Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran)


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He sanctified their understandings by the splendor of His Majesty. He made them the places for the hidden deposits of the symbols rumuz of His speech, the obscurities of His secrets deposited in His Book, the subtlety of His allusions isharat to the sciences of the ambiguous verses mutashabihat and [other] difficulties of the verses.

He Himself informed them of the meanings of that which He hid in the Qur1an so that they would come to know by means of His causing them to know. He anointed their eyes by the light of His nearness and communion. He showed them the unseen mysteries of the brides of different kinds of wisdom and knowledge, and the meanings of the innermost understanding and innermost secret, the exoteric sense zahir of which is a fundamental principle hukm in the Qur1an and inner sense batin of which is an allusion ishara and He veiled these secrets and marvels from others, those among the scholars of the external sense 2ulama1 al-zahir and the exotericists ahl-rusum who have an abundant portion of the abrogating and the abrogated, and the comprehension and knowledge of the permitted and prohibited, the limits and rules.

None of the Suf is studied here rejected the external aspects of practice and knowledge, but rather considered these the necessary prerequisites for proceeding with the inward aspects. Nizam al-Din al Nisaburi d.

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The first repeats the tradition of 2Umar found in al-Tabari regarding the lookout point on the Day of Resurrection. The second definition confirms the Suf i belief in the possibility of acquiring this vision in the here and now. The exoteric is the external sense zahr and the commands and prohibitions that constitute the limit hadd.


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In 2Ala1 al-Dawla al-Simnani d. You should first study the literal level of the Qur1an and bring your body into harmony with its commands and prohibitions. Secondly, you should occupy yourself with Thirdly, you should contemplate the gnosis of its limit hadd in the realm of hearts. The mystic should rely on inspiration ilham to comment on the esoteric dimension, while the accomplished Sufi who has truly declared the unity of God should only comment on the limit with divine permission. The individual who has attained the secret of the essence should not comment at all, but proceed in a faltering manner into the point of ascent of the Qur1an.

Sayings from 2Ali and Ja2far al-Sadiq In addition to the Ibn Mas2ud hadith, the Suf is found validation for their belief in the existence of deeper, discoverable meanings in the Qur1an in sayings attributed to 2Ali d. The exoteric sense is the recitation tilawa , the inner sense is understanding fahm , the limit hadd is the rulings of what is permitted and prohibited, and the lookout point muttala2 is what is meant by God for the servant by [the verse].

It is said that the Qur1an is a clear expression 2ibara , an allusion ishara , subtleties lata1if and realities haqa1iq , so that the clear expression is for hearing, the allusion is for the intellect 2aql , the subtleties are for witnessing mushahada and the realities are for self-surrender istislam. The Messenger of God peace and blessings of God be upon him , did not confide anything in me which he concealed from people, except that God most High gives a servant understanding of His Book. Moreover, it was revealed as a command, a prohibition, a promise, a threat, an indulgence, a foundation, and a test.

Moreover, it was revealed as an inviter, a guardian, a witness, a preserver, an intercessor, a defender, and a protector. The clear expression is for the common people 2awamm , the allusion is for the elite khawass , the subtleties are for the friends awliya1 , and the realities are for the prophets anbiya1. A key verse here is Qur1an because it addresses the problems in interpreting a text that is both clear and ambiguous. He it is who sent down to you the book containing clear verses ayat muhkamat which are the mother of the Book and others that are ambiguous or similar mutashabihat. As for those in whose hearts is a turning away, they follow what is ambiguous or similar mutashabih in it, seeking discord and seeking its interpretation ta1wil but none knows its interpretation except God.

The clear and ambiguous verses muhkamat wa mutashabihat In his commentary on the Qur1an, al-Tabari mentions five early interpretations for what constitutes the clear and ambiguous verses muhkamat wa mutashabihat. Suf i interpretations of Qur1an understand the Ibn al-Zubayr tradition as additional confirmation of different levels of meaning in the Qur1an.

The muhkamat verses constitute the basic message necessary for salvation addressed to all mankind while the mutashabihat are addressed to an elect group of individuals; the Qur1anic text is designed both to reveal and conceal, to communicate both simply and profoundly. He has classified the discourse for them. From its apparent sense zahir , there is the clarity of its revelation lit.

The first kind is for the purpose of unfolding the law and guiding the people of the outwardly manifest ahl al-zahir. The second kind is for the purpose of protecting secrets asrar from the examination of outsiders. One of them is the clear apparent sense zahir-i rawshan and one is the difficult obscure sense ghamid-i mushkil.

This apparent sense is the majesty of the law shari2at and that obscure sense is the beauty of reality haqiqat. This apparent sense is so that the masses 2amma of mankind might understand and practice this in order to reach the comfort naz and blessing. That obscure sense is so that the elite khawass of mankind might submit to and accept that, in order to reach the blessing of the secret raz of the friend. How great is the distance lit. Because of the grandeur of that state and the nobility of that work, the veil of obscurity ghumud and ambiguity tashabuh is not removed, so that not just any stranger could set foot in that quarter, since not everyone is worthy of the tale of the secrets of kings.

Do not stroll around the royal curtain of secrets! What can you do since you are not a man? A real man ought to be peerless in each of the two worlds since he drinks the last drops of the draught of friends. This linking of the structure of the Qur1anic text to the nature of existence can also be seen in the commentary of Ruzbihan al-Baqli. For Ruzbihan, the muhkamat are those verses that cannot be altered from how they were in pre-eternity. These are verses for believers that contain the practical application of the commandments, functioning like medicine for the sick in healing mankind and strengthening faith.

The mutashabihat, on the other hand, give information, to the few who are prepared to receive it, about the mysterious way in which God manifests Himself in His creation. The mutashabihat are descriptions of the ambiguous wrapping iltibas of the Attributes sifat and the manifestation zuhur of the Essence dhat in the mirror of witnessings shawahid and signs ayat.

It is a verbal noun derived from the Arabic root lbs. Two first form verbs from this root occur in the Qur1an: labisa, which means to wear something or to clothe someone, and labasa, which means to confuse. Another way to express the concept of iltibas is to speak of unity and multiplicity, the terminology that 2Abd al-Razzaq al-Kashani uses in his comments on Qur1an They are the mother, i. And others that are mutashabihat. They convey two meanings or more, and the truth and falsehood are ambiguous yashtabihu in them.

That is because the Truth haqq has one face, which is the absolute abiding face after the annihilation of creation, not admitting multiplicity or plurality. He also has multiple additional faces in accordance with the mirrors of the loci of manifestation mazahir.

The truth and falsehood are ambiguous in them. The revelation appeared in this manner so that the mutashabihat would turn towards the faces of the different forms of preparedness isti2dadat. So everyone clings to that which is appropriate to it, and the test and trial thereby become manifest. God is One both in His Essence and His attribute as the Manifest, while the loci within which He manifests are qualified by multiplicity.

