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Offline Reader Questions

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What is the Best Tafsir?
« on: February 21, 2013, 08:17:04 PM »
Salams brother

What would be the best tafsir for the Quran?


Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: What is the Best Tafsir?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 08:19:46 PM »
May peace be with you.

Personally, I would recommend reading Quranic verses repeatedly and in due course, God willing, one will find that the Quran is its own best tafsir (hasana tafsir). We must be willing to put our trust in God to explain His verses to us (Tawakkul Allah).

"And no example do they bring to you but We bring you the truth and the best explanation (of it) (Arabic: Hasana Tafsir)"

As I have shared on my website:

The Quran is a message to all mankind and provides its own 'tafsir' (explanation) and claims to be fully detailed (Arabic: Mufassalan) for purposes of necessary guidance. The best interpretation can therefore only be one that is fully consistent with the Quran's own narrative, its own internal consistency and its own coherency. This approach also provides the platform for the most cogent argument.

Ultimately, a ‘tafsir’ is merely a commentator's opinion. By all means, we can consult them, many of them to allow for width of opinion. However, we must be willing to critique them in light of the Quran. Many ‘tafsirs’ are also unduly influenced by Islamic secondary sources, which is something to be very wary of.

However, that does not mean that there is nothing good to be gleaned  from modern commentaries such as Yusuf Ali, Muhammad Asad etc or from classical commentaries. One can indeed find great wisdom in them. However, we must be willing to reject an interpretation if it has no warrant from a Quranic perspective.

That is the sincerest advice I can share with you.

I hope that helps, God willing.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell