Ibn ‘Uthaymeen’s Introduction to Tafsir al-Sa’di

Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen began his formal studies in his home town of ‘Unayzah under the tutelage of sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di. With the exception of a two year program of study in Riyadh, ibn ‘Uthaymeen continued his studies and close association with al-Sa’di until the former’s death in 1376/1956, at which time ibn ‘Uthaymeen assumed al-Sa’di’s prior role as the main khateeb of ‘Unayzah, as al-Sa’di had designated.

Years later, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen wrote the following brief introduction for one of al-Sa’di’s most famous written works, his tafsir: Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman:

الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين. ـ

All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all creation. And peace and blessing be upon His prophet, Muhammad, and upon his family, companions and whoever follows them with ihsaan until the Day of Judgement.

أما بعد: فإن تفسير شيخنا عبد الرحمن بن ناصر السعدي رحمه الله تعالى المسمى (تيسير الكريم الرحمن في تفسير كلام المنان) من أحسن التفاسير حيث كان له ميزات كثيرة: ـ

To proceed: Indeed, the tafsir of our sheikh, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di (may Allah have mercy on him), called, “Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman fee Tafsir Kalaam al-Manaan“, is one of the best books of tafsir due to the many distinguishing characteristics which it possesses:

منها سهولة العبارة ووضوحها حيث يفهمها الراسخ في العلم ومن دونه. ـ

Among these is the simplicity and clarity of its wordings such that it can be understood by those well-grounded in knowledge as well as those beneath that level.

ومنها تجنب الحشو والتطويل الذي لا فائدة منه إلا إضاعة وقت القارئ وتبلبل فكره. ـ

Among these distinguishing features is that it avoids wordiness and unnecessary elongation which serves no point other than to waste the reader’s time and befuddle his thinking.

ومنها تجنب ذكر الخلاف إلا أن يكون الخلاف قويا تدعو الحاجة إلى ذكره وهذه ميزة مهمة بالنسبة للقارئ حتى يثبت فهمه على شيء واحد. ـ

And among these features is that is avoids mentioning points of scholastic differing except if there is strong differing which necessitates its mention, and this is an important feature as it relates to the reader since this stabilizes his understanding of an issue upon a single point.

ومنها السير على منهج السلف في آيات الصفات فلا تحريف ولا تأويل يخالف مراد الله بكلامه فهو عمدة في تقرير العقيدة. ـ

And among these distinguishing features is that the book traverses upon the methodology of the salaf in terms of the ayaat al-sifaat, so there is no distortion or incorrect interpretations which contradict the meaning which Allah intended by His words, for this is the foundation of establishing the ‘aqeedah.

ومنها دقة الاستنباط فيما تدل عليه الآيات من الفوائد والأحكام والحكم وهذا يظهر جليا في بعض الآيات كآية الوضوء في سورة المائدة حيث استنبط منها خمسين حكما وكما في قصة داود وسليمان في سورة ص. ـ

And among these features is the attention to detail in the process of extracting benefits, rulings and wisdoms from what the ayaat indicate, and this is readily apparent in some of the ayaat, such as the ayah of wudhoo’ in surah al-Maa’idah from which he extracted fifty rulings, and likewise in the story of Dawood and Sulayman in surah Saad.

ومنها أنه كتاب تفسير وتربية على الأخلاق الفاضلة كما يتبين في تفسير قوله تعالى في سورة الأعراف {خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ} . ـ

And among these features is that it is a book of both tafsir and tarbiyyah upon honorable manners, just as becomes clear in the tafsir of Allah’s statement in surah al-‘Aaraaf:

خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ

Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish [7:199]

ومن أجل هذا أشير على كل مريد لاقتناء كتب التفسير أن لا تخلو مكتبته من هذا التفسير القيم. ـ

So due to these features, I would advise anyone who desires to acquire the books of tafsir to not let his library be without this valuable tafsir.

وأسأل الله تعالى أن ينفع به مؤلفه وقارئه إنه كريم جواد وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان. ـ

كتبه محمد الصالح العثيمين . ـ
في 15/ رمضان 1416 هـ ـ

And I ask Allah to make it a source of benefit to its author and its reader; indeed, He is Generous, Bounteous. And the peace of Allah upon our prophet, Muhammad, and upon his family, companions and whoever follows them in ihsaan.

Written by Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen

Ramadan 15, 1416 AH

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 8]

Click here to read from our collection of translated excerpts of Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman.

Click here to see more statements from contemporary salafi scholars regarding the books of tafsir.

Click here to read more about the distinguishing features of this work.

Click here to listen to a translation of Imam al-Sa’di’s own introduction to this work.