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Early Muslim Accusations of Taḥrīf:Muqātil Ibn Sulaymān's Commentary On Key Qur'anic Verses

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Chapter Summary

Muslim polemicists and scholars of Islam alike commonly refer to a series of verses in the Qurʾan when they discuss the doctrine of taḥrīf. A total of 25 verses from the Qurʾan are associated with the accusation. These may be called the 'tampering' verses because tampering is an elastic term which can include a wide variety of actions. As the evidence in this chapter shows, taḥrīf for the early commentators did not mean what it came to mean. An exploration of the exegesis of the tampering verses in the early commentaries offers hints about the development of the Islamic doctrine of corruption. Muqātil Ibn Sulaymān provides many interesting details in his exegesis of all of the tampering verses. The chapter focuses on what Muqātil Ibn Sulaymān understands to be the tampering action signified by the relevant verb.

Keywords: exegesis; Islam; Muqātil Ibn Sulaymān; Muslim polemicist; Qurʾan; taḥrīf



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