Books and Documents

Islamic Ideology (14 Nov 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)


  • Naseer sab says, "Did you find anything to support the view that Mushrikun means Kafirun?"

    That is a poor response to my statement, "The simple fact is that the Quran itself does not directly and expressly make a distinction between kafirs and mushkirin." But it would be impossible to get such a simple fact through to Naseer sab's thick skull.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/20/2017 10:58:35 AM

  • Did you find anything to support the view that Mushrikun means Kafirun?
    Do you know the difference between context and logic?
    If by substituting Mushrikun for Kafirun in any verse creates a contradiction, then  rejecting  kafirun as the meaning is based on logic or context?
    You are an ignoramus and yet do not adopt the attitude of a student trying to learn and clear your doubts. Why should I waste my time answering a pompous fool who does not even know what he does not know? This is my last response to you.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/20/2017 4:23:37 AM

  • Naseer sab,

    The simple fact is that the Quran itself does not directly and expressly make a distinction between kafirs and mushkirin. Your attempt to derive that distinction through contextual analysis is well-intentioned but your claim that you have reached a logical conclusion which should now be universally accepted is not valid.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/19/2017 12:33:34 PM

  • Kafir is a neutral term and simply means a person who:

    Covers up, obliterates, wipes out, removes, rejects.

    The above is a precise meaning of Kafir.

    Therefore, any verse that speaks of the kafaru, kafirin, kafirun, necessarily has to mention the nature of the kufr, and covers only those people, who indulge in that kufr.

    The above is also precise. 

    Is there any verse that says all the Mushrikin are Kafirin or that only the Mushrikin can be Kafirin? On what basis do you then even assume that kafaru in 8:36 refers to the Mushrikin?  In today's world 8:36, refers to the Muslims and not the Mushrikin as the Muslims are guilty of religious persecution and not the Mushrikin. They better desist from it or what happened to such Kafaru in the past will come to pass for them.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/19/2017 3:44:59 AM

  • As far as Kufr in the spiritual dimension is concerned, even the Prophets did not know who was and who wasn't a kafir unless informed by Allah. Yunus (AS) made the mistake of judging his people as Kafir and leaving them and was punished for it. He returned to his people and all of them (more than a hundred thousand) accepted belief. Lesser mortals cannot therefore judge other people based on their beliefs and must limit themselves to their behaviour.

    The consequence of mistranslating kafaru as disbeliever in verses that deal with kufr in the temporal dimension not alone falsely implicate all the disbelievers, but exempt the believers who may be guilty of the same kufr.

    For example, destroying churches, synagogues etc., in which  the name of Allah is abundantly celebrated according to the Quran itself, or hindering people of other faiths in practicing their religion, would be covered by 8:36 even if these kafaru were Muslims or the believers. Therefore kafaru in this verse means a Religious Persecutor and not disbeliever.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/19/2017 1:55:15 AM

  • Naseer sab,
    If Verses 8:36, 9:2,3 are about religious persecution, they describe what kafirs do but they do not define the word kafir. They do not say how broad or narrow the word kafir is. They do not specifically say that not all mushrikins are kafirs. You are seeing more definitional preciseness and exactitude in those verses than is warranted.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/19/2017 12:16:34 AM

  • GM Sb,

    Read my article:Who is a Kafir in the Quran? (Part 4) Defining Kufr

    dated 25 Feb, 2015 that defines the meaning covering both the temporal and spiritual dimension.

    The battles with the Mushrikin of Mecca and their punishment as per verse 9:5 was for their kufr in the temporal dimension. The Quran does not prescribe any punishment or war for kufr in the spiritual dimension.

    Verses 8:36, 9:2,3 are about religious persecution and therefore about kufr in the temporal dimension and therefore their kufr described in 9:12,13 covers only their acts of religious persecution. These verses do not cover the peaceful Mushrikin. Verses 9:28 and 9:29 cover the remaining Mushrikin and some or all of them may have been Kafirin in the spiritual dimension but since all accepted belief, none fell in this category.

    Surah 98 is about kufr in the spiritual dimension and even here, the verses 98:1,6 cover only some of the People of the Book and some of the Mushrikin. There is no war against them or punishment by the Prophet. These kafirin in the spiritual dimension, may or may not have been kafirin in the temporal dimension.

    Neither the verses that speak of kufr in the temporal dimension nor the verses that speak of kufr in the spiritual dimension say that all the Mushrikun are Kafirun.

