In the Masters programme we expand on classic and pre-modern Quranic exegesis (tafsir) by focusing on specific approaches to tafsir, notably that of the Mu’tazilah and the Shi’ah. We also look at Sunni exegesis such as Al-Razi and Baydawi and further explore Sufi trends.
Following this we take a look at the modern exegesis of 19th and 20th century revivalists and reformers such as Muhammad Abdu and Rashid Rida and also later figures such as Mawdudi and Qutb whilst also covering the social context, their biographies and personalities. Finally, students will be introduced to orientalist scholarship on the Quran in light of the contemporary climate and analyse what contributions they made and whether orientalist’s attitudes to the Quranic and Hadith sciences have changed over the last century.
Students will also explore the criticism of Hadith in significant detail inclusive of deleterious approaches and weak scholarly critiques and thus also contemporary Muslim responses to them. They will also learn about the fabrication of Hadith during the classical period of Islam and be introduced to Shi’ah collections of Hadith.

Qur’anic Commentaries Lectures:

1. Mu’tazila tafsir (al-Zamakhshari & al-Kashshaf)
2. Shi’ah tafsir (al-Tabrasi & Tabataba’i)
3. Sunni tafsir (al-Razi & al-Baydawi)
4. Books of Ahkam al-Qur’an
5. Sufi trends in the interpretation of the Qur’an
6. Al-Manar school
7. Abul ala Mawdudi & Sayyid Qutb
8. The concept of coherence in the Qur’an
9. Some other trends in the tafsir
10. Western scholarship on the Qur’an

Hadith Lectures

1. Hadith studies in the modern age
2. Western scepticism about Hadith
3. Muslim scepticism on Hadith
4. Defence of Hadith against criticism
5. The case of fabrication of Hadith
6. Shi’ah’ view on Hadith and their major collections
7. Some useful guidelines to study Hadith
8. Selected texts from Hadith
9. Selected texts from Hadith