This chapter outlines the traditional Muslim understanding of revelation,1

and suggests a theory of revelation that could be useful in interpreting the ethico-legal content of the Qur∞ån by taking into account both the socio-historical context and the context of Muslims today. In classical Muslim scholarship there is little debate about a necessary connection between the theory of revelation on the one hand and the ability of Muslims to interpret the Qur∞ån on the other. But such a connection has been argued for in the writings of some Western scholars of Islam, an example being Kenneth Cragg. For him it is important to find out:

the human element authentically within the act of God and conceive of the latter as moving with and by the former. For prophetic revelation is not the less divine for being also, instrumentally, human. And the instrumentality of Muªammad in the Qur∞ån deserves, and will no doubt eventually receive from Muslims far more adequate exploration and recognition than it has yet enjoyed.2