Holiday Break: IQSA Executive Office

Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 1.50.17 PMOn behalf of the International Qur’anic Studies Association, we wish all of our colleagues, friends, and affiliates a safe and pleasant winter holiday. Please note that the Executive Office will be observing administrative recess from Sunday, December 22nd to Thursday, January 2nd. We appreciate your patience as our staff and volunteers take a short respite, and will answer any email inquiries to upon resuming normal operations in January.

Happy Holidays!

-IQSA Executive Office

End of 2019 IQSA Reminders, Happy 2020!

It’s been a fruitful year for the International Qur’anic Studies Association. In recent years we have published three issues of the bilingual, flagship Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA 2016-2018), with issues four and five slated for release 2019-2020. We have also successfully published two books: A Qur’anic Apocalypse by Michel Cuypers (2018) and New Trends in Qur’anic Studies edited by Mun’im Sirry (2019), which are the published proceeds of our 2015 Indonesia conference. Our publishing activity also includes the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), the world’s only exclusive review source on critical Qur’anic Studies. Finally, our multilingual blog and discussion group links a community of scholars and students across the globe.

Finally, IQSA maintains an impressive conference portfolio. These include eleven major international congresses, across the US and internationally. In 2019 these have included lively and fruitful meetings in Tangier, Morocco, and San Diego, CA, USA. And we have the photos to prove it! 🙂


In addition, IQSA now introduces completely new membership tiers:

(1) Student, Contingent Faculty, Global South or Income Below $30,000 $35
(2) Assistant Professor, Junior or Retired Faculty $75
(3) Associate Professor or Midrange Faculty $100
(4) Full Professor, Senior Faculty or Professional Income $100,000+ $125
(5) Lifetime Member $2,000 (one time installment)
(6) Institutional Membership $400

Exceptions: Scholars from the global south and lower income countries unable to pay membership dues for that year have the option of contacting the executive director for a courtesy waiver.

We also warmly welcomes new Lifetime Member, Devin Stewart, IQSA president, Professor, Emory University. IQSA encourages all to renew their membership for 2020 via any of the new membership levels to receive benefits including:

We appreciate your membership!


U.S. taxpayers! Are you still looking to make an end-of-year tax deductible charitable donation? Consider supporting Qur’anic scholarship with a donation to IQSA. We are a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. You can donate to IQSA online by clicking HERE.

You have all made IQSA what it is today—a community of scholars and friends. Please help our community during its time of need. If each of you makes a humble donation it will go a long way to supporting our publishing and programming activity for the coming year(s).

Finally, please do not forget to follow our BlogTwitter and Facebook accounts, and to join the NEW private IQSA Discussion Group. Thanks for your support!

We wish you a very Happy Holidays! كل عام وأنتم بخير


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

Congratulations to IQSA Board Members Johanna Pink and Holger Zellentin

We are proud to announce that on December 10, 2019,  IQSA board members Johanna Pink and Holger Zellentin each received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for research projects in the field of Qur’anic Studies. ERC Consolidator Grants provide around two million euros over a period of five years to a researcher, allowing them to establish a team dedicated to a specified project. These awards are among the most prestigious research grants in Europe.    

ERCIn her ERC funded project “The Global Qur’an“ (GloQur), Johanna Pink will be researching the international dimension of Qur’an translations, which have become established as a key medium of Muslim religious practice all over the world since the early 20th century. She will be studying international connections in this field on two levels. First, she will investigate the institutional actors who produce Qur’an translations in many different languages for an international audience. These actors are primarily nation states like Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as missionary communities such as the Ahmadiyya. Second, she will analyze the complex history and spread of Qur’an translations into the languages of former colonial empires: in other words, English, French, and Russian. Based on this analysis, Pink will address the question of how discussions about interpretation are reflected in the various Qur’an translations – for example, regarding gender, the status of non-Muslims, and the idea of God. She will also be researching how the language, location, producers, and target audiences influence these debates. For example, what happens when a Mauritanian sheikh is commissioned by a Saudi institution to produce a French Qur’an translation? And will that translation be interpreted and received differently by Muslims in France than by French-speaking Muslims in Senegal?    

The project led by Holger Zellentin is titled “The Qur’an as a Source for Late Antiquity” (QaSLA). QaSLA’s main innovation consists in turning the table on the predominant hermeneutics of Western approaches to the Qur’an, which tend to focus on the question of how the Qur’an is influenced by Judaism and Christianity. By taxonomizing the religious profiles reflected in the demonstrable interface between the Qur’an and its Jewish and Christian contemporaries, the project first will reorient and then revamp this approach. QaSLA initially analyses the affinity between the Qur’an and known forms of Judaism and Christianity surrounding Arabia in order to identify which biblical, exegetical, homiletic, legal, narrative, ritual, and poetic discourses and practices circulated within the peninsula. It then employs the Qur’an as a new vantage point from which to reconsider broader late antique religious trends across the Middle East. QaSLA combines expertise across disciplines to create a novel local Arabian and an enhanced longitudinal Middle Eastern understanding of Rabbinic Jewish and Syriac, Ethiopic and Arabic Christian cultures. In a final step, the project then returns to portray the Qur’an in sharper contradistinction to more clearly defined forms of Judaism and Christianity.

Once again, IQSA extends a hearty congratulations to Professors Pink and Zellentin and wishes them much success in their research.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.


Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2019-20


Andrew Rippin was the inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). He is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”

In honor of Andrew Rippin, the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) will award a prize to the best paper delivered at the 2019 Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA by a graduate student or early career scholar (Ph.D. awarded 2014 or later).

The prize winner will receive $250. In addition, the award committee will provide him/her with detailed feedback and guidance enabling him/her to expand the paper into a scholarly article that qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA), subject to peer review.

