|An Introduction to the History of Tafsir and Commentators of the Quran
|Feb 02, 2021
Author Husayn Alawi Mehr
Translator: Sheikh Hamid Waqar
From the advent of Islam until the present day, Muslims in general and Islamic scholars in particular have given great importance to the Qur’an. The Prophet (s) was the first commentator on the Qur’an and thus took the most important steps in explaining and commentating on its verses and in educating other commentators such as Ali (‘a). The Imams of the Prophetic Household (‘a) also played a key role in spreading Qur’anic culture, correctly expositing the verses, and preventing distortion of the text or its meaning.
The companions also tried, to the extent that they could, to uncover the hidden realities of the Qur’an. After them, the generation of the Successors (tabi‘in) continued to contribute to this important field of discourse. This process continued until the third century when some commentators of the Qur’an started to write commentaries (tafasir). At least initially, traditions explaining ambiguous Qur’anic terms were given the most importance. Later, verses were commentated on and explained with grammatical and theological points in mind. This continued until the contemporary age where the writing of tafsir has reached its apex.
This book, as well as presenting a historical account of the development of Qur’anic tafsir writing and the major commentators who participated in it, aims to demonstrate the importance of tafsir and identify the correct approach to undertaking it by critically examining the different methods of tafsir that have been used through the ages.