On Understanding

  • M. Ashraf Adeel
Part of the Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures book series (SCPT, volume 29)


This chapter analyses the Qur’ānic verses that talk about the epistemic state of understanding. It is argued that understanding for the Qur’ān is holistic in nature. Three basic ideas emerge from various functions of understanding mentioned in the Qur’ān: that understanding is gained by grasping the deeper logical or interpretive implications of principles or phenomena or story; that understanding is involved in grasping the ethical and the wiser course; and that understanding is involved with mastery of a language. All three functions presuppose a grasp of interrelations between parts and wholes. It is noted that the Qur’ān sometimes refers to understanding as an ability or disposition and sometimes as the cognitive state attained as a result of the exercise of such an ability or disposition. The views of Zagzebsky, Kvanvig, and Pritchard on understanding are given and compared with the Qur’ānic position.


Epistemic state of understanding Holistic understanding Factive Transparent 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ashraf Adeel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyKutztown University of PennsylvaniaKutztownUSA

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