Like al-Qushayri and al-Maybudi, they distinguish between the muhkamat verses that send a message to all mankind and the mutashabihat verses that are addressed to a few. The elitism here is not unique to Suf is but how the elite are defined is, as we shall see in the following section. Those in whose hearts is a turning away and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge al-rasikhun f i1l-2ilm Qur1an describes two ways in which mankind responds to the ambiguous verses mutashabihat in the Qur1an.

This part of the verse provoked extensive discussions in Qur1anic exegesis concerning what constitutes sound interpretative methodology. The answer depends on how the mutashabihat are defined. If the mutashabihat are taken to refer to those events known only to God, such as future events, then those firmly rooted in knowledge al-rasikhun fi 1l-2ilm leave their interpretation to God. By narrowing the definition of the mutashabihat to the verses of disconnected letters and the verses having to do with future events, al-Tabari narrows the area of the unknowable in the Qur1an, thereby emphasizing its clarity.

It is not possible that anything could be included in it that they did not need, or anything that they did need but had no way of knowing by interpretation. Since this is so, mankind has a need for everything in the Qur1an even though there are some meanings they can do without and many meanings that they very much need. This is like when God says, on a day when some of the signs of your Lord will come, no soul will benefit if it has not already believed or earned something good by means of its faith The prophet taught his community that the sign that God speaks of in this verse.

What the worshippers needed to know was the time period in which repentance would benefit them without restricting it to years, months, or days. God explained this for them by means of the Book and clarified it for them by means of His messenger acting as an exegete mufassir. They did not need to know the length of time between the revelation of this verse and the appearance of this sign. They had no need of knowing it for their religion or present life.

It is knowledge that God has reserved for Himself exclusively and not His creation, and He has veiled it from them. Although these mukhamat verses could be interpreted in various ways, their intended meaning has been made clear elsewhere in the Qur1an or in the explanations of the Prophet.

The role of the religious scholar 2alim is merely to present this intended meaning. If the mutashabihat are as we have described, everything else is muhkam by virtue of its having only one meaning and one interpretation. No one hearing it would need any explanations for it. Or, it is clear despite its possessing many aspects and interpretations and the possibility of many meanings because there exists an indication to its intended meaning either through an explanation by God Himself or an explanation by His Messenger to his community.

The knowledge of the religious scholars 2ulama1 in the community will not go beyond that because of what we have explained here. Al-Tabari quotes Ibn al-Zubayr as saying, Then they refer the interpretation of the mutashabiha to what they know of the interpretation of the muhkama that admit only one interpretation. The book is thereby harmonized by what they say, one part confirming another. By means of it, the proof hujja is established, victory appears, falsehood departs and infidelity is refuted.

According to al-Zamakhshari, the Qur1anic verse Vision cannot encompass Him is the muhkam verse to which the mutashabih verse gazing at their Lord must be referred. The first verse is to be understood literally while the second must be interpreted in light of the literal truth of the first.

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Likewise, the muhkam verse God does not command what is shameful makes sense of the mutashabih verse When We intend to destroy a town, We command those who live easy lives in it, and they act sinfully , which otherwise would seem to suggest that God commands some people to sin.

In the process, the potential exists for undermining the very message of the Qur1an, a danger noted by the theologian Fakhr al-Din al-Razi d. Yet we see that [the disagreement over the mutashabihat] reaches the point where each follower of a school of thought clings to it according to his own school, so that the Jabarite [determinist] clings to the verses of compulsion such as We have placed veils upon their hearts lest they understand it, and heaviness in their ears , , The one who affirms that God has direction clings to His words they fear their Lord above them and His words the Merciful sat upon the throne , while the denier clings to His words there is nothing like Him Then each one calls the verse that agrees with his school muhkam and the verses which disagree with his school mutashabih.

Maybe the situation of preferring one verse over another derives from covert preference and weak positions. So how can it be fitting for the Wise to have made the Book that is the reference point for all of the religion until the Coming of the Hour thus? He tells us that there are many religious scholars who believe that the difficulties of the mutashabihat increase the reward for those who struggle to discover the truth, forcing them to exercise their minds, and freeing them from ignorance and uncritical faith taqlid.

These verses also cause one to learn the methods of interpretation ta1wilat and preferring one verse over another tarjih ba2diha 2ala ba2d. Simply put, any expression in the Qur1an that can be interpreted in more than one way must be interpreted by its more probable meaning rajih unless there is a clear-cut indicator dalil munfasil that demonstrates the absurdity of the apparent sense zahir.

According to al-Razi, this clear-cut indicator dalil munfasil can be either linguistic lafzi or rational 2aqli. However, even though a definitive rational indicator can demonstrate the absurdity of the probable meaning, the intended meaning remains a matter of conjecture zann.

Guessing is permissible only for legal matters where action is required, not for the fundamentals of faith. According to al-Razi, anthropomorphists mushabbiha seek to validate their beliefs with the apparent sense zahir of this verse, even though it has been clearly established by reason thabata bi sarih al-2aql that God cannot be characterized as confined in space.

The anthropomorphists, then, are When it can be shown definitively that the apparent sense of a verse is impossible, the sound interpreter knows that what is intended is a figurative expression majaz for its reality haqiqa. However, figurative expressions are capable of many meanings and the preference of one over another can only be a linguistic preference.

Since this is not definitive proof, it is not permissible. Al-Razi, then, prefers the reading of this verse that stops after and no one knows its interpretation except God. This verse indicates the grandeur of the situation of the theologians mutakallimun who search for rational indicators al-dala1il al-2aqliyya and by means of them seek knowledge of the essence, qualities, and acts of God.

The first is not to aspire to fully know the meaning of these verses. The second is to accept that interpretation is unavoidable because reason does not lie.

The third recommendation is to refrain from specifying an interpretation when the [various] possibilities [of interpretation] are incompatible. What exactly is intended, however, I do not know, nor do I have a need to know, since it is not related to any action, and there is no way truly to uncover [its meaning] with certainty. Moreover, I do not believe in making judgements by guessing. Although al-Ghazali limits the role of reason in his Qanun al-ta1wil and the permissibility of interpreting the mutashabihat, he makes a significant exception to this rule in a book written towards the end of his life, Iljam al-2awamm 2an 2ilm al-kalam.

The book addresses the problem of traditions attributed to the first generations of Muslims salaf that appear to interpret anthropomorphic descriptions of God in the Qur1an literally. Al-Ghazali not only denies that the salaf ever interpreted these passages literally, but also claims that they established guidelines detailing how the general public 2awamm should understand them. According to al-Ghazali, the general public should avoid literal interpretations of anthropomorphic verses of the Qur1an while, at the same time, avoiding any attempt to understand their true, non-literal meanings.

They should avoid paraphrasing the text or engaging in theological proofs and arguments regarding them. The mutashabihat, then, are primarily addressed to an elite. He includes in the first category the litterateur adib , the grammarian, the hadith specialist muhaddith , the exegete mufassir , the jurist, and the theologian mutakallim.

