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Self referentiality in the Quran, edited by Stefan Wild, Harassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2006 Stefan Wild- Why self-referentiality?

Religious belief based on a revealed text- form the perspective of Western modernity -illegitimate re-enchantment of the world -justification of an intellectually untenable defense of irrationality -politically suspect existential hocus-pocus Existentielles Brimborium (Adorno) Belief in God: 1. symptom of a curable intellectual underdevelopment 2. ontological trick to escape the conclusion that self-reflexive reasoning of the human subject is the only base of normativity y Geert Hendrich- Islam und Auflaklarung. Der Modernediskurs in der arabischen Philosophie, Darmstadt, 2004

Muslims Half of modernity thesis - eager acceptance of technology and science - reluctance to adopt the other half: Enlightenment, metaphysical skepticism and secularism - entrenchment in a defensive culture to shut out religious and political change - anthropological scar- the experience of colonialism and foreign domination - Dostoyevskian fear of post-religious anomie The Quran - Gods uncreated word-divine-true-unsurpassable in every Arabic syllable - Historical-critical approach- anathema for many Muslim specialists and for quasi all believers The self-referentiality of the Quran The prophet recitation- constantly reflects, hones and explains: what is saying- to whom it speaks and what is the relationship with the other prophetic message - it claims to be revealed and at the same time reflected the process of revelation - self-reflexivity of the Prophets recitationself reflexivity of the Quranic text as we know it p.3 - overriding concern with itself distinguishes the Quran from Torah and NT - the roots of a triumphant self-view as ipssima verba dei combined with an embattled self- reflexivity constantly concerned with questions and doubts about its own form, status and validity - preoccupation with the fact that it is performative via a communicative act: speakerlistener audience

In this concentration on the oral and the aural reality of its own recitation, the Quran emerges as most self-conscious text among the three holy books and probably the most self-reflexive and self-referential foundational text of any world religion p. 3

Daniel Madigan: The Quran self-image. Writing and authority in Islams Scripture - paradox: the Quran timeless divine pronouncement and on the other hand commenting upon its own reception in time the most intelligent of the three holy books - not in term of it contents - rules are fitted for Arabian society in the 7th century- unfitted for modernity - major narratives (creation- temptation-flood-paradise-hell)- shared with Judaism and Christianity - the basic question: How can a text recited by a human tongue and written by a manmade pen be at the same time the divine word spoken to humanity? - Quran- awareness of itself as a recitation and as a text - It prefigures the modern linguistic term because its own self-reflexive modernity Quran- A Mantic Speech From a formal internal linguistic criteria- the Quran is a mantic speech Mantic- Nora Kershaw Chadwick- Poetry and Prophecy 1942 - a speech form that speaker and listener recognize as emanating from a divine / supernatural realm - out of the speakers mouth comes the voice of a possessing demon, revealing god or inspiring muse ***** the radical exegesis claim to quasi mantic status justified by the direct contact with the pristine salafi message derived mantic from the pure exegesis of the quran without any intellectual accreation - human discourse prophecy inspiration-possession oracle-poetry - the refusal of the majority of Meccan to accept Muhammads speech as mantic the cause of hijra - the quranic text- a text in dialogue with itself - both itself and about itself (Madigan) Self- referentiality - a linguistic behavior which speaks about communication while it is communicated - synonyms: self-reflexivity- meta-textuality- meta-communication Karl Buhler - all communication contains information about the speaking subject - 3 communicative levels a) Kundgabe (announcement) b) Darstellung (depiction)

c) Appell ( appeal) Examples of self-referentiality Q 25: 32-33 Q 25: 4-6 Q: 36: 69-70 Q 69: 38-51 Q 3:7 famous exegetical dilemma the start of tafsir Q 17:22 The mysterious letters (al-huruf al-muqatta) self-referential headings Self-Predication The mantic voice refers to its message under different names: - quran (recitation) - kitab (book) - dhikr (remembrance) - naba (news) - bushra (glad tidings) - indhar (warning) - tanzil (revelation-sending down) - wahy (revelation) - qasas (narration) - huda (guidance) - mawiza (parable) Obstacles to a clear picture of Quranic self-referentiality -the act of canonization via Mushaf largely de-historicized and de-contextualized text - the arrangement of suras in the order of decreasing length and/or decreasing number of their verses obscures and destroys the historical embedding -no pattern of organization in many Medinan surasthe widespread phenomenon of Medinan verse appearing in suras classified as Meccan and vice versadifficulty in discovering the original context and co-textacknowledged by Muslim exegetical tradition - the aural / oral character of the Quranic recitation an original feature not shown by the written codex the self- referentiality of the Quran - not a single strand of identifiable utterances - a multi-faceted mood and mode dense maze of reflectivities- overlapping - the recited message speaks about itself - the Prophet speaks about himself - God speaks about himself

