Tafseer Imdad-ul-Karam - Vol. 1
(Surah al-Fatiha to Surah al-Ma’ida).
By Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada
Pages: 458, hardback
TAFSEER IMDAD-UL-KARAM is an English Tafseer of the Holy Qur'an (Surah al-Fatiha to Surah al-Ma’ida).
Why did you intend to write this tafsir, when there are so many existing tafasir in the market?
Undoubtedly, there are many tafasir in the market, written by eminent highly skilled intellectuals and pious characters. They have worked hard, pondering over the words, meanings and secrets of the Qur'an and its universal message. Indeed, they have introduced us to inexhaustible treasures. However, to a large extent, only the erudite and scholarly people can appreciate and fully understand grammatical intricacies and complicated discussions that are found in these elaborate works.
With this in mind, I felt there was a dire need for a brief but concise commentary of the Qur'an, presented in a simple and comprehendible manner. This would make it easy for a new Muslim who has just begun his search for Islamic knowledge or a young Muslim who is totally unaware of the Arabic Language to establish a preliminary link with the divine words of Allah (most high). Imdad-ul-Karam will, in sha Allah, provide the reader with an introductory guide to the commentary of the Qur'an, and if the reader wishes, he can extend his knowledge by then referring to other excellent, traditional exegeses.
How is Imdad-ul-Karam different?
The message of the Qur'an is universal and eternal. It is neither bound by time nor place; rather it is for all people and places. The commentators of the Qur'an wrote their exegeses in a specific period of history and naturally they have used the prevalent language they and their people spoke and heard. They wrote for an audience living in a specific time frame and addressed them in the terms they understood.
Today we face different challenges. The material progress that the modern West enjoys has bypassed religion and the spiritual needs of man. Its dominance in the world has left a deep impact on Muslim countries and especially our rising generation in the West. Therefore, I believed that a fresh tafsir of the Qur'an was needed to address the issues and arguments we face today. Thus, Imdad-ul-Karam is unique in that it attempts to be as relevant to contemporary issues as much as possible.
One other exceptional quality of it is that it has been published in Urdu and English simultaneously and the English edition fulfils all the new and modern-day requirements.
Why did you name it ‘Imdad-ul-Karam’?
I have referred to many Arabic and Urdu tafasir to assist me, but I have largely depended on Tafseer Diya’ al-Qur'an, written by my spiritual guide, Diya’ al-Ummat, Justice Shaykh Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azhari (May Allah be pleased with him). For this reason I have named this tafsir 'Imdad-ul-Karam', in his memory. It was through his guidance and prayers that I am where I am today. May Allah (most high) bless him and shower His limitless mercy upon his grave. Amin.
How much emphasis has been given to modern issues?
Today, everyone seeks an opinion on what Islam says on contemporary issues. Thus, I tried my best to present evidentiary and logical arguments to answer such issues and highlight the position of Islam.
How much research went into the book?
In Jamia Al-Karam, the library contains more than forty tafasir, in Arabic, English and Urdu. It contains numerous books on hadith, Islamic law (fiqh), history of Islam, tasawwuf etc. Most of them are traditional works. In addition, there are many books written by contemporary authors from the Indian Sub-continent and the Middle East. As required, I have utilized the majority of these works.
Books that were not available, especially those dealing with western issues and written by Westerners themselves; I was able to acquire through libraries in England.
What is the difference between Tafseer Diya’ al-Qur'an and Tafseer Imdad-ul-Karam?
Tafseer Diya’ al-Qur'an is a great and comprehensive tafsir of modern times, which was written by my dear teacher and Shaykh, Justice Shaykh Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azhari (May Allah be pleased with him). Tafseer Diya’ al-Qur’an is directed towards people of all types of intellectual abilities; for the common minds, intermediate and highly intellectual minds. Whether it is the general public or the scholars, sufiya or the intellectuals, each can benefit from it according to his own ability and understanding.
From the abundant attributes of Tafseer Diya’ al-Qur’an, in Tafseer Imdad-ul-Karam an attempt has been made to write on only one of these attributes and that is the one relating to the general public or the common mind. Therefore, in Tafseer Imdad-ul-Karam there might not be anything fascinating for the scholars or intellectuals, because, the knowledge of the scholars and mufakkirin is far greater than what this humble servant possesses. I, myself, am of a common mind and I have tried to explain the holy Qur’an to the general person with a common mind, in an easy and clear manner.
Furthermore, in this tafsir, clear and logical arguments, according to the atmosphere of Europe and America, have been given priority so that no doubts and uncertainties are created within the mind.
What is the future projection for the completion of the entire tafsir?
I am very busy at Jamia Al-Karam, fulfilling the roles of Principal and Chairman of Muslim Charity and teacher. If I do not have external duties to attend, I can usually find two or three hours to dedicate to writing and researching for the tafsir. Also, as a break and relief from the everyday stress of running Jamia Al-Karam, I find moments to write the tafsir. In this manner, the first volume - from Surat al-Fatiha to Surat al-Ma'ida - has been completed in the space of three years. Approximately, four or five volumes are pending. The completion of this is dependant on how busy I remain in Jamia Al-Karam and other duties. If I find more time, then, in sha Allah, I will finish the project sooner rather than later.
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