Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2023-24

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.”

rippinIn honor of Andrew Rippin, the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) will award a prize to the best paper delivered at IQSA’s 2023 meeting in San Antonio by a graduate student or early career scholar (Ph.D. awarded 2018 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 most current Annual Meeting; this draft should be no longer than fifteen double-spaced pages (or 3750 words including bibliography). Please do not submit slides. Submissions should be emailed to by January 30, 2024. The prize winner will be announced at the end of February. The winner should then be prepared to submit a fully revised version of the winning article by April 1, 2024. Publication of the final version is contingent upon review by the award committee and editorial staff of JIQSA.

Questions? Email We look forward to receiving your submissions!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2023. All rights reserved.



The Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association is a peer-reviewed annual journal. It cultivates Qur’anic Studies as a growing field with a distinctive identity and focus, while acknowledging relevant linkages to the study of the Bible as well as the Islamic tradition. The journal facilitates crucial conversations about the state of the field in Qur’anic Studies and connects diverse scholarly communities from around the world. It includes the Review of Qur’anic Research, which offers scholarly book reviews of recent publications in the field.

IQSA began a fruitful partnership with De Gruyter this year, and JIQSA is now available on the publisher’s platform hereTo celebrate, all articles from the latest issue, Volume 8, are freely available to members AND nonmembers for 12 months!

Volume 8 Issue 1

Obituary: Mahmoud Ayoub (1935–2021)
Emran El-Badawi

The Qurʾān and the Putative pre-Islamic Practice of Female Infanticide
Ilkka Lindstedt

Mohsen Goudarzi

We hope you take advantage of this free resource while it is available! For access to all volumes of JIQSA, sign up for membership at

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2023. All rights reserved.

Giving Tuesday 2023: Support IQSA’s Global Scholarship

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Dear Friends of IQSA,

For over ten 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. IQSA is mindful of its members, partners, and friends during this difficult time, and we want to reach out to those among you who can afford to support IQSA when the organization needs it most at a time when our operational costs remain high despite cutting back on operations themselves. By giving to IQSA as you are able, 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 eight short years IQSA has convened twelve major conferences. These have included large scale conferences throughout major US cities, Carthage, Palermo, 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 eighth issue of the bilingual Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA) was released this year in a new partnership with De Gruyter publishers, and IQSA’s publications in the Studies in the Qur’ān series are available from ISD.

In addition to receiving free access to JIQSA, IQSA members can also access 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 our task — especially critical scholarship and building bridges — is now more important than ever. As academics, professionals and philanthropists we have a duty to support the Humanities and Social Sciences across the globe. 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,

Hythem Sidky, Executive Director
International Qur’anic Studies Association |

IQSA 2023 Annual Program Book & Report

IQSA’s 2023 Annual Meeting Program Book and Annual Report is now available! Please use the document below to learn about presenters, navigate to sessions, and keep up to date on IQSA and its activities.

Looking for the whole SBL/AAR program? Visit

Conference Schedule Available! IQSA 2023 Annual Meeting

IQSA’s Conference Schedule for the 2023 Annual Meeting held in San Antonio from November 17-20 is now available! Find the schedule for program units and special events below.

Please note that registration is required to attend the Annual Meeting (in person only). Register as a Member of an Affiliate Organization. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the Affiliate link and choose “International Qur’anic Studies Association” in the drop-down menu.

IQSA Events 2023

Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics (IQSA)
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk
Theme: Quranic Inimitability (ijaz) and Coherence

Yousef Wahb, University of Chicago Divinity School
Early iʿjāz al-Qurān Debates: The Transition from Kalām to Balāgha in the Ninth and Tenth Century (20 min)

Murtaza Shakir, Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, Mumbai
The Doctrine of Iʿjāz al-Qurʾān (Inimitability of the Qurʾān), as Explained in the Majālis of the Fāṭimī Dāʿī al-Muʾayyad al- Shīrāzī (20 min)

Ersin Kabakci, Hitit University, Faculty of Theology
What Does the Qurʾān’s Being a Holistic Text Mean? An Analysis in the Context of Five Different Approaches (20 min)

Romain Louge, Université Catholique de Lyon
A Reading of Some Qur’anic Passages with the Help of an Arabic kalām in al-Qāsim al Rassī (20 min)

Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus (IQSA)
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk
Theme: Law and Society in the Medinan Qur’an

Saqib Hussain, Loyola Marymount University
The Hypocrites and the Jews of Medina (25 min)

Nora K. Schmid, University of Hamburg/ University of Oxford
The Story of the Slander (ḥadīth al-ifk): Legal Storytelling in the Qur’an and the Sīra (25 min)

Thomas Hoffmann, University of Copenhagen
The Qurʾān’s Complex Carceral Whole (25 min)

Karen Bauer, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London
Qur’anic law from Mecca to Medina (25 min)

Holger Zellentin, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Biblical Law in the Medinan Surahs (25 min)

Discussion (25 min)

The Qur’an and Late Antiquity (IQSA)
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk

Irem Kurt, Universität Osnabrück
The Dichotomy of Food Purity: The Qurʾānic Terms khabīth and ṭayyib in the Context of the Urgemeinde of the Qurʾān (30 min)

Hannelies Koloska, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Tasting and Seeing the Divine: The Qur’anic Engagement with Late Antique Sensory Piety (30 min)

Emran El-Badawi, University of Houston
Q 113–114 and the Amulet of Alexandra: An Exploration (30 min)

Feras Q. Hamza, Institute of Ismaili Studies, London
Patrons and Patronage in the Qur’an (30 min)

Chris Mezger, Yale University and Hannah Stork, Yale University
The Precanonical Transmission of the Quran(s): Andreas Kaplony and Quranic Intertextuality (30 min)

International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA)
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk
Theme: Presidential Address

IQSA’s General Reception will follow the Presidential Address from 8-9pm, featuring a special presentation by De Gruyter Publishers. Details to come.

Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus (IQSA)
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk

Theme: Discursive Tools within the Qur’anic Corpus

Abdulla Galadari, Khalifa University of Science & Technology
Clear or Veiled? A Linguistic Attempt to Solve a Qur’anic Paradox (25 min)

Valerie Gonzalez, SOAS, University of London
Understanding Quranic Eschatology through a Peircean Semiotic Reading of the Concepts of Mithal and Isharat (25 min)

Avigail Noy, The University of Texas at Austin
Mathal in the Qur’an and in Poetry: Insights from the Literary Critics (25 min)

Johanne Louise Christiansen, University of Southern Denmark
“We Have Made the Qur’an Easy to Remember, but Are There Any That Are Reminded?” (Q al-Qamar/54:17, 22, 32, 40): The Memory Challenge of Qur’anic Education (25 min)

Masoud Ariankhoo, Harvard University
The Misguiding God: Intratextual Analysis of Ighwāʾ as a Gateway to Qur’anic Satanology (25 min)

Discussion (25 min)

Graduate Student Luncheon
11:00 AM  – 1:30 PM
Luncheon for registered graduate students and early career scholars. Event will be held offsite – email for details.

The Societal Qur’an (IQSA)
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk
Theme: Sura Studies and The Societal Qur’an

Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau, University of Strasbourg (France)
Proto-juz’ ‘Amma Practice: First Centuries Debates about Short Suras Recitation (30 min)

Zakir Demir, Siirt University
The Structure of Sûrah al-Kawthar and Critique of the Claim to be an Independent Miracle (30 min)

Ashher Masood, Yale University
Al-Kawthar and Abraham (30 min)

Adam Flowers, University of Chicago
The Qur’ān as a Tool of Rebellion and Counter-Rebellion in the Early Islamicate World (30 min)

Zeinab Vessal, Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley
Rayat-E-Nasr Ayat: The Quranic Verses in a Safavid Victory Banner (30 min)

Shawkat Toorawa, Yale University, Presiding

Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics (IQSA)
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk
Theme: Quranic Visions of Warfare, Death, and Hell

Mohammad Hassan Khalil, Michigan State University
The Peculiar “Kill Yourselves” Command (Qur’an 2:54) and Al-Maturidi’s Conception of Qur’anic Consistency (20 min)

Javad T. Hashmi, Harvard University
Jihād Until No Fitna: The Pious Manipulation and Theological Militarization of the Qurʾān by the Medieval Exegetes of Islam (20 min)

