Isra’iliyyat in Interpretive Literature of Indonesia: A Comparison between Tafsir Marah Labid and Tafsir Al-Azhar

Ahmad Levi Fachrul Avivy, Jawiah Dakir, Mazlan Ibrahim


Isra’iliyyat is one of the elements frequently used in interpretive literature. It is not an important element in the interpretation of al-Qur’an, but its presence may be found in numerous interpretive literature, including those written by Indonesian scholars. This article discusses the use of isra’iliyyat narratives in Nusantara interpretive literature by comparing traditional to contemporary interpretations. The traditional interpretive work selected is tafsir Marah Labid or also known as tafsir al-Munir by Nawawi al-Bantani. A contemporary interpretation selected is tafsir al-Azhar by Hamka. Both these interpretations are selected based on their complete 30 chapters which are still widely referred to by Indonesian society. By using the methodology of document analysis, the researcher compares the attitude of the authors towards isra’iliyyat narratives as well as the methodology of writing isra’iliyyat. Research results find that there is a difference in attitude between Nawawi al-Bantani and Hamka towards isra’iliyyat narratives. Nawawi’s attitude in his interpretation is similar to that of other traditional interpretations which insert such narratives without any explanations whether the narratives may be accepted or otherwise. In contrast, Hamka was more critical towards isra’iliyyat narratives, even though the isra’iliyyat narratives he inserted in his interpretation were selected based on their acceptability and non-contradiction with al-Qur’an or the Prophet’s (pbuh) hadith.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n3s2p401

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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