None of these people should attempt interpretations ta1wilat , nor act freely with the external sense of the words al-tasarruf fi khilal al-zawahir of the Qur1an or traditions. Al-Ghazali warns that it is prohibited haram to plunge into the sea if you are not a good swimmer, and the sea of gnosis ma2rifa of God is far more dangerous than the sea of water. Those who are permitted to interpret the difficult passages of the Qur1an are those who devote themselves exclusively to learning to swim in the seas of religious gnosis ma2rifa ; who restrict their lives to Him alone; who turn their faces from this world and the appetites; who turn their backs on money and fame, mankind, and all other pleasures; who devote themselves to God in the different types of knowledge and actions; who act They are the divers in the sea of gnosis.

The only people qualified to interpret the mutashabihat, after the Prophet and some of his immediate followers, are the Suf is, and their methodology is that of Suf i practice. Al-Ghazali frequently functions, as he does here, as an apologist for Sufism, and we will examine some of his many attempts to defend Suf i Qur1anic interpretation in more detail later.

For now, however, we will move on to what other Suf is have to say in less apologetic works about how those firmly rooted in knowledge approach the mutashabihat of the Qur1an. The echoes of the discussions we have seen so far regarding verse can be heard in these works, but take second place to the claim that there are some who receive knowledge directly from God concerning the ambiguous passages of the Qur1an. Whatever their investigation obtains is acceptable and whatever resists the effect of their reflection fikr they surrender to the World of the Unseen.

The way of the people of allusion and understanding ahl al-ishara wa1l-fahm is listening with the presence of the heart hudur al-qalb , so that the object of their levels of understanding fuhum , appearing from the things that are made known, is based upon the allusions of unveiling isharat al-kashf.

If they have been asked to maintain the veil and conceal the secret, they feign dumbness. If they have been commanded to reveal and proclaim, they freely release the elucidation of the Truth and speak from knowledge received from the Unseen. Those who have been confirmed with the lights of insights anwar al-basa1ir are illuminated by the rays of the suns of understanding Those who have been clothed in a covering of doubt have been denied the subtleties of actualization, so that states ahwal divide them and mere conjectures zunun plague them, and they are swept away in the wadis of doubt and deception.

They only become more and more ignorant, more and more estranged through their uncertainty. He writes that those who understand the meanings of the mutashabihat see God in everything without falling into the trap of believing that God is incarnated in the world, while those who do not understand this mystery create chaos when they try to interpret them. As for those in whose hearts is a turning away, they follow what is mutashabih in it.

The people of blind imitation taqlid plunge into the mutashabihat, seeking unity tawhid , but are cut off from witnessing it because they are the victims of illusion ashab al-wahm , and the victim of illusion does not recognize the truth of temporally originated things al-ashya1 al-muhdatha. How can he recognize the existence of the Truth haqq by the mark rasm of illusion? If he tries to seek the different kinds of knowledge of the mutashabihat, he will not reach the truth regarding them and may create discord fitna.

The distinguishing mark rasm of the mutashabihat falls short of that which has been marked for his faith. He does not grasp their meanings because this is the station of the lovers ahl al-2ishq who see the Truth haqq in everything. But this does not mean that God is in things because He is free from all forms of incarnation hulul.

Those firmly rooted in knowledge are those who witness the quality of spirits arwah [existing] prior to the bodies ashbah in the court of preeternity, who have seen with their own eyes the concealed secrets of the particulars of the eternal types of knowledge. They have understood from them the end results of their situation in the pathways of subsistence baqa1. They are firmly rooted in the sea of the source of certainty 2ayn al-yaqin and are not agitated by the appearance of worldly authorities They are not overwhelmed by acts of force and the fear they arouse; they stand firm before the blows of God, standing firm with God in that which appears from Him bearing the mark of effacement mahw and obliteration tams.

They know that all of it is a trial and a test, so they remain tranquil in servanthood 2ubudiyya as their outward distinguishing mark and are firmly rooted in the witnessing of lordliness rububiyya in their inward absolute reality. Those who are firmly rooted in knowledge are those who see unity and not multiplicity, the abiding face and not the appearance of multiplicity in the mirrors of created things. Al-Kashani understands the scholarly tradition of interpretation of referring the mutashabihat to the muhkamat as interpretation through this mode of perception.

The gnostic verifiers al-2arifun al-muhaqqiqun ,36 who recognize the abiding face in whatever form or outward appearance it takes, recognize the true face among the various faces which the mutashabihat take and they refer them to the muhkamat, following the example of the poet: There is only one face yet when you count the qualities there is multiplicity.

Those who are veiled, those in whose hearts is a turning away from the Truth, seek what is mutashabih because of their being veiled by multiplicity from unity. The verifiers follow the muhkam, subordinating the mutashabih to it and choosing from its possible aspects what conforms to their religion din and school of thought madhhab. Seeking discord, i. And seeking its interpretation ta1wil according to what conforms to their state hal and method tariq.

When the knife is crooked, its scabbard becomes crooked. Because they do not recognize the one abiding face among the other faces, it necessarily follows that they do not recognize the true meaning among the other [possible] meanings. Those firmly rooted in knowledge. It has been related from 2Ali that they are those whom knowledge protects from the intrusion of passion They are those who have uncovered kashifun three kinds of knowledge, since those who know 2ulama1 are of three kinds: those who devote themselves exclusively to knowledge of their Lord rabbaniyyun , those who devote themselves exclusively to knowing the Light nuraniyyun , and those who devote themselves exclusively to knowing the Essence dhatiyyun.

He also uses the etymology of the word albab from the phrase those who possess understanding ulu al-albab 40 to create a metaphor for the transformation that is necessary to become wise. Lubb pl. When said of a man, it means his intellect or understanding. And no one remembers that singular and decisive knowledge al-2ilm alwahid al-fasl within the ambiguous and manifold particulars al-tafasil al-mutashabiha al-mutakaththira except those whose intellects 2uqul have been purified by the light of guidance and freed from the husk qishr 42 of passion hawa and habit 2ada.

For al-Kashani, the contrast is between those who perceive unity and those who perceive multiplicity. For al-Nisaburi, the contrasts are between ego existence and spiritual existence, the knowledge acquired in this. They are those who are firmly rooted in the husks of the acquired types of knowledge al-2ulum al-kasbiyya and who have reached the realities of the kernel lubab of types of knowledge received from His very presence al-2ulum al-laduniyya from the very presence of one who is Wise, Knowing min ladun hakim khabir In the verse there is an allusion ishara to the fact that the types of knowledge of those who are firmly rooted were all taught to them on the Day of the Covenant al-mithaq , since He disclosed the attribute of lordship to the seeds of future humanity and He made them testify regarding themselves by the evidence of lordship, Am I not your Lord?

