Mufassir Profiles – Details and Sources

This page is intended to provide further details on the “Mufassir profiles”. It contains information on the main sources used, the process involved in producing these profiles, and some brief acknowledgements.

Sources:

In compiling these “Mufassir profiles”, I have relied primarily on three sources:

al-Tafseer wa’l-Mufassiroon by Muhammad Husayn al-Dhahabi

التفسير والمفسرين لمحمد حسين الدهبي

This is the definitive work on the works of tafsir and their authors, covering the field from the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) until the work’s publication in 1946. It was originally a doctoral thesis for al-Azhar University, and its three volumes remain the most encyclopedic work on the oeuvre of tafsir literature. The author details the individual approaches of each author and distinguishing features of each book, as well as the broader movements which produced these works, and many other points of benefit. May Allah reward the author for his considerable effort in producing this unprecedented and unmatched work on this topic.

al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fee Manaahij al-Mufassireen by Muhammad ibn Hamad al-Hamood al-Najdi

القول المختصر المبين في مناهج المفسرين لمحمد بن حمد الحمود النجدي

This book is a short reference work written for students of knowledge to acquaint them with 24 well-known and wide-spread books of tafsir. Its content is primarily a summary of al-Dhahabi’s al-Tafseer wa’l-Mufassiroon regarding these books. However, the author organized the information into different categories to provide a standard and easy-to-use reference guide for topics such as the ‘aqeedah of the author, his stance regarding fiqh or Israa’eeliyyaat narrations, general description of the book, etc. The author also included chapters on some more contemporary works not covered by al-Dhahabi.

al-Tayseer li-Ma’rifah al-Mashhoor min Asaaneed wa Kutub al-Tafseer by ‘Ali ibn Ahmad al-Raazihi

التيسير لمعرفة المشهور من أسانيد وكتب التفسير  لعلي بن أحمد الرازحي

Although the primary focus of this work revolves around the chains of narration relaying the statements of the earliest mufassiroon, this book also contains a section describing a number of well-known books of tafsir. The author supplemented comments drawn from al-Dhahabi’s work with additional points of benefits, and also covered some works which were not found in al-Najdi’s summary.

Process:

In constructing these profiles, I followed the organizational style of al-Najdi to provide a consistent and easy-to-navigate presentation of the material. I would first rely on the summaries of al-Najdi and al-Raazihi – both of whom drew on al-Dhahabi – and paraphrase or translate their statements. Having thus produced an initial profile, I would then read through al-Dhahabi’s much more detailed treatment of each mufassir and their book in order to gain a more complete understanding. I would update the initial draft with the additional details and clarifications from al-Dhahabi to produce a final product. I restricted my efforts to conveying the descriptions of the books and their various features, rather than reproducing the specific examples cited by al-Dhahabi or al-Najdi.

This series also includes some more contemporary works not covered in any of these primary sources. For these works, I drew on additional resources and continued to follow al-Najdi’s organizational structure. All references are cited in each profile.

Acknowledgements:

First, praise and thanks are due to Allah who enabled me to complete what you see of this series. After that, I am of course indebted to the scholars whose valuable works I utilized in producing these profiles, may Allah reward them with good.

I would also like to thank my wife, Sukhailah Bint-Khalil, for her support and assistance in this project. My father-in-law, Abu Sukhailah Khalil Ibn-Abelahyi, also deserves special thanks for his encouragement to pursue this project, the resources which he provided to do so, and the advice that he has offered along the way. May Allah bless their entire family.

Your brother in Islam,

Khalil Klopfenstein