Public Lecture Series by Sheikh Abbas Jaffar: Issues in Qur’anic Studies

On 30th May 2013 and 6th June 2013 the Al-Mahdi Institute invited Sheikh Abbas M M Jaffer to give a series of two public lectures at the AMI Selly Oak Campus on modern day issues facing Qur’anic studies.

Sheikh Abbas Jaffar is a part time lecturer at the Islamic College and Hawza in London, he has translated numerous texts from Arabic and Persian and is the co-author of ‘Quranic Sciences’. This book has aimed to redress the gap found in most texts of the contributions which were previously unavailable in the English Language of many great scholars. Along side Quranic Sciences his other areas of interest include, Theology and Islamic History. The following is brief synopsis of his two lectures at AMI:

Lecture 1: The Unconnected Letters at the head of some Suras of the Qur’an : A Review of Traditional and Modern Interpretations

The presence of the unconnected letters (al-huruf al-muqatta’at) in the Qur’an has been the subject of great interest and debate amongst scholars. Exegetes have devoted separate sections of their commentaries in attempting to explain the meaning and purpose of these cryptic letters. In this talk, the traditional views of the mufassirin will be critically reviewed and some new ideas about the letters will be presented for discussion.

Lecture 2: The Qur’an as a Literary Text

The Qur’an is a masterpiece of literature, employing a unique literary style which is neither poetry or prose. In addition to the masterful use of the normal linguistic elements of grammar and terminology, there are particular literary patterns that the Qur’an uses to great advantage in conveying its message. These patterns include phonological (metre, rhyme, alliteration, etc.), semantic (metaphor, simile, irony, etc..) and syntactic (linguistic deviation, word-play, parallelisms, etc.) structures.

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