Introduction

“This,” Allah Most High says about the Qur’an, “is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt.” (Qur’an, 2:2). There is no doubt that the Qur’an is from Allah Most High. This is an introduction to the science of ‘Ulum al-Qur’an (“The Qur’anic Sciences”), whose goal is to defend the Qurʾan and to perfectly understand the tools needed for Qurʾanic commentary Take this course to understand what the Qur’an is, how it was revealed to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), how it has been impeccably preserved down to our times, why we are certain that it could not have been invented by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), why we are certain that it could only have been inspired to him by Allah Most High himself, and how to interpret the Qur’an.

Curricular Context

  • This is a first-level course in Step Two
  • Complete Step One before taking this course

Course Outline

LESSON 1: Introduction to the Qur’anic Sciences (‘ulum al-Qur’an)

  • 1. about the science of ‘ulum al-Qur’an
  • 2. the meanings of “Qur’an” and “Kitab”
  • 3. what revelation is and why the Qur’anic revelation can only be from Allah

LESSON 2: The Qur’anic Miracle

  • 1. what a miracle is
  • 2. the many ways in which the Qur’an is miraculous
  • 3. why the Qur’an could only have come from Allah Most High

LESSON 3: The Compilation of the Qur’an (1)

  • 1. the preservation of the Qur’an is miraculously meticulous
  • 2. the oral and textual preservation of the Qur’an in the prophetic era
  • 3. the oral and textual preservation of the Qur’an in the era of Abu Bakr
  • 4. responses to common objections

LESSON 4: The Compilation of the Qur’an (2)

  • 1. the differences between the compilations of Abu Bakr and ʿUthman
  • 2. the impetus behind the compilation of ‘Uthman
  • 3. responses to common objections
  • 4. the role of mass-transmission (tawatur) in the preservation of the Qur’an

LESSON 5: How the Qur’an was Revealed

  • 1. the first and last verses to be revealed
  • 2. reasons for revelation (asbab al-nuzul)
  • 3. Meccan and Medinan suras

LESSON 6: How the Qur’an is Arranged

  • 1. the division of the Qur’an into chapters (sura) and verses (ayat)
  • 2. the names of chapters
  • 3. the arrangement of chapters
  • 4. the arrangement of verses

LESSON 7: Ambiguous Verses in the Qur’an + Abrogation in the Qur’an

  • 1. clear (muhkam) and ambiguous (mutashabih) verses
  • 2. the Arabic letters at the beginning of suras
  • 3. abrogation of Qur’anic verses
  • 4. responses common objections about abrogation in the Qur’an

LESSON 8: The Seven Modes of Reciting the Qur’an (al-Ahruf al-Sab‘a)

  • 1. the different hadiths about the seven modes
  • 2. different scholarly positions on the seven modes
  • 3. the relation of the seven modes to the Uthmanic mushafs

LESSON 9: The Ten Canonical Ways of Reciting the Qur’an (al-Qira’at al-‘Ashr)

  • 1. what the ten canonical recitations are
  • 2. the causes of the ten variations
  • 3. the imams who the ten variations are ascribed to
  • 4. why the ten variations are mutawatir (mass-transmitted)

LESSON 10: The Text of the Qu’ran and its Main Topics

  • 1. features of the Uthmanic script (al-rasm al-’Uthmani)
  • 2. the historical advent of diacritical marks, vowels, and divisions of the Qurʾan
  • 3. the main topics of the Qur’an

LESSON 11: Interpreting the Qur’an (1)

  • 1. the development of tafsir in the time of the Companions and the generations after them
  • 2. the use of Isra’iliyyat in tafsir
  • 3. different schools of tafsir and their major scholars
  • 4. translating the Qur’an

LESSON 12: Interpreting the Qur’an (2)

  • 1. how verses and suras are connected to each other
  • 2. the tools and principles of tafsir
  • 3. practical examples of the application of the principles of tafsir

What You Will Learn:

  • Describe how the Qur’an is arranged
  • Explain how the Qur’an has been preserved
  • Explain how the Qur’an is miraculous
  • Confidently answer most questions people have regarding the text, transmission, miraculous nature, and historicity of the Qurʾan
  • Become familiar with the different approaches to understanding the Qur’an
  • Appreciate the depth of traditional Qur’anic scholarship

Course Format: 12 downloadable lessons, 3 live sessions.

Course Requirements:

  • Complete Step One before taking this course

About the Course Text

The course material has been drawn from a variety of classical and contemporary Arabic sources. Scholarly works in English on this subject are rare, and Shaykh Abdurrahim intends to turn this course material into his own original work in the English language.