Taʾwīl (Arab.). In Islam a term for commentary on the Qurʾān. It was originally synonymous with tafsīr, but it became associated later with commentary on the content of the Qurʾān, and eventually with allegorical interpretation, often in support of particular schools or parties of Islam. It was a method held in some suspicion because of the danger of ‘explaining away’ the uncongenial, and it came to be held that taʾwīl could never contradict the plain sense.
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