Theorizing About the Divine Meaning in the Holy Books: A Case Study of the Problematic Interpretation of the Forms of Az-Zann in the Qur’an (2)

Abstract

The study is the second part of the analysis of the forms of AzZann (i.e., conjecture) in the Qur’an. In part one, the study covers the analysis of the salient meaning of conjecture under the heading of‘‘A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Traditionalist-Modernist Controversy Over the Renewal of Religious Discourse: A Case Study of the Forms of ‘‘Az-Zann’’ in the Qur’an (1)’’. It deals with the salient meaning which is admitted once reading the forms of conjecture concluding that the fifty cases under analysis have no relation with relativism of belief. Rather, they have been used for developing a diversity of discourses such as the futility of the unbelievers’ thought, the psychology of human nature, and the limited human knowledge. The present paper tackles the most problematic interpretive cases of the forms of conjecture. It attempts to formulate a theory on the divine meaning that explains why the forms of conjecture are used in these contexts and what are their true meanings. In addition to the situational aspects of the speaker, addressee, place, and time of the utterance, there is the principle of holiness that regulates God-Man relationship, on one hand, and the Man-Man relationship, on the other hand. Primarily, this principle encompasses many maxims which could not be counted. It is assumed that the believers share the basics of the principle of holiness in a way that helps in decoding the subtle shades of meanings of the divine language. Furthermore, it enables the speaker to encode her/his message in a way that fits the Glory of God. So, the speaker should select his words carefully when he speaks about God aiming at showing sacrosanctity to Him and placing emphasis upon his human nature. When God speaks to man, He speaks whatever He wants in a language that fits his glory. In the same vein, when a man comes to interpret God’s message, he should be familiar with the features of glorification. Otherwise, the interpreter fails in grasping the intended meaning in a way that results in delivering an inappropriate message. The study concludes that the exegetes of the Qur’an do not grasp the basics of the divine meaning theory regarding the forms of AzZann. Therefore, they do not manage in interpreting the meanings of these forms. Their interpretations sound injudicious because they imply imposition upon God. Similarly, Modernists fail in attaining the authentic meaning providing an interpretation that could undermine faith by opening the door for relative truth.

Keywords: divine meaning, exegetes, modernists, pragma-semantic, problematic interpretation, theorizing

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 12-29 (Download PDF)

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