    As repeatedly pointed out, the Kafirun in the spiritual dimension are not all the disbelievers but those who will not believe covered in my article:

    Who Are Those Who Will Believe And Those Who Will Not?

    When Kafirun refers to such people, they are also Zalimun, Mujrimun and Fasiqun.

    The Kafirun in Surah Al-Kafirun are such people. The Kafirun are not all the Mushrikun but Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, Walid ibn Mughiyrah and their like or their supporters in the active opposition to Islam. While the three named were violent, they are not all necessarily violent. Some may have been only poets or those who taunted and ridiculed or the trolls of those days. Zulm is not necessarily physical.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/18/2017 11:47:11 PM

  • Naseer sab,
    When you say that "oppressor/persecutor" is one of the meanings that the word 'kafir' takes and that
     this meaning predominates as it concerns the Mushrikin of Mecca because they persecuted the Prophet and the Muslims, you are making a big leap and jumping to your own arbitrary conclusion and then calling it a "logical conclusion".

    This is a big fallacy in your argument and you need to do some hard introspection about it.

    Nobody can stop you form believing that 'kafir' means "oppessor/persecutor", but for you to claim that it is the authoritative meaning and the only meaning that can be logically derived from the Quran is an unsupportable claim and you should not make that claim.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/18/2017 12:45:27 PM

  • The onus is not on me to understand and accept. I cannot understand for you. Can I help it if you or anyone else is dumb, deaf and blind? What difference does it make whether all accept or none? Will the truth become falsehood or falsehood become the truth based on how many accept/reject?

    Kafir is a neutral term and simply means a person who:

    Covers up, obliterates, wipes out, removes, rejects.

    Therefore, any verse that speaks of the kafaru, kafirin, kafirun, necessarily has to mention the nature of the kufr, and covers only those people, who indulge in that kufr. In the following verse, kafirin is used in a positive way since what is being rejected are ‘the false deities or partners to God’:

    وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُم مِّن شُرَكَائِهِمْ شُفَعَاءُ وَكَانُوا بِشُرَكَائِهِمْ كَافِرِينَ

    30:13: No intercessor will they have among their "Partners" and they will (themselves) reject their "Partners"(Kafirin).

     Oppressor/religious persecutor is one of the meanings that the word takes and this meaning predominates as it concerns the Mushrikin of Mecca because they persecuted the Prophet and the Muslims. They were violating/rejecting their own laws in doing so.

     You tell me what is the kufr of the kafaru in 8:36?

    What is the kufr of the kafaru/kafirin in 9:2,3 which is described in 9:12,13?

    What is the kufr for which the kafirin are to be punished as per 9:5?

    Besides, verse 2:254 for the kufr described in the verse, says it directly “The Kafirun are the Zalimun” 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/18/2017 4:08:06 AM

  • All that Naseer sab can do is make character attacks on others or heap praise on his own work! The onus is on him and not on me to prove that kafir means oppressor. According to several commentators in this forum, including myself, he has not yet done so. But he wants us to accept his word as God's truth!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/17/2017 11:44:12 AM

  • GM Sb,

    I haven't seen a more churlish character than yourself.

    If you are offended by what I say, put in my place by proving me wrong. You are incapable of doing that and writhe and twist in agony at your inability to do anything about your heart burn.

    Gulp down a fistful of antacids or whatever. As a doctor you know better.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/17/2017 2:01:44 AM

  • Naseer sab,
    You should be embarrassed for praising your own conclusions and calling them "truths" unashamedly. Why can't you just present your views and let others judge whether they are praiseworthy and truthful or not. And your lying about me, calling me a troll or a flip-flop does not add either to your praiseworthiness or your truthfulness. It will not get you anywhere.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/16/2017 1:32:28 PM

  • Yunus Sb has not said anything different from what I said.

    "And I only quoted Yunus sb verbatim without drawing any conclusions on what he said. We do and have differed on many points. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/15/2017 10:11:10 PM

    What do you mean embarrassed? Why should I be embarrassed presenting the meaning of the Quran? You have more than 50 articles to prove me wrong and embarrass me. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself resisting the truth tooth and nail while you are a complete ignoramus? Aren’t you embarrassed exchanging hundreds of comments and ending up neither agreeing nor disagreeing having flipped flopped several times? Aren’t you ashamed of becoming a painful troll on this website?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/16/2017 1:12:58 AM

  • Naseer sab,

    A foulmouthed  mufassir does deserve condemnation, and that's what I did in my last post.

