Ten Areas to Memorize for Excellence in Tafsir

The following Q&A was conducted with sheikh ‘Abdullah al-‘Awaaji, a professor of Tafsir at the Islamic University of al-Madinah, via the Qur’anic Consultations Twitter page:

س/ اشتركت في حلقة نقرأ فيها تفسير السعدي والحمد لله فهل نحفظ التفسير لنفهم معاني الآيات؟ ـ

Question: Alhamdulillaah, I participate in a class where we go through Tafsir al-Sa’di. Should we memorize the tafsir in order to understand the meanings of the ayaat?

ج/ لا أختار لكم حفظ التفسير كله ولكن الذي يحفظ لإتقان التفسير : ـ

Response: I would tell you not to memorize the entire tafsir but instead to memorize those things which bring about excellence in the field of tafsir.

١-علم مفردات القرءان لا سيما المتكررة (وهو مايسمى غريب القرآن) ومتوسطها للمبتدئ ألف كلمة وللمنتهي مائة كلمة تقريبا

1) Knowledge of Qur’anic vocabulary, especially those words which are used frequently, which is referred to as Ghareeb al-Qur’an. These would be about 1,000 words for the beginner, and then to finish off with roughly another [less frequently used] 100 words.

٢-وعلم التفسير النبوي الصحيح الصريح وهو مئة حديث تقريبا

2) Knowledge of the authentic explicit statements of tafsir from the Prophet, and this amounts to about 100 hadith narrations.

٣-وعلم أسباب النزول الصريحة الصحيحة وهي مئة سبب تقريبا

3) Knowledge of the the authentic narrations that explicitly deal with the Asbab al-Nuzool – the “reasons for revelation” – and this amounts to about 100 instances.

٤-وعلم كليات الألفاظ المطردة وهي نحو المائة؛ والأغلبية وهي نحو المائة.

4) Knowledge of

4a) the frequently-used terms which are always used with one consistent meaning, and there are about 100 of them

4a) the frequently-used terms which are mostly used with one consistent meaning, which are about another 100.

٥- وعلم الوجوه والنظائر القرآنية المحققة (الألفاظ القرآنيةُ المُتحدةُ لفظاً أو أصلاً المختلفةُ معنىً) ـ

5) Knowledge of the verified al-Wajooh wa’l-Nathaa’ir in the Qur’an – i.e. those Qur’anic wordings in which one word or root carries multiple meanings.

٦-فهم وحفظ قواعد التفسير المحققة. ـ

6) Understanding and memorization of the verified principles of tafsir.

٧-استظهار وتكرار تفسير الجلالين أو البيضاوي. ـ

7) Rote memorization and repeated reading of Tafsir al-Jalalayn or Tafsir al-Baydhawi.

٨- حفظ ماله حكم الرفع من تفسير الصحابة غير ماسبق من الأسباب. ـ

8) Memorizing those explanations of the Sahabah which carry the ruling of a Prophetic hadith, focusing on the reports which have not already come in the Asbab al-Nuzool reports.

٩-حفظ أسانيد أمهات النسخ التفسيرية السلفية(الصحابه والتابعين) للاستفادة منها في الترجيح بين قولي بعضهم المختلفين؛ ولترك الشاذ عنهم إذا كان لايثبت فيتحقق الاجماع. ـ

9) Memorizing the most important chains in the books of the tafsir of the salaf – i.e. the chains going back to the Sahabah and Tabi’oon in order to be able to identify the stronger chain in cases where there are two conflicting statements, leave off any odd positions attributed to them through inauthentic chains, and therefore correctly ascertain where they were united in their explanations.

١٠-حفظ أهم إجماعات المفسرين على اللفظ وهو القليل أو على المعنى وهو كثير وهي الاجماعات التي لا تكون بديهية من الإجماع المنصوص والقطعي والإقراري والاستقرائي . ـ

10) Memorizing the most important points of consensus among the mufassiroon. If this is focusing just on points of consensus in the wording, it is a small category to memorize, while if it is consensus of meaning, there is more to memorize. Here, we are referring to the points of consensus that are not simply self-evident, but instead those which are explicitly mentioned in the texts, clear-cut, points which no others disputed, or points based on induction.

وكل فن من هذه المحفوظات له مصادره. ـ

And each one of these topic areas has its own primary sources and texts.

[As found on the ConsQuraan Telegram page here]

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

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

See also: The Need for Teaching Tafsir: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

One thought on “Ten Areas to Memorize for Excellence in Tafsir

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

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