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Qur’an of the OppressedLiberation Theology and Gender Justice in Islam$
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Shadaab Rahemtulla

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198796480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198796480.001.0001

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From the Hereafter to the Here and Now

From the Hereafter to the Here and Now

The Reading of Asghar Ali Engineer

(p.53) 3 From the Hereafter to the Here and Now
Qur’an of the Oppressed

Shadaab Rahemtulla

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the Qur’anic commentary of the Indian intellectual Asghar Ali Engineer. After providing some historical and biographical background, it unpacks his interpretive method. The chapter argues that there is an intrinsic connection between, on the one hand, Engineer’s hermeneutical prioritization of the Qur’an over other Islamic texts and, on the other hand, his sharp criticism of clerical authority. The chapter also critiques certain essentialist tendencies in his exegesis; examines his (generally) holistic approach to social liberation, bringing together questions of class, gender, and pluralism; and pays attention to the Battle of Karbala (680), which is a key paradigm in his liberationist discourse. The chapter ends by scrutinizing three pervasive themes in Engineer’s writings: (a) secularism, (b) modernism, and (c) peace.

Keywords:   Asghar Ali Engineer, India, Qur’an, clerical authority, Battle of Karbala, pluralism, secularism, modernism, peace

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