    You continue applauding yourself when you  yourself call your conclusions "an obvious truth". Aren't you embarrassed making such selfrighteous assertions?

    Yunus sahib has answered my question in an email. He says, "
    When I say to Naseer Sahab the following I do endorse his methodology but that does not mean that I endorse all his interpretations. "Your work belongs to the category of tafsir al Qur’an bil Qur’an – which is regarded as the highest form of tasir and should with time prevail over the traditional tafsirs……." I endorse the methodology for the obvious reason my joint publication published in 2009 is based on this very methodology."

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/16/2017 12:11:25 AM

  • Dear Hamza Zafar sb,

    Thank you very much for your very detailed response.

    Besides reading every standard translation of the Quran, I have tried to follow various people in the last few years ever since I started writing articles for NAI and have studied their works. This includes:

    Imam Ghazali

    Maulana Mufti Shafi Usmani

    Dr Israr Ahmed

    Javed Ghamidi

    Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

    Muhammad Yunus

    I have been disappointed with all of them. None of these people have a holistic understanding of the entire Quran without creating a single contradiction. Imam Ghazali’s treatise on Ayat al-Nur contradicts the very next verse of the Surah!  I have covered my understanding of the verse in the following article:

    An Exposition of the Verse of Light (Ayat al-Nur)

    In his anxiety to show God as an omnipotent Being, Ghazali makes God a capricious Being who can go against His own Law or Word while Allah assures us in the Quran that Allah never does so. This is the root of the problem because of which his followers, which mean all the Muslims, treat many of the verses as abrogated! To me that means a complete lack of integrity. I reject the god and the book of these people where the book lacks integrity and a god who goes back on his word. My Quran and my God and my Prophet are different from the Quran, God and Prophet of these people.

    When I understand the complete Quran without a single contradiction, why would I bother with anything less or for the pseudo sciences that only lead to contradictions and lack of clarity?

    You may read my articles before forming your opinion rather than approach from the wrong end and judge from your present beliefs. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/16/2017 12:03:48 AM

  • GM Sb says “Anyone who does not agree with Naseer sab is "blind"! Shame on such mufassirs!”
     He has confirmed that he is also dumb besides being blind. My comment was on his comment on Yunus sb’s comment and not for any disagreement with me.
     To say that Yunus sb was generous in stating an obvious truth about my articles being based on the Quran alone, is to impute that Yunus Sb does not ordinarily acknowledge obvious truths.
     And if GM sb thinks that acknowledging an obvious truth is being generous, it only goes to show that he is churlish.
     And I only quoted Yunus sb verbatim without drawing any conclusions on what he said. We do and have differed on many points.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/15/2017 10:11:10 PM

  • Anyone who does not agree with Naseer sab is "blind"! Shame on such mufassirs!

    You may claim that your tafsir is the highest form of tafsir, but it is only your claim. And nobody has confirmed the validity of your conclusions, not even Yunus sahib.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/15/2017 12:18:56 PM




    By Pankaj - 11/15/2017 3:44:22 AM

  • Nasheer ahemd

    I do not agree with you. You should read what is more important about tafsir.

    Principles and Kinds of Tafsir

    Tafsir (exegesis) of the Quran is regarded the most important science for Muslims. All matters concerning the Islamic way of life are connected to it in one sense or another since the right application of Islam is based on proper understanding of the guidance from Allah. Without tafsir there would be no right understanding of various passages of the Quran.

    The word tafsir is derived from the root 'fassara' i.e. to explain, to expound. It means 'explanation' or 'interpretation'. In technical language the word tafsir is used for explanation, interpretation and commentary on the Quran, comprising all ways of obtaining knowledge, which contributes to the proper understanding of it, explains its meanings and clarifies its legal implications. The word mufassir (pl. mufassirun) is the term used for the person doing the tafsir, i.e. the 'exegete' or 'commentator'.

    Tafsir in the language of the scholars means explanation and clarification. It aims at knowledge and understanding concerning the book of Allah, to explain its meanings, extract its legal rulings and grasp its underlying reasons. Tafsir explains the 'outer' (zahir) meanings of the Quran. Tawil is considered by some to mean the explanation of the inner and concealed meanings of the Quran, as far as a knowledgeable person can have access to them. Others are of the opinion that there is no difference between tafsir and tawil.

