Saturday, May 10, 2008


Khoiruddin Nasution

Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui gambaran tentang metode penafsiran al-Qur’an yang digunakan oleh para ilmuan agama Islam pada abad ke 21. Untuk maksud itu dilaksanakan kajian terhadap beberapa litaratur yang berhubungan dengan penafsiran al-Qur’an yang ditulis oleh ilmuan Islam pada abad 20. Ada dua teori penafsiran yang dilihat dalam penelitian ini yakni teori penafsiran al-Qur’an secara tematik dan holistik. Kedua teori ini dikombinasikan dalam pendekatan baru untuk memahami pesan-pesan yang termaktub dalam al-Qur’an. Penelitian ini menemukan bahwa pemahaman al-Qur’an secara komprihensip harus dilakukan dengan menselaraskan antara pengajaran moral/etik, sosial dan penerapan hukum yang terdapat dalam al-Qur’an.

Term kunci: Qur’anic interpretation, methods, Muslim scholars

The Background of Study

Generally speaking, thematic exegesis can be divided into two main kinds: (1) those arranged by subject; and (2) those arranged by chapter of the Qur’an. The work of the famous Hanbali scholar Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzîyah (1292-1350H.), entitled al-Bayân fî Aqsâm al-Qur’ân; Abû ‘Ubaid’s Majâz al-Qur’ân; al-Râghib al-Isfahâni’s Mufradât al-Qur’ân; Nâsikh wa al-Mansûkh by a various scholars; Asbâb al-Nuzûl by Abû al-Hasan al-Wahîdî al-Naisâbûrî (d. 468/1076), are all examples of the former category. Zarkashi (745-794/1344-1392), in his book al-Burhân, for example, is one of the earlier scholars who devotes a whole chapter to this problem. So did Suyûtî (d. 911/1505) in his book al-Itqân. Therefore, even though it was not a common phenomenon, thematic exegesis had been introduced at an early period of exegesis. Furthermore, the number of thematic exegesis both based upon subjects and upon chapters of the Qur’an, has been increasing at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Holistic exegesis, on the other hand, seems to be a relative new phenomenon. Fazlur Rahman (1919-1988) appears to have been the first Muslim scholar to introduce and adopt this kind of approach, which was then followed and applied by a few scholars, such as Amina Wadud Muhsin in her study on the Qur’an and women. Rahman does not call his approach ‘holistic’ in so many words; rather, he refers to it as hermeneutical theory.

However, both thematic and holistic tafsîr emphasize the necessity of a cross-referential or inductive approach (al-manhaj al-istiqrâ’i). Al-Ghazâlî (d. 505/1111) was found the first scholar who introduced the inductive approach in his book al-Mustashfâ min ‘ilm al-Usûl. Another important earlier scholar who introduced similar approach was al-Shâtibî (d. 790/1388), who offered an integral approach, stated that "one part of the Qur’an interprets another" or "different parts of the Qur’an explain one another" (al-Qur’ân yufassiru ba‘duhu ba‘dan), a principle handed down since the time of the Companions (sahâbât). Al-Shâtibî, a famous Mâliki author, reiterates in his book al-Muwâfaqât, the importance of this approach to exegesis. For him it is all part of the concept that God’s Speech is unitary (kalâmu-ilâhi huwa kalâmun wâhidun). This kind of tafsîr, is furthermore regarded by Ibn Taimîyah (d.728/1328) and al-Zarkashî as the best method (ideal type) of interpretation. In the period of the Companions, this method was largely employed in tafsir bi al-ma‘thûr, where the Qur’an is interpreted in the light of both by the Qur’an and by the sunna of the Prophet (tradition). The difference between thematic and holistic exegesis is that in the former there is more concentration on a certain topic or certain chapter of the Qur’an, whereas in the latter there is more attention paid to the spirit or principle of and in the Qur’an. This study will attempt to describe these two methods of exegesis, and try to combine them in a new approach to understanding the Qur’an. There several questions to be answered in this study, they are : 1) What does it mean by thematic exegesis, 2) How does the holistic approach work?, 3) What happen if we combine the thematic and holistic theory?

Method of Study

This is a literature research which focus on the study of books written on the interpretation of Qur’an. They are written by Islamic scholars who live in the twentieth century.

All of text-books written about the interpretation of Al-Qur’an become the source of data in this study. Journals or articles dealing with the interpretation of Qur’an are also become the source of data in this study.

