A Brief History of the Preservation of the Qur’an: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad

In the introduction to a short work on memorizing the Qur’an sheikh ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad, one of the senior scholars of al-Madinah, wrote the following brief overview of the Qur’an’s preservation and transmission:

الحمد لله الذي أنزل على عبده الكتاب ولم يجعل له عوجا، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله الذي أكرمه الله فجعل القرآن له خلقا صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله الطيّبين الشرفاء، وأصحابه أولي الفضائل والنهى ومن سلك سبيلهم واهتدى بهديهم إلى يوم الدين. ـ

All praise is due to Allah who sent down the Scripture upon His slave and did not place any crookedness in it. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone with no partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, whom Allah ennobled and therefore made the Qur’an his very character – may Allah’s peace, blessings, and salutations be upon him, his good and noble family, his excellent and virtuous companions, and whoever follows along his path and is guided by his guidance until the Day of Judgement.

أما بعد: فإن أهم المهمّات وأولى ما تُعمر به الأوقات، الاشتغال والعناية بكتاب الله حفظاً وتلاوة وتدبّراً وتعلّماً وتعليماً وتأليفاً. ـ

To proceed: Certainly, the most important matter and the thing most deserving of our time is giving care and attention to the Book of Allah – memorizing it, reciting it, contemplating over it, studying it, teaching it, and gathering it together [i.e. in one’s heart, or in written form].

وكتاب الله خير الكلام وأحسن الحديث وأصدق القول، وقد وصفه الله بكونه عظيماً وحكيماً ومجيداً وكريماً وعزيزاً ومبيناً ونوراً وهدى ومباركاً، وغير ذلك من الأوصاف. ـ

The Book of Allah is the best speech, the most excellent discourse, and the most truthful of words. Allah has described it to us as magnificent, completely consistent, glorious, noble, mighty, clear, a light, a guidance, blessed, as well as other such descriptions. Continue reading

The Types of Tafsir: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Bazmool wrote and posted the following on his personal blog:

أنواع التفسير
The Types of Tafsir

ـ 1 – التفسير نوعان : ـ
ـ = تفسير بالرواية ، ويقال له تفسير بالمنقول، تفسير بالمأثور. ـ
ـ = تفسير بالدراية، ويقال له تفسير بالمعقول، تفسير بالرأي. ـ
والمراد بالتفسير بالمأثور: أن يقتصر المفسر على نقل معنى الآية إما من آية أخرى، أو من حديث، أو من قول صحابي، أو من قول أجمع عليه التابعون. ففي التفسير بالمأثور لا يأتي المفسر بشيء بمعنى من عنده أصلاً. ـ
والمراد بالتفسير بالرأي ، أن يأتي المفسر بمعنى الآية من جهة اللغة والعقل. يعني من عنده باجتهاده. ـ

Tafsir falls into two broad categories:

Tafsir bi’l-Riwayah [Narration-Based Tafsir], which is also known as Tafsir bi’l-Manqool and Tafsir bi’l-Ma’thoor.

Tafsir bi’l-Dirayah [Opinion-Based Tafsir], which is also known as Tafsir bi’l-Ma’qool and Tafsir bi’l-Ra’yi.

What is meant by Tafsir bi’l-Ma’thoor is that the mufassir restricts himself to transmitting the meaning of the ayah either by means of another ayah, or a hadith, or a statement of a Sahabi, or a statement which the Tabi’oon agreed upon. So in Tafsir bi’l-Ma’thoor, the mufassir does not bring anything which originates from himself regarding the meaning of an ayah.

And what is meant by Tafsir bi’l-Ra’yi is that the mufassir brings the meaning of an ayah from the angle of linguistics and intellectual reasoning, i.e. from his own efforts of independent reasoning.

 ـ 2 – طرق التفسير بالمأثور
للتفسير بالمأثور أربعة طرق وهي التالية: ـ
الأولى : تفسير القرآن بالقرآن. ـ
الثاني : تفسير القرآن بالسنة. ـ
الثالث : تفسير القرآن بقول الصحابي. ـ
الرابع : تفسير القرآن بقول التابعين إذا اتفقوا واجمعوا!. ـ

The ways of making Tafsir bi’l-Ma’thoor [Narration-based Tafsir]:

There are four ways to make Tafsir bi’l-Ma’thoor, which come as follows:

First: Explaining the Qur’an by means of the Qur’an itself.

