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The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. [2:185]
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  1. #1
    Will Head's Avatar
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    Understanding Verses: Absolute or within Context?

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    Are verses in the Qur'an absolute and self sufficient, or must they be understood within a larger context? In other words, can I pick a verse at random and assume I understand what it is saying without reading anything else? Or must I read more in the Qur'an (or the Hadiths) to more fully understand.

    Christians must take most of the verses of the Bible within their proper context. As a Christian scholar, it is not good practice for me to read a random verse and assume I can understand what it is saying without reading more. As most of you know, much biblical truth is derived from stories, while Qur'anic truths are given in concrete statements (correct me if I am wrong).

    I am hopeful and eager for our common dwelling on earth. Props to "A Common Word Between Us and You," a thoughtful and considerate move. Praise be to the only God, who is compassionate and merciful.

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    M.I.A.'s Avatar
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    Re: Understanding Verses: Absolute or within Context?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Head View Post
    Are verses in the Qur'an absolute and self sufficient, or must they be understood within a larger context? In other words, can I pick a verse at random and assume I understand what it is saying without reading anything else? Or must I read more in the Qur'an (or the Hadiths) to more fully understand.

    Christians must take most of the verses of the Bible within their proper context. As a Christian scholar, it is not good practice for me to read a random verse and assume I can understand what it is saying without reading more. As most of you know, much biblical truth is derived from stories, while Qur'anic truths are given in concrete statements (correct me if I am wrong).

    I am hopeful and eager for our common dwelling on earth. Props to "A Common Word Between Us and You," a thoughtful and considerate move. Praise be to the only God, who is compassionate and merciful.

    Imo..

    Both.

    And it mentions the subject more than once also.

    So a more general understanding of subject matter helps.

    But imo it's a case of reading it and being drawn to certain things, incorporating them into our own understandings that shape our own paths.

    More of what you are or what you want to be.

    If that's literal or contextual or historical or metaphorical is entirely dependant on how you have approached the book..

    None of the approaches are wrong if you are willing to learn and adapt... Allah swt accepts what he wills and rejects what he wills, he raises and lowers as he wills.

    It's a learning experience.

    Imo.

    Make of it what you will, but putting all those different understandings together is like putting all the people together.

    So people will always disagree..

    But it's like science imo, if the world turns today the same as it has done since creation..

    Then you should have universal truths although they are beyond us.


    I'm not patronising, maybe simply reading it is enough to plan for the future for some or memorizing it..
    Last edited by M.I.A.; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:36 PM.

  4. #3
    The Prince's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding Verses: Absolute or within Context?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Head View Post
    Are verses in the Qur'an absolute and self sufficient, or must they be understood within a larger context? In other words, can I pick a verse at random and assume I understand what it is saying without reading anything else? Or must I read more in the Qur'an (or the Hadiths) to more fully understand.

    Christians must take most of the verses of the Bible within their proper context. As a Christian scholar, it is not good practice for me to read a random verse and assume I can understand what it is saying without reading more. As most of you know, much biblical truth is derived from stories, while Qur'anic truths are given in concrete statements (correct me if I am wrong).

    I am hopeful and eager for our common dwelling on earth. Props to "A Common Word Between Us and You," a thoughtful and considerate move. Praise be to the only God, who is compassionate and merciful.
    I think that quranic verses have a contextual meaning; sometimes a transtional meaning which must be understood. Therefore in my opinion the answer to your question is no. You cant take singular verses from the quran and claim to understand them properly.

    Allow me to give you an example of a transitional verse.
    Alcohol wasnt prohibited immediately in islam. It was first banned during times of prayer only and then after some time prohibited totally. Thats the ruling that stands; alcohol is prohibited.
    Now if you were to read the verse where it mentions dnt stand for prayer under the influence of alcohol, you might be tempted to consume alcohol at other times and therby commit a grevious sin.

    Hope this makes sense.

    There are many other examples too.
    | Likes Will Head liked this post

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    Ümit's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding Verses: Absolute or within Context?

    most of the quranic verses can be self sufficient IF you know the context. just reading the english translation is of course not enough. translating text into another language means mutation of the original message. besides...you have to have background information about the verse...because every verse have a reason why they have been revealed...some refer to a certain event in history...others refer to a certain group of people. you need to know when a verse was revealed...and where...and what was happening in the world at that moment...
    most of this information can be found in tafsirs.
    Tafsir ibn Kathir is a widely accepted one.
    | Likes Ahmed., Zafran, Will Head liked this post


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