Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Can you recommend some good tafsirs and what aspect they focus on, like which ones are good for a theology/philosophy perspective and which are good for a historical point of view, and which ones use hadith narrations for explanations? Please also share any recommendations for English tafsirs.
Yes, alhamdulillah, Allah has blessed the umma with many amazing works explaining His perfect words to us. May Allah reward their authors with the best rewards in this life and the next.
It would be difficult to give you a comprehensive list, but I can refer you to a couple of works that will answer all your questions. Firstly, there is Dr. Muhammad Husayn al-Dhahabi’s Al-Tafsir wa al-Mufassirun. This work is a detailed analysis of the various schools of tafsir and their main contributors.
You’ll also benefit from Dr. Fadl Abbas’s Al Mufassirun: Madarisuhum wa Manahijuhum. An excellent work also. Both are in Arabic.
One of the best tafsirs for practically everything is Imam Alusi’s Ruh al-Ma’ani. He covers everything from theology, philosophy, and fiqh to language, grammar, and philology. Imam Razi’s work is great for theological discussions too. Both require training to read, though.
There is a new work that focuses on narrations: Mawsu’at al-Tafsir al-Ma’thur. I’ve not had a look at it yet, though, but I’m sure it will be of benefit.
Have a look at The Great Exegesis, a translation of sections from Razi’s tafsir by Dr. Sohaib Saeed. I’m sure you’ll benefit from it a great deal. It’s a good place to start.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.