Presentation on theme: "Towards Understanding The Quran Introduction Of Tafsir."— Presentation transcript:
Towards Understanding The Quran Introduction Of Tafsir
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)
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)
Need and Methodology of Tafsir 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. Allah SWT criticized the People of the scriptures – Jews and Christians – who came before us 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 We Muslims are thus required to
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)
Sources for Tafsir QuranSunnah Statements of Companions Tafsir of Tabi’n
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.
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)
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.
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.”
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 اللَّهٌمَّ فقِّهُ فِي الدِّينِ وَ عَلَّمْهُ التَّاوِيلَ O Allah! Teach him Fiqh in the religion and interpretation
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.
Sources of Tafsir – Tafsir of Tabi’n 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 Illustrious Tabi’n whose Tafsir scholars refer to
Unreliable Sources for Tafsir Unreliable Sources Israelite Narrations Tafsir by mere Opinion Scientific Theory
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.
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?”
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.
Unreliable Sources for Tafsir Scientific Theory Some scientific theory are hypothesis and educated guesses. Quran is absolute undeniable fact ( قطعي )
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.
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.
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.
Divisions of the Text - Sūra Sūra literally means ‘row’ or ‘fence’It is the passage-wise division of the Qur’ānic textThe Qur’ān has 114 Sūra on unequal length.Shortest Sūra consists of 3 ĀyatLongest Sūra consists of 286 Āyat
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)
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
Grouping of Sūra Long ones Sūra 2 - 10 al-tiwāl 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
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
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’)
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
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. ManzilJuz’ Starting Sūra 11 to 61:1 26 to 115:1 311 to 1410:1 415 to 1917:1 519 to 2227:1 622 to 2635:1 726 to 3050:1
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
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)
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.
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 )
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
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
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.
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)
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)
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
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Science and the Qur’ān That each human being has permanent individual fingerprints Yes. [We are] Able [even] to proportion his fingertips. (Surah Al-Qiyamah, Ayat 4)
Science or the Qur’ān 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
Pop Quiz! What did we learn about Scientific Theory as a source of Tafsir?
Unreliable Sources for Tafsir Scientific Theory Some scientific theory are hypothesis and educated guesses. Quran is absolute undeniable fact ( قطعي )
Principles Towards Understanding the Qur’ān Principles علم الأحكام علم المخاصمة والجدال علم التذكير بآلاء الله علم التذكير بأيام الله علم التذكير بالموت و ما بعده
Principles - علم الأحكام Knowledge of the commandments; injunctions and prohibitions. Whether it maybe about worship or worldly contracts and dealings. Or, this principle could deal with governance and political function in society. The one responsible with explaining the details of this principle is the Faqih (Jurist)
Principles - علم المخاصمة والجدال Knowledge of argument and debate with the deviant sects. These sects are four: The polytheists Hypocrites Jews Christians The one responsible with explaining the details of this principle is the Mutakallim (theologian)
Principles - علم التذكير بآلاء الله Knowledge of reminding man of the Divine favors. Following are included in this principle The creation of the heavens and earth, Needs and necessities of life Qualities and attributes of Allah SWT which deal with His bounties upon creation
Principles - علم التذكير بأيام الله Knowledge of reminding man of Allah’s interventions in history. This principle deals with the following Allah’s punishing of transgressing nations His assistance of the Prophets and believers His revelation of Books and commandments to mankind
Principles - علم التذكير بالموت و ما بعده Knowledge of reminding man about death and the life thereafter. This principle deals with the following The Resurrection Judgment Paradise Hell
Abrogation Another important subject of sciences of the Quran is the discussion on “Abrogator” and “Abrogated”. Abrogation is translated from the Arabic word Naskh which literally means: "To erase, to compensate".
Meaning of Abrogation Technical definition is: رَفْعُ الْحُكْمِ الشَّرْعِيِّ، بِدَلِيْلٍ شَرْعِيٍّ “To repeal a legal order through legal argument.” That is to say that sometimes Allah SWT enforces a legal order relevant to a particular time. Then at a later time, in His Infinite Wisdom, He cancels this order and enforces a new one in its place.
Abrogation - Terminology Abrogation The action of cancelling old order and enforcing a new one النسخ Abrogated The old cancelled order المنسوخ Abrogator Newly replaced order الناسخ
Abrogation - Misconceptions The Jews thought that there can be no Abrogation in the Commands of Allah, because if they accept Abrogation it would imply that Allah also changes His views (God forbid). They state that this would mean that once Allah thought one Commandment as proper but later on (God forbid) He realized His mistake and withdrew it which is commonly known as (Bada).
Abrogation – Clearing Misconceptions Abrogation does not mean a change in views, but it implies issuing orders according to the needs of another time. The Abrogator is not declaring the Abrogated to be wrong but adjusting the time limit for the enforcement of the first order and to tell that the first order was just and proper for the time it remained in force. But now a new order is being enforced according to the changed circumstances. This change is exactly in keeping with the infinite wisdom of Allah SWT.
