Preface

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ وبه نستعين


By the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, and by Him do we seek help.


أخبرنا القاضي أَبُو بَكْر محمد بن عقيل بن زَيْد الشّهْرَزُوريّ- رَضِيَ اللَّه عَنْهُ- قَالَ: حدثنا القاضي أَبو عَبْد اللَّه محمد بْن علي بن زادلج، قال: حدثنا عبد الخالق ابن الْحَسَن، قَالَ عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بن ثَابِت بن يعقوب الثوري المقري ، قَالَ: حدثنا أَبِي، قَالَ: حدثنا الْهُذَيْلُ بن حبيب أَبُو صَالِح الزيداني عن مُقَاتِلٍ بن سُلَيْمَان عن ثلاثين رَجُلا منهم اثني عشر رَجُلا من التابعين منهم من زاد عَلَى صاحبه الحرف ومنهم من وافق صاحبه فِي التفسير فَمن الاثني عشر عَطَاء بن أَبِي رباح، والضحاك بن مُزَاحِم، ونافع مَوْلَى ابن عُمَر، والزُّبَيْر وابن شهاب الزُّهْرِيّ، ومُحَمَّد بن سِيرِينَ، وابن أَبِي مَلِيكة، وشهر بن حَوْشَب، وعكرمة، وعطية الكوفي، وأَبُو إسحاق الشَّعْبِيّ، ومُحَمَّد بن على ابن الحسين بن علي، ومن بعد هَؤُلاءِ قَتَادَة ونظراؤه حَتَّى ألفت هَذَا الكتاب


al-Qāḍī Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. ʿAqīl b. Zayd al-Shahrazūrī رَضِيَ اللَّه عَنْهُ reported to us.  He said: al-Qāḍī Abū ʿAbdullāh Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. Zādilaj narrated to us.  He said: ʿAbd al-Khāliq b. al-Ḥasan narrated to us.  He said: ʿUbaydullāh b. Thābit b. Yaʿqūb al-Thawrī al-Maqarrī narrated to us.  He said: My father narrated to us.  He said: al-Hudhayl b. Ḥabīb Abū Ṣāliḥ al-Zaydānī narrated to us from Muqātil b. Sulaymān from thirty men, from them were twelve men of the Tābiʿīn, some among whom added the letter upon his companion and some among whom agreed with his companion in the tafsīr.  From the twelve were ʿAṭā b. Abī Rabāḥ, al-Ḍaḥḥāk b. Muzāḥim, Nāfiʿ the client of Ibn ʿUmar, al-Zubayr, Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhrī, Muḥammad b. Sīrīn, Ibn Abī Malīka, Shahr b. Ḥawshab, ʿIkrima, ʿAṭiyya al-Kūfī, Abū Isḥāq al-Shaʿbī, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī, and after those, Qatāda and his peers until I authored this book. 


قَالَ عَبْد الخالق بن الْحَسَن: وجدت عَلَى ظهر كتاب عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بن ثَابِت عن أَبِيهِ تمام الثلاثين الَّذِين رَوَى عَنْهُمْ مُقَاتِلٌ . قَالَ: حدثنا الْهُذَيْلُ، قَالَ: رجال مُقَاتِلٍ الَّذِين أَخَذَ التفسير عَنْهُمْ سوى من سمينا قَتَادَة بن دعامة، وسليمان بن مهران الأعمش، وحماد ابن أَبِي سُلَيْمَان، وإسماعيل بن أَبِي خَالِد، وابن طاوس اليماني، وعبد الكريم وعبد القدوس صاحبي الْحَسَن، وأَبُو روق، وابن أَبِي نجيح، وليث بن سُلَيْم، وأيوب وعَمْرو بن دينار ، وداود بن أَبِي هند، والقاسم بن محمد، وعَمْرو بن شُعَيْب، والحكم بن عُتْبَة، وهشام بن حَسَّان، وسفيان الثَّوْرِي. ثُمّ قَالَ أَبُو محمد: قَالَ أَبِي. فقلت لأبي صَالِح: لم كتب عن سُفْيَان وَهُوَ أكبر منه؟ فَقَالَ: إن مُقَاتِلٍ عُمِّر فكتب عن الصغار والكبار.