Andrew O’Connor, St Norbert College
Conversations around the (Hell)fire: Dialogue of the Dead and Damned in the Qur’an (20 min)

The Qur’an and Late Antiquity (IQSA)
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk

Juan Cole, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The “Seven Sleepers” Tale inSūrat al-Kahf as an Allegory for the Sasanian Conquest (30 min)

Raymond K. Farrin, American University of Kuwait
Astronomical Events of 607 and 614 CE and the Early Meccan Qur’an (30 min)

Mohsen Goudarzi, Harvard University
Twilight of the Cults: Ancient Worship, Its Discontents, and Religious Polemic in the Qur’anic Milieu (30 min)

Paul Neuenkirchen, University of Bern
Remembrance of God, Prayer, and Constancy as Ways of Fighting Demons Between the Qur’an and Late Antique Ascetic Writings (30 min)

Daniel Bannoura, University of Notre Dame
Iltifāt in the Qurʾān: An examination based on Late Antique literary practices (30 min)

Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics (IQSA)
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk
Theme: Shi’i Ismaili and Sufi Interpretations of the Quran

Khalil Andani, Augustana College (IL)
The Imam as Speaking Quran in Ismaili Muslim Exegesis and Practice (20 min)

Syed A.H. Zaidi, Emory University
The Brethren of Purity’s Intertextual Approach to the Qurʾān (20 min)

Stephen Cúrto, Union College, Union County NJ
The Qurʾān and Vedas as Ginānic Motifs: Theological Implications and Exegetical Interrelationships (20 min)

The Societal Qur’an (IQSA)
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk
Theme: The Societal Qur’an

Lauren Osborne, Whitman College, Presiding

Johanna Pink, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Beauty and Piety: Framing and Unframing the Qur’an as World Literature in Twentieth-Century Europe (30 min)

Mykhaylo Yakubovych, Freiburg University, Germany
A State-Supported Hermeneutics? The Theology of Translations of the Qur’an by the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (30 min)

Riccardo Amerigo Vigliermo, Unimore, FSCIRE
The “Corano di Maometto”, a Qur’ānic Partial Traduction in Italian Language from the “Biblioteca Universale” Sonzogno (30 min)

Tehseen Thaver, Princeton University
Exegetical Space and the Shaping of Shi‘i Identity: Shaykh Abu al-Futuh al-Razi’s Persian Qur’an Commentary (30 min)

Francesca Badini, FSCIRE (Palermo)
The Qur’ān as an Instrument of Education: The Legacy of Ḥasan al-Bannā in Muḥammad al-Ġazālī (30 min)

The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA)
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk
Theme: The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition 1

Rushain Abbasi, Stanford University and Orit Malka, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
“Bear Witness, for I Bear Witness with You” (Q.3:81): The Concept of Shahāda in the Quran and Its Biblical Subtext (30 min)

Rachel Claire Dryden, University of Southern Denmark
Q 2:26 “God Is Not Ashamed to Strike a Mathal,” (inna allāha lā yastaḥyi an yaḍriba mathalan): Amthāl as an Educational Norm in the Qur’ān? (30 min)

Stephen Burge, Institute of Ismaili Studies
“Cry ‘Havoc!’ and Let Slip the Dogs of War”: Angelic Armies and Martial Language in the Biblical Tradition and the Qur’an (30 min)

Gabriel Said Reynolds, Notre Dame
Christianity as a Conversation Partner of the Qur’an (30 min)

Asad Uz Zaman, Ohio State University
The Qur’anic Rejection of an Enochian Etiology of Evil: A Look at Q18:50–51 and Q2:28–39 (30 min)

The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA)
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk

Theme: The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition 2

David Penchansky, University of Saint Thomas (Saint Paul, MN)
A Brief Rumor Narrative in Surat-al-Nur and Related Biblical Passages (30 min)

Heydar Davoudi, Northwestern University
Mushite and Aaronite Priesthoods in the Hebrew Bible and the Qurʾān (30 min)

Shari L. Lowin, Stonehill College
“Say: Whosoever Is an Enemy to Gabriel”: Q 2:97 and the Destruction of the Temple (30 min)

