Have poor and illiterate peoples always been associated with it? If the term signifying in signifying scriptures refers to the activity of signifying or giving meaning to and setting apart certain texts, it is clear that in the first instance, the process of revelation is itself the precondition to signifying what comes later to be known as scriptures. Other verses in the Quran emphasized that the revelations were from God and not invented by Muhammad. This emergence of scriptural authority had antecedents that can be traced back to the very founding of the Sikh community. Signifying is one of the modes of engagements of such scripts and texts. In particular, he analyzes the semantic field of the word kitab book in the Quran to ascertain its significance given the prominence of the orality of the Quran both at its inception during Muhammads recitals and in its daily liturgical rehearsal by Muslims ever since.
Signifying represents both a different critical mode of investigation and a characteristic of the phenomena to be investigated. Sartain, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti: Biography and Background Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress, 1973 , 1:46. The path dug by exegesis is neither deep nor wide enough. Such a history, he says, is reflected in the major turns in what he calls scripturalectics, part of the construction of the modern world, defined as efforts to manage or control knowledge and meaning. But, as Theorizing Islam argues, the issue remains that only one interpretation of Islam is generally being presented and, as with any interpretation, this has its own assumptions.
Canon remains of interest but does not always touch upon the basic question pressed by W. The tradition appears in Giani Gian Singh. Yet with a political system usually able to crush any version of religious populism that might threaten its authority, this new form of text appears to have encouraged rather conserva-tive forms of popular religion. For details see Andre Wink, The Making of the Indo-Islamic World New York: Oxford Uni-versity Press, 1997. Traditional View of Scriptures in Islam and Its Implications The Quran has been an inexhaustible font of inspiration to Muslims over the cen-turies. After investing so much in the traditional enterprise this was not an easy realization to reach or change to make. The emphasis on understanding the text has in a way overshadowed other beliefs such as the sacredness of the Gurmukhi script and Punjabi language.
As Cragg notes, it is also arguably disloyal to the Quran itself, which says, We have sent it down upon your heart 2:97 , a recognition that revelation occurs at the center and core of Muhammads being. Here were the details of a sacred history unfolding right in front of the Sikhs of the time. Undoubtedly, the language of the Quran shows its intimate relation to the socioeconomic, cultural, and political world of Muhammad. We need to model a different approach to how we study scriptures. It is a call for a re-consideration if not rejection of the conventional academic-intellectual-political and socio-religious-political orientations and practices long associated with scriptures. By reengaging the body of primary texts with which I routinely work, my goal is to do some preliminary reconnaissance on the literary territory under considerationfrom a perspective that is obliqueand offer an initial report of my findings.
The study of scriptures cannot be defined by or limited to one type of discourse or one discussant or authority figure or expert. Kavita Singh Mumbai: Marg, 2003 , 5067. This is one of the academic cons perpetuated by mainstream pundits. It is not, however, difficult to understand the development of such theological positions given self-referential verses in the Quran that declare it to be a book in which there is nothing dubious 2:2 , although much depends on how book is to be understood. Such work and insurgency are explicitly particularist though not exclusivisthence they are international in outlook and practice. In the north-west, in present-day Pakistan, these nomads joined Islam in large numbers; in the central Punjab, they took up the Sikh path.
Clearly, the work of the Yahwist, Elohist, and Priestly traditionsif such can be supposed to have had a tangible existencemust have exercised considerable influence over those who produced and were formed, intellectually and spiritually, by them. Most important, in relationship to or as a direct result of this delimi-tation and focus, his workand that of many of his studentsseemed little or inconsistently concerned about political issues and power dynamics, especially as they intersected with racial and ethnic identities. This is applicable to interpretation as well. Sometimes, as a concession to the shape of the politics in some places, called The Second Testament of the Christian Bible, mostly still called The Bible, or The New Testament. Blount, Cultural Interpretation: Reorienting New Testament Criticism Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995 ; Cain H.
The scholarly study of the Bible in my arts and sciences governed program refracted the critical discourses and operations of history, philology, literary-, source-, form-, and rhetorical-criticism. Substitute India with Iraq, Chechnya, Bosnia, and Kosovo, and you will get the picture. A special expression of gratitude to Jacqueline M. Geneva Smitherman, Talkin That Talk: Language, Culture, and Education in African America New York: Routledge, 2001. This differently oriented interpretive practice has as its focus not the exegesis of texts but the fathoming of human striving and behaviors and orientations, with their fears, aspirations, low points and high marks, as they are represented in relationships to scriptures. I was then by any fair measurement a good and productive historical critic. Hindu manuscripts of the period followed their own method of putting folios between two pieces of hardboard and then tying them with a thick thread.
W i m bu s h20 York: Methuen, 1982 ; Brian Stock, Listening for the Text: On the Uses of the Past Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990 ; Brian V. The canopy and the flywhisk, two core symbols of royalty in the Indian culture, validate the Guru Granths status as the supreme authority within the Sikh community. Suffice it to say that Muhammads authority was challenged by his Arab contemporaries, both the Meccans and the Jewish tribes in Medina, who demanded he produce a holy book kitab and perform miracles that proved that God was speaking to him. Participation in congregational worship 2. The second stage is the descent of the entire Quran from this divine blueprint on the night of majesty layl tul qadr to the low-est heaven described as the abode of honor bayt al-izzah. The first among them is Lehna, whose name was later changed to Angad when he was elevated to the office Guru Nanak held.
A mechanical view of the prophets role in his reception of revelation compromises Muhammads individual gifts and his worthiness for being the chosen one mus-tafa , and thus it deserves to be reconsidered even within an Islamic framework. He wants to question how and why certain writings became authoritative. Obviously, because revelation is among the most elemental of religious claims, and lies at the heart of the Quran, it must be thoughtfully and sensitively tackled. Trueman Dicken New York: McGraw, 1966. This framework, applied to the study of Islamic scriptures and sacred texts, is modestly attempted here. I accepted many of their suggestions and proposals. How do the practices and performances and representations differ across cultures.
By virtue of their argumentation, orientation, and the range of issues ultimately addressed, some essays can with justification be located within more than one category. It leaves no object, no practice or practitioner in the whole phenomenon, without critical attention. Coltranes signifying on Rodgerss musical script-ures suggested that unchecked expressive inquirythe articulation of the moments disposition, desire, and intuitionwas the favorite thing of Coltranes New Thang. Curious about how printing and mass distribution would affect this type of textual revela-tion, I looked to the fifteenth and sixteenth century, when the technology for both cheap paper and ink created the conditions for mass printing. By the late seventeenth-century, the Sikhs had also learned the system of marking straight lines on the paper itself, which made writing easy and also aesthetically pleasant. This involves looking from the margins to the center where dominant discourses and frames of reference have established the hermeneutical norms and epistemic regimes for understanding and relating to scripture s.