A Glimpse Into The Deviant Tafseer Of The Mu’tazilah


In the Mu’tazili (Rationalists) tafseers of the ‘Abaasid era, revelation was interpreted according to human logic. Hence, the word ‘heart’ in the following verse was given a new meaning:

And [remember] when Ibraheem said, ‘My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead.’ [Allaah] replied, ‘Do you not believe?’ Ibraheem said, ‘Yes, but [I am asking You] in order that my heart may be at rest…’ ” [2:260]

It was claimed that Ibrahem had a friend whom he referred to as his ‘heart’ and thus, the true meaning of the verse was, ‘Yes but [I am asking You] in order that my friend may be at ease’. This interpretation was considered necessary to explain away the doubt which Ibraheem felt in his heart, as it seemed inconsistent with prophethod, according to the Rationalists (mu’tazilah)

[Usool At-Tafseer, by Bilal Philips, Pp. 46-47]

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