    Why Is It Important?

    There are a number of reasons why tafsîr is of great importance, but the basic reason is the following: Allah has sent the Quranas a book of guidance to mankind. Man's purpose is to worship Allah, i.e. to seek His pleasure by living the way of life Allah has invited him to adopt. He can do so within the framework of the guidance that Allah has revealed concerning this, but he can do so only if he properly understands its meanings and implications.

    A Warning

    Some Muslim scholars have warned against tafsîr. Ahmad b. Hanbal, e.g. has said: 'Three matters have no basis: tafsîr, malâhim (tales of eschatological nature) and maghâzî (tales of the battles)'.

    By this is meant that there is much exaggeration and unsound material in these fields, but it does not mean that neither of them ought to be considered. This is clear from another version of the same verdict, in which the word isnad is used for 'basis'.

    Basic Conditions

    Muslim scholars have laid down certain basic conditions for sound tafsir. Any tafsir, which disregards these principles must be viewed with great caution, if not rejected altogether. The most important among these conditions are the following:

    The mufassir must:

    Be sound in belief ('aqida).

    Well-grounded in the knowledge of Arabic and its rules as a language.

    Well-grounded in other sciences that are connected with the study of the Quran(e.g. 'ilm al-riwâya).

    Have the ability for precise comprehension.

    Abstain from the use of mere opinion.

    Begin the tafsir of the Quran with the Quran.

    Seek guidance from the words and explanations of the Prophet.

    Refer to the reports from the sahaba.

    Consider the reports from the tabiun.

    Consult the opinions of other eminent scholars.


    Grades Of Sources

    The best tafsir is the explanation of the Quran by the Quran.

    The next best is the explanation of the Quran by the Prophet Muhammad, who, as Shafii explained, acted according to what he understood from the Qur'ân.

    If nothing can be found in the Quran nor in the sunna of the Prophet, one turns to the reports from the sahaba.

    If nothing can be found in the Quran, the sunna and the reports from the sahâba, one turns to the reports from the tabiun.

    However, nothing can match the explanation of the Quran by the Quran and the explanation of the Quran by the Prophet.

    Kinds Of Tafsîr

    Tafsir may be divided into three basic groups:

    Tafsîr bi-l-riwâya (by transmission), also known as tafsîr bi-l-ma'thûr.

    Tafsîr bi'l-ra'y (by sound opinion; also known as tafsîr bi-l-dirâya, by knowledge).

    Tafsîr bi-l-ishâra (by indication, from signs).

    Tafsîr bi-l-riwâya


    By this is meant all explanations of the Quran which can be traced back through a chain of transmission to a sound source, i.e.:

    The Qurani tself.

    The explanation of the Prophet.

    The explanation by Companions of the Prophet (to some extent).

    Naturally, the explanation of the Quranby the Quranand the explanation of the Quran by the Prophet are the two highest sources for tafsîr, which cannot be matched nor superseded by any other source. Next to these rank the explanations by the sahâba, since the sahaba were witnesses to the revelations, were educated and trained by the Prophet himself and were closest to the period of the first Muslim umma. Of course all reports of explanations by the Prophet or by a sahâbi must be sound according to the science of riwâya as in culum al-hadîth.

    The Quranexplained by the Qur'ân: The interpretation of the Quranby the Quranis the highest source of tafsîr. Many of the questions which may arise out of a certain passage of the Quranhave their explanation in other parts of the very same book, and often there is no need to turn to any sources other than the word of Allah, which in itself contains tafsîr. To seek to explain an aya from the Quranby referring to another ayâ from the Quranis the first and foremost duty of the mufassir. Only if this does not suffice, he will refer to other sources of tafsîr.


    A case in point is the detailed explanation of 5:2 by 5:4, concerning permissible and prohibited meat. Another example of explanation of one aya in the Quranby another concerns a question which might arise from Sura 44: 3. It is explained in Sura 97: 1:

    'We sent it down during a blessed night' (44: 3).

    Which night is this blessed night, in which the Quranwas sent down?

    'We have indeed revealed this in the lailatal-qadr' (97: 1).

    A third example is the explanation of Sura 2:37 by Sura 7:23.

    'Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord turned towards him, for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful' (2:37).

    These 'words of inspiration' are explained by the Quranas follows:

    'Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls. If Thou forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Thy mercy, we shall certainly be lost' (7: 23).

