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The Earth and the Land

Studies about the Value of the Land of Israel in the Old Testament and Afterwards


Edited By Hendrik J. Koorevaar and Mart-Jan Paul

In the Bible, the land of Israel is more than a piece of ground. It is a theological symbol, because it was an essential part of Israel’s practice of its relationship with God. The land is connected to a lifestyle and to the carrying out of religious acts, like the sacrifices and the celebrations. Aspects of this are the use of the land and the enactment of ecological and humanitarian obligations. In this volume, we concentrate on the religious viewpoints, especially how the promised land can be seen from the Old and New Testament perspective. Before practical conclusions are drawn, it is important to have a good overview of the subject in the entire Bible. The chosen approach is historic-canonical and implies that we use the order of Bible books from the Hebrew canon. Two additional chapters show the Jewish and Islamic viewpoints.

This book has received the Franz Delitzsch Award 2018.

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Chapter 12 Aspects of Islamic Perspectives on the Land of Palestine or Land (ͻarḍ) in Islamic Sources (Heiko Wenzel)


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Heiko Wenzel

Chapter 12 Aspects of Islamic Perspectives on the Land of Palestine or Land (ͻarḍ) in Islamic Sources

A survey of “land” in the Koran lays the foundation for reflecting on (hermeneutical) aspects. The idea of Allah transferring land builds thereon and ties to some notes on the Hamas charter and its relevance for ongoing discussions. Thereby the essay seeks to enable the reader to interact with Islamic assumptions and arguments.

Choosing the title for this essay has been a challenge. When it discusses the “land of Israel” or when the focus is on the divine1 promises to the people of Israel or on political and sociological aspects, it always indicates the scholar’s specific interest and also some of the underlying or explicit assumptions. In addition, to cover all the important aspects of the topic with a reasonable scholarly breadth and depth requires a monograph-size treatment.

Since this volume discusses the theological significance of “land” in the Old Testament, my contribution starts with “land” (ͻarḍ) in the Koran, presents relevant linguistic data and thereby Allah’s universal claim. A survey of different usages in the Koran also lays the foundation for important aspects of the essay,2 in particular hermeneutical aspects. The notion of Allah’s transfer of land builds on this foundation as do the notes on ͻarḍ in two important Hadith collections. This notion illustrates an important hermeneutical principle for Islamic thought that the Koran as final revelation...

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