Second: Explaining the Qur’an by means of the Sunnah.

Third: Explaining the Qur’an through the statement of a Sahabi.

Fourth: Explaining the Qur’an by a statement from the Tabi’oon, if they agreed on that and had consensus.

Continue reading

Supposed Contradictions between the Qur’an and Hadeeth: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

The following important clarification was written by Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Bazmool:

كيف نفسر وجود الاختلاف والتعارض بين الحديث والقرآن العظيم، والله تبارك وتعالى يقول: ﴿أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفاً كَثِيراً﴾ (النساء:82)؟ ـ

How do we explain the presence of discrepancies and contradictions between the hadeeth and the Qur’an while Allah says:

أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفاً كَثِيراً

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. [4:82]

والجواب: وقوع الاختلاف والتعارض بين الأحاديث والقرآن العظيم، يرجع لأسباب: ـ

Response: The presence of discrepancy and contradictions between various ahaadeeth and the Qur’an comes from a handful of reasons:

السبب الأول: الجهل بالمعنى المراد، من الآية والحديث؛ ـ

The first reason: Ignorance of the intended meaning of an ayah or hadeeth.

مثال ذلك حديث الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم: “لن يدخل أحد الجنة بعمله”، مع قوله تعالى: ﴿وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ } (الأعراف:43)، وقوله: ﴿الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ يَقُولُونَ سَلامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴾ (النحل:32)، وقوله: ﴿وَتِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِي أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ﴾ (الزخرف:72)، وقوله: ﴿كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئاً بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ﴾ (الطور:19)، وقوله: ﴿كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئاً بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ﴾ (المرسلات:43). ـ

An example of that is the hadeeth of the Messenger (ﷺ), “No one of you will ever enter al-Jannah because of his deeds,” along with Allah’s statement:

وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And they will be called, “This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do.” [7:43]

and His statement: Continue reading

A Relationship between Surah al-Ma’oon and Surah al-Kawthar: al-Zarkashi

In his famous handbook of the sciences of the Qur’an, sheikh Badr al-Deen al-Zarkashi – a student of the famous mufassir al-haafidh ibn Kathir – mentioned the following point:

وَمِنْ لَطَائِفِ سُورَةِ الْكَوْثَرِ أَنَّهَا كَالْمُقَابِلَةِ لِلَّتِي قَبْلَهَا لِأَنَّ السَّابِقَةَ قَدْ وَصَفَ اللَّهُ فِيهَا الْمُنَافِقَ بِأُمُورٍ أَرْبَعَةٍ الْبُخْلِ وَتَرْكِ الصَّلَاةِ وَالرِّيَاءِ فِيهَا وَمَنْعِ الزَّكَاةِ فَذَكَرَ هُنَا فِي مُقَابَلَةِ البخل {إنا أعطيناك الْكَوْثَرِ} أَيِ الْكَثِيرَ وَفِي مُقَابَلَةِ تَرْكِ الصَّلَاةِ {فَصَلِّ} أَيْ دُمْ عَلَيْهَا وَفِي مُقَابَلَةِ الرِّيَاءِ {لِرَبِّكَ} أَيْ لِرِضَاهُ لَا لِلنَّاسِ وَفِي مُقَابَلَةِ مَنْعِ الْمَاعُونِ {وَانْحَرْ} وَأَرَادَ بِهِ التَّصَدُّقَ بِلَحْمِ الْأَضَاحِيِّ فَاعْتَبَرَ هَذِهِ الْمُنَاسَبَةَ الْعَجِيبَةَ

One of the subtle points of surah al-Kawthar [108] is that it is like a counterpart to the surah that preceded it [i.e. surah al-Ma’oon – 107]. For in the previous surah, Allah had characterized the munaafiq [hypocrite] with four qualities:

1) stinginess,

2) abandoning the prayer,

3) performing the prayer only to be seen by others, and

4) withholding the zakah.

○ But then in this surah, as a counterpart to stinginess He mentioned:

إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ

Indeed, We have granted you al-Kawthar [108:1]

meaning: an abundance.

