The basic intention of Qur'anic exegesis (tafsir) is to understand what the text of the Qur'an means. Before attempting to understand anything of the Qur'anic worldview, its theology and ethical values, there is a need for exegetes to engage with the individual words found in the Qur'an itself. Yet, exegetes and translators, whether medieval or modern, have different theological perspectives, which influence how they do this. Many modern scholars have recognised that lexicology plays an important part in exegesis, but there are few studies of how exegetes use it to develop their interpretations of the Qur'an or that address lexicology in Qur'anic exegesis in any depth. This volume of essays addresses this gap in the scholarship. The Meaning of the Word provides an overview of the development of lexicological analysis in the tafsir tradition, and examines how exegetes interpreted words in the Qur'an. The contributions reflect on lexicology in Qur'anic exegesis through studies of
Stephen R. Burge is Research Associate at Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. He is the author of Angels in Islam: Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti's al-Haba'ik fi akhbar al-mala'ik (Routledge, 2012).
INTRODUCTION; SECTION I: LEXICOLOGY AND THE FORMATIVE PERIOD OF QUR'ANIC EXEGESIS; SECTION II: LEXICAL METHODOLOGIES IN ACTION: FOUR CASE STUDIES; SECTION III: WORDS, INTERPRETATION, AND LEGAL DISPUTES; SECTION IV: THE WORD IN TRANSLATION: MEDIEVAL AND MODERN DISPUTES