Shlomo Zuckier, Institute for Advanced Study and David Gyllenhaal, Institute for Advanced Study
The Puns of Sin: Q2:58-59 in Light of Muqātil b. Sulaymān’s Tafsīr and Its Use of Hebrew Scripture (30 min)

Tugrul Kurt, Humboldt-Universität zu Berli
The Identification of Christians in the Qurʿan: Christian Groups in the Exegesis of Muqātil Ibn Sulaymān (d.150/767) and Ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (d. 310/923) (30 min)

, Intertextuality (Interpretive Approaches), Comparative Religion / History of Religion (Comparative Religion / History of Religion)

The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism (IQSA)
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Salon A – Marriott Riverwalk

Abdallah A Elkhatib, Qatar University
A Verse Count Analysis OF MSS Marcel 5, Arabe 335, Leiden Or. 14.545 A and Other MSS Some of the Oldest Qurʾān Fragments in Western Libraries (30 min)

Marijn van Putten, Leiden University
The Scribal Appendices of Three Mamluk Mushafs and the Crystallization of the al-Dūrī/al-Sūsī Divide (30 min)

Hythem Sidky, International Qur?anic Studies Association
Making the Case for Qurʾānic Case: Evidence for the Existence of an Early Qurʾānic Literary Register (30 min)

Discussion (30 min)

Call for Papers for Early Career Scholars

A Christian Arabic inscription featuring a cross and Aramaic dots over the dāls, see Younis al‐Shdaifat et al. “An Early Christian Arabic Graffito Mentioning ‘Yazīd the King’,”

The ERC project “The Qurʾan as a Source for Late Antiquity” (QaSLA) has opened its call for papers for the conference Islamic Tradition at the End of Late Antiquity: New Perspectives on Hadith, History, and Historiography, to be held in Tübingen, Germany, from July 8–10, 2024.

The three-day conference aims at attracting contributions to the scholarly discourse on Islamic tradition and the late antique milieu, particularly studies that pursue connections between the hadith literature, Islamicate historiography, and Jewish and Christian traditions from the period of Islam’s emergence.

The conference is oriented towards exploring new connections between Islam and the late antique milieu, while shifting the emphasis to the hadith, broadly defined. Can the hadith prove to be a reliable source for historical inquiry into the 7th century, despite its codification in the 9th century? And, if so, can other genres of hadith convey insights that contradict or confirm the tafsīr tradition? How might different methodological approaches to the hadith and improved analytical techniques shed new light on the Qurʾan and its environment? And how is the hadith, if at all, a witness to the existence of and the specific cultural and religious impact of Jewish, Christian, or other communities in Arabia?

While we are particularly interested in scholarly contributions that engage with the preceding questions, we welcome other avenues of inquiry into the hadith, Islamic late antiquity, and the interaction of Jews, Christians, and (other) Arabian peoples in and around the 7th century CE. By way of example, themes to be addressed include:

1. Methodological approaches to the study of Muslim traditions: hadith, tafsīr, and akhbār

2. Judeo-Christian elements in hadith, such as the isrāʾīliyyāt, and other Islamic literature

3. Interactions between Islamic and other late antique legal and juridical ideas

4. Portrayals of Jews and Christians in Islamic tradition


Travel and accommodation expenses in Tübingen for the duration of the research symposium will be covered by QaSLA.

This call for papers invites Early Career Researchers (PhD candidates and within five years of the award of the PhD). It seeks to promote outstanding research of early career scholars and bring them in conversation with established scholars of Hadith Studies and Late Antiquity as well as historians of early Islam.

Please note that all proposals must include:

·         Author name and affiliation

·         C.V.

·         Paper title

·         250-word paper abstract (written in English)


Abstract Due: July 31st, 2023

For questions and proposals contact:

Ana Davitashvili:

Raashid Goyal:

Early Bird Registration Ends TODAY!

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If you’re attending IQSA’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio this fall, remember to register TODAY before rates increase! Early Bird registration saves you over $50 compared to regular rates.

To sign up, Register as a Member of an Affiliate Organization hereScroll to the bottom of the page for the Affiliate link and choose “International Qur’anic Studies Association” in the drop-down menu. Please note you must be an active IQSA member to attend.

To find more details about the Annual Meeting, visit We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio! 


