Category Archives: Tafseer

Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 3)

Bismillah wal Hamdullillah was Salaatu was Salaamu a’laa Rasoolillah,

Amma ba’d:

Concise benefits in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (3)

As far as ‘Asbaabun Nuzool’ (reasons for revelation) are concerned then there are a number of issues that should be borne in mind:

1.    It may occur that the sababun Nuzool (reason for revelation) may be one, but more than one verse in the Qur’aan was revealed concerning it.

An example of this is that which was collected by Imaamut Tirmidhi in his Sunan (Saheeh Sunan At Tirmidhi 2419):

Upon the authority of Umm Salamah who said:

“The men participate in battle but the women don’t, and we only have half the inheritance of the men” So Allah ta’ala revealed:

“And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you excel other. For men there is reward for what they have earned and for women there is reward for what they have earned and Ask Allah of his bounty…”

(Suratun Nisaa Vs 32)

Imaamut Tirmidhi mentions:

Mujaahid said: Allah revealed concerning her:

Verily the Muslims men and women, the believers men and women, the men and Women who are obedient to Allah, the men and women who are truthful, the men and women who are patient, the men and women who are humble, the men and women who give charity, the women who guard their chastity, and the women who remember Allah much, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. paradise)”

(Suratul Ahzaab Vs 35)

Both of these authentic narrations establish this occurance as the sababun nuzool for more than one ayah

Another example is that which took place with the messenger as occurs in a narration collected by Ibn Jareer in his tafseer (14/364) upon the authority of Ibn Abaas who said:

“ The Messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa salam) was sitting in the shade of a tree on an occasion when he said: “There shall come to you an individual who will look at you with two Satanic eyes. If he comes then do not speak to him. There did not pass a long period of time except that a blue eyed individual approached so the messenger (Sallallahu ‘alahi wa salam) called him and said “For what reason do you and your companions curse me?” so the man went away and returned with his companions who all swore by Allah that they did not say or do (such things), so much so the messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa salam) left him alone. So Allah the most high revealed:

“They sware by Allah that they said nothing (bad), but in reality they uttered words of disbelief, and they disbelieved after accepting Islaam…”

(Suratut Tawbah  Vs 74)

And Allah continues to describe them in the verse

Imaam Haakim collects a variant version of the same occurance (though the version in Mustadrak mentions the man had blue defective eyes). This narration (2/524/Hadeeth 3795) mentions that Allah revealed:

“On the day when Allah will resurrect them all together (for their account), then they will swear to him as they swear to you. And they think they have something to stand upon. Verily they are liars”

(Suratul Mujaadilah Vs 18)

Thus we see that it is established that more than one verse may be revealed for one occurance

Wallahu A’lam

Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 2)

Concise principles in Tafseer (2)

The ‘Asbaabun Nuzool’ (reasons for revelation) are of two types

1. ‘Sareeh’ (clear and unequivocal)

This is when the companion states ‘the reason for the revelation of such and such a verse is…’ or he mentions an occurrence or a question posed to the messenger then he or she says “…then Allah revealed” or “..so Allah revealed.

Concerning the statement ‘then Allah revealed’ on rare occasions this is mentioned concerning an occurrence that is not the cause for the revelation of the mentioned verse but this is rare. Similarly the statement of a companion ‘we used to hold that such and such a verse was revealed due to this’ while it overwhelms our suspicions that this is the reason for its revelation, that is not always clear cut and those instances and their narrations should be correctly followed up and analysed.

2. ‘Ghair Sareeh’ (Unclear)

This is when a companion says ‘ This verse was revealed concerning such and such…’ this statement could relate to the reason for revelation, but it could also be a reference to the tafseer or explanation of the verse. That is to say, for example ‘this verse was revealed concerning the expiation of a vow’, we understand that the intent is that the subject matter of the verse is such and such.

There is a subtle difference between the first type (Sareeh) and this one. In the first the companion clearly mentions ‘Sababun Nuzooli hadhihil Ayah.. (The reason for the revelation of the ayah is…) while here the companion says: ‘Nazalat Haadihil Ayah fee kadhaa’ (This verse was revealed concerning… the word to consider here is his statement ‘concerning’. Does he intent by this statement the reason for revelation or does he intend merely to discuss and mention its subject matter.

And the examples of these categories of ‘Asbaabun Nuzool’ in the books of tafseer (exegesis of the qur’aan) are many.

Wallahu A’lam

  

Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 1)

Concise benefits in Tafseer (1)

Bismillah Was Salaatu Was Salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillahi

Ammaa Ba’d:

1. Types of Revelation

Imaamus Suyooti mentions:

Al Ja’bari mentions:

“The Verses of the Qur’aan were revealed in two ways:
 1. That which was revealed without a known cause
2. That which was revealed on the basis of an occurance or question”

(Al Itqaan 1/82)

Thus this second category has what is known as a ‘Sababun nuzool’ (reason for revelation)

The ‘asbaabun nuzool’ (plural) must be reported with an authentic chain of narration for it to be considered.

Though the asbaabun nuzool help us to understand the context of the verse the scholars mention another principle and that is:

‘ Al ‘Ibratu bi ‘Umoomil lafdh laa bi khusoosis sabab’ (meaning that the thing that is taken into consideration is the general nature of the wording of the text, and not only the specific reason it was revealed for)

Thus as Shaikhul islam and others have mentioned the ayah is applicable to anyone whose circumstances resemble that of the one the verse was revealed concerning

Wallahu a’lam

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