— al-Ashqar —
-Name of the Mufassir:
He is Dr. Muhammad Sulayman al-Ashqar. He initially taught at the Imam Muhammad ibn Sa’ood University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but when the al-Madinah University first opened, his teacher sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin Baaz requested that he join him in teaching there, and al-Ashqar complied with this wish. While there, he taught tafsir and also worked in the administration of the new university. He later settled in Kuwait where he worked for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and eventually was appointed as a member of the country’s Fiqh Council. In addition to tafsir, he was also skilled in fiqh and authored works in both subjects. He died in the year 1430Ah/2009CE.
-Name of the Book:
Zubdah al-Tafsir [زبدة التفسير]
-General Description of the Book:
The goal of this work was to summarize Imam al-Shawkaani’s tafsir, Fath al-Qadeer, in order to make its benefits more accessible to the common Muslim. Typically, he would chose only one explanation of the various statements al-Shawkaani brought, searching for the one closest to the truth. In an effort to not overburden the common reader, he avoided extended discussion of linguistic analysis, opting instead to go directly to the interpretations of the meanings of the ayaat. By and large, he transmits heavily from the diraayah (expert opinion) aspect of Fath al-Qadeer, and only explicitly transmits from riwaayah (narration-based) aspect when a particular benefit in relation the ayah was perceived. Finally, since this tafsir was written primarily for the non-specialist, al-Ashqar removed the majority of technical terminology. The only additions that al-Ashqar made to the words were for the purpose of necessary clarifications, and these additions are generally demarcated by being placed inside brackets.
Like the tafsir of Imam al-Shawkaani upon which it is based, Zubdah al-Tafsir presents the ‘aqeedah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah. However, al-Ashqar made some changes related to ‘aqeedah in his selection of which material to include. First, he avoided the speech of al-Shawkaani regarding the creation of the Qur’an and did not include any of it at all in this book. Secondly, he omitted the problematic statements of al-Shawkaani regarding the names and attributes of Allah and only included those notes which clearly affirmed the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah in this matter.
-Stance regarding isnaads (chains of narration):
This tafsir does not include chains of narration, and drew largely from the diraayah (expert opinion) aspect of Fath al-Qadeer, rather than from riwaayah (narration-based) aspect, however Imam al-Shawkaani’s expert opinions following from his choices of narrations to include.
-Stance regarding Qiraa’aat (different recitations):
The author has removed Fath al-Qadeer‘s discussion of the various recitations, and only brings interpretations that conform to the recitation of Hafs.
-Stance regarding poetry, linguistic analysis, grammar, etc.:
The author eliminates linguistic analysis and discussion of individual word meanings in favor of directly mentioning the overall meaning of the ayah.
مقدمة زبدة التفسير لمحمد سليمان الأشقار
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See also: Recommended Books of Tafsir