Announcing JIQSA Volume 7 (2022)!

IQSA is proud to announce the official release of the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association V.7 2022 (Lockwood Press).

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Executive Editor
Sean W. Anthony, The Ohio State University, USA
Associate Editor Saqib Hussain, Loyola Marymount University, USA

Editorial Board
Ahmad Al-Jallad, The Ohio State University, USA
Carol Bakhos, University of California, Los Angeles
USA Majid Daneshgar, University of Otago, New Zealand Vanessa De Gifis, Wayne State University, USA
Reuven Firestone, Hebrew Union College, USA
Feras Hamza, University of Wollongong, Dubai, UAE
Marianna Klar, University of Oxford, UK Shady Hekmat Nasser, Harvard University
USA Michael E. Pregill, University of California, Los Angeles USA
Nicolai Sinai, University of Oxford, UK

Volume 7 is available to IQSA members for FREE online via the member login on Non-members can receive access by signing up for membership HERE.

Institutions wishing to subscribe for print and/or online access should fill out the form HERE. Print subscriptions are also available for individual subscribers via THIS FORM.

ISSN 2474-8390 (Print)
2474-8420 (Online)

Subscription Rates:
Print and Online: US$70
Print only: US$40
Online only: US$40

Member Access

Full online access to the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association is available by signing in to the member portal at HERE. Use the top menu to navigate to “JIQSA” and select the desired volume via the drop-down menu. Online access to JIQSA is NOT available via Lockwood Press’ website.

If you experience trouble logging in, please email to reset your password or confirm your membership.

Renew or sign up for IQSA membership HERE for full access to JIQSA, RQR, and more!

Table of Contents (Vol. 7, 2022)

  1. Roggema, Barbara. Obituary: Fred Leemhuis (1942–2021)JIQSA 7 (2022): 3-6
  2. Melchert, Christopher. The Variant Readings in Islamic Law. JIQSA 7 (2022): 7-26.
  3. Davitashvili, Ana. The Inner-Qurʾānic Development of the Images of Women in Paradise: From the Ḥūr ʿĪn to Believing Women. JIQSA 7 (2022): 27-64.
  4. Shiran, Adi. Bloody Wrath and Healing Touches: Joseph and His Brothers in Early Imāmī Shīʿī Tafsīr. JIQSA 7 (2022): 65-92.
  5. Mutter, Jessica. Iltifāt and Narrative Voice in the Qurʾān: Grammatical Shifts and Nested Dialogue in Sūrahs 19, 20, and 18. JIQSA 7 (2022): 93-121. 

The journal’s website, including additional information and contact details, can be found at For more information on the International Qur’anic Studies Association, please visit

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2023. All rights reserved.

Deadline TODAY! Call for Papers – IQSA Annual Meeting 2023

Today is the deadline to submit paper proposals for IQSA’s Annual Meeting to be held in San Antonio, Texas from November 17-20, 2023. Paper proposals should be submitted through the SBL’s automated online submission system under the corresponding “Affiliates” link by March 14, 2023 (note: IQSA membership is required for proposal submission; see below). Paper proposals will be accepted through 11:59 PM (23:59) US Eastern Time (UTC-4). Submission links can be found below under the respective program units. If you require further information or experience difficulties with the submission process, please contact the chairs of the program unit to which you would like to apply.

Please note that all proposals must include:

  • Author name and affiliation
  • Paper title
  • 400 word paper abstract (written in English)

Eligibility for proposal submissions is contingent upon the following:

  • Active IQSA membership is required at the time of proposal submission for the IQSA Program, and the membership status of all applicants will be checked prior to acceptance
  • Participants must maintain current IQSA Membership through their participation in the Annual Meeting

Please also note that:

  • To ensure equity and diversity amongst participants, participants should submit only one paper presentation per IQSA Annual Meeting
  • All participants must adhere to IQSA’s Professional Conduct Policy
  • Participants will be required to register for the conference by submitting payment through SBL’s online submission system (users are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the “Super Saver” rates which end mid-May)

The Annual Meeting includes panels for each of IQSA’s seven program units:

Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus

The Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus unit invites proposals for papers that engage with the study of the Qur’an from a literary standpoint and examine aspects such as rhetorical devices, literary motifs, characterization, themes, voices, sound, structure of passages or surahs, etc. While the unit welcomes proposals that explore any of these aspects, this year we particularly encourage papers that utilize linguistic, literary, and thematic perspectives to study the legal and prescriptive material found in Medinan surahs and verses.