ʿAbd al-Khāliq b. al-Ḥasan said: I found on the back of the book of ʿUbaydullāh b. Thābit from his father all thirty from whom Muqātil narrated.  He said: al-Hudhayl narrated to us.  He said: The rijāl of Muqātil from whom he took the tafsīr – apart from who we have named – were Qatāda b. Diʿāma, Sulaymān b. Mihrān al-Aʿmash, Ḥammād b. Abī Sulaymān, Ismāʿīl b. Abī Khālid, Ibn Ṭāwūs al-Yamānī, ʿAbd al-Karīm, ʿAbd al-Quddūs the companion of al-Ḥasan, Abū Rawq, Ibn Abi Najīḥ, Layth b. Sulaym, Ayyūb, ʿAmr b. Dīnār, Dāwūd b. Abī Hind, al-Qāsim b. Muḥammad, ʿAmr b. Shuʿayb, al-Ḥakam b. ʿUtba, Hishām b. Ḥassān, and Sufyān al-Thawrī.  Then Abū Muḥammad said: My father said: I said to Abū Ṣāliḥ: Why did he write from Sufyān while he is older than him?  So he said: Indeed Muqātil lived a long life, so he wrote from the young and the old.


قَالَ أَبُو محمد: قَالَ أَبِي: قَالَ أَبُو صَالِح: بِذَلِك أَخْبَرَنِي مُقَاتِلُ. قَالَ: حدثنا عَبْد اللَّه، قَالَ: وحَدَّثَنِي أَبِي، قَالَ: حدثنا الْهُذَيْلُ عن مُقَاتِلٍ، قَالَ: أنزل القرآن عَلَى خمسة أوجه أمره، ونهيه، ووعده، ووعيده، وخبر الأولين


Abū Muḥammad said: My father said: Abū Ṣāliḥ said: Muqātil informed me of that.  He said: ʿAbdullāh narrated to us.  He said: And my father narrated to me.  He said: al-Hudhayl narrated to us from Muqātil.  He said: The Quran was sent down upon five aspects: His command, His prohibition, His promise, His threat, and the report of the ancients.


قَالَ: حدثنا عبيد الله قال: وحدثني أبي قال: حَدَّثَنِي الْهُذَيْلُ عَنِ الْمُسَيِّبِ عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ عَنِ ابْنِ جُبَيْرٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ- رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ- قَالَ: تَعَلَّمُوا التَّأْوِيلَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَجِيءَ أَقْوَامٌ يَتَأَوَّلُونَهُ عَلَى غَيْرِ تَأْوِيلِهِ


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: And my father narrated to me.  He said: al-Hudhayl narrated to me from al-Musayyib from al-Aʿmash from Ibn Jubayr from Ibn ʿAbbās رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ.  He said: Teach the interpretation (al-ta’wīl) before groups come interpreting it upon other than its interpretation.


قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا عبيد الله، قال: حدثني أبي، قال: حدثنا الْهُذَيْلُ عَنْ أَبِي قِلابَةَ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ: مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ- عَزَّ وَجَلَّ- كِتَابًا إِلا أَحَبَّ أَنْ يُعْلَمَ تَأْوِيلُهُ، 


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: My father narrated to me.  He said: al-Hudhayl narrated to us from Abū Qilāba from Ibn ʿAbbās.  He said: God عَزَّ وَجَلَّ has not sent down a book but that He has loved for its interpretation to be known.


قَالَ: حدثنا عبيد الله، قال: حدثني أبي، قال: حدثنا الْهُذَيْلُ عن إسماعيل بن عَيَّاش الحِمْصِيّ، قَالَ: أَخْبَرَنِي مُعَاذ بن رِفَاعة عن إِبْرَاهِيم العُذْريّ قَالَ: يحمل هَذَا العلم من كُلّ خلف عدوله ينفون عَنْهُ تحريف الغالين وانتحال المبطلين وتأويل الجاهلين، 


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: My father narrated to me.  He said: al-Hudhayl narrated to us from Ismāʿīl b. ʿAyyāsh al-Ḥimṣī.  He said: Muʿādh b. Rifāʿa reported to us from Ibrāhīm al-ʿUdhrī.  He said: In every generation, its upright ones bear this knowledge banishing from it the distortion of the exaggerators, the plagiary of the liars, and the interpretation of the ignorant.


