al-Mizan Koranic Commentary

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al-Mizan fi Tafsir al- Koran is the name of a great Koranic exegesis composed in Arabic by the prominent Iranian scholar Allameh Tabatabaee. al-Mizan is known as the most celebrated and comprehensive Koranic exegesis book.


The author

Allameh Seyyed Muhammad Hossein Tabatabaie, prominent philosopher, born in 1903 in Tabriz –Iran.
He studied primary education in his birthplace, then in 1925 travelled to Najaf and completed his education during 10 years.
He studied jurisprudence (Fiqh) and methodology (Osul) in the presence of celebrated masters: "Naieni" and "Company", and philosophy in the presence of "Seyyed Hossein Badkouie", mathematics in the presence of "Seyyed Abul Qasem Khansari" and ethics in the presence of "Mirza Ali Qazi". In 1935, returned to Tabriz.

Allameh Tabatabaie's education was not restricted only to jurisprudence; in addition to studying: conflection & syntax, Arabic literature and jurisprudence & methodology, he aslo learnt old mathematics from "the principles of Euclid" to "the Almagest of Ptolemy" and philosophy, theology, thesophy too and achived a high position in these sciences.
In 1946, he emigrated to Qom and established the philosophy and metaphysics classes. He also travelled to Tehran successively and communicated with people who were intrested in Islamic philosophy and discussed even with those who were against religion; he could make them understand the reality of religion. Therefore Allameh Tabatabaie had a deep influence on Iran and educated and modernist classes in the west.

For many years every autumn there was a meeting between Allameh Tabatabaie and "Henry Carbon" (French Islamist, orietalist and philosopher) and also number of scholars attended, they discissed about the vital issues of philosophy and religion.

In Qom Hawzeh (religious school), Allameh Tabatabaie revived intellectual sciences and exegesis of the Quran.
Gradually teaching basic levels of philosophy such as: the book "Shefa" (written by Avicenna) and "Asfar" (written by mullah Sadra), became common.
Hundreds students attended in his philosophy classes; some of them are now great philosophy masters.

There are left many works of Allameh Tabatabaie, the following are some of them:

1- Tafsir al-Mizan (the Quranic exegesis, 20 volumes, in Arabic)
2- The principles of philosophy and method of realism
3- Gloss on "Asfar" (written by mullah Sadra)
4- Conversations with "Carbon"(2 volumes)
5- A treatise on Islamic government (it has been published in Arabic, Persian and German)
6- Gloss on "Kefayatul Osul" (written by mullah Mohammad Kazem Khorasani)
7- A treatise on power (Qoweh) and effect (Fe'l)
8- A treatise on attributes
9- A treatise on acts
10- Man before religion
11- Man in religion
12- Man after religion
13- A treatise on prophecy
14- A treatise on guardianship
15- A treatise on sophistry
16- A treatise on derivations
17- A treatise on reasoning
18- A treatise on analysis
19- A treatise on proving essence
20- A treatise on prophecy and positions
21- Shi'a in Islam
22- The Quran in Islam
And some other essays and treatises

Certainly his main work is "Tafsir al –Mizan" (the Quranic exegesis). Allameh Tabatabaie applied a new method for interpreting the Quran; he interpreted the Quranic verses by other verses.

Allameh Tabatabaie died in 1981.


The book structure

Al-Mizan is the greatest Shiite koranic exegesis book .after the great books on commentary of the Koransuch as: al-Tebyan (sheikh Tousi) Majma al-Bayan (Tabarsi), al-Mizan is known as the most perfect Koranic exegesis. The author applies the method, “commentary of the Koran by the Koran” it is compiled in 20 volumes. Allameh Tabatabaee not only explains the conception of the verses in each surah but also tries to compare them with common subjects in the other verses. The highly considers society in his exegesis book mentions the subjects: social justice government, freedom, social discipline, the problems of Islam society m woman rights, the reasons of being backward of Muslims, etc.

The book is also translated into Persian.


al-Mizan Koranic Commentary

Shia Encyclopedia


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