Manuscripts and Textual Criticism

The aim of the Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism unit is to provide a cross-disciplinary setting for the exploration of the various interconnected issues that arise when questions concerning the Qur’an’s text are investigated through the prism of its manuscript tradition. This latter term encompasses the field of Qur’an manuscripts per se, but also alludes to such information regarding the history of the text that can be gleaned from the citations, marginal notes, and detailed analysis provided in other branches of the Islamic sciences, for example Qur’an commentaries and the qira’at literature. It is hoped that bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines will serve to enrich and strengthen each of these fields. The Manuscripts and Textual Criticism unit seeks to create a forum for the application of textual criticism to the Qur’anic text attested both in physical manuscripts and within the wider Islamic tradition. It also aims to investigate palaeographic, codicological, and art historical features in the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition. For the 2023 meeting in San Antonio, the unit welcomes papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Manuscripts and Textual Criticism program unit. For the 2023 meeting in San Antonio, the unit welcomes papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Manuscripts and Textual Criticism program unit.

The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition

The focus of this unit is the Qur’an’s relationship to the Biblical tradition in the broadest sense: the books of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in the various languages of their original composition and later translations (regardless of a particular book’s status of canonization within specific Jewish or Christian groups), as well as the exegetical, homiletic, and narrative traditions of the Bible in written or oral form. For the 2023 meeting in San Antonio, the Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition unit welcomes proposals that engage any aspect of the relationship between the Bible and the Qur’an.

Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics

The Methodology and Hermeneutics Unit invites proposals for papers that focus on the theological and hermeneutical relationship between the Qur’an and extra-Qur’anic sources of truth or authority, including the prophetic Sunna, communal Sunna, consensus (ijma’), the Shi’i Imams and their Sunna, hadith literature, biographical literature (sira), formative exegetical literature (tafsir), the rulings of Muslim scholars (‘ulama’), the Sufi shuyukh or Sufi poetry, mystical unveiling (kashf), studies of the material universe, intellect, and so forth.

For example, proposed papers could consider:

  • The hermeneutical relationship between the Qur’an and the prophetic Sunna; for instance, in how hadith, sīra, or “occasions of revelation” (asbāb al-nuzūl) impact exegesis;  
  • How principles from Islamicate philosophy (falsafa) or theology (kalām) are used to exegete the Qur’an, or how specific verses become significant within Muslim ontological and cosmological discourse;
  • How the idea of the Imams as the authoritative interpreters of the Qur’an influences exegesis in Shiʾī Islam;
  • How Sufi works of literature like the Mathnawī of Rūmi or Divān of Hāfiz distill the Qur’an for popular audiences;
  • How Sufi exegetes read the Quran through the lenses of mystical principles and spiritual experience;
  • Ways in which modern and contemporary Qur’anic interpretation adheres to or departs from influential premodern methods of tafsīr, and so forth.

Surah Studies

The Surah Studies Unit invites proposals for individual papers on any of the 37 surahs in the 30th juz’ (Juz’ ‘Amma), viz. from Surat al-Naba’ (78, “The Announcement”) to Surat al-Nas (114, “Humanity”). Proposals about any aspect of any surah—or cluster of surahs—are welcome. Proposals which can take our collective thinking in new directions are especially encouraged. These might broach (1) such general themes as: addressee(s), chronology and dating, the eschaton, oaths and oracular language, rhyme and rhythm, or textual cruxes; (2) topics specific to particular surahs, such as: astral imagery and phenomena in Surat al-Buruj (85, “The Constellations”) or Surat al-Takwir (81, “Rolling Up”), non-human beings in Surat al-Nazi‘at (79, “The Dispatchers”), Surat al-‘Alaq (96, “The Clot”), and Surat al-Fil (105, “The War Elephant”), or the language of commerce and trade and wealth in Surat al-Takathur (102, “Vying”) and Surat al-Ma‘un (107, “Liberality?”); or (3) devotional, liturgical and recitational aspects of the surahs and the juz’. The Surah Studies Unit welcomes diverse methods and new approaches. The raison d’être of the Unit is specifically to bring different perspectives into dialogue with one another.

