While doing the tafsir, Al-Ghazali goes over the meanings of the verses in an easy manner. First, she explains the basic concepts that appear in the verse(s) in focus. She then discusses the time period during which the verses were revealed. Then, she conveys the meanings and juristic verdicts of the verses to modern times; in other words, she connects the verses in focus and today’s political and economic events. One point she mostly stresses throughout her tafsir is that the Quran must be very well understood by Muslims living in modern times.
Nazarât fî Kitâbillah was also translated into Urdu.
Category : Women's Hub
Author : Hadiya Hanan
The Quran is the final Book, which was gradually revealed to Prophet Muhammad, and the first three generations of Muslims were the best at understanding it: the Companions (Sahaba), the successor (Tabi’n), and the Successor of Successors (tabi’ tabi’n). They were also the first to introduce the concept of tafsir, which allowed for interpretation. Tafsir is an Arabic word that means “clarification and identification.” It is also known as Qur’anic exegesis. According to Imam Al-Dhahabi (2005), it is a science of knowledge that seeks to understand the Qur’an, explain its meaning, reveal its rulings, and dispel confusion and ambiguity about its verses. The process of clarifying, explaining, interpreting, contextualising, or commenting on the Qur’an and its commandments is also referred to as “exegesis.” Historically, men wrote the classical works of Qur’anic exegesis that were published. Among the classical works of Qurʾanic exegesis published were written by al-Ṭabarī (9th-10th century), al-Ṭusī (11th century), Ibn ʿArabī (12th-13th century), al-Qurṭubī (13th century), Ibn Kathīr (14th century), al-Jalālayn (15th century), and Rashīd Riḍā (20th century). Although male scholars dominated Qur’anic exegesis in the past and present, this does not mean that women have made no contribution to Qur’anic exegesis. Many women were involved in the interpretation of the Qur’an and exegetical activities during the Prophet’s time. However, their narratives are insufficient to raise them to the level of Qur’anic exegetical scholars. This article will examine the historical context of women’s participation in Qur’an study and provide three examples of women’s work. One Qur’anic exegesis scholar worth mentioning in this context is Zaynab Al-Ghazali (1917–2005). She is an Egyptian scholar who wrote the complete tafsir Naẓarāt fī Kitābillah. Her interpretation is reformist in nature, viewing the Qur’an as a book of people’s law and progress. One of the most important aspects of her work is defending women’s rights by rescuing them from harmful values and encouraging them to follow Islamic rules and regulations. The tafsir of Al-Ghazali was eventually published in two volumes. In 1994, the first volume was published in Al-Qahirah. It begins with Surah Al-Fatiha and ends with the last verse of Surah Ibrahim. The second volume begins with Surah Al-Hijr and includes the rest of the Quran. The complete Tafsir was published in 2009, consisting of two full volumes totalling 1300 pages. While doing the tafsir, Al-Ghazali goes over the meanings of the verses in an easy manner. First, she explains the basic concepts that appear in the verse(s) in focus. She then discusses the time period during which the verses were revealed. Then, she conveys the meanings and juristic verdicts of the verses to modern times; in other words, she connects the verses in focus and today’s political and economic events. One point she mostly stresses throughout her tafsir is that the Quran must be very well understood by Muslims living in modern times. Nazarât fî Kitâbillah was also translated into Urdu. Another tafsir written by a female scholar is Naile Hâşim Sabrî’s Al-Mubassir li Nûri’l-Qur’ân. Naile Haşim was born in Palestine in the year 1363AH/1944. She grew up in a religious family dedicated to Islamic sciences. She was self-educated at home for a long time, doing endless research on Quranic studies. She eventually developed the comprehension and analysis skills required to write a tafsir. Her most important work, a 16-volume tafsir, is titled Al-Mubassir li Nûri’l-Qur’ân. This tafsir includes the whole of the Quran and is simply the result of her 20-year study. In an interview, Naile Haşim stated that most tafsirs written previously do not meet the needs of our times and that the language used in them is difficult to understand, and that she wrote her own tafsir for the sole purpose of producing a book of tafsir that addresses the contemporary social problems that Muslims face. Naile Haşim specifically states that she avoided Isra’iliyyat, or stories from Jewish and Christian religious and cultural heritage, in her tafsir. Apart from that, in her tafsir, she also included teachings and stories conveying wisdom and useful insights. The third scholar is Keriman Hamza, and her tafsir is titled Al-Lu’lu’ ve’l-Merjân fi Tafsiri’l-Qur’an. She specialised in mass communication. As part of her life’s work, she conducted numerous TV interviews with scholarly figures and discussed critical religious issues with them. She stated that when writing her tafsir Al-Lu’lu’ wal-Merjân fi Tafsiri’l-Qur’an, she relied heavily on her radio and television interviews and talks with renowned scholars. She presented her tafsir to scholars at Al-Azhar University so that they could check it for anything against or contradictory to Islam. Those scholars reported back that there is nothing in it of that sort, and accordingly, they approved and strongly supported its publication. The language she used in her tafsir is simple and easy to read and understand. Keriman Hamza stated that her primary target audience consists of young men and women. She wrote her tafsir in a mood of motherhood, i.e., like a mother telling stories and giving advice to her children. The tafsir of Keriman Hamza was later published in 3 volumes (10 fragments) with the title Al-Lu’lu’ ve’l-Merjân fi Tafsiri’l-Qur’an in 2010. In fact, the number of female Quranic exegetes from the Prophet’s time to the present, which spans approximately 1500 years, appears to be limited. Women’s interest in the Quran and its tafsir faded away in later periods, despite the fact that the wives of the Prophet and his other female Companions were very interested in it. However, based on the information gathered while writing this article, we can conclude that more than a dozen women did interpret the Quran, either entirely or partially. In the coming years and decades, there will be a dramatic increase in the number of female scholars’ works on Quranic exegesis, In Sha Allah.