Abrogation – Clearing Misconceptions This rule applies not only to religious injunctions but the entire universe works on this principle. Through His order and wisdom Allah makes changes in the weather conditions. We get winter, summer, spring, autumn, rainy season or drought. All these changes are exactly in conformity with the expedient measure of Allah. He must be a foolish person, indeed, who terms it Bada and contends that and argues that it is alteration in the Judgement of Allah. He says that Allah SWT once preferred winter then discovered His mistake and replaced it with summer.
Abrogation Not Specific to Qur’ān Abrogation is not a trait specific only to the followers of the holy Prophet ﷺ but it has remained a regular feature in the religious orders of other Prophets as well. For example it has occurred in the Bible that "In the religious system of Sayyidina Ya'qub a man could have two real sisters as his wives at the same time, and he himself had two wives at one time, Liyyah and Rahil who were real sisters. But this was forbidden in the religious dispensation of Sayyidina Musa.”
Abrogation – Not Specific to Qur’ān Every moving animal was permissible as food in the dispensation of Sayyidina Nuh but many of them were prohibited in that of Sayyidina Musa. Divorce was permissible freely in the dispensation of Sayyidina Musa but in that of Sayyidina Isa divorce was allowed only if a woman committed adultery. In short there are several such examples in the New and Old Testaments of the Bible wherein an existing order had been abrogated through a new order.
Abrogation in Qur’ān Abrogation of religious injunctions is not new but was also done in earlier times of the previous Ummahs and this fact is undisputed by all. Several such orders have been abrogated for the Ummah of Muhammad ﷺ too. For example, the injunction was to face towards Baytal Maqdis during Salah but later on this was abrogated and Muslims were ordered to face towards Ka'bah. There is no dispute about it among the Muslims.
Abrogation in Qur’ān There is a difference of opinion about whether there had been any abrogation in the Quran. It is disputed if there is yet any verse in the Quran that is recited although its command is abrogated. The majority of traditionalists believe that the Quran does contain such verses whose injunctions are abrogated. But of the M'utazilah, Abu Muslim Isfahani maintains that no verse of the Quran has been abrogated but all the verses of the Quran continue to be obligatory.
Abrogation in Qur’ān A number of modernists of our time also hold the same view. Hence, the verses in which abrogation is obvious, they explain them in a manner that abrogation may not have to be accepted. But, the fact is that this viewpoint is very weak and to adopt it one would have to draw far fetched meanings while explaining the relative verses. These would not conform to the principles of exegesis. In fact, those who do not believe in abrogation in the Quran suppose that abrogation is a defect, of which the Quran should be free.
Abrogation in Qur’ān But as already stated, it is an extremely short sighted view to consider abrogation as wrong. There could be several expedient reasons in retaining the verses whose commands are abrogated. For example, we come to know of the prudence behind gradual imposition of religious doctrines, and also of the prudential manner tend to bind human beings to follow His doctrine. Further, it also serves as history of these doctrines and their backgrounds. Allah has Himself revealed in the Quran at several places the doctrines and Commandments of the previous nations that were abrogated for the Ummah of Muhammad ﷺ
Number of Abrogated verses in Qur’ān Allamah Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti has written that there are only nineteen abrogated verses in the whole of the Quran according to the definition of the later day scholars. Then, amongst the latest of the scholars, Shah Wali Allah made a detailed analysis of all those nineteen verses and accepted only five of them to be abrogated ones. As for the rest of them, he preferred the commentaries and explanations according to which the verses would not be considered abrogated.
Study of some of the Ayat that Shah Wali Allah considers to be Abrogated
Surah Al-Anfal 8:65 (Abrogated) This verse, despite being apparently simply informative, is essentially a command prohibiting Muslims to retreat while in combat with an enemy ten times their number. This was later on abrogated by the following verse
Surah Al-Anfal 8:66 (Abrogator) This verse lightened the burden imposed by the first command and the limit of tenfold was reduced to twofold. Thus a retreat up to double the enemy strength was not permissible now
Surah Al-Ahzab 33:52 (Abrogated) According to this verse, it was not lawful for the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to marry any more women. Later, this was abrogated by a verse that fell before it in the present sequence of Quranic surahs and verses
Shah Wali Allah and others say that the earlier restriction was abrogated through this verse, but in fact abrogation in this verse is not definite. Its explanation as given by Hafiz Ibn Jarir is to a great extent straightforward and simple. He has said that two verses were revealed in their present order; in verse fifteen, “O Prophet, we….”. Allah named some particular categories of women as being lawful for the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and then in verse 51, (besides these), it was not lawful… It was specified that women belonging to categories other than those were not lawful for him.
Surah Al-Muzzammil 73:1-3 (Abrogated) This verse had ordained worship for at least half the night, but later on this was abrogated by a flexibility provided in the verses that follow it
Shah Wali Allah has stated that although tahajjud (late night salat) was not obligatory even before, but there was a greater emphasis on it and its duration was also longer, yet later both the emphasis on it and the time restriction were relaxed
Conclusion on Abrogation Abrogation in the Quranic verses is not a defect for which efforts should be made to show Quran free from it. Rather it is exactly in keeping with the Divine Scheme of things. Hence the meanings of any verse should not be rejected simply because that affirms "Abrogation" in the Quran. Nothing stands in the way of adopting the meanings or explanations of a verse if they conform to principles of 'Exegesis' even if that would mean classifying the verse as abrogated.