Sufi Interpretation Method: Comparative Investigation between Mohammad Husein Dhahabi and Mohammad Hadi Ma'rifat

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant professor, Quranic science and hadith department, University of Quranic sciences and teachings, Amul Faculty of Quranic sciences, Amul, Iran


Sufi interpretation method is considered to be of the methods whcich has attracted the attention of commentators from the early centuries of Islam who have made effort ot interpret Quran taking the its nature into account and applying the data attained through intuition the result of which is a number of interpretations based on Sufi perspective. However, Sufi interpretations have always been subject to criticism by the scholars whose views have been the representative of their denomination. This article evaluates Dhahabi and Mohammad Hadi Ma'rifat's views regarding Sufi interpretation method the view of both of whom is accompanied by critique. Th edifference is that Dhahabi, dividing Sufism into practical and theoretical, has positive view towards such interpretations, however, Mohammad Hadi Ma'rifat's critique roughly encompasses all principles of Sufi interpretations and accorfding to such view, he describes all Sufi interpretations to be based on personal taste. The other fundamental difference is that, unlike Dhahabi, Mohammad Hadi Ma'rifat in spite of critiquing Sufism, consents to esoteric interpretations and mystical concepts derived from mystical interpretations. In addition, generally, Sufi and mystical interpretations include the Shari'a foundations in Quran and hadith. Thus, one can never understand part of Quranic verses and hadiths without considering this method of interpretation.       


Holy Quran.
Atash, Sulaiman (2002). Maktab Tafsir Ishari [in Persian], Tanslated by: Tawfiq . H. Subhani, Tehran: Markaz Nashr Danishgahi [in Persian].
Ibn 'Arabi, Mohammad ibn 'Ali (2001), Tafsir Ibn 'Arabi (Ibn 'Arabi's Exegesis), Beirout: Dar Ihya Al-Turath Al-Islami.
Isfahani, Abu Na'im (1995). Hilyat Al- Awliya wa Tabaqat Al-Asfiya [in Arabic], Beirout: Dar Al-Fikr li-Taba'at wa Al-Nashr wwa Al-Tawzi', Maktabat Al-Khanji [in Arabic].
Bertels, Yevgeny Eduardovich (2008). Sufism and literature of Sufism, Translated by: Sirus Izadi, Tehran: Amir Kabir.
Hassan Zadeh Amuli, Hassan (1995). Quran, Mysticism and Proof are inseparable, Qom: Qiyam.
Hassan Zadeh Amuli, Hassan (2009).  Sadr Al-Muntaha fi Tafsir Quran Al-Mustafa [in Arabic], Qom: Alif, Lam, Mim.
Zahabi, Mohammd Hussain. Al-Tafsir wa Al-Mufassirun (Interpretation and interpreters), Cairo: Maktabat Wahab.
Sendz, Christian (2016). Farsi sufist Interpretations, Translated by: Zahra Pustin Douz, Tehran: Hikmat.
Al-Suyuti, Jalal al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman. Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an (Perfection on Sciences of the Qur’an), Qom: Sharif Al-Radi, Bidar, "Azizi.
Shakir, Mohammad Kazim (1997). Methods of interpreting Quran, Qom: Islamic Propagation Office affiliated to Hawzah 'Ilmiyya in Qom.
Sadr al-Din Shirazi, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim. (2007). Kasr al-Asnam al-Jahiliyya (Breaking the Idols of Ignorance). Beirout: Mu'assisat Al-Tarikh Al-'Arabi.
Tabataba’i, Sayyid Muhammad Husayn. (2011). Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an (The Balance in the Exegesis of the Qur’an), Beirout: Mu'assisat Al-A'lami Lil Matbu'at.
'Ein Al-Qudat Hamdani (1951). Letters of 'Ein Al-Qudat Hamdani, Tehran: Asatir.
Ma'rifat, Mohammad Hadi (1957). Al-Tafsir wa Al-Mufassirun fi Thawb Al-Qashib [in Arabic], Mashhad: Manshurat Al-Jami'at Al-Radawiyya Lil-'Ulum Al-Islamiyya.
Ma'rifat, Mohammad Hadi (2006). Interpretation and interpreters, Qom: Mu'assiat Farhangi Al-Tamhid.
Nasr, Seyyed Hussain (2013). Gulshan Haqiqat [in Persian]: Tehran: Sufia.