Review of the Ma’ariful Qur’an
The Holy Qur’an is the guide of true path and light for mankind. This sweetest message is a unique light from the Almighty Allah Himself. Indeed, this great book contains all the secrets of creation. To break through these mysteries and make the Qur’an simple for mankind, the Almighty has sent Prophet Muhammad PBUH as a messenger of warning and good news. And our Prophet PBUH has narrated the explanation of the Qur’an to us throughout His prophetic life. A simple, easy, and clear explanatory book is the Ma’ariful Qur’an of Mufti Muhammad Shafi. This great book contains very essential, relevant, and easy-to-understand explanations of the Holy Qur’an. This book of Tafseer is arranged in a total of eight volumes. Ma’ariful Qur’an the great book of Tafseer is translated into several languages all over the world.
Mufti Muhammad Shafi was one of the greatest Islamic scholars of this era. He was a famous Sunni scholar of the Deobandi genre in Pakistan. Muhammad Shafi was a Hanafi jurist and mufti. Apart from interpreting Shariah, Hadith, and Quran, he also had immense knowledge of Sufism. He was born on 25th January 1897 in Deoband, British India. Ma’ariful Qur’an, a commentary on the Qur’an, is the best creation of this great person. This great scholar of Islam died on October 6, 1976, in Karachi, Pakistan.
The work consists of eight volumes. A detailed introduction, included at the beginning of the first volume, focuses on some of the basic issues of the Quran. Notable among them are the wahy, the modes of descent, the chronology of the revelation of the Quran, the first revealed verses (ayah), Meccan and Medinan verses, the preservation of the Quran, the printing of the Quran, the sources of tafsir, Arabic language, etc. The work adopts a simple narrative style: first, several verses are provided in the original Arabic with their literal translation in Urdu; it is then followed by a subject-wise discussion on almost every important issue. This narrative technique is repeated until the end. Below is the list of volumes and their contents:
- The first volume—Sura Al-Fatiha and Sura Al-Baqarah
- The second volume – from Sura Al-Imran to Sura An-Nisa
- The third volume – from Sura Al-Ma’ida to Sura Al-A’raf
- The fourth volume – from Sura Al-Anfal to Sura Hud
- The fifth volume – from Sura Yusuf to Sura Al-Kahf
- The sixth volume – from Sura Maryam to Sura Ar-Rum
- The seventh volume – from Sura Lukman to Sura Al-Ahqaf
- The eighth volume – from Sura Muhammad to Surat al-Nas. (Wiki)
The discussion of the Ma’ariful Qur’an is very simple but full of depth. From the general people to the profound scholar, anyone can find his food here. The necessity of thanksgiving for the general reader, the teaching of Tawheed, the meaning of worship, and presenting the words and verses of the Quran according to modern logic for educated persons have made this book extraordinary. Answering the various errors related to Islam raised by scientists, philosophers, and scholars through its discussion is also an outstanding work of the author. The discussion of the Ma’ariful Qur’an is full of various teachings and information related to the various knowledge of Islam and the world.
At the beginning of the Surahs, it discusses its various names, virtues, importance, characteristics, backgrounds, and various other aspects. In order to get to the meaning of the verse interpretation, the root meaning of the important words mentioned in it is taken out. Then the consistency and significance of mentioning them in the verse are explained. For this reason, the meaning of the verse draws a deep line in the heart. At places, where it is considered necessary, the revelation of the verse, or the association of an event with the provision, is mentioned so that the meaning of the verse becomes easier to understand.
After a comprehensive analysis and gist of the verse, this book has discussed various issues arising from or related to it, profound issues, philosophy, modern science, history discussions, replying to the heretics, etc. In short, the Ma’ariful Qur’an is an excellent discussion of Qur’anic verses by Mufti Muhammad Shafi (R.A).
Ma’ariful Qur’an is an informative book of Tafseer of the Holy Qur’an. According to some, it is the best Tafseer book of the present time. This book contains discussions from the Qur’an-Hadith, quotes from the Salaf, important comments for the present time, etc. The author has written the book in a simple and fluent style. that’s why it is easy to understand. Here the author brings together the grammatical discussion of the words of the Qur’anic verses as well as the comments and Hadiths of various Salafs. Like many popular Tafseer books, this book avoids too-long discussions. In this book, the author has combined essential information and relevant discussions as much as possible in a relatively short range.
Again, many scholars claim that Ma’ariful Qur’an contains several doctrinal errors. And several fake Hadiths are quoted which contradict the correct belief and Manhaj. For example, considering Allah the Almighty as formless, calling Prophets (peace be upon them) and martyrs alive like us after death, asking from Allah Ta’ala by referring to the Prophets (peace be upon them) or saints, etc. In this book, the author says we must follow any Mujtahid Imam. However, we must follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah, not any person. In this way, numerous Shirky beliefs and heretical practices have been propagated in Ma’ariful Qur’an.
The Ma’ariful Qur’an, though riddled with some doctrinal errors, is a popular Tafseer book rich in information and productive discussion. There are numerous accessible and educational collections of knowledge in this book. At the beginning of the book, the author cites the sources of his supporting information and references. Therefore, if one wants to read it, one should read this Tafseer keeping the knowledge and conscience awake. And don’t forget, there are indeed many learning points in it.
Although there is some controversy about the Ma’ariful Qur’an, almost every nation of the world has taken this as an ideal one. But currently, the government of Saudi Arabia has banned this book in their country. Personally, I would read this book very carefully and try to pick up the acceptable points from it. Since the book is debated among Islamic scholars, I would like to give it a 9 out of 10 as a conscious Muslim.
It is important to understand the Holy Qur’an properly and correctly. But at the same time, it is also important to nurture the right belief and Manhaj in our hearts. The Ma’ariful Qur’an is undoubtedly one of the most important Tafseer works of this era. The combination of rich information and timely discussion makes the book easy to understand for all. So, we all should read the book above all the controversies. And we should accept what is acceptable and avoid what is rejectable. Let’s be educated in the great teachings of the Holy Qur’an and build ourselves as true servants of the greatest Lord.