Ilm-ut-Tafseer : A science with principles by which the meanings of God’s speech are known, to the extent humanly possible.


The word tafseer is derived from the three-letter Arabic verbal root of ف-س-ر F-S-R (fassara, ‘interpret’) to reveal/uncover something.

Sources of Tafseer

  • Quran
  • Sunnah
  • Sayings of the salaf – first 3 generations of Muslims (known as aathar)
  • Those who are Raasikhuna fil’ilm i.e. those firmly grounded in knowledge especially the Arabic language from the time before the Prophet (SAW) in relation to Arabic poetry etc.

There were times when the Prophet (SAW) would ask Gibreel (AS) about the meaning of a verse and Gibreel (AS) would ask Allah (SWT) who would reveal revelation.

Legal ruling/hukm: Fard kifayah

It is the best of sharia’ sciences and it gives “fauz bi sa’ada fi darayn” – success with felicity in both abodes.  Out of the five legal rulings – Fard (obligation); Sunnah (recommended); Mubah (permissible); Makruh (reprehensible/disliked) and Haram (prohibited) – the science of tafseer is a fard.

It is not an individual obligation, rather it is a communal obligation i.e. someone in the community must know this science otherwise the sin falls on the whole community.  This makes sense because there cannot be a Muslim community which has no-one who understands the meanings (to the extent humanly possible) of the words of Allah.

The Quran:

The un-created and pre-existent speech (kalaam) of Allah which was transcribed to the preserved tablet “lawhul mahfoodh” and placed in the house of might “baytul izza” (completely) then brought piecemeal over 23 years by Gibreel (AS) to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

The first verses were the first verses of surah alaq, last verse surah baqarah 282 (be mindful of the day when you will all return to Allah).

Tafseer Breakdown :

  • BONUS : Benefits of Surah-Ikhlas 
  • BONUS : Ayat al-Kursi


Due to its nature the science of tafseer can never be fully realised, hence it is known as the Endless Ocean…
The Tafseer series began on the 4th of January 2018 at the Islamic Center Coffee Hall, Milton Keynes by Ustadh Mohamed

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