Book: Philosophical Perspectives on Modern Qur'anic Exegesis
Chapter: 3: Tafsīr and Ta’wīl
While tafsir is the “traditional” commentary, ta’wil involves a hermeneutical approach of “disclosure”, that can be literary or philosophical, or religious and spiritual. Unfortunately, Islamic thought did not develop ta’wil enough. The science of ta’wīl remained within the limits of “thinkable” and “thought” in Mohammed Arkoun’s terms. A new ta’wil implies that the veil of appearance must be removed to show Truth, decoding “signs” that refer to a world of symbols that must be interpreted. Nasr Abu Zayd’s method is particularly extolled.