Intra-Quranic connections in Sunni and Shi‘i tafsirs: a meeting point or another area of contestation?

Izza Rohman


This study seeks to shed light on how a celebrated interpretive approach to the
Quran considered to be most objective is taken by interpreters from different
theological settings. It takes a closer look at how the principle of tafsi>r al-Qur’a>n
bi al-Qur’a>n (interpretation of the Quran by the Quran) is employed by al-Shanqiti
in his Ad}wa>’ al-Baya>n and al-Tabataba’i in his al-Mi>za>n, taking their interpretation
of ahl al-bayt as a main case in point. Noticing how their differences in this issue
can be associated with their respective Sunni and Shi‘i backgrounds, this study
finds a number of areas where both modern exegetes – and other exegetes most
likely – might be influenced by any creeping theological preference in their pur-
suit of objectivity and openness to the text.
Kajian ini bermaksud menelaah bagaimana sebuah pendekatan penafsiran al-
Qur’an yang dianggap paling objektif diterapkan oleh para mufasir dari latar
belakang aliran teologi yang berbeda. Bagaimana prinsip menafsirkan al-Qur’an
dengan al-Qur’an diaplikasikan oleh al-Shanqiti dalam tafsirnya, Ad}wa>’ al-Baya>n,
dan al-Tabataba’i dalam tafsirnya, al-Mi>za>n, dilihat lebih saksama terutama dengan
mengambil contoh penafsiran mereka tentang ahlulbait. Mencermati bagaimana perbedaan mereka dalam menafsirkan cakupan ahlul bait bisa dikaitkan dengan
latar belakang Sunni dan Syiah mereka, kajian ini menemukan sejumlah ranah di
mana kedua mufasir modern ini – dan sepertinya juga mufasir yang lain – bisa
saja  dipengaruhi  oleh  kecenderungan  teologis  ketika  mencoba  menjaga
objektivitas dan keterbukaan terhadap teks al-Qur’an.


Quranic hermeneutics; Sunni-Shi‘i dialog; al-Shanqiti’ al-Tabataba’i; Ahl al-bayt

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Copyright (c) 2014 Izza Rohman

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