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The Qurʾan As Process

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Chapter Summary

This chapter first claims that Nöldeke's approach to dating Qurʾanic passages is largely sound. It then shows that Nöldeke's approach can be elaborated even further and that it is possible to arrive at plausible chronological hypotheses even within the four basic textual clusters distinguished by him. The chapter also argues that a genuinely processual understanding of the Qurʾan not only has to take into account the relationship between a given Qurʾanic passage and the historical context that it originally addressed, but also its relationship to the corpus of earlier recitations promulgated by Muhammad. This "intratextual" dimension of the Qurʾan is then illustrated through a brief discussion of some of the early Qurʾanic narratives about Abraham (most importantly, Q 51 and Q 37). Finally, the chapter tries to give a specific example for what a genuinely processual reading of the Qurʾan might look like.

Keywords: intra-Qurʾanic interpretation; Muhammad; Nöldeke's approach; Qurʾan



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