The Institute of Ismaili Studies is pleased to announce the publication of The Meaning of the Word: Lexicology and Qur’anic Exegesis, edited by Stephen R. Burge. This volume is the thirteenth in the Qur’anic Studies Series. It arises out of a larger research project that explored the ways in which interpreters of the Qur’an – in exegesis, as well as other fields, such as hadith, law and translation – engaged with the meaning of words (lexicology) in the Qur’an.
“Esoteric Traditions in Islam: Past and Present Manifestations,” was the theme of the Annual General Meeting of the Asian Chapter Group of the IIS Alumni Association. The meeting was held from 28–30 March, 2015, in Konya, Turkey, the city where Mevlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, the famous 13th century poet and Sufi mystic, is buried.
The basic intention of Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir) is to understand what the text of the Qur’an means. Before attempting to understand anything of the Qur’anic worldview and its ethical values, there is a need for exegetes to engage with the individual words found in the Qur’an itself. This volume, consisting of chapters by twelve leading, established and young scholars, begins to address this gap in the scholarship. It is divided into four sections that provide different reflections on the relationship between lexicology and Qur’anic interpretation. As a whole, it provides the first in-depth discussion focusing on the relationship between the interpretation of the Qur’an and the meanings of words, from the beginnings of Qur'anic exegesis to the contemporary period.
Over fifty IIS alumni from across North America came together in Toronto, Canada, for their Annual General Meeting to explore Celebrating Pluralism and Cultural Diversity: Art, Architecture and Music in the Muslim World from 19-21 June, 2015. Over the course of three days, the alumni engaged with scholars, as the newly opened Ismaili Centre, Aga Khan Park and Aga Khan Museum provided both a backdrop and context for the weekend's thematic exploration.