`Abd al-Jabbar on Rational Interpretation of Scripture

David Vishanoff, translator. “ʿAbd al‑Jabbār on Rational Interpretation of Scripture.” In Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader, ed. John Renard, 58–65. Oakland: University of California Press, 2014.

This published translation is an excerpt from `Abd al-Jabbar’s Mutashabih al-Qur’an. It explains why rational considerations necessarily govern the interpretation of scripture.

Al-Suyuti on the occasions of revelation of Qur’anic verses

David Vishanoff, translator. “Suyūṭī on the Occasions of Revelation.” In Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader, ed. John Renard, 51–58. Oakland: University of California Press, 2014.

This published translation is an excerpt from al-Suyuti’s famous book on the Qur’anic Sciences, al-Itqan fi `ulum al-Qur’an. It assesses how knowing the “occasions of revelation” (asbab al-nuzul) affects the interpretation of Qur’anic verses.

Al-Shafi`i on how the Qur’an reveals the law

A rough translation, for teaching purposes, of a very important section on bayan from al-Shafi`i’s famous Risala fi usul al-fiqh (housed on my old web site).

Ibn Hazm on gender-specific language in revelation

Rough translation, for teaching purposes, of a section on masculine imperatives from Ibn Hazm, al-Ihkam fi usul al-ahkam (html) .

Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni, Kitab al-waraqat fi usul al-fiqh

Here is my old translation of a classic handbook of Islamic legal theory, Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni’s Kitab al-waraqat fi usul al-fiqh, accompanied by a minimal commentary for teaching purposes. There is also a translation only without commentary. Both are housed on my old web site, and are now superseded by my Critical Introduction to Islamic Legal Theory, which incorporates a critical edition of the Arabic text, a new English translation, and a book-length commentary.