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Towards Understanding The Quran

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1 Towards Understanding The Quran
Introduction Of Tafsir

2 Need and Methodology of Tafsir
Scholars are required to elaborate upon the meanings of Allah SWT’s Speech and to convey the meanings Seek the meanings from proper resources Scholars are required to learn and convey the meanings, just as Allah SWT said, (And remember) when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain. And indeed worst is that which they bought. (Al-Imran 3:187)

3 Need and Methodology of Tafsir
And Allah SWT says Verily, those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter (Paradise). Neither will Allah speak to them not look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful torment. (Al-Imran 3:77)

4 Need and Methodology of Tafsir
Allah SWT criticized the People of the scriptures – Jews and Christians – who came before us For ignoring Allah SWT’s Book that was revealed to them For acquiring and indulging in the affairs of this life, all the while being distracted from adhering to Allah SWT’s Book. We Muslims are thus required to Refrain from doing what Allah SWT criticized the People of the Scriptures for Heed what Allah SWT commanded us Learn and comprehend the Book of Allah Convey all that is in the Book of Allah

5 Need and Methodology of Tafsir
Allah SWT said Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Scripture before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened; and many of them are defiantly disobedient. Know that Allah gives life to the earth after its lifelessness. We have made clear to you the signs; perhaps you will understand. (Al-Hadid 57:16-17)

6 Statements of Companions
Sources for Tafsir Sources for Tafsir Quran Sunnah Statements of Companions Tafsir of Tabi’n

7 Sources of Tafsir - Quran
Best method is to explain the Quran with the Quran itself. What is mentioned in general terms in one place in the Quran, is usually explained in another place. When one does not find this easily, he should look to the Sunnah.

8 Sources of Tafsir - Sunnah
Purpose of Sunnah is to explain the Quran and elaborate upon its meanings. Allah SWT said, Surely, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad ﷺ)the Book (this Quran) in truth that you might judge between men by that which Allah has shown you, so be not a pleader for the treacherous. (An-Nisa 4:105)

9 Sources of Tafsir - Sunnah
Allah SWT said, And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad ﷺ)the Dhikr [reminder and advice (i.e; Quran)], that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought. (An-Nahl 16:44) This is why the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said ألا إنّي اُوتيتُ القُرْآنَ وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ “I was given the Quran and its equal with it”, in reference to the Sunnah. (Ahmad 4:131) Sunnah was a revelation from Allah SWT just as the Quran, althought it is not recited as the Quran is recited.

10 Sources of Tafsir – Statements of Companions
If Tafsir not found in Quran or Sunnah, then refer to the statements of the Companions Companions were the most knowledgeable of Tafsir, for they witnessed the situations and incidents when Quran was revealed. Imam Abu Jafar bin Jarir At-Tabari narrated that Abdullah bin Masud said – “By He other than Whom there is no God, no Ayah in the Book of Allah was revealed but I have knowledge about whom and where it was revealed. Verily, if I know of a person who has more knowledge than me in the Book of Allah that the animals can reach (by travelling on them), I will travel to meet him.”

11 Sources of Tafsir – Statements of Companions
Abdullah bin Abbas, the cousin of Messenger of Allah ﷺ , was a great scholar and explainer of the Quran. The Prophet ﷺ invoked Allah for the benefit of Ibn Abbas O Allah! Teach him Fiqh in the religion and interpretation اللَّهٌمَّ فقِّهُ فِي الدِّينِ وَ عَلَّمْهُ التَّاوِيلَ

12 Sources of Tafsir – Tafsir of Tabi’n
Tab’in are second generation of Islam. If Tafsir not found in Quran, the Sunnah, or with the Companions, then refer to the Tafsir of Tabi’n.