○ And as a counterpart to abandoning the prayer, He said:

فَصَلِّ

so turn in prayer …

meaning: always be consistent in it.

○ And as a counterpart to the desire to be seen by people, He said:

لِرَبِّكَ

… to your Lord …

meaning: for His pleasure, not for the sake of people.

○ And as a counterpart to withholding neighborly acts of kindness, He said:

وَانْحَرْ

… and sacrifice. [108:2]

and what is intended here is the charitable distribution of the sacrificial ‘Eid al-Adhaa meat.

So the parallels and the relationship between these two surahs is something amazing.

[al-Burhan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an 1/39]

See also: A Benefit of General Language in Surah al-Duhaa: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: Four things for you and Three things against you

See also: “If there had been a concession for anyone in leaving off dhikr…”

See also: The Relationship between Supplication and Fasting: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Supposed Contradictions in the Qur’an: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

In part of his primer of the science of Qur’anic interpretation (al-Tafsir), sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen dedicated one chapter to discussing suspected contradictions in the Qur’an:

موهم التعارض في القرآن
Supposed Contradictions in the Qur’an

التعارض في القرآن أن تتقابل آيتان، بحيث يمنع مدلول إحداهما مدلول الأخرى، مثل أن تكون إحداهما مثبته لشئ والأخرى نافية فيه.ـ

A contradiction in the Qur’an would be that two verses are placed side by side with what one indicates being opposed by what the other indicates. For example, one of them would affirm something while the other would negate it.

ولا يمكن أن يقع التعارض بين آيتين مدلولهما خبري، لأنه يلزم كون إحداهما كذبا، وهو مستحيل في أخبار الله تعالى، قال الله تعالى: (وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثاً) (النساء: الآية 87) (وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ قِيلاً) (النساء: الآية 122)) ولا يمكن أن يقع التعارض بين آيتين مدلولهما حكمي؛ لأن الأخيرة منهما ناسخة للأولى قال الله تعالى (مَا نَنْسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنْسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا) (البقرة: الآية 106) وإذا ثبت النسخ كان حكم الأولى غير قائم ولا معارض للأخيرة. ـ

But it is not possible for there to be any contradiction between the information that two different verses present because this would entail that one of the two verses contains false information, which is impossible when it comes to the information that Allah has provided. Allah has said:

وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثاً

And who is more truthful in statement than Allah? [4:87]

وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّـهِ قِيلًا

And who is more truthful in speech than Allah? [4:122]

Nor is it possible for there to be any contradiction between the rulings that two different verses present because the latter of the two would abrogate the earlier. Allah said: Continue reading

Tafsir of the Qur’an and its Connection to the Qiraa’aat: al-Suyooti

Sheikh Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti mentioned the following point in his famous manual of Qur’anic Sciences, al-Itqaan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an:

 من المهم معرفة التفاسير الواردة عن الصحابة بحسب قراءة مخصوصة ، وذلك أنه قد يرد عنهم تفسيران في الآية الواحدة مختلفان ، فيظن اختلافا وليس باختلاف ، وإنما كل تفسير على قراءة ، وقد تعرض السلف لذلك . ـ

An important issue is being aware that the explanations transmitted from the Sahaabah are according to specific qiraa’aat (variant recitations of the Qur’an). So because of that, perhaps there might be two different explanations of a single ayah and therefore one might think that these two explanations are in conflict when in fact there is no conflict – rather it is only that each one is an explanation of a particular recitation. And this is something which the salaf were aware of.

فأخرج ابن جرير في قوله تعالى : لقالوا إنما سكرت أبصارنا [ الحجر : 15 ] . من طرق عن ابن عباس وغيره أن سكرت بمعنى سدت ومن طرق أنها بمعنى أخذت . ـ

For in his explanation of Allah’s statement:

لَقَالُوا إِنَّمَا سُكِّرَتْ أَبْصَارُنَا

They would surely say, “our eyes have been sukkirat” [15:15]

ibn Jarir [al-Tabari] brought an explanation from ibn ‘Abbaas and others from more than one route of transmission that the word “sukkirat” carries the meaning of “sealed up”, while in other narrations also from ibn ‘Abbaas and also from multiple routes of transmission it comes that he held it to mean “enchanted”.

