In Defense of a Perfect Scripture: The Qurʾān as a Holistic System
Muslim Qur’anic Interpretation Today - Media, Genealogies and Interpretive Communities - Johanna Pink
Johanna Pink [+]
University of Freiburg
The 20th century has not only seen the rise of modernist exegetical paradigms, but also the emergence of Islamist movements that saw Islam as a holistic system (niẓām) or way of life (manhaj) and aimed to read the Qurʾān accordingly: as a book that speaks directly to contemporary Muslims and offers solutions for every aspect of their life. Furthermore, the experience of European dominance and of Christian or Orientalist polemics against Islam has strengthened apologetic discourses. Both trends contribute to an understanding of the Qurʾān as a scripture that is infallible in every area of knowledge and constitutes in itself a perfect, well-organised system. This chapter describes how this understanding results in Qurʾānic interpretations that aim to justify the rationality of the Qurʾān’s rulings, prove its inimitability (iʿjāz) with respect to scientific or historical knowledge and underline the logic behind its arrangement.