    The Quranexplained by the Prophet: There are numerous examples of explanation of the Quranby the Prophet, who either himself asked the Angel Gabriel for explanation of matters not clear to him, or who was asked by the Companions about the Qur'ân. Suyûtî has given a long list of explanations of the Quranby the Prophet sura by sura.

    Here one example may suffice:

    'And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from its black thread. . .' (2: 187).

    Narrated 'Adi b. Hâtim: I said: 'O Allah's Apostle! What is the meaning of the white thread distinct from the black thread? Are these two threads?' He said: 'You are not intelligent, if you watch the two threads'. He then added, 'No, it is the darkness of the night and the whiteness of the day'.

    Tafsîr by Sahâba

    Next, after explanation of the Quranby the Quranand of the Quranby the Prophet himself, ranks the explanation of the Quranby the sahâba. Among them, the following were best known for their knowledge of and contribution to the field of tafsîr: Abû Bakr, cUmar, cUthmân, cAlî (not much has been reported from them), Ibn Mas'ûd, Ibn cAbbâs, 'Ubay b. Ka'b, Zaid b. Thâbit, Abû Mûsâ al-Ash'arî, cAbdullâh b. Zubair.

    Ibn cAbbâs: Abdullah b. cAbbâs (d. 68/687) is considered to be the most knowledgeable of the Companions in tafsîr. He has been called 'tarjumân al-Qur'ân', the interpreter of the Qur'ân. Since he was related to the Prophet, being his cousin, and his maternal aunt Maimuna being one of the Prophet's wives, he was very close to the Prophet Muhammad and learnt much about the revelation. It is said that he saw the Angel Gabriel twice. Apart from his detailed knowledge of everything concerning tafsîr, he is also given the credit for having emphasised one of the basic principles of cilm al-tafsîr which has remained important to this day, namely, that the meaning of words, especially of unusual words in the Quranought to be traced back to their usage in the language of pre-Islamic poetry. There is a long list of such explanations quoted by Suyûtî.


    The following is an example of tafsîr from a sahaba, namely Ibn cAbbâs, confirmed by cUmar:

    'So celebrate the praises of your Lord, and ask for His forgiveness. Verily! He is the one who accepts the repentance and forgives' (110: 3).

    Narrated Ibn cAbbâs: cUmar used to make me sit with the elderly men who had fought in the battle of Badr. Some of them felt it (did not like that) and said to cUmar: 'Why do you bring in this boy to sit with us, while we have sons like him?'

    Umar replied 'Because of what you know of his position' (i.e., his religious knowledge).

    One day cUmar called me and made me sit in the gathering of those people, and I think that he called me just to show them (my religious knowledge). cUmar then asked them in my presence: 'What do you say about the interpretation of the statement of Allah'.

    'When comes help of Allah, and the conquest . . .' (110: 1).

    Some of them said: 'We are ordered to praise Allah and ask for His forgiveness, when Allah's help and the conquest (of Makka) comes to us'. Some others kept quiet and did not say anything. On that cUmar asked me: 'Do you say the same, O Ibn cAbbâs?' I replied: 'No'. He said: 'What do you say then?' I replied: 'That is the sign of the death of Allah's apostle which Allah informed him of Allah said:

    '(O Muhammad) when comes the help of Allah (to you against your enemies) and the conquest (of Makka) (which is the sign of your death) - you should celebrate the praises of your Lord and ask for His forgiveness, and He is the One who accepts the repentance and forgives' (110:1-3). On that cUmar said: 'I do not know anything about it other than what you have said'.

    Another short example is:

    Narrated 'Atâ': When Ibn cAbbâs heard:

    'Have you not seen those who have changed the favour of Allah into disbelief?' (14: 28).

    He said: 'Those were the disbelieving pagans of Makka.'

    Tafsîr by Tabicûn

    There are many more persons from among the tabicûn known for their preoccupation with tafsîr, because many more people had embraced Islam and the need for knowledge about the Quranhad increased manifold. Also, the Prophet himself and many of his Companions were no longer available to give this guidance, and therefore greater efforts had to be made to satisfy this need for proper understanding of the book of Allah.

    Of the mufassirûn from among the tabicûn one distinguishes three groups, according to their origin and area of activity:

    Those from Makka.

    Those from Madina.

    Those from Iraq.

