Friday, February 26, 2010

Hamka's "Tafsir al-Azhar": Qur'anic exegesis as a mirror of social change

Hamka's "Tafsir al-Azhar": Qur'anic exegesis as a mirror of social change
by Wan Yusof, Wan Sabri, Ph.D., Temple University, 1997, 291 pages; AAT 9813562

Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation attempts to explain interconnections between Tafsir al-Azhar and intellectual, social, political, and cultural phenomena in twentieth century Indonesia. Tafsir al-Azhar is a modern Qur'anic exegesis in Indonesia which takes into account indigenous experience to explain verses of the Qur'an. Hamka, who was a reformer, also interpreted verses of the Qur'an in the context of his reform ideas in which bid'ah and superstition were the main targets.

This study also finds that antagonistic ideologies such as Islam, nationalism, colonialism, and Communism filled the pages of Tafsir al-Azhar. This is because Qur'anic exegesis, just as it has been in earlier Islamic history, was used by the writer to express personal inclination and dogma. Hamka, who was constructed by his Islamic habitus, expressed his personal view in his interpretation which was informed by his antagonistic experiences with Christianity and Communism. The national unity of Indonesia was another Hamka's concerns that found its way into the pages of Tafsir al-Azhar.

In short, Tafsir al-Azhar was a mirror of social change: pre-independence and post independence Indonesia. All such issues were used to contextualize the meanings of verses of the Qur'an so that they were understood and related better to the Malay-Indonesian people who were lacking knowledge of the Arabic language. In other words Hamka was able to membumikan (indigenize) the meaning of the Qur'an to fit the Indonesian experience.

Indexing (document details)

Advisor:Ayoub, Mahmoud M.
School:Temple University
School Location:United States -- Pennsylvania
Source:DAI-A 58/10, p. 3957, Apr 1998
Source type:Dissertation
Subjects:Religion, Bible, Religious history
Publication Number: AAT 9813562
Document URL: entId=48051&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID:736734291

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