Memorizing from the Beginning or the End of the Mushaf?: Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, posed and answered the following question:

سؤال : أريد ابدأ في حفظ القرآن، فهل أبدأ من البقرة أو من الناس؟ ـ

Question: I would like to start memorizing the Qur’an; should I begin from surah al-Baqarah [02] or from surah al-Nas [114]?

الجواب : لم أقف في ذلك على شيء، فالأيسر لك في الحفظ اصنعه. وإذا كان تريد اختياري فاختار أن تبدأ بالمفصل من سورة ق، أو الحجرات إلى الناس، وهو المفصل الذي فضل به رسولنا ، وهو المحكم، وفيه جميع معاني القرآن العظيم، وأغلبه في أمور العقيدة. ـ

Response: I haven’t come across anything definitive on this topic, so whatever is easier for you for memorize, do that. However, if you would like my opinion, then I would choose to begin with the Mufassal surahs, those from surah Qaf [50] or surah al-Hujurat [49] until surah al-Nas [114]. These are the Mufassal that our Prophet was blessed and favored with, and they are muhkam [containing very few instances of abrogation]. All of the messages of the Qur’an can be found within them, and most of them deal with issues of belief.

أخرج أحمد في المسند (28/ 188، تحت رقم 16982)، وحسنه محققو المسند عن واثلة بن الأسقع، أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: “أعطيت مكان التوراة السبع. وأعطيت مكان الزبور المئين. وأعطيت مكان الإنجيل المثاني. وفضلت بالمفصل ” وبالله التوفيق. ـ

Ahmad reported the following narration in al-Musnad (28/188, narration #16982), and the authenticator of al-Musnad graded it as hasan. Wathilah ibn al-Asqa’ narrated that the Prophet said: Continue reading

The Death of the Scholars: Tafsir al-Baghawi & al-Qurtubi

Allah says in surah al-Ra’d:

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا نَأْتِي الْأَرْضَ نَنقُصُهَا مِنْ أَطْرَافِهَا ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يَحْكُمُ لَا مُعَقِّبَ لِحُكْمِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

Have they not seen that We set upon the land, reducing it from its borders? And Allah decides; there is no adjuster of His decision. And He is swift in account. [13:41]

Commenting on this, Imam al-Baghawi wrote:

قوله تعالى ( أولم يروا ) يعني : أهل مكة ، الذين يسألون محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم الآيات ( أنا نأتي الأرض ننقصها من أطرافها ) أكثر المفسرين على أن المراد منه فتح ديار الشرك ، فإن ما زاد في ديار الإسلام فقد نقص من ديار الشرك ، يقول : ( أولم يروا أنا نأتي الأرض ننقصها من أطرافها ) فنفتحها لمحمد أرضا بعد أرض حوالي أرضهم ، أفلا يعتبرون ؟ هذا قول ابن عباس ، وقتادة ، وجماعة . ـ

Allah’s statement:

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا

Have they not seen …

i.e. Haven’t the people of Mecca, those who ask Muhammad for miracles, seen

أَنَّا نَأْتِي الْأَرْضَ نَنقُصُهَا مِنْ أَطْرَافِهَا

… that We set upon the land, reducing it from its borders?

Most of the mufassiroon held that the intended meaning here is Islamic conquests of the non-Muslim lands, for the increases of the Muslim lands took away from the non-Muslim lands. Continue reading

How to Acquire a Firm Understanding of Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih al-‘Usaymi

What follows is an excerpt from a lecture given by sheikh Saalih al-‘Usaymi in Masjid al-Nabawi during Ramadan 1432 in a series of classes regarding tafsir. This excerpt focuses on how to study tafsir and acquire a firm understanding in the field, effectively providing a curriculum in this area:

إذا تقرر مقامُ علم التفسير وعِظمُ جلالته فينبغي أن يعلمُ المرءُ بعدُ أن كل مغلوقٍ له طريقٌ يوصل إليه, وهذه قاعدةٌ أجمعت عليها الأمم قاطبةً, فمن أراد شيئاً من الأمور الحسيّة أو المعنويّة فلابد أن يسلك طريقاً يفضي به إليه وجادةً تدلُّ عليه, ولما كان العلم مطلوباً معنويً فإن له جادةً توصل إلى كلِ فنٍّ ويشهدُ لذلك ما رواه مسلم بنُ الحجاج في ((صحيحه)) من حديث سليمان الأعمش عن أبي صالح الزيات عن أبي هريرة , أن النبي قال فذكر حديثاً وفيه: <<ومن سلك طريقاً يلتمسُ فيه علماً سهل الله له به طريقاً إلى الجنة>>. وكما أن الجنة لها طرقٌ توصل إليها وهي الأعمالُ الصالحة, والاعتقادات الكاملة, فكذلك كلٌ فنٍّ من الفنون له طريقٌ يوصل إليه, ويقال حينئذٍ: إن معرفة تفسير الله لها طريقٌ توصلُ إليها وتفضي سالكها من الإحاطة بعلم التفسير. ـ

