Purpose: The study draws attention to a pioneering work in Urdu on an interpretation of the Quran, Bashariyat-i Anbiya (Humanness of Prophets), published in 1960 by Abdul Majid Daryabadi (1892-1977), a distinguished Quranic scholar of India. The article places the views of Daryabadi in the wider context of the translation of the Quran scholars of the Indian subcontinent on the issue of the humanness of Prophets, especially of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Methodology: The study is based on the analysis of Daryabadi’s thesis and compares and contrasts his thesis with the approach of some Quranic scholars from the Indian subcontinent. The critical discussion focuses on the perception of Prophets, particularly in relation to the divine.
Findings: The Quran projects Prophets as ordinary human beings notwithstanding their holding the August office of Prophethood and their being the best human being as role models to be emulated by their followers. However, Prophets are essentially human beings and totally distinct from the divine. Some Quranic scholars of the Indian subcontinent appear to blur this distinction.
Originality: The humanness of Prophets has not been discussed in the Quranic scholarship. Likewise, their excessive veneration in certain quarters has gone unnoticed. This research unravels these aspects
Humanness of ProphetsSonship and Divinity of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him)Barelvi sectExcessive veneration of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)Monotheism
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