Al-Wahidi’s Asbab Al-Nuzul The Great Commentaries of the Holy Qur’an
Author: Imam Al-Wahidi
Up until now, the fundamental texts of the Islamic faith, apart from the notable exception of the Hadith of the Prophet, have remained out of reach of many Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Among the most important sources for understanding the Qur’an are the tafsir works, commentaries on the Qur’an, which help to properly explain and contextualise the Revelation. Al-Wahidi’s Asbab Al-Nuzul, presented here in complete English translation for the first time ever, is the third work in The Great Commentaries on the Holy Qur’an series. The series aims to make widely available leading exegetical works in translation for study and research in unabridged form, which are faithful to the letter and meaning of the Arabic.
The Qur’an is the highest code for Muslims in everything relating to their spiritual, religious, ethical, social, and legal matters. One of the sciences of the Qur’an is the “Asbab al-Nuzul”- the occasions, reasons, or causes of revelation. Muslim scholars agree that the revelations of the Qur’an can be divided into two broad types. One type includes passages from the Qur’an which were revealed in response to specific events, incidents or questions put forward to the Prophet. The second type includes passages which were not a direct response to any historical or social development in the life of the Muslim community. A thorough understanding and full appreciation of the scope of the first type of passages, therefore, depend on knowing the circumstances, facts and details of the events which occasioned them. Such knowledge is an invaluable tool for grasping the meaning of this type of Qur’anic verse.