Tafseer: Surah Al-Kahf, Al-Falaq and Al-Nas

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Course Title: Al-Tafsir al-Tahlili

Brief description

Students will go through the chapters/Suras; Al-Kahf and the Muawidatayn (Al-Falaq and Al-Nas) focusing on language, grammar, and structure.


None – but awareness of basic concepts of Arabic Grammar and will enable further attainment and appreciation.

Recommended prior study

A good functional understanding of Arabic Grammar and some familiarity with Qur’anic Arabic or at least the ability to read Arabic with vowels.


This is a part of the overall Tafsir curriculum. The Al-Tafsir al-Tahlili component (full time programme) will cover the whole Qur’an over the course of the Alimiyyah Programme.

Content summary Objectives:

  • Introduce students to a brief overview of tafsir and its formation.
  • Decipher and engage in lexical and grammatical analysis of selected verses that have complex or advanced structures (where possible – depending on student level).
  • Introduce students to the basic themes of the chapters being taught.
  • Awareness of some understanding surrounding the discussions of abrogated verses if applicable.
  • Introduce students to the causes of revelation and historical/social context.
  • Commentary of verses with a view to understanding the general themes of surah content, the correct meaning and context of verses.
  • Encourage students to engage reflectively with the text and appreciate its unique style.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • Awareness of the basic themes of the Qur’an.
  • Knowledge of some causes of revelation and context.
  • Awareness of basic linguistics (where applicable).
  • Awareness of verses (where applicable) that are related to the core/essential commandments within Islamic law.


Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an accurate understanding of the basic meaning of a verse with essential exegetical commentary;
  • Demonstrate a little awareness of any discussions surrounding verses of a juristic, socio-political nature or show cotemporary relevance of verses;
  • Demonstrate some knowledge of how Arabic words are used in a Qur’anic context and relate that to its etymology;
  • For students with some Arabic background: To be able to demonstrate some ability to analyse the text and independently translate it accurately in to English;

Teaching and learning strategies

The classes will be conducted through lectures and discussions. This will be led by both the teacher and student. All students are expected to prepare for the lessons by consulting basic materials before class.

Indicative resources and further reading

Excelling students are encouraged to challenge themselves with lengthier works of exegesis.

Safwat al-Tafasir, Sabuni
Ma’rif al-Qur’an
Tafsir Ibn al-Kathir
Word for Word Translation, Mohar ‘Ali
The Qur’an, MAS Abdel Haleem
Dictionary of the Qur’an, Omar
Qur’an Made Easy, Elias Hossain
Taqi Uthmani Translation
Abdul Hakim Murad Translation
A J Arberry Translation
Abdullah Yusuf Ali Translation

Safwat al-Tafasir, Sabuni (Arabic)
Mufradat al-Qur’an, Raghib al-Asfahani (Arabic)

A website that contains translations of all major classical, contemporary and orientalist scholarship.


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