ثم أخرج عن قتادة قال : من قرأ سُكِّرَتْ مشددة ، فإنما يعني سدت ، ومن قرأ : سُكِرَتْ مخففة ، فإنه يعني سحرت ، وهذا الجمع من قتادة نفيس بديع . ـ

But then ibn Jarir brought an explanation from Qataadah who said: whoever recites it as “sukkirat” with a shaddah, this means “sealed up”, while whoever recites it as “sukirat” without a shaddah, this means “enchanted”. And this is a wonderful reconciliation of these two explanations by Qataadah. Continue reading

A Common Theme of the Disconnected Letters: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked the following question:

 السؤال: أشكل عليَّ حين قلت بأنه لا يوجد في القرآن شيء لا يعرفه أحد من علماء الأمة أو أجمع الناس على عدم معرفته، فماذا نجيب على الحروف المقطعة (ألم)، و(ق)، و(يس)، وغيرها مما كان فيه الخلاف وأشكل على أهل العلم؟ ـ

Question: I was confused when you said that there is nothing in the Qur’an which none of the scholars of this ummah know or which no one of mankind understands. So how do we respond when it comes to the Disconnected Letters [al-Huroof al-Muqatta’ah] – alif lam meen, qaf, ya seen, and other such things – which have been the subject of differing and which have been difficult for some of the scholars?

الجواب: نجيب على هذا أنه لا إشكال في هذا إطلاقاً؛ لأن الله تعالى قال: ﴿بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُبِينٍ ﴾[الشعراء:195] ومن المعلوم أن هذه الحروف دون تركيبها كلمات ليس لها معنى، (ق) ليس لها معنى، (ص) ليس لها معنى، (ن) ليس لها معنى، (ألم) ليس لها معنى، فهي بمقتضى اللسان العربي ليس لها معنى، لو قال لك الرجل العربي: (ق) وهو يريد الحرف الهجائي هل له معنى؟ ليس له معنى، إذا كان ليس لها معنى والله -عز وجل- أخبرنا أن القرآن نزل بلسان عربي مبين علمنا أنه ليس لها معنى، لكن على هذا يبقى عندنا إشكال: كيف يكون في القرآن ما ليس له معنى والقرآن حق؟ نقول: نعم ليس لها معنى في ذاتها، لكن لها معنى في غرضها ومغزاها، كأن الله -عز وجل- إذا قال (ق)، (ن)، (ص) وما أشبه ذلك كأنه يقول: هذا الكتاب العظيم الذي أعجزكم أيها العرب لم يأت بحروف جديدة، فالحروف التي فيه هي الحروف التي تركبون منها كلامكم، ومع ذلك أعجزكم؛ ولهذا قال شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية: لا يوجد سورة مبدوءة بهذه الحروف إلا وبعدها ذكر القرآن، أو ما لا يعلم إلا بالوحي. ـ

Response: We respond by saying that there is no problem regarding this issue at all, for Allah has said:

بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِينٍ

In the plain Arabic language [26:195]

and it is well-known that these letters do not carry any meaning when they are not arranged together into words. Qaf does not have any meaning, Saad does not have any meaning, Noon does not have any meaning, Alif Lam Meem does not have any meaning. So these things, according to the Arabic language, do not have any meaning of their own. If an Arabic-speaking person were to say to you, “Qaf” and all he meant by it was a letter of the alphabet, does that carry any meaning of its own? No, it does not have any meaning of its own. So it does not carry any meaning of its own, and Allah has informed us that the Qur’an was sent down in the clear Arabic language, teaching us that these do not carry any meaning. Continue reading

Do the Disconnected Letters Carry Meaning?: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

During question and answer session of his explanation of the book Lum’ah al-I’tiqaad, sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh responded to the following question:

سؤال: هذه الحروف في أوائل السور ما معناها؟

Question: The letters at the beginnings of some surahs – what are their meanings?