After collecting the data which are taken from various books, articles, and journals that discussed about the interpretation of Qur’an, the writer then analyses them by using content analysis method. The purpose of this study is to find out the ideas of Muslim scholars in interpreting Qur’an. Finally, this study tries to find out the conclusion of their way in interpretation the Qur’an.

The Findings

Amîn al-Khûlî (1895-1966), generally recognized as the first Muslim scholar in the twentieth century emphasized the importance of the thematic approach to understanding the Qur’an. He emphasizes the significance of both the meaning (ma‘na) and purpose (aghrâd) of the verses of the Qur’an for a full understanding of the Qur’an. Al-Khûlî insisted that two main areas of knowledge (dirâsât) to enable a proper comprehension of the Qu’ran, namely (1) understanding the Qur’an itself (dirâsât fî al-Qur’ân); and (2) understanding the context or the background of the Qur’an (dirâsât mâ haul al-Qur’ân). The first area includes words (mufradât) in the Qur’an and the structure (murakkabât) of the language of the Qur’an, whereas knowledge of the context of the Qur’an consist of everything related to the life of early Arab (al-bî’ah al-mâdiah), and bî’ah al-ma‘nawîyah of Arab, in which situation the Qur’an was revealed Thus, the sociology of the original Muslim community is essential to an understanding of the background of scripture (haul al-Qur’ân).

The way of applying the thematic approach, according to al-Khûlî, involves first of all taking a certain case (maudû‘ al-wâhid), then search throughout the whole of the Qur’an from beginning to end, to see if there is a verse or verses touching on the case in the verses at hand, and lastly understanding the relationship among the verses (sâbiqihâ wa lâhiqihâ) when discussing the subject. Therefore al-Khûlî emphasizes the importance of an understanding mulâbisât, munâbisât, and asbâb al-nuzûl, prior to discussing the matter thematically or case by case.

Bint al-Shâti’ also favoured the thematic approach (maudû‘ al-wâhid). Her criticism of this tradition is fourfold: (1) it drew upon extraneous elements, such as the Isrâiliyat (Judeo-Christian materials); (2) it featured sectarian tendencies (al-ta‘milât al-‘asâbiya); (3) it produced "forced " interpretation; (4) it contained basic misunderstandings of the unique rhetoric of the Qur’an and often ignores its miraculous nature (i‘jâz).

Instead Bint al-Shâti’ relied upon the cross-referential method, like her teacher and husband al-Khûlî. She does make three theoretical points however. The first is the importance of the lexical meaning of any Qur’anic word. Recognition of the original meaning of a word, of course, can help interpreters to understand its intended meaning (al-ma‘na al-murâd) in a given textual context. The second point is the involvement of all Qur’anic verses relating to the subject under discussion. This principle means that the Qur’an is given the authority to speak for itself and by itself resulting in an objective interpretation. Lastly, there is awareness of a specific textual context (al-siyâq al-khâss}) and a general textual context (al-siyâq al-‘âmm) in attempts at understanding the Qur’an’s words and concepts. To quote:

The principle of the method in this tafsir—as I received it from my teacher [i.e., Amîn al-Khûlî]—is objective comprehension [al-tanâwul al-maudu‘i]. This method is devoted to the study of a single subject matter [maudu‘ al-wâhid] in the Qur’an; and hence, all verses in the Qur’an which speak of the subject are brought together in order that the usual Qur’anic usage of words and structures—after seeking their original linguistic senses—are understood. This is a method which is definitely different from the method of Qur’an interpretation known as the chapter-by-chapter method, in which a word or a verse is looked at in isolation from the general textual context [al-siyâq al-‘âmm] of its overall Qur’anic usage. The chapter-by-chapter method is insufficient to understand the Qur’an’s words, or to notice its clear structures and its unique rhetoric.

Therefore, beside criticizing the classical and medieval exegetes, Bint Shati’ also gives a negative response to the thematic approach when applied chapter-by-chapter of the Qur’an, which is used by quite contemporary Muslim scholars. Instead, she suggests a thematic approach based on subject-by-subject. It does not appear however that her teacher, al-Khûlî, opposed to the chapter-by-chapter approach.

