Tafsir ahsan al-hadith (book)

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Tafsir ahsan al-hadith (book)
تفسیر احسن الحدیث.gif
AuthorSayyid 'Ali Akbar Qurashi
Original titleتفسیر أحسَنُ الحَدیث
Series12 vols.
SubjectExegesis of the Qur'an
PublisherBonyad Bi'that

Tafsīr aḥsan al-ḥadīth (Persian: تفسیر أحسَنُ الحَدیث) is an exegesis of the whole Qur'an in Persian written by the Shiite author, Sayyid 'Ali Akbar Qarashi (b. 1307 sh/1928-9). Ahsan al-hadith is a simple and clear book with public pedagogical and instructive purposes as fitting the general level of understanding of laypeople, in the form of interpreting the Qur'an in terms of the Qur'an itself as well as hadiths. The exegesis has been published in twelve volumes.

Reason for Appellation

The author gave the title, Tafsir-i mumtaz (distinguished exegesis), to his exegesis at first, and the first volume was published with that title. However, since he later found the title unfitting, he decided to call it "ahsan al-hadith" (the best word), because this is how God refers to the Qur'an 39:23, "Allah has sent down the best statement [or word]: a consistent Book."

Motivation for Writing

In an interview, the author said that his motivation for writing a Persian exegesis of the Qur'an, after having written a dictionary of the Qur'an and other books, was to create a lasting work. Moreover, he wrote the book because there was no Persian exegesis of the Qur'an, except a few volumes of Tafsir-i nimuna.

Date of Writing

The writing of the exegesis took nine years. According to the author, it began in 1355 sh/1976-7 or 1356 sh/1977-8, and was finished in 1364 sh/1985-6 or 1365 sh/1986-7.

Style of Exegesis

Each section starts with parts of verses that are interrelated according to the author, followed by a Persian translation of the verses.

Then, the author provides exegetical remarks in three sections: words, expositions, and points. Under "words" the author explains the texts of the verses; under "expositions," the author interprets the verses, and under "points," he offers takeaways from the verses and other related materials.

Baha' al-Din Khurramshahi writes about this method that the exegete's method of understanding Quranic verses is that of interpreting the Qur'an with the Qur'an itself, as well as with hadiths from the Infallibles (a) and Ahl al-Bayt (a), with Arabic lexicology, rational implications, and citations of remarks by other exegetes.


The work cites many Shiite and Sunni exegeses and other sources, including:


The most conspicuous feature of the exegesis is its simple and fluent style with pedagogical and instructive purposes. Qarashi has said on this: "in this exegesis, I was mostly concerned with lack of ambiguity lest there is something that readers of the book cannot understand. I tried to write as simply and easily as possible."


The exegesis has been published in twelve volumes by the Center of Prints and Publications of Bi'that Foundation in Tehran.