قال: حدثنا عبيد الله، قال: وحدثني أبي، قَالَ: حدثنا الْهُذَيْلُ عن سُفْيَان الواسطي، قَالَ: إن مثل من قرأ القرآن وَلَم يعلم تفسيره كمثل رَجُل جاءه كتاب أعز الناس عَلَيْه ففرح به فطلب من يقرؤه (لَهُ) فلم يجده وَهُوَ أمي. فهكذا من قرأ القرآن وَلَم يدر ما فِيهِ


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: And my father narrated to me.  He said: al-Hudhayl narrated to us from Sufyān al-Wāsiṭī.  He said: The likeness of someone who recited the Quran while he did not know its tafsīr is like a man who a book came to which was difficult for the people, so he was gladdened by it and sought someone to read it for him but he did not find it, while he is illiterate.  So thus is someone who recited the Quran while he did not know what is in it.


قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا عبيد الله، قال: وحدثني أبي عن الهذيل عن على ابن عَاصِمٍ عَنْ عَطَاءِ بْنِ السَّائِبِ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ السُّلَمِيِّ عَنِ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ، قَالَ: كُنَّا إِذَا عَلَّمَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ- صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ- الْعَشْرَ آيَاتٍ «1» مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ لَمْ نُجَاوِزْهُنَّ إِلَى غَيْرِهِنَّ حَتَّى نَعْلَمَ مَا فِيهِنَّ.


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: And my father narrated to me from al-Hudhayl from ʿAlī b. ʿĀṣim from ʿAṭā b. al-Sā’ib from Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī from Ibn Masʿūd.  He said: When the Messenger of God صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ would teach us ten āyāt from the Quran, we would not go beyond them to other than them until we knew what was in them.


قال: حدثنا عبيد الله، قال: وحدثني أبي، قَالَ: حَدَّثَني الْهُذَيْلُ عَنِ ابْنِ الْمُسَيِّبِ عَنِ الْكَلْبِيِّ عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ: الْقُرْآنُ عَلَى أَرْبَعَةِ أَوْجُهٍ: تَفْسِيرٌ يَعْلَمُهُ الْعُلَمَاءُ، وَعَرِبِيَّةٌ تَعْرِفُهَا الْعَرَبُ، وَحَلالٌ وَحَرَامٌ لا يَسَعُ النَّاسَ جَهْلُهُ، وَتَأْوِيلٌ لا يَعْلَمُهُ إِلا اللَّهُ- عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. قُلْتُ: وَمَا التَّأْوِيلُ؟ قَالَ: مَا هُوَ كَائِنٌ


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: And my father narrated to me from al-Hudhayl from Ibn al-Musayyib from al-Kalbī from Abū Ṣāliḥ from Ibn ʿAbbās.  He said: The Quran is upon four aspects: a tafsīr which the commonality knows, Arabic that the Arab recognizes, ḥalāl and ḥarām that mankind cannot be ignorant of, and an interpretation that none knows save for God عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.

I said: And what is the interpretation?

He said: Whatever will be (in the future).


قَالَ: حدثنا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ، قَالَ: وَحدثنا أَبِي عن الْهُذَيْلِ عن مُقَاتِلٍ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: فِي القرآن خاص وعام، خاص للمسلمين وخاص في المشركين وعام لجميع الناس ومتشابه ومحكم ومفسر ومبهم وإضمار وتمام وصلات فِي الكلام مَعَ ناسخ ومنسوخ وتقديم وتأخير وأشباه مَعَ وجوه كثيرة وجواب فِي سورة أخرى وأمثال ضربها اللَّه- عَزَّ وَجَلّ- لنفسه وأمثال ضربها للكافر والصنم وأمثال ضربها للدنيا والبعث والآخرة وخبر الأولين وخبر ما في الْجَنَّةِ والنار وخاص لمشرك واحد وفرائض وأحكام وحدود وخبر ما في قلوب الْمُؤْمِنِين وخبر ما في قلوب الكافرين وخصومة مشركي العرب وتفسير وللتفسير تفسير


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: And my father narrated to me from al-Hudhayl from Muqātil that he said: In the Quran there is a specific and a generality, a specific for the Muslims and a specific regarding the mushrikīn, a generality for all of mankind, a figurative (mutashābih) and a decisive (muḥkam), explained (mufassar) and incomprehensible (mubham), concealment (iḍmār), completion, connections in speech, with an abrogater and an abgrogated (nāsikh wa mansūkh), a bring forward and a delaying, similitudes with many aspects, an answer in another sūra, examples which God عَزَّ وَجَلَّ has struck for Himself, examples which He has struck for the unbeliever and the idol, examples that He has struck of this world, the resurrection, and the hereafter, the report of the ancients, the report of what is in the Garden and the Fire, a specific for a single mushrik, obligations, rules, and bounds, the report of what is in the hearts of the believers, the report of what is in the hearts of the unbelievers, the hostility of the mushriks of the Arabs, a tafsīr and a tafsīr of the tafsīr.


