Weak Narrators in Tafsīr ibn Abī Ḥātim

Weak Narrators in Tafsīr ibn Abī Ḥātim

It has been some time since I have been able to post. I am presently far too bogged down with work to be posting these days, however I came across a fascinating article that I felt I should share. It relates to a famous Tafsīr work authored by Imām `Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn Abī Ḥātim ar-Rāzī, the son and student of the famous Abū Ḥātim ar-Rāzī. His two main teachers were his father and his father’s close associate, Abū Zur`ah ar-Rāzī.

For those of you who are not familiar, Tafsīr ibn Abī Ḥātim ranks as the most important collection of Tafsīr narrations after Tafsīr aṭ-Ṭabarī.

Ibn Abī Ḥātim is regarded as one of the leading scholars of Ḥadīth, proof of that being his works such as al-Jarḥ wa at-Ta`dīl, concerning the narrators of Ḥadīth and who amongst them is reliable, and al-`Ilal, concerning the hidden defects found in Ḥadīth.

In spite of his great standing in the field of Ḥadīth, his Tafsīr contains reports of narrators who are disparaged. In fact, in many cases, he himself has disparaged those narrators in al-Jarḥ wa at-Ta`dīl. The question then has to be asked, “Why does he include such reports?”

The following article, Isnāds and Rijāl Expertise in the Exegesis of Ibn Abī Ḥatim (327/939), by Mehmet Akif Koç (Ankara University) sheds light on this and other matters.

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