Message of Thaqalayn

A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies

Unclear (Mutashabih) Verses According to Ibn Shahr Ashub

ABSTRACT: One of the key topics studied in the field of Qur’anic sciences is the equivocal verses (mutashabihat), as opposed to unequivocal verses (muhkam) which are fixed and permanent rather than subject to change. Various interpretations on the meaning and philosophy of both equivocal and unequivocal verses have been offered by scholars of Islamic sects. This article offers an account of Mutashabih al-Qur’an wa Mukhtalafuh by Ibn Shahr Ashub, a Twelver Shi‘i poet and exegete of the Qur’an, who composed the work by popular demand of his inquiring students. The work offers both his ideas and notable scholars’ ideas and examples to explain the three groups of equivocal verses and the philosophy behind them.

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