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On the Dichotomy Between Muhkam and Mutashabih

In Qur’anic studies, the expression (MuĄkam) is the antonym of (MutashĀbih). The controversy, however, among Qur’anic exegetes is about the meaning of MutashĀbih and the mode of reading or rather the linguistic analysis of Q3:7 and whether Qur’an scholars share with God the knowledge of unravelling the meanings of MutashĀbih.In his account of the origins […]

  • Hussein Abdul-Raof
On the Dichotomy Between Muhkam and Mutashabih
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On the Dichotomy Between Muhkam and Mutashabih
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    In Qur’anic studies, the expression (MuĄkam) is the antonym of (MutashĀbih). The controversy, however, among Qur’anic exegetes is about the meaning of MutashĀbih and the mode of reading or rather the linguistic analysis of Q3:7 and whether Qur’an scholars share with God the knowledge of unravelling the meanings of MutashĀbih.In his account of the origins and development of Qur’anic exegesis, Fred Leemhuis (1988:16) refers to the claim made by some Orientalists such as Goldziher with regards to the opposition to certain kinds of tafsąr towards the end of the 1st/7th century by companions such as cUmar b. al-KhaććĀb. Leemhuis refers to the story of Ďabągh Ibn cIsl who was punished by cUmar b. al-KhaććĀb because Ďabągh raised questions about MutashĀbihĀt. Thus, Ďabągh was to be considered as belonging to (faamma alladhąna fą qulĈbihim zaighun fayattabicĈna mĀ tashĀbaha minhu ibtighĀ’a al-fitnati – Those in whose hearts is swerving, they follow the ambiguous part desiring dissension.)  Thus, Umar suspected him to be a Kharijite based on the Ąadąth: (qad Ąadhdharakum AllĀhu fa’idhĀ ra’aitumuhĈm faĄdharĈhum – God has warned you. If you see them, be on your guard.)

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    • Hussein Abdul-Raof
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