The seeds were sent back to the loins and were veiled by the attributes of humanity sifat al-bashariyya , and were transferred to wombs and wandered through the ages from one state and place to another, from the most remote places to the process of birth. The speaking soul, which knew the knowledge of unity, was sent back to the lowest of the low forms, veiled in the veil of humanity, forgetful of these different types of knowledge and the speech regarding them. But then his parents remind him of this knowledge by means of symbols rumuz and analogies qara1in until he remembers some of them from beneath the veils of human nature and stages of development.

In a similar way, the entire outer and inner existence of man are husks of the kernel lubab of that existence which heard and answered on the Day of the Covenant. His hearing is the husk of that hearing which listened to the speech of the Truth. His sight is the husk of that sight which saw the beauty of the Truth. His heart is the husk of that heart which understood the speech of the Truth.

All of his different types of knowledge are the husk of those types of knowledge which were learned from the Truth. Thus, the Prophet was only sent to remind him of the truth of these different types of knowledge, the husk of which his parents had reminded him, just as He said, Remind! You are only a reminder! So the reminding is for everyone al-tadhkiru 2amm but only a few remember al-tadhakkuru khass. Because of this, He said, and no one remembers except those who possess understanding ulu al-albab.

Most Muslim thinkers accepted some combination of reason, authoritative tradition, and linguistic expertise as valid tools for interpreting the Qur1an. For the Suf is, the sciences based on these tools are part of what al-Nisaburi calls acquired knowledge 2ulum kasbiyya. In Chapter 3, we will see the relationship between this type of knowledge and spiritual practice.

For the Suf is, knowledge cannot be separated from spiritual practice. Abu Nasr al-Sarraj d. According to Abu Nasr al-Sarraj, the Suf is are characterized by their practical application isti2mal of the verses of the Qur1an and the Traditions of the Prophet, which produces noble qualities, virtuous actions, and higher states, all of which are implied in the word adab.

Although this manner of acting in imitation of the Prophet is also discussed in the books of scholars 2ulama1 and jurists fuqaha1 , al-Sarraj claims that their understanding of these behaviors and attitudes is not as deep as their understanding of other sciences. He states that it is the Suf is who alone understand the various realities and attributes of states such as repentance tawba , piety wara2 , trust in God tawakkul , contentment rida1 , to name just a few.

The people who experience these states attain them in various degrees according to what God has apportioned to them. Their ability to loosen the knots and understand what is difficult comes from their sacrificing the very core of their beings badhl al-muhaj , so that when they speak of these discoveries, they speak from direct experience of them.

When they act in this manner, God grants knowledge to them of the deeper meanings of the Qur1an and Traditions of the Prophet. Knowledge like this will be withheld from the likes of you and it will be said, You have come in order to learn the secret of my happiness but you will find me stingy with it. Let go of your greed to attain this knowledge by means of exchanging treatises. Seek it only through the door of effort mujahada and piety taqwa. Then guidance will follow and strengthen your effort, just as God said, We will surely guide to Our paths those who have struggled jahadu for Us Abu 2Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami d.

Reading the Qur1an with presence of the heart hudur al-qalb Among the manners adab that the Suf is tried to cultivate was a respectful and thoughtful way of reciting or listening to the Qur1an, intended to facilitate the understanding of its deeper meanings. Abu Nasr al-Sarraj writes that The people of understanding fahm among the people of knowledge 2ilm know that the only way to correctly connect to that to which the Qur1an guides us is by pondering tadabbur , reflecting tafakkur , being wakeful tayaqquz , recollecting tadhakkur and being present with the heart hudur al-qalb when reciting the Qur1an.

They know this as well from His words, A book which We have sent down to you as a blessing so that they might ponder its verses and so that those who possess understanding might recollect Pondering, reflecting and recollecting are only possible through the heart being present because God said,. One way was to remind themselves of the awesome nature of the revelation and its transcendent origins. The first is to listen to the Qur1an as if you were hearing the Messenger of God recite it to you.

Then you should rise from this and hear it as if Gabriel was reciting it to the Prophet, because Allah said, and surely it is the revelation of the Lord of the worlds. The trustworthy spirit descends with it upon your heart —4. Then you should rise from this so that it is as if you were hearing it from God al-haqq. Likewise, Ha. The revelation of the Book is from God, the exalted, the knowing In your listening [as if you were hearing it] from God, understanding fahm is brought out by the presence of your heart hudur al-qalb and your being devoid of any preoccupation with the world and your self by the power of witnessing mushahada , the purity of remembrance dhikr , focused attention jam2 al-hamm , good manners husn al-adab , purity of the innermost secret sirr and sincerity of realization sidq al-tahqiq.

Abu Talib al-Makki tells us that a scholar said: I used to read the Qur1an but found no sweetness in it until I recited it as if I was hearing the Messenger of God reciting it to his Companions. Then God brought me to another way station and now I hear it from the Speaker.

Here I found from it a blessing and delight I could not resist! He then tells the story of Ja2far al-Sadiq who was overcome by something during prayers and fainted. In spite of diligence in devotions, my breast was tight and my heart was agitated, my heart neither opening because of these meanings, nor my Lord turning me away from them, until finally I became familiar and intimate with them.

I tasted the sweetness of their cup and their drink. Then my soul was animated, my breast opened, my mind broadened, my heart expanded, my innermost secret made spacious, the moment waqt and the state hal made pleasant, and my spirit delighted by that opening. It was as if continually, morning and evening, meanings were being unveiled to me in every verse such as would fatigue my tongue to describe.

There could be no power adequate to contain them, nor enumerate them, nor any strength patient enough to divulge and disclose them. One of the examples used to explain this is a story of a wise man hakim who preached to a king. The King asks him how it is that man is able to bear the speech of God. It is also like the Sun, the full gaze of which man is unable to bear, and yet he is able to attain what he needs from it.

The reciter must be mindful19 of the majesty of the Speaker, knowing that what he reads is not the speech of man, and that there is an extreme danger in reciting the speech of God. Annabel Keeler. Sajjad H. Jules Janssens. Anthony H. Mahmoud M. Toby Mayer. Andrew J. Uri Rubin. Stefan Wild. Moses Or Alexander? Early Islamic Exegesis Of Qur'an Brannon M. Mohammed Rustom. Gordon Nickel. Thomas E. Robert G. Karen Bauer. Farid Esack. Abdullah Saeed. Erik Ohlander. Massimo Campanini. Moses in fact falls overwhelmed and God revives him and enables him to take the tablets written for him.

Moses returns from the Mount after forty days of absence and as soon as he realizes what has happened he throws down the Tablets and becomes infuriated with Aaron, before cursing the Samaritan. The decreed punishment inspired by God establishes that the guilty will all be executed and the idol destroyed and cast into the sea. Of some significance, both in terms of the size of the passages and their contents, is the story of the encounter between Moses and a mysterious servant of God to whom, so it is said, God gave mercy and taught part of his secret knowledge.

