ABOUT THE BOOK:
FROM THE BACK COVER:
IMAM MUḤAMMAD ʿALI AL-SABUNI is one of the leading scholars of Sunni Islam in the modern era. A specialist in the knowledge of Tafsir (Exegesis of the Holy Quran), he has authored one of the most widely accepted Tafsirs of the Qur’an entitled Safwat al-Tafasir (The Choicest Selections from the Books of Exegesis). Since its publication in 1978 and with more depth than the renowned Tafsīr al-Jalālayn, Ṣafwat al-tafāsīr has quickly become the celebrated tafsir for beginners. It is recommended in Islamic Seminaries worldwide as a reliable reference point to acquire the orthodox Sunni understanding of the Quran.
“The author has undergone immense effort in compiling and selecting the most reliable and soundest of opinions extracted from numerous books of Tafsir…. all in an exceptionally clear manner and with a novel and simple format.”
- SHAYKH ʿABDULLAH B. HUMAYD;
Chief Justice of Saudi Arabia and Imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca
“Throughout the centuries of Islamic authorship, the dominant approach to knowledge was to attempt to record, document and present everything that was narrated about a given topic. Yet, this has created a problem, especially in our era, namely that the beginner and intermediate level students are becoming confused when choosing the closest opinion to that which is correct, and…they find themselves lost in a dense forest of statements, opinions, and ideologies (madhāhib). Imam al-Sabuni has saved students of knowledge an incredible amount of time, and has taken them by the hand to the nectar of his lifetime of studies and the summary of several major books of Tafsir. Because of this, he warrants a debt of gratitude from the students of knowledge and those working in the field of Tafsir.”
- SHAYKH ABU ‘L-HASAN ʿALI AL-NADWI;
President of Darul ʿUloom Nadwat ‘l-ʿUlama’ in Lucknow, India
Shaykh al-Sabuni says about his Tafsir: "It is comprehensive, based on both narrated reports and rational argument, based on the most authentic well known tafasir such as al-Tabari, al-Kashshaf, Ibn Kathir, al-Bahr al-Muhit and Ruh al-Ma’ani. It is written in a simple style that is easy to understand, paying attention to literary style and linguistic form....I have called my book Safwat al-Tafasir (The Best of Tafasir) because it combines the best of the major detailed tafasir in a brief, organized and clear fashion."
ABOUT SHAYKH MOHAMMED ALI AL-SABUNI:
Shaykh Muhammad ‘Alī al-Sābūnī was born in the city of Aleppo in Syria in 1930. His father was one of the senior scholars of Aleppo. He received much of his initial and formal education in Arabic, inheritance and sciences of religion from his father, Shaykh Jamīl. He memorized the Qur’ān in the primary schools and completed his higher secondary school while still young. Shaykh al- abūnī studied under some of the leading scholars of the city. Some of his most prominent teachers were: Shaykh Muhammad Najīb Sirājuddīn, Shaykh Ahmad al-Shamā‘, Shaykh Muhammad Sa‘īd al-Idlibi, Shaykh Muhammad Rāghib al-Tabbākh, Shaykh Muhammad Najīb Khayātah
In addition he attended other lessons with other ‘Ulemā in various mosques. He continued his formal education in the government schools. After obtaining his primary school certificate he enrolled at the Madrassa al-Tijariyya where he studied for one year. He was disinclined because they were teaching the students about interest based transactions. Even though he obtained the best results he left and instead he joined the famous Khasrawiyya school of Sharī‘ah in Aleppo. Here he combined Islamic Studies and studies in the secular subjects. He graduated in 1949. He graduated with excellent results and the Ministry of Awqāf (Endowments) sent him to further his studies at the famous al-Azhar University in Egypt. He graduated from the Faculty of Sharī‘ah in 1952 and he completed his specialization course in 1954.
After completing his studies, he returned to Aleppo where he taught Islamic education in various secondary schools in the city. He taught for about eight years from 1955 to 1962. He was appointed as lecturer at the Faculty of Sharī‘ah at the Umm al-Qurā’ University and at the Faculty of Education of the King ‘Abdul Azīz University both in Mecca, where he taught for about 28 years. Many prominent scholars graduated under his guidance. Due to his academic work and his writing the University assigned some additional tasks to him. These included editing some classical for the Centre for Academic Research and Reviving the Islamic Heritage.
He edited Ma‘ani al-Qur’ān by Imām Abū Jā‘far al-Nahhās (d. 338). This book was published in 6 volumes. Thereafter he worked as an advisor with the Muslim World League in the Council for Scientific Research in the Qur’ān and the Sunnah. He remained there for a few years after which he devoted himself entirely to writing and to research.
Shaykh al-Sābūnī authored numerous books which were received all over the world and many were even translated into other languages. He even conducted some lessons in the Karām of Mecca. He also conducted a weekly lesson in one of the mosques of Jeddah in Tafsīr. This lesson continued for about eight years during which he completed about two-thirds of the Qur’ān. These lessons were recorded on audio 3 cassettes. He also recorded about 600 programmes for television broadcast.He completed this in 1998 (1419).
Some of the books he wrote are:
• Safwat al-Tafāsīr
• Rawā’i al-Bayān fī Tafsīr Āyāt al-Ahkām
• Qabas min Nūr al-Qur’ān al-Karīm
• Al-Tafsīr al-WāMi al-Muyassar
• Kashf al-Iftira’āt fī Risālat al-Tanbihāt Kawla afwat al-Tafāsīr
• Al-Tabsīr bi-mā fī Rasā’il Bakr Abū Zayd min al-Tazwīr
In 2007, the Organizing Committee for the Dubai International Qur’ān Award chose Shaykh Muhammad‘Alī al- ābūnī as the personality of the Muslim World for his contribution to Islam. He was selected from a large list of other nominees and was approved by Prince Mu ammad ibn Rāshid Āl-Maktūm, Deputy of the Head of State of Dubai. Over a period of eleven years many renowned scholars were honoured in this way. One of them includes, for example, Shaykh YūRuf al-QaraMāwī.