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ENG150Y1 - The Quran - Lecture Notes.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
William Robins

ENG150Y1 – LECTURE NOTES rd December 3 2012 Quran – Lecture 1  Focusing on literary and formal concerns overlooks what makes these texts so meaningful; overlooks the religious underpinnings  Has a religious dimension that bind with narrative issues  Relationship between the invisible realm of the divine and the world down below, connection between the two worlds  Diff literary forms register these notions of how the two worlds are connected  Central concern  God shows justice and mercy to collectives and individuals, humans are held accountable for their deeds – Islam and Christianity and judaism are similar in this sense  Different emphasises o Simple o Main events by which the transcendent divine is made manifest in this world; how is god transcended?  Judaism – covenant  Covenant between god and the chosen people; collective and individuals such as moses, Abraham, job, Isaac, etc…  Christianity – jesus  He is both divine and human  His existence, guarantee that god’s mercy and justice will be made available in this world  Moral practices  Theological ideas  Gospels are witnesses to this knowledge  Islam – quran  Allah is manifested in humans but most importantly, via the revelation of the quran  Divine speech and utterance  Quran preceeds all  How divine word is realized  Foundational point o Provide importance of cardinal points o All seem to focus on covenants, on holy scriptures but there are some differences  From christainty POV, jesus is divine – but in islam, the prophet is mohamid and he is not divine  Life is understood as an exemplary model for muslims  Quran is attributed to the deity, exists outside of this world whereas Christian scriputures are products of humans, are considered to be inspired by god, given great reverence, centre of faith is jesus  Cornerstone of islam is the quran  Diff emphasises are important because they have implications for the kind of literary style or form or style or organization found in the scriptures of the religions  Structured and organized in a way that it has charged language that raises divine speech  Quran – revealed to Muhammad over 22 years  The hijrah – journey from mecca to medina – first year of calendar = 622 CE  The Islamic calendar, a year is 12 lunar months  2013 CE = 1434 AH  Quran is revealed in many diff moments and stages  Grows overtime  Divided into 114 sections  Not organized thematically  Themes keep surfacing and resurfacing  Not organized chronologically  Order is not a narrative one, or the order in which they were revealed to him  Order is sopshicated  Striking aspect is its difference in organization  Narrative is a dynamic relationship with other things  Arabic language of Q is not accidental; language is part of its divine existence, its status – this means that it’s a translation and is only a distant reflection of the text, translations can be useful but it can never be more than a provisional or first step  Muhhamad was illiterate and revelations came to him in oral form to be memorized, passed down to followers this way – with the voice  Essential existence of quran is recitation ; oral aspect  Written part was put together by followers  Material embodiment of the recitation; the word of god  Shura 112 o Purity or unity signifies the sincereity of one’s devotion and the oneness of god and his eternalness o Distinction that god is the only one; only divine one ; there is no one associated or comparable to god o Exists in this transcendal realm o Connection between two worlds is shown in the first word, “say”, focus on the recitation; includes instructions of how to recite and how the human world can reach out to the divine; it is in the quran itself  Shura 97 o The talks about the night of the first revelations o Presented as a moment when the human world is interrupted by divine prescene o Eternal makes it power felt o Divine power makes itself deeply present o Peace because the world is in connection with its divine principals, the truth of the world is present o The spiritual is refered to the angel Gabriel which appeared to M  The first shura of the quran o Fatia o Thought of daily prayer o Recited 5 times a day o Lifeform of believers o Opening phrase counts as one of the verses, shows how each verse echoes each other o Temporarity  Sense of the past in terms of god’s activity as the creator  Positive in the future  In between the present is which the prophet M learns of the revelations and followers recite quran and quran is used as a guide to the final judgment day for those in danger of going astray  Responding to the revelation of the quran  Quran actualized through recitation o Resident use of the voice o Follows traditions of how it is vocalized  M is not the only prophet but the last prophet  He is the seal, offers the conclusive of the revelations  Quran is in dialogue with earlier prophets that bare these revelations  Quran in its own self presentation in not poetry but heightened language not for its own sake  Q is at sublime state, the eloquence, a text where no human can imitate; structure is beyond human craft  A lot of verse are rhythmical and allows feature to come out ^  One way of thinking about Q o As a text that is multifaceted o Dynamic expression o A. gade: arrang
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