Mutashabih al-Qur'an wa mukhtalifuh (book)

Priority: c, Quality: b
Without references
From wikishia
Mutashabih al-Qur'an wa mukhtalifuh
Author Ibn Shahrashub
Original title مُتَشابِه القرآن و مُختَلِفه
Language Arabic
Series 2 vol.
Subject Thematic exegesis of Quran
Published 1328 Sh.
Publisher Bidar Publication, Qom
Pages 607 pp

Mutashābih al-Qurʾan wa mukhtalifuh (Arabic: مُتَشابِه القرآن و مُختَلِفه) is written by Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Shahrashub (d. 588/1192). This book is a thematic exegesis of Qur'an that specifically discusses about ambiguous verses (mutashabih) and the ones needed explanations and disputable verses among scholars. The author has chosen and interpreted some verses of all suras of Qur'an except 10 suras.


Main article: Ibn Shahrashub

Abu 'Abd Aallah Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Sharashub Sarawi Mazandarani (b. 488/1095 – d. 588/1192) better known as Ibn Shahrashub is one of the greatest Shi'a muhaddiths, jurist, and scholars in late fifth/eleventh and early sixth/twelfth century. He was born in Sari and went to Baghdad for further education. He has many works such as al-Manaqib and Ma'alim al-'ulama'.

Historical background

There are too many categories regarding Qur'anic research. In addition to exegesis and construing there are topics that allocate many compilations such as abrogation (al-nasikh wa al-mansukh), Qur'an's metonymies (majaz al-Qur'an), occasion of revelations , Qur'an's words, virtues of Qur'an, knowledge of recitation and orthoepy and etc. one of the most important Qur'anic topics is the issue of ambiguity and clarity of the verses. The first man who wrote a book in this regard is Hamza b. Habib al-Zayyat al-Kufi (d. 156/722) he was one of the companions of Imam al-Sadiq (a) and was known as Imam al-Qurra'. There are authors after him who have written books by the name of Mutishabih al-Qur'an such as :


Ibn Shahrashub calls it "Mutashabih al-Qur'an wa mukhtalifuh" in the book but in Ma'alim al-'ulama' he refers to the book by the name of "Mutashabih al-Qur'an". Agha Buzurg Tihrani calls it "Ta'wil mutashabihat al-Qur'an" along with those names.

Purpose of writing

In his introduction to the book the author says: "construing and precise interpretation of ambiguous verses of Qur'an have never been organized and categorized before and only have been mentioned within works of some of Mu'tazila while it requires methodical reworking, therefore I endeavored to write this book."


Exegetical method used to study the ambiguous words and verses is referring to other clear verses and sometimes using poems as examples to find the proper meanings.

The author has chosen verses of all suras of Qur'an except for ten (Qur'an 91, Qur'an 96, Qur'an 97, Qur'an 99, Qur'an 101, Qur'an 100, Qur'an 103, Qur'an 104, Qur'an 105, Qur'an 106) and explained the eloquent points and defined the meanings through the context of revelations in a construed and interpretative way.

The author as a senior Shi'a thinker, makes use of Shi'a ideology to clarify the misunderstanding of some verses.

Given the fact that Ibn Shahrashub's main specialty is knowing hadiths and narrations (he is a muhadith), he emphasizes on the narrations of companions and tabi'un (people who followed companions) age the most. He narrated hadith from sahaba like Ibn 'Abbas, Abu Sa'id al-Khudri, Jabir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari, Ibn Mas'ud, Abu Hurayra and Hudhayfa and narrated from tab'un like Mujahid, Abu 'Ubayda, Sufyan b. 'Uyayna, Ahmad b. Hanbal, Kalbi, Abu Salih and Ibn Jurayh.


He has organized the book in following order:

  1. Al-tawhid containing 58 parts.
  2. Al-'adl containing 33 parts.
  3. Al-nubuwwa containing 28 parts.
  4. Al-imama containing 23 parts.
  5. Al-mufradat containing 21 parts.
  6. Usul al-fiqh containing 8 parts.
  7. Fiqh containing 23 parts.
  8. Al-nasikh wa al-mansukh containing 1 part.
  9. Al-nahv containing 14 parts.
  10. Al-nawadir containing 8 parts.


  • Agha Buzurg Tihrani, Al-Dhari'a ila tasanif al-Shi'a, Beirut, 1983.
  • Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Shahrashub, Mutashabih al-Qur'an wa mukhtalifuh, Qom, 1989.
  • Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Shahrashub, Ma'alim al-'Ulama', Qom.

External Links