HSD321 – Principles of Qur’anic Exegesis


  • Introduction: Definition, Historical Precedent, Sources and Classification of Principles
  • Principles that are Applicable to Exegesis and Other Sciences
    • Principles that are Applicable to Exegesis and Principles of Jurisprudence
    • Principles that are Applicable to Exegesis and Logic
    • Principles that are Applicable to Exegesis and Arabic Language Studies
    • Principles that are Applicable to Exegesis and Sciences of the Qur’an
  • Principles Exclusive to Exegesis
    • The Principle of Connected Linguistic Context
    • The Principle of Flow and Application
    • The Principle of Relationship Between Different Parts of the Qur’an
    • The Principle of Effect of the Aims of the Qur’an, Chapters and Verses on Exegesis
    • The Principle of Employing Certainty in Exegesis
    • The Principle of Paying Attention to the Outer and Inner Aspects of Verses
    • The Principle of Conducting Exegesis Based on Reliable Sources, Evidence and Context
    • The Principle of Non-opposition of Exegesis to Decisive Verses, Established Tradition, Established Intellectual Matters and Scientific Facts
    • The Principle of Observing Fundamental Exegetical Presuppositions
    • The Principle of Conducting Exegesis Using Correct Exegetical Methods
    • The Principle of Conducting Exegesis by Exegetes who Possess the Required Expertise
    • The Principle of Prohibition of Imposing One’s Own Opinion in Exegesis

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Critically analyse exegesis of verses of the Qur’an in terms of the principles employed by different exegetes (B1, B2, B3, C1, C6, D6).
  • Differentiate between and structure principles that are shared between Qur’anic exegesis and other fields of study and those that are largely exclusive to Qur’anic exegesis. (A1, B2, B3, B4, C1)

This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Develop correct application of relevant principles of exegesis to verses of the Qur’an. (B1, B3, C6, D2)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Alongside lectures and seminars, students are expected to develop their learning through independent study of set and free reading. The use of questioning and small group exercises based largely on applying principles to verses of Qur’an ensures that students are constantly engaged in class and take an active role in the learning process.

Assessment Mode
Questions arising from lectures form the basis formative assessment, through small group discussions leading the development of exegetical skills. Tutorial time enables the module leader to give constructive feedback to student on the preparation and development of their case studies. Tutorials would help develop students’ learning and enhance their final submissions. Formative feedback is also gained through mubāḥathah, a wellestablished and integral part of the Hawza tradition of learning. Informal and interactive, the mubāḥathah is an invaluable opportunity for students to consolidate their learning. Unresolved matters or new ideas resulting from mubāḥathah sessions are researched and brought to the attention of the module leader, serving to further student learning through formative learning process.
Summative, graded assessment is by case study, in which students will be required to investigate the application of exegetical principles by a particular exegete to verses of the Qur’an. Students must present their findings concisely and clearly in the form of a report of about 3,000  words (Outcomes 1, 2, 3).

Assessment Weighting
Case study: 100%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Abd al-Rahman al-Akk, S.K. (1986). Usul al-Tafsir wa Qawa’iduh. Beirut: Dar al-Nafa’is. Suyuti, J.A.A. (1987). Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah.