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Gateway to the Quranic Sciences
Allah describes the Qurʾān as the ‘guidance to mankind, and the Criterion (of right and wrong)’ (2:185). Islamic scholars have therefore sought to explain the sciences associated with correctly understanding the revelation. This discipline has come to be known as ʿulūm al-Qurʾān, or ‘sciences of the Qurʾān’, and includes many subjects, such as the nature and order of revelation, explanations of the types of expressions used in the revelation and how the sacred text is to be correctly recited. Imam Jalāl ad-Dīn as-Suyūṭī wrote one of the leading comprehensive manuals on ʿulūm al-Qurʾān, entitled al-Itqān fī ʿUlūm al-Qurʾān. The text here translated is a summary by Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Arqahudān of many major topics covered in the Itqān.
Imam Jalāl ad-Dīn as-Suyūṭī (1425-1505) was a towering ninth-century Egyptian scholar and is considered the reviver of his era. He was a prolific writer and has over 600 titles to his name—many of which are encyclopaedic in nature and cover almost every science of his day. He travelled extensively to gather hadith, including Morocco, Chad, Syria, the Hijaz, Yemen and even India.