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The Diyanet Qur’ān Commentary Kur’an Yolu (Path of the Qur’ān): Methodology and Features

Abstract

Various Muslim commentators have contributed to Qur’ānic exegesis (tafsīr) from the Eastern to the Western regions of the Muslim world. Besides the Middle East, other regions were also influential in the literature and scholarship of tafsīr, such as Khorasan and Transoxiana. Another example is Istanbul, the libraries of which hold examples of most of the surviving tafsīr works and super-commentaries. We do not have an extensive body of scholarship on tafsīr knowledge/production in other parts of the Muslim world in English as such studies are of particular significance for the full history of tafsīr. For this reason, this article focuses on tafsīr production in modern Turkey with reference to the Diyanet (the Turkish Presidency for Religious Affairs) Qur’ān commentary Kur’an Yolu (Path of the Qur’ān). First, the article provides a brief overview of tafsīr production and culture in the Ottoman period (1299–1922) and in the period of the Republic of Turkey (since 1923) to contextualise the Diyanet commentary. Then, it analyses the Diyanet Qur’ān commentary Kur’an Yolu as official/institutional tafsīr, its major characteristics and methodology. A particular focus is devoted to the commentary’s Introduction (pp. 13-51). The article holds the view that, while the Qur’ān commentary Kur’an Yolu follows the classical mainstream Sunni framework and paradigm, it includes innovative perspectives, selections of alternative options along with critical engagement with the classical tafsīr and Islamic scholarship.

Keywords

Tafsīr, Ottoman, Republic of Turkey, Diyanet, Kur’an Yolu (Path of the Qur’ān)

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