Once you understand the great importance and tremendous merit of understanding the tafsir of the Qur’an, then you must also know that there is a way to reach every objective. This is something that all people agree on, without exception. Whoever wants something, whether physical or intangible, he must take the steps and the means to reach it. So since the knowledge that you seek it something intangible, then one must have the dedication that it takes to succeed in any field of knowledge. This is supported by what Muslim ibn al-Hajjaaj transmitted in his Saheeh from the hadith of Sulayman al-Ash’ath ibn Abi Salih al-Ziyaat on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said in part of a longer hadith:

Whoever traverses a path in search of knowledge, then Allah will make the path to Jannah easy for him because of that.

So just as Jannah has paths leading to it – namely righteous deeds and correct beliefs -, then likewise every field of study has a path that leads to it. So here we can say: There is a path for coming to know the meanings that Allah intended in His Book which will take whoever traverses it to the goal of having a comprehensive understanding of the field of tafsir.

ولا يمكن أن يتلقى علم التفسير بدون شيخ. فعند أبي داود من حديث الأعمش عن عبدالله بن عبدالله, عن سعيد بن جُبير, عن ابن عباس أن النبي قال:<< تسمعون ويُسمع منكم ويسمعُ ممن سمع منكم>>. وإسنادهُ قوي. وهذا الحديث حُجةٌ أن كلَّ علم من العلوم لا يؤخذُ إلا بالتلقي. ويعلمُ أيضاً أن من الغلط من يظنُ أن علم التفسير يؤخذُ بالقراءة المجردة بكتب التفسير, لأن التفسير ليست معادلات رياضيةٍ تحفظ وإنما هو علمٌ يَجمعُ بين إدراك جُملٍ من الأصول والقواعد مع صفاء النفوس وصلاحية القلوب= فعند ذلك يحاطُ بالتفسير. ــ

It is not possible to receive a good understanding of tafsir without a teacher. Abu Dawud brings the hadith of al-A’mash on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdullah on the authority of Sa’eed ibn Jubayr on the authority of ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet said:

You hear from me and others will hear from you and then others will hear from those who heard from you.

And its chain of narration is strong.

This hadith serves as a proof that every single type of knowledge must be received and learned under a teacher. Continue reading

“Ask the Ahl al-Dhikr if You Don’t Know”: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

The following question was posed to sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca:

سؤال: ما التقسيم والمفهوم الصحيح في قول الله تعالى:{فسئلوا أهل الذكر إن كنتم لا تعلمون} النحل ؟ ـ

Question: What is the division of people and correct understanding regarding Allah’s statement:

فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

So ask the ahl al-dhikr if you do not know [16:43]

جواب : الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين سيدنا محمد وعلى اله وصحبه وسلم. أما بعد: فإن قوله تعالى: {فسئلوا أهل الذكر إن كنتم لاتعلمون}النحل[7] يدل على أمور: ـ

Answer: All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation. May peace and blessings be upon the most noble of the prophets and messengers, our leader Muhammad, as well as upon his family and companions.

To proceed: Allah’s statement:

فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

So ask the ahl al-dhikr if you do not know [16:43]

points to a number of things:

الأمر الأول : أن المسلمين ينقسموا إلى قسمين قسم هم أهل العلم ،وقسم هم ليس من أهل العلم وهم الذين يسمون بالعوام. ـ

Point #1: That Muslims can be divided into two categories. One category is the people of knowledge, and the other category are those who are not the people of knowledge, those who are referred to as the laypeople. Continue reading

Some Background on the Field of ‘Uloom al-Qur’an: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr

In the introduction to his explanation of Manthoomah al-Zamzami – an introduction to the Qur’anic sciences in poem form -, sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr included the following remarks which include important background information regarding the field of ‘Uloom al-Qur’an:

التأليف في علوم القرآن يندر أن تجد متنا يناسب شرحه في دورة مثلا كما يوجد في العلوم الأخرى، العلوم الأخرى ألف فيها للمبتدئين، كتب كثيرة للمبتدئين؛ في الفقه، في العقائد، في الحديث، في كذا..، كتب كثيرة تناسب المبتدئين، كتب ألفت للمتوسطين، كتب ألفت للمنتهين. ـ

When it comes to the field of the Qur’anic sciences it is rare to find a primer suitable to be explained in a conference setting like the primers that you can find for other fields. In other sciences there are works that have been written for the beginning level, many books suitable for beginners. This is the case in fiqh, in ‘aqeedah, in hadeeth, and so on. There are plenty of books suitable for beginners, books written for intermediate students, and books written for advanced students.