13 Sources of Tafsir – Tafsir of Tabi’n
Illustrious Tabi’n whose Tafsir scholars refer to Mujahid bin Jabr – He reviewed the Mushaf with Ibn Abbas thrice from beginning to end asking him about each and every Ayat in it. Said bin Jubayr Ikrimah – the freed servant of Ibn Abbas Ata bin Abi Rabah Al-Hasan Al-Basri Masruq bin Al-Ajda Sa’id bin Al-Musayyib Abu Al-’Aliyah Ar-Rabi’ bin Anas Qatadah Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim

14 Unreliable Sources for Tafsir
Israelite Narrations Tafsir by mere Opinion Scientific Theory

15 Unreliable Sources for Tafsir Israelite Narrations
Should only be used as supporting evidence, not as evidence themselves. Types of these narrations Authentic – we have something in our religion that testifies to its truth. False – Based on what we have in our religion. Unconfirmed – We neither affirm nor deny this type. We are allowed to narrate it.

16 Unreliable Sources for Tafsir Mere Opinion
It is prohibited to indulge in Tafsir by mere opinion. Explain what one has knowledge of, silence otherwise. For instance, Ibn Jarir (At-Tabari) reported that Abu Ma’mar said that Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said, “Which land will carry me and which heaven will shade me if I said about Allah’s Book that which I have no knowledge of?”

17 Unreliable Sources for Tafsir Mere Opinion
Muhammad bin Jarir reported that Ibn Abbas said that the Prophet ﷺ said, مَنْ قاَلَ فِي الْقُرْانِ بِرَأْيِهِ أَوْ بِماَ لاَ يَعْلَمُ فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ Whoever explains the Quran with his opinion or what he has no knowledge of , then let him assume his seat in the Fire.

18 Unreliable Sources for Tafsir Scientific Theory
Some scientific theory are hypothesis and educated guesses. Quran is absolute undeniable fact (قطعي )

19 Scholars have three opinions in regard to this
Makki & Madani Surah Scholars have three opinions in regard to this Makki surahs are those that were revealed in Makkah (regardless of whether it took place before or after Hijra) and Madani were those revealed in Madina. Makki surahs were those revealed to the Makkan community/audience, and madani surahs are those revealed for the sake of Madinan community/audience. Abu Ubayd narrates in Fadha'il al-Quran from Maymūn Ibn Mehrān: “whenever in the Quran it says 'O mankind' , or ‘O children of Adam’ and it is a Meccan surah. And where it says, ‘O you who believe’ then it is a Madani surah.” A Makki Surah is that which was revealed before the Hijra even if it was not in the city of Makka. And a Madani Surah is that which was revealed after the Hijra even if the verse was revealed in Makkah.

20 Importance of knowing Makki & Madani Surah
To recognize the Nāsikh (abrogating) & Mansūkh (abrogated) verses and chapters. To recognize the gradual history of the Divine Law and the wisdom behind it. To build trust and reliance that the Quran has reached us free from error and alteration.

21 Divisions of the Text Divisions Āya Sūra

22 Divisions of the Text - Āya
Āya means ‘sign’ It is the shortest division of the Qur’ānic text Qur’ān is guidance from Allah SWT to mankind. Not surprising that its smallest divisions are called (guiding) ‘signs’. The term ‘verse’ is not appropriate since the Qur’ān is not poetry.

23 Divisions of the Text - Sūra
Sūra literally means ‘row’ or ‘fence’ It is the passage-wise division of the Qur’ānic text The Qur’ān has 114 Sūra on unequal length. Shortest Sūra consists of 3 Āyat Longest Sūra consists of 286 Āyat

24 Divisions of the Text - Sūra
All Sūra with the exception of Sūra 9 beign with Tasmiyah All 114 Sūra have names, which serve as heading Names are often derived from an important word in the text itself, e.g. al-anfāl (8), al-baqara (2) In other cases, name is one of the first few beginning words of the Sūra, e. āg. tā-hā (20), al-furqān (25)

25 Order and Arrangement Both the order of the āyāt within each sūra and the arrangements of the Sūra were finally determined by the Prophet ﷺ under guidance from the Angel Gabriel This was done in the year of death of Prophet ﷺ That year, Angel Gabriel came twice to revise the text with Prophet ﷺ

26 al-tiwāl al-mi’ūn al-mathānī al-mufassal Grouping of Sūra Long ones
Sūra with about 100 āyāt Sūra 10 – 35 al-mi’ūn Sūra with less than 100 āyāt Sūra 36 – 49 al-mathānī The last section of Qur’ān Sūra 50 – 114 al-mufassal

