Is it permissible to read non-Ahmadi Quran commentaries (tafsir)?


Someone asked Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, “Can we read non-Ahmadi tafasir, i.e., commentaries of the Holy Quran, or should we refrain from even touching them lest they lead us astray? While the Five Volume Commentary describes the incident regarding Hazrat Ibn Umm Maktumra in Surah ‘Abasa, some non-Ahmadi commentaries elucidate this event with more detail, clarity, and in more eloquent language.”

Huzoor-e-Anwaraa, in his letter dated 28 June 2022, gave the following answer to this question:

“The crux of the matter is that you have had the opportunity to read only the Five Volume Commentary. This was prepared by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in accordance with its means, using a summary of the magnificent commentary by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra that is Tafsir-e-Kabir and with the help of notes prepared for it, to provide a concise commentary in English for those who understand the English language, so that they might comprehend the themes of the Holy Quran to some extent. Since it is in the form of a summary, detailed explanations could not be included.

Furthermore, by the grace of Allah Almighty, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been blessed with the opportunity to publish in Urdu the commentary by the Promised Messiahas (derived from his written works, discourses, and letters, etc.), Haqaiq-ul-Furqan (taken from the writings, sermons, addresses, and duroos of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira) and Anwar-ul-Quran (derived from the addresses and sermons of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh). Similarly, it was blessed with the opportunity to publish Tafsir-e-Kabir, i.e., the commentary on certain parts of the Holy Quran, rendered by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. The Quranic insights detailed in these commentaries are unique and unparalleled in any other commentary in the world. The virtues of these commentaries have been openly acknowledged not only by our own Community members but also by others.”

“In your letter, you referred to the incident regarding Hazrat Abdullah bin Umm Maktumra as narrated in Surah ‘Abasa. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira has also given a commentary on this, which is distinct from other exegeses and elevates the status of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. Similarly, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has explained this incident in his Tafsir-e-Kabir with such an insightful interpretation that parallels are hard to find in fourteen centuries of exegesis. His elucidation not only refutes objections raised against the Holy Prophetsa, but also exalts the Prophet’s honour, rank, and status. Therefore, if possible, you should certainly read this section of Tafsir-e-Kabir.

“As for reading non-Ahmadi commentaries, there is no inherent harm in doing so. However, since many narratives have found their way into these commentaries, always remember this principle: If any detail is contrary to the Holy Quran, the sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa or his life’s account; or if any statement in these commentaries raises objections against the attributes of God Almighty, the truthfulness of the Holy Quran, or the pure person of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, it should not be blindly accepted. This is because our faith asserts that nothing in the Holy Quran can be against the Being of Allah the Exalted, the veracity of the Holy Quran itself, or the blessed life or character of the Holy Prophetsa.”

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