al-Jazaa’iri

 — al-Jazaa’iri —

-Name of the Mufassir:

He is Abu Bakr Jaabir ibn Moosaa al-Jazaa’iri. He was born in Algeria in 1921Ah/1339 CE. He began his studies in his home-town of Biskra under his father and grandfather in memorizing the Qur’an and under the local shuyookh. He continued his studies in Algiers, and later performed Hajj and determined to remain in al-Madinah to continue his religious studies. In 1954Ah/1374CE, al-Jazaa’iri was granted permission to teach at al-Masjid al-Nabawi , where he taught nightly lessons on tafsir and hadeeth. He has continued teaching in this position into his old age.

-Name of the Book:

Aysir al-Tafaasir li-Kalaam al-‘Alee al-Kabeer [أيسر التفاسير لكلام العلي الكبير]

-General Description of the Book:

In the introduction to his tafsir, al-Jazaa’iri mentioned that in 1985Ah/1406CE sheikh ‘Abdullah ibn Saalih al-‘Ubayd – then-director of the Islamic University of al-Madinah – suggested that he author a book of tafsir based on the salafi methodology and in a similar form to Tafsir al-Jalalayn. He began writing it later that year.

The book was written to serve as an easily-accessible book of tafsir for the common Muslim which would clarify the salafi ‘aqeedah and the essential fiqh rulings, as well as to more broadly communicate the general meanings of Allah’s speech, and encourage good manners and implementation of the religious obligations in its readers.

The author most heavily drew on Tafsir al-Tabari, and prioritized al-Tabari’s positions whenever the mufassiroon differed on a subject. Other primary sources which this work was based on were Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Tafsir al-Maraaghi, and Tafsir al-Sa’di. In general, the author did not delve into the different positions held by various mufassiroon, and instead only would mention the most-sound position in order to facilitate its reading and understanding for the common Muslim.

The format of the book is also notable. The author would take a selection of ayaat at a time, and then proceed to provide a three-part explanation. After mentioning the ayaat themselves, he would first provide a gloss explanation of the vocabulary terms used in the ayaat in bullet-point form. Then, he would provide an explanation of the overall meaning of the ayaat in paragraph form. Finally, he would mention points of benefit derived from these ayaat in bullet-point format.

‘Aqeedah:

The author endeavored to provide a easily accessible tafsir following the salafi ‘aqeedah. The work includes explicit attention to points of creed, both in affirming the salafi ‘aqeedah and in refuting deviant understandings. On the whole the book is free from bid’ah, however it does contain some statements of the people of bid’ah or statements of those who interpret the Qur’an in terms of modern science which the author erroneously thought to be correct or accurate.

-Stance regarding isnaads (chains of narration):

Due to the summarized nature of this tafsir, the author does not mention the chains of narrations.

-Stance regarding Fiqh (legal) Rulings:

Al-Jazaa’iri made it a goal to limit discussions of fiqh rulings to the positions of the four major schools of fiqh.

-Stance regarding Qiraa’aat (different recitations):

Variant recitations are only mentioned sparingly.

-Stance regarding Israa’eeliyyaat (Judaeo-Christian traditions):

Al-Jazaa’iri made it an objective to generally avoid mentioning Israa’eeliyyaat narrations – regardless of their authenticity or lack thereof – except in cases where their mention was necessary to understand an ayah.

-Stance regarding poetry, linguistic analysis, grammar, etc.:

He generally avoided detailed discussions of grammar, linguistic eloquence (balaaghah) and linguistics in the main text. However, his annotated commentary of this tafsir – entitled Nahr al-Khair ‘alaa Aysir al-Tafaasir – contains more detailed grammatical points of benefit in the footnotes.

Bibliography:

مقدمة أيسر التفاسير لكلام العلي الكبير لأبي بكر الجزائري

شرح مقدة التفسير للشيخ صالح آل الشيخ


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See also: Recommended Books of Tafsir