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Sorrow (ḥuzn) in the Muslim
Tradition: with Special Reference to
Said Nursi

TURNER, MAHSHID,FATEMEH (2016) Sorrow (ḥuzn) in the Muslim
Tradition: with Special Reference to
Said Nursi.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.




This study aims to carry out a critical analysis of the work of the contemporary, twentieth century Muslim thinker Said Nursi (1876-1960). The focus of this thesis is on his views on the Quranic understanding of the concept of ḥuzn. This is the first academic research which uses Nursi’s understanding of ḥuzn for a greater insight on this concept.

The study begins by carrying out a contextual of analysis of ḥuzn by researching Muslim literature on this concept and comparing it with Said Nursi’s Quranic interpretation in order to obtain an in-depth understanding of the narrative on ḥuzn. It explores the idea that since ḥuzn is a universal condition, there must be a reason for its existence. It therefore aims to find out whether ḥuzn has a positive role to play.

In order to obtain an in-depth understanding of the narrative on ḥuzn the Quran itself is the first point of reference. By examining all the occurrences of the word ḥuzn in the Quran it is hoped that a typology can be built for an initial Quranic narrative of this concept. This initial framework is then followed by a thematic analysis of this word in order to obtain a more holistic understanding of this word. Izutsian methodology is also used for a more scientific as opposed to an atomistic or cultural approach to the understanding of this concept.

Quranic exegetes’ and Muslim thinkers’ understanding of ḥuzn from both medieval and modern periods are also compared with Nursi’s understanding of this concept in order to throw further light on the reason for the existence of ḥuzn and the role it has to play. If indeed it does have a positive role to play then this will impact greately on how ḥuzn should be viewed and treated. 

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:sorrow, sadness, grief, happiness, belief, un-belief
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:12 Dec 2016 11:00

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