Generating precise comprehension of the Quran and the true meaning of its verses is arguably the essence of the most important of the Islamic sciences, Qur’anic exegesis or tafsir. Since the passing of the Prophet many scholars have worked hard to bring a proper understanding of the meaning of the Qur’an to Muslims, and indeed to the world at large, as fully as possible, in an attempt to widen knowledge of the guidance contained therein, and how to live life in accordance with its principles.
The result has been a wealth of historical Muslim literature on the subject which has come to be known as Ulum al-Tafsir or the sciences of tafsir, a systematic exegesis of the Qur’an following several methodologies.
This work traces the evolution of Qur’anic exegesis, from the time of the Prophet, the Companions, the Successors, the early mufassirun (exegetes) with independent tafsir works, to the present day.
There is no way to understand the Qur’an properly, or to elucidate as accurately as possible the meaning of its verses, without studying Qur’anic terminology and concepts. Taken together these sum up the universal truth of the Faith (the great moral code), not only animating the text and giving it incredible life, precision, and flexibility, but also enriching the communication of the Qur’anic message through their beautiful and comprehensive nature.
This study aims to provide a broad glossary of key Qur’anic terms and set forth these terms’ meanings, both semantically and linguistically, within their Qur’anic context. The format is organised in such a way as to facilitate ease of understanding, guidance the lay reader carefully and logically through the various nuances of usage and meaning. The meaning of a given Qur’anic term will vary depending on the manner and the context in which it is used, and on the issues and questions in relation to which reference is made to it, and just as a concept gives rise to a term, so also does the term and its usage act to shape the concept. These and other aspects of the Divine communication are mapped and explored, leaving us with a greater appreciation of the Qur’an’s depth and what makes it a linguistic and literary miracle.