Significance of Malay Qur’anic Commentary for the Malay Muslim Community in Malaysia

  •  Haziyah Hussin    
  •  Latifah Abdul Majid    


Tafsir Nur al-Ihsan is considered the first Malay Qur’anic commentary authored by Muhammad Said ibn Umar. It is recognized as the second tafsir work has a complete 30 constituents or juz of the Qur’an in Malay language after the masterpiece of Abdul Rauf al-Singkili, Tarjuman al-Mustafid. However, some aspects of Muhammad Said’s background are still vague, due to limited data and information. His work did not remark by Western scholars in their studies on the history of Malay Islamic literature and thus, results in it being less well known. Therefore, this article aims to introduce Tafsir Nur al-Ihsan and to provide a descriptive analysis of its significance to the Malays in Malaysia, especially during the early 20th century. The study demonstrates that the contribution of Muhammad Said in the tafsir of Qur’an is significant in increasing the tafsir literacy level of the Malay Muslim community in the country. The tafsir was produced by referring to numbers of primary references therefore reflects the ability of Muhammad Said in filtering, synthesizing interpretations from various sources and presenting it in a style which is distinctive and significantly for Malay Muslim readers.

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