27 Other Divisions of the Text – Juz’
Juz’ (pl. ajzā) literally means part, portion. The Qurān is divided into 30 portions of approximately equal length This division is for easy recitation during the thirty nights of a month, especially of the month of Ramadān Indicated by the word and the number of it given alongside

28 Other Divisions of the Text – Rukū’
Some copies of Qur’ān have Sūra divided into paragraphs called Rukū’ They are indicated by the symbol ع Explanation of the Arabic numerals written with each is as follows, e.g. The top figure (2) indicates that this is the second completed rukū’ in the respective Sūra (here Sūra al-Baqarah) The middle figure (13) indicates that this completed rukū’ contains 13 āyāt The lower figure (2) indicates that this is the second rukū’ in the respective juz’ (here first juz’)

29 Other Divisions of the Text – Hizb
Copies of Qur’ān printed in middle east in particular have each juz’ subdivided into four hizb indicated by the sign حزب Each hizb is again subdivided into quarters, indicated as follows (see example images below) First quarter of the hizb Half of the hizb Third quarter of the hizb

30 Other Divisions of the Text – Manzil
Qur’ānic text is also divided into seven parts of approximately equal length, called manzil They are indicated by the word منزل and respective number in margin. Manzil Juz’ Starting Sūra 1 1 to 6 1:1 2 6 to 11 5:1 3 11 to 14 10:1 4 15 to 19 17:1 5 19 to 22 27:1 6 22 to 26 35:1 7 26 to 30 50:1

31 Qur’ān As A Miracle The Qur’ān has features which make it unique and inimitable This inimitability is called I’jāz al-Qur’ān (Miraculous nature) The word I’jāz is derived from the root ‘ajaza, which has meanings ranging from ‘to be incapable, to make powerless’, to ‘to be impossible, to be inimitable’ The inimitable nature of Qur’ān leaves its opponents powerless or incapable of meeting the challenge which the revelation posed to them

32 Qur’ān As A Miracle The Qur’ān is the mu’jiza, the miracle of Prophet ﷺ Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet ﷺ said, “Every prophet was given miracles because of which people believed but what I have been given is divine inspiration which Allah SWT has revealed to me so I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other prophets on the Day of Resurrection.” (Bukhari, VI. No. 504)

33 What is a Miracle? Conditions for an event to be accepted as a miracle from Allah SWT That no one else other than Allah SWT the Master of the world is able to do it That it breaks the usual norms and differs from the laws of nature That it serves as proof for the truth and claim of the messenger That it happens in accordance with the messenger’s claim That the event happens through the messenger and no one else.

34 Tahaddi Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was an unlettered man (ummi) but proclaimed a recited message The challenge (tahaddi) to others is to imitate the Qur’ān has been posed by the revelation itself at various occasions and in various ways: Say, "Then bring a scripture from Allah which is more guiding than either of them that I may follow it, if you should be truthful.“ (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayah 49)

35 Tahaddi This challenge posed by the Qur’ān has never been met, precisely because of the reason the Qur’ān itself gives: that is cannot be done. The tahaddi, which has not been met and, as the Qur’ān says, cannot be met, is one of the main aspects of the unique and inimitable nature of the Qur’ān called I’jāz

36 Various Aspects of I’jāz (al-Qurtubi)
Its language excels all other Arabic Language Its style excels all other Arabic style Its comprehensiveness cannot be matched Its legislation cannot be surpassed Its narrations about the unknown can only result from revelation Its lack of contradiction with the sound natural sciences Its fulfillment of all that it promises, both good tidings and threat The knowledge it comprises (both legal and concerning the creation) Its fulfillment of human needs Its effect on the hearts of men

37 Various Aspects of I’jāz (al-Baqillani)
The unlettered Prophet Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has been called ‘ummi’ , unlettered He was not a scholar and not a historian, neither was he a philosopher nor a priest. But he proclaimed the Qur’ān and recited its many Surah and Ayat in which he informed about the earlier prophets, earlier scriptures and earlier events. All this in spite of his belonging to an uneducated people, in one of the most remote parts of the world and far away from the centers of civilization and culture.

