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      Qur'anic Exegesis at the Confluence of Twelver Shiism and Sufism: Sayyid Ḥaydar Āmulī’s al-Muḥīṭ al-aʿẓam

      research-article
      Journal of Qur'anic Studies
      Edinburgh University Press
      Twelver Shiism, Sufism, Sayyid Haydar Amuli, al-Muhit al-a'zam, ta'wil

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          Abstract

          In this paper, I present a preliminary study of the fourteenth-century Shii–Sufi Sayyid Ḥaydar Āmulī's Qur'an commentary, al-Muḥīṭ al-aʿzam wa'l-baḥr al-khidamm fī taʾwīl kitāb Allāh al-ʿazīz al-muḥkam (‘The Greatest Ocean and Vast Sea in Exegesis of God's Decisive and Mighty Book’). In addition to being a fascinating contribution to the history of esoteric exegesis of the Qur'an, this work holds a central place in Āmulī's oeuvre, showcasing crucial aspects of his unique methods and interests. I begin by presenting what we know of Āmulī's intellectual and spiritual biography, which leads me to suggest that al-Muḥīṭ al-aʿzam should play a central role in our understanding of Āmulī's intellectual contributions as a whole. I then provide an overview of the contents and methods used in the extant portion of this text, focusing on Āmulī's understanding of taʾwīl, his endeavour to be comprehensive ( jāmiʿ), and his characteristic method of lengthy citation. I end the paper by considering Āmulī's explanation of the qualification necessary to perform taʾwīl, which is a crucial component of his broader project to show the compatibility of Twelver Shiism and Sufism.

          Most cited references132

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          Ibn ʿArabī’s Garden Among the Flames: A Reevaluation

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            Qur’anic Hermeneutics: Al-Tabrisi and the Craft of Commentary

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              The Sufi path of knowledge: Ibn al-ʻArabi’s metaphysics of imagination

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JQS
                Journal of Qur'anic Studies
                Edinburgh University Press ( The Tun - Holyrood Road, 12(2f) Jackson's Entry, Edinburgh EH8 8PJ UK )
                1465-3591
                1755-1730
                February 2021
                : 23
                : 1
                : 1-35
                Affiliations
                Harvard University
                Article
                10.3366/jqs.2021.0449
                3ce74c55-ac70-47b5-8a33-acd3659b6a5f
                © Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS
                History
                Page count
                References: 84, Pages: 35
                Categories
                Articles in English
                Islamic Studies

                Political science,Literature of other nations & languages,Art history & Criticism,Religious studies & Theology,Arab world & Islam,History
                Sufism,Sayyid Haydar Amuli,ta'wil,Twelver Shiism,al-Muhit al-a'zam

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