How do Muslims use the Qur’an?
The course attempts to answer this question by exploring the use of the Qur’an in various Muslim contexts, both religious and social. The introductory session will discuss the Qur’an as a religious text, situating it within the contexts of Muslim beliefs and perceptions. Its recitation and writing will be explored in the second session, focusing on the culture of writing the Qur’an (including the skill and art of calligraphic writing). The third session will consider activities that draw on the Qur’an as a source of comfort, healing, protection, divination and ritual. The final session will examine Sufi beliefs and practices as derived from the Qur’an. The course convenors are Dr Walid Ghali and Dr Farouk Topan.
Walid Ghali is Associate Professor at the Aga Khan University, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC London). He completed his PhD from Cairo University, Faculty of Arts in 2012. Dr Ghali’s current research projects focus on the Islamic manuscript traditions, including Quranic manuscripts. He also teaches various subject for MA student including Introduction to Sufism, Arabic literature and Muslim thinkers in 19th century.
Farouk Topan is Associate Professor at the Aga Khan University, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC). He has published widely on his research interests which include Islam in East Africa, Swahili literature, language, and culture. Of relevance here is his paper: "Polemics and Language in Swahili Translations of the Qur'an: Mubarak Ahmad (d. 2001), Abdullah Saleh al-Farsy (d.1982) and Ali Muhsin al-Barwani (d.2006)”. In Suha Taji-Farouki (ed.) The Qur’an and Its Readers Worldwide: Contemporary Commentaries and Translations. Oxford: Oxford University Press (in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London). 2015, pp. 473–97. Republished in Zulfikar Hirji (ed.) Approaches to the Qur’an in Sub-Saharan Africa. Oxford: Oxford University Press (in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London). 2019, pp. 163-87.
The course will run on four consecutive Saturdays between 27 February and 20 March at 10:30 - 12:30 each week using Zoom.
Sessions will not be recorded.
The course costs between £45 and £75 and can be booked here.