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Title: Reading the Qur'an in light of the Manār
Author: Brandl, Marco
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 6967
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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Muḥammad ῾Abduh (d. 1905) and Muḥammad Rashīd Riḍā's (d. 1935) Tafsīr al-Manār is widely considered a turning point in Qur'anic exegesis for its presumed departure from traditional Sunni Arabic commentaries on the Qur'an, both methodologically and intellectually. This thesis investigates this assumption by taking a closer look at the text of the Manār commentary itself. With a primary focus on the Tafsīr al-Manār's exegesis of Sūrat al-Mā'ida-authorship of which should, along with most other parts of the commentary, be ascribed to Rashīd Riḍā-I argue that, although certain traditional exegetical techniques and features remain in this commentary, their presence and function appear to be superficial in many ways. Specifically, Rashīd Riḍā breaks with some of the conventions followed by classical mufassirūn not only by introducing a number of novel ideas, some of which stand in opposition to classical Sunni doctrine, but also by demonstrating a much more pronounced interest in the social and political realities of his day. In this context, the author often seems to use tradition in a way that serves the purpose of advancing his own agenda as a social reformer, although he does so in an arguably subtle and nuanced fashion. On the one hand, abiding by certain traditional exegetical rules allows him to showcase his own scholarly credentials to participate in the long-standing tafsīr genre. On the other hand, his proximity to and engagement with tradition seems to help him justify some of his more blatant departures in a manner that signals to the reader that his views are, in fact, not far-fetched at all, but intrinsically Islamic.
Supervisor: Sinai, Nicolai Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Muh?ammad ?Abduh ; Modern Islamic Thought ; Rashi¯d Rid?a¯ ; Qur'an ; Tafsi¯r ; Exegesis ; Islam