Then, it is undertaken by Us to explain it. [75:19]

Bayan al-Qur’an Methodology

with 6 comments

Methodology adopted while compiling this Tafsir

Some of these matters are listed in the Khutba, and others are in addition to those:

1. At the time of writing this Tafsir, the books I had in front of me were: al-Baydhawi, Jalalain, Tafsir Rahmani, Itqaan, Ma’alim al-Tanzil, Ruh al-Ma’aani, al-Madarik, al-Khazin, Tafsir Fath al-Mannan, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, al-Lubab, al-Dur al-Manthur, al-Kasshaf, al-Qaamus, certain [Urdu] translations of the Qur’an. Some of these were present with me from the beginning. Others came after having written a significant portion, and yet others near the very end. Hence, ascertaining and determining this may be done through the references. At times of need, books of Hadith, Fiqh and Seerah were also consulted.

2. From the beginning of the Qur’an until the end, special attention was given to explaining the relationship of each and every Surah and verse with what preceded it. This was done in a simple and concise manner. In addition, a summary of themes was given in the introduction of most Surahs.

3. Prior to presenting the tafsir, a concise heading was placed to introduce a group of verses which were chosen to be interpreted in a single place due to unity, interconnectedness or relationship. The readers will themselves see what pleasure is attained from understanding the detailed tafsir subsequent to having this brief summary of all the verses in mind, inshallah. The tafsir of the verses was thereafter done such that it results in a single flowing thread.

4. Regarding the narrations upon which the tafsir was based, a requirement of authenticity was upheld. However, where that was not the case and the language in and of itself held the possibility of the interpretation (indicated upon by the narration), laxity was adopted with regards to this stipulation of authenticity.

5. In replying to misconceptions, only those were addressed which happened to arise from a sound basis, such as another verse of the Qur’an, a sound tradition, or a matter established through reasoning or the senses. Others, which did not originate from any sound basis, but were merely proof-less claims, were not taken into consideration. This is because the proper response for such questions is simply requesting proof. Finally, a great number of misconceptions are cleared automatically through the extended translation.

6. No explanation was stretched beyond necessity except on rare occasions due to some benefit.

7. In the translation greater consideration was placed on following what Arabic syntax dictated, as opposed to idiomatic expression.

8. Since Ahqar has no research when it comes to discussions related to prior scripture, help was sought from Tafsir Haqqani in such places.

9. There were approximately 2 or 3 places in the entire tafsir where the interpretation did not satisfy the heart as I had desired. Such places have been clearly marked by Ahqar. Therefore, if someone is facilitated with a better explanation and tafsir, please deem that to be stronger.

10. With respect to issues of theology and Fiqh, only enough detail was provided upon which the tafsir of the Qur’an depended.

11. Themes which occurred in numerous places and were in need of greater detail and thorough explanation were handled in one of two ways: either the details were gathered in one place and at later occasions reference was given to the prior verse where the details were mentioned, or a promise was made that the thorough discussion is upcoming.

12. In all places the methodology of the righteous Salaf was adopted. The opposing sayings of the muta’akhireen were not taken at all.

13. Where multiple interpretations existed from the Mufassireen, only that which seemed strongest based on narration or [my personal] linguistic inclination was included. Others were not mentioned, except when two possible meanings seemed equal at which point both were given equal mention.

14. While elaborating upon the indicated meaning of the verses, the regulations of Mizan and Mantiq (classical logic) were fully taken into account, the pleasure of which should be asked from the souls of the scholars and people of intelligence.

15. I do realize that in certain places the text adopted may seem extremely closed form. However, there is no shortcoming with regard to its sufficiency. Having said this, people with lower than average aptitudes will need to consult scholars in order to decipher it and have it clarified. Similarly, in certain places such themes have occurred that only people of knowledge will understand. This is why, according to me, it is absolutely required that this tafsir be studied cover to cover at the hands of a scholar. Whatever theme still does not make sense, let it be deemed dependent upon the acquisition of sacred sciences – and it is quite certain that true pleasure and benefit from this tafsir can only be obtained when one is well versed in the conventional [sacred] sciences. This is especially true at the time of accessing this tafsir after facing confusion and having sought solutions in other books of Tafsir.

16. Many important and subtle points contained within the translation and tafsir cannot be conveyed through explaining. They are being delegated to one’s own detailed study of the tafsir.