The mysterious character, known as al-Khidr or al-Khadir in the exegetical tradition, guides Moses through events that seem incomprehensible to him, encouraging him to have patience. God announces to Moses that his mercy will reach those that follow the Arab Prophet who had already been announced in both the Torah and the Gospel, and, in another passage, Muhammad is evoked in intimate connection with the events and the revelations of Moses, thereby establishing a precise correlation between the two prophets. Among the common prerogatives, the element that is most often evoked and recalls the mission of Muhammad is that of the book which is revealed to Moses.

Sovereigns and prophets, they had received from God great power over the forces of nature and they knew how to use them, even yielding in certain cases to wicked temptations, on the road to faith. A long passage from the sura of the Cow no. After again going over all of the powers mentioned earlier, i. The reference to the events narrated is evidently to the story that the prophet Nathan, according to the biblical account, told to David to make him aware of his fault in having procured the death of Uriah with the aim of marrying his wife. Behold, this my brother has ninety-nine ewes, and I have one ewe.

Following his repentance, David was forgiven and God invited him to judge the men according to the truth, and encouraged him not 36 The Biblical prophets in the Qur'an to follow his passions. He made him his Vicar on the earth. All of these attributes will have a powerful reverberation in the exegetical literature and in the later Islamic traditions. Solomon also possessed many of the prerogatives of David. He was his heir, possessed balanced judgment like him and, like his father, he had to repent and to ask forgiveness to the Lord.

His authority extended to the jinn, the invisible beings of Arab tradition that were able to assume any form; they followed his orders and under his direction built whatever Solomon wanted. The workforce at his orders was strengthened also by certain demons that carried out various services, among which was to dive in the sea and gather pearls. Jinn are also mentioned in a passage that refers to the death of Solomon: they realize that he has passed away only when an animal of the earth gnawed at his rod and he fell for want of support.

His immense powers, adds the sacred text, did not however prevent him from being subject to the plots of the wicked, as one passage suggests alluding to the schemes of certain demons against the reign of Solomon, followed by the affirmation that he certainly was not an unbeliever. In the first it refers to various mysterious episodes, such as the story of certain horses which were ranged before him, and of his substitution on the throne.

Solomon knows the language of the birds and of the animals, his ranks are made up of jinn, men and birds. Once he gathers his army and after the words of an ant which Solomon understands that invites the other ants to take refuge in their nests so as not to be trodden on, Solomon sends for the hoopoe. Once found, the bird tells him that he has reached the kingdom of Sheba and there found sun worshippers.

The dialogue alludes to the recognition on the part of the Queen of her own throne and of the artifice used by Solomon to make her reveal her legs. The dialogue form is that preferred and, moreover, the narrative frame of reference is omitted even if it is implicit in the words of the protagonists. The events with the Queen of Sheba are emblematic: among the miracles described or only alluded to as signs of the power received from God and of his wisdom, Solomon leads the Queen of Sheba to faith in the one God, thus acting as a Muslim prophet and sovereign.

Of the episodes of his life which are referred to a large amount of text deals with his family, and in particular Mary and Zechariah.

Moses in the Qur'an and Islamic Exegesis

As well as this, there are other verses that contain explicit polemical assertions against certain Christian conceptions of Jesus. One verse Qur. However no other passage confirms this interpretation. It is thus stated that Jesus was only a messenger to establish that he was not the son of God and that, in consequence, all of his powers can only have come from God. These peremptory assertions are accompanied in certain verses by an anti-Trinity position, where orders are given not to speak of three, but of one unique divinity, attributing however to the Christians a kind of tritheism consisting of God, Jesus and Mary.

Zechariah, servant of God, beseeches the Lord to have an offspring despite the advanced age of him and his wife. He receives the pleasing news that a son named John will be born. John the Baptist is noted in the Qur'an for his wisdom and purity, given that God made him pious, docile and caring with his parents. He shall speak to men in the cradle, and of age, and righteous he shall be. To the objections of Mary, who asks if she can be with child without ever having known a man, the angels respond that everything is possible because of the omnipotence of God and that she will be able to conceive, while still a virgin, thanks to divine intervention.

When she is close to giving birth, Mary takes refuge in a place in the East, protected by a veil. The birth pangs arrive while she is under the trunk of a palm-tree from where flows a rivulet and from which fruit falls prodigiously thus quenching her thirst and satisfying her hunger. When Mary returns to her people with her baby, she is harshly accused of having acted shamelessly, but the babyjesus still in the swaddling- clothes comes to her defence proclaiming his own prophetic mission.

The miracle of the cradle has been already mentioned above: the Qur'anic passage includes the words spoken by Jesus, words that underline in Muslim terms his prophetic mission and his faith in God besides exculpating his mother Mary from the accusations of the people. The allusion to the apostles is equally cursory, where it is affirmed that Jesus sought assistance in his prophetic mission and that the apostles were the ones who answered that they believed in him.

It is said of the passion only that some people were intent upon undermining Jesus and that God told him that he would take him and raise him up to Him until the day of the Resurrection. While it is implicitly admitted in some verses, the death of Jesus is denied in others; the latter verses suggest that what the Christians say is incorrect, as he was neither killed nor crucified, but that this treatment was reserved for a double.

Jesus was therefore raised up, taken by God and will be a witness against the Jews and the Christians at the end of time. And provide for us; Thou art the best of providers. The elements of the story lead one to believe that what is being dealt with, as the exegetes 41 Biblical Prophets in the QuPan and Muslim Literature indicate, is an allusion to the multiplication of loaves and fishes, or possibly a reference to the last supper, though both of these suggestions are entirely hypothetical. To the extent that he served God and was propagator of the true faith he was the ideal precursor to the prophet Muhammad, as is explicitly affirmed in a verse in which Jesus proclaims that he has come to confirm the Torah and to bring news of the arrival of a messenger by the name of Ahmad.

Job, the first of these prophets, is mentioned in two Qur'anic passages that make only indirect reference to the torments with which he was tested. God orders him to stamp with his foot on the ground and to quench his thirst with the water that flows forth, returns his family to him, and gives him orders to take in his hand a bundle of twigs and beat with it, without breaking his oath. Job is described here as a splendid servant of God, patient and often repenting to his Lord.

His example must have been very fitting for Muhammad during his vicissitudes at the beginning of his preaching at Mecca. The Qur'an records that he went away in anger, thinking that God had no power over him, but then he invoked God and was saved from the affliction. Elsewhere the Qur'an clarifies the events to which it alludes: Jonah was one of the messengers, but he took flight in a ship. He was thrown into the sea, swallowed by a whale, but he continued to sing praises to God within the belly of the whale and as a result of this he was thrown out onto a deserted 42 The Biblical prophets in the Qur'an beach where God caused a gourd plant to grow for him.

All this took place before he became the messenger for a people that the Qur'an estimates to be of one hundred thousand or more and who followed his preaching. One last passage specifies even more clearly that the people of Jonah were believers and that they thereby managed to avoid punishment. Also in this case the Qur'anic data do not provide a complete reconstruction of the story of Jonah, but simply use certain references to the same events to affirm the customary calls to faith in God and to his omnipotence through the prophetic mission. Do you call on Bad, and abandon the Best of creators?

