Introduction to Tafsīr Methodology

34 students
Course: Introduction to Tafsīr Methodology
Course Code: IT-TM 
Course Level: Intermediate/Higher
Start Date: Saturday 6th April 2019 12pm – 5pm
End Date: One day intensive
Level:  Advance
Instructor:   Dr Safaruk Chowdhury


The discipline of tafsīr (often translated as “Qur’anic interpretation”) consists of not only the exegetical corpus of a particular exegete (mufassir) but includes as well the methodological and doctrinal principles that are put to use in the attempt to uncover the Qur’anic meanings (often implicit and presupposed). Although many students and researchers focus on the various exegetical opinions (aqwāl) within the tafsīr literature, often than not the underlying methodology of the exegete is overlooked. This oversight results in failing to see the underlying cause for a particular interpretation or its intellectual provenance.

The course course will help build understanding and appreciation of the interpretive methodologies of several well-known pre-modern exegetes; both Sunni and shi’ite. The importance of ascertaining the methodological principles brought to bear on the Qur’an reveals the theology and direction of thinking governing the exegete’s endeavour as well as the shaping of the text in which their exegetical enterprise is contained. This is interesting as an academic study – especially for gaining comparative perspectives.   

Who is the Course Suitable for?

Introduction to Tafsīr Methodology will be suitable for those with existing background in academic Qur’anic studies as well familiarity with traditional curricula on the Qur’an.

Aims and Objectives of the Course

The aim of the course is for learners to advance their understanding of various methodologies employed in interpreting the Qur’an which is the most important primary source of Islam and its law. The course is designed to challenge students in a relaxed and comfortable environment. By the end of the course you will become more confident in various Qur’anic exegesis and the methodologies that produce it. This course is designed for learners to facilitate transition into higher level studies.

Course Timetable

The course will run during term time only, your instructor will let you know when the holidays are. The course will run in January 2019. Exact start date and time will be available shortly. Please register now.


This course is designed to make learning fun and enjoyable. However, if you are unhappy about something and would like to complain you should bring this up with your instructor. If you feel that you are unable to do so or you have but the issue has not been resolved then you should contact the Short Courses Director on

Lesson Outline 
Session 1  Tafsīr 
  • Linguistic definitions of Tafsīr
  • Technical definitions of Tafsīr 
  • The Importance of Tafsīr.
  • Categories of Tafsīr works. 
Session 2 Abu Manṣūr Al-Māturīdī (d. 313/944)
  • Short life sketch and importance.
  • Kitāb Ta’wīlāt Ahl al-Sunna – overview.
  • Tafsīr methodology.
  • Examples and discussions.
Session 3  Abu Bakr al-Jaṣṣāṣ (d. 370/980)
  • Short life sketch and importance.
  • Aḥkām al-Qur’ān – overview.
  • Tafsīr methodology.
  • Examples and discussions.
Session 4  Faḍl b. Ḥasan Al-Tabarsī (d. 518/1153)
  • Short life sketch and importance.
  • Majmaʿ al-Bayān – overview.
  • Tafsīr methodology.
  • Examples and discussions.
Session 5  Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī (d. 412/1021).
  • Short life sketch.
  • Ḥaqā’iq al-Tafsīr – overview.
  • Tafsīr methodology.
  • Examples and discussions.
Curriculum is empty


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