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Qurans – Meaning and reviews on commentaries



Meaning of the Quran

The Noble Qur’an is the word of God Almighty, revealed to His Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. It is miraculous in its wording and worshipping with its recitation. It begins with Surat Al-Fatihah and ends with Surat An-Nas. It is written in Arabic and transmitted to us with mutawatir.  All the above mentioned words form the meaning of Quran

 The saying that it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad – peace and blessings are upon him – distinguishes it from other heavenly books that were revealed to other prophets; Like the Torah revealed to the Prophet of God, Moses – peace be upon him. The Zaburah and Injeel were revealed to Prophet Daud and Prophet Jesus respectively.

And saying that it is a miracle indicates that it is the eternal miracle by which God – the Most High – supported His Prophet Muhammad – may blessings and peace be upon him.

 A miracle is defined as an extraordinary action, specific to the actions of God – the Most High – which Allah makes happen at the hands of one of his prophets; To be a proof of the sincerity of his call and message.

As for what is meant by the saying: “It was transmitted to us by mutawatir”; This is to show that the Noble Qur’an was transmitted to us through Gabriel – peace be upon him – then through the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – and then from the Companions – may God Almighty be pleased with them – until it was compiled at the time of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq – may God be pleased with him – by an order from him (Abubakar).

Then it was compiled again during the era of Othman bin Affan – may God be pleased with him – in one book, and in one language and dialect.

 Then the Book of God (Quran) – the Most High – was transmitted by the Islamic nations by generations after generations until the way it is today,

 Mutawatir means that it was transmitted by an infinite number of people, from an infinite number of people.

The creates no reasonable doubt to the contents of the Quran since it is illogical to assume that an infinite number of people could collide to relay false full information.

The Quran will remain continuously mutawatir, until the Day of Resurrection, which indicates that it relays true, certainty, definitive and firm knowledge.

Characteristics of the Noble Qur’an and its importance

The Noble Qur’an has many characteristics that make it the most important and final heavenly holy book. Some of these characteristics are as follows:

  • It includes the absolute truth: The surahs of the Noble Qur’an establish in their verses the absolute truth, which there is no doubt. God Almighty says, describing His Mighty Book: (That is The Book, in which there is no doubt, is a guidance for the pious.

The Book of God – the Almighty – is true and there is no falsehood in it, and it is true and there is no lie in it, and all that it contains is true.

Whether it is about the stories of the past people or the conditions of the people in contemporary times or the future times.

 It is impossible to find information that contradicts people’s reality in the Quran. Neither does it contain contradicting historical facts of the past generations of humanity.

Quran does also not contain information that contradicts the discoveries of science of today and in the future.

On the authority of Abi Umamah Al-Bahili – may God be pleased with him – Prophet – may God’s blessings and peace be upon him – said: (Read the Qur’an, for it will come on the Day of Resurrection as an intercessor for its reciters).

  • Allah simplified the Quran such that believers can occupy themselves with memorizing it, reciting it, and reflecting on its verses.

 Imam Ibn Kathir – may God Almighty have mercy on him – says while commenting on the verse which says (And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there anyone who remembers?).

He says: Muslims memorize Quran in their hearts. The Quran is made easy to facilitate its recitation by Muslims, it has control over the hearts of the believers, and it is miraculous in its wording and meaning.

The status of the Noble Qur’an in Islam

Reciting the Book of God – the Almighty – is one of the best deeds that a Muslim can occupy his time and life with.

The Noble Qur’an is the best speech, the most beautiful, the most truthful, and the most useful to people.

 It is the revelation of the Lord of the Worlds, with which His holy revelation came down

 And it is a book that is preserved from error. It is infallible; Falsehood has no way to it. It is the final of all the heavenly holy books.

God also revealed upon the seal of the prophets and messengers, Muhammad bin Abdullah – may God’s prayers and peace be upon him.

The virtue of the Noble Qur’an is apparent and is not hidden from any of the people.

God – Glory is to Him – is the one who exalted its status, raised it, and exalted its authority. He has deposited in it the news of the former nations, the conditions of the coming peoples, and made it a judge among all people.

Its verses are detailed and there is no doubt in them. Those who abandon it go astray.

The Mushaf of Othman

The Mushaf of Othman or the Mushaf al-Imam: Is the Qur’an that was compiled by the third of Rashidun Caliphs, Uthman bin Affan. He ordered to write it and send copies of it to the Islamic cities. After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur’an was collected in one book by order of the first caliph Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, and when  Othman bin Affan became the caliphate after the death of Caliph Omar, the Islamic conquests expanded and the companions spread in the conquered countries, teaching people the Qur’an.

 When the companion Hudhayfa bin Al-Yaman noticed the differences among Muslims in recitation he informed the Caliph of this, so Othman ordered to collect the Qur’an on one letter -in one form of recitation – and sent to Hafsa bint Omar to allow him to use the Qur’an in her possession to collect the Qur’an from it.

