Attributed variously to the Companion Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (d.687CE) and to Ibn Ya’qub al-Firuzabadi (d.1414CE), Tafsir Ibn Abbas is one of the pivotal works for understanding the environment which influenced the development of Quranic exegesis. Despite its uncertain authorship and its reliance on controversial Israelite stories, Tafsir Ibn Abbas nevertheless offers valuable insight into the circulation and exchange of popular ideas between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity during the formative phase of Islamic exegesis.
This commentary is unabridged and uncensored, like the other works in the Great Commentaries on the Holy Qur’an series. The traditions attributed to Ibn Abbas that are at the core of this work render it as a seminal work of exegesis. Tafsir Ibn Abbas is unencumbered with isnads, or chains of transmission, and does not contain elaborate theological or philosophical explanations or technical grammatical explanations, thus making the work accessible to the non-specialist. Muslim scholarship considers the author Ibn Abbas as the real father of the science of Tafsir. The reports related from Ibn Abbas regarding the interpretation of the Qur’an are quite abundant. In fact, there is almost no interpretation of a Qur’anic verse for which one cannot find an interpretation to Ibn Abbas.