17. Subtle and interesting points which were not related to Tafsir have been abandoned completely. Deciphering the Qur’an was kept as the primary purpose.

18. Wherever a Marfoo’ Hadith existed regarding any verse, in opposition to it, no saying of anyone else was considered.

19. It is possible that in the early ajzaa of the tafsir some of these requirements were not considered, since the need related to some of the above mentioned requirements occurred to me gradually. Moreover, since the very first volume was not written continuously, but rather with gaps and pauses, upon close analysis it may be noticed that there is a significant change in style between it and the other 11 volumes and even between its own parts. (Each of these 12 volumes was kept at 2.5 juz, sometimes accurately, and other times somewhat less or more due to the nearness of a Surah’s completion or commencement).

20. As for the Arabic footnotes, those are specific to the people of knowledge. Highlighting the methodology adopted therein is not needed at this point. Finally, having presented all these points in consideration of the general reader’s benefit, I say the following with respect to myself:

نہ بنقش بستہ موشوشم نہ بحرف ساختہ سرخوشم * نفسے بیاد تو میکشم چہ عبارت وچہ معا نیم

محمد اشرف علی عفی عنہ

Written by Yusuf Mullan

July 24th, 2009 at 3:56 am

Posted in Official

6 Responses to 'Bayan al-Qur’an Methodology'

Subscribe to comments with RSS

  1. jazakallah for this ; I had tried and failed to understand its urdu version. Please clarify the following for me:
    1)What is the word for theology in urdu and is there an equivalent word for fiqh in english?
    2) can we translate salaf ” as scholars nearest to the time of the Prophet sallalahu allaihi wasalam and muta’akhireen as scholars which came later; is there a demarcating time period between the two ?
    3) Do ’sacred sciences’ mean ilme ludni or the knowledge which is bestowed on the heart of one who is in the path of purifying it ?
    4) I still do not understand point 14. esp what does it mean that ‘it should be asked from the souls of the scholars’
    5)In point 8 , is it previous scriptures or some particular old scripture.
    6) In point 9 wouldnt it be better to write ’satisfy my heart’ instead of satisfy the heart as I had desired’ Or maybe the urdu text demands it ; I do not have it with me thi


    25 Jul 09 at 5:51 am

  2. I am sorry for that the submit button got clicked accidentaly; I continue:
    I do not have it with me this time.
    7) In point 15 is it ‘closed form ‘ or ‘closed in form’.
    8 ) In point 19 shouldnt the word ajzaa be translated into ‘parts’ as the english reader might find such words difficult to understand.
    I am sorry for this long list of queries.


    25 Jul 09 at 5:57 am

  3. 1. ‘Ilm al-Kalam, or simply Kalam as it came in the Urdu. The English equivalent for Fiqh is Jurisprudence.

    2. Yes. That is what the two words mean, but I’m not sure of the exact point in time which seperates the two.

    3. Neither of the two is intended in this context. Here he simply means: Sarf, Nahw, Lugha, Adab, the sciences of Balagha, Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, i.e. the subjects studied at traditional madaaris. We inserted the word “sacred” to differentiate it from Dunyawi sciences. No other particular reason.

    4. It’s just a figure of expression. It means the scholars and people who have studied these subjects, when they find the explanation of verses done according to the format they are familiar with, their souls rejoice i.e. they become real happy and satisfied.

    5. It means the books of the Jews and Christians and their narrations.

    6. Either way is fine. Doesn’t seem to warrant an edit, but jzk for the suggestion.

    7. Will think a bit more about this one, insha Allah.

    8. Similar to number 6, because the reader needs to know at least these basic things. Hazrat himself also uses terminology quite frequently and does not make it a point to render everything into easy Urdu.

    Yusuf Mullan

    25 Jul 09 at 7:22 am

  4. jazakallah khair


    28 Jul 09 at 2:22 am

  5. Please upload the Urdu Bayan ul Quran so that urdu useres can benefit from it..

    If anyone knows the link please email me

    May allah help u to spread the light of islam


    18 Sep 09 at 9:32 am

  6. You can download 3 of the 12 volumes from:

    As far as we can tell the rest of the Tafsir is not available online.

    Yusuf Mullan

    23 Sep 09 at 8:16 am

Leave a Reply