The Qur’an and its Interpretations

A folio from the famous Blue Qurʾan showing verses 55 to 60 of Surat al-Furqaninfo-icon. Scholars have long held that this Qurʾan was produced in Ifriqiyainfo-icon at the time of the Fatimidsinfo-icon.

The Qur'an and its Interpretations

Course dates:
13 June – 24 June 2022
Application deadline:
28 February 2022
Programme fees:
Course director:
Dr Omar Ali-de-Unzaga

About the course

This is an intensive online course for those who wish to become familiar with the Qur’aninfo-icon and the complexities that surround it. Taught by specialist faculty from the IIS’s Qur’anic Studies Unit, the course looks at the Qur’an from various angles: it introduces participants to the necessary conceptual tools to deal with the complexities related to the Qur’an and its interpretations. The course will analyse the concept of revelation, prophethood and scripture, all within the historical, intellectual, religious and sociopolitical context in which the Qur’an emerged. Students will be exposed to the genre of tafsir as a repository of opinions by authors from various persuasions and schools. Interpretation will be explored as a product of its time focusing on questions such as: How are so many interpretations possible? How are interpretations actually produced? Further, the course will tackle some contemporary concerns like: What is the relevance of reading the Qur’an today? How is it used to justify such things as gender relations, political claims and the like?

Aims of the programme

  • Facilitate a nuanced awareness of the Qur’an as a historical phenomenon, as a concept and as a text.
  • Explore the complexities of interpretation and the reasons behind the existence of a plurality of interpretations (including Ismaili interpretations) by examining selected Qur’anic verses.
  • Introduce participants to the role of the Imaminfo-icon in Shi‘i contexts vis-à-vis the Qur’an.
  • Develop an appreciation for the non-textual and non-theological expressions inspired by the Qur’an (such as in art, literature, and so on).


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