Sufi Qur'ānic Exegesis and Theomorphic Anthropology

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Stephen Cúrto


Of all the various ideological controversies in the history of Islamic thought, one of the most highly contentious areas are those surrounding the ontological nature of the Divine attributes (ifāt Allah). Such questions surrounding God’s attributes, and what delineation, if any, is to be made between the nature of God in his Divine attributes and in his Being (Dhāt Allah) preoccupied some of the greatest classical participants in the ‘ilm al-kalām systematic theological disputation tradition. This study engages Qur’ānic paradigms of theomorphic anthropology and re-interrogations by Sufi thinkers. There is a rich debate within Islamic Scholarship on the nature of the Divine attributes, and their interrelationship, if any, with Banī Adam. Many of the mystical Sufi scholars, such as Ibn ‘Arabī, Mūlla Sadra, Nāṣir Khusraw, and Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī all articulated onto-theological concepts in their writing that became known as Wadat al-Wujud, Tajallī Allah, Tajallī al-Nafs’ Nafs-e ‘Aql, and Nafs-e Kūl. This paper argues that the idea of Divine immanence articulated in concepts like ‘Tajallī al-Nafs’ is not a later retrojection onto Qur’ānic material. Rather it is the Qur’ānic material that exegeted with a meaningful and consistent hermeneutic resulted in their theosophical understandings.


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Cúrto, Stephen. “Sufi Qur’ānic Exegesis and Theomorphic Anthropology”. TEOSOFI: Jurnal Tasawuf dan Pemikiran Islam 10, no. 1 (June 1, 2020): 29-49. Accessed October 27, 2020.


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