Interested scholars should submit a draft of the paper which they read at the 2019 Annual Meeting at San Diego; this draft should be no longer than fifteen double-spaced pages (or 3750 words). Submissions should be sent to by January 5, 2020. The prize winner will be announced by February 1, 2020. The winner should then be prepared to submit a fully revised version of the winning article by April 1, 2020. Publication of the final version is contingent upon review by the award committee and editorial staff of JIQSA.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

New Publication—History of the Qur’an: A Critical Study by Shehzad Saleem

Dr. Shehzad Saleem, fellow at al-Mawrid, has recently published a new book, History of the Qur’an: A Critical Study.

quranstockFrom the introduction of the book:

A number of illustrious scholars in the past have undertaken to write down this collection and transmission history of the Qur’ān. What then is the need to revisit and synthesize this history in the wake of these studies? In the humble opinion of this writer, the answer to this question is that most previous works on this topic have been marred by three flaws and hence occasioned this study.

The first flaw is that the collection history of the Qur’ān has generally been compiled only on the basis of historical reports found in Ḥadīth anthologies. Seldom was this collection history based on the account of the Qur’ān itself on its collection.

The second flaw is that tools of historical criticism have not always been fully employed to evaluate the content acquired from Ḥadīth anthologies on the collection of the Qur’ān. The result is that, at times, far-reaching conclusions have been drawn from data that is of questionable reliability.

The third flaw is that the readings of the Qur’ān transmitted by tentative (dhannī) means have been regarded acceptable along with its reading transmitted by certain (qaṭ‘ī) means against the verdict of the Qur’ān itself. In this way, both have been equated and the distinction between the two has become extremely blurred if not totally forgotten.

From here, springs the justification of the present study, which also forms its objective. It attempts to:

  1. synthesize the collection and transmission history of the Qur’ān on the basis of the Qur’ān and established historical sources.
  2. critically evaluate the accounts of the Qur’ān’s collection and other related content mentioned in Ḥadīth anthologies using tools of historical criticism.

The current book (History of the Qur’an: A Critical Study) is a labour of almost two decades and spans about 1300 pages.

Soon, the kindle edition of the book and its hard copy will be available at Amazon.

For interested IQSA members, its pdf can be emailed to them for their personal consumption.



Look for this new publication soon on Amazon. You can also see more of Dr. Saleem’s work here.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.


Giving Tuesday: Promoting Scholarship and Building Bridges

gt-logoFor over six years the International Qur’anic Studies Association has made fostering Qur’anic scholarship its mission. The Qur’an is an integral part of world literature, and it has shaped and continues to shape the world in which we live. By giving to IQSA you are promoting high quality scholarship and building bridges across the globe, which in turn has positive ripple effects on high quality education, journalism, publishing and public engagement.

IQSA is the only non-profit learned society exclusively dedicated to convening regular Qur’an conferences in North America and in Muslim majority countries around the world, as well as to publishing rigorous cutting edge scholarship on the Qur’an. Within six short years IQSA has convened eleven major conferences. These have included large scale conferences in throughout major US cities, Carthage, Tunisia and Jogjakarta, Indonesia, as well as co-sponsored panels in Berlin, Germany and St. Andrews, Scotland. IQSA conferences showcase cutting edge research on manuscripts, historical documents, and high tech digital resources, as well as debate critical issues including methodology, hermeneutics and gender. This is possible because IQSA members include the very best scholars in the field.

The third issue of the bilingual Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA) was released this year; and IQSA’s first publication in the Studies in the Qur’ān series, A Qur’ānic Apocalypse: A Reading of the Thirty-Three Last Sūras of the Qur’ān by Michel Cuypers, is now available from ISD. IQSA members receive free access to JIQSA, the Review of Qur’an Research (RQR), the exclusive member directory (including world renowned Qur’an specialists), and PhD students and recent graduates gain valuable professional development experience. Lifetime and Institutional members carry additional member benefits. IQSA also rewards junior scholars and international academics with the opportunity to learn from colleagues around the world and publish their research. By giving, you help IQSA keep membership dues low and you reward those members of our community who need it most.

It goes without saying that the current political climate has made our task — especially critical scholarship and building bridges — more important than ever. As academics, professionals and philanthropists we have a duty to support the Humanities and Social Sciences at a time when they are under threat. This also means we have the opportunity to bring about a much more intellectual discussion of the Qur’an when the public needs it most.

IQSA was founded by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, and is now funded through the generous support of its members, partners and friends. Please take time this #GivingTuesday to DONATE NOW to further IQSA’s mission across the globe.

Most gratefully,

Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director
International Qur’anic Studies Association |

New IQSA Discussion Group Platform

Greetings friends of IQSA!

As you might have seen, Yahoo has made the decision to discontinue the Yahoo Groups service and platform previously used for the International Qur’anic Studies Association’s discussion group. As of December 14, all previously posted content on the site will be permanently removed. Users have until that date to save any content uploaded by downloading and storing on their own device.


The IQSA Executive Office has migrated the IQSA Yahoo Discussion Group to this Google Groups platform. We hope you join and take advantage of this important communication tool for the International Qur’anic Studies Association. Participants can join the IQSA discussion group by follwing the below instructions:

Join the IQSA Discussion Group

  1. Sign in to Google Groups. Learn how to join if you do not have a Google Account.
  2. In the box at the top, search for “International Qur’anic Studies Association Discussion Group”
  3. Once you have located the IQSA Group, click Join group or Apply to join group.

After you have been approved by an administrator to join the group, you will receive a confirmation email. If you have questions, please email for assistance.

If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email We hope you considering joining the new IQSA Google Discussion Group!


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.