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Tafsir publishing this December from Routledge Major Works

Mustafa Shah follows up The Hadith with Tafsir: Interpreting the Qur'an, which is part of our critical concepts in Islamic Studies Series.

Editor Mustafa Shah talks about his upcoming Tafsir collection

Given the pre-eminent status of the Qur’an as the principal scriptural source of Islam, the scholarship associated with its formal interpretation and commentary, commonly referred to as the discipline of tafsir, has unsurprisingly occupied a revered place among the traditional sciences of classical Islam. While many of the earliest forms of exegesis were constellated around the lexical paraphrase and textual analysis of the language of the Qur’an, the need to flesh out and contextualize the text’s contents soon witnessed the emergence of explanatory treatments of the Qur’an which were decidedly more comprehensive in terms of their detail and focus.

Such was the rapidity and sophistication with which the genre of tafsir developed, that by the end of the third/ninth century not only had voluminous commentaries been devoted to the Qur’an, but also medieval scholars had refined elaborate principles and guidelines for the broaching of tafsir. Encompassing an impressive array of linguistic, rhetorical, legal, theological, mystical and even philosophical syntheses and treatments of the sacred text, tafsir has long attracted the attention of Western academic scholarship. Indeed, such is its critical importance that it forms an especially fecund area of research in modern Islamic studies.

Divided into six parts and featuring a new introduction and an updated bibliography, this collection of articles aims to provide a authoritative selection of the critical research produced in the field of tafsir. Covering early, medieval, and modern aspects of the history, scholarship, and literature of Qur’anic exegesis, the collection aims to serve as an indispensable reference guide and resource for readers and researchers; it will provide a percipient gauging of current scholarship in the academic study of tafsir and its related discourses.

Tafsir: Interpreting the Qur'an publishes on the 14th December 2011 from Routledge Major Works. Order your copy today!

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