— al-Nasafi —

-Name of the Mufassir:

He is Abu’l-Barakaat, ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Mahmood al-Nasafi, al-Hanafi. He was from the south of what is today Uzbekistan, close to the border with Afghanistan. He was especially skilled in matters of fiqh and usool, and wrote a number of works related to these subjects. He died in the year 710Ah/1310CE.

-Name of the Book:

Madaarik al-Tanzeel wa Haqaa’iq al-Ta’weel [مدارك التنزيل وحقائق التأويل]

-General Description of the Book:

This book is a composed of a summary of the books of al-Baydhawi and al-Zamakhshari, and is of medium length. He would generally summarize from al-Zamakhshari but quote directly or use almost the same wording as al-Baydhawi, all the while being selective as to what he would include or omit from them. He drew heavily on several aspects of al-Zamakhshari’s tafsir, specifically his explanations of the balaaghah (rhetorical eloquence), discussions of minute points and subtle meanings, and al-Zamakhshari’s style of posing a question and then answering it. This being said, al-Nasafi notably excluded the aspects of the Mu’talizah theology found in al-Zamakhshari’s tafsir. The book is most notable for its focus on al-‘Iraab and linguistics more generally, as well as the various qiraa’aat.


He was fanatical in his adherence to the Ash’ari creed and fervent in his defense of it. He made ta’weel of all of Allah’s attributes without any exception, meaning that he interpreted them in a manner contrary to their apparent meaning and contrary to the understanding of the salaf.

-Stance regarding Fiqh (legal) Rulings:

He would discuss the positions of the different schools of jurisprudence while explaining the ayaat which were immediately related to legal rulings without going into extensive detail. He was a staunch supporter of his own Hanafi madhhab and would champion its positions while refuting opposing positions in most instances.

-Stance regarding Qiraa’aat (different recitations):

He kept his discussions of the qiraa’aat limited to the seven well-known recitations, and he was diligent in attributing each recitation to its reciter.

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

He was very sparse in his mention of Israa’eeliyyaat narrations. In the cases where he did mentioned them, he would sometimes follow them up with a discussion of their contents, and sometimes leave them without any comment. He also omitted al-Zamakhshari’s use of weak and fabricated ahaadeeth regarding the merits of each surah.

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

This tafsir deals extensively with matters of al-‘Iraab, grammar, and al-qiraa’aat without branching off into tangents. He was generally direct and focused in his explanations. It also includes much of the content of al-Zamakhshari’s tafsir in regards to points related to linguistic form and eloquence.


القول المختصر المبين في مناهج المفسرين لمحمد بن حمد الحمود النجدي

التفسير والمفسرين لمحمد حسين الدهبي

التيسير لمعرفة المشهور من أسانيد وكتب التفسير  لعلي بن أحمد الرازحي

Back to Mufassir Profiles Index

See also: Advice Regarding the Books of Tafsir with Distorted ‘Aqeedah