Difficulties Faced in Understanding Qur’an During the Past and Current Issues
As part of the KURAMER Conference series, we hosted an iftar meal, after which Professor M. Sait Şimşek, who holds a post at Konya Necmettin Erbakan University, gave a speech.
He began his speech, titled “Differences Faced in Understanding Qur’an during the Past and Now”, with a conceptual analysis about how he describes Qur’an. Professor Şimşek signified notions such as Book, Appraisal, and Explicitness in this regard and explained these notions by providing various examples. He resumed his speech by expressing the idea that Qur’an represents itself as an explicit and simplified book on account of being understood and also it delivers to its audience the ways in which it should be read. In this framework, he brought the notion of ‘reflection’ to the fore. According to him, the act of reflection expresses a deeper meaning than that of thinking. This signifies the idea that “reflection is reading thoroughly the meaning of a thing from different aspects. However, subsequently reading without understanding somehow became a basis to reading Qur’an”.
After this introduction, Professor Şimşek explained the obstacles to understanding Qur’an in a historical chronological order.
He resumed his speech by putting forward the question: “So, despite these, what causes the problems?”
“Perhaps, the problems are caused by humans themselves. I do not hold the idea that the problems are caused by the Book, Qur’an. Of course, if there is a book that includes all of the aspects of life, then there will be some parts in this book that some people would not understand. This is an inherent thing.”
“Mankind emulates the source it is feeding upon. One of the difficulties faced in understanding Qur’an is the issue of mankind’s attempt to fine-tune itself.”
“Also there is the issue of the pressure of science in modern times. Qur’an describes itself as a source of truth. It defines itself as a guide towards the right path. What is the relation between this issue and fore-telling scientific results of later centuries? This is actually not in accordance with the purposes of Qur’an methodologically. Since we have been fallen behind in modern science, we try to save the day by saying “Well, all these discoveries, they have been mentioned in our book” just like someone who tries to save day by saying “my grandfather was a mufti” when religion is mentioned”. However, we should stop boasting ourselves by the past and saying that it is in our book, and start acting in the field of modern science. It should be better if we transfer the energy we waste on the first to the latter.
Professor Şimşek finished his speech as follows: “Another problem is the issue of sects, which is a problem caused by human elements. There is an attempt to derive the narratives of descend, the literature based on Israelite from Qur’an.”
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Prof. Dr. M. Sait Şimşek
1951'de Mardin'de doğdu. İlkokulu Ceylanpınar'da; İHL'yi Diyarbakır'da; Yüksek İslam Enstitüsünü (YİE) Erzurum'da okudu. YİE'de öğrenci iken Erzurum'un Tekman ilçesi vaizi idi. Öğrenimini bitirdikten sonra Mardin merkez vaizliğine atandı. İki yıllık bu görevinden sonra Gemlik İHL Meslek Dersleri öğretmenliğine atandı. 1977 yılında Konya YİE Arap Dili Araştırma Görevliliği imtihanını kazandı. 1984 yılında Ankara Üniversitesi'nde doktor ünvanını kazandı. 1987 yılında Doç., 1994 yılında da aynı bilim dalında Prof. oldu. 1997-2001 yılları arasında aynı fakültede Tefsir Ana Bilim Dalı başkanlığı yaptı. Halen Selçuk Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi'nde öğretim üyeliği görevini sürdürmektedir.
Günümüz Tefsir Problemleri, Kur'an Kıssalarına Giriş, Kur'an'ın Ana Konuları, Yaratılış Olayı, Kur'an'ın Anlaşılmasında İki Mesele, Fatiha Suresi ve Türkçe Namaz.