Books of Tafseer

by Nooruddin

The books of tafseer are generally divided into two. One is tafseer bir-riwayah or tafseer bil-ma’thoor and the other one is tafseer bid-dirayah or tafseer bir-ra’y.

Tafseers by those that restrict their explanations to transmitting what was explained in the Quran or statements of Prophet (PBUH), his Companions and their students are tafseer bir-riwayah. While accepting authentic narrations unfounded interpretations, unnecessary explanations were avoided by the authors of these tafseers. They are not totally free of personal judgment and or opinion, but they were kept to a minimum.

Tafseers by authors who mostly rely on their personal opinions for explanations, interpretations and deductions are called tafseer bid-dirayah.

Besides the above two there are deviant tafseers from various movements, sects, and philosophical schools. For instance, Mu’tazili scholars interpreted the Qur’an in such a way as to support and defend their unique and unorthodox ideas which had never before been expressed by the early scholars among the Sahabah, the tabi’oon, or their students.

List of tafseers in a nutshell are listed below.

Tafseer bir-Riwayah
Title Author Period
Tafseer Ibn ‘Ateeyah, al-Muharrar al-Wajeez Abdul-Haqq ibn Ateeyah al-Andaloosi 1089-1146 CE / 481-540 AH
Tafseer Abil-Layth as-Samarqandi, Bahr al-‘Uloom Abul-Layth ibn Ibraheem as-Samarqandi d. 983 CE / 372 AH
Tafseer Abi Ishaq, al-Kashf wa al-Bayan ‘an Tafseer al-Qur’an Abu Ishaq, Ahmad ibn Ibraheem ath-Tha’labi d. 1036 CE / 427 AH
Tafseer Ibn Jareer at-Tabari, Jami’ al-Bayan fee Tafseer al-Qur’an Muhammad ibn Jareer at-Tabari 839-923 CE / 225-310 AH
Tafseer al-Baghawi, Ma’alim at-Tanzeel Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Baghawi d. 1117 CE / 510 AH
Tafseer Ibn Katheer, tafseer al-Qur’an al-‘Adheem Abul-Fida Ismaeel ibn Katheer ad-Dimishqi 1300-1373 CE / 699-774 AH
Tafseer Ath-Tha’labi, al-Jawahir al-Hisan fee tafseer al-Qur’an Abdur-Rahman ibn Makhloof ath-Tha’labi al-Jazairi d. 142 CE / 877 AH
Tafseer Jalalud-Deen as-Suyooti, ad-Durr al-Manthoor fee at-Tafseer bi al-Ma’thoor Jalalud-Deen ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Muhammad as-Suyooti 1445-1505 CE / 849-910 AH
Tafseer Ash-Shawkani, Fath al-Qadeer Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ash-Shawkani d. 1839 CE / 1255 AH
Tafseer Ibn ‘Abbas, Tanweer al-Miqbas min Tafseer Ibn ‘Abbas Muhammad ibn Ya’qoob al-Fayroozabadi d. 1414 CE / 817 AH
Tafseer bid-Dirayah
Title Author Period
Tafseer Fakhrud-Deen ar-Razi, Mafateeh al-Ghayb Fakhrud-Deen ibn ‘Ali ar-Razi 1150-1210 CE / 544-606 AH
Tafseer al-Qurtubi, Jami Ahkam al-Qur’an wa al-Mubayyin li Ma tadammana min as-Sunnah wa Ay al-Furqan Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Ansari al-Qurtubi d. 1273 CE / 671 AH
Tafseer al-Baydawi, Anwar at-Tanzeel wa Asrar at-Ta’weel Nasirud-Deen, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ali al-Baydawi d. 1291 CE / 691 AH
Tafseer an-Nasafi, Madarik at-Tanzeel was Haqa’iq at-Ta’weel Abdullah ibn Mahmood an-Nasafi d. 1302 CE / 701 AH
Tafseer al-Khazin, Lubab at-Ta’weel fee Ma’ani at-Tanzeel Ali ibn Khaleel ash-Shayhi 1279-1340 CE / 678-740 AH
Tafseer Abi Hayyan, al-Bahr al-Muheet Muhammad ibn Yoosuf ibn Hayyan al-Andaloosi 1256-1344 CE / 654-745 AH
Tafseer an-Naysaboori, Ghara’ib al-Qur’an wa Ragha’ib al-Furqan Nidhamud-Deen ibn al-Hasan an-Naysaboori d. 1328 CE / 728 AH
Tafseer al-Jalalayn Jalalud-Deen as-Suyooti

Jalaud-Deen al-Mahalli

1445-1505 CE

1389-1460 CE / 791-864 AH

Tafseer al-Khateeb ash-Shirbeeni, as-Siraj al-Muneer Muhammad ibn Muhammad ash-Shirbeeni d. 1569 CE
Tafseer Abis-Sa’ood, Irshad al-Aql as-Saleem ila mazaya al-Kitab al-Kareem Abu as-Sa’ood Muhammad ibn Mustafa al-Imadi 1489-1574 CE / 894-982 AH
Tafseer al-Aloosi, Rooh al-Ma’ani fee Tafseer al-Qur’an al-‘Adheem wa as-Sab’ al-Mathani As-Sayyid Mahmood Afandi al-Aloosi 1802-1853 CE / 1217-1269 AH
Tafseers of Mu’tazilis
Title Author Period
Tafseer Abdul-Jabbar al-Hamdani, Tanzeeh al-Qur’an ‘an al-Mata’in Abdul-Jabbar ibn Ahmad al-Hamdani d. 1024 CE / 415 AH
Tafseer ash-Shareef al-Murtada, gharar al-Fawa’id wa Durar al-Qaba’id Ali ibn at-Tahir, Abu Ahmad al-Husayn 966-1048 CE / 355-439 AH
Tafseer az-Zamakshshari, al-Kash-shaf’an Haqa’iq at-Tanzeel Mahmood ibn ‘Umar az-Zamakhshari al-Khwarazmi 1075-1144 CE / 467-538 AH


Compiled from Usool at-Tafseer by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, published by International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh

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