A Study of the Inter-Religious Dialogue through Syed Ahmad’s Reconciliatory Approaches in Tabyīn-ul-Kalām
Keywords:Tabyīn-ul-Kalām, Christian-Muslim Polemical Debates, Syed Ahmad, Bible Commentary
Syed Aḥmad Khān (d. 1898) was a 19th century Muslim scholar, theologian, educationist, apologist, reformist and the founder of Muslim modernism in the subcontinent. He is considered to be the first Muslim scholar to write a commentary on the Bible entitled Tabyīn-ul-Kalām, and also the first to make a systematic effort toward inter-religious dialogue in the subcontinent. Before Vatican II (1962 to 1965), Syed’s commentary could not attract the attention of western scholars. However, the spirit of Vatican II to engage in the study of Muslim cultures and inter-religious dialogue made it possible to study Muslim efforts towards inter-religious dialogue. That is why Syed Aḥmad is highly regarded in both Christian and Muslim circles for his reconciliatory approach. Much has been written in terms of exploring the Muslim-Christian hermeneutical sources and theology of pluralism in his Bible commentary but little attention has been paid towards exploring his reconciliatory approach in Christian-Muslim polemical debates and his hermeneutical method in Tabyīn-ul-Kalām. This article will explore the importance of the hermeneutical method in the modern age of inter-religious dialogue.