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Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Sūrah as a Unit

By this discussion I aim to establish that each sūrah is a well-structured unit; it is only lack of consideration and analysis on our part that the sūrahs seem disjointed and incoherent. Every student of the Holy Qur’ān can notice that the Book contains short as well as long sūrahs. Had it not been a fact that each sūrah imparts Read more…

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Correspondence and Sequence

A military commander arranges his army in various orders that reflects wisdom. However, only an expert in the field can understand the strategic wisdom involved in such an ordering: ordinary people can only get to know the use of such meaningful ordering when the army eventually emerges successful in a battle. Similarly, the Holy Qur’ān expresses a single theme Read more…

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Univocity of the Quranic Text

The Holy Qur’ān makes the intended meanings of its text absolutely clear. Every single verse gives a single definitive message. It is only the lack of research and study of a verse on the part of the exegetes that makes it seem subject to various interpretations. Read more…

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Divine Books explain each other

This discussion is confined to the issues of styles of expression and the language of the Divine Books. The divine laws and rulings and the historical narratives and their use and purpose will be taken up in a separate section.

It is known that teachings of Jesus Christ, though recorded in Greek, were originally delivered in Hebrew. That is, both the Torah and the Gospels were delivered in the same language. Read more…

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Linguistic Resources of Interpretation

Not only did the Almighty guarantee protection and security of the Quran from being lost, He also promised to explain it. Both of these facts have been mentioned in the following verses, respectively:

We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption) (15:09)

and

We shall Ourself explain it (75:19)

The fulfilment of this latter promise required that the Almighty guard Arabic, the language of the Quran, from extinction. Read more…

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Historical Resources of Interpretation

There are two types of historical resources of interpretation:

  • Foundational or absolutely authentic, and
  • Secondary or supportive

The Holy Quran alone is the basic and foundational resource while the sound Hadith, established historical facts, and the Scriptures of the earlier nations constitute the ancillary and secondary resource. Read more…

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Occasion of Revelation

It is commonly held that the shan-i-nuzul (occasion of revelation) is narration of a particular incident or incidents, which spurred the revelation of a verse or a set of verses. I am afraid this is not correct. The shan-i-nuzul of a revelation, in fact, refers to Read more…

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Explanation of the Verses with their Parallels

2. Explanation of the Verses with their Parallels

Now we turn to the second important principle of exegesis namely tafsir al-ayat bi al-ayat. To begin with I quote Imam Suyuti:

The scholars have said that, while embarking on the task of interpreting the divine text, a commentator has to refer to the Holy Quran itself Read more…

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Preface – Part 4

What I intend to bring to the eyes of the academic world does not call for this elaborate and lengthy discussion. Yet, I have gone this far in this preliminary discussion only because discovering the coherence in the Book demands great contemplation. If one fixes the view the Book does not contain any nazm at all in the mind, even before approaching it for interpretation, it would be impossible for him to tread a single step in this direction. Everything will look so strange and unfamiliar that it would be hard for him to immerse himself into such an endeavour. Read more…

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Preface – Part 3

6. Another thing that corroborates my thesis regarding the Quranic nazm is the conviction of people whose bosoms were opened by the Almighty to some fruits of the fine ordering of the Holy Quran. These scholars have glimpsed into some of the realities buried in the fine structure of the Book of Allah. Read more…