Scripture and Exegesis in Early Imāmī-Shiism
Since the publication in 1921 of Ignaz Goldziher's "Die Richtungen der islamischen Koransauslegung," which includes a discussion of Im?m? exegesis, no comprehensive work on this topic has appeared. In the intervening years, important Im?m? commentaries on the Qur'?n have become available, making possible a reappraisal of the subject. The present study aims to contribute to this task, primarily by examining the features and methods of Im?m? exegesis. Principally, it offers a description and analysis of the major tenets of Im?m? doctrine, as reflected in the earliest Im?m? works of exegesis and related sources, up to the Major Occultation of the twelfth Imam in 329/941. These include, among others, the belief in a primordial covenant between God and the Sh?'a, and the superhuman and mystical qualities with which the Imams were graced, such as their God-given, infinite knowledge, their intercession on behalf of their community, their immunity from sin and error, etc. Other tenets relate to the attitude of Im?m? Sh?'ism to its enemies, e.g. the duty to denigrate and dissociate from them. These and similar ideas are constant motifs in Im?m? exegesis, and are linked time and again with various Qur'?nic verses. Relying on classical and modern Arabic sources, Sunn? and Sh?'? alike, as well as on a wide range of western research, Meir Bar-Asher sheds new light on the Im?m? methods of exegesis and on the principal Im?m? doctrines as reflected in the early Im?m? exegetical corpus.
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Abu lNadr Muhammad b Masud alAyyashl
Muhammad b Ibrahim b Jafar alNumanl
THE PREBUWAYHID SCHOOL OF EXEGESIS
THE METHODS OF EXEGESIS
Methods of Exegesis
THE INSTITUTION OF THE IMAMA
APPENDIX A LIST OF REFERENCES TO RIWAYAT ABI LJAR
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