تعال يا أخي إلى علوم القرآن، ما الذي يناسب المبتدئين من هذه العلوم؟ نجد في الدورات عناية بمقدمة شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية مقدمة التفسير ، شيخ الإسلام رحمه الله إمام من أئمة المسلمين، يكفي أن هذا الكتاب لشيخ الإسلام، لكن هل هو على طريقة المتون التي تعنى بالحدود والأمثلة والتعاريف وضبط الفن وضبط أنواع الفن كالعلوم الأخرى؟ يعني: هل نجد متنا في علوم القرآن مثل ما نجد النخبة مثلا ، أو الكتب التي ألفت للتدرج في تلقي العقيدة الصحيحة؟ ما نجد، يعني على سبيل الاستقلال للعلماء الذين يؤلفون على الجادة لطلاب العلم ما تجد إلا ما ندر. ـ

Let’s look, my brother, at the Qur’anic sciences – what would be a suitable work in this field for the beginning student? We find conferences generally giving attention to the Muqaddimah al-Tafsir of Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah, the sheikh of Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) and one of the leading figures of the Muslims. It is enough to know that this book was written by this Sheikh al-Islam, but is this work written in the typical mold of a primer that focuses on delimiting the subject, providing examples, giving definitions, precisely defining the field and the various sub-fields within it as we find in the primers of other sciences? In other words, do we find source texts for the Qur’anic sciences like al-Nukhbah al-Fikr, for example or like the books written to help the student gradually progress in acquiring the correct ‘aqeedah? We do not find these, meaning not as their own independent works written by the scholars as part of a progression of knowledge for students of knowledge. Except for the rare exception, we do not find such works. Continue reading

How the Sahabah Memorized the Qur’an: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr received and responded to the following question:

يقول: هل تطبيق طريقة الصَّحابة -رضوان الله عليهم- في حفظ القرآن بأن نحفظ عشر آيات ولا نتجاوزها إلا بعد فهمها ومعرفة تفسيرها جائزٌ لنا؟ وما رأيُكُم فيمن يقول إنَّ هذا بدعة؟ ـ

Question: Is it really possible for us to put the Sahabah’s method of Qur’an memorization into practice – that we would memorize ten ayaat and not go beyond that until we had understood them and come to know their explanation? And what is your opinion about somebody who says that this is an innovation?

إذا كان هذا بدعة فما السُّنَّة؟! إذا كان صنيع الصَّحابة بدعة فمن يقوم بالسُّنَّة بعدهم؟ على كلِّ حال هذه وسائل للتَّحصيل كلٌّ يفعل ما يُناسبُهُ وكل ما كان العمل أقرب إلى عمل الصَّحابة وفهم الصَّحابة كان إلى الصَّواب أقرب وهذه طريقة، طريقة الصَّحابة

Response: If that is an innovation then what is the sunnah?! If the practice of the Sahabah is an innovation then who was it that established and enacted the sunnah after them? In any case, every person should use whichever methods suit him to achieve his objective, but the closer his method is to practice and understanding of the Sahabah and the closer it is to being correct, and this method was the method of the Sahabah.

لو أنَّ شخصاً ممَّن لديه الحافظة القويَّة وقال عشر آيات أحفظُها في خمس دقائق فماذا أفعل في بقيَّة الوقت؟ نقول: أمامك عمل في بقيَّة الوقت هي ليست مُجرَّد حفظ إنَّما هو فهم ومُراجعة لأقوال أهل العلم وتعلُّم هذه الآيات العشر من جميع الوُجُوه والعمل بهذه الآيات العشر، لا شك أنَّ من يعمل هذا في كل يوم يحفظ عشر آيات ويراجع عليها التَّفاسير ويعمل بمُقتضاها فيها مشغلة وفيها ما يقطعُ الوقت،

A person with a good memory might say, “I can memorize ten ayaat in five minutes, so then what should I do with the rest of my time?” We would respond by saying: You have work awaiting you in the rest of your time. It is not just memorization that you should focus on; rather there is understanding it, examining the statements of the scholars, learning all aspects of these ten ayaat, and acting in accordance with these ten ayaat. If a person were to do this every day, to memorize ten ayaat, look through their various explanations, and put them into practice, there is no doubt that he would remain busy and perhaps even run out of time. Continue reading

How the Prophet Explained the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote the following short discussion on how the Prophet (ﷺ) used to explain the Qur’an:

تعلم معني القرآن العظيم ومعاني السنة النبوية للعمل بذلك في عبادة الله وطاعته، هو الغاية التي يسعى إليها كل مسلم! والعمل بهذه المعاني هو حاصل من كل مسلم بالفعل وبالقوة. ـ

Learning the meanings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah in order to act in accordance with them in worship and obedience to Allah is the goal that every Muslim should work towards! Acting upon these meanings is what is required of every Muslim in his actions and efforts.