قَالَ: حدثنا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ، قَالَ: حدثنا أَبِي عن الْهُذَيْلِ بن حبيب عن مُقَاتِلٍ قَالَ: من قرأ القرآن فلم يعلم تأويله فهو فِيهِ أمي


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: My father narrated to me from al-Hudhayl b. Ḥabīb from Muqātil.  He said: Whoever recites the Quran and does not know its interpretation is thus an illiterate regarding it.


قَالَ: حدثنا عبيد اللَّهِ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي عَنِ الْهُذَيْلِ عَنْ مقاتل عن عبد الكريم الجزوى قَالَ: ما أجد أعظم أجرا يوم الْقِيَامَة ممن علّم القرآن وعلّمه.


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: My father narrated to me from al-Hudhayl from Muqātil from ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Jazawī.  He said: I do not find anything greater in reward on the day of the resurrection from someone who has been taught the Quran and taught it.


وذَكَر مُقَاتِلٌ حساب الجمل فَقَالَ: يبدأ بحروف أبى جاد فألحقها بها ألف واحد ب اثنين ج ثلاثة د أربعة هـ خمسة وستة ز سبعة ح ثمانية ط تسعة ي عشرة ك عشرون ل ثلاثون م أربعون ن خمسون ص ستون ع سبعون ف ثمانون س تسعون ق مائة ر مائتين ش ثلثمائة ت أربعمائة باقى المعجم: ث خمسمائة خ ستمائة ذ سبعمائة ض ثمانمائة ظ تسعمائة غ ألف.


And Muqātil mentioned isopsephy (ḥisāb al-jumal).  So he said: One begins with the abjad letters and attaches it to them: alif is 1, bā is 2, jīm is 3, dāl is 4, hā is 5, waw is 6, zā is 7, ḥā is 8, ṭā is 9, yā is 10, kāf is 20, lām is 30, mīm is 40, nūn is 50, ṣad is 60, ʿayn is 70, fā is 80, sīn is 90, qāf is 100, rā is 200, shīn is 300, tā is 400.  And the rest of the lexicon: thā is 500, khā is 600, dhāl is 700, ḍad is 800, ẓā is 900, and ghayn is 1000.


قَالَ: وَحَدَّثَنَا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ، قَالَ: وَحَدَّثَنِي أَبِي عَنِ الْهُذَيْلِ عَنْ مُقَاتِلٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ- صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وسلم-: مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ- عَزَّ وَجَلَّ- فِي الْقُرْآنِ سُورَةً مِثْلَ فَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ وَلا نَزَلَ فِي كُتُبِ الأَنْبِيَاءِ مِثْلُهَا.


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: And my father narrated to me from al-Hudhayl from Muqātil.  He said: The Messenger of God صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وسل said: God عَزَّ وَجَلَّ has not sent down a sūra in the Quran the like of the Fātiḥa of the Book, and He has not sent down its like in the books of the prophets.


قَالَ: وَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ- صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ- أُعْطِيتُ بِالتَّوْرَاةِ السَّبْعُ الطِوَالُ وَهُنَّ الْقُرْآنُ، وَأُعْطِيتُ بِالإِنْجِيلِ الْمَثَانِي وَهُنَّ هُدَى الْقُرْآنِ، وَأُعْطِيتُ بِالزَّبُورِ الْمِئِين وَهُنَّ رَيْحَانُ الْقُرْآنِ وفضلني بالمفصل .


He said: And the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وسل said: I have been given of the Torah the seven ṭiwāl (long sūras) and they are the Quran.  And I have been given of the Gospel the mathānī (oft-repeated) and they are the guidance of the Quran.  And I have been given of the Zabūr the mi’īn and they are the sweet basil of the Quran.  And I have been favored by the articulation.


قال: حدثنا عبيد الله، قال: حدثني الْهُذَيْلُ عن الْمُسَيِّب بن شريك عن أَبِي روق عن الضَّحَّاك فِي قول اللَّه- سُبْحَانَهُ وتعالى-: الم، قَالَ: أَنَا اللَّه أَعْلَم.


