Interpreting the Qur’an in Context

In the latest installment of IQSA’s Review of Qur’anic Research 1, no. 6, Andrew C. Smith reviews Abdullah Saeed’s Reading the Qur’an in the Twenty-First Century: A Contextualist Approach (Routledge, 2014). Smith’s review addresses important and persistent questions raised in the book about the location and stability of textual meaning, and about the challenge of interpreting a traditional text in ever-changing social scenarios.

Full access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR) is available in the members-only area of our IQSA website. Not an IQSA member? Join today to enjoy RQR and additional member benefits!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2015. All rights reserved.

IQSA Annual Meeting in Atlanta: Full Schedule Available Now!

The full schedule for the IQSA Annual Meeting 2015 in Atlanta is now available! To view the schedule, please visit the Annual Meeting 2015 page HERE.

The IQSA Annual Meeting in Atlanta is scheduled to take place 20-23 November 2015, in conjunction with the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings. Registration is open at the SBL page HERE. You can save up to $70 by joining IQSA and registering for the Annual Meetings as an Affiliate Member. If you are not yet an IQSA member, we encourage you to please join us HERE.

We look forward to an exciting meeting of members and friends in Atlanta!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2015. All rights reserved.

Early Dating of Birmingham Qur’an Fragments Sparks Lively Discussion

cropped-header22.pngQur’an fragments recently discovered in the library of the University of Birmingham have fueled an exciting discussion among scholars and the public about the textual history of the scripture of Islam.  The parchment, which contains portions of Surahs 18 and 20, has been carbon-dated to ca. 568-645 C.E., corresponding roughly to the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (ca. 570-632 C.E.), making it among the earliest extant Qur’an manuscripts. Such an early dating raises important questions about the history of the Qur’an–questions that are being actively pursued in the IQSA Discussion Group at Yahoo Groups. If you would like to connect with leading experts in Qur’anic studies about this and other developments in the field, we warmly invite you to join our Discussion Group:

New IQSA online discussion group

This listserv is an exciting venue to actively engage in current academic conversations about the Qur’an. Don’t miss out—sign up today and join the discussion!

 !أهلا وسهلا

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2015. All rights reserved.

Read, Write, and Share Commentaries on Qur’an 3:1-7 

Photo by Habib M'henniThe Qurʾan Seminar invites you to add your own commentaries on a new selected passage of the Qur’an: Q. 3 :1-7. The Qurʾan Seminar, organized by IQSA, is dedicated to collaborative study of selected passages that are significant for understanding major themes and structures of the Qur’anic text. Contributors are encouraged to address the Qur’an directly and to not rely on classical exegesis as a lens through which to view the text. Of particular interest to the discussion are the following questions:

  1. The structure of the Qur’an (its logical, rhetorical, and literary qualities, or naẓm)
  1. The Qur’an’s intertextual relationships (with both Biblical and other literary traditions)
  1. The Qur’an’s historical context in Late Antiquity

Access to Qur’an Seminar is open to IQSA members only. To become a member, click HERE. Once you are a member, you can access the Qur’an Seminar website:

  1. Go to
  1. Click on Log in / Sign up
  1. As a member of IQSA, fulfill the required field under Have an account? Sign in and then, click on Login.
  1. Click on “All passages selected”
  1. Click on Āl ʿImrān 3, 1-7

The Qur’an Seminar website has two principal elements. First, the website includes a database of passages of the Qur’an with commentaries from a range of scholars. This database is meant to be a resource for students and specialists of the Qur’an alike. The commentaries may be quoted and referenced by citing the corresponding URL.

Second, the website includes an active forum in which additional Qur’anic passages are discussed. At regular intervals the material on the forum will be saved and moved to the database, and new passages will be presented for discussion on the forum. As a rule, the passages selected for discussion are meant to be long enough to raise a variety of questions for discussion, but short enough to lend that discussion coherence.

If you have any questions, please write to

We hope you will enjoy the content and consider contributing!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2015. All rights reserved.