The Importance of Tafsir and its Sources: Sheikh al-Fawzan

In an addendum to one of his many books, sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan briefly outlined the importance of the science of tafsir and the proper sources for making tafsir. He wrote:

تنبيه مهم
An Important Issue

إن التفسير القرآن مهمة عظيمة ومسئولية كبيرة لا يجوز أن يتحملها إلا من تتوفر فيه الأهلية الكافية ، قال ﷺ : { من قال في القرآن برأيه وبما لا يعلم فليتبوأ مقعده من النار وأخطأه ولو أصاب } ذلك لأن القرآن كلام الله والذي يفسره يبين عن الله مراده فإذا كان غير أهل لذلك كان من الذين يقولون على الله بلا علم ، وقد قال الله تعالى : [ قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ ] إلى قوله تعالى : [ وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ] . فجعل قول عليه أعظيم المحرمات وفوق الشرك .

The explanation of the Qur’an is certainly an extremely important issue and a great responsibility. It is not permissible for anyone to undertake it except for one who has devoted himself to its study and is fully qualified. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever speaks about the Qur’an with his opinion and about that which he does not know, then let him take his seat in the Hell-fire; and he has erred, even if what he said happened to be correct.” That is because the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, and the one who makes tafsir of it is explaining its meanings on behalf of Allah. So if he is not qualified to do that, then he is one of those who speaks about Allah without knowledge. And Allah has said:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُوا بِاللَّـهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know.” [7:33]

So Allah made speaking about Him [without knowledge] the most serious of forbidden matters, even above al-shirk.

وقد ذكر العلماء أن تفسير القرآن يحصل بأربع وسائل : ـ

الأول : تفسير القرآن بالقرآن . فالقرآن كثيرا ما يفسر بعضه ببعض . ـ

الثانية : تفسير القرآن بسنة الرسول ﷺ ، لأن الله وكل إلى نبيه ﷺ بيان القرآن للناس . ـ

الثالثة : تفسير القرآن بأقوال الصحابة . لأنهم تلاميذ الرسول ﷺ وتلقوا عنه تفسير القرآن وغيره . ـ

الرابعة : تفسير القرآن بلغة العرب التي نزل بها ، لأن الله أنزله بلسان عربي مبين . ـ

The scholars have mentioned that explaining the Qur’an is done through four means:

First: Explaining the Qur’an by means of the Qur’an itself. For the Qur’an frequently explains one part of itself by means of another part.

Second: Explaining the Qur’an by means of the Sunnah of the Messenger (ﷺ), because Allah entrusted His Prophet (ﷺ) with explaining the Qur’an to the people.

Third: Explaining the Qur’an by means of the statements of the Companions. This is because they were the students of the Messenger (ﷺ) and they took the explanation of the Qur’an as well as other information from him directly.

Fourth: Explaining the Qur’an by means of the Arabic language in which it was revealed, for Allah revealed it in a clear Arabic language.

وقد إختلف العلماء بتفسير القرآن بأقوال التابعين لأنهم تلاميذ الصحابة . أما تفسيره بالرأي أو بالنظريات الحديثة فهو من قول على الله بلا علم . ـ

And the scholars have held different positions regarding using the statements of the Successors (Taabi’oon) as a source for explaining the Qur’an, since they were they students of the Companions. But as for explaining the Qur’an by means of one’s opinions or modern viewpoints, then this falls under speaking about Allah without knowledge.

[T’aqeebaat wa Mulaahathaat ‘alaa Kitaab Safwah al-Tafaasir pg. 45]

See also: Why Speaking about Allah without Knowledge is more serious than Shrik: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: Turning Away from the Sources of Tafsir: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: About the Books of Tafsir

See also: Mufassir Profiles

See also: Notes on the Book “Safwah al-Tafaasir”: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

See also: Understanding the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

See also: The Meanings of Muhkam, Mutashaabih, and Ta’weel: al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah

See also: “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it”: ibn Kathir

See also: The Sahabah and Tabi’oon known for their Tafsir: al-Suyooti

See also: The Proper Place of Asbaab al-Nuzool in Understanding the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: The Conditions for Making Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “The Importance of Tafsir and its Sources: Sheikh al-Fawzan

  1. Pingback: Notes on the Book “Safwah al-Tafaasir”: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Why Speaking about Allah without Knowledge is more serious than Shrik: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Sahabah and Tabi’oon known for their Tafsir: al-Suyooti | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Understanding the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: The Meanings of Muhkam, Mutashaabih, and Ta’weel: al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah | Tulayhah

  6. Pingback: Viktigheten av Tafsir og dens kilder – Autentisk Kunnskap

  7. Pingback: The Proper Place of Asbaab al-Nuzool in Understanding the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  8. Pingback: The Need for Teaching Tafsir: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

  9. Pingback: The Conditions for Making Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh | Tulayhah

  10. Pingback: Turning Away from the Sources of Tafsir: Ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

  11. Pingback: Ibn Taymiyah on the Books of Tafsir | Tulayhah

  12. Pingback: Did Fir’awn claim divinity, or worship other gods?: al-Shawkaani, al-Qurtubi, & al-Baghawi | Tulayhah

  13. Pingback: Supposed Contradictions between the Qur’an and Hadeeth: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

  14. Pingback: The Types of Tafsir: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

  15. Pingback: Narration-based Tafsir before Opinion-based Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh | Tulayhah

  16. Pingback: A Note on Qur’anic Dictionaries: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

  17. Pingback: Regarding New Explanations of the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

  18. Pingback: Examples of Blame-worthy Opinion-based Tafsir: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s