Some reflections on the Contextualist approach to ethico-legal texts of the Quran
Source TitleBulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
PublisherCAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS
University of Melbourne Author/sSaeed, Abdullah
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSaeed, A. (2008). Some reflections on the Contextualist approach to ethico-legal texts of the Quran. BULLETIN OF THE SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES-UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, 71 (2), pp.221-237. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0041977X08000517.
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Abstract A “contextualist” reading of the Quran is becoming increasingly popular, particularly among those Muslims referred to as “progressive-ijtihadis”. One of the primary concerns of this reading is that in order to understand and interpret the ethico-legal content of the Quran and relate that content to the changing needs and circumstances of Muslims today, it is important to approach the text at different levels, giving a high degree of emphasis to the socio-historical context of the text. In the classical tafsīr this emphasis on socio-historical context was not considered important, particularly in the interpretation of the ethico-legal texts, despite the frequent use of asbāb al-nuzūl literature. In this paper, I will explore how progressive-ijtihadis are adopting a contextualist reading of ethico-legal texts of the Quran. To illustrate this, I will use one or two such texts (verses) and their interpretations by the progressive-ijtihadis and will seek to demonstrate the contours of this approach, and highlight some of the challenges this approach is facing.
KeywordsReligion and Religious Studies
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