The Qualities to Perform Tafsir

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya ibn Sharaf an-Nawawi (r.a.) wrote, in at-Tibyan fi Adab Hamalat al-Quran, “It is not sufficient to simply know Arabic.  Rather, one must also know all that qualified scholars of explication have said about a passage of the Qur’an, for they may have consensus that the apparent meaning is something to be disregarded, and that what is intended is a specific or implied meaning, or something else contrary to the obvious.  Likewise, if a phrase has different meanings, and it is known that one of those meanings is intended, one then explicates each occurrence that comes separately.  All of the foregoing depicts the offering of explication by way of uninformed opinion, and this is unlawful.  And God knows best.”


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