Doctrine of Iʿjāz al-Qurʾān: Al-Ūdwī’s theory and contribution as found in the first chapter of his Nūr al-Īqān bi Iʿjāz al-Qurʾān
This dissertation is a study of the theory of Maulānā Muḥammad Ismāʿīil b. Maulānā Nabī Bakhsh al-Ūdwī, a respected South Asian Sindhī scholar (d. 1391/1970) with regard to the doctrine of iʿjāz al Qurʾān as found in the first chapter of his work Nūr al-Īqān bi Iʿjāz al-Qurʾān. The importance of this work lies in the fact that the author was an erudite scholar of Islam of South Asian Subcontinent, and his work is a significant contribution in the field of iʿjāz al-Qurʾān. The dissertation argues that Muslim scholars from early history of Islam developed the doctrine of iʿjāz al-Qurʾān to support the prophecy of Muhammad (PBUH). In order to demonstrate the inimitability of the Qurʾān, they stressed and focussed on literary style and form of the Qurʾān. Unlike his predecessors including al-Rummānī, al-Khaṭṭābī, al-Bāqillānī, al-Rāzī and al-ʿAlawī, al-Ūdwī adopted a new line of argumentation in support of iʿjāz al-Qurʾān. He stressed and focussed on the contents of the Qurʾān, although he did not overlook the literary dimension of the Qurʾān. This line of argumentation is distinctly different from his predecessors. As such, the dissertation examines his predecessors’ works on iʿjāz al-Qurʾān in order to show his significant contribution in the field.