Qur'anic Exegesis (Tafsir)

Tafsir (Arabic: تفسير‎, romanized: Tafsīr, lit. 'interpretation') is the Arabic word for exegesis, usually of the Qur'an. An author of a tafsir is a mufassir (Arabic: مُفسّر‎; plural: Arabic: مفسّرون‎, romanized: mufassirūn).

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 week ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. This work is not considered to be sufficient in terms of authenticity, and the ascriptions cannot be taken at face value, although it is possible for someone experienced in the field to make use of some of the concepts if they appear in traditions that are of a higher value in terms of authenticity.

May you always be successful

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 months ago

Not all of the commentaries are completely authentic. Many commentaries contain unauthentic narrations or incorrect views or opinions. You need to seek guidance from sincere and knowledgeable scholars before taking any commentary fore granted. You can take the commentaries written by our big scholars according to the authentic narrations from the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS).

Wassalam.

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Mateen Charbonneau, Sheikh Mateen Joshua Charbonneau achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies. He undertook Howza classes under esteemed scholars since 2013 and has been teaching at Imam Mahdi... Answered 5 months ago

A Kaafir is someone who is ungrateful. This term is used for disbelievers because of all of the things Allah has given them they are ungrateful to Him and deny Him.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 5 months ago

Qur'an 5:55: Only Allah is your wali, and His Messenger, and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay zakat while they bow [in ruku']. 

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Based on narrations, Twelver Shi'i and a number of Sunni exegetes have understood this verse to refer to the time when Imam 'Ali (A) gave a ring in charity to someone while he was in ruku'.

(Of course, Sunni exegetes take a different understanding of "wali" and do not draw the conclusion that Imam 'Ali (A) should be caliph, otherwise they would be Shi'i exegetes. Still, the same explanation is presented. There are also some other views on the verse put forward by some Sunni exegetes.)

This view is accepted based on a plurality of narrations expressing this interpretation, rather than a single narration whose chain of narration could be explored. (That is, it comes from many different narrators and was referred to in some various different situations.)

One can argue for the overall truthfulness of this story given that there are a number of narrations on it, and that it was accepted in the non-Shi'i tradition as well. Also, by itself, the verse doesn't make much sense unless it refers to a specific incident, as people do not usually give charity specifically during ruku'.

Some non-Shi'i translators render the verse in English to mean "they give charity AND they are bowing", not WHILE they are bowing, but grammatically, the phrase "wa hum raki'un" seems best to come across as a descriptor of what comes before it rather than a separate clause [that is, to mean WHILE they are bowing]. In any case, it would also not make sense to specifically specify "bowing" as something that people who give charity also do especially since all Muslims are required to give zakat and bow. For that reason, it is particularly helpful to have the narration to understand this last part. [The meaning of God and God's Messenger being our wali is, of course, clear.]

However, since there are multiple narrations on it, it is not necessarily certain which particular narration you are asking about with regard to authenticity. However, if you have a specific narration in mind, please do post again asking about it!

As a suggestion, you can read a number of narrations relating to this verse in Tafsir al-Mizan on this verse (in the section on narrations after the main exegesis); it is available online in Arabic, Farsi, and English (and perhaps other languages also).

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 9 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. While the Imams (as) commented on verses of the Qur'an and conveyed a world view which is based on Qur'anic principles they did not compose works of tafsir. There are a couple of commentaries attributed to certain Imams (as) but there are not reliably composed by them (as). But there is a genre of tafsir that focuses on the narrations from the Family of the Prophet (as) known as tafsir al-riwa'i or tafwir bil ma'thur which includes many works composed by scholars and ith this style of commentary.

May you always be successful 

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 11 months ago

Yes, it is permissible to buy Quran with translation but you need to be sure about the accuracy of the translations as many translations available online and in book shops are wrong and misleading. Tajweed books and materials are always permissible.

Wassalam.

Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 11 months ago

Bismillah 

Thank you for your question. There is no problem in buying these online.

May you always be successful.

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Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answer updated 1 year ago

as salam alaikum

there are different types of tafsir. One is the tafsir based on reports, mainly from Imam al-Baqir and Imam al-Sadiq, peace bu upon them, like Tafsir al-al-'Ayyashi, Tafsir al-Qummi and other later works; although many ulama casted doubts on the authenticity of many of these reports, others have made use of them so we don't find unanimity in this regard. Other tafsirs focus on different qira'at, Arabic language, opinions of sahabah, tabi'in, other scholars and their reasonings: that is the case for the Tafsir of Shaykh Tusi and Allamah Tabrisi. Others emphasized the explanation of the Qur'an through the Qur'an, Quranic analysis,  intellectual and theological (and even philosophical) discussions; that is the case of Tafsir al-Mizan by 'Allamah Tabataba'i and those who have followed his methodology.

It is difficult to universally establish what is the"best shia tafsir" because it depends on the conclusions of singular scholars, students and researchers, and many times personal tendencies and "taste" play also a role in it. 

With prayers for your success.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 year ago

Our scholars study the chain of narrators and the text of every narration to assess the authenticity of it. We do not say that all narrations claimed to be from Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (AS) are authentic. 

Wassalam.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 year ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. The exegetical literature surrounding the Quran shows that interpreting the Quran and clarifying its meanings is something that is allowed. What is not allowed is superimposing our opinions and ideas on the Quran and interpreting it according to our whims. Reflecting on the message of the Quran is an essential aspect of an Islamic way of life, but that should be done while also seeking clarification from scholars who can access the available literature to provide educated perspectives. 

May you always be successful.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answer updated 1 year ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. The verses can be rendered in English as follows:

“...hinderer of good, a transgressing sinner, churlish, surly, and ignoble withal - simply because he possesses wealth and children.”

This set of verses is a continuation of a vivid description of the traits of the enemies of the Prophet (saw) and are set beside the first set of verses in this chapter that extoll the great character of the Prophet (saw). They are people who not only don’t perform good but prevent others from doing so. They are so soiled with sin that sin has become part of their nature. They are churlish, meaning that they are ill natured and mean spirited and on top of that they have no apparent origin (meaning they have no clear father). 

The following verse is a warning why it may be that these people have such traits. These verses show that the Prophet (saw) never submitted to people of this nature just because of their wealth and affluence, but rather spread the true message of Islam, whether these people were amiable to it or not.

For some insights into the rest if the chapter please refer to: Exegesis of the Qurʾān; sūratul Mulk to sūratul Mursalāt, translated by Saleem Bhimji and edited by Arifa Hudda (Ontario: Islamic Humanitarian Service & Islamic Publishing House, 2012). The chapter of al-Qalam is the second chapter discussed in this book.

May you always be successful.