Monday, December 11, 2006

Halaqah #3 - 12/11/06

------------------- Samina's Notes -------------------

Someone to master in 10 qirats is like earning a PhD.

The excellence of memorizing the Qur’an and the excellence of teaching it: The Messenger of Allah (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) said: “The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (Bukhari)

Tafseer means explanation or interpretation, understanding and extracting the rules.

Reasons why the saabahah are reliable sources:

  • Circumstances
  • Direct interaction
  • Arabic
  • Direct students of Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam)
  • Knowing the practices and customs of the Arabic nations

Ishhtihahd = a scientific method of extrapolating the meaning.

Ta’week and Tafseer are synonyms. They are similar in meanings. Four different thoughts:

  • Tafseer is used for interpretation one meaning and one word whereas ta’weel is where there are many connotations all put into one (deeper meaning).
  • Tafseer is certain for any reason but for ishithad, it is ta’weel. Tafseer is the explanation of the verse whereas ta’weel is the actual intent of the meaning.
  • Tafseer is the explanation of the verse whereas ta’weel is the actual intent of the meaning.
  • Tafseer is meant to give a breakdown of the meaning (meaning of each word) whereas ta’weel gives the general meaning.

Different kinds of tafseer:

  • Tafseer Ruwayat à based on narrations or transmit
  • Ma’thour à based on hadith or text from Qur’an and sunnah and companions of the Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam).
  • Bi’raai à based on hadith or text from Qur’an and sunnah and companions of the Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) and a person’s knowledge
  • Bisharahi à indications or sign (the hidden meaning)
  • Analytical (this is the one we will focus on)
  • Mix and match

Israeliyte are of 3 types:

  • That which contradicts with the Qur’an (should shred it)
  • That which is confirmed in the Qur’an
  • That which is neither accepted or contradicts

Characteristics of Mufassir (person who gives/teaches the tafseer)

  • Must have ikhlaas
  • Must have correct aqeedah
  • Free of any belief in innovations
  • Must have respect for the Qur’an
  • Someone with good character
  • Follow the proper methodology of he Qur’an
  • Well versed in Arabic with grammar and morphology
  • Knowledge of the qiraat
  • Knowledge of usool of fiqh and know faqih
  • Know the context of revelation
  • Know hadiths and the authenticity of it
  • Know the branches of the uloom of the Qur’an
Recommended books for Tafseer:
  • Sahih Internation
  • Ibn Khathir (the abridge version) ( has it)
  • Attabaryi (the first comprehensive tafseer)
------------------- Annan's Notes -------------------

Tafsir Surat Hujrat

Sh. Mohamad Faqih

Biography: Shaykha Om Saad Bint Mohamad Ali Najmi (rahim allah aleha)

  • Was one of the last top four scholars of our century
  • Held the shortest isnad (chain) to the Prophet, 27 persons
  • Any student of Qira’ of any style was a student of her student in Alexandria
  • Lost her eyesight at age 2
  • Memorized Quran at age 15
  • She studied under Shaykha Nafisah

      Shaykha Nafisa disliked teaching girls and told her I don’t teach girls because once they are married they do not spread their knowledge. She told her if she wanted to become her student she could not get married. Shaykha Om Saad took an oath not to get married.

  • Ahmed Muelah (now a scholar) was a student of Om Saad
  • Students of hers continued to propose to her. Two of her students proposed and she declined. Her father encouraged her to break her oath and she was going to marry the second student who proposed, but the first student felt he should gain the honor because he was more learned having mastered the 10 Qirat, which is equal to a Phd. They married and were even more active in teaching others the Quran.
  • Shaykh Mohamad Ismail, Salafi School, dedicated a lecture Om Saad’s life highlighting her role and contribution as a Muslimah.

Value of Teaching Quran:

  • One of the few hadiths narrated by Uthman (raw)

      The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it

  • Story- There was once a teacher who taught children and was very dedicated. A student asked him why he was so dedicated and he shared the following story:

      He was walking through the forest when he came across a body that was floating due to a flood. He was near an ancient gravesite about 100 years old that was no longer in use. He was amazed by how fresh and entact the body was and wondered who this person could be? A Sahaby? A righteous person? He buried the man and wanted to know what had gained this man this status. He prayed two rakats to Allah swt to see the deed of this man. In a dream he saw this man alive and received the answer that the deed was: dedication of ones life to the Quran.

Tafsir =

  • interpretation, explanation, contributes to a proper understanding of the Quran with the ability to extract rulings
  • fasara
    1. uncover, unveil
    1. explain interpret
  • exegesis, exegeses (p): English word for tafsir
  • During the Companions (radayallahu anhumah) time, the source of tafsir was the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself. Scholars differ on whether Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) interpreted the whole Quran
  1. Ibn Taymiya holds the opinion that the Prophet explained every aya
  1. Asuyuti holds the opinion that the Prophet only interpreted small portions when necessary
  2. Both opinions are correct when understanding that the Prophet embodied the Quran through his character. The Quranic ayas which needed explanation where explained, while the ayas with a clear and obvious meaning did not need further explanation.

