Marwan Mahajneh Abu Ghazaleh

Dr. Marwan Mahajneh Abu Ghazaleh

Associate fellow
Marwan Mahajneh Abu Ghazaleh

Research Summary
After completing two Master’s Degrees, I proceeded to earn a Ph.D. titled “Legal Discussions on the Translation of the Quran from the Middle Ages until Today in the Arab World and the Non-Arabic-Speaking Muslim World”. In both studies it proved necessary to examine attitudes towards various foreign languages, an issue that relates closely to most scholars' fields of specialization. I am currently in the process of successfully completing two researches both at U.O.N and U.B.G. Additionally, I am to translate the ten volumes of ‘The rejection of the conflict between reason and revelation’ with introductions and annotations of the texts. My current areas of investigation are as follows: Medieval Islamic theology, Medieval Islamic theology (especially Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, often quoted by modern-day Salafis), Ibn Taymiyya and his legacy, the relationship of Islam to Christianity and Judaism, and Qur’anic studies

Teaching Philosophy
Abu Gazaleh Marwan (AGM) is a teacher, specialising in the teaching of Arabic both as a first language and as a foreign language. AGM’s current teaching responsibilities include voluntary teaching grammar and conversational Arabic as a foreign language weekly in Nottingham. Classes are held in English for those who are non-native speakers. The course is designed primarily for beginners to the Arabic language and is a simple introduction. It is hoped that the course will introduce and give students some initial basic fundamentals of the Arabic language.

AGM has followed a general approach commonly used to teach Arabic grammar and has based his material on his own experiences of teaching Qur’anic texts. The course utilizes the English language but makes no parallels with English Grammar, rather to construct a bridge that connects the bricks of explaining the real Arabic Language with its functions and structures. Other learning objectives include familiarisation with native Arabic expressions, learning to speak and communicate with native speakers with ease about general social topics. AGM’s teaching philosophy is to make the Arabic language accessible and to try to help the learner to fully understand and appreciate the language. AGM has also recently taught on the subject of Exegesis on the Diploma in Islamic Studies course run by Darul Arkam Educational Trust (Leicester UK). AGM’s past teaching experience (from 2010-2013) includes being coordinator at the Arab Academic Institute of Education, Beit Berl College. Here AGM taught Arabic language in three levels: Upper-intermediate, Intermediate and Pre-intermediate.

Research Interests
AGM was awarded a PhD on June 2014 from the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at Haifa University. His PhD focused on ‘Legal Discussions on the Translation of the Quran from the Middle Ages until Today in the Arab World and the Non-Arabic-Speaking Muslim World’. The study discussed the Islamic legal debate concerning the translation of the Qur'an. It compared the views taken from the middle ages with those of modern jurists, and the treatment of the subject in the Muslim Arab world with that of the non-Arab Muslim world.

AGM’s current research activity in the UK is based on translating documents from Ibn Taymiyya's book ‘Averting the conflict between reason and revelation’ from Arabic to English. AGM’s key research interests are to analyse and comment on matters concerning eschatology in Islam, language policy, language ideology, linguistic landscape, languages rights in the Middle East. AGM’s post-doctoral research also includes –but not limited to- the following subject areas: The position of Muslim religious scholars towards foreign languages, prayers in a foreign language, Semitic languages and non-Arabic language usage in the Qur'an: The debate among Muslim jurists; legal discussions on the translation of the Qur'an.

AGM is also comments on the legal discussions surrounding the translation of the Qur'an for people with special needs and the Semitic languages in the writings of medieval Arabic grammarians. AGM has written a number of peer-reviewed papers on these issues and participated at numerous international conferences. AGM has co-written three books (in Arabic) for Arabic language teaching; 1. “Upper-intermediate Arabic Language: Morphology, Syntax, and Etymology”. 2. “Intermediate Arabic Language: reading comprehension” 3. “Pre-intermediate Arabic Language: writing skills, rhetorical language”.

AGM’s proposal for future research is based on the Islamic legal debate surrounding foreign languages. The proposed study will examine the debate concerning the status of foreign languages such as Persian and Greek in Islamic jurisprudence as reflected in the works of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. The study will focus on the issue concerning the translation of the Qurʾān. Since language is closely connected with religion, an examination of the Islamic legal debate concerning languages will aid the understanding of Ibn Taymiyya's and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya's positions on comparative religion. Among the specific topics of legal debate that AGM wishes to address are the following:

  • The virtues of the Arabic language.
  • Foreign words in the Qurʾān.
  • Translation of the Qurʾān into foreign languages (literal translation, translation of the meaning, exegetical translation).
  • Translation of the Old and the New Testaments into Arabic.
  • The use of foreign languages in religious rites.
  • The use of foreign languages in other situations.

 

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