Self interpretation of the Quraan

Q: I read somewhere that for example in Tafsir Ibn Kathir, if Ibn Kathir himself has made an interpretation of the Quran we can neither confirm nor deny it since we are humans and we can make mistakes. Is it correct?

What about statements of the Sahabah Kiram which they have made? Also what about the different rulings derived by various ulema?

A: A person who is not knowledgeable regarding the various sciences of the Qur'aan is not in a position to formulate opinions regarding the Qur'aan. If he does so, even if his statements and interpretations conform to the Shar'ee standards, this will be counted as a wrong from his side on account of him engaging in a department of Deen regarding which he is unqualified and does not have knowledge. This can be understood from the Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) "The one who interprets the Qur'aan based on his mere thought (without having the required Deeni knowledge), even if his interpretation conforms to the correct meaning and view, he has erred and committed a wrong (through delving in a department of Deen regarding which he does not have knowledge). This can be understood by the example of a person who is not qualified in medicine and he carries out a heart operation or surgery. Even if the person succeeds in the operation or surgery, he will be charged for risking and endangering the patients life and involving himself in a department regarding which he does not have knowledge.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)