الجواب: هذه الحروف في أوائل السور تسمى الحروف المقطعة، والراجح في معناها أنها للإشارة إلى أن هذا القرآن كلماته متألفة من جنس هذه الأحرف، وإذا كان كذلك وهذه الأحرف هي التي يتكلم العرب بها ويؤلفون بها كلامهم، فإن ذلك يدل على أن القرآن معجز، فكأن الله – سبحانه وتعالى- يقول للناس: هذا القرآن مكون من هذه الأحرف التي تتكلمون بها وتنشئون بها كلامكم، وليس من أحرف أخر، ومع هذا أنتم لا تستطيعون أن تأتوا بمثله، ولا بمثل عشر سور، ولا بمثل سورة منه، وهذا يدل على عظم الإعجاز، ويدل على هذا التفسير الاستقراء، والاستقراء أحد أوجه الأدلة التي ينبغي العناية بها، فتجد أن معظم السور التي في أولها الأحرف المقطعة يعقبها ذكر القرآن أو الكتاب، قال جل وعلا:) الم * ذلك الكتاب لا ريب (. [البقرة: 1-2]. ـ

Response: These letters at the beginnings of some surahs are called the “Disconnected Letters” [al-Huroof al-Muqatta’a], and the strongest position regarding their meanings is that they are a sign indicating that the words of this Qur’an are composed of these types of letter. So then if that is the case and these are the very same letters which the Arabs use to speak and of which their speech is composed, then this demonstrates that the Qur’an is miraculous and inimitable. It is as if Allah is saying to mankind, “This Qur’an is made up of these very same letters which you use to speak and which make up your discourse – not any other letters. However, despite that, you are not able to produce the likes of it, nor the likes of ten of its chapters, nor the likes of even one of its chapters.” So this points to the grand miraculous nature of the Qur’an

And detailed scholarly examination of the Qur’an also points to this same position, as detailed scholarly examination is one form of evidence which should be given due consideration. For you find that most of the surahs that begin with the Disconnected Letters immediately follow them up by mentioning the Qur’an or the Scripture. Allah said: Continue reading

Turning Away from the Sources of Tafsir: Ibn Taymiyah

In the midst of a wider discussion within his book al-Eemaan, sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah included the following valuable aside regarding some of the causes for deviating while making tafsir, centering around turning away from the sources of tafsir. For any readers who are not already familiar with the sources of tafsir, we would recommend first reading this brief article from sheik Saalih al-Fawzan on the subject before continuing:

    وقد دلت النصوص على أنه يخرج من النار من في قلبه مثقال ذرة من الإيمان . وقد عدلت ” المرجئة ” في هذا الأصل عن بيان الكتاب والسنة وأقوال الصحابة والتابعين لهم بإحسان واعتمدوا على رأيهم وعلى ما تأولوه بفهمهم اللغة ، وهذه طريقة أهل البدع ; ولهذا كان الإمام أحمد يقول : أكثر ما يخطئ الناس من جهة التأويل والقياس . [ ص: 119 ]  ـ

The textual sources definitively prove that whoever has a mustard seed’s weight of eemaan in his heart will eventually be taken out of the Hell-fire. However, when it comes to this fundamental principle, the Murji’ah have turned away from the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the statements of the sahabah and those who followed them in goodness and instead they relied on their own opinions and their own interpretations and their own understandings of linguistic matters. This is the way of the people of religious innovation (ahl al-bid’ah), and it was in their vein that Imam Ahmad said, “The most common areas in which people err are interpreting words outside of their predominant meanings and analogical reasoning.”

     ولهذا تجد المعتزلة والمرجئة والرافضة وغيرهم من أهل البدع يفسرون القرآن برأيهم ومعقولهم وما تأولوه من اللغة ; ولهذا تجدهم لا يعتمدون على أحاديث النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والصحابة والتابعين وأئمة المسلمين ; فلا يعتمدون لا على السنة ولا على إجماع السلف وآثارهم ; وإنما يعتمدون على العقل واللغة . ـ

And so you find the Mu’tazilah, the Murji’ah, the Raafidah, and other groups of the ahl al-bid’ah making tafsir of the Qur’an according to their own views, reasonings, and linguistic interpretations, and you find that they do not rely on the statements of the Prophet (ﷺ) or the sahabah or the tabi’oon or the scholars. So they do not rely on the Sunnah or on the consensus of the early generations or on the statements and positions relayed from them; they only rely on intellect and linguistics. Continue reading

The Conditions for Making Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

During a question and answer session connected to his explanation of ibn Taymiyah’s Muqaddimah fee Usool al-Tafsir, Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh was asked the following the question:

سؤال : ما هي الشروط التي يجب أن تتوفر فيمن يفسر كلام الله عز وجل إذا كان من أهل السنة والجماعة ؟ ـ

Question: What are the conditions which must be in place for someone to make tafsir of Allah’s speech [i.e. the Qur’an] if he is from Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah?

