The Prolegomena to the Qur'an

The Prolegomena to the Qur'an

The Prolegomena to the Qur'an

The Prolegomena to the Qur'an

Synopsis

Ayatollah al-Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al Musawi al-Khui (1899-1992) was one of the most respected and widely acclaimed authorities on Twelver Shi'ite Islam in this century. This book, which was first published in Arabic in 1974, presents al-Khuis comprehensive introduction to the history of the Quran. In it, al-Khui revisits many critical and controversial topics connected with the collection and ultimate canonization of the text that have received little attention in contemporary Muslim scholarship since the classical age. For instance, he tackles what is probably the single most controversial subject in Quranic studies: the question of possible alterations to the Quran as maintained by some succeeding generations of compilers of the Quran. Throughout the volume, al-Khui stresses the importance of understanding the historical setting in which the Quran was revealed; he does this in order to apply its provisions appropriately in contemporary Muslim society, with its ever-expanding legal and ethical requirements. In addition to expounding his own views, al-Khui also has the polemical purpose of refuting Sunni beliefs and concepts concerning various matters related to the theories of alteration and abrogation in the Quran. His arguments illuminate some of the substantial yet little-understood and appreciated issues that have been truly at stake between the two principal segments of the Muslim community. Translator Abdulaziz A. Sachedina supplies a helpful introduction to al-Khuis work, discussing the methodological problems involved with the study of such texts, and placing it in the historical context of polemic literature in Islam.

Excerpt

Synopsis Analytical discussion of Qurʾanic sciences and of the importance of the qurʾan; its universal and legal explanations; methods and principles of its exegesis; aspects of its miraculous nature and its distinctiveness; its various readings and its protection from omission and alteration.

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Praise be to God, who revealed to His servant [Muhammad] the Book, and has not placed therein any crookedness. [But He has made it] straight to give warning of stern punishment from Him, and to bring to the believers who do good works the news that theirs will be a fair reward. Wherein they will abide forever [Q. 18:1-3]. This is a Book the revelations whereof are perfected and then expounded. [It comes] from One Wise, Informed [Q. 11: 1]. Falsehood cannot come at it from before it or behind it. [It is] a revelation from the Wise, the Owner of Praise [Q. 41:42]. This is the Book whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who ward off evil [Q. 2:2]. the Holy Spirit has revealed it from your Lord with truth, that it may confirm [the faith of] those who believe, and as guidance and good tidings for those who have surrendered [to God] [Q. 16:102]. It is no invented story but a confirmation of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for folk who believe [Q. 12: 111]. and lo! it is in truth a Reminder for you and for your folk; and you will be questioned [Q. 42:44].

God's mercy and His peace be on the Prophet whom
He sent with the guidance, the religion of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions, however much the unbelievers may be averse [Q. 9:33]. the unlettered Prophet whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel [which are] with them: He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong [Q. 7:157].

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