MIN 401 – Sources of Islamic knowledge



• The concept and reality of knowledge from the Islamic perspective— critical understanding of difference between “Islamic knowledge” and “knowledge in Islam”
• The integral unity and hierarchal nature of knowledge—revelation, inspiration, intuition, intellection, ratiocination and information.
• The nature of the Logos and the Word of God—eternal/temporal (qadim/hadith) in Islam and other Abrahamic faiths.
• An in depth study of methodological skills in textual criticism
• The Qur’an and its historical and substantial integrity—incidences of revelation, memorization, recitation, compilation, and proliferation; different types and levels of understanding and their corresponding exegetical schools critically analyzed.
• The Hadith and its traditional and authoritative content—sources of immaculate inspiration, memorization, transcription, canonization, and perpetuation; categorizations of ahadith and the major compilers/compilations critically analyzed.
• The discussion regarding the relation between the Qur’an and the Hadith—Revealed scripture and the living magisterium.
• Tradition: Hadith, khabar, athar, and sunnah—oral, written, and practical transmission.
• The Oral Tradition—textual authority, and its complement, the Intellect—rational demonstration.
• Examine selected texts from the canonical collection of traditions together with commentaries, which scrutinize traditions from theological, legal and linguistic perspectives.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Assessment Modes
Individual coursework (4000 words), class presentation on comparative study of two compilers or exegetes on a selected topic demonstrating ability to debate and explore ideas; a print-out of the slides needs to be submitted, two critical review activities to be graded on topics agreed with the lecturer during class requiring students to enhance their understanding of the facts and concepts presented to them in class (1500 words each).

Assessment Weighting
Individual coursework: 60%
Comparative Study presented in the class: 20%
Review Activity: 20%

Learning materials

Core readings
Abdul-Raof, H. (2010) Schools of Qur’anic Exegesis: Genesis and Development. London: Routledge.
Abdul-Raof, H. (2012) Theological Approaches to Qur’anic Exegesis: A Practical Comparative-Contrastive Analysis. Abingdon: Routledge.
Adel, G.H. and Elmi, M.J. eds. (2012). Qur’anic Commentaries; An Entry from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam. London: EWI Press.
Adel, G.H. and Elmi, M.J. eds. (2011). Tafsir – Qur’anic Exegesis; An Entry from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam. London: EWI Press.
Al-Khu’i, A.A. (1998). The Prolegomena to the Qur’an. Translated from Arabic by A. Sachedina. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Al-Suyuti, J. (2011). The Perfect Guide to the Sciences of the Quran. Reading: Garnet Publishing.
Berg, H. (2000). The Development of Exegesis in Early Islam: The Authenticity of Muslim Literature from the Formative Period. London: Curzon Press.
Burton, J. (1977) The Collection of the Qur’an, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Burton, J. (2000) Introduction to the tradition, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Jaffer, A. and M. (2009). Quranic Sciences. London: ICAS Press
Kamali, M. H. (2005), A Textbook of Hadith Studies, Leicester: The Islamic Foundation
Ma’rifat, Mohammad Hadi (2014) Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an (al-Tamhid fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an). Tehran: SAMT Publications
Motzki, H. (2004), Hadith: Origins and Developments, Ashgate, Variorum
Nasir, A. (2013) An Introduction to Hadith: History and Sources, London: MIU Press
Qadi, Y. (1999). An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an. Birmingham: Al Hidaayah Publishing.Reynolds,G.S (2008) The Qurʼān in Its Historical Context, Routledge
Rippin, A. (1988) Approaches to the history of the interpretation of the Qur’an. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Siddiqi, M .Z. (1993) Hadith literature: its origin, development, special features and criticism, Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society
Subḥān, J. (2006) Introduction to the Science of Tafsir of the Qur’an, World Federation of the KSIMC
Wansbrough, John & Rippin, Andrew. (2004) Quranic Studies: Sources and Methods of Scriptural Interpretation. Prometheus Books