ذكر العلماء شروطًا لذلك : الأول : أن يكون عالمًا بالقرآن ، حافظًا للقرآن ، لأن القرآن يفسر بالقرآن ، وإذا كان غير حافظ لكتاب الله – جل وعلا – عن ظهر قلب فإنه قد يفوته تفسير الآية بآية أخرى ، وفي ضمن ذلك أن يكون يعلم ( وهذا على وجه التفضيل لا على الاشتراط ) أن يعلم القراءات ، سواء أكانت السبع أو العشر ، أو ما هو أكثر من ذلك مما صح من القراءات ، لأن التفسير يحتاج فيه المفسر إلى تفسير القراءة بالقراءة الأخرى مثل قوله تعالى : ﴿ وَلا تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّى يَطْهُرْنَ فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ ﴾ في القراءة الأخرى قال – جل وعلا – : ﴿ وَلا تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّى يَتَطَهَّرْنَ ﴾ صار معنى يطهُرن : يعني يتطهرن ، يعني الطهارة الكاملة ، الطهارة من الحيض وطهارة بالاغتسال ، فتفسر القراءة بالقراءة ، بعض الناس لا يكون عنده علم ، أو يجترئ على القراءات ويأتي بقراءة شاذة أصلاً لا تصح ، مثل الذي يأتي – وسمعناها من بعض خطباء الجمعة ، ومن بعض المحاضرين ، هذا جهل في بعض أحواله – بقوله : ﴿ وَإِذَا أَرَدْنَا أَنْ نُهْلِكَ قَرْيَةً أَمَرْنَا مُتْرَفِيهَا فَفَسَقُوا فِيهَا ﴾ يعني جعلنا مترفيها أمراء – ما أدري له هوى أو كذا – المقصود : أمّرنا مترفيها ، يقول : كما في القراءة الأخرى – وهذه ليست قراءة صحيحة – ولكن (أمرنا مترفيها ففسقوا فيها ) يعني أمرنا مترفيها بالهدى والتقى فلم يطيعوا الرسل ، بل فسقوا فيها ﴿ فَحَقَّ عَلَيْهَا الْقَوْلُ فَدَمَّرْنَاهَا تَدْمِيرًا ﴾ . إذن يشترط في المفسر أن يكون حافظًا لكتاب الله – جل وعلا – ، ويفضل فيه أن يكون عالمًا بالقراءات لأن بعض القراءات يفسر بعضًا . ـ

Answer: The scholars have mentioned a number of conditions for that.

○ First: That he be knowledgeable of the Qur’an, having memorized the Qur’an, because the Qur’an explains the Qur’an. For if he is not one who has memorized the Book of Allah by heart, then he might miss the fact that one ayah explains another. And included in this is that he knows – and this is one of the preferred aspects, not a required prerequisite – that he knows the qiraa’aat (variant readings), whether seven or ten or more than those from among what has been authenticated of the qiraa’aat. This is because in tafsir, the mufassir is in need of one reading to explain another reading, for example Allah’s statement:

وَلَا تَقْرَ‌بُوهُنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَطْهُرْ‌نَ ۖ فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْ‌نَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَ‌كُمُ اللَّـهُ

And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you [2:222]

And in another recitation, Allah said:

وَلَا تَقْرَ‌بُوهُنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَطَّهَّرْنَ

And do not approach them until they purify themselves [2:222]

So the meaning of “[until] they are pure” comes to mean “[until] they purify themselves” – meaning complete purity, i.e. purity from menstruation and purity by means of performing ghusl. So one recitation is explained by another recitation. Some people do not have any knowledge of this, or they behave brashly with the recitations and bring some odd recitation whose basis is not authentic, such as the one – and I have heard this from some of the jumu’ah khateebs and some of those who give talks, out of ignorance in some instances – such as the one who brings this statement: Continue reading