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Etymology of the Holy Qur’an

The etymology of the Holy Qur’an refers to the study of compound terms and phrases that are difficult to understand and as a discipline, this field of study has always attracted the attention of the Iranian Muslim scholars. Moreover, besides its application in the area of exegesis-writing this discipline of Islamic sciences has always been an independent field of study. Some of the earliest works produced in this field include the two complementary books of “Ta’wil Moshkel al-Qur’an” and “Tafsir-e Gharāyeb al-Qur’an” written by Ibn Qotaybeh Dinvari (d. 276 AH/889 AD), both of which were first published in Cairo in 1373 AH and 1378 AH, respectively. The other important work produced in this field is the “Gharāyeb al-Qur’an” or the “Nahzah al-Qolub” written by Abu Bakr Sajestāni (d. c. 230 AH/942 AD) on which he spent fifteen long years and which, for centuries, had been one of the main sources of etymology of Qur’anic terms. Similarly, “Al-Gharibayn” is the title of a book written by Abu Obeid Heravi (d. 401 AH/1011 AD) which was first published in Hyderabad (Deccan region) of India in the year 1406 AH and which prompted the writing of such complementary books as the “Taqrib al-Gharibayn” by Salim bin Ayyub Rāzi (d. 447 AH/1055 AD) and the “Al-Majmu’ al-Moghith” by Abu Musā Madinin Esfahāni (d. 581 AH/1185 AD).

As a turning point in the history of the etymology of Qur’anic terms, reference should be made to Rāgheb Esfahāni’s (d. 502 AH/1109 AD) book, the “Al-Mofradāt”, which was first published in Cairo in the year 1392 AH and which is of great research value in the area of the analytical study of Qur’anic terms and phrases. The book, “Tarjomān-e Qur’an”, written by Mir Seyyed Sharif Jorjāni (d. 816 AH/1413 AD) in the Persian language is another valuable work in this field.

Before concluding this section, it would not be out of place to pay a brief tribute to the works of some Iranians who have contributed to the general Qur’anic sciences. The most important of these works include the “Basāe’r Zawi al-Tamiz” of Firuzābādi (d. 717 AH) which was first published in Cairo in 1383 AH, the “Noqat wa Shekl” and the “Nāsekh wa Mansukh” of Ibn Nadim, the “Asbāb-e Nozul”, and the “E’jāz-e Qur’an”.

* source: Pakatchi , Ahmad " Iran Entry " The Great Islamic Encyclopedia . Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.10 , pp. 657

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