ISL430 Methodology of Qur'anic Exegesis (Usul al-Tafsir) (8)


This subject introduces students to the methodology of Qur'anic exegesis. The concept of revelation, the importance of occasions of revelation for exegesis, the concept of abrogation, and a set of tools used in textual analysis will be discussed. The history of the development of Qur'anic exegetical method and its evolution over time to produce a rich literature of exegetical works will also be addressed. In addition, modern exegetical issues concerning the Qur'an will be investigated together with a critical evaluation of how the modern history of the Muslim world influenced contemporary exegetical works.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 3
DistanceUnited Theological College
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ISL430
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLCentre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation

Assumed Knowledge

Foundational knowledge of the Qur'an and revelation.

Enrolment restrictions

Master of Islamic Studies

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the history of the development of Qur'anic exegesis.
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the Qur'an through a methodical approach to its interpretation.
  • be able to demonstrate a familiarity with the terminology used in Qur'anic exegesis.
  • be able to understand and apply critically the general principles of Qur'anic exegesis.
  • be able to apply critically exegetical methods to the interpretation of the Qur'an.
  • be able to recognise and evaluate critically different exegetical types.
  • be able to demonstrate independent research, organisation, written and oral communication skills through the presentation of a substantial work.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to the methodology of the Qur'anic exegesis
  • The notion of wahy (revelation)
  • Transmission of the Qur'anic revelation
  • Form, structure, coherence and the i'jaz (miraculousness) of the Qur'an
  • History of interpretation and interpreters of the Qur'an
  • Asbab al-nuzul (occasions of revelation) and Isra'iliyyat
  • Muhkam and mutashabih (clear and ambigious verses) and the notion of naskh (abrogation)
  • Qiraats and ahruf al-sab'ah (Qur'anic readings and seven letters)
  • Textual analysis and translation of the Qur'an
  • Qasas al-Qur'an (Qur'anic stories)
  • Mystical interpretaion of the Qur'an
  • Modern issues and western scholarship of the Qur'an


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.