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The Two Main Types of Tafsir with Examples

types of Tafsir with examples

If you are not an Arab, you might have come across situations where you wanted to know the types of Tafsir with examples and understand the meaning of the verses you were reciting but could not do that because of the language barrier. 

Since not all of us have a Quran with translation available all the time, it is best to learn Tafsir to properly understand Quran. In this article, we will walk you through the types of Tafsir with examples in detail. Let’s get started!

Importance of Tafsir

For a proper understanding of the Quran, Tafsir is essential. It is impossible to interpret the Quran without understanding Tafsir. The purpose of Tafsir is to explain to mankind what Allah has revealed to them in the Holy Book.

Allah says in the Quran: “Verily this Quran leads to the path that is most right” [Quran 17:9]

Clearly, the Straight Path can be found by all through this book. People trained in the Quran Tafsir will be able to better understand a verse’s intent and be able to derive rulings from it than the average believer.

We can therefore say that for a better understanding of the Quran, it is recommended to study the Tafsir and learn types of Tafsir with examples so that we can apply it practically in our daily lives. In his book An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran, Shaykh Yasir Qadhi gives a beautiful explanation of the relationship between the Quran and Tafsir. As he puts it:

“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 Tafsir, for Tafsir acts like the key that unlocks the treasure so that mankind can benefit from it to the greatest possible extent”.

Another scholar Iyaas ibn Mu’aawiyah said “The example of a people who recite the Qur’an and do not know its explanation is like a group of people who have a written message from their king that comes to them during the night, and they do not have a lamp. Therefore, they do not know what is in the message. The example of one who knows Tafsir is like a person who comes to them with a lamp and reads to them what is in the message”.

Here are some more reasons why you should learn Tafsir of the Quran:

Quran Karim with stand

– Assists worshippers in following the Quran

Quran is the only scripture that is valid and unwavering until the Day of Judgment. A Tafsir makes it easier for any individual to comprehend the Quran. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah (Hadith), and if you follow these you will never go astray.”

Moreover, all Muslims must learn the Tafsir of the Quran in order to understand the five pillars (fundamental principles) of Islam. Learning Tafsir will enable the learner to perform these procedures with utmost devotion and the correct parity.

Allows you to perform Salah (daily prayers) with focus and humility

Salah is performed at least 5 times a day, which means the accuracy or correctness may not be guaranteed every time. People sometimes become distracted by numerous thoughts and lose their concentration.

Whenever the individual knows what each verse in his prayer means, this can be avoided. Thus, Knowing the types of Tafsir with examples will definitely help as Tafsir allows individuals to develop a better bond with their Creator.

Offers a better understanding of Quran

When one speaks the Arabic language or descends from the Arabian dialect, they can better understand the profound message Allah SWT has conveyed through the Quran.

Those who are not native Arabic speakers have a harder time understanding the Quran. This is why it is important to learn the types of Tafsir with examples to understand the message of Allah.

Builds an everlasting relationship with our creator

Throughout the Quran, Allah’s closeness has been addressed on a number of occasions, with the meaning being interpreted in a similar manner as that Allah is always with you. However, there is considerable variation in the meaning of the term “closeness to Allah.”.

A believer’s bond with the Creator is much deeper when they learn the different types of Tafsir with examples than when they memorize or learn to read Quran with Tajweed. We are supposed to remain upright and on a righteous path as a result of it.

Describes the actual meaning of the Quran

Tragically, people, these days believe that they have satisfied the Quran’s privileges simply by reading it without understanding the true motivation behind the words. If you learn Tafsir, you will be able to understand the actual meaning of the Quran effortlessly. 

It perfects the character

As Allah SWT explains throughout the Quran, closeness to him provides a path to Jannah and provides resolution for hundreds of issues in this world. There is no better guide for living life according to Allah’s command than this.

As a means to perfect one’s character and conduct, reading the Quran is important, but learning Tafsir helps one to comprehend the meaning of His words, which will lead to their implementation, that is why knowing the types of Tafsir with examples will greatly help!

Rules for personal and familial relationships are set forth in it

According to Fiqh, Islam is a system of jurisprudence or an understanding of Sharia. Under great consideration, it is a compilation of Islamic law that is based on the Quran. The Quran guides us in many ways. Tafsir is only used by those in charge of making laws, meaning the Islamic council, when they are familiar with the Quran.

Developing laws for a community of Muslims

According to the Quran, the Sharia is the chief source of Islamic law. In it are found the principles by which the Muslim world is governed, as well as the reasons for the relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims. According to the Sharia, Muslim societies are sorted and run through certain standards. The idea also provides a solution to conflicts between people, as well as between the state and the individual.

