Classical Interpretation vs. Personal Reflection July 28, 2016 – Posted in: Reflection, Tips – Tags: Tadabbur, Tafseer
Let’s be clear and make a distinction between interpretation and reflection. You interpret to understand, and you reflect to relate and connect.
Don’t mistake the focus on reflection for omission and rejection of classical texts. Just because I’m not talking about Tafseer doesn’t mean I’m dismissing its importance.
I wholeheartedly acknowledge the role Tafseer plays in building your understanding and delicately enforcing the boundaries that keep us from falling into outright blasphemy. It goes without saying (although the Recite & Reflect method says just that) that referring to the tafasir of our scholars is a critical step in reaching the correct understanding.
I also acknowledge that not everyone has the capacity, ability or desire to take on an in-depth study of classical Tafseer before they’re able to connect with the Quran in a meaningful way.
I don’t think it’s fair to leave those people out in the cold so to speak. The Quran is for everyone. There are boundaries, this isn’t a blank check to go nuts, derive new laws or claim you’re a prophet. Neither is it a call to disregard the divinity, reverence and authority of the Quran.
It’s an invitation to approach the Quran with a different view and develop a style of thinking that helps you find the word of Allah personally relevant, intimately familiar and deeply meaningful.