Sectarian zealotry in the Qur’an

Sectarian zealotry

This short article from The Qur’an: A Complete Revelation summarises the translation decision in that book for the term baghy.

baghy – sectarian zealotry

The Traditionalist renders this variously – and not incorrectly – as tyranny, oppression, outrage, envy and synonyms. However, this rendering conveys the result and not primary causes of the value.

The context at 2:90 indicates clearly that baghy is a reprehensible act based on a sectarian distinction or pride:

Evil is that for which they sold themselves by denying what God sent down, through sectarian zealotry

That God should send down of his bounty upon whom he wills of his servants.

So they incurred wrath upon wrath[…] (2:90)

It is true that the values the Traditionalist uses convey the result. However, by rendering as sectarian zealotry the connection with the cause of such acts is maintained.

All instances in the text are footnoted.


2:90, 2:213, 3:19, 6:146, 7:33, 10:23, 10:90, 16:90, 42:14, 42:39, 45:17.

About the Author Sam Gerrans

Sam Gerrans is an English writer and speaker with professional backgrounds in media, strategic communications, and technologies. He is driven by commitment to ultimate meaning, and focused on authentic approaches to revelation and Realpolitik. He is founder of and author of The Qur’an: A Complete Revelation where his consistent, Qur'an-centric hermeneutical methodology is applied to the text of the Qur’an in its entirety. Read more...

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