Finally! A Concise Explanation of the Major Tafseers

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaah

Long lost treasure found! :-D

Ok, so I never had it in the first place that I should have lost it but mashaa’Allaah tabaraka’Allaah I’ve found something that I’ve been looking for, for a very long time:

A concise comparison between all the major tafaaseer!

For those interested, below is an audio compilation/series in arabic by Sh. Abd al-Rahmaan al-Shahri found on the ahlal tafsir website. In it, he details out the different tafseers – classic and contemporary, and also gives background information on each of the scholars. Masha’Allaah, I highly recommend everyone to probably go through these audios before intending to buy a tafseer set, or if you’re interested in knowing the approaches taken by the mufassireen and what their respective tafaseer focus more on in comparison to others.


1. The Importance of studying the biographies of the Mufassireen and their methodology (in their tafseers)

2. Turjuman al-Qur’aan `Abdullaah ibn `Abbaas (radhiallaahu `anhu)

3. Imam Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari [1]

4. Imam Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari [2]

5. Imam Abd al-Haqq `Atiyyah ibn Al-Andalusi [Al-Muharrar al-Wajeez]

6. Imam al-Qurtubi & his tafseer

7. Imam Ibn Kathir & his tafseer

8. Imam `Abd al-Rahmaan ibn al-Jawzi [Zaad al-Maseer]

9. Jaar’Allaah al-Zamakhshari [al-Kashaaf]

10. Imam Ibn Hayyan al-Andalusi [al-Bahr al-Muheet]

11. Imam al-Baghawi [Ma'aalim al-Tanzeel]

12. Imam Yahya ibn Salaam al-Basri & his tafseer

13. Imam Ibn `Aashoor [Al-Tahreer wal-Tanweer]

14. Qadhi Al-Baydhaawi [Anwaar al-Tanzeel]

15. Adab al-Mufassireen [Etiquettes]

16. Imam Ibn Juziy al-Kalbi [Al-Tas-heel li`uloom al-Tanzeel]

17. `Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (radhiallaahu `anhu)

18. al-Fakhr al-Deen al-Raazi [Mafateeh al-Ghayb]

19. Imam al-Shanqeeti [Adhwaa al-Bayaan]

20. Shaykh `Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di [Tayseer al-Kareem al-Rahman]

21. Imam Muqaatil ibn Sulayman al-Balkhi & his tafseer

23. Shaykh Jamal al-Deen al-Qasimi [Mahaasin al-Ta'weel]

24. Imam al-Shawkaani [Fath al-Qadeer]

25. Imam Qataada al-Taabi’i

26. Imam al-Suyooti [Al-Durr al-Manthoor]

27. Abu Ubaydah Ma’mar ibn al-Muthana [Majaaz al-Qur'aan]

28. Abu Bakr ibn al-`Arabi al-Maaliki [Ahkaam al-Qur'aan]

29. Imam Mujaahid al-Taabi’i

30. Imam Hasan al-Basri

31. Imam Abu Ishaaq al-Zajjaaj [Ma'aani al-Qur'aan wa I'raabihi]

32. Imam Sa’eed ibn Jubayr

18 thoughts on “Finally! A Concise Explanation of the Major Tafseers

  1. Hmmmm!
    After reading the word contemporary, I expected a listing for both Syed Abul Ala Maududi (Tafheem ul Quran ) and Amin Ahsan Islahi (Tadabbur ul Quran), since these are two most important, if not the most important Tafaseer of 20 th century. However, it seems that the website is only in Arabic (unless I missed the English link) :-)

    Jazak Allah!

  2. Masha Allah, I’ve listened to two of the recordings so far (Abu Ishaq az-Zajjaj & Muhammad Tahir Ibn ‘Ashoor), and I found them highly informative and very instructive. Jazakillahu khayran for making them available on your blog for others to benefit from. The recordings are pact with useful information and to think that each recording is only half an hour long.

  3. Wa `alaykumusalaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh

    Wa iyyaakum

    After reading the word contemporary

    Actually, he hasn’t gone through all of the mu`asireen (like al-Mawdudi, Syed Qutb, al-Sha’rawi etc) – I think maybe his aim was to cover all those major tafasir (though he didn’t include al-Jalaylain and other classics) with some contemporary ones, highlighting the manhaj al-tafsir (which is the aim of the duroos

    and to think that each recording is only half an hour long.

