I wrote this sometime in 2007. I’m calling it stage 2 because I wrote stage 1 in 2003 for a short-lived journal called ‘Qzine’. Expounding on these principles to me is the first thing one must do before saying anything about Quran. So anyway, here are 12 principles of reading. I don’t totally believe in them anymore but I am willing to discuss them. I am working on stage 3 though and aiming to publish it (as a book or e-book) by 2012. So anyway, here goes:
AQ is found in the mother of the city, where pure Arabic is spoken. This is its authoritative text.
AQ has a clearly stated intent and this will be exposed by defining ‘al-hudaa’ and ‘al-furqaan’. From here we can see that AQ intends a certain type of life for humankind.
3. Verification and Connection with the Human Being.
41/53 showing that the human being is fully predicted by AQ. AQ is a detailling of al-kitaab which is the essence of the human being and the means by which he may attain actualisation. Sometimes this essence comes down to the human being etc etc.
4. Preparation before reading
Al-quraan proposes that its reader acquire a certain mindset before approaching it. In order to touch it, certain purifications need to be performed.
AQ is in Arabic and must be understood from that language. It’s Arabic is pure and clear and non-dialectical. Furthermore, it also confirms the Arabic language through its usage.
6. Beginning the engagement
3/7, ayat muhkamat/decisive signs are shows in the descent of al-kitaab to us. These signs lead us along the way as 3/8 states. This is how we begin our exploration into AQ.
7. Deepning the experience
41/3, 20/114,5/101 and 25/33 is about gaining more information and asking questions and thus being able to deepen one’s experience of AQ.
AQ is complete and therefore closes itself to conceptual infiltration by external sources. It considers its teachings to be complete in itself and therefore must be interpreted through its own internal foundations.
73/4-5 tells us that AQ’s message becomes clearer when all forms of similarities are compiled. Only then God will descend the weighty word.
75/16-19 tells us that AQ’s arrangement was overseen by Allah himself and is instrumental in its understanding. Therefore, every aspect of context must be studied to tease out deeper meaning.
11. Internal consistency
Our measurement of correctness of interpretation is done by looking at the consistency of our interpretation with the message of the Quran itself. Furthermore, our interpretation of the quran must show the balanced beauty of God’s names. Includes aiwaj.
12. External consistency
Our interpretation of the Quran will be measured by seeing signs predicted by the Quran itself. Further, our interpretations must be guided by the fact that AQ guides towards that which is more establish-able in the world.