Israeeliyaat and Sufi Tafaseer

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Fatwa ID: 03677

Answered by: Maulana Imran Mughal



If Israiliyaat are not reliable, then why did some of the Sahaba narrate Israiliyaat?

Is there any Sufi Tafseer that’s well known? Mufti Taqi mentions Sufiyaa Kiraam ki Tafseer.



بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

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



The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Convey from me even a single verse, and narrate from the Banu Israel there is no harm, and whosoever lies upon me shall prepare his abode in the Hellfire.”[1]

In this hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) explicitly allowed the believers to narrate the incidents reported by the Banu Israel, i.e. the Israiliyyat, even if what was being narrated was not verified as being the truth or not.   

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in another hadith: “Whatever the Banu Israel narrate to you, do not believe it nor disbelieve it, and say We believe in Allah and His Messengers. If it happens to be false you have not believed in it, and if it happens to be true, you have not denied it.”[2]

In this way, many Sahabah and Tabi’in have narrated these incidents not in a way to confirm or deny them, just by way of narration.

However, Hafiz Ibn Hajar quotes Imam Shafi’i who has been reported to say: It is known from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he does not allow narrating lies, therefore the meaning of the hadith is restricted to those which you are unsure about, not the ones that are clearly lies.[3]

The tafseers of Imam Qushayri, Imam Tusturi, Imam Ibn Al-Arabi, Imam Sulami, and Imam Abu Muhammad Al-Shirazi, as well as others, can be considered tafseers of scholars of Tasawwuf.



Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Imran Mughal

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham



[1] Musnad Imam Ahmad, Hadith 6486.


[2] Sunan Abi Dawud Hadith 3644.


[3] Hafiz Ibn Hajar, Fath Al-Bari (Beirut: Dar Al-Marifah, 1379 Hijri), 6:499.


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