ولم يوكل الله بيان معاني القرآن العظيم إلا للرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم؛ قال تعالى: ({وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ } [النحل: 44]. فالرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم مامات إلا وقد بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة، ومن ذلك بيان معاني القرآن الكريم؛ فالرسول فسر القرآن العظيم ، وبين معانيه؛ وذلك على وجوه ؛ ـ

Allah did not entrust anyone except for the Messenger (ﷺ) with explaining the meanings of the Qur’an. He said:

وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

And We revealed the dhikr to you in order that you may make what was sent down to the people clear to them and that they might give thought. [16:44]

And the Messenger (ﷺ) did not pass away until after he had conveyed the message and fulfilled his duty, and one part of that duty was clarifying the meanings of the Qur’an.

So the Messenger explained the Qur’an and clarified its meanings, and this was done in a number of ways: Continue reading

Contemplating the Qur’an: Sheikh bin Baaz

Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdillah bin Baaz, the former mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, once mentioned the following words on the subject of contemplating the Qur’an:

 التدبر مشروع كما بينه الله عز وجل، وهو المقصود، المقصود من التلاوة التدبر والتعقل والفهم ثم العمل، قال عز وجل: كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَابِ فهو أنزل للتدبر قال تعالى: أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا فالمشروع للمؤمن عند التلاوة وهكذا المؤمنة التدبر والتعقل والتفهم، فمعناه تعقل الآية، يتدبرها يتعقلها ما هو المراد؟ يعني يتعقل ويتفهم ما هو المراد من قوله: وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ من قوله: حافظوا على الصلوات والصلاة الوسطى من قوله: فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ من قوله: وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ وغير ذلك  ـ

Contemplating the Qur’an is a legislated action as Allah has made clear, and it is what is actually desired. The objective of reciting the Qur’an is to contemplate, to engage with it and understand it, and then to act according to it. Allah said:

 كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَابِ

A blessed Book which We have revealed to you that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded. [38:29]

 So He revealed it for it to be contemplated. And He said:

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon their hearts? [47:24]

So what is legislated for the believer when he is reciting the Qur’an – and this is true for both males and females alike – is to contemplate it, to engage with it, and to understand it. The meaning of this is to engage with the ayah, reflect on it and engage with it – what is the intended meaning? Meaning, engage with the text and understand what is the intended meaning of Allah’s statement:

وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ

and establish the prayer and pay the zakah

What is the intended meaning of His statement:

حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّـهِ قَانِتِينَ

guard the prayers, and especially the middle prayer, stand devoutly obedient before Allah [2:238]

What is the intended meaning of His statement:

فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ

So have taqwa of Allah as much as you are able [64:16]

And what is the intended meaning of His statement:

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

And establish prayer and give zakah and obey the Messenger – that you may receive mercy. [24:56]

and so on.

يعني يتدبر المعنى ما هو المعنى، يتفهم حتى يعمل به، وحتى يوصي الناس به، فالمؤمن إذا تدبر يتحفظ ولو بالكتابة، يتحفظ ما ظهر له حتى يعمل به، حتى ينصح إخوانه بذلك إذا كان عنده علم وفهم، يعمل بذلك ويوصي إخوانه بذلك، وأهل بيته، هكذا ينبغي للمؤمن أن تكون عنده عناية إذا قرأ القرآن يتعقل ويتدبر حتى يستفيد، وحتى يعمل. جزاكم الله خيراً ـ

In other words, one should reflect on the meaning – what is the meaning? – and comprehend it such that he acts upon it and such that he encourages others to do so as well. For when the believer contemplates the Qur’an, he takes it to heart even if he has not memorized it by heart. He carefully attends to what he understood from it such that he acts upon it and such that he advises his brothers to do so as well if he has some knowledge and understanding. He acts according to what he learned and also encourages his brothers to do so, as well as the members of his household. This is what the believer ought to do, that when he is reciting the Qur’an he should give importance to engaging with what he is reading and contemplating it such that he can get something out of it and such that he can act according to it. May Allah reward you all with good.

