‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah's Tafseer reports from Ibn ‘Abbaas are accepted

20-3-2015 | IslamWeb


Aslamualakaum. This is regarding surah 55 verse 39, i have seen the tafseer on your site, so please dont send me that, it is another question relating to it. ibn Abbas has apparanlty done a tafseer on the verese, my question is to do with his tafseer. I dont know much about hadith as im a layman, but the hadith is reported by Ali ibn talha (that is what it said on another site), I read somwhere that any hadith through him is a broken chain. So my question is: Is this tafseer from ibn abbas sahih. Can we take broken chains. Why does ibn abbas tafseer differ from his student mujahid?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.


There is in fact a missing link in the reports narrated by ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas as some scholars said; however, this does not affect the authenticity of the reports. Imaam Ahmad said: "There is a document of Tafseer in Egypt narrated by ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah; if one traveled to Egypt for it, it would be worth the effort."

Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar said about it: "Abu Saalih, the scribe of Al-Layth, had a copy of this; he narrated it on the authority of Mu‘aawiyah ibn Saalih who reported it on the authority of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah who reported it on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas. It has been cited by Al-Bukhari on the authority of Abu Saalih. He had recourse to it in his Saheeh, citing it with an omitted chain on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas."

Ibn Jareer At-Tabari, Ibn Abi Haatim and Ibn Al-Munthir often accepted and cited it with the chain of transmission leading back to Abu Saalih. Imaams Muslim, Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa'i, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah all accepted the transmission of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah, as Muhammad Husayn Ath-Thahabi said in his book At-Tafseer wa-l-Mufassiroon. He also cited the statement of Ibn Al-Wazeer in his book Eethaar Al-Haqq: "Ath-Thahabi said in his book Al-Meezaan: 'He (‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah) reported Ibn ‘Abbaas's commentary on many verses of the Quran. The correct view in this regard according to Hadeeth scholars is that he reports from Mujaahid from Ibn ‘Abbaas. Even if it is reported as a Mursal report on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas (i.e. without the links in the chain of narration between him and Ibn ‘Abbaas), there is no harm in that given that Mujaahid is Thiqah (trustworthy) and his narration is accepted."

Muhammad Husayn Ath-Thahabi, added: "In brief, this is the most authentic chain of narration with regards to the Tafseer of Ibn ‘Abbaas. Suffice it as testimony of its authenticity that Al-Bukhari considered it authentic and accepted it." Therefore, there is nothing problematic about this route of transmission.

Mujaahid ibn Jabr was a major student of Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him. He may have quoted his reports about Tafseer from Ibn 'Abbaas or from other Companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them as he learned from Companions other than Ibn ‘Abbaas. Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar said in his book Tahtheeb At-Tahtheeb that Mujaahid ibn Jabr narrated on the authority of ‘Ali, Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqaas, and the four ‘Abdullaahs (‘Abdullaah ibn Mas‘ood, ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar, ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr and ‘Abdullaah ibn Az-Zubayr) and many others.

Regarding the verse in question, there is evidently no contradiction between the two interpretations; the one asking could be either Allaah or the angels, as often occurs in the interpretation of verses in which the wording occurs in the passive voice. For instance, Allaah The Exalted says (what means): {But as for those who defiantly disobeyed, their refuge is the Fire. Every time they wish to emerge from it, they will be returned to it while it is said to them, "Taste the punishment of the Fire which you used to deny."} [Quran 32:20] Ash-Shawkaani said in his Tafseer: "The one saying this could be either the angel keepers of Hellfire or Allaah The Exalted." [Fat-h Al-Qadeer]

Allaah Knows best.