Coping with a Qur’anic Truth Claim

Muslim Hermeneutics of Knowledge and Pluralism

Authors

  • Yaser Ellethy Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.19378

Keywords:

truth claim, tawḥīd, epistemic relativism, exclusivism, pluralism, soteriology, tolerance, Qur’an

Abstract

Since the latter half of the twentieth century, Western philosophers of religion and scholars of religion have been fervently preoccupied with the question of religious truth claims and how to evaluate a Christian theological view of other religious traditions. This resulted in the standardization of inclusivism, exclusivism, and pluralism as distinct universal approaches to the truth claim predicament. Employing Qur’anic exegesis, hermeneutics, and the semantics of core Islamic concepts, this article offers a critique of this standardized typology as less relevant to the Muslim perspective of religious diversity. Based on an Islamic view of the relativity of human knowledge and the centrality of a revelatory epistemic premise, this typology is hardly akin to a Muslim traditional perspective. The Qur’an defines the boundaries between the Islamic truth claim, salvific exclusion, and the ethical codes for Muslims to deal with a worldly context that is ab initio diverse. This article argues that an Islamic pluralistic view, as delineated on the basis of the Qur’an, supersedes the dilemma of religious truth claims and seeks realistic ethical regulations to deal with religious otherness.

References

Abu Hayyan, M. 2010. Al-Bahr al-Muhit fi al-Tafsir. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr.

Aijaz, I. 2014. “Traditional Islamic Exclusivism-A-Critique.” European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6(2): 185–209. https://doi.org/10.24204/ejpr.v6i2.186 DOI: https://doi.org/10.24204/ejpr.v6i2.186

Ackrill, J. 1973. ‘Anamnesis in the Phaedo: Remarks on 73c–75c.’ In Exegesis and Argument, edited by E. Lee, A. Mourelatos, and R. Rorty, 177–195. New York: Humanities Press.

Al-Bukhari 1997. The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih Al-Bukhari. Trans. Khan M., Riyadh: Darussalam.

Al-Faruqi, I. 1989. Islamization of Knowledge: General Principles and Work Plan. Herndon VA: International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

Al-Ghazali A. 1994. The Faith and Practice of al-Ghazali. Trans. W. Montgomery Watt. Oxford: Oneworld.

———. 2005. Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din. Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm.

Al-Razi F. 1981. Tafsir al-Fakhr al-Razi al-Mushtahir bi ’l-Tafsir al-Kabir wa Mafatih al-Ghayb. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr.

Al-Sabouni M. 1981. Safwat al-Tafasir. Beirut: Dar al-Qur’an al-Karim.

Al-Shaarawi M. 1991. Tafsir Al-Shaarawi. Cairo: Dar Akhbar al-Yum.

Al-Tabari 2008. Jami' al-Bayan 'an Ta’wil Ayy al-Qur’an. Cairo: Dar Al-Salam.

Al-Tirmidhi 1996. Al-Jami' al-Kabir. Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami.

Aziz, M. 2011. Religion and Mysticism in Early Islam. London/New York: Tauris. https://doi.org/10.5040/9780755611027 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5040/9780755611027

Curd, P., and R. McKirahan. 2011. A Presocratics Reader: Selected Fragments and Testimonia. (2nd ed.). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Ellethy Y. 2017. Islam, Context, Pluralism and Democracy: Classical and Modern Interpretations. London and New York: Routledge.

Fairbanks A. 1898. The First Philosophers of Greece. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner.

Gensichen, H. 1976. “World Community and World Religions.” In Religion in a Pluralistic Society, ed. by J. Pobee, 27–37. Leiden: Brill.

Gulley, N. 1962. Plato’s Theory of Knowledge. London: Methuen.

Hick, J. 1973. God and the Universe of Faiths: Essays in the Philosophy of Religion. Oxford: Oneworld.

———. 1989. An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent. Houndmills: Macmillan.

Jackson, S. 2002. On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam: Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali’s Faysal al-Tafriqa Hayna al-Islam wa al-Zandaqa. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jung, C. 1953. The Collected Works of C.G Jung. Vol. 12, ed. W. Mc Guire. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Ibn Ashour, A. 1984. Tafsir Al-Tahrir wa al-Tanwir. Tunis: Al-Dar al-Tunisiyya li al-Nashr.

Ibn Kathir. 2003. Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged). Riyadh/Houston/New York/Lahore: Darussalam.

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya. 2003. Madarij al-Salikin. Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi.

———. 1429 H. (=2008), Miftah Dar al-Sa‘ada. Mecca: Dar ‘Alam al-Fawa’id.

Ibn Taymiya. 2005. Majmu‘ al-Fatawa. Mansura: Dar al-Wafaa.

Muslim. 2007. English Translation of Sahih Muslim. Trans. Al-Khattab N., Riyadh: Darussalam.

Pellat, C. “Fatra”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_2328 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_2328

Plato. 1888. The Republic of Plato. Trans. B. Jowett, Oxford: The Clarendon Press.

Rahman, F. 2002. Islam. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Reitsma, B. 2017. Kwetsbare Liefde: de Kerk, de Islam en de Drie-enige God. Utrecht: Boekencentrum,

Rosenthal, F. 2007. Knowledge Triumphant: The Concept of Knowledge in Medieval Islam. Leiden: Brill. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004153868.i-355

Rossouw, D. 1988. The Historicist Approach to the Conflicting Truth Claims of World Religions. Johannesburg: University of Witwatersrand. Johannesburg.

Scott, D. 1995. Recollection and Experience: Plato’s Theory of Learning and Its Successors. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511597374

Smith, W. C. 1962. The Meaning and End of Religion: A New Approach to the Religious Traditions of Mankind. New York: The Macmillan Company.

———. 1967. Questions of Religious Truth, New York: Charles Scribners Sons.

———. 1981. Towards a World Theology: Faith and the Comparative History of Religion, Philadelphia: Westminster Press.

Souter A. et. al. (ed.). 1980. Oxford Latin Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Taylor, C. 2007. A Secular Age. Cambridge MA/London: Harvard University Press.

Wolfson, H. 1976. The Philosophy of Kalam. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press.

WEB:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPFM_jP3Pxc, accessed 16 May 2020.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4S4ysPgnHQ, accessed 16 May 2020.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjdpBc-8OLs, accessed 16 May 2020.

Published

2022-07-15

How to Cite

Ellethy, Y. . (2022). Coping with a Qur’anic Truth Claim: Muslim Hermeneutics of Knowledge and Pluralism. Interreligious Studies and Intercultural Theology, 6(1), 66–84. https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.19378

Issue

Section

Articles