Tafsir Furat al-Kufi (book)

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Tafsir Furat al-Kufi
Bibliographical Information
Bibliographical Information
AuthorAbu l-Qasim Furat b. Ibrahim b. Furat al-Kufi
Original titleتفسير فُرات الکوفي
Series1 vol.
SubjectExegesis of Qur'an
PublisherMuhammad al-Kazim
Full textShia Online Library

Tafsīr Furāt al-Kūfī (Arabic: تفسير فُرات الکوفي) is written in Arabic, and is considered to be Hadith-Based Quranic Exegesis (al-tafsir bi al-riwaya). It was authored by Abu l-Qasim Furat b. Ibrahim b. Furat al-Kufi, a scholar, muhaddith, and an exegete of Shi'a in the second half of the third and the beginning of the fourth centuries. The author has merely assembled the verses of the Qur'an which were revealed about Imams (a). This book is one of the most noteworthy Shi'a exegeses.


There is precise reliable data neither about his life, nor about the date of his birth and death. Also, his name is not mentioned in the old references of tarajim and rijal. However, based on the age of the people whom he had narrated hadith from directly, some suppose that he was one of Shi'a scholars of the second half of the third and the beginning of the fourth centuries.[1] The early Shi'a scholars of rijal such as al-Kashshi, al-Najashi, al-Shaykh al-Tusi, and the recent scholars like Ibn Dawud al-Hilli, al-'Allama al-Hilli, and Muhammad b. 'Ali Ardabili have provided us with no information about him; nevertheless, he is regarded a reliable scholar in narrating hadith by contemporary rijal scholars and scholars belonging to recent centuries.[2] This is because the hadiths he has narrated agree with the reliable ones. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq has quoted from Tafsir Furat in many of his works through his father, 'Ali b. Babawayh, or through muhadiths like Hasan b. Muhammad b. Sa'id Hashimi, states Aqa Buzurg Tihrani.[3]

Author's Sect

There is consensus on the issue that Furat al-Kufi was Shi'a, yet the argument is about whether he was Imami or Zaydi. Some have affirmed he was Imami because the narrated hadiths by him agree with the hadiths stated by Imams (a).[4] Some think he was Zaydi while writing his book, since he has narrated some hadiths from Zaydiyya, and has not declared his belief in Imams being twelve. Also, he mentioned a hadith from Zayd b. 'Ali in which Infallibility is thought to be merely for Ahl al-kisa'[5].[6] Although he is inclined to the beliefs of Zaydiyya to some degrees, it is worth mentioning that he has brought some hadiths which make us believe he was not Zaydi. For instance, he narrated some hadiths about the arrival of Imam al-Mahdi (a),[7] or the divine source of Imams (a), or the hadiths he narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) and Imam al-Rida (a).[8]

Masters in Hadith

From the documents found in his book, we are informed of the names of some of his masters. Mostly, he has narrated hadiths from al-Husayn b. Sa'id al-Ahwazi (d. 250/864-5), Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Malik al-Farazi al-Kufi (passed away in 300/913), 'Ubayd b. Kathir al-'Amir al-Kufi ( 294/906-7), the companions of Imam al-Rida (a), Imam al-Jawad (a), and Imam al-Hadi (a).[9] The corrector of this book mentions 126 masters of Furat al-Kufi in the preface.[10]


Since the fourth century, many great Shi'a scholars have regarded Furat and his book reliable and narrated hadiths from it.[11] Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Ahmad b. al-Walid, who was one of the masters of al-Shaykh al-Saduq, has narrated hadiths from Furat in his book Fadl Ziyarat al-Husayn (a), so has al-Hakim al-Haskani, a Sunni scholar, in his book Shawahid al-tanzil .[12]

Later on, muhaddiths such as al-'Allama al-Majlisi[13] and al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili[14] regarded Furat and the hadiths of his book very reliable. Afterwards, later scholars referred to his book and narrated hadiths from it. Some scholars who applied those hadiths in their works are: Qadi Sa'id Qummi in Sharh al-arba'in, Mashhadi Qummi in Tafsir kanz al-daqa'iq, al-Fayd al-Kashani in Al-Asfa fi tafsir al-Qur'an, Al-Sayyid Hashim al-Bahrani in al-Burhan, 'Abd Allah Mamaqani in Tanqih al-maqal, and Muhammad Baqir Khwansari in Rawdat al-jannat.[15]