Plurality of voices within the text heteroglossia

3 basic assumptions 1. The Quran appeared first in Mecca and later in Medina the death of the Prophet in 632 ended the process of revelation 2. The overwhelming majority of the quranic recitations- can be safely traced back to a generation following the prophet no substantial textual differences between the early copies of the Quran ( those discovered in Sanaa- dated the VIIth century) and the Quranic text as we know it today 3. The written form (rasm) of the Uthmanic codex- closed corpus and the origin of all copies of the Quran John Wansbrough- historical turn in the Quranic studies revisionist approach hyperskeptical methodological stance Radical distrust against each and every aspect of early Muslim tradition -his school very influent in the contemporary scholarship - recent research done by Harald Motzki and Gregor Scholer the traditions are more older than the 8-9 centuries (Wansbroughs thesis)

The concept of imitative canon and filiation -introduced by Carlsten Colpe - imitative canons- include stories about other books and about canon formation on a relatively primary level of narrative - in the case of Quran- its own inspiration is a dominant theme- couched in the information of its non-human origins - the sacrality of the text- Q56: 75-80 filiation- Buddhist cluster of canonization and Jewish cluster of canonization (includes both Chrisitian and Islamic canon) the canon clusters produce historical dependence- conscious parallels counter formations continuations imitations and outstripping + self-referentiality

Opacity not a primary attribute of a verse or a passage consequence of codification and canonicity forcing one single meaning assigned to one wordex: the most opaque phenomenon the mysterious letters nothing strategic or primarily intentional

strategic opacity - technique of canon building

ex: Q 3:7 the redaction of the Uthmanic text- deliberately leaves the door opneundecided the pre-Utmanic reading of the sura (Ubayy Ibn Kab and Abdallah Ibn Masud) different wording- using a period and the sense is modified as God only knows the meaning not God and those firmly rooted in knowledge

Daniel Madigan The Limits of Self-Referentiality p.61 resistance to 2 simplifying equating moves: kitab=Quran Quran= mushaf More coherent reading emerges the Quran is not simply a text but a divine-human interaction --***communicative event- taking place in the dynamic space between the Prophet and his listeners (both believers and opponents) Some elements of this communicative interaction- fixed and canonized as liturgical text and later as standardized scriptural compilation The projected self-referentiality onto the Quran- coming largely form the believing community rather then from the text itself p. 69

Angelika Neuwirth- Oral Scriptures in Contact. The Quranic Story of the Golden Calf and its Bibilcal Subtext between Narrative, Cult and inter-communal Debate The canonization process- twofold 1. Canonization from below the Prophets community canonizes texts in a liturgical setting calls them suras 2. Canonization from above the authorities of the community (Abu-Bakr, Uthman) sponsor an official compilation of pronouncements originating in the Prophets ministry ****Qutb re-canonization- of exegesis- new reading of the Quran - from below within the re-contructed ummah following a re-Islamization from bellow Studien zur Komposition der mekkanischen Suren, 1981 extends Noldeke terminology 3 classes of texts in the quranic corpus: 1. Structurally simple suras (mostly brief eschatological) Q100 2. Structurally complex suras: tripartite layout: introductory (polemics and affirmations of revelation)- middle part (episodes from prophetic history)conclusion (polemics and affirmations of revelation 3. Very lengthy text without no formal division (Q 100)

Noldeke- chronological order: evolution from structurally simple to structurally complex texts

Matthias Radscheit The Quran codification and canonization Canonization- dialectical process- 2 parallel elements 1. The inner value / authority possessed by a set of texts in a certain community 2. The outward separation of these texts from their literary environment via collection and careful notation the canonization process is not automatic the texts should already have a special status due to either divine origin or their time honored roots in the ritual an external impetus is required a polemical dispute- the effort to secure their existence (ex: collection of ahadith due to the fear of physical extinction of the Companions direct witnesses of the Prophetical sayings) there is no a-priori stopping point- a dynamic that lasts as long as the community allows it canonization is above all a social process

Quran- not a part of the 5 pillars of Islam- only connected to the salat Salat - 5 times a day- raka (complex sequence of actions) should be repeated 2-4 times - the beginning of each raka marked by a recitation (qiraa) - quranic recitation- in the Friday service salat al-juma - no clear prescriptions about which passage should be recited during the salat the person could select whatever passage he finds appropriate from the shorter sura Q 112 (only 4 verses) to the longest Q 2 al-baqara - no established liturgies for praying and preaching (other than the special traditions of salat al-idayn and salat al-witr) - recommended ritual text Q 17: 78 - fatiha- essential part of salat- opens every raka Q 17:88- basis for Ijaz no complete Qurans from the first and second century of the hijra not a single complete copy among the fragments of 1000 Qurans found in 1973 in Sanaa the earliest complete Quran from the third/ 9 century

(Nicolai Sina- Quranic self-referentiality as strategy of self-authorization, p. 106) - Starting with Q 96- the first revelation understanding too fashioned by the Romantic understanding of prophecy as manifestation of genius dual opposition Vernuft/ Geful - Q 74- alternative beginning of the quranic revelation

-Anxiety of interpretation - one consequence of the transcendence of the scripture- only God can act as an exegete Q75: 16-19- seems to assign God the exclusive right to the recitation intepretation (bayan) - deligitimization of human interpretation in a community which experienced revelation not via an interpreted officially closed corpus but as an ongoing reality - the revelation- in clear Arabic (bi-lisanin arabyin nubin) clarity of the Quran Q3 :7 hermeneutic locus clasicus expressing a similar anxiety against human exegesis