 Uthman ordered several copies of the Mushaf of unified reading style and ordered that it be distributed among the Muslim countries, as he ordered the destruction of what contradicts this specific reading.

Othman bin Affan formed a committee to write the Qur’an, comprising: Zaid bin Thabit, Abdullah bin Al-Zubair, Saeed bin Al-Aas, and Abdul Rahman bin Al-Harith bin Hisham.

He indicated to them that: If you (the other three companions) and Zaid bin Thabit disagree about anything from the Qur’an, write it in the language of the Quraish, for it was revealed in their tongue.”

The collection and compilation of the Osman Qur’an began at the end of the year 24 AH and the beginning of the year 25 AH, and the period that the committee took to write the Qur’an was not dated in the books of historians.

Othman’s Qur’an has great merit in facilitating memorization and recitation of the Noble Qur’an, warding off the strife and disagreement that occurred between the reciters.

The Qur’an of Othman also preserved for Muslims the arrangement of the surahs and verses as they appear today

Reasons for Othman’s Compilation of the Quran – Mushaf Uthman

The Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan’s collection of the Holy Qur’an is the second collection in the era of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs.

When the Islamic conquests expanded, the Companions spread in the conquered countries, teaching their people the Qur’an and the sciences of religion.

Since the Quran was revealed based on the 11 styles – letters (ahruf) – each of the companions would teach his or her students according to the style of recitation he learned from the prophets. There were varying forms of recitation and reading of the Quran.

This variation created confusion among students of different companions.

for example:

 The people of Syria used to read the Quran based on the recitation style of Ubayy bin Kaab, so they recited what the people of Iraq have never heard, and the people of Iraq used to read also based on the recitation style of Abdullah bin Masoud, so they recited with what the people of Syria never. This created contradiction, opposition, distrust, and disbelieve among the Muslims.

each accusing the other of altering the Quran. (ibn-Hajar -fatih albari 9/18)

Ibn Al-Jazari narrated: “We are certain that many of the Companions, may God be pleased with them, used to recite something that contradicted the drawing of the Ottoman Qur’an before the consensus on it, such as adding one or more words, substituting another for another, and missing some words as proven in the two Sahihs and others, and today we prohibit those who read them (the varying writing and recitations). (ibn Jazar – Minhatu al-Muqri-ina p.21)

Osman was quoted saying concerning the differences in the recitation of the Quran to the companions:

“You differ with me about it, yet you are closer to me, so whoever is far from me from the cities is even more different and more agrammatic. Gather, O Companions of Muhammad, and write an Imam (compiled single Quran book) for the people.” (Tafsir al-Tabari)

When the Muslim army headed for the conquest of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the soldiers were from the people of Iraq and the Levant, so discord and conflict occurred between them concerning the correct recitation of the Quran. This was so because they had acquired Quran from different teachers and thus the difference in Quran recitation and style

Hudhayfa bin Al-Yaman saw their differences in recitation and some of it was tainted with grammatical errors yet each of them was accustomed to his recitation style and believed that it is the right way.

They believed that anything outside their Quran style is a distortion and misguidance and an act of apostasy.

 Then Hudhaifah panicked and said: By God, I will ride to the Commander of the Faithful – (Amir al-Muminun) – Uthaman.

 Uthman had seen similar occurrences (differences concerning the Quran) in Medina.

Students from different teachers of different Quran styles collide with their difference in recitation when they meet. each would deny and oppose the recitation of the other.

  This was the time when Othman commanded that the Quran be recompiled in a single book with a single form of recitation.

Al-Bukhari narrated on the authority of Anas bin Malik that he said: Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman came to Uthman during the time of the conquest of Armenia and Azerbaijan with the Muslim army from Iraq and Syria. Hudhaifah was alarmed by their differences in recitation.

He rashed and said to Uthman: O Commander of the Faithful, save this nation before they differ in the book (Quran) as the Jews and Christians differed. This is when Uthman sent to Hafsa to send him the papers (the papers containing the text of Quran compiled by Caliph Abubakar) to copy it in the Qur’an, then we will return it to her, so Hafsah sent it to Uthman.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 4702).

Some of the most famous Quran Commentaries

Tafsir of Al-Qurtubi – Quran Commentary


Tafsir of Al-Qurtubi is a comprehensive interpretation of all the verses of the Quran, but it focuses comprehensively on the verses of provisions in the Holy Quran.

The book is one of the best books of interpretation concerned with rulings from the Islamic Jurisprudence. It is a unique Quran Commentary and one of the most complete and comprehensive interpretations of the Quran.

Imam Al-Qurtubi defined his approach towards the compilation of this Quran commentary.

