Qur'anic literalism

Qur'anic Literalism

Qur'anic literalism

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Qur'anic literalism is the belief that the verses of the Qur'an should be taken at their apparent meaning, rather than employing any sort of interpretation. This includes, for example, the belief that Allah has appendages such as hands as stated in the Qur'an, even though Allah is said to be a non-human spirit in other parts, creating a contradiction; this is generally explained by the concept of bi-la kaifa, the claim that the literal meanings should be accepted without asking how or why.


Literalism has been a source of disagreement within the Muslim community for centuries, with the debate over it continuing today. In the past many prominent Islamic scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah and Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab were proponents of it, in addition to modern day scholars such as Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah ibn Baaz. It has been a primary area of contention between Shi'as and many Sunnis, especially proponents of Salafism.

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