Seeing God in Sufi Qurʾan Commentaries: Crossings between This World and the Otherworld by Pieter Coppens
Keywords:Tasawwuf, Sufi, Qur'an, Qurʾan Commentaries, God
From the inception of the Sufi movement, Sufis regarded the Qurʾān as a source of mystical knowledge. According to Sufi exegetes, the words of the Qurʾān are in fact allusions (ishārah pl. ishārāt) which pertain to “divine truths” (ḥaqāʾiq, sing. ḥaqīqah). Accordingly, Sufi hermeneutics of the Qurʾān is called “the exegesis by allusion” (tafsīr bi-l-ishārah) or “the allusive exegesis” (tafsīr ishārī). While undergoing personal mystical experiences, Sufis penetrated the exoteric (ẓāhir) layer of the Qurʾānic text and reached its esoteric (bāṭin) layers, thus discerning the divine truths from the Qurʾān. Their insights which are recorded in the surviving Sufi tafsīr-works are accompanied by a personal and sometimes ecstatic tone which is quite rare in the “conventional” and traditional works of tafsīr.
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