English Commentary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Majid Daryabadi

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله وحده و الصلاة و السلام على من لا نبي بعده و على آله و أصحابه أجمعين
Excerpts from Syed Abdul Hasan Nadwi's introduction to the English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Qur'an by Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi highlighting its merits and peculiar features. Also find the download links for the 4 volume tafsir, indispensable for every Muslim and especially a daw'ee answering the misconceptions about Islam.

“The exegesis by Daryabadi throws ample light on all those peoples who have been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an alongwith their geographical locations and the eras in which they flourished. One can find all necessary details about the earlier prophets who find a mention in the Holy Qur’an, since it provides answers to such questions as what was the time of their advent, who were the people to whom they disseminated the message vouchsafed to them, who were Adites and Thamudites and the people of Prophet Salih, where those people lived, where were Babil and Madyan located and similar other questions that arise in mind while reading the Holy Qur’an.

“The exegesis also demonstrates in the light of human experience and researches made in the field of anthropology and sociology the superiority of Islamic social order and its legislations pertaining to marriage, divorce, inheritance etc. over all other social laws and systems. It shows how the Islamic injunctions represent the most refined and elaborate system of social existence known to the civilized world.

In addition to these, a distinguishing feature of Daryabadi’s exegesis is that it provides a conclusive answer to those Jewish and Christian critics of Islam who claim that the Holy Qur’an draws its material from the scriptures and the apocryphal writings of Judaism and Christianity.”

“The learned author has taken pains to make a most thorough study by making a comparative analysis of the Biblical and Qur’anic teachings and narratives of events common to both, in order to show how the Holy Qur’an upholds only the correct and original teachings of the Old and New Testaments. He also provides food for thought to those Orientalists and students of comparative religions who prefer not to talk about the systematic refusal of the Holy Qur’an to confirm numerous accretions to the existing Bible. The exegesis pin-points all such differences to show that Biblical version of many an incident is nothing but a product of human imagination. His treatment of such matters makes it amply clear that if there had been any parallelism in the Bible and the Qur’an, as asserted by almost all European scholars, there would not have been the differences indicated by him in the narration of the same event by these scriptures.”

“The Jews and Christians normally charge Islam with preaching fanaticism and intolerance as, for example, its prohibition of marriage between a believing and disbelieving couple. The author has, in his commentary on the relevant verses, quoted the scriptures of their religions to show that criticism actually applies to these religions rather than to Islam. In a like manner he has demonstrated the superiority of Islamic legislation in regard to divorce and marriage vis-à-vis the raptured family relationships in the Christian West.”

Another distinctive feature of Daryabadi’s rendering of the Quranic text is that he has always kept in view the most appropriate expression in English or the one which is closely nearest to the interpretations of a word used in the Holy Qur’an. To give an example here the words ظَاهِرَ  (zahir) and بَاطِنَ (batin) in the passage وَذَرُوا ظَاهِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَبَاطِنَهُ have been translated by him as ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ which convey the literal sense of these words. The derived meanings of these two words ‘open’ and ‘secret’, which have been normally adopted by other translators in rendering this passage into English, have been given by him in the footnotes. The approach of the author shows his painstaking diligence and reverential regard for the sacred text.”

“The Holy Qur’an is, after all, the Word of God, perfect and faultless, while no man can make a claim to finality or impeccability. Every product of human mind is likely to contain some deficiency, yet, for all that, ‘Abdul Majid Daryabadi has acquitted himself of this onerous task in laudable manner. Throughout his life he preoccupied himself with the study of the Holy Qur’an and wrote an exegesis in Urdu in addition to the English one. His translation and commentary is, to my mind, unique and most dependable among all the translations and commentaries of the Qur’an so far attempted in English language."

"May Allah accept his praiseworthy endeavor and shower His choicest blessings on him.”

-- Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi (Lucknow, 1981)

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