The Scriptural “Senses” in Medieval Ṣūfī Qurʼān Exegesis
As a sacred book recording divine revelation, the Qurʼān is widely understood by Muslims to have a significant meaning because God certainly meant what he explicitly said. Since early Islamic times, however, the Qurʼān has also been understood as possessing many “faces” or aspects. This multifaceted character of the Qurʼān is manifested in the many different types of verses it contains, but is also apparent in the fact that many individual verses can each be read and interpreted in a variety of ways. As is shown by Ignaz Goldziher's study of the major sources of Qurʼānic exegesis, as well as by other important Qurʼān commentaries that have come to light since the compilation of his groundbreaking work three quarters of a century ago, many of these trends of interpretation are based on a specific selection of Qurʼānic verses. In such a way Sūfīsm, Islamic mysticism, developed its own approach to Qurʼānic exegesis and formed its own body of Qurʼān commentary.
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