    The Makkan Group: According to many scholars, this group of mufassirun from among the tabicûn are the most knowledgeable in tafsîr, because they learnt about it from cAbdullâh b. cAbbâs. They are many in number, and among the best known out of many others are Mujâhid (d.104/722), cAtâ' (d.114/732) and cIkrima (d.107H).

    Mujâhid, the best known among them, is reported to have gone through the Quranthrice with Ibn cAbbâs and to have asked him about the 'when' and 'how' of each verse that had been revealed.

    A complete book of tafsîr by Mujâhid has been published. It is based on a manuscript from the 6th Hijra century and is edited by Surtî.


    Humaid b. Qais Makki reported: I was with Mujâhid and we were circumambulating the house (Ka'ba). A man came and asked whether the fasts of penalty of an oath should be observed continuously or severally. Humaid replied that if he liked he could observe them severally too! But Mujâhid said: Not severally, for the reading of cUbayy b. Kacb is thalâthi ayyâmin mutatâbi'ât, i.e. to fast three days continuously'.

    The Madinan Group: The mufassirûn among the tabicûn from Madina had many Companions as their teachers, among the best known being cUbay b. Kacb. The following are some of the well-known Quranexegetes among them: Muhammad b. Kacb al-Qarzî (d.117/735), Abu-l 'Allîya al-Riyahî (d.90/ 708) and Zaid b. Aslam (d.130/747).

    The Iraq Group: There were also many mufassirûn among the tabicûn in Iraq. Their principal teacher was Ibn Mas'ûd. Their main centres were Basra and Kufa. The best known among them are: Al-Hasan al-Basri (d.121/738), Masrûq b. al-'Ajda' (d.63/682) and Ibrâhîm al-Nakha'î (d.95/713).


    Nothing can excel the tafsîr of the Quranby the Qur'ân. This is followed by sound reports about the Prophet's explanation of the revelation.

    Whatever is sound and genuine in the explanation of the Quranby the sahâba and the tabicûn may not be rejected, but the following principles are to be observed:

    Sound reports must be distinguished from unsound ones, for many views have been falsely attributed to some sahâba and tabicûn (especially to Ibn cAbbâs and Mujâhid, the most renowned ones among them), which cannot be traced back to them when the isnad is investigated. Those reports must of course be rejected.

    Material from the ahl-al-kitâb, in particular the Jewish traditions (isrâ'îlîyât) must be sorted out and evaluated.

    Material which crept in due to theological, philosophical, political and other considerations, must be sorted out and evaluated (such as e.g. some Shî'a attributions to cAlî, or cAbbâsid attributions to Ibn cAbbâs, etc.).

    False material purposely introduced by the enemies of Islam must be distinguished from sound material.

    Tafsîr bi'l-ra'y

    The second kind of tafsîr, after tafsîr bi'l-riwâya, is the so-called tafsîr bi'l-ra'y. It is not based directly on transmission of knowledge by the predecessors, but on the use of reason and ijtihâd.

    Tafsîr bil-ra'y does not mean 'interpretation by mere opinion', but deriving an opinion through ijtihâd based on sound sources. While the former has been condemned already in the hadith, the latter is recommendable, when used in its proper place as sound ijtihâd, and was also approved by the Prophet, e.g. when he sent Mu'âdh bin Jabal to Yemen.

    Tafsîr bi'l-ra'y on the other hand has been declared harâm on the basis of the following hadîth:

    'From Ibn cAbbâs: Allah's messenger said: "He who says (something) concerning the Quranwithout knowledge, he has taken his seat of fire"'.

    However this hadîth has been explained in two ways:

    That no one should say of the Quranwhat is not from the sahâba or tabicûn.

    That no one should say of the Quranwhat he knows to be otherwise.

    The obvious meaning of the hadîth is that one should not say something about the Quranwithout having the proper knowledge, the sources of which have already been explained.

    Two Kinds of tafsîr bi'l-ra'y: In view of this, it is obvious that tafsîr bi'l-ra'y should not be rejected in toto, but is acceptable if based on sound ijtihad. Scholars have therefore grouped tafsîr bi'l-ra'y into two kinds:

    Tafsîr mahmûd (praiseworthy), which is in agreement with the sources of tafsîr, the rules of sharî'a and the Arabic language.

    Tafsîr madhmûm (blameworthy), which is done without proper knowledge of the sources of tafsîr, sharî'a and the Arabic language. It is therefore based on mere opinion and must be rejected.

