Exegesis

Authored by: Michael E. Pregill

Routledge Handbook on Early Islam

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138821187
eBook ISBN: 9781315743462
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315743462.ch7

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Abstract

Scriptural exegesis of one form or another has been a critical aspect of religious, intellectual, and social activity in the Muslim community since the time of its foundation. According to the traditional account, revelation and community were intertwined from the beginning: the Prophet gathered his earliest followers from among his family and close associates after the revelation of the Qurʾān began in 610 CE, and over the years, both the body of material that would eventually constitute the canonical Qurʾān and the body of believers who would constitute the first umma grew together. (Processes of revelation and communogenesis had not been so closely conjoined previously in the case of either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament.) Under these circumstances, the Companions of the Prophet – the first individuals to accept Muḥammad’s message and recognize the authority of the Qurʾān he revealed to them during his mission – had ample opportunity to discuss what they heard, puzzle over its implications, argue over its significance, and inquire directly with Muḥammad about its meaning.

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