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Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir tabari was a prominent sunni scholor, Mufassir of the Qur’an and a great historian.


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At-Tabari was born in the city of Amul, in Tabaristan in Persian/Iran in 224 A.H/ 837 CE. He knew the Qur’an by heart at the age of 7. After receiving his early education in the religious sciences at Amol, he continued his studies in Rayy and Baghdad, which he reached about the year 855. Not later than 857 CE  he visited Basra, Wasit, and Kufa to hear the famous scholars there. After his return to Baghdad he studied religious law, which he followed for some time before establishing his own doctrine. In Rayy there was  a major teacher named Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Humayd al-Razi, who had earlier taught in Baghdad but was now in his seventies. Among other material, ibn Humayd taught Jarir Tabari the historical works of ibn Ishaq, especially al-Sirah, his life of Muhammad PBUH.


His Works

He is author of massive book of history and very large and Tafsir of Glorious Qur’an. His main Books are as follows:


1-Tarikh e Tabari: Tarikh e Tabari(Tarikh al Ummam wal Maluk) is very detailed and known for its accuracy. Tarikh e Tabari is one of the major source for Islamic historians.

2-Tafsir Tabari: Tafsir Tabari(Jaami’ al-Bayaan fi Ta’weel Aayi-‘l-Qur’aan) is massive explanation of Quran. Ibn Khuzaymah said: “I have read it from beginning to end and I do not know of anyone on the face of the earth who is more knowledgeable than Ibn Jareer.”  Siyar A’laam al-Nubala’, 14/273

Hafidh Ibn  Taimiyah said: “With regard to the Tafseers that are in circulation among the people, the most sound of them is the Tafseer of Muhammad ibn Jareer al-Tabari, for he mentions the views of the Pious Predecessor with proven isnaads, and there is no bid’ah (innovation) in it, and he does not transmit reports from dubious sources such as Muqaatil ibn Bukayr and al-Kalbi.” Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 13/358

3-Tarikh al-Rijal- A biographical History.

4-Al Manasik- On the rituals of pilgrimage

5-Sharah al Sunna-Explanation of Sunna

6-Tahdhib al Athar- Classification of transmitted reports(Not Completed) and many more.

7-Tabsarah fi Usool al-Deen


Status among Scholars

  • Ibn Taimiyah also wrote: “Muhammad bin Jareer was a prestigious Muffassir” Fatawa Ibn Taimiyah, Vol 2 page 192
  • Hafid Ibn Kathir wrote: “Ibn Jareer was among the great scholars. Rulings are derived from his statements and people refer to his merits. He was Hafiz of the book of Allah and was aware of all types of recitation and meanings. He was jurist in Ahkam and was scholar in Sunan and Taraiq, Sahih and Saqim, Nasikh and Mansukh. He was aware of the statements of Sahaba, Tabaeen and people who came after them.” Al Badayah wal Nihayah, Volume 11 page 145
  • Hafid Ibn Hajar Asqalani wrote: “Muhammad bin Jarir Tabari has been a very valuable commentator [Muffassir].” Lisan al Mizan
  • Hafid al Dahabi wrote: “Muhammad bin Jareer Tabari was a respected Imam, Muffassir, Thiqa and truthful. He was amongst the Akabireen of Islam.” Mizan al Eitadal, Vol 3 page 35


His death

He died at the age of 86 in 310 A.H./ 923  CE in Baghdad.




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