Archives For iʿjāz

Author Information: Stefano Bigliardi, Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue, Geneva; Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University; ITESM Campus Santa Fe, Mexico City,

Bigliardi, Stefano. “I’Jāz, Conspiracy Theories, and Ufology—Some Suggestions with a Touch of Latour.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4, no. 11 (2015): 1-7.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink:

Please refer to:

    Articles related to the broader discussion on Islam and science, hosted by the SERRC, are listed below the article. [a]


Image credit: Stefano Maffei, via flickr

During a brief research stay in Iran (2011), I happened to be exposed to a curious narrative. One of my generous hosts and guides was a person of high culture and relevant social standing who showed a surprisingly deep knowledge of the popular culture of my home country although he had never visited it nor did he speak Italian. During a conversation touching upon Italian politics and society he stated en passant that Edoardo Agnelli (1954-2000), son of FIAT industrialist Gianni Agnelli (1921-2003), had in fact not committed suicide. Edoardo, according to my Iranian friend, was a convert to Islam and he had been assassinated in a plot aimed at avoiding that a Muslim would inherit part of the family’s fortune.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Stefano Bigliardi, Tecnológico de Monterrey, CSF, Mexico City; Center for Middle Eastern Studies, CMES, Lund University,

Bigliardi, Stefano. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Iʿjāz.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4, no. 1 (2014): 38-45.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink:

Please refer to:

8423042510_3da57a1c35_kImage credit: Sean Molin, via flickr

Recent conversations with Salman Hameed and Vika Gardner at the Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies (SSiMS, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA) about their ongoing project made me aware once again of the volume of iʿjāz-related material in the contemporary discourse over Islam and science, especially represented by videos uploaded on YouTube and other websites.

Classically, the term iʿjāz indicates the “invalidation of a challenge,” the impossibility of imitating the Qur’ān as to its content and form. In other words the term refers to the theological doctrine according to which a sign of the divinity of the Qur’ān is its incomparability or impossibility to be replicated; the like of the Qur’ān could not be produced even in a joint effort by human beings and supernatural ones.

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