With A’isha In Mind: Reading Surat Al-Nur Through The Quran’s Structural Unity

By: Dr. Zainab Alwani

While a multiplicity of interpretations is a consistent historical feature in Qur’anic scholarship, the intratextual method (tafsir al-Qur’an bi-l-Qur’an) has been accepted as a central method of interpretation. Building upon this method, this chapter explores and furthers the methodology of Al-wahda al-bina’iyya li-l-Qur’an (the Qur’an’s structural unity) and argues that reading the sura/chapter as a structural unit can yields significant exegetical insights. By focusing on Surat al-Nur (Qur’an 24), and focusing on an incident involving ʿA’isha bint Abu Bakr (d. 678/57) as an example, this chapter draws attention to hadith scholarship identified with a revisionary body of literature that takes as its scope the verification and validation of a prophetic tradition.

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