Throughout the ages, distinguished Shi'ite scholars have authored numerous commentaries, some of which have been a source of benefit for the scholars, the Hawza 'Ilmiyyah and those who have been attracted to the Qur’an. However there was demand for a commentary possessing the excellences of Tafsir al-Namunah, in the Persian language, especially in this period of time wherein there is an ever-increasing focus towards comprehending the Noble Qur’an.
Ayatullah Al-Uzma Makarim Shirazi, with the co-operation of some distinguished scholars, has fulfilled this requirement and done an invaluable service to the Noble Qur’an by authoring this valuable commentary
Some of the features of this commentary, which have contributed to its extra-ordinary universality and attraction, are as follows:
1. Although this commentary is in Persian, its scientific and research aspects have been given such consideration and emphasis that it benefits not only the common masses, who are interested in comprehending the Qur’an, but also scholars and men of learning.
2. While interpreting the verses, rather than dwelling on unnecessary points, particular attention has been paid to those important issues that could have a great impact upon the lives of individuals and the society.
3. In connection with the topics that are propounded in the verses, separate and succinct discussions have been presented in this commentary in such a manner that a brief study of these would make the reader independent of the need to refer to other books on these topics.
4. The use of intricate terminology has been avoided; nevertheless, whenever necessary, explanations have been provided in the footnotes so that in addition to scholars and people of learning, this commentary is also useful for the general public.
5. One of the important distinctions of this commentary is that it presents solutions for present-day issues, and answers for various kinds of questions and objections pertaining to the Usul and Furu' of religion, and Islamic sciences and culture.
In view of these salient features, we sought permission from the reverend teacher for collecting the questions and answers separately, and presenting them before the general public, especially the dear youths. Fortunately, he responded positively to our request and so, with the co-operation of friends, Hujjaj al-Islam Ahmad Ja'fari, Sayyid 'Ali Riza Ja'fari, Sayyid Murtaza Musawi, Sayyid Asghar Husaini and Muhammad Husain Muhammadi, the entire Tafsir al-Namunah and the subjective commentary Payam al-Qur’an were subjected to a detailed and meticulous study. All the instances were extracted and this book, containing 180 questions and answers, was then organized.
At this juncture it is necessary to mention a few points:
1. At times, answers to certain questions have been presented in various places in the commentaries (Tafsir al-Namunah and Payam al-Qur’an) and so all the instances were collected and correlated in a special manner, and mentioned in one place in this book.
2. In this collection care has been exercised to refrain from presenting questions pertaining to the commentary of the verses. This is because our objective was to compile those questions that are propounded in our religious society and not questions relating to the commentary of the verses - for the answers to the latter can be obtained only after a study of the entire commentary.
3. It may be questioned: 'Is this collection not a repetition of the book 'Pursish-ha Wa Pasukh-hae Madhhabi', authored by the reverend teacher and Ayatullah Subhani?' In this regard it should be known that there are only 30 questions that are common to both of them.
4. Although the compilation of this book may appear to have been a simple task, however the various stages of the work, whether it be the studying of the commentaries, the extraction of the questions and answers, the arrangement and organisation of the repeated portions… demanded a great deal of time.
5. From the entire collection of 180 questions and answers, 143 questions are from Tafsir al-Namunah, 35 from the commentary Payam al-Qur’an, one from Payam al-Imam (the commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah by the reverend teacher) and one from the book Afaridegar al-Jihan (a collection of the reverend teacher's lectures). It is hoped that this insignificant service finds acceptance by Hazrat Baqiyatullah - May our souls be his ransom.
Sayyid Husain Husaini