God, your Lord, and the Lord of your fathers, the ancients? The population rejects him and because of this are destined for destruction. The passage which succinctly describes these happenings concludes affirming that Elijah will be the object of perpetual praise in posterity. The same can be said for Elisha who is only referred to in two verses, along with the names of Ishmael and Dhu al-Kifl in one case, and together with those of Ishmael, Jonah and Lot in the other, without any information of any type, apart from that he was one of the servants of God.

The first of these is Idris: the Qur'an contains a very short description of him, as a just man, a prophet, while in another verse he is simply referred to along with other prophets. Nothing is recounted of Idris, identified as Enoch by the Muslim exegetes, except for the statement that he was raised to a very high place.

The exegetical tradition, which has explained the origin of the name in various ways, considers him as a prophet who belongs to the history of the 43 Biblical Prophets in the Qur'an and Muslim, Literature Israelites, even if any clear reference to identifiable characters is completely missing.

In any case this name appears in the Qur'an alongside the names of other prophets, with the affirmation that he was patient and that now he is amongst the saints, without adding anything else. For some the sacred text makes reference to a precise and known narrative picture while in other cases the facts given are so scarce as to render almost impossible a precise identification or a unequivocal exegetical reconstruction. The name of Ezra is reported in a polemical passage against those Jews who maintain that he is the son of God and those Christians who maintain that Christ is the son of God.

Look at thy food and drink - it has not spoiled; and look at thy ass. So we would make thee a sign for the people. And look at the bones, how We shall set them up, and then clothe them with flesh. Notwithstanding the fact that the passage is quite detailed, no precise identification is possible, though a reference to the involvement of the Israelites in the events described and the suggestion that the city of Jerusalem is the setting seem the most plausible explanations. It is simply reported, in the customary Qur'anic style, that thousands of people went forth from their houses, that God caused them to die and then brought them back to life, without any mention of their prophet or of any other characters.

The story goes through the usual motifs of the stories of punishment, with calls to faith to the inhabitants which are greeted with the usual refutations and protracted threats. However the Muslim exegetical tradition directly indicates a Christian reference when it affirms that the city was Antioch and that the messengers were three apostles sent by Jesus. These young people who slept for three centuries in the cave in order to escape the Roman persecution do not really have a place within this research, given that the Muslim tradition does not consider them as either prophets or messengers.

The first of these messengers is Hud, whose mission was performed among a population by the name of c Ad. What, do you dispute with me regarding names you have named, you and your fathers, touching which God has sent down never authority? As a result of their disbelief and their refusal to believe in the prophetic message the 'Ad were exterminated. Naturally Hud and those who had faith in him were saved. In spite of the numerous verses that recount these events, nothing else is said regarding Hud, in the same way that nothing else is said about his people, the Ad.

Even more mysterious are the references to their capacity or willingness to build something on the hillsides or to construct castles, and to the goods given to them by God: flocks and sons, gardens and fountains. One verse seems to refer to a sort of prosperity or wealth enjoyed by the Ad or in any case a privilege extended to them by God, when it is stated that more was given to these people than to the people of Muhammad.

You have no god other than He; there has now come to you a clear sign from your Lord, this is the She-camel of God, to be a sign for you. And remember when He appointed you successors after Ad, and lodged you in the land, taking to yourselves castles of its plains, and hewing its mountains into houses. The invocation of Salih contains an explicit temporal reference, suggesting Thamud as successors of the Ad and refers to castle and homes. These references to their homes which they construct by breaking the rock, together with those references in other passages to gardens and springs, harvests and palms, seem to clearly indicate that the Thamud were a prosperous and powerful population.

However, the most interesting element is the mention of the she-camel sent as a test from God, and the order to let her graze in peace, so as not to meet with any punishment. The calls to faith of Salih, as usual, do not work except in the case of a few followers. The worthies or 47 Biblical Prophets in the, QuPdn and Muslim Literature the elite refuse obstinately either to believe or to abandon their idolatrous faith, and openly challenge Salih and his mission, accusing him of being bewitched and a man like themselves.

The act that indicates in an irreversible way their refusal is the decision to hamstring the she-camel as a show of resistance and an act of rebellion, which is performed by one of them, using a knife. The end is announced by Salih himself: when he became aware of what had been done to the she-camel he announced that the punishment would be upon them in three days. In some passages that punishment is alluded to with the expression that the Thamud were reached by a shout sent by God.

Salih and those who believed together with him were naturally placed in safety. The presence of the she-camel is decisively the most relevant element, but all this is not enough for the reconstruction of a complete and detailed account of events. The Qur'an proceeds here more than ever with its allusive style that seems to present a story already known, rather than give a complete account, preferring to stress the dramatisation of the confrontation between the messenger and the contemptuous elite of the population.

Another question is that of the identification of the population of the Thamud. Evidence of various provenances - from inscriptions dating to the 8th century BC until the geographic works of Ptolemy and Pliny - attests the existence of a population of the pre-Islamic Arabian peninsula with this name. If the scarce and laconic documentation impedes the establishment with absolute certainty of their origins and their history remains at best sketchy, the totality of the available information - together with that offered by the Qur'an - does not leave any doubt about the effective existence of an ancient tribe and population of that name.

The Qur'an does not clearly explain to what these exhortations are referring. Elsewhere, in another verse, the population states that they refrain from stoning the prophet only out of respect for his family. Shu'ayb obviously rejects the injunction and invokes God to judge them and thereby establish who is on the correct path; the judgement goes in his favour, whilst those who oppose him are tragically punished: So the earthquake seized them, and morning found them in their habitation fallen prostrate, those who cried lies to Shuayb, as if never they dwelt there; those who cried lies to Shu'ayb, they were losers.

According to other passages, the punishment consists of an imprecise scream or a black cloud that strikes the unbelievers within their habitations. Madyan on the other hand refers to Midian and to the story of Moses, and this is confirmed by the fact the name is also cited in the Qur'an in connection with those events. The identification of Shu'ayb in later traditions with Jethro however finds no confirmation in the sacred text. The two events are decisively 49 Biblical Prophets in the Qur'an and Muslim Literature separate, and therefore, in all probability, the Qur'anic story of ShtTayb - such as those of Hud and Salih - refers to an original Arab tradition.

Apart from these considerations it should be noted also that the Qur'an uses stories, which were in all probability originally Arabian, to return to the usual themes that reflect the human experiences of Muhammad in his confrontation with the Meccan idolaters. These studies, despite their value in terms of material collected and analysed, have often displayed the fault of systematically ignoring the specific characteristics of the Qur'anic text and of taking for granted that the Qur'an was the work of Muhammad, thus committing a decisive blasphemy in the eyes of Muslims.

