My last post concerning the sciences of the Qurān provided a brief outline of some of the different sciences that are associated with the Qurān as well as some of the questions that are asked and researched within each respective science.

Now, I feel as if it would be beneficial to delve into a book that will discuss some matters pertaining to each science and attempt to offer brief explanations for different issues. One particular book that I feel would serve this purpose well is that of Allamah Haadi Ma’rifat’s which is entitled, “Amouzish Ulum Qurāni” (Learning the Qurānic Sciences). However, before delving into this book, I’d like to offer some insight into Allamah Haadi Ma’rifat’s life and provide a brief explanation of this book.

Allamah Haadi Ma’rifat (may Allah bless his soul), was born in the holy city of Najaf in the year 1891.

Ayatollah Ma'rifat at a Young Age
Ayatollah Ma’rifat at a Young Age

It was here that he pursued his studies, first studying basic Arabic grammar under his father and classical logic under other well-known teachers.
Later, he moved on to studying the principles of jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh) and jurisprudence (Fiqh). After a period of time, he moved onto attending the classes of eminent jurists such as Ayatollah Khoei. During this time he began to engage in research along with a group of other scholars in which each of them would choose different subjects and research them. During these research projects Ayatollah Haadi Ma’rifat chose to research the sciences of the Qurān.

In his autobiography, Allamah Haadi writes

The reason for beginning to research different issues related to the Qurān whilst studying jurisprudence and the principles of jurisprudence was that when preparing to start teaching exegesis, I became aware of a sad reality and that was the lack of academic discussions in relation to matters concerning the Qurān.New-3

I encountered this sad reality when I had to go to a library that specifically carried books related to the sciences of the Qurān when I was preparing an essay about translating the Qurān. I found many books, essays and papers by Egyptian scholars and other contemporary scholars but did not find anything written by someone within the seminary of Najaf except for a paper by Ayatollah Mohammad Hussain Kashif al-Ghita. It was because of this that I began to study and research the sciences of the Qurān and present the views of our past and contemporary scholars.

Allamah Ma’rifat migrated to Qom later on where he continued giving dars kharij[1] and at the same time wrote many valuable works pertaining to the sciences of the Qurān. He passed away in 2006 and was buried in the shrine of the holy lady Fatimah, Ayatollah Zanjani lead the prayer upon his body.

Ayatollah Ma'rifat's Funeral Prayers Led by Ayatollah Zanjani
Ayatollah Ma’rifat’s Funeral Prayers Led by Ayatollah Zanjani

Among the works of Ayatollah Haadi Ma’rifat there exist a series of 4 works that each deal with the subject of the sciences of the Qurān with different depths. The first of them is, “Amouzish Ulum Qurāni” (Learning the Qurānic Sciences, which is just under 200 pages long and offers brief and introductory discussions pertaining to different issues related to the sciences of the Qurān.

The next is called, “Ulum Qurāni” (Qurānic Sciences), a longer book, just over 400 pages long, that discusses matters pertaining to the sciences of the Qurān in more depth than, Amouzish Ulum Qurāni”.

His third work is entitled, “Talkhees al-Tamheed fi Ulum al-Qurān”, (An Abridgement of the Introduction to the Sciences of the Qurān)  which is in Arabic as opposed to the two previous works in Farsi. This work consists of two volumes, which as the titles indicates are an abridged version of his longer ten volume work.

Ayatollah Ma’rifat’s ten volume work is entitled, “al-Tamheed fi Ulum al-Qurān” (The Introduction to the Sciences of the Qurān). Each volume deals with different subjects as listed below.

Volume 1: The phenomenon of revelation (wahi), the causes of revelation and the history of the Qurān

Volume 2: The different readings (Qira’aat) of the Qurān and abrogated verses within the Qurān

Volume 3: Muhkam and Mutashaabih Verses (Definitive and Metaphorical Verses)

Volume 4: A preliminary discourse concerning the inimitability (ai’jaaz) of the Qurān

Volume 5: The inimitability of the Qurān

Volume 6: The inimitability of the Qurān

Volume 7: Specious arguments in relation to the Qurān

Volume 8: The preservation of the Qurān from distortion

Volume 9: A history and analysis of exegeses and exegetes

Volume 10: A history and analysis of exegeses and exegetes

This work thoroughly discusses and analyses different issues and matters that are related to the Qurān. Allamah Haadi Ma’rifat often discusses the views of other scholars as well as those of orientalists. Overall, this work is perhaps the most thoroughly written, contemporary work, that discusses the sciences of the Qurān.

My goal, in future posts, is to follow the topical organization of the first work listed above, Amouzish Ulum Qurāni, and present summaries of the discussions offered in that book. I may choose to present a topic covered in that book from a different work or from my own readings and research simply because, with respect to the fact that the book is meant to provide a very brief introduction, some of the discussions in, Amouzish Ulum Qurāni, are much too short and not very detailed for the purposes of these posts.

[1] Intensive lessons concerning the topics of jurisprudence and the principles of jurisprudence.

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