I'm brushing up on exegetical works pertaining to the Qur'an, and I keep coming across this term: "tafsirbi’l-ma’thur." Can someone provide me with a clear definition of the term and help me understand it? It seems very central to what I'm reading.
The term tafsir (التفسير) itself refers any exegetical work on the Qur'an. There are essentially two types of tafsir:
- Tafsir bi'l ma'thur (التفسير بالمأثور): refers to those tafasir in which the exegesis is predominantly derived from authentic sources, such as other Qur'anic verses, sahih ahadith, or established sunnah.
- Tafsir bi'l ra'y (التفسير بالراي): refers to those tafasir which are derived in part or in whole from personal interpretation and opinion.