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Tafsir Of The Qur'aan

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    Tafsir Of The Qur'aan

    <<Bismillaah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem>>

    Indeed, all praise belongs to Allaah (SWT). We praise Him and seek His aid. We seek refuge in Allaah (SWT) from the evils of our souls and the evils of our actions. Whomsoever Allaah (SWT) guides, then there is none that can misguide him; and whomsoever Allaah (SWT) abandons, then there is none that can guide him. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah (SWT) alone and without partner. And I bear witness that Muhammed (SAW) is His slave and messenger.

    To proceed:

    I felt compelled to write a brief explanation of how Tafsir of the Qur'aan is made after reading some the incorrect Tafsir given on various threads. As a Muslim, concerned for the welfare of his fellow brothers and sisters, I could not sit idly by. Since the Qur'aan is the primary source of evidence in Islaam, it is extremely important that we do not let our whims and desires dictate how we explain the verses in the Qur'aan, but rather we should follow the methodology of those who came before us, i.e. the Companions (R) of the Prophet (SAW) then those who followed them in righteousness. After all, the Companions (R) witnessed the revelations and understood them the best, and passed on those teachings through successive generations until it reached us.

    Indeed Allaah (SWT) has revealed the Qur'aan to the people so that they understand, contemplate, and act by it. Allaah (SWT) says:

    <<This is a book which We have revealed to you, full of blessing, so that they may contemplate over its verses and to remind the people of understanding.>> [Sura Saad:29]

    Indeed Allaah (SWT) has made understanding the Qur'aan easy for those who desire to benefit from it, and so Allaah (SWT) says:

    <<And indeed we have made the Qur'aan easy to understand and remember. So is there any that will remember and take heed from it?>> [Sura al-Qamar:17]

    Allaah (SWT) has revealed the Qur'aan in the Arabic language, so that the Arabs understood it, believed in it, and conveyed it to the remaining nations. Thus Allaah (SWT) says:

    << Indeed We have sent it down, as an Arabic Qur'aan so that you may understand .. >> [Sura Yusuf:2]

    What follows is a brief guide on how Tafsir of the Qur'aan is made. I pray to Allaah (SWT) that it helps strengthen the eemaan in the hearts of the sincere Muslims who frequent these pages, so that they are able to distinguish the lies from the falsehood.

    1) Tafsir of the Qur'aan by the Qur'aan
    This is the highest form of Tafsir, since one part of the Qur'aan explains another part.

    a) Allaah (SWT) says:

    <<By the Heaven and at-Taariq (night star). And what would make you know what at-Taariq (night star) is? It is the star radiant with brightness.>> [Sura at-Taariq:1-3]

    Thus the word 'radiant with brightness' explains the meaning of the word 'Taariq'.

    b) Allaah (SWT) says:

    <<They ask you (O Muhammed) about intoxicants and gambling. Say to them there is great 'Ithm' - harm and sin - and some benefit for man. However their harm and sin is greater than their benefit.>> [Sura al-Baqarah:219]

    Another verse contains the prohibition of 'Ithm' - harm and sin - that is the same prohibition as for the one which is found prohibiting intoxicants in the above verse, and this is in the saying of Allaah (SWT):

    << Say (O Muhammed): Indeed my Lord has forbidden unlawful sexual relations - whether committed openly or in secret, sins of all kinds, unrighteous oppression and associating partners with Allaah >> [Sura al-'Araaf:33]

    Therefore the word 'Ithm' - harm and sin - incorporates all sinful acts that are the cause of, or lead on to another sin, and does not refer specifically to intoxicants.

    c) After the creation of Adam (AS) Allaah (SWT) commanded those present in the Heavens to prostate to Adam(AS):

    <<So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him the soul which I have created for him, then fall down prostrating yourselves unto him. So, the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together. Except Iblis >> [Sura al-Hijr:29-31]

    If we were to take this verse alone, then we would assume that Iblis was an angel. However, the same incident is also repeated elsewhere and the true origin of Iblis is revealed to us. Allaah (SWT) says:

