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Tafsīr (Arab.). Explanatory commentary on the Qurʾān, generally a straightforward continuous comment on the text. At first, the term taʾwīl was synonymous with tafsīr, but came later to designate more allegorical interpretation, while tafsīr was concerned more with philological explanation.

One who pursued the study of tafsīr was known as a mufassir: among the most famous are al-Ṭabarī, the historian (d. 929/310); al-Zama-khshārī (d. 1144/538); al-Baiḍāwī (d. 1286/685); and in more modern times, the Egyptian scholar Muḥammad ʿAbduh (1849–1905), whose commentary was edited by his follower Rashīd Riḍāʾ as Tafsīr al-Manār.

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