Department of Qur'ānic Studies and Recitation
The Sunnah of Allah which is sending prophets and revealing books existed in the past with one common characteristic between all of them; “We did not send a messenger except that he spoke the language of his people so that he may explain waḥī (lit. revelation) to them.”
The Department of Qurʾānic Studies and Recitation, is devoted towards building an understanding with waḥī and its antecedents. The Noble Qurʾān was revealed to prophet Muhammad ﷺ by means of waḥī. Therefore, an understanding of it is imperative at the very outset of delving into the study of the Qurʾān. This becomes a reality when one studies the Qurʾān and Arabic and its antecedents, which include rhetoric, tafsīr (exegesis) and recitation of the Qurʾān.
For the Prophet ﷺ, the Arabic language cannot be separated from the miracle of the Qurʾān:
إنا أنزلناه قرءانا عربيا لعلكم تعقلون
“We have sent it down as an Arabic Qurʾān so that you may understand”
Surah Yūsuf, 12:2
نزل به الروح الأمين على قلبك لتكون من المنذرين بلسان عربي مبين
“The trustworthy spirit descends with its verses upon your heart so that you may become of the forewarner in a clear Arabic tongue.”
Surah al-Shuʿarāʾ, 26:193-196
The Prophet ﷺ was sent to Arab Khullāṣ, they understood the Qurʾān in accordance to their proficiency in Arabic, even though the Qurʾān differed from their everyday language due to its linguistic eloquence in words and rhetorical constructions. In the Prophetic era, people understood the Qurʾān in accordance to their capabilities, but they all realized the iʿjāz (miracle) present therein. Throughout our various courses we explore Arabic rhetoric that reflects the miraculous nature of the Qurʾān. Taking it a step further we expound upon tafsīr (exegesis).
This department is also devoted to teaching the recitation of the Qurʾān. One of the aspects of the preservation of the Qurʾān is its correct pronunciation that has come to us from the time of the Prophet ﷺ. The Qurʾān is the literal word of Allah that He revealed as a source of legislation for mankind to live an organized life by. Being so important, the Qurʾān must be recited, read and written correctly and clearly, so misunderstandings are not created. Allah commanded the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in the Qurʾān, “And recite the Qurʾān with measured recitation.” [Surah al-Muzammil, 73:4]. The theoretical aspect of Tajwīd will be taught through a detailed study of the famous al-Muqaddamah al-Jazariyyah along with a focus on its practical application after completing it study.
The primary method of transmission of the Qurʾān has always been oral. Each generation learns the Qurʾān from the generation before it, and this chain continues backwards until the time of the Companions, who learned it from the Prophet ﷺ himself. As ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb stated, “The recitation of the Qurʾān is a Sunnah. The latter generations must take it from the earlier ones. Therefore, recite the Qurʾān only as you have been taught.” The Qurʾān was revealed in various modes and these modes of recitation are also taught as an elective in this department through an in-depth study of “al-Shāṭabiyyah” along with recitation using “al-Budūr al-Ẓāhirah” as the primary text.
