I started reading Quran but I am having problems with understanding some points, (referances, literary devices etc.) so I need a tafsir to read Quran with. My problem is, beacuse of hadiths I almost stopped believing, so I consider many of them false. I am looking for a Quran tafsir, based on Quran or historically proven data.

Is there any Quran-only tafsir (without Hadiths)?

  • 3
    Do you reject all Hadith or some?
    – user5380
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 13:02
  • I see Quran and hadiths like academical source and wikipedia. Sometimes I read hadiths is they make sense in the context but never to read Quran with or apply them to my life. So, yeah I think I do reject them most of the time.
    – Aven
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 17:18
  • the mufasireen (Quran commentators) rely on Hadith since it makes sense, theologically, that the Prophet and his companions know the revelation of Allah better than we do especially in revelations which need context to be interpreted correctly. I think this site will answer your hadith rejection islamqa.info/en/3440 Also Nouman Ali Khan has done a tafsir of Juzz Amma (last part of Quran). He uses more of the linguistic meanings and things of that nature. You can find this via bayyinah.tv or YouTube. Also Ibn Kathir uses Quran verses to explain other verses. Then he uses Hadith.
    – user5380
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 0:18
  • Excellent question. First of all, Quranic interpretation should be looked at as a whole rather than as separate discrete questions all of which must be answered as is. This means first to discover what is most important and of lesser importance in a fairly methodical and careful way. Faith in Allah is equated with faith in Al-Akhira, both mentioned highly frequently, two ways of knowing their importance. Salat is very often mentioned with zakat as a pair, meaning that both must be followed or the value of each for the worshipper would be less. Salat and Quran reading must be mindful acts.
    – S Karami
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 8:40
  • These are extremely obvious points in the Quran and yet we find more importance placed on wearing hijab, which is not so clearly specified in the Quran, than on what faith is and means, which is crucial. The Quran speaks of the attitude of salat but not the specific number of rakaas. That means that the attitude and mindful state of the worshipper is more important than numbers of rakaas or hand placement. Those are left to the hadeeths, but don’t constitute interpretation of the Quran so much as details regarding physical performance of salat. One might say that dress codes vary by community.
    – S Karami
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 8:46

1 Answer 1



Yes at least tafsir al-Jalalayn could be one well known "tafsir" that meets your requirements. And there are also books or what one can call comments of the Qur'an where some terms and words are at least explained inside the text or as a footnote (or something similar).

The meaning of tafsir

First of all let's define our term:

  • Tafssir التفسير in Arabic language means bringing to light and clarification it is also taken from fasr الفسر demonstration (showing how) and vision.
  • The meaning of the term tafsir according the understanding of Muslim scholars is defined by imam Badr ad-Dyn az-Zarkashi in his al-Burhan fi 'ulum al-Qur'an as follows:

    علم يعرف به فهم كتاب الله المنزل على نبيه محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم وبيان معانيه واستخراج أحكامه وحكمه . واستمداد ذلك من علم اللغة والنحو التصريف وعلم البيان وأصول الفقه والقراءات ، ويحتاج لمعرفة أسباب النزول والناسخ والمنسوخ

    (My own translation take it carefully)

    A science which makes one understand the book of Allah which was revealed to his prophet Allahs prayers and blessing be upon him and brings to light the meanings, extracts rulings and verdicts, which calls for reinforcement (or is supported by) the linguistics and grammar of the Arabic language, and the sciences of speech (rhetoric), of osol al-fiqh, of the qira'aat, and which relies on the reasons of revelation (asbab an-Nuzul) and the abrogated and that which abrogated it (an-Nasikh wal-mansukh)

From this definition we can conclude that tafsir per se can hardly abdicate of hadith (as a source for i.e. for the abrogation and reason for the revelation).

So you might look for a book of ma'ani al-Quran معاني القرآن a kind of dictionary including the meaning of some "difficult" words, not a tafsir.
There are also books on what is called Ghareeb al-Quran غريب القرآن this is a more linguistic approach which deals with strange words or expressions.
There might exist a lot of these kinds of books even books on 'Irab al-Quran might cover this (See What is I'rabul Qur'an?).

You could certainly ask this question on a quranist site, but as there doesn't seem to exist an agreement among them it is hard to find a clear cut or what we call a tafsir, but we could call it an explanation/commentary of the Qur'an.

