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 How Tafseer Is Performed

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Abul Hassan
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PostSubject: How Tafseer Is Performed   Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:47 am



How Tafseer Is Performed?

From The Book An Introduction To The Principles Of Tafseer (Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah 1993 al-Hidaayah)

Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.

Last Modified: 31th July 1999





If you ask what is the best method of tafsr, the answer is that the best way is to explain the Qur'n through the Qur'n. For, what the Qur'n alludes to at one place is explained at the other, and what it says in brief on one occasion is elaborated upon at the other. But if this does not help you, you should turn to the sunnah, because the sunnah explains and elucidates the Qur'n. Imm Ab cAbd Allh Muhammad Ibn Idrs al-Shfic has said: "All that the Prophet, peace be upon him, has said is what he has derived from the Qur'n." Allh has said:

Quote :
We have sent down to you the book in truth that you may judge between me, as Allaah guides you; so dont be an advocate for those who betray their trust. [al-Qur'n 4:105]

We have sent down to you the message that you may explain clearly to people what has been sent to them, and that they think over it. [al-Qur'n 16:44]

We sent down the Book to you for the express purpose that you should make clear to them those things in which they differ, and that it should be a guide and a mercy to those who believe. [al-Qur'n 16:64]

This is why the Prophet (sallallhu calayhi wa sallam) said:

Quote :
Know that I have been given the Qur'n and something like it. [Ahmad, Musnad, Vol. IV 131; Ab Dwd, Sunan, Sunnah, 5]

namely the Sunnah. In fact, the Sunnah, too has been given to him through wahy as the Qur'n, except that it has not been recited to him as the Qur'n. Imm al-Shfic and other scholars have advanced a number of arguments in support of this point; but this is not the place to quote them. [For discussion see al-Shfic, al-Rislah]

In order to understand the Qur'n, you should first look to the Qur'n itself. If that does not help, then turn to the Sunnah.

Quote :
The Prophet (sallallhu calayhi wa sallam) sent Mucdh (radiyallaahu canhu) to Yemen and asked him: "How will you judge the cases (that come to you)?" He replied: "I will judge according to the Book of Allaah". "But if you do not get anything there, what will you do?", the Prophet (sallallhu calayhi wa sallam) asked. He said: "I will refer to the sunnah of the Prophet (sallallhu calayhi wa sallam)". "But if you do not get it even there, what will you do?", the Prophet (sallallhu calayhi wa sallam) asked again. He replied: "I will exercise my judgment." Hearing this the Prophet (sallallhu calayhi wa sallam) patted Mucdh (radiyallhu canhu) on the shoulder and said: "Praise be to Allh who has guided the Messenger of His Messenger to what pleases His Messenger."

This hadth has been reported in the Musnad and Sunan collections of hadth with a good isnd. [Ahmad, Musnad V:230, 236, 242; al-Drim, Sunan, Muqaddimah, 30; al-Tirmidhee, Sunan, Ahkm, 3; Ab Dwd, Sunan, Adhiyah, 11.]

When you do not get any help from the Qur'n or the Sunnah, turn to the words of the companions. For they know the Qur'n better: they have witnessed its revelation, and passed through the situations in which it was revealed: and know it and understand it fully. This is particularly true of the scholars and leaders such as the four righteous caliphs and cAbdullh ibn Mas'd. Imm Ab Jacfar Muhammad ibn Jarr at-Tabar reports: Ab Kurayb narrated to us, saying: Jbir ibn Nh informed us that: al-Acmash informed us from Ab Duh: from Masrq that cAbdullh ibn Mas'd said: "By the one besides whom there none having the right to be worshipped, there is no verse in the Qur'n about which I do not know in whose case and at what place was it revealed. If I were aware that anyone knew the Qur'n more than me, and I could reach him, I would certainly have gone to see him." [Ibn al-Athr, Jmic al-Usl f Ahdth ar-Rasl, 1392/1972, Vol. IX p. 48.] Al-Acmash has also reported through Ab W`il that Ibn Mas'd said: "When anyone of us learned ten verses of the Qur'n, he did not proceed further unless he had known what they meant and what action they demanded."

Another great scholar is cAbdullh ibn cAbbs (radiyallhu canhum), the nephew of the Prophet (sallallhu calayhi wa sallam) and the commentator of the Qur'n. He attained that stature in virtue of the Prophet's prayer: "O Allh! Give him knowledge of Islm and teach him the meaning of the Qur'n." [Ahmad, Musnad, Vol. 1: 266, 314, 328, 335]. Muhammad ibn Bashshr narrated to us, that Wakc informed us, that Sufyn informed us from al-Acmash: from Musim (ibn Sabeeh Abee Duh) from Masrq: that cAbdullh ibn Mascd (radiyallhu canhum) said: "What a good interpreter of the Qur'n Ibn cAbbs is!" Ibn Jarr has also reported this hadth through Yahy ibn Dwd, from Ishq al-Azraq, from Sufyn, from al-Acmash, from Muslim ibn Sabeeh Ab Duh, from al-Masrq with slightly different words: "What a good interpreter Ibn cAbbs is of the Qur'n!" He has also reported the same words through Bundar, from Jacfar ibn `Awn from al-A`mash. These words are, therefore, the actual words of Ibn Mascd (radiyallhu canhum) which he said about Ibn cAbbs (radiyallhu canhum). Ibn Mascd (radiyallhu canhum) died, most probably, in 33 A.H. Ibn cAbbs (radiyallhu canhum) lived for thirty six years after him, and added a lot to the treasury of Islmic knowledge.

Al-Acmash quotes from Ab Wcil that Ibn cAbbs (radiyallhu canhum) was appointed leader of the Hajj by cAl (radiyallhu canhu); he delivered a sermon and read from Srah al-Baqarah, or Srah al-Nr according to another report, and explained it in such a way that had the Romans, Turks and the Dalamites heard it, they would have embraced Islm. This is the reason why most of what Ismcl ibn cAbd al-Rahmn Sudd has written in tafsr consists of the explanations of these two scholars: Ibn Mas'd and Ibn cAbbs (radiyallhu canhum).
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PostSubject: Re: How Tafseer Is Performed   Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:56 am

Imam ibn kathir rahimahullah was the student of imam ibn taymiyyah rahimahullah, that whole first part about the best method of making tafsir is in the beginning of tafsir ibn kathir, and it is no doubt the best method of tafsir.

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PostSubject: Re: How Tafseer Is Performed   Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:40 am

JazakAllahu khair thumbs up
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PostSubject: Re: How Tafseer Is Performed   Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:00 pm

do you guys ever get the sudden longing to meet the pious predecessors? always happens to me. May Allah group us with the likes of Imam Ibn Taymiyyah. JazakAllahu khair for the thread thumbs up
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