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Tafseer Ibn Kathir is a classical Sunni Tafseer of the Qur’aan. It is written by Hafiz Ibn Kathir, student of famous scholar of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah al-Harraanee.


Table of Contents


Full Book title

Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim, which is famous by the title Tafsir Ibn Kathir, by Al-Hafiz. It is the most popular interpretation of the Qur'aan in the Arabic language, and the majority of the Muslims consider it to be the best source based on Qur'an and Sunnah. This Arabic work spans three thousand and two hundred pages in four volumes. To cover all of the references, Ibn Kathir has also collected some weak ahadeeth and Israelitish stories. Some repetitions also occur in it, as and when the topics required these.


As Darussalam has made a policy to publish only such works which are based on Qur'aan and authentic Ahadith we appointed a board of Islamic scholars to summarize Tafsir Ibn Kathir in the original Arabic language. Shaykh Abu Al-Ashbal Ahmad Shagif of Rabitah Al-'Alam Al-Islami, Makkah, and Shaykh Safi-ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, Head of the Research Committee of Darussalam worked with a team of other scholars for about two years on this project. We published this summarized version in the Arabic language titled as Al-Misbah Al-Murur fe Tahdhib Tafsir Ibn Kathir.


This summarized version was prepared for the sole purpose of translation into all the major languages of the world. First of all, it is being presented in the English language as it is the most widely written and spoken in the world. Darussalam publications have tried the best not to include any weak Hadith in this presentation. [1]


Tafseer details

This Tafseer is based on commentary by quoting texts – aayaath and ahaadeeth – and its fame is second to the fame of al-Tabari among later scholars. It is written in an excellent and easy style which is not longwinded or boring, or too short and boring.  


He explains aayaath by quoting other aayaath, and he quotes appropriate aayaath which explain the verse under discussion; then he quotes ahaadeeth that have been narrated on the same topic as the verse, and he quotes the isnaads of some, especially those that were narrated by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, as he is one of those who memorized al-Musnad. He discusses the soundness and weakness of the ahaadeeth in most cases, which is an important feature of his Tafseer. Then he quotes the views of the Pious Predecessor, including the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, and he states which view he believes to be superior. He also avoids odd dissenting opinions. [2]


About author

Ibn Katheer full name is Abu’l-Fida’ Ismaa’eel ibn Katheer al-Dimashqi, originally from Busra (Syria) – and raised in Damascus. He followed the Shafi`ee school of thought. Ibn Kathir was born in the year 700 AH or little later in an area called Majdal, near Busra, west of Damascus. His father died when he was only four years old and was taken in by his brother and moved to Damascus in 706. Here, he learned from great scholars such as Ibn Asakir, Ishaq ibn Yahya al-Amudi and the great Ibn Taymiyyah who was extremely close to him. He also studied under various other sheikhs who gave him permission in fiqh and Hadith. He made many academic contributions to Islamic sciences.

He made many academic contributions to Islamic sciences. The following are amongst his most prominent: Tafseer of the Qur’aan, Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah: a history of Muslims from Adam until Ibn Kathir’s time, At-Takmeel: a book on the science of Asmaaul Rijal (profiles of transmitters of Hadith), Jami`ul Masaneed: a book that collects the Hadith from ten major books of Hadith, The commentary on al-Bukhari (which he did not finish), The book of laws (again, he did not complete it), The summary to the science of Hadith.  summary of Ibn Hajib, Musnad of the two sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar). [3]


Scholars on this book

Al-Suyooti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning this Tafseer: Nothing like it has ever been written. Tadhkirat al-Huffaaz, p. 534. 


Muhammad ibn Ja’far al-Kataani said of it: It is full of ahadeeth and reports with the isnaads of those who narrated them and discussion of how sound or weak they are. Al-Risaalah al-Mustatrafah, p. 195  [4]


Tafseer Ibn Kathir on websites








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