Mawlana Arif Kamal
Liaison, Department of Qurˀānic Studies and Recitation
Core Content Curriculum
Qur'anic Studies and Recitation
|Course Code||Core or Elective||Course Name||Course Description|
|QUR101||Core||Introduction to Tajwīd: al-Muqaddamah al-Jazariyyah||The course consists of an in-depth study of al-Muqaddamah al-Jazarariyyah of Imam al-Jazarī (d. 833/1430), which introduces students to the philosophy and norms of tajwīd (rules of recitation of the Qur’ān). All topics of tajwīd are covered at an advanced level. This course also explores the different opinions on certain rules of tajwīd. Imam Jazarī’s work is one that is studied worldwide and is considered a must-study text for any serious student of the Qur’ān.|
|QUR102||Core||History of the Qurʾānic Text||In this course, students will examine the evolution of the Qurʾānic text from the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) until the present day. The in-depth analysis will explore differences between modern-day Arabic writing and classical Arabic. Students will also conduct a detailed study of the principles that govern the Qurʾānic script. Lastly, students will gain an appreciation for the Qurʾānic script and its history by learning the codification of variant readings.|
|QUR201||Core||Translation of the Qurʾān: Tarjumah al-Qur’ān||This course consists of an in-depth study of the last thirty chapters of the Noble Qur’ān. Students will study the grammatical and rhetorical analysis of these chapters as well as being presented with an introduction to their exegesis. The main text that will be used in this class is I'rāb al-Qur'ān of Muḥyī al-Dīn al-Dirwīshī (d. 1402/1982).|
|QUR202||Core||Introduction to the Exegesis of the Noble Qurʾān: Ṣafwat al-Tafāsīr||In this course students will thoroughly study the contemporary commentary on the Noble Qurʾān Ṣafwat al-Tafāsīr by Muḥammad ʿAlī al-Ṣābūnī. In his work, the author transmits information from influential texts of exegesis such as al- Kashshāf, Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr, and others, succinctly discussing the necessary details of each verse of the Noble Qurʾān and the connection between the verses. These details provide the students the knowledge they need to understand each verse. Furthermore, the author also offers important notes about the rhetorical devices in the verses and explores subtleties that can be extracted from the wording of the Noble Qurʾān. The course aims to introduce the students to the breadth and depth of the scholarship on the Noble Qurʾān and to allow the student to have a greater appreciation for the language of the Noble Qurʾān.|
|QUR301||Core||Introduction to Principles of Qurʾānic Exegesis: Shāh Walī Allāh’s al-Fawz al-Kabīr fī Uṣūl al-Tafsīr||This course comprises a thorough study of Shāh Walī Allāh’s (d. 1175/1762) al-Fawz al-Kabīr fī Uṣūl al-Tafsīr. The text, which was originally written in Persian, consists of five chapters. Each chapter elucidates principles and precepts needed to understand the science of Tafsīr (Qurˀānic exegesis) and Uṣūl al-Tafsīr (Qurˀānic hermeneutics). The objectives of the course include introducing the student to the circumstances of revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl), abrogating and abrogated verses (al-nāṣikh wa l-manṣūkh) and the unusual words and phrases of the Noble Qurˀān (gharāʾib al-Qurˀān). Though the text is brief, it is considered one of the best compilations prepared on the subject due to its scope which concisely elucidates concepts required to comprehend the subtleties of Tafsīr.|
|QUR302||Core||Thematic Study of the Noble Qurʾān||The Qurʾānic themes are about guiding human beings to success in this world and salvation in the hereafter. These themes are distributed throughout the Qurʾān in various sūrahs (chapters). The objective of this course is to introduce the student to these themes so that they have a holistic and comprehensive understanding of the Noble Qurʾān. As the course introduces several āyāt (verses) from the Noble Qurʾān under the umbrella of the theme, the student will translate those āyāt while understanding the morphology, syntax, and philological underpinnings that indicate the meanings of those āyāt within the themes.|
|QUR401||Core||Concise Qurʾānic Exegesis: Tafsīr al-Jalālayn I||The exegesis of the two Jalāls (al-Jalālayn)—Jalāl al-Dīn al-Maḥallī (d. 864/1459) and his student the famous polymath Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī (d. 911/1505)— is one of the most well-known works of exegesis in the Islamic world. Tafsīr al-Jalālayn uses a number of different approaches to explaining the Qur'ānic text. These include linguistic commentary, legal commentary, and Qur'ānic exegesis through the Qur'ān (tafsīr al-Qur'ān bi-l-Qur'ān). The authors sought to remove any obstacles to understanding any word in the Divine Text so that the reader might recite the Qur'ān and immediately understand, at least, its literal meaning.|
|QUR402||Core||Concise Qurʾānic Exegesis: Tafsīr al-Jalālayn II||The exegesis of the two Jalāls (al-Jalālayn)—Jalāl al-Dīn al-Maḥallī (d. 864/1459) and his student the famous polymath Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī (d. 911/1505)— is one of the most well-known works of exegesis in the Islamic world. Tafsīr al-Jalālayn uses a number of different approaches to explaining the Qur'ānic text. These include linguistic commentary, legal commentary, and Qur'ānic exegesis through the Qur'ān (tafsīr al-Qur'ān bi-l-Qur'ān). The authors sought to remove any obstacles to understanding any word in the Divine Text so that the reader might recite the Qur'ān and immediately understand, at least, its literal meaning.|