    <<Behold! We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam". They bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns >> [Sura al-Kahf:50]

    2) Tafsir of the Qur'aan by the Authentic Ahadeeth
    This is extremely important because the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) is the most knowledgeable of all people with regards to the intended meanings of Allaah (SWT), who has said about him:

    <<Indeed he does not speak out of desire, but indeed it is a revelation sent down to him.>> [Sura an-Najm:3-4]

    And, Allaah (SWT) revealed the Qur'aan to him so that he could explain it to the people. Allaah (SWT) says:

    <<Indeed, We have sent down to you the remembrance so that you may explain to the people that which has been sent to them.>> [Sura an-Nahl:44]

    The Prophet (SAW) said:

    <<Indeed I have been given the Qur'aan and the like of it with it.>> [Muslim]

    Since there are countless examples, I shall only quote one to show the importance of this type of Tafsir.

    <<'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood (R) said: "When the verse:{And those who believe and do not mix and confuse their faith with 'dhulm' (oppression) [Sura al-An'am:82]} was revealed it was hard on the Muslims. They asked: which of us has not done 'dhulm' - oppresion - upon himself? So the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) replied: "That is not the meaning, rather it means 'shirk' - to associate partners with Allaah (SWT). Have you not heard the saying of Luqmaan to his son: {O my son do not associate partners with Allaah for indeed that is a great 'dhulm' (oppression) [Sura Luqmaan:13]}>>

    3) Tafsir of the Qur'aan by the Companions (R)
    a) <<'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood (R) said: "Allaah curses those ladies who practice tattooing and those who get themselves tattoed, and those ladies who remove the hair from their faces and those who make artificial spaces between their teeth in order to look more beautiful whereby they change Allaah's creation." His saying reached a lady from Bani Asd called Umm Yaqub who came (to Abdullaah) and said, "I have come to know that you have cursed such-and-such ladies?" He replied, "Why should I not curse these whom Allaah's Apostle has cursed and who are (cursed) in Allaah's Book!" Umm Yaqub said, "I have read the whole Qur'aan, but did not find in it what you say." He said, "Indeed, if you have read it, (i.e. the Qur'aan), you have found it. Did you not read: {And whatsoever the Apostle gives you take it and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). [Sura al-Hashr:7]} She replied, "Yes, I did." He said, "Indeed, Allaah's Apostle forbade such things." She said, "But I see your wife doing these things." He said, "Go and watch her." She went and watched her but could not see anything in support of her statement. On that he said, "If my wife was as you thought, I would not keep her in my company.>> [Bukhari]

    b) <<Or that you have 'Lams' - contact - with women.>> [Sura an-Nisaa:43]

    Ibn Abbas (R) said: "it means to have sexual intercourse." [Tafsir of Ibn Kathir]

    Ibn Kathir also relates the view of Ibn Jareer (R) who said: " Allaah means by His saying: {Or that you have 'Lams' - contact - with women}, sexual intercourse and not any of the other meanings of 'Lams'. This is due to the authentic hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) that he kissed some of his wives and then prayed without making ablution."

    4) Tafsir of the Qur'aan by the Arabic Language
    An example of this, is that which Hafidh Ibn Hajr relates in Fath-ul-Baaree from Ibn Bataal, who said: "They differed with regards to the meaning of 'Istawaa' - being high above "

    Abu Ismaeel al-Harwee in his book al-Farooq with a chain of narration to Dawood ibn 'Alee Ibn Kalaf who said: We were with 'Abdullaah ibn al-'Arabee when a man said:

    << the Most Merciful is Istawaa - high above - the Throne.>> [Sura Taa Haa:5]

    So he replied: "He is above His Throne as He has informed." So it was said: "O Abu 'Abdullaah, indeed the meaning is to overpower - Istawla." He replied: "Be silent. It is not said He overpowered - Istawla - over something except if He has an opposite."