[Taken from the sheikh’s website here.]

See also: Which is more virtuous: reading a small amount of the Qur’an with tarteel and contemplation, or a large amount quickly? – Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: Understanding the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

See also: How to Contemplate the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

See also: Ibn al-Qayyim’s Model for Contemplating the Qur’an

See also: The Virtue of Memorizing the Qur’an: Sheikh Muqbil

See also: Naseehah to the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

See also: Etiquette of Reciting and Listening to the Qur’an: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: Reciting the Qur’an in English?: Sheikh bin Baaz

Regarding New Explanations of the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

One of the valuable works of sheikh Muhammad Bazmool is entitled “Misleading Phrases”, in which the sheikh clarifies a series of wordings which are either frequently misused, misunderstood, or simply incorrect. What follows is an excerpt from that work:

ومن هذه العبارات الموهمة: قول بعضهم: “القرآن العظيم له تفسير في كل زمان بما يناسبه”. ـ

And another one of these misleading phrases is what some people say, that “There is an appropriate explanation of the Qur’an for each era.”

إطلاق هذه الكلمة لا يجوز، فإن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم هو أعلم الخلق بكلام الله ومعانيه، وما مات إلا وقد فسر القرآن جميعه، وأخذ عنه هذا التفسير صحابته رضوان الله عليهم، وعنهم التابعون، فمن فسر القرآن بتفسير يخرج عن تفسير الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم وصحابته، خرج عن الصراط المستقيم في تفسير القرآن العظيم، وشاق الله ورسوله، (وَمَنْ يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيراً)(النساء:115). ـ

Taken on its own, this statement is not acceptable. For the Messenger (ﷺ) was the most knowledgeable member of the creation regarding the speech of Allah and its meanings, and he did not die until after he had already explained the entire Qur’an. And his Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) took this explanation from him, and the Taabi’oon took it from them. So whoever explains the Qur’an with an explanation which departs from the tafsir of the Messenger (ﷺ) and his Sahabah, then he has departed from the Straight Path in relation to the tafsir of the Qur’an, and he has opposed Allah and His messenger: Continue reading

Narration-based Tafsir before Opinion-based Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

In a lecture entitled, “How to Read the Books of the People of Knowledge”, sheikh Saaleh Aal al-Sheikh mentioned the following important points related to studying tafsir (explanation of the Qur’an):

وكتب التفسير كما هو معلوم منقسمة إلى مدرستين: مدرسة التفسير بالأثر. ومدرسة التفسير بالرأي، ومدرسة التفسير بالرأي أيضا لها عدة أقسام منها ما هو من ثوابت الرأي المحمود، يعني الاجتهاد والاستنباط، المقبول، الذي له أُسُسه، المقبولة شرعا، ومنها ما فسر القرآن برأي مجرد يعني بغير حجة، إما في الاعتقاد أو في غيره. ـ

As is well-known, the books of tafsir are divided into two schools:

  • The narration-based school of tafsir, and
  • The opinion-based school of tafsir

And the opinion-based school of tafsir also has a number of sub-categories. One of them is that of praise-worthy opinions, meaning the acceptable processes of reasoning and derivation based on the texts, whose basis according to the sharee’ah is that it is accepted. Another one of its categories is that which interprets the Qur’an by mere opinion alone, meaning without any evidence or proofs. This could be in terms of beliefs or in other areas.

فكتب التفسير إذًا على قسمين كتب التفسير بالأثر وكتب التفسير بالرأي، كتب التفسير بالأثر، نعني بها الكتب التي تمحظت في نقل الآثار، فيأتي في التفسير هذه فسرها ابن عباس كذا وهو قول ابن عباس ومجاهد وسعيد بن جبير مثلا، وابن مسعود وعلقمة إلى آخر ذلك، به قال فلان وفلان وفلان يعني نقل أقوال السلف في التفسير تسمى التفسير بالمأثور ـ

So then, the books of tafsir are divided into two categories: the books of narration-based tafsir and the books of opinion-based tafsir. And by the books of narration-based tafsir, I mean those books which focus on transmitting the statements of the early generations. So it would come in the tafsir as “ibn ‘Abbaas explained this to mean such-and-such” or “this was the position of ibn ‘Abbaas, Mujaahid, and Sa’eed ibn Jubayr”, for example, or “of ibn Mas’ood and ‘Alqamah,” and so on. “This was what so-and-so and so-and-so said.” Meaning: transmitting the statements of the salaf in the field of tafsir, which is called “Narration-based Tafsir“. Continue reading