Bint al-Shâti’ concentrates herself on the words, sentences and structure of the Qur’an as original found in the Qur’an. In addition, she suggests that we strip away from our understanding of the Qur’an all the accretions brought by the commentators (words, sentence, structure) from outside of the Qur’an. The explanation of the Qur’an should be based on the text itself, based on a reading from within the text, not without. For her it is a matter of purifying interpretation of non-Islamic notions and additions. She saves her most severe criticism for mystical and philosophical tafsîr, which according to her are based largely on teachings found outside of Qur’an.

Al-Farmawi, another exegete who was influenced by al-Khûlî, was the first scholar to attempt to define and formulate systematically the methodology of thematic tafsîr, both based on subject and a chapter of the Qur’an. For him this can be done in either of two ways. First, one can try to understand the Qur’an by concentrating or emphasizing upon a certain chapter of Qur’an. The idea is that each chapter has its own subject emphasis even though it discusses many different topics. In the theory all the verses in a given chapter will be related to the main subject. Similarly, other verses related to the main topic from other chapters should also be taken into account, for a coherent view of the Qur’an’s treatment of the theme. Therefore, both the verses in the chapter and other related verses from other chapters are used and discussed coherently.

Second, thematic exegesis can involve a discussion of a certain case in the Qur’an by collecting all relevant verses from the beginning until the end of the Qur’an, and then putting and examining them side by side for a comprehensive understanding of the topic. In short, thematic tafsîr, may therefore be based upon a chapter by chapter of Qur’an or upon an investigation of a certain issue or issues only.

Based on this definition, therefore, there are a few steps that have to be followed in utilizing the theory of thematic chapter-by-chapter. First, it is necessary to identify or discover the main issue in the chapter. Second, one must find the verses in the chapter that discuss directly the main issue of that chapter. Third, one must find any other verse(s) from other chapters which also discuss the issue. The next step is to connect the verses and form a correlation of all the verses that discuss the main issue. The final step is to look at the correlation between the main issue and the whole verses in the chapter. All of the verses have to conform to the context (asbâb al-nuzûl).

As explained earlier, a number of exegesis used the chapter-by-chapter method, particularly at the beginning of the twentieth century. Among the most recent works of this type in Arabic is first of all Bayân al-Qur’ân by Ashraf ‘Alî Thanavî (1280-1362/1863-1943), an Indo-Pakistani scholar. The second is Al-Tafsîr al-Hadîth, which was published in 1381-1383/1962-1964, by Muhammad ‘Izzat Darwaza (1888-1984), a Palestinian-Arab scholar; which was then followed by Fî Z{ilâl al-Qur’ân, by Sayyid Qut}b (1324-1386/1906-1966), an Egyptian scholar; and Tafsîr al-Qur’ân al-Karîm, by Mahmûd Shaltût (1893-1963), likewise of Egyptian origin. Another tafsîr in this group is Al-Mizân fî Tafsîr al-Qur’ân, by Muh}ammad H{usain al-T{abât}abâ‘î (1312-1402/1903-1981), an Iranian shi‘ite author. The commentary of H{amîd al-Dîn al-Farâhî (1280-1349/1863-1930), which was written in Urdu, with one exception in Arabic, is another example of the survival of this trend.

As for the application of the latter theory, involves first of all one must collect whole verses related to a certain topic/subject. Then, one must connect them in one as a whole together, coherently but not separately. In making the connections one must put them in chronological order based on the order of revelation. The last step is consist of discussing the issue of all applicable verses within the context (asbâb al-nuzûl) of each verse, if any, as well as in the light of the Prophet tradition (sunnah).

The issue of interest (ribâ) may be taken as an example of the latter theory. The fact is that there are a few verses discuss the subject. They are al-Baqarah (2): 275, 278-279, Ali ‘Imran (3):130-131, al-Nisa (4): 160-161 and al-Rum (30):39, and some of the Prophet’s traditions. Viewed in chronological order, first it is necessary to discuss al-Rum (30):39 as the first verse revealed among those in the group, then al-Nisa (4): 160-161, followed by Ali ‘Imran (3):130-131, and lastly al-Baqarah (2): 275, 278-279.

As a matter of fact, therefore, scholars have commonly used the thematic theory, based on both subject and on chapter approach. Moreover, the number has increased (and is increasing) since the beginning of the twentieth century. Yet one serious problem concerning the thematic method, particularly the subject theory, is that the order of the revelation of verses of the Qur’an is not always well understood, and some of the verses we know very little about with regard to this issue.