Our approach seeks to emphasise above all the original aspects of the Qur'anic revelation without however forgetting the affinity with Jewish and Christian traditions. Even those who consider the Qur'an the word of God cannot ignore the fact that the Qur'an was revealed in a particular historical period and had to be comprehensible to Muhammad and his contemporaries. In this sense therefore the contents of the Qur'an can be considered as a reflection of the traditions and stories with minor or major affinity with the homologous Jewish and Christian versions, which must have been current in Arabia at the end of the sixth century.

The identification of Adam as a prophet is extraneous to the Biblical text, but is nevertheless attested in Jewish and, even more so, Christian literature. In the Talmud Adam is defined as a great saint while in the Midrash Rabbah on Genesis it is stated that Adam was worthy of having the Torah revealed through him; these sources are mentioned by Sidersky, Les origines des legendes musulmanes, 13, and Speyer, Die biblischen Erzahlungen, As stressed by L. The Qur'anic passages about Adam that contain references to the prostration of the angels and to the expulsion from paradise are Qur.

Nothing similar is mentioned in the Biblical text, but the story is testified to in apocryphal Jewish and Christian literature, where both the prostration or adoration of the angels before Adam and the refusal of IblTs are mentioned. Among the many studies dedicated to the question in which these sources are mentioned, see above all Geiger, Judaism and Islam, , according to which the origin of the story could only be Christian, given that the adoration of Adam by the angels would be inconceivable for Judaism. Jeivs, i, 63—4 and v, This expression, as also the Arabic form Adam, was clearly transferred from the Hebrew, as has already been indicated by Noldeke-Schwally, Geschichte, i, , and Jeffery, The Foreign Vocabulary, The Midrash Tanhuma, for example, tells of two unspecified birds sent to Cain.

The observations of G. On the request to board, see Qur. This affirmation is explained in various ways by the Muslim exegetes. According to Geiger , Judaism and Islam, 86 n. The story of this family and above all of the unbelieving son is completely absent from the Bible, which only refers to three children all of whom were saved. Muslim exegetical tradition identifies this unbelieving son with a fourth son by the name of Canaan or Yam. In the Biblical tradition Canaan was the son of Ham and was the object of the curses of Noah when Ham saw his nudity: Gen.

It is not clear which mountain is being referred to in the Qur'an with the name aljudl; it is identified with Mount Ararat in the exegetical tradition. The name Noah is then often recorded together with those of the other prophets: Qur. The story, as it is told in the Qur'anic passages, displays broad parallels especially with Jewish apocryphal literature. See for ex. Ginzberg, The Legends of the feios, i, and the related notes. In the Qur'anic account the name of the father of Abraham is rather interesting: Azar. Regarding the pyre, Speyer, Die biblischen Erzahlungen, , in part.

The Qur'an, in one particular verse, makes it clear that neither believers nor the Prophet himself should intercede on behalf of unbelievers. The traditional extra-canonical stories explain that these verses were revealed because Muhammad sought to intercede on behalf of his powerful uncle Abu Talib who had taken him under his protection without ever becoming a Muslim. The story of the construction of the Ka e ba and of the pilgrimage of Abraham is described in detail and defined in successive traditions. A complete account of all of this material is given by al-Azraqr d.

Tempio al centra del mondo, in particular regarding Abraham: pp. The traditional Muslim stories tell that in pre-Islamic Arabia there were people who followed a religion defined as hanifiyya, a monotheism that was separate from the other revealed religions and with many elements in common with the nascent Islam.

Indirect evidence of this would seem to be contained in the Historia ecclesiastica of Sozomenos IV sec. The hanifiyya could be therefore identified with this religion of Abraham. On all of these interpretations see the abundant bibliography quoted by N. In conclusion, it must be pointed out that the ideal connection with the religion of Abraham is a motif already expressed in the New Testament for ex.

The sheets suhuf are mentioned in verses that belong to the first Meccan period Qur. The precise identification of the visitors as angels is expressly mentioned 54 The Biblical prophets in the Qur'an in later Jewish traditions; see in this regard the material cited by Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews , i, ; and Speyer, Die biblischen Erzahlungen, According to some exegetes an allusion to the attempted sacrifice is also to be found in Qur.

The most interesting verses that mention Isaac and Ishmael are Qur. Isaac and Ishmael are also mentioned together in Qur. The first episode recalls, with substantial differences, the story contained in Gen. Schiitzinger, Ursprung and Entwicklung, 18, despite the fact that this identification is anachronistic, given that Nimrod in Gen. Regarding the last episode, Speyer, Die biblischen Erzahlungen , , indicates parallels from Jewish and Christian apocrypha, but the Qur'anic synthesis appears substantially original.

The figure of Lot in the Qur'an is in any case consonant with the images that the sacred text gives for all of the messengers in the stories of punishment. There is overall agreement on the fact that this derives from an analogous Hebrew term: see Hirschfeld, Beitrdge zur Erklarungdes Korans, 37; Horovitz, Korunische Untersuchungen, The particulars of the story of Lot follow in general terms the account in Gen. In Arabic lexicography sijjil is a word of Persian origin; see in this respect Jeffery, The Foreign Vocabulary , Literature 29 All of the events that are referred to in the following section are dealt with in Qur.

Apart from this passage, Joseph is mentioned in only two other passages, Qur. In contrast, other than in the story of Joseph, Jacob is mentioned in numerous passages, but in these the Qur'an refers only briefly to one episode in his life, that is the recommendation made by him to his sons at the point of death to persevere in the just faith: Qur. A similar story is evidenced in both the Midrash Rabbah and in other sources: Geiger, Judaism and Islam, , ; Speyer, Die biblischen Erzahlungen, Some traditions of this type, in which Joseph was stopped by an apparition of his mother and his father, are given in Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, II, ; these same motifs were then adopted by Muslim exegetical literature.

Deducing that there is a direct dependence of the Qur'an on these sources is however hazardous because of problems of dating. Goitein, Jews and Arabs, New York , , writes, this Jewish literature on the story of the women would have been influenced by the Qur'an, but the motif, according to him, would be of Persian origin. Yet again Geiger, Judaism and Islam, , indicates that Joseph revealed his identity to Benjamin first according to Sefer ha-Yashar too.

The Muslim exegetes, well aware of the incongruency, give various interpretations of these events. Both the Rabbinical and the Christian literature had already demonstrated an awareness of the fact that the fulfillment of the dream, with the death of his mother, had as a question of logic to be very problematic; in this regard refer to Geiger, Judaism and Islam, ; Schapiro, Die haggadischen Elemente, 16—8; Sidersky, Les origines des legendes, Additionally, Qur.

The dispute of Pharaoh with the believer, whose name is not given, but is simply referred to as a man of the family of Pharaoh, is contained in Qur. Of all these passages, the most notable is that in which it is affirmed that Pharaoh proclaimed his faith in the God of Moses only on the point of being swallowed up by the waters Qur. According to Horovitz, Koranische Untersuchungen, 20 n. The verse which refers to the slander against Moses Qur. The invocation of Moses against his people who torment him is in Qur.

