Unlocking the Medinan Qur'an

Date and time

19 Mar 2017 15:30 to 21 Mar 2017 12:30


The Pichette Auditorium, Pembroke College, OX1 1DW

This event is now fully booked.

'Unlocking the Medinan Qur’an', is an international workshop taking place in the Pichette Auditorium at Pembroke College from 19th-21th March 2017. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK.

The workshop will be convened by Nicolai Sinai, Pembroke Fellow and Tutor in Islamic Studies and Sheikh Zayed Associate Professor of Islamic Studies.

The surahs and passages that are commonly associated with the Medinan period of Muhammad’s life occupy a key position in the formative history of Islam. They fundamentally shaped later convictions about the paradigmatic authority of Muhammad and thereby fuelled the post-Qur’anic emergence of the hadith canon; they constitute an important basis for Islam’s development into a religion with a strong focus on law; and it is by and large only in Medinan texts that we find injunctions to militancy and an explicit demarcation of Islam from Judaism and Christianity.

A proper comprehension of the Medinan Qur’an is thus crucially important to our understanding of Islamic religious history in general. At the same time, the Medinan surahs have proven much more recalcitrant to scholarly analysis than the texts that are customarily assigned to the Qur’an’s Meccan period.

The workshop will assemble an international group of scholarly experts from doctoral students to senior professors to grapple with the Qur’an’s Medinan layer from a variety of methodological vantage points and historical premises.

All papers will be c. 25–30 minutes in length, followed by c. 15 minutes of discussion. A generous donation by Brian Wilson has made it possible to open up the workshop proceedings to a substantial audience of external attendees. Coffee and other refreshments are complimentary for all attendees, but lunch and dinner can only be provided to speakers.

Click here to view the full programme.

This event is now fully booked.

An Early Qur'anic Manuscript, 1st century Hegira. Image: wikimedia.org
An Early Qur'anic Manuscript, 1st century Hegira. Image: wikimedia.org