The Tanwīr al-Miqbās min Tafsīr Ibn ‘Abbās is quite possibly the oldest Tafsir on record. It has been attributed variously to: ‘Abdullāh Ibn ‘Abbās Muḥammad al-Fīrūzabādī, and was TRANSLATED BY Mokrane Guezzou and Edited and with a brief Introduction by Yousef Meri.
You can find the entire Tafsir here: http://www.altafsir.com/Books/IbnAbbas.pdf. It can also be found online here: http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=4&tAyahNo=157&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2
Todd Lawson quotes it in his book, “The Crucifixion and the Quran” (2009)
Todd Lawson conducted a meticulous study on classic Tafsir and published his results in 2009. This book alone almost caused me to leave Ahmadiyya immediately, however, the family pressure was toooo much and I decided to read the book and remain silent. Nonetheless, this is the first Tafsir that Todd Lawson quotes as he shares his research with the world, this is under the heading of “Pre-Tabari-Tafsir” section of the book.
Did Ibn Abbas really inspire this Tafsir?
The origins of this book have been criticized and with due regard. In the preface of the book it is stated:
“”””Tanwir al-Miqbas is often attributed to the Companion ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abbas b. ‘Abd al-Muttalib (d.68/687), cousin of the Prophet and father of the discipline of Quranic exegesis, or to the renowned Shafi‘i scholar Majd al-Din Muhammad Ibn Ya‘qub al-Firuzabadi (d. 817/1414).””””
“”””The earliest print edition of Tanwir al-Miqbas was produced in Bombay, India in 1864 by Matba‘ Muhammadi. The next edition to appear was the 1873 Bulaq edition which was subsequently reprinted in 1951 by Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi and Sons. In 1937, a private edition was printed in the margins of the Qur’an at the expense of ‘Abd al-Hamid Ahmad Hanafi. In 1972, Dar al-Anwar al-Muhammadiyya in Cairo issued a work edited by Muhammad al-Sadiq al-Qamhawi and ‘Abd al-Hafiz Muhammad ‘Isa. In 1976, an edition was produced in Multan, India, presumably a reprint of the 1864 Bombay edition. In 1995 (2001), Dar al-Fikr in Beirut under the supervision of an editorial committee issued the work in a re-edited vocalized edition. In 2000, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah issued a vocalised edition. Other editions and reprints include Dar al-Fikr in Beirut (2001) and Al-Maktabah Al-‘Asriyyah in Sidon (2005). The authoritative Arabic text of the work is now available on the Altafsir.com website (http://www.altafsir.com).
Scholarship on Tanwir al-Miqbas in the Arab and Islamic world has thus far been limited. Only one major study has appeared which focuses on the exegetical traditions of Ibn ‘Abbas: ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Hamidi, Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas wa Marwiyatuhu fi’l-Tafsir min Kutub al-Sunnah published in 1986 by Umm al-Qura University in Mecca. However, it is to be hoped that publication of this work will lead to the production of further studies of the work in the Islamic world and the west and to the critical discussion of it in universities and academies in the Islamic world and the West.
The translator Mr Mokrane Guezzou of the United Kingdom has presented herein a competently translated work which is both accessible and intelligible without the over-reliance on footnotes found in some academic translations of Islamic sources. Finally, we would like to express our appreciation to Fons Vitae Publishers, the managing director Aisha Gray Henry, the marketing director Pam Swisher and finally to the copy editor Elena Lloyd-Sidel.””””
Dr. Yousef Meri
Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute
for Islamic Thought, Amman
Safar 1429/ February 2008