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: al-Hudhayl narrated to me from al-Musayyib b. Shurayk from Abū Rawq from al-Ḍaḥḥāk regarding the saying of God سُبْحَانَهُ وتعالى “Alif Lām Mīm”.  He said: I, God, know best.


قال: حدثنا عبيد الله، قال: حدثني أبي، قَالَ: حدثنا الْهُذَيْلُ عن أَبِي جَعْفَر الرَّازيّ عن أَبِي العالية فِي قوله- سُبْحَانَهُ- الم. قَالَ: هَذِهِ من الثمانية وعشرين حرفا التي دارت الألسن كلها بها وليس منها حرف إِلَّا وَهُوَ مفتاح اسم من أسماء اللَّه- عَزَّ وَجَلّ- وليس منها اسم إِلَّا وَهُوَ في الآية وبلا آية وليس منها حرف إِلَّا وَهُوَ فِي مدة قوم وآجالهم فالألف مفتاح اسم اللَّه- جلَّ جلاله-. واللام مفتاح اسمه لطيف والميم مفتاح اسمه مجيد. الألف آلاؤه واللام لطفه والميم مجده


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: My father narrated to me.  He said: al-Hudhayl narrated to us from Abū Jaʿfar al-Rāzī from Abū al-ʿĀliya regarding His سُبْحَانَهُ saying “Alif Lām Mīm”.  He said: These are from the twenty eight letters which circulate around all of the tongues, and there is no letter from them but that it is the key of a name from the names of God عَزَّ وَجَلّ.  And there is no name but that it is in the āya and without an āya.  And there is no letter from them but that it is in the duration of a people and their terms.  So the alif is the key of the name Allāh جلَّ جلاله and the lām is the key of his name laṭīf (subtle, kind), and the mīm is the key of His name majīd (majestic).  And the alif is his divinity, the lām is his kindness (or: subtlety), and the mīm is His majesty.


قَالَ: حدثنا عبيد الله، قال: وحدثني أَبِي، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا الْهُذَيْلُ عَنْ أَبِي بَكْر الهذلي عن عِكْرمَة فِي قوله- عَزَّ وَجَلّ-: ذلِكَ الْكِتابُ يعني التوراة والإنجيل، 


He said: ʿUbaydullāh narrated to us.  He said: And my father narrated to me.  He said: al-Hudhayl narrated to us from Abū Bakr al-Hadhalī from ʿIkrima regarding His عَزَّ وَجَلَّ saying “That is the book” meaning the Torah and the Gospel.


قَالَ أَبُو روق: فِي قوله- سبحانه-: لا رَيْبَ فِيهِ لا شك فِيهِ وهُدىً لِلْمُتَّقِينَ قَالَ: كرامة لهم هداهم إليه. وأما قوله- سبحانه-: الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ يعني بالغيب لا إله إِلَّا اللَّه وبما جاء به محمد- صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ- وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاةَ يعني الصَّلاة المكتوبة وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكاةَ يعنى المفروضة وَمِمَّا رَزَقْناهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ قَالَ روق: هَذِهِ للعرب خاصة،


Abū Rawq said regarding His عَزَّ وَجَلَّ saying “there is no doubt (rayb) in it” there is no doubt (shakk) in it “and a guidance for the god-fearing”.  He said: A nobility for them, their guidance to Him.  And as to His سُبْحَانَهُ saying “those who believe in the unseen” meaning by the unseen that there is no god but God and by what Muḥammad صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم brought “and establish the prayer” meaning the ordained prayer “and render the zakāt” meaning the obliged “and of what We have provided them they spend” Rawq said: This is specific for the Arabs.


قَالَ: وقَالَ أَبُو صَالِح، قَالَ الكلبي: قَالَت: اليهود جُديّ وحُييّ ومن معهما نَحْنُ المتقون الَّذِين يؤمنون بالغيب آمنا بمحمد قبل أن يبعث. قَالَ الكلبي: هاتان الآيتان نزلتا فى اليهود.


He said: And Abū Ṣāliḥ said: al-Kalbī said: The Jews Juyayy and Ḥuyayy and who was with them said “We are the godfearing who believe in the unseen.  We believed in Muḥammad before he was sent.”  

al-Kalbī said:  These two ayāt were sent down regarding the Jews.