Abdullah Saeed's Construction of the Hierarchy of Values in the Qur’ān: A Philosophical Hermeneutic Perspective
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This study aims to elaborate Abdullah Saeed's hierarchy of values construction. The hierarchy of values is one of the most significant elements in Abdullah Saeed's contextual approach. This concept defines the basic requirements for contextual interpretation of the Qur’ān in a global-unrestricted and limited restricted context. In this way, interpreters can identify the level of urgency, complexity, and ambiguity of values in the verses of the Qur’ān. This study deploys a qualitative research method, with Abdullah Saeed's works as the main reference point, especially the one entitled as Interpreting the Qur’ān: Towards a Contemporary Approach and Reading the Qur’ān in the Twenty-First Century: A Contextualist Approach. Abdullah Saeed's hierarchy of values construction is then analyzed using philosophical hermeneutics by Hans-Georg Gadamer. The findings of this study, namely Abdullah Saeed's construction of a hierarchy of values cannot be separated from the Australian social and cultural context, which encouraged Saeed to understand Islam’s flexibly. Saeed formulates a value hierarchy into five categories, namely obligatory values, fundamental values, protective values, implementational values, and instructional values. Basically, the value hierarchy put forth is little more than a synthesis of various concepts initiated by early Muslim scholars such as Umar bin Khattab and medieval scholars such as al-Thufi, Ghazali, 'Izz al-Din bin 'Abd al-Salam, al- Shatibi, and Fazlur Rahman.
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