      Ex) Aqeem al-Salah: which does not mean just to pray, but rather to establish prayer. Prayer cannot be achieved without looking at tafsir, an explanation of the sunnah

Four Sources of Tafsir

  1. Quran: interpret the Quran with the Quran
  2. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
  3. Ijtihad: effort to find/uncover the mystery of a verse
  4. Israelite: During the Companions time they would ask Jewish/Christian scholars among those who accepted Islam- Ka’ab

Factors Contributing to the Ability to Perform Ijtihad/ Tools for Ijtihad

  • Arabic language
  • Observation of the Quran administered by the Prophet (pbuh), being students of Rasulallah
  • circumstance/context of aya
  • personal relation to verse; came addressing/correcting the Sahabah
  • understanding of Arab traditions

      Ex) verses that pertain to Jahiliyah practices


      -Entering the home from the back, a Qurayshi practice where they prohibited themselves from entering their home from the front during certain months for righteousness. Allah (swt) responds to this practice by addressing its nonsensical nature and commanding persons to enter their home from the front.

Cant interpret the Quran w/out depending on the understanding of sahabah

  • As a group they are not infallible, they have Uzma and will not conspire on a dalalah (misguidance)
  • The Sahabah were praised by Allah (swt) for their iman, commitment and Allah swt was pleased by them
  • Some say that after the Prophet (pbuh) passed on they changed, but why would Allah swt praise them knowing they would change.
  • However, as individuals they were human and did make mistakes
  • The Sahabah are of the mujtahideen (exert effort to gain proper rulings)

      -person who makes a decision and is wrong: has 1 reward

      -person who makes a decision and is right: has 2 rewards

Ta’wil verse Tafsir

  1. equal in meaning, are commonly used interchangeably as synonyms when discussing tafsir
  2. tafsir: used in explaining one word that carries one meaning

    ta’wil: connotation of a word with many meanings, process of choosing proper meaning of a word or statement that can be interpreted in many ways

  1. tafsir: interpretation based on certain knowledge, verse explained by Prophet

    ta’wil: personal reasoning, ijtihad

  1. tafsir: explanation of literal meaning

    ta’wil: actual intent behind verse, intent by Allah (swt)

  1. tafsir: meant to give meaning of individual words of a verse

    ta’wil: meaning of a verse as a whole, concept

  • ta’wil can have other meanings depending on the context
    • in aqeedah: ta’wil means to twist the meaning of a word

Differing Meanings of Sunnah

  1. fuqaha: sunnah refers to the halal/haram/mustahab---fard/wajib
  2. ppl of the lang: sunnah refers to traditions
  3. aqidah: sunnah refers to the opposite of biddah
  4. usul al fiqh: sunnah refers to the primary souces of Shariah; Quran and Sunnah
  5. hadith: sunnah refers to every statement/approval attributed to the Prophet (pbuh)

Differing kinds of Tafsir

  • tafsir bil rewaya- narration
  • tafsir bil ma’thur
  • tafsir bil ra’y- opinion
  • tafsir bil ashary- indication/sign

tafsir bil rewaya: (p. 12, 14, 16: Hujurat Tafsir)

  • narration/transmission
  • based on hadith or text
  • consider statements of Tabiun
  • sahabah would seek interpretation from Israelites who became Muslim (becomes athar)

  • rules for dealing with Israelite
  1. contradicts Quran à disregard Quran is truth
  1. confirms what is in Quran à accept what confirms the Quran
  2. neither confirms or conflicts with Quran à don’t believe it nor reject it, cant base a ruling on it

4 methods of tafsir bil rewaya:

1. Use Quran

2. Explanation by Prophet (pbuh)

3. Explanation of Quran by Companions (raw)

4. Tafsir of Quran by Arabic language

  1. Use Quran/Quran explains itself

    Ex) S. Dukhan: We have revealed it during a Blessed night

    S. Qadr: Ina Inzalnahu fi laylut al Qadr

    2. Tafsir of Quran by Prophet

    Ex) Ina Ataynakal Kawthar: Prophet (pbuh) explained that Kawthar is a river in Paradise

    3. Tafsir by Sahabah

    Ex) Anytime companion says event for which the event was revealed, helps you understand context

  1. Tafsir by language

    Ex) Awlamastu al Nisa = diff of opinion

  • two ways to recite: lamas (interaction), lams
  • Shafii/Malaki: bodily contact breaks wadu
  • Hanafi/Majority of scholars: not merely touching
  • Aesha (raw) reported Prophet (pbuh) would kiss her before Prayer and wouldn’t make wadu