Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and His Understanding of Exegesis in his Risale-i Nur Collections

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This research project aims to analyse the methodology of Said Nursi's Qur'anic exegesis with special reference to the views of the early Muslim modernist intellectuals. It particularly focuses on Nursi's usul al-tafsir book, Muhakamat (The Reasonings), and his one-volume commentary, Isharat al-I'jaz (Signs of Inimitability). This research explores the differencebetween Nursi's reading of the Qur'an and that of his counterparts who follow both classical and modern approaches. Does he offer a new reading differing from others or does he follow very well-established exegetical traditions? Where does Nursi stand in relation to various modern Muslim scholarship on the Qur'an?The main argument of this thesis emphasises that Said Nursi's approach can be described as kalamisation of tafsir and other Islamic disciplines. Nursi defines his collection as a kind of spiritual tafsir (ma?nawi tafsir), a commentary on the Qur'an's meanings. He also describes it as 'a work of kalam (Islamic theology)' in some parts. Nursi's main concerns are kalamsubjects and the Qur'anic approach to them. Therefore, he combined kalam and tafsir. Nursi seeks to formulate an Islamic metaphysics and theology primarily based on the Qur'an by using multiple fields. Furthermore, the main books of the collection can also be considered asa kind of thematic exegesis. In addition, his one-volume commentary is a reason-based exegesis, and he primarily developed the theory of the word-order (na?m) in his work. Unlike modernist exegesis, Nursi stands on a middle way between classical and modern approaches.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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