The Qur’an and Late Antiquity

For the 2023 IQSA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, the Qur’an and Late Antiquity program unit invites proposals that utilize various types of material or evidence—be that literary, documentary, or epigraphic—to illuminate the historical context in which the Qur’an was revealed and the early Islamic polity emerged. We are especially interested in papers that present and discuss new and comparative methodologies to approach the interplay between Late Antique phenomenon and the Qur’an.

The Societal Qur’an

The Societal Qur’an unit invites proposals for papers that investigate the Qur’an in its lived and societal contexts throughout history, from Late Antiquity to contemporary Late Modernity. Papers might, for instance, discuss topics such as:(1) ritual uses of the Qur’an; (2) practices of teaching the Qur’an; (3) talismanic and medical uses of the Qur’an; (4) the production of manuscript, print, and new media versions of the Qur’an and their commodification; (5) the role of the Qur’an in public debates, political organisation, and identity building; (6) the Qur’an in arts and media; (7) multilingual representations of the Qur’an. Proposals are encouraged that engage with sociological, anthropological, and political science theories and methods in their pursuit of the societal and lived Qur’an.

Questions? Email! We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize Winner 2023

rippinThe International Qurʾanic Studies Association is delighted to announce that the sixth annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize (open to papers delivered by early career scholars at the 2022 Annual Meeting) has been awarded to Eric Devilliers for his paper: ““Seconding Sinai?: The Re-presentation of Mosaic Theophany in the Qur’an.” The winner of the Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize receives a cash award. In addition, an expanded and edited version of the winning paper qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association.

This award is given in honor of Professor Andrew Rippin (1950–2016), a leading scholar of the Qurʾān and inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). Prof. Rippin is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.” An announcement regarding submissions for the seventh annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize will follow the 2023 IQSA Annual Meeting.

An abstract of the award-winning paper follows:

Seconding Sinai?: The Re-presentation of Mosaic Theophany in the Qur’an
Mosaic theophany constituted an axis of exegetical controversy in Late Antiquity. Jews and Christians offered contrasting accounts of what Moses saw at the Burning Bush and at Mount Sinai and therefore assigned different significance to these visual dispensations. In particular, Christian theologians interpreted Mosaic theophanies in a way that emphasized Jesus Christ’s prophetic and ontological superiority. Jesus Christ, they argued, alone truly saw God; Moses did not see God atop Mt. Sinai, and insofar as he saw God, he saw the coming of Christ.

An investigation of how the Qur’an receives the Mosaic theophanic accounts and the logic behind its reformulations remains a scholarly desideratum. This paper, then, outlines how the Qur’an systematically re-presents these two biblical episodes (e.g., in Q 7:142-172, 20:9-36, 27:6-12, and 28:29-35) to respond to Christian and Jewish presentations of theophany and visual dispensation. I argue that, in these passages, the Qur’an takes up Christian exegetical narratives and their paradigm of vision in order to inventively incorporate many late antique traditions into its own prophetology. In these Qur’anic accounts, vision delineates a boundary between God and man. However, prophetic authority is based upon the prophet’s ability to see – either God, or facets of the Unseen. Thus, the Qur’an presents a creative tension: Muhammad’s humanity seems to preclude vision of God; yet, his prophetic superiority seems to affirm a more authentic vision of God than those of other prophets (e.g., Q 53, 81).

Eric_DeVilliers_HeadshotEric DeVilliers hails from Fredericksburg, Virginia. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Notre Dame, specializing in Qur’anic studies and Islamic theology. His dissertation investigates the roots and significance of the controversy surrounding the vision of God (ru’yat Allah) from Late Antiquity to the early Islamic period. He is currently performing research in Cairo on a Fulbright student research grant that explores the topic of the vision of God in the Kalām tradition.

Want to try your hand at next year’s Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize? Submit your proposals for the Call for Papers: IQSA Annual Meeting 2023 to be held in San Antonio, Texas this November!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2023. All rights reserved.