Holistic Theory

Fazlur Rahman, who was first scholar to introduce holistic exegesis, does not explicitly define the concept. Rahman indeed criticizes the classical and medieval tafsîr which used the atomistic approach; that is treating the Qur’an on a verse by verse basis. Fazlur Rahman states:

the classical and medieval commentators of the Qur’an have treated the Qur’an verse by verse; although sometimes they give cross-references to other verses of the Qur’an while commenting upon a verse, this has not been done systematically. The Qur’an commentaries therefore do not yield an effective ‘weltanschauung’ that is cohesive and meaningful for life as a whole."

Amîn al-Khûlî and Bint al-Shâti’ as cited earlier are those who responded negatively to the atomistic approach. Furthermore, Quraish Shihab remarks that one of the effects of the interpretating scripture verse-by-verse is that the Qur’an seems as if it is a separated guidance. In addition, Amina Wadud Muhsin maintaines that the marginalization of women in almost whole Muslim history is primarily due to the interpretation of the Qur’an atomisticly. Similar conclusion is cited by Mohammed Fadel and Nasaruddin Umar, that another effect of the interpretation of the Qur’an verse-by-verse is give a chance to interpreters to marginalize women.

Another critic addressed by Rahman to the classical and medieval approach in Islamic studies is less or even not pay any attention to the context and history of the Qur’an. The classical and medieval approach concentrated themselves to the text of the Qur’an. Therefore, Rahman cited three weaknesses of the classical and medieval approach, namely: (1) less attention to the historical background of the revelation of the Qur’an; (2) concentrated themselves to the text of the Qur’an; (3) atomistic in understanding of the Qur’an.

Rahman indeed agrees with the importance of understanding the style and idiom of the Qur’an, its literal and metaphorical use of the language, as emphasized by the classical and medieval, (and even by some contemporary) commentators. However, this knowledge is necessary only for understanding the text of the Qur’an. Rahman writes:

As to the classical and medieval approach, Rahman also addressed some other critics to the modernist/revivalist movement. Rahman classified the Muslim revivalist movement into four, those are: (1) pre-Modernism or pre-Modernist Revivalism or fundamentalism Revivalist, (2) classical Modernism, (3) neo-Revivalism, and (4) Neo-Modernism. Pre-Modernism beginning with Wahhâbi movement in the eighteenth century in Arabia and still working on during the nineteenth century in Africa and the India subcontinent. The common characteristics of the pre-Modernist reform are: (a) a deep and transforming concern with the socio-moral degeneration of Muslim society; (b) a call to ‘go back’ to original Islam, clean out the practice of sufism, the authority of the medieval school, and to attempt to perform ijtihâd, that is, to rethink for oneself the meaning of the original message; (c) a call to remove the crushing burden of predeterministic outlook; and (d) a call to carry out this revivalist reform through armed force (jihâd) if necessary. This pre-modernism seems to be that they were literalist, that is, they demanded belief in and strict adherence to the literalist meaning of the scripture without interpretation, yet we know that this movement insisted on personal, original thought (ijtihâd) and prohibited blind belief in authority (taqlîd)

Neo-Revivalism, which was arose in the first half of the present century in the Arab Middle East, the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, and Indonesia, issued primarily in the form of organized socio-political movement. In substance, this neo-Revivalism has been strongly influenced by classical modernism, that is espousing democracy, trying to modernize Islamic education, and that Islam is a total way of life, including social, political, and economical facets, both individual and collective dimensions. The neo-Revivalism not having developed any methodology, then, there is little for them to do but to insist on certain mutually isolated issues whereby they seek to ‘distinguish’ Islam from West. There were three main themes objected by this movement, namely: (1) that bank interest is unlawful, (2) that unveiling women and family planning are cardinal sin, and (3) that intellectualism is dangerous.

Before going on to explain the ideas and suggestions of Neo-Modernism, in which Rahman identified himself, he cited a few weaknesses of the Modernist. Accordingly, there were two weaknesses of neo-Revivalism, those are: (1) it did not fully elaborate its method; (2) the ad hoc issues that the Modersnist chose were those that had become issues in and for the West. Their ad hoc character left the strong impression that the Modernist are both Westernised and Westernisers.