    Haafidh Ibn Hajr (R) said in Fath-ul-Baaree: "The reviver of the Sunnaah, al-Baghawee in his book of tafsir related from Ibn Abbas and the majority of the scholars of tafsir that its meaning is 'rising and being high above'. He then related the sayings of Umm as-Salamah, Rabeya', Maalik and others: "The meaning of Istawaa is known, its modality cannot be comprehended and affirming it is to have faith in it while denying it amounts to disbelief in it."

    This is just a brief explanation of how Tafsir of the Qur'aan is made, and should not be taken as being conclusive.

    On the threads that I have read, there are certain individuals who explain the verses of the Qur'aan by using a mixture of the above 4 types of Tafsir. However, they then DEMAND an answer via a specific type of Tafsir only. And if an answer is given to them via a different type of Tafsir to the one they are demanding, even if it contains clear and authentic evidences they reject it. Subhanallaah!! Indeed this is a great evil and from amongst the deceptions of Shaytaan. Allaah (SWT) says:

    <<It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in plain error.>> [Sura al-Ahzaab:36]

    It is not right that we demand a specific type of Tafsir to explain a verse in the Qur'aan. Rather, the Qur'aan itself dictates which type, or types, of Tafsir are required to explain its verses.

    We should be careful of such people who are explaining the verses of Allaah (SWT) according to their own whims and desires. When a person rejects clear proofs because it does not fit his/her ideology, then we should know that their objectives are not sincere and that they are lying against Allaah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW).

    May Allaah (SWT) protect us from these liars.

    I ask Allaah (SWT) to help us to see the truth as being the truth, and to see falsehood as being falsehood.

    And Allaah (SWT) knows best.

    Assalam O Alaikum

    Subhan'Allah, very well explained. I hope it will help everyone here to understand the Quran in the right way. Jazakumullah Khair

    Assalam O Alaikum.


      Assallaamu alaikum,

      Jazaak'Allaah khair for bringing our attention to the importance of aquiring understanding of tafseer from the correct sorces, with appropraite methodology.



        Masha'Allah, this important and favourable piece was written a while back, but continues to hold many a beneficial lesson related to the sciences of understanding Qur'an through the correct methodology.

        In light of recent debate and discussion that has been taking place in various threads, we should all attach great significance to the message and teachings of what has been explained above Insha'Allaah ta'aala.

        May Allah reward the brother who wrote this and favour him in this life and the Hereafter, and may He - The Most Wise - guide us all.




          Well Written.

          I, however would like to add, that one can not indepenedent in making tafseer or ta'weel to al-Qur'an as he desires! It must comply with Ijma^, Unanimous agreement of the Muslims, Thus, one must be from Ahlus-Tafseer, to make tafseer, otherwise one must seek the sessions of knowledge to know the meaning of the Qur'an verses, Because Allah made the Ayat of Al-Qur'an with explicit meangings and som implicit. Ayat Muhkamat, and Ayat Mutashabihat. And for that, Insha'llah, I will add to what you brother startes insha'llah.
          Ahmad G
          Islamic Studies Teacher/Student.


            Masha Allah!

            Very well written.

            One thing that stands out in the various threads is that people read the Qur'an, without tafseer by scholars, and feel that they can interpret individual ayyat withh perfection. This is totally wrong,as even scholars differ on meanings and interpretations. A clear evidence is the differences in schools of fiqh.

            May Allah guide us in understanding and in seeking more knowledge. Ameen.

            Rabbeshrah lee sadree; wa yassirlee amree; yafqahoo qaulee.


              AsSalaamu 'alaykum,

              Let this thread be a reminder to us all, regarding the signficance of ahadeeth in understanding the Qur'aan.

              If we choose to interpret the Book of Allaah using our own limited knowledge and understanding, then we shall for sure be from amongst the loosers - blinded by numerous interpretations, without knowing in which lies the truth.

              The most truthful speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad - salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - and the best of mankind are the Companions - radhiAllaahu anhum - from who we should take our understanding of this beautiful Deen.

              JazaahuAllaahu khair to brother Abu Muhammed.


              "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."