    Sahâba or tabicûn shun mere opinion: While the tafsîr bi'l-ra'y based on sound sources was accepted, it is reported that from the outset the sahâba had refused to involve themselves in giving explanations based on mere opinion:

    It is reported that a man asked Ibn cAbbâs about the day (mentioned in the Qur'ân) which measures 50 years, and Ibn cAbbâs replied: 'They are 2 days which Allah has mentioned in His book, and Allah knows best about them', and he disliked that he should say concerning the book of Allah, what he did not know.

    The same attitude is also found among the tabicûn:

    'We used to ask Sacîd b. al-Musayyib about halâl and harâm, and he was the most learned man, but when we asked him about tafsîr of a verse of the Qur'ân, he kept silent, as though he did not hear.'


    Some scholars have said that tafsîr bi'l-ra'y is not allowed. since it cannot be traced back to the Prophet or his Companions directly. Others, who form the majority, say that it is permissible under the conditions described briefly above, because it is done by ijtihâd, based on sound sources, which is a permissible means of obtaining knowledge.

    Tafsîr bi-l-ishâra

    By this is meant the interpretation of the Quranbeyond its outer meanings, and the people practising it concern themselves with meanings attached to verses of the Qur'ân, which are not visible to anyone, but only to him whose heart Allah has opened. This kind of tafsîr is often found with mystically-inclined authors. While it must not be denied that Allah guides to the understanding of the Quranwhom He pleases and as He wills, it has to be said that tafsîr bi-l-ishâra is not a matter of science and scientific principles, which may be acquired and then used, as are the other branches of culum al-Quranand of tafsîr. Some scholars have therefore rejected it from the viewpoint of general acceptability and said it is based on mere opinion. However Ibn al-Qayyim is reported to have said that results achieved by tafsîr bi-l-ishâra are permissible and constitute good findings, if the following four principles are jointly applied:

    That there is no disagreement with the plain meaning of the verse.

    That it is a sound meaning in itself.

    That in the wording there is some indication towards it.

    That there are close connections between it and the plain meaning.

    Differences In Tafsîr

    In some cases the mufassirûn do not agree on the interpretation of a given verse from the Qur'ân. There are a number of reasons for this, the most important ones are the following:


    Disregard for isnad.

    Use of unsound materials, such as isrâ'îlîyât.

    Conscious misrepresentation, based on a pre-conceived belief or other ulterior motives.


    Genuine mistake in comprehension.

    Interpretation based on unconscious preconceived notion.

    Multiplicity of meanings in the revelation from Allah.

    The main cause however is, in the view of Ibn Taimîya, that the people introduced false innovation (bid'a) and 'twisted the speech (of God) from its actual position, and interpreted the speech of Allah and His apostle(s) other than it is meant, and explained it other than it should be explained'.


    This word, meaning 'of Jewish origin' refers to explanations derived from non-Muslim sources and especially from the Jewish tradition, but also including other ahl al-kitâb in general. Such material was used very little by the sahâba, but more by the tabicûn and even more by later generations. There are many aspects of the Quranwhich can be explained by referring to such sources, when there is common ground between the Quranand the other traditions. However, the information taken from such sources must be used with great caution and cannot be considered sound according to the standards of 'ilm al-hadîth, unless traced back to the Prophet himself and his Companions. The Prophet has already cautioned Muslims against this source of knowledge:

    Narrated Abû Huraira: The people of the scripture (Jews) used to recite the Torah in Hebrew and they used to explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. On that Allah's apostle said: 'Do not believe the people of the scripture or disbelieve them, but say: "We believe in Allah and what is revealed to us"' (2: 136).

    Similarly Ibn Mas'ûd, the well-known Companion, is reported to have said: 'Do not ask the ahl al-kitab about anything (in tafsîr), for they cannot guide you and are themselves in error....'

    Hence one distinguishes three kinds of the so-called isrâ'îlîyât:

    Those known to be true because the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad confirms them.

    Those known to be false, because the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad rejects them.

    Those not known to be true or false, and we do not say they are true or false.


    A concise but useful summary of the vast field of tafsîr can be found in the following words said to be from Ibn cAbbâs:

    'Tafsîr has four aspects:

    the aspect the Arabs knew because of its language,

    tafsîr, for ignorance of which no one will be excused,

    tafsîr, which the scholars know,

    tafsîr, which no one knows except Allah'.

