By Zuhurud-Din M. M. Ahmad
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Extra info for An Examination of the Mystic Tendencies in Islām in the Light of the Qur'ān and Traditions
Unlike some postmodernist literary critics, traditional commentators are playing a game with rules. As a consequence, they often find the text resistant to their interpretative goals and strategies; they wrestle with passages where life would have been so much easier if only Confucius – or Homer, or God – had expressed himself differently. Just as there is distance between text and commentator, so also there is distance between one commentator and another. Commentators separated by several centuries, by several thousand miles, or by a major sectarian divide may have significantly different presuppositions and concerns.
Here is a passage about His friends: Surely God’s friends – no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow. Those who believe, and are godfearing – for them is good tidings in the present life and in the world to come. (Q10:62–4) As might be expected, the standing of such people has much to do with their conduct. The Koran repeatedly promises Paradise to those who perform good deeds, using terms such as these: Give thou good tidings to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, that for them await gardens underneath which rivers flow; .
1328), in a book urging his fellow-Muslims to desist from imitating non-Muslims and return to the Straight Path. Indeed, he wished to see all Muslims use Arabic as their language of everyday life. But this is not going to happen; and mass literacy in a foreign language is not a very realistic educational project. The second solution, a translation of the Koran intended not just to supplement but to displace the Arabic original, was taken furthest in the secular Republic of Turkey between the First and Second World Wars; this translation was to have been the centrepiece of an effort to create a form of Islam inoffensive to Turkish nationalism.