This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Levels of meaning and interpretation

The most sublime meaning contained in the Koran is known to God alone, but there are various other levels of meaning to which man has access.

A primary division is between the outward meaning (tafsir) and the inward (ta’wil), and Islamic tradition has provided commentaries from both points of view. There is, further, a developed science of numeric symbolism that corresponds to the Hebrew Kabbala, called here jafr.

Barring certain fundamentalist interpretations that are by no means representative of the mainstream, all of these levels are considered important for an understanding of the Koranic text.

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