The Need for Teaching Tafsir: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

In part of his explanation of his primer on the fundamentals of Tafsir, sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen raised and answered the following question:

مسألة : هل يجب على أهل العلم أن يبينوا للناس معنى القرآن سواء سألوهم أم لا؟ ـ

An issue: Is it obligatory for the People of Knowledge to clarify the meanings of the Qur’an to the people regardless of whether the people ask them for that or not?

نقول : نعم ، يجب إذا سأله الناس بلسان الحال ، أو بلسان المقال ، فمثلا : إذا سمع الإنسانُ أن الناس يفسرون بعض الآيات على غير ما أراده الله ، فالواجب عليه أن يبين المعنى الذي أراده الله ؛ لأن العوام أحيانا يفسرون الآيات بغير ما أراده الله ، بل أحيانا يصنعون آيات من عندهم ـ تجده مثلا يقول : صدق الله العظيم ، وجعلنا لكل شيئ سببا ، وهذا ليس موجودا في القرآن ، لكن هم يعلمون أن الأشياء بأسبابها ، فالمهم أنه إذا رأى الإنسان أنه لا بد أن يبين معنى القرآن بلسان الحال ، أو بلسان المقال ، وجب عليه البيان ، وينبغي أن يجعل للعامة مجلسا لتفسير القرآن . ـ

We say: Yes it is obligatory when the people ask you for that, whether that be by their situation or by literally asking you. For instance, if a person were to hear the people explaining some ayaat with something other than what Allah intended by them, then it is a must for him for clarify the meaning that Allah actually intended. Because the lay people sometimes explain certain ayaat with something other than what Allah intended – in fact they sometimes invent ayaat, for instance you find people saying, “SadaqAllahu’l-‘Atheem” or they say “We have made a means for every thing”, but this phrase is nowhere to be found in the Qur’an even though we know that things do have their means and causes.

But the point is that if a person sees – whether from people’s situation or due to actually being asked – that he ought to clarify the meaning of the Qur’an, then it is obligatory for him to explain it, and he ought to make a specific time for Tafsir lessons for the lay people.

وكان شيخنا عبد الرحمن بن سعدي – رحمه الله – يفعل ذلك ، كان بين العشائين يفسر القرآن من أوله إلى آخره ، لكنها قراءة عامة ، يكون في المحراب ، ويقرأ عليه أحد الطلاب ، ويشرح معاني الآيات ، فيبين ويحضر العامة ويفهمون ، ولو جعل طالب العلم في مسجده الخاص درسا في تفسير القرآن لنفع وانتفع . ـ

And this is what our sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Sa’di (may Allah have mercy on him) used to do. He used to explain the Qur’an from its beginning until its end between the Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ prayers, but it was with a reading that was suitable for the lay-people. He used to sit in the mihrab and one of the students would read from the Qur’an and he would explain the meanings of the ayaat. So he would explain it and the people would gather and gain understanding, and if a student of knowledge were to make a class for tafsir of the Qur’an in his local mosque, then this would be beneficial and a source of good.

[Sharh Usool fee al-Tafsir pg. 184-185]

Click here to learn more about sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di and his tafsir.

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

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

See also: Learning the Qur’an – Both Wordings and Meanings: ibn Taymiyah

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

See also: Which is more virtuous: reading a small amount of the Qur’an with tarteel and contemplation, or a large amount quickly? – Ibn al-Qayyim

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

See also: Gathering in the Houses of Allah to Recite and Study the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

See also: About the Books of Tafsir

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8 thoughts on “The Need for Teaching Tafsir: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

  1. Pingback: “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it”: ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

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

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  5. Pingback: Gathering in the Houses of Allah to Recite and Study the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan | Tulayhah

  6. Pingback: Learning the Qur’an – Both Wordings and Meanings: ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

  7. Pingback: “The Best of You are Those Who Learn the Qur’an and Teach it”: Sheikh al-Albani | Tulayhah

  8. Pingback: How the Prophet Explained the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

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