Quranic Interpretation (Tafseer)
To learn Arabic presents a challenge for many, and memorizing the Quran is a major accomplishment to achieve. Yet the most respected members of the Muslim community are those who can take a step beyond reading and reciting the holy text and go on to understand Quran interpretation.
Those who wish to gain the deepest understanding of the Islamic faith and make their opinions known about contemporary religious and philosophical questions should consider Quran tafseer, interpretation of the word of Allah. Quran tafseer is one of the great achievements for Muslims — allowing members to engage in serious debate about the components of belief, mankind, the afterlife and the principles that Muslims must follow to be considered members of the true faith.
Despite the agreement throughout the Islamic world that all Muslims must adhere to the principles of the Quran, Muslims who read the Quran may come to different interpretations of specific verses once they have mastered the knowledge of the text. This is a natural progression of Islamic study, as the most enlightened and educated leaders throughout the Islamic world constantly question one another, and themselves, in the quest for understanding.
Some of the most common principles of tafseer include:
- How the verse of the Quran fits in with the hadith traditions of the Prophet Muhammad
- How the successors of the Prophet carried on his message
- How the literary depth of the Quran can have multiple meanings
- How modern society can fulfill Allah’s commands
This type of critical thinking is crucial to the survival of the Islamic faith — even the Quran mentions the need for mankind to think upon Allah’s revelations and reflect on His message (38:29). Those who are curious about their faith, furthermore, and have many questions but few answers, may be able to find conclusions through Quran interpretation to guide their lives and belief.
To learn tafseer requires a great deal of commitment, both mental and spiritual. It is an even greater challenge than memorizing the Quran and becoming a member of the hafiz community, as those who interpret the Quran must do more than merely recite it.
Tafseer students must take on the responsibility of mastering the Arabic language behind the holy words, to form opinions based on evidence, and to understand the work of Islamic scholars. This requires discipline and commitment, but IQRA’s experienced instructors help students learn tafseer online and sharpen their minds. Those who do learn tafseer online will be capable of joining the greater Muslim community in debate and discussion — deepening their faith and engaging their neighbors, friends and family.
A Muslim capable of Quran interpretation can help address many critical questions in contemporary Islamic life, such as the question of secularization in the modern world or how different Fiqh schools of Islam can coexist.
IQRA’s talented teachers form a team for the best Quran tafseer in English instruction you’ll be able to find. Our teachers are graduates of Egypt’s prestigious Al-Azhar University — well-known for its place in contemporary theological disputes as well as its rigorous courses in Islamic studies.
IQRA teachers have a comprehensive background in the Arabic language, Quranic studies and Islamic history, allowing them to make every lesson straightforward and engaging. We can help students understand important verses, contextualizing the surah of the Quran for modern life. With 24-hour instruction, furthermore, IQRA makes it possible for students to learn tafseer on their terms and schedule, rather than having to organize their life around an academic course.