Importance of Tafsir
Quran is the 4th and last sacred Holy book of Allah (SWT) revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It is the book of guidance for all mankind. There is a solution to every problem in Quran. We should read Quran every day with understanding so that we can take guidance from it in our daily life.
Most of the tafseer done by scholars are based on Hadith and saying of Prophet (PBUH), you can get “Sahih Bukhari” a collection of hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for your smartphone device from here:
For understanding Quran, we used the word “Tafseer” which means “to explain and describe”. Tafseer comes from the root letters (fa-seen-ra), or (fassara) means to explain, to discover, to disclose (a hidden thing), and to interpret. In Uloom al-Quran Tafseer is defined to be, “the science by which the Quran is understood, its meanings explained, and its rulings derived.”
Tafseer is essential for proper understanding of Quran. Without knowledge of Tafseer, we can’t understand the meaning of Quran. Tafseer is meant to explain to mankind the Book that has been revealed to them by Allah.
Why is there need of Tafsir?
Allah says in the Quran: “Verily this Quran leads to the path that is most right” [Quran 17:9], and thus everybody can find the Straight Path through this Book. The Quran is a complete source of guidance in and of itself, as it says;
“And we have sent down the Book to you as an explanation for everything, a guidance, a mercy and glad tidings for Muslims” [Quran 16:89]
A person specialized in the Quran Tafsir will be better able to understand the intended meanings of a verse, and derive rulings from it, as compared to the average believer, who is not qualified to determine sovereign from the Quran.
So we can say that for a better understanding of Quran we have to do Tafsir of Quran then we can implement it in our daily life. Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, in his book An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran, gives a beautiful lesson on the relationship between Quran and Tafseer. He says,
“The Quran is like a treasure trapped in a glass receptacle; mankind can view and benefit from this treasure, but they are in need of Tafseer, for tafseer acts like the key that unlocks the treasure, so that mankind can benefit from it to the greatest possible extent.”
Purpose of Tafsir
The purpose of Tafseer is to study the principles which the Quran came to clarify:
1. The explanation of a perfect set of beliefs with respect to the Creator, and the relationship of the created with the Creator.
2. The perfection of personal conduct and good morals.
3. The establishment of a set of laws and code of conduct to govern individual and family relations.
4. The establishment of laws governing social and political dealings between communities and nations.
5. The narrations of the history of the previous nations, so that the pious among them may be followed, and the impious to act as a warning.
6. To give the good news of Paradise and the blessings in store for the believers, and the evil information of the punishment of Hell in store for the disbelievers.
7. To prove the truthfulness of the Prophet (SAW), and this is done by explaining the miraculous nature of the Quran.
Types of Tafsir
There are three basic kinds of Tafseer:
1. Tafsir Bi-l-Riwaya: By transmission, it includes the interpretation of the Quran by Quranic verses and use of the explanations of the Prophet and his companions.
2. Tafsir Bi-l-Ra’y: By sound opinion or by knowledge, is not based directly on the transmission of knowledge from the past, but on reason.
3. Tafsir Bi-l-Ishara: By indication or from signs, it goes into the detail of the concepts and ideas associated with the words and verses of the Quran.
There are many reasons that the Tafseer is of great importance but the main reason is that Allah has sent the Quran as a book of guidance to mankind. Man’s purpose is to worship Allah. He can do so within the framework of the guidance that Allah has revealed regarding this, but he can do so only if he properly understands its meanings, implication, and interpretation.
The Tafseer of Quran is of dignified importance if a person wishes to understand the Quran with its true essence and meaning. Thus the understanding of Quran is greater than a simple reading of translation.