 The approach Qurtubi Commentary he took involves:

  • Explanation of the reasons for revelation.
  • Mentioning the readings and recitation style (al-qira’at)
  • Explanation of the irab (Arabizing of words)​​ and expressions
  • Expressing the chains of hadiths.
  • Clarification of Arabic vocabulary and strange words
  • Identifying the sayings of the jurists
  • Collecting the sayings of the predecessors, and those who followed them
  • Citing the classical Arabic poetry
  • Narrating and relating from those who preceded him in the interpretation and commentary
  • Making comments on the interpretation of his predecessor commentaries
  • He quotes from different great quran interpreters and commenters including ibn jarir, ibn attia, ibn al-arabi, ilkia al-harassi, and abu bakr al-jassas.
  • Imam al-qurtubi also quoted many of the stories of the exegetes, historians, and the Israelites
  • He sometimes responds and refutes philosophers, the mu’tazila, the fanatic sufis, and the rest of the sects.
  • He mentions the doctrines of the imams and discusses them.
  • He follows the evidence throughout his commentaries rather than being fanatic to his school of thought is which is the Maliki school.

Fairness prompted him to defend the doctrines and sayings that Ibn al-Arabi al-Maliki had refuted in his commentary.

Imam Al-Qurtubi was free in his research, honest in his criticism, chaste in discussing his opponents’ opinions and their arguments

He had sufficient knowledge of the interpretation of the Quran in all its aspects and had a great deal of knowledge in the sciences of Sharia and Islamic jurisprudence.

This interpretation is distinguished from the previous interpretations of the rulings of the Qur’an in that it was not limited to the verses of the rulings, and the jurisprudential aspect of them, but rather included everything related to interpretation.

The Tafsir is indispensable to a scholar as well as the seeker of knowledge.

Tafseer al-Qurtubi is therefore is one of the greatest and most useful of all Quranic interpretations to the extent that it almost dispenses all other Quranic commentaries due to its comprehensiveness. More so it can almost make someone do away with reviewing the great Islamic classical books of jurisprudence and its various doctrines due to the huge information it holds.

No book of tafsir was given the focus, attention, consideration, and care that Tafseer al-Qurtubi received.

I was very fortunate that I started reading Tafseer al-Qurtubi as a teenager and I can testify that I have found it interestingly unique among all other Tafsirs that I have read. I have read more than 20 Tafsirs but Tafseer al-Qurtubi is just marvelous.


Go to the Download page of Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Features of Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir – Quran Commentary

  Ibn Kathir’s interpretation of the Holy Qur’an was distinguished by a number of characteristics which include the following.

  • Giving the Arabic language much concern in his approach, making it one of the sources of interpretation.
  • He bases his commentary on the creed of the Salaf with regard to verses related to the creed.
  • He mentioned the reasons for the revelation of specific verses.
  • He considers and clarifies different recitations styles – al-Qira’at.
  • H avoids ramblings, overstatements, and lengthening the explanation.
  • He did not engage too much in linguistic investigations; Like grammar, morphology, and rhetoric.
  • Ibn Kathir also presents the sayings of the other commentators, discusses, and critically analyzes them.
  •  He presents the fundamental and jurisprudential rulings of jurists expressing their arguments and their differences in one issue.
  •  He mentions the evidence and proofs of the varying opinions of Jurists.
  • His interpretation is also characterized by the ease of expression and the simple presentation that is close to people’s understanding.
  •  He does not complicate an issue when explaining, but rather he mentions its overall meaning.
  •  He makes many quotations from scholars among his predecessors.
  •  Ibn Kathir also mentions the name of the one who quotes from. This is one of the great features of his interpretation as it documents every saying that he mentions and attributes it to its owner.
  •  He combines the completeness of the meaning and the brevity of the phrase.

Ibn Kathir’s methodology of interpreting the Quran

  • In his interpretation of the Quran, Ibn Kathir relied on the Quran itself, first, where he explains the Quran by the Quran.
  • He then explains the verse with the Prophetic Sunnah.
  • Then he explains the interpretation through the sayings of the Companions in the verse; Because they lived through the entire stage of revelation, and they had knowledge of the reasons for revelation.
  • They also had a great understanding of the Arabic language.
  • He quotes from some of the most famous companions who interpreted the Quran; Abdullah bin Masoud, and Abdullah bin Abbas, may God be pleased with them both.
  • Then he takes the sayings of the imams of interpretation among the followers of prophet companion; Like Mujahid bin Jabr, Saeed bin Jubayr, Ata bin Abi Rabah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, and others.
  • He includes some narrations from the Israelites; However, he points out what is wrong with these narrations if any.
  • Sometimes he elaborates his opinion about a specific narration, and sometimes he generalizes it.
  • Ibn Kathir – may God have mercy on him – took care in his interpretation of jurisprudential opinions related to verses of rulings and others, and he cited the differences of jurists on the issue, mentioning their evidence and discussing it.
  • However, he was not very elaborate in that, rather he mentioned what is useful to him in his interpretation.


Go to Tafsir Ibn Kathir Download page

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