Discover the history of Islam

Throughout the Quran, Allah Almighty has included many stories – stories of past Prophets, miracles of Prophets, stories of our Last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and many others. This knowledge, along with the lessons they teach, depends on knowing the Tafsir of the Quran.

A clear knowledge of Islam will encourage people to convert

An individual must invite other people towards Islam when they are ready. He should possess a legitimate and clear understanding of Islam. Having an extensive understanding of the Quran’s laws and a large collection of Hadith.

While giving guidance, clarifying examples, and giving proper guidance, he will only do Da’wah when he has a firm grasp of the lessons of the Quran and knows the types of Tafsir with examples.

A man reciting Quran in the mosque

Different Types of Tafsir

If you are wondering how many types of Tafsir are there, it depends on the categorization. Here are two types of Tafsir with examples and detailed descriptions:

  1. Tafsir bil Riwaya

In this type of Tafsir, the verses of the Quran are explained from different transmission sources. Those sources include the Quran itself, which explains what is said by referring to other Quranic Ayahs dealing with the same subject matter. In the second source, Prophet (PBUH)’s sayings and actions shed light on the meaning of Quranic verses. Additionally, it is an interpretation of verses of the Quran by the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Several examples are given below explaining Tafsir from these sources.

A reader of the Quran may find an unexplained statement and want to seek an explanation. It is best to answer this question by referring to the Quran itself because the things that are mentioned in one portion are also mentioned in another portion. Consequently, relating these Ayahs can provide answers to many questions. 

  1. Tafsir bil Al-Ra’y

This is the second kind of Tafsir of the Quran, which is based on reasoning and on what is called ‘Ijtihad’ rather than being based on the transmission of knowledge. Fundamentally, Ijtihad derives from the comparison of verses, traditions, and sayings of the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), not from an assumption that they are being interpreted randomly. Thus, by comparing and contrasting the verses of the Quran, scholars arrive at a specific interpretation… and there are other types of Tafseer depending on the categorization.

Two Main Types of Tafsir with examples

To explain types of Tafsir with examples clearly to you, we have listed the types of Tafsir with examples for you below:

Tafsir bil Al-Riwaya with examples

The Quran in this type of Tafsir is:

  1. Explained by the Qur’an itself (for instance explaining one Ayah by referring to another Ayah).
  2. Explained by the means of the Sunnah.
  3. Explained through the statement of the Sahaba, the companions of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

Prominent Books ofTafsir bil Al-Riwaya

Tafsir bil Ray with examples

Tafsir bil Ra’y cannot be praise-worthy without considering and tuning into Tafsir bil Riwaya, for it should combine opinions with reports, and intellect with transmitted knowledge. Thus, the Tafsir bil Riwaya does not differ in such a way that it opposes or conflicts with it.

Prominent Books ofTafsir bilRay

What is the best Tafseer of the Quran?

We mentioned how many types of Tafsir are there just above. Now you might be thinking what is the best Tafsir of the Quran. The answer is, no single Tafsir is the best for everyone. In my opinion, the best Tafsir is one that most closely fulfills your goal. It is likely that later Mufasireen are more relevant for contemporary events because Quran unfolds its meaning with time.

What is the difference between Tafsir and Taweel?

‘Ta’wil is derived from the root ‘Awwl’ which means ‘to return, to return to,’ suggesting returning to the origins of a word to understand its meanings and connotations.

Here are the common differences between Tafsir and Taweel:

  • Using Tafsir in explaining a word with only one meaning, whereas Ta’wil in determining one of the meanings attached to a word with many meanings.
  • Al-Maturidi (d.333 A.H.) classified interpretations based on knowledge as Tafsir, while interpretations based on reason (Ijtihad) were considered tawil.
  • According to Abu Talib at-Tha’labi, Tafsir represents the literal meaning of a verse, while Ta’wil represents its actual intent. The Tafsir of the verse is one example.
  • Ta’wil explains that the verse warns man against slipping into sins or demeaning Allah’s commands. While Tafsir explains the meaning of the individual words in a verse, Ta’wil explains what the verse is trying to say.

Conclusion

Having covered the types of Tafsir with examples, we have now come to the end of our article. As we sign off, we would like to emphasize once again that Tafsir is intended to help Muslims better understand and obey the message and commands of Allah (SWT). Understanding something is essential for doing it well!

If you want to learn the Tafsir of the Quran, then you definitely should check our online Quran Tafsir course!

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