Can Tafseer be done by a Person who is not a Scholar?

Fatwa ID: 03518

Answered by: Maulana Mustafa Umar

 

Question

What’s the ruling on translating the Quran by somebody who’s not a scholar? He also asks opinions from the audience as to what is Allah SWT is trying to say in a given ayah – is that allowed?

 

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 

Answer:

Anyone who has not properly undertaken the study of Islam with scholars should not translate the Qur’an. Instead, they should use a translation approved by recognized scholars. The Prophet warned, “Allah will not suddenly remove knowledge after He has given it to you, but will cause it to be removed through the death of scholars and their knowledge. So ignorant people will remain who will be asked questions and will answer them according to their own [ignorant] opinions. They will go astray and lead others astray.’”[1]

As for asking opinions from the audience, if this is a rhetorical technique to keep peoples’ attention, then it is allowed since the Prophet did that. However, if it is to actually solicit knowledge since the speaker does not know, then that only demonstrates his ignorance.

 

Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Mustafa Umar

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

 


[1] Bukhārī #7307

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