʿī tafsīr
Lesson 15 Shīʿī exegetical lenses
Lesson 16 The Qurʾan in translation
Hours of Study
Written exam (60%)
Nazmina Dhanji (Lecturer)
Mahdiyah Jaffer (Tutor)
Mahdiyah Jaffer completed an LLB in Law at the University of Birmingham. She then undertook seminary studies at the Al-Mahdi Institute between 2011 and 2015 and went on to complete an LLM in Health, Bioethics and Law at the University of Birmingham and a MRes at Royal Holloway, University of London where she conducted research on organ donation in Shīʿī jurisprudence. Mahdiyah’s interest in issues related to bioethics has seen her publish a chapter on the organ dontation in an edited volume and convene an international conference on organ donation in Muslim thought at AMI. The proceedings from this conference will be published later this year by Lexington Books in a peer-reviewed, edited volume entitled Organ Donation in Islam: The Interplay of Jurisprudence, Ethics, and Society, edited by Mahdiyah, Aasim I. Padela, and Gurch Randhawa. Mahdiyah is currently a Research Coordinator at AMI where she oversees research into Islamic ethics. She also runs tutorials for students taking courses in Ḥadīth and Rijāl Studies and Qurʾanic Studies.