The Qur'anic Studies

This section is devoted to the recent research carried out in the field of the Qur'anic studies. The content will be primarily the interesting papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Some material is also the excerpts from books. The aim of bringing such material on the web is to disseminate interesting information which otherwise would end up getting stacked in the libraries unread.

The articles in the journals are reproduce by the permission of the authors (and in some case even the journals) as they are under the copyright act. Please do not reproduce or redistribute as it amounts to the violation of the copyright act.

Grammar & Balaghah (Rhetoric)

Grammatical Shift For The Rhetorical Purposes: Iltifat And Related Features In The Qur'an , M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 1992, Volume LV, Part 3.

This article deals with the misunderstandings of various Orientalists on the issue of grammatical shifts arising in Arabic rhetoric; some them even called these linguistic features as linguistic defects in the Qur'an. Notable of them are the works of Theodor Nöldeke, Bell and Watt, Rudi Paret and John Burton.

Sudden Change In Person & Number: Neal Robinson On Iltifat, Neal Robinson, Discovering The Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach To A Veiled Text (1996, SCM Press Ltd.). The chapter is "The Dynamics Of The Qur'anic Discourse", [pp. 245-252].

This article is packed with some examples taken from the above work on Iltifat by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem.

Between Grammar And Rhetoric (Balaghah): A Look At Qur'an 2:217, Mustansir Mir, Islamic Studies, 1990, Volume 29, No. 3. pp. 277-285.

The article deals with various problems raised by the verse 2:217 concerning the case-ending of the phrase wa'l-masjidi 'l-harami in the verse. Rudi Paret has called this verse as 'rough' (perhaps taking a clue from the work of Theodor Nöldeke). Is it an issue of grammar or balaghah?

Literary Aspects

The Qur'an As Literature, Mustansir Mir, Renaissance, 2000, Volume 10, No. 5.

Professor Mustansir Mir introduces the often neglected aspect of the Qur'an i.e., the Qur'an as literature and illustrates this aspect with some interesting examples.

Is The Qur'an A Shapeless Book?, Mustansir Mir, Renaissance, 1999, Volume 9, No. 8.

Professor Mustansir Mir briefly discusses some of the ideas of Imam Farahi and his student Mawlana Islahi concerning the structure in the Qur'an.

A more detailed study of their ideas is available in Professor Mir's book Coherence In The Qur'an. To a considerable extent, Professor Neal Robinson in his book Discovering The Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach To A Veiled Text (1996, SCM Press Ltd.) also deals with the ideas of Imam Farahi and his student Mawlana Islahi. The reader is also advised to refer to the article "Islahi's Concept Of Surah Pairs", The Muslim World, 1983, Vol.73, No.1, pp. 22-32.

The Qur'anic Story Of Joseph: Plot, Themes, And Characters, Mustansir Mir, The Muslim World, 1986, Volume LXXVI, No. 1, pp. 1-15.

This article deals with the literary aspects and themes of the Qur'anic story of Joseph. The Qur'anic story is neatly structured on the analogy of the literary-rhetorical device of al-laff wa 'l-nashr `ala 'l-`aks (involution and evolution in reverse).

Contrapuntal Harmony In The Thought, Mood And Structure Of Surah Fatihah, Mustansir Mir, Renaissance, 1999, Volume 9, No. 11, April Issue.

The commentary of the opening Surah of the Qur'an runs into a few 100 pages. The above article summarizes some of the literary aspects of Surah Fatihah. Above all it shows that the Surah itself is a unity.

The Qur'an Oaths : Farahi's Interpretation, Mustansir Mir, Islamic Studies, 1990, Spring Issue.

The article compares Islahi-Farahi approach with the traditional approach to the Qur'anic oaths. Should we look at the Qur'anic oaths from literary or theological standpoint?

Study Of The Qur'an, Mustansir Mir, Renaissance, 2000, Volume 10, No. 1.

The verse 2:251 is used to show Qur'anic i`jaz as well as to draw attention to the historical events related to the verse.


Qur'anic Orthography: The Written Representation Of The Recited Text Of The Qur'an, M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, Islamic Quarterly, 19??, pp. 171-192.

The Dotting Of A Script And The Dating Of An Era: The Strange Neglect Of PERF 558, A. Jones, Islamic Culture, 1998, Volume LXXII, No. 4. pp. 95-103.

It is usually assumed that the dotting of the Arabic script began with the advent of dotting of Qur'anic manuscripts. However, recent observation on a 70 year old Arabic papyri has shown conclusively that dotting was available as early as 22 AH, perhaps even earlier.


Forgotten Witness: Evidence For The Early Codification Of The Qur'an, Estelle Whelan, Journal Of The American Oriental Society, 1998, Volume 118, No. 1, pp. 1-14.

This article discusses the Umayyad inscriptions on Dome of the Rock among others to show that the Qur'an was already codified before the construction of Dome of the Rock.

"Arabia Without Spices": An Alternate Hypothesis, Gene W. Heck, Journal Of The American Oriental Society, 2003, Volume 123, No. 3, pp. 547-576.

An interesting critique of Patricia Crone's Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam as well as other authors dealing with Makkan economy.

Some Logical Fallacies Dealt With In The Qur'an, Mustansir Mir, Renaissance, 1995, April Issue.

Review of The History Of The Qur'anic Text From Revelation To Compilation: A Comparative Study With The Old And New Testaments (M. Mustafa al-A`zami, UK Islamic Academy: Leicester, UK) by Murad Wilfried Hoffman, Muslim World Book Review, 2004, Volume 24 (Issue 4).

A very terse review of Mustafa al-A`zami's recent book on the Qur'an. Shaykh al-A`zami's work throws new light, especially, on the issues of Qur'an's compilation, dotting and addition of diacritical marks.

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