This book consists of 775 hadiths relating to exegesis of Qur'an. The majority of hadiths are from Imams (a), in second place from companions (Sahaba), and after that tabi'in. In this book, only the verses which had hadiths along with them as revelations were brought. These hadiths primarily talk about Shi'a beliefs and notions. Accordingly, the unlikely (ba'id) or immediate (qarib) interpretation of these verses is offered.[16]

Methodology and Features

  • This exegesis is organized sequentially and is set according to the sequence of sura. However, Furat al-Kufi has brought the verses which, in his view, are related to Shi'a thoughts and deserved Imams (a).
  • This exegesis is Hadith-Based Quranic Exegesis (al-tafsir bi-al-riwayah), meaning he only has mentioned the hadiths and not put forward any personal interpretation and rumination.[citation needed]


This book was first published in Najaf, in 1354/1935-6, by Shaykh Muhammad 'Ali Qarawi Urdubadi's effort. He wrote a preface to this edition. It embraces 766 hadiths. Tafsir Furat al-Kufi also was published by Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Tehran, in 1410/1989-90. Muhammad al-Kazim conducted some research and amendments on this version, presenting the book with 775 hadiths.


  1. Zanjani Asl, Danishnami-yi jahan-i Islam, Tafsir Furat al-Kufi
  2. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.1 p.37; Mamaqani, Tanqih al-maqal, vol.2 p.3
  3. Tihrani, al-Dhari'a, vol.4 p.298-299
  4. Mamaqani, Tanqih al-maqal, vol.2 p.3
  5. (Prophet Muhammad (s), Lady Fatima (a), Imam 'Ali (a), Imam al-Hasan (a), and Imam al-Husayn (a))
  6. Furat al-Kufi, Tafsir, preface of Muhammad al-Kazim, p.11
  7. Furat al-Kufi, Tafsir, e.g. hadiths n.48, 249, 607, 627, 747
  8. Furat al-Kufi, Tafsir, e.g. hadiths n. 284, 385, 601, 604
  9. Tihrani, al-Dhari'a, vol.4 p.298
  10. Furat al-Kufi, Tafsir, preface of Muhammad al-Kazim, p.25-40
  11. Zanjani Asl, Danishnami-yi jahan-i Islam, Tafsir Furat al-Kufi
  12. Furat al-Kufi, Tafsir, p.40-41
  13. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.1 p.37
  14. Al-'Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi'a, vol.9 p.394
  15. 'Abd Allah Muwahhidi Muhib, Nigah-i bi tafsir-i Furat-i Kufi, p. 36
  16. Zanjani Asl, Danishnami-yi jahan-i Islam, Tafsir Furat al-Kufi


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from تفسیر فرات کوفی in Farsi Wikishia.
  • Muwahhidi Muhib, 'Abd Allah. Nigah-i bi tafsir-i Furat-i Kufi, Ayyina-yi Pajhuhish, Bhamn-Isfand 1378 SH.
  • Tihrani, Aqa Buzurg. Al-Dhari'a ila tasanif al-Shi'a. Beirut: Dar al-Adwa', 1403 AH.
  • Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir al-. Bihar al-anwar. Beirut: Mu'assisa al-Wafa', 1403 AH.
  • 'Amili, al-Hurr al-. Wasa'il al-Shi'a. Qom: Al al-Bayt, 1414 AH.
  • Furat b. Ibrahim. Tafsir. Tehran: Wizarat Irshad, 1410 AH.
  • Furat b. Ibrahim. Tafsir. Najaf: Muhammad 'Ali Gharawi Urdubadi, 1354 SH.
  • Furat b. Ibrahim. Tafsir. Tehran: Muhammad al-Kazim 1410 AH.
  • Mamaqani, 'Abd Allah. Tanqih al-maqal fi 'ilm al-rijal. Najaf.
  • Zanjani Asl, Danishnami-yi jahan-i Islam, vol. 1, p. 3716, Tafsir-i Furat-i Kufi.