The meaning of al-Samin has been the subject of various interpretations: 58 The Biblical prophets in the Qur 3 an according to Geiger, Judaism and Islam, , the term derived from Samuel, a hypothesis so unlikely that it had already been forcefully rejected by Speyer, Die biblischen Erzdhlungen, To this add also the considerations of Horovitz, Koranische Untersuchungen, —, according to whom, the term could perhaps be intended as a reference to the Samaritans. The most notable detail from this episode is that al-Samirl says that he has taken a handful of earth and mud from the footprint of the messenger Gabriel and thrown it onto the calf which then came alive.

The hypothesis of Friedlaender, Die Chadirlegende, that the story has a Greek origin, from where it passed, via the Syriac and the contact with Christianity, to the Arabian peninsula during the early period of Islam is still interesting and well-grounded. The story ofKorah is in Qur. Korah is mentioned together with Haman and Pharaoh in Qur. The Biblical traditions do not refer to any person by the name of Haman in connection with Moses, but mention this same name in the book of Esther 3; The name of Haman however appears also to be connected to that of Korah in Jewish literature where they are brought together and referred to side by side because of their great wealth Speyer, Die biblischen Erzdhlungen, There are also clear Biblical parallels Num.

To the other Qur'anic stories add the passage Qur. The exegetical literature identifies in Samuel the anonymous prophet mentioned in these events.

Academic Article

Also Busse, Die thologischen Beziehungen, , returns to this topic, when he adds that one can also recognise a parallel between the conditions of the Muslims and the story of the Israelites with Saul. The particular on the art of making coats of mail is already attested in pre-Islamic Arabic literature, as has already been emphasised and considered by Horovitz, Koranisdw Untersuchungen, According to Salzberger, Die Salomo- Sage, 27, the figure of Solomon is preeminent for Islam, in contrast to the status he is afforded in the Jewish tradition in which David is more important.

About his powers see Qur. On the death of Solomon, see Qur. The ability to speak with the birds, according to Sidersky, Les origines des legendes, , is also mentioned in an analogous account in the Midrash Rabbah on Qohelet, while the details on his powers have evident parallels in the Testament of Solomon, an apocryphal Christian work Sidersky, Les origines des legendes , ; see also other parallels with Jewish literature collected by Geiger, Judaism and Islam, ; Speyer, Die biblischen Erzahlungen, —5.

It should be emphasised that the references to the jinn that worked for Solomon are related in the later traditions to the construction of the 60 The Biblical prophets in the Qur'an temple of Jerusalem, an episode that is however never cited in the Qur'an.


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Parallels with the Jewish literature on the interruption of the reign of Solomon are cited by Speyer, Die biblischen Erzahlungen, Other happenings of the people of Sheba are mentioned in Qur. The similarity between the story of Targum Sheni on the book of Esther is underlined by various scholars: Geiger, Judaism and Islam, ; Griinbaum, Neue Beitrdge, ; Sidersky, Les origines des legendes, —5; and Speyer, Die biblischen Erzahlungen, f. On this entire topic, on the comparison between the Qur'an and the Jewish texts and for some hypotheses on the characteristics of the Qur'anic text, refer to the more recent Lassner, Demonizing the Qtieen of Sheba, As regards in particular the events of the ant, it should be remembered that in Prov.

On all of the topics mentioned here, see in particular Qur. Mary was a saintly woman and both were human beings: Qur. Jesus and his mother were a sign: Qur. On the Torah and the Gospel, see Qur. An interesting passage is that in which it is asserted that Jesus is like Adam in the sight of God Qur.

It should be added in this respect that the parallel between Adam and Jesus had already appeared in the New Testament: Rom. Other Christian sources are given by Speyer, Die biblischen Erzahlungen, 43 n. On Zechariah and John: Qur. A reference to the slander against Mary is given in Qur. On the virginity of Mary, see Qur.

The story of the announcement of the birth of John to Zechariah follows that of Luke, 1, The words spoken by the newborn Jesus are in Qur. On all of the miracles and the call to the apostles see also Qur. The parallels are evident. Ahmad is another name for Muhammad. A detailed analysis of the exegetical literature on Job is given by Declais, Les premiers musulmans face a, la tradition biblique. The Arabic form of his name, Yunus, according to Horovitz, Koranische Untersuchungen, , is transferred from the Ethiopian or taken from the Christian Palestinian communities.

Speyer, Die biblischen Erzdhlungen, , agrees that the Qur'anic Jonah is similar to the portrait given in the Christian literature. Other Christian literature also speaks of the prophesy of Elijah, as for example in Epiphanius: see Speyer, Die biblischen Erzdhlungen, However, in Rabbinical literature Elijah had already become a character of great prominence. In these two passages, as already evidenced by Geiger, Judaism and Islam, , Elisha is mentioned immediately after Ishmael. Various hypotheses, which are opposed to the Muslim exegetical interpretations, are proposed for the identification of this character.

For these and other interpretations, among which is that of Hartmann according to whom Andreas was the cook of Alexander who obtained immortality, see Horovitz, Koranische Untersuchungen, The Qur'anic exegesis has formulated various hypotheses about this character and he is not always considered a prophet. This belief attributed to the Jews is quite problematic; see in this regard Walker, Bible Characters, , and above all Lazarus- Yafeh, Intertwined Worlds, According to Walker, Bible Characters, 34, the passage alludes to the story of Agabus in Acts, 11, That some believed in Hud is evidenced where it is simply affirmed that Hud and those believing in him were saved Qur.

The last verse referred to is Qur. On the stature: Qur. Horovitz refers to the identification of Hud with Eber Gen. The Thamud are also cited in Qur. Geiger, Judaism and Islam, , attempts to advance certain hypotheses regarding the identification from Jewish sources, but in the end he is forced to admit the meagre proofs for this assertion. The Madyan are also cited in Qur. According to Speyer, Die biblischen Erzdhlungen, , Muhammad and therefore the Islamic tradition identifies the well where Moses met the daughters of Jethro in Beersheba and the name Shu'ayb as being derived from the second part of the name of this locality.

The name al-Ayka al-Ayka means bush should be connected to the tamarisk planted by Abraham Gen. Bell, R. Bowman, J. B, MacLaurin, Sidney , Finkel, J. Grunbaum, M. Guzzetti, C. Un confronto sinottico, Cinisello Balsamo Heller, B. Henninger, J. Hirschberg, J. Katsh, A,I,, Judaism in Islam.

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Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis (Brannon WHEELER)

Beeston et al. Piotrovskij, M. Sidersky, D. Speyer, H. Grafenhainichen ca. Walker, J. Adam Beck, E. Borg-Qaysieh, W. Declais, J. Haas, S. Kister, M. Mir, M. Schock, C. Stillman, N. Tottoli, R. Zilio-Grandi, I. Zwemer, S.

Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran) Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran)
Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran) Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran)
Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran) Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran)
Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran) Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran)
Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran) Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran)
Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran) Moses in the Quran and Islamic Exegesis: 4 (Routledge Studies in the Quran)

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