- Slides: 8
Business stuff • ID’s & Test format?
The History of the Text • A History told by Muslims • Revealed Piecemeal from 610 -632 • Compilation – Written down or memorized by Muslims during the lifetime of Muhammad – 632 Abu Bakr orders a comprehensive copy made, held by Hafsa, daughter of ‘Umar – ‘Uthmanic text: disagreements lead ‘Uthman to order one consonantal text in 650 (on camel parchment). Oldest full test of Quran comes from the mid 900’s • An Oral Text/ the Arabic Script: – Consonants not dotted example – Consonants not vowelled example – At least 10 well-known ‘readings’ of the Quran
Other Theories? • Archaic Material, Later Compilation: the Quran addresses Near Eastern audience, so is it from the post-conquest period… but how did it escape the civil wars?
Quran as a Book • Types of material: – Hortatory/didactic: believe, do good deeds, fear God, beware the Day of Judgment, obey God and his Prophet – Narrative: tales of Moses, Abraham, Noah, Salih – Predictive/Eschatological: fate of believers and unbelievers, creation and end of the world – Polemical: claims of Muhammad’s opponents, the failings of the ‘People of the Book’ – Doctrinal: the nature of God – Legal: less than 500 verses deal with law and ritual • Structure of Quran: – – Not a continuous narrative Contextual ‘azbab al-nuzul = occasions of revelation’ Ellipticalism: assumes audience knowledge Person: God as beyond language… ‘He’, ‘I’ ‘We’ and ‘God’ • Good for all time?
Themes • Tawhid: worship of God alone Vs. Shirk: assigning partners to God ex. • Knowledge (‘ilm) vs. Speculation ex. • History and Nature testify to the Message ex.
Quran as Source • The Quran is the “first source (al-asl al-awwal)” of Islamic law and dogma. • A Genre of Quranic Exegesis: Tafseer
Quran as Sacred Object • ‘The Book/Kitab’: the “Preserved Tablet” with God, the Quran as earthly manifestation • Ijaz of the Quran: inimitability c. 850 • Sacred Art: calligraphic tradition • Recitation and Reading: the Holy word brought to life • Talisman