Maybe such a wide spread book as tafsir al-Jalalyan تفسير الجلالين (of the imams Jalal ad-Dyn as-Suyuti and Jalal ad-Dyn al-Mahalli جلال الدين المحلي) would meet your conditions (it was the first tafsir I ever used and was not always helpful).

But you could also simply choose to read a tafsir excluding ahadith there are good summaries of tafsir ibn Kathir (which already exclude most doubtful narrations) or check books which try to explain the qru'an by the Qur'an:

Tafsir book which mainly rely on Qur'an itself

Among the scholars some have made efforts to interpret the Qur'an based on Qur'an and Arabic language (I can't say whether they fully succeeded, as I rarely use these books, as they hardly can tell the story behind the story) one of these attempts is:

  • Adwaa' al-Bayan fy idah al-Qur'an bil Qur'an أضواء البيان في إيضاح القرآن بالقرآن

    Of sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen a-Shinqiti محمد الأمين الشنقيطي as far as I know this tafsir also relies on some sahih hadith sources like sahih al-Bukhari, but mainly tries to avoid anything else but the Qur'an.
    So basically it hardly deviates from most tafsir's, as even tafsirs like ibn Kathir, al-Qurtobi, at-Tabari etc. include a similar content. The point is to what extent they use secondary sources or leave them.

There are many other attempts like

  • Sanaullah Amritsari's أبو الوفاء ثناء الله الآمر تسري tafsir called al-Quran bi kalam ar-Rahman تفسير القرآن بكلام الرحمن،
  • And Hamiduddin Farahi's عبد الحميد الفراهي الهندي tafsir called Nidham al-Quran wa ta'weel al-Furqan bil Furqan تفسير نظام القرآن وتأويل الفرقان بالفرقان
  • And Imam as-San'ani محمد بن إسماعيل الصنعاني had also a similar tafsir.

Off-topic: an explanation why tafsir needs hadith

Note that tafsir needs a source of interpretation and that can only be the Qur'an itself in first place, and can also and should be our Messenger (), to him the Qur'an was revealed and he should be the best to understand and interpret and apply it. Therefore excluding his interpretation doesn't seem to make sense. Allah said:

... And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought. (16:44)

If we interpret it without backup from our Prophet we may go astray.
For example how would we know the interpretation of:

And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. (2:187)


I said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! What is the meaning of the white thread distinct from the black thread? Are these two threads?" He said, "You are not intelligent if you watch the two threads." He then added, "No, it is the darkness of the night and the whiteness of the day.'' (sahih al-Bukhari)

or how to pray etc. (see also What kinds of sin does hadith rejection lead to (if any)?)

Also the sahaba have already helped us to find connections between verses and surahs. Many meanings need a an Arabic background which the sahaba and their followers gave us, so it is hard to interpret the Qur'an without quoting these traditions, also leaving out these traditions, after checking them seems hardly to make sense.

On the importance of tafsir of the Qur'an by the Qur'an itself and examples

If it is possible to interpret a verse via an other this of course is the best tafsir as there's certainly no better interpretation of the Qur'an as the Qur'an itself, therefore all scholars of tafsir are in full agreement on this matter and try to find a link to other verses before interpreting a verse based on "secondary" sources.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Muqaddimah fi Usool at-Tafseer (p. 93):

If someone were to ask: what are the soundest ways of interpreting the meanings of the Qur’an? The answer is that the soundest way of doing that is to interpret the Qur’an by the Qur’an, because sometimes it may refer to a matter in brief, then explain it in more detail elsewhere, or it may state something in a few words in one place, then expand upon it elsewhere. (source: islamqa #205290)

Some examples for tafsir of Qur'an by the Qur'an:

  1. While He has created you in stages? (71:14)

    can be explained by:

    And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay. (23:12) Then We placed him as a sperm-drop in a firm lodging. (23:13) Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, and We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and We made [from] the lump, bones, and We covered the bones with flesh; then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allah , the best of creators. (23:14)

  2. ... Lawful for you are the animals of grazing livestock except for that which is recited to you [in this Qur'an] ... (5:1)

    is interpreted and explained a few verses later:

    Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah , and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. ... (5:3)

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