TAFSIR – تفسير
Literally: An explaining. An expounding. Making known a hidden thing. Expounding a hidden meaning.
The books which expound and make known the hidden meanings of the Qur’an. As a term of ‘Ilm of Hadith the hadiths which are concerning tafsir are also called tafsir.
“If you were to ask: The Qur'an is one of the dharûriyyah of religion, yet there has been dispute over its meanings?
You would be told: In every passage of the Qur'an there are three propositions:
The First: This is Allâh's Word.
The Second: Its intended meaning is the haqq.
It is kufr to deny these two.
The Third: Its intended meaning is this.
If this last proposition is muhkamât or expounded, it is wâjib to have îmân in it once one is informed about it and to deny it is kufr. If it is clear or is a nass that has another possible meaning, it is not kufr to deny it since it is open to tafsir. Tafsir however should not be based on personal whims. Mutawâtir Hadiths are the same as Qur'anic âyahs in this regard. However, where there is denial of the first proposition in connection with Hadiths, these should be considered carefully.” Signs of Miraculousness ( 73 )
“First Subtle Point: The expressed idea that: "Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm's mysteries are not known; mufassirs have not understood its haqiqah." have two aspects. And those who say this are of two groups.
The First is the people of haqq and the exacting scholars. They say: "The Qur'an is an unending and inexhaustible treasury. Together with submitting to and accepting its nass and muhkamât, each age also receives its share of its hidden haqiqahs, in the form of supplements; it cannot trespass on the share of another which is concealed." Yes, that is to say, as time passes more haqiqahs of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm are further unfolded. Not, Hâsha and Kallâ!1 causing doubt concerning the apparent Qur'anic haqiqahs which Salaf as-Sâlihîn have expounded. Because having îmân to them is a necessity. They are nass, definite, fundamental and basic. Through the decree, عَرَبِىٌّ مُبِينٌ 2 Qur’an states that its meaning is clear. From beginning to end, the Ilahî address revolves around those meanings, corroborates them and causes them to reach the degree of being self-evident. To not accept those nass meanings suggests, Hâsha summa hâsha!3 denying Janâb-i Haqq and insulting Hazrat Prophet's understanding. That is to say, those nass meanings have been taken successively from the source of Prophethood. Ibn Jarir al-Tabari wrote his great tafsir relating all the meanings of the Qur'an through a chain of authentic transmissions to the source of Prophethood.
The Second Group are either foolish friends who cause harm and make matters worse, or they are enemies cunning as the shaytan who want to oppose the ordinances of Islam and haqiqahs of îmân. They want to find a way into the fortified Surahs of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm, which, in your words, are each like steel strongholds. People like that spread about ideas like the above in order, Hâsha!, to create doubts about the haqiqahs of îmân and the Qur'an.” The Twenty-Ninth Letter-First Section-First Subtle Point
“Tafsir is of two kinds:
The first kind: These are the known tafsirs in which, the meaning of the passages, words and sentences are expounded, explained and proven.
As for the second kind of tafsir: It is to expound, prove and explain with powerful proofs the haqiqahs of the Qur'an regarding îmân. This type of tafsir is of great importance. The tafsir of the first known kind may sometimes refer to this aspect in brief form. The Risale-i Nur however; is a ma’nawî tafsir that takes directly this second kind as its basis, silencing obstinate philosophers in peerless fashion.” Biography (750)