38 Various Aspects of I’jāz (al-Baqillani)
The unseen world The prophesies Qur’ān contains are only possible with knowledge on the unseen world The best-known such prophecy concerns the historical victory of the Romans over the Persians. The Byzantines have been defeated. In the nearest land. But they, after their defeat, will overcome. (Surah Ar-Rum, Ayat 2-3)

39 Various Aspects of I’jāz (al-Baqillani)
No contradictions The message of Qur’ān was revealed over a period of 23 years. Revealed in both short and long parts on numerous occasions and in a variety of circumstances. Nevertheless it is free of any contradictions 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. (Surah An-Nisa, Ayah 82)

40 Literary Aspect There does not exist a piece of literature that can match the Qur’ān , with respect either to style and form or to content This is also one of the aspects of I’jāz al-Qur’ān

41 Science and theQur’ān The Qur’ān contains information on scientific facts which are in perfect agreement with the findings of man’s scientific pursuits. As pointed out earlier, this is one of the aspects of I’jāz al-Qur’ān In the following slides we will examine just some of the many examples

42 Science and theQur’ān That all life originated from water
Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe? (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayat 30)

43 Science and theQur’ān That the universe was in the shape of a fiery gas (which the Qur’ān calls dukhan) Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, "Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion." They said, "We have come willingly.“ (Surah Fussilat, Ayat 11)

44 Science and theQur’ān That the oxygen content of the air is reduced at higher altitudes So whoever Allah wants to guide - He expands his breast to [contain] Islam; and whoever He wants to misguide - He makes his breast tight and constricted as though he were climbing into the sky. Thus does Allah place defilement upon those who do not believe. (Surah Al-An`am, Ayat 125)

45 Science and theQur’ān That in nature everything consists of complementary elements, not only man and animals, but also plants and even inorganic matter Exalted is He who created all pairs - from what the earth grows and from themselves and from that which they do not know. (Surah Ya-Sin, Ayat 36)

46 Science and theQur’ān That the embryo in the womb in enclosed by three coverings He created you from one soul. Then He made from it its mate, and He produced for you from the grazing livestock eight mates. He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, within three darknesses. That is Allah , your Lord; to Him belongs dominion. There is no deity except Him, so how are you averted? (Surah Az-Zumar, Ayat 6)

47 Science and theQur’ān That fertilization of certain plans is done by the wind And We have sent the fertilizing winds and sent down water from the sky and given you drink from it. And you are not its retainers. (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayat 22)

48 Science and theQur’ān That each human being has permanent individual fingerprints Yes. [We are] Able [even] to proportion his fingertips. (Surah Al-Qiyamah, Ayat 4)

49 Science or the Qur'an Science and scientific truths, cannot be generally accepted as criteria for the genuineness or non- human origin of the Qur'an Qur'an is a book of guidance for mankind and not a book of science nor a mine of cryptic notes on scientific facts Qur'an is guidance from Allah SWT, while science is a human endeavor Qur'an is a guidance under any circumstances irrespective of whether science, which changes continuously, seems to be in support of it or not

50 What did we learn about Scientific Theory as a source of Tafsir?
Pop Quiz! What did we learn about Scientific Theory as a source of Tafsir?

51 Unreliable Sources for Tafsir Scientific Theory
Some scientific theory are hypothesis and educated guesses. Quran is absolute undeniable fact (قطعي )

52 وَاٰخِرُدعْوَانَااَنِ الْحَمْدُلِلّٰهِ رَبِّ ِالْعَالَمِيْنَ
وَاٰخِرُدعْوَانَااَنِ الْحَمْدُلِلّٰهِ رَبِّ ِالْعَالَمِيْنَ.وَصَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلٰى خَيْرِخَلْقِهِ مُحَمَّدٍوَّعَلٰى اٰلِهِ وَاَصْحَابِهِ اَجْمَعِيْنَ اٰمِيْن

53 تَقَبَّلَ اللّهُ منّاَ و مِنكُمْ

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