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Cover Art
Author Madigan, Daniel A.

Title The Qurʼân's self-image : writing and authority in Islam's scripture / Daniel A. Madigan.

Published Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [2001]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  297.1226 MADI    AVAILABLE
Physical description xv, 236 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [215]-227) and indexes.
Contents 1. Qur'an as a Book 13 -- 2. Qur'an's Rejection of Some Common Conceptions of Kitab 53 -- 3. Semantic Analysis and the Understanding of Kitab 79 -- 4. Semantic Field of Kitab I: Verbal Uses of the Root K-T-B 107 -- 5. Semantic Field of Kitab II: Titles and Processes 125 -- 6. Semantic Field of Kitab III: Synonyms and Attributes 145 -- 7. Elusiveness of the Kitab: Plurals, Partitives, and Indefinites 167 -- 8. Continuing Life of the Kitab in Muslim Tradition 181 -- Appendix People of the Kitab 193.
Summary Islam is frequently characterized as a "religion of the book," and yet Muslims take an almost entirely oral approach to their scripture. Qur'an means "recitation" and refers to the actual words Muslims believe were revealed to Muhammad by God. Many recite the entire sacred text from memory, and it was some years after the Prophet's death that it was first put in book form. Physical books play no part in Islamic ritual. What does the Qur'an mean, then, when it so often calls itself kitab, a term usually taken both by Muslims and by Western scholars to mean "book"?
More than any other canon of scripture the Qur'an is self-aware. It observes and discusses the process of its own revelation and reception; it asserts its own authority and claims its place within the history of revelation. Here Daniel Madigan reevaluates this key term, kitab, in close readings of the Qur'an's own declarations about itself. He presents a compelling semantic analysis, arguing that the Qur'an understands itself not so much as a completed book but as an ongoing process of divine "writing" and "re-writing," as God's authoritative response to actual people and circumstances.
Grasping this dynamic, responsive dimension of the Qur'an is central to understanding Islamic religion and identity. From the beginning Muslims seem to have treated it more as the symbol and guarantee of God's continuing guidance rather than as the sum total of all God has to say. Madigan's book will be invaluable not only to Islamicists but also to scholars who study revelation across religious boundaries.
Subject Qurʼan -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Islam -- Apologetic works.
ISBN 0691059500