    By Hamza Jafar - 11/15/2017 3:25:19 AM

  • What is there to check up with Yunus Sb? Except for the blind, all else can see that I rely on the Quran alone in all my articles. That by definition is “tafsir al Qur’an bil Qur’an – which is regarded as the highest form of tafsir and should with time prevail over the traditional tafsirs”.

    GM sb is blind to the obvious and undeniable truth in the statement!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/15/2017 2:38:31 AM

  • Naseer sab,
    Calling yourself a hurler of the truth against the prevailing falsehood is again your own assessment of yourself. Such boasts are very unbecoming.
    Yunus sahib was  generous in his comment and I shall certainly ask him to explain his statement when he returns.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/15/2017 12:00:25 AM

  • Shahin Sb,

    I have never claimed anything except bringing out the Clear meaning of the Quran which should be considered a very simple thing to do for a Book which is Kitabum Mubeen.

    وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ

    (54:17) And We have indeed made the Qur´an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?

    I talk about a methodology and describe the same in detail for those who are interested in carrying out their own research and discovering for themselves the truth of my claims. Anybody can do what I can do with some training and guidance provided his concern for integrity is absolute and tolerance for contradictions and ambiguity zero. Unfortunately, there isn’t even one person who shows an interest in learning the methodology or in its results. They attack me with all kinds of weird accusations such as:

    Naseer sb, 

    From your writings posted on this website, it unequivocally appears that you consider yourself the best of the entire Muslim community from the early Islam till now….

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi - 11/12/2017 11:44:36 PM

     The Bankruptcy of Classical Islamic Scholarship is evident from it inability to defend its understanding of Surah Al-Kafirun and explain the contradictions that it creates by equating Kafirun with Mushrikun, and yet they will not give up equating the terms! Islamic scholarship in general, is completely impervious to the contradictions its views create. For them, the Quran is not Kitabum Mubeen but requires mastering the ahadith first and several other pseudo sciences before it can be understood. It can only be understood through some imam or another. It is our own version of Brahminism!

     What is heartening in this gloomy environment is that you believe we can do something about it.

    Dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin Saheb,

    …..Now if you do not want to have any impact on the community, have no interest in influencing them to not accept these perverted theories of consensus, then, of course, all this debate is meaningless. But for those of us who want our ideas to reach the Muslim community, possibly awaken them to the dangers inherent in the theology of consensus, which is gradually turning us into the pariah of the world, it is imperative that we ourselves understand our scriptures first and then pass on our understanding to other Muslims and try and convince them that the theology of consensus of ulema is rotten and dangerous; it’s endangering our very survival.

    By Sultan Shahin - 11/12/2017 11:14:26 AM

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/14/2017 11:32:22 PM

  • Posting from another thread as it is relevant

    Dear Naseer Sahab,

     What you said about the dictionary based translation of Qur’an is perhaps true for most modern translations though the early exegetes of Islam did use Qur’anic vocabulary in their encyclopedic taseer works and also tabled optional interpretations. But given the appeal of what conforms to entrenched notions, the most popular versions of their translations have survived resulting in stagnancy in exegetic scholarship. Your work belongs to the category of tafsir al Qur’an bil Qur’an – which is regarded as the highest form of tasir and should with time prevail over the traditional tafsirs…….

    By muhammd yunus - 8/28/2017 6:30:57 AM

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/14/2017 10:36:00 PM

  •                 One needs to be modest with one's opinion but not when one is hurling the truth against the prevailing falsehood. GM Sb you are a votary of falsehood and hell-bent on obstructing the truth.

    If anyone makes one false claim, I can bring him down with ease no matter how great his reputation. Why is it so difficult for all of you to prove me wrong on any of my articles? Just watch Ghulam Ghaus sb in another thread. He has not responded to anything that I have said and is indulging in personal attacks. A scholar of classical Islam is reduced to gnashing his teeth and frothing at the mouth. That is the quality of the truth.

    (21:18) Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish!....

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/14/2017 10:29:15 PM

  • Naseer sab keeps applauding his methodology himself. That does not sound as convincing as it would if others applauded his methodology. Nobody has done it so far.

    He says, "The meaning will always prevail." By "meaning" he means what he himself has derived. How can he say it "will always prevail" when no one except himself has accepted it as yet.

    He wants us to believe that the  Quranic quotes that he cites  support him and condemn those who disagree with him. That is the height of arrogance.

    Will he ever learn to just modestly present his views without making such tall and insupportable claims?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/14/2017 1:34:34 PM