The appearance of the holistic approach therefore as a respond to the classical, medieval and modern approach. The holistic theory principally emphasizes the important of understanding the Qur’an coherently. Rahman then suggests a method for doing this, which he called hermeneutical theory. The reason for the significance of understanding the Qur’an coherently, according to Rahman, is its very character as a revelation; it is not an ordinary book which is coherent throughout, but rather was revealed to the Prophet piecemeal as situations demanded. This is also stated in the Qur’an itself, for example, al-Furqan (25): 32 and al-Isra’ (17):106. Rahman writes:

Sometimes the Qur’an simply gives an answer to a question or a problem. But usually these answers are stated in terms of an explicit or semiexplicit ratio legis, while there are also certain general laws enunciated from time to time. But, even where simple answer are given, it is possible to understand their reasons and hence deduce general laws by studying the background materials, which for the most part have been fairly intelligibly presented by the commentators.

‘Izzu al-Dîn ibn ‘Abd al-Salâm (577-660/1181-1262) argues that the Qur’an was revealed as it was under extremely diverse circumstances and over a period of more than twenty years. Therefore, it could not possibly have continuity and coherency (irtibât}). Tâhir al-Haddâd is another scholar who points out that the Qur’an was revealed as a direct response to the problems which appeared in the Prophet’s time. Thus, since the Qur’an is more a book of ethics than of legislation, it provides solution in the form of general principles. Yet because of the impossibility of doing so at the time of the revelation -since at the same time the Qur’an should relevant to the problem appeared in the period of revelation- it is necessary to find the general principle as a universal norm later on.

Rahman offers two main steps in applying his method, which is famously called the ‘double movement.’ The first step is to more from the concrete case of the Qur’an to find the general principle, while the second step is to more from the general principal back to a specific legislation. Both to find the general principles from specific Qur’anic instances and developing from these general principles rules for specific cases, has to take into account the relevant social conditions. To quote Rahman:

The net conclusion to be drawn from these considerations is the following: In building any genuine and viable Islamic set of laws and institutions, there has to be a twofold movement: First one must move from the concrete case treatments of the Qur’an—taking the necessary and relevant social conditions of that time into account—to the general principles upon which the entire teaching converges. Second, from this general level there must be a movement back to specific legislation, taking into account the necessary and relevant social conditions now obtaining.

The way to understand the meaning and the whole understanding of the Qur’an is by studying the historical situation and problems in response to which the verses were revealed, including question of a social, religious, and institutional nature, and the issues of when and where certain verses the Qur’anic verses were revealed. To quote:

One must understand the import or meaning of a given statement by studying the historical situation or problem to which is the answer. Of course, before coming to the study of the macrosituation in terms of society, religion, customs, and institutions, indeed, of life as a whole in Arabia on the eve of Islam and particularly in and around Mecca—not excluding the Peso-Byzantine Wars—will have to be made.

Rahman maintains that a part of the task of understanding the Qur’an’s message as a unity is to study it with a background. The immediate background is the career of the Prophet Muhammad himself and his twenty-three years struggle under the guidance of the Qur’an. Also included is the need to understand as well as possible the Arab milieu in the pre-Islamic and early Islamic period, including custom’s of a social, institutional, economic, and political relationships, the prominent role of Qureish and the general way of life of the Arabs. Understanding all these things, according to Rahman, represents the attempt to understand the message of Qur’an as a whole.

The purpose of the hermeneutical theory, according to Rahman, is to help people to understand the meaning of the Qur’an as a whole. In his words: There is a dire need for a hermeneutical theory that will help us understand the meaning of the Qur’an as a whole so that both the theological section of the Qur’an and its ethical and ethic-legal parts become a unified whole.

To view the Qur’an as a book of moral guidance rather than a compilation of laws is a common phenomenon with modern scholars. Mahmoud Ayoub is another scholar who takes this position. Therefore, purpose of the important of understanding the Qur’an coherently through a holistic approach, according to Rahman, is to first of all to find the general principles of the Qur’an, which is called by some other scholars "spirit" of the Qur’an (Islam), and secondly to try to apply the general principles of the Qur’an in accordance with the context or situation at hand it is applied. The verses of the Qur’an as a whole should be understood coherently as one, for they do not contradict each other. Thus, another purpose of Rahman’s hermeneutical approach is to avoid the problem of inner contradiction of the verses of the Qur’an, which was one of the problems with the case under the atomistic approach.

As far as the problem of the internal contradiction of the verses of the Qur’an goes, which is famously solved in the classical and medieval commentators by the concept of abrogation (nâsikh wa al-mansûkh), Ismail Faruki suggests the necessity of distinguishing between the "ethical command" and the "cosmic causative command".

