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"Scripture and Interpretation: The Story of Abraham's Sacrifice in the Islamic Tradition"

Date & Time:
February 14, 2019 | 3:15 pm - 4:45 pm
CHD 420
Dr. Younus Mirza

This presentation will explore how the Islamic tradition interpreted and understood the story of the "Sacrifice" or Abraham's/Ibrahim's attempted sacrifice of his son.  The Islamic tradition was split on who the sacrificial son was, with some arguing that it was Isaac/Ishaq, which is similar to the Biblical version, while others contending that it was Ishmael/Isma'il, a believed forefather of the Arabs.  The talk will then examine how the Sacrifice Story appears in Islamic art, with a specific emphasis on how the son is depicted as being older and consenting to the sacrificial act.  In sum, the presentation will examine how Islam understood Biblical figures, interpreted them in new ways, and developed its own conception of sacrifice.      


Dr. Younus Y. Mirza is a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University and Scholar in Residence at Shenandoah University.  He defended his dissertation in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Georgetown University in 2012  and has taught at Millsaps and Allegheny Colleges.  His current research focuses on the relationship between the Bible and the Qur’an and the shared stories between them. He is a co-author of the book The Bible and the Qur’an: Biblical Figures in the Islamic Tradition and has published in various journals such as the Journal of the American Academy of Religion (JAAR), the Journal of Qur’anic Studies (JQS) and Islam Christian-Muslim Relations. He teaches courses on the Qur’an, Islamic Movements, Biblical and Qur’anic Prophets, Marriage and Sexuality in Islam and Islam and Other Religions.  His writings can be accessed here.