    This is probably the best thing about these recordings. I was like many people, looking for something exactly like this but without it being pages long or in salasil lasting hours! The shaykh keeps apologising for cutting it short/not doing justice etc, but for half an hour – it’s more than I ever expected

    The other good thing is that the shaykh has an academic & unbaised approach towards the mufassireen, he covers the facts, history and details about the tafaseer (including those categorised as being blameworthy) without ‘character asassinating’ as such – e.g. he concludes in the review of tafseer al-Razi by saying ‘!فيه كل شيء مع تفسير’ – which you’ll understand if you know what’s usually said about this tafseer!

    could you tell me a bit about Sh. Abd al-Rahmaan al-Shahr?

    I don’t too much about him, but he’s a teacher in Riyadh (I think in Sa’ood university). He’s the admin of forum and on another forum someone said that he had a PhD in this field.

  4. dear fajr,

    please can you guide me and tell me where i can find the notes mentioned in Saturday 8th december class.

    jazakallah kayr

  5. As-salaamu `alaykum ukht Musarrat

    If you go to the forum and scroll all the way down, click where it says ‘Sisters only private area’, & then click on ‘Notes for Level 1′ – you have to log in to be able to enter the sisters’ section. Let me know how it goes inshaa’Allaah

  6. assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaah,

    Jazaakillaahu khayran, this is a wonderful set of lectures, maashaa’Allaah…
    I’ve just finished listening to the lecture on Imaam al-Qurtubi rahimahullaah, whose tafseer is one of my favourites. I particularly enjoy the methodical way in which he discusses the various opinions throughout his tafseer and the way in which he highlights the significant points of grammar, maashaa’Allaah.

    A little off topic, but do you happen to know what the ‘ulamaa have said about studying ‘Ilm al-Maqaamaat? The following site is a good resource with an abundance of examples from various celebrated recitors presenting the different Maqaamaat: but I occasionally get the impression a few sometimes overdo their ‘melodious’ recitations and it’s as though they almost try to ensure it is in keeping with a particular musical key? Have you come across anything on this?

  7. Wa `alaykumusalaam wa rahmatullaah

    Erm, from what I know I think there isn’t much problem in ‘studying’ these maqaamat (unless it involves the use of instruments), but recitation and application is where some differences have occured among the scholars and qurraa. Some declared it mustahabb, others said it’s mubah and some say it’s haraam. They also speak of takalluf being makrooh (going the extra way just to recite in a certain manner or as you said, attempts in ensuring that a particular musical key is kept).

    The maqaamat that entail the use of music or instruments etc are of course not permissable. For those that don’t, ‘ulama have put certain conditions on the tilawah (e.g. that the rules of tajweed and makharij are abided by, that there is no takalluf imposed)

    Here is a really good discussion about this:

    This is what one of the shuyookh in that discussion concluded with:

    There was mention of a couple of books which I haven’t read but you’d might want to refer back to: Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd “Bid3 al-Qurraa” and also سنن القراء ومناهج المجودين by Sh. Abdul Aziz

    Personally, I’m not too keen on the maqaamaat (especially those that overdo it) – but I guess it’s quite popular around the Muslim world!

  8. Pingback: A concise explanation of the major tafseers « Bayt ul-Hikma - House of Wisdom

  9. Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatulaahi wa barakaatuh,

    May Allaah reward you for this list.

    Have you heard of Ruh Al Ma’aani by Ibn Hajr ? What is your opinion on it?

  10. Wa `alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    As far as I know, Ruh al-Ma’ani was written by al-Alusi, I don’t think Ibn Hajr authored a tafsir of the Qur’an. Either way, sorry I can’t give you much detail on that particular tafsir as I haven’t read it myself.

  11. Wa `alaykumusalam

    Jazak’Allahu khayran brother Muhammad! I myself lost these clips a long time ago and didn’t think to check Islamway. Barak’Allahu fik for letting me know.

    I will get round to updating this post insha’Allah.

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