Rahman divides Qur’anic verses into two main subjects: theological and ethical The latter of which includes ethico-legal or legal teachings. Furthermore, the basic élan of the Qur’an, according to Rahman, is for monotheism, socioeconomic justice and egalitarianism. To quote:

The basic élan of the Qur’an—the stress on socioeconomic justice and essential human egalitarianism—is quite clear from its very early passages".

Thus, Rahman divides the Qur’anic verses into two main groups: (1) verses that contain general principle, and (2) verses that contain specific teaching. The specific teachings are characterized by a response to a specific problem in specific situation. Implicitly, general principle is characterized by norms stated without a specific context. And for Rahman, the general principles of the Qur’an are monotheism, social justice and essential egalitarianism.

As an example to the finding of the principle of the Qur’an is that of the status of women, and in so investigating Rahman takes into account the example of slavery and the possibility of polygamy. The status of women has immensely improved in several directions of the Qur’an, but the most basic is the fact that it acknowledges that women possess a fully fledged personality. It is declared that the spouses are each others’ ‘garments’; the woman has been granted the same rights over her husband as he has over his wife, except that the man, being the earning partner, is a degree higher. Moreover, the Qur’an establishes that the general principle of marriage in Islam is monogamy. Put differently, monogamy is the best arrangement for all concerned.

Practically, Rahman emphasizes his approach through three elements, namely the context of the verses (text), the grammatical composition of the text, and the whole text becoming a unity as its ‘weltanschauung’.

Both the thematic and holistic approaches recognize the importance of historical context. Indeed, historical context is necessary for proper understanding of the Qur’an. In some cases, the Qur’an cannot ever be understood without understanding the context. The concept of interest (ribâ) is one example of this, since the Qur’an only states that ribâ is prohibited, without actually giving any definition of it. Therefore, the concept of ribâ will be properly understood only by understanding the life and social economy of society at the time (context).

As far as the characteristics of the Qur’anic verses are concerned, al-Haddâd distinguishes between eternal principles, such as the credo of unity, ethical requirements, justice and equality, and those precepts, dependent upon human contingencies, particularly as they relate to conditions in the Jahiliya (pre-Islamic) period in Arabia. Therefore, al-H{addâd divided the Qur’an into (1) eternal principles, being universal norm which have to apply at all times, and in all places; and (2) precepts whose application depends on a particular social context. Al-H{addâd argues that for better understanding of the book (the Qur’an) and its main thesis, it is important to place it within its historical context.

The Qur’an and the Sunna and both, as pointed out above; have two important ingredients; the normative and the contextual. The Qur’an undoubtedly revealed for the whole of mankind and for all times to come and yet it contained, in order to be acceptable to the Arabs to whom it was revealed, that which had significance for them. Any scriptures which has to be acceptable to the people to whom it has been revealed must have immediate relevance for them. The scripture may draw from their history, culture and traditions.

Elsewhere: By emphasizing the universal aspect of the Qur’anic teachings I do not want to ignore the historical realities of the time when the Prophet and his companions were practicing the Qur’anic teachings.

Engineer believes that there is always a dialectical interaction between the empirical and the ideological elements. Therefore, the shari‘a is a synthesis of contextual and normative elements in the text (revelation).

What the combined approach of thematic and holistic approach therefore, is discussing a certain problem, such as in the case of marriage, one must explore it thematically and then taking into consideration whether it is in accordance with the spirit of the Qur’an based on the foundations of holistical approach. The commentator, therefore, must begin by collecting all relevant verses and Prophet traditions dealing with marriage, then discuss them thematically and holistically, and the result of this will be considered in relation to one of the ethics of the Qur’an that is egalitarianism, and equality between man and woman.


To conclude, a comprehensive study of the Qur’an must be made by: (1) determining general moral teachings and stated objectives; (2) scrutinizing specific pronouncements in the light of their specific circumstances surrounding particular passages of the Qur’an (asbab al-nuzul). Moreover, the goal is to resurrect ‘the original thrust of Islam—of the Qur’an and Muhammad’, to develop a "coherent elaboration of the moral, social and legal message of the Qur’an".

Penulis: Prof. Dr. Khoiruddin Nasution is a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Law (Syari‘ah) and the Graduate Program (Program Pascasarjana) of the State Islamic University (UIN) Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta


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