Research Seminar: Reflections on the post-classical Tafsir tradition

Dr Shuruq Naguib was invited to the Al Mahdi Institute May 29th 2014 to deliver a research seminar on “Reflections on the post-classical Tafsir tradition”. Egyptian born Dr. Shuruq Naguib is a specialist in studying Qur’an scripture and is currently a lecturer in Islamic studies at Lancaster University, in the department of politics philosophy and religion.

After a warm welcome and a brief introduction Dr Shuruq Naguib delivered a fascinating and inspiring lecture within a 40mins timeframe. Dr Shuruq spoke of a journey which led to her study of Tafsir, which she has been engaged with since 1997, concerning both classical and modern texts. She raised concerns of Tafsir being marginal in both  Muslim and non-Muslim scholarship and expressed that it is unfortunate that this discipline has been overlooked, where areas such as Fiqh, Islamic law and Theology have taken precedence, particularly as there is a rich culture of ideas intertwined within Tafsir that preserves much of Islamic discourses. Dr Shuruq also conveyed the common idea that only the classical texts of Razi and Tabari etc. are the epitome of Tafsir tradition where many scholars draw on orientalist’s claims that there was little activity from 14th to 18th and 19th century. Dr Shuruq’s talk thus challenges these ideas where she sets a historical scene for what was happening in the circles that where engaged with Tafsir, especially concerning the 14th 15th and 16th century.

The talk was food for thought where much discussion from the audience followed and revolved around the activity of scholars who Dr Shuruq had addressed. Overall it was a benefiting and refreshing seminar which benefitted the audience as they shared their gratitude of appreciation.