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Lesson 20
Exegesis and Translation

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Main Points

·      Exegesis is to learn how to utter the Qur’anic words, understand their meanings in the context of the verse structure, explain the meanings of the verses, and deduce the rulings and wisdom behind them. As for “figurative interpretation”, it is the scholar’s opinion through deduction from similar words and verses.

·      Methods of exegesis are: explaining the Qur’an with the Qur’an, explaining the Qur’an with Hadith, and explaining according to the opinion of those who have mastered linguistics, the sciences of the Qur’an, the fundamentals of Fiqh (religious understanding), and the methods of the previous interpreters.

·      Among the scholars of exegesis via Hadith are: At-Tabari, Ibn Kathir, and As-Siyuti. The most well-known scholars of exegesis by opinion are: Ar-Razi, Al-Baydawi, As-Siyuti (in Al-Jalalain), Az-Zamakhshari, Al-Qurtubi, Al-Alusi, An-Nasafi, Al-Khazin, and Ash-Shawkani.

·      Some of the well-known modern books of exegesis are those by: the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Cairo, Muhammad Rashid Rida, Sayyid Qutb, Abul-A`la Al-Mawdudi and `A’ishah `Abdur-Rahman.

·      The text of the Qur’an can never be translated into another language, i.e., to be used in worship or to deduce rulings therefrom. However, the meanings of the Qur’an can be translated according to the translator’s command of understanding and conveying the meaning.