Book Chapter

Authority in Qur'ānic interpretation and interpretive communities

A Saeed

Communicating the Word: Revelation, Translation, and Interpretation in Christianity and Islam | Published : 2011


Any discussion about authority in interpretation within the Islamic tradition begins with the centrality of God's word. God's word is not just another text but the direct speech of God (kalām Allāh). Indeed, the speech of God, addressing the Prophet, began with the word iqra- "Recite!" (Qur'ān 96:1). God's word guides, advises, commands, prohibits, instructs, urges, rules, and encourages believers. It is the first and foremost authority in Islam, and is represented in the Qur'ān. The Prophet Muhammad, the intermediary between God's word and the first community of Muslims, is both closely connected to the revelation of God's word and also its chief exponent. It was through him that God's word..

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