Ma'ariful Qur'an (Urdu: معارف القرآن; Ma‘ārifu’l-Qur’ān) is an eight-volume tafsir (exegesis) of the Quran written by Pakistani Islamic scholar Mufti Muhammad Shafi (1897–1976). Originally written in Urdu, it is the most prominent work of its author.
‘The origin of Ma'ariful Qur'an refers back to the third of Shawwal 1373 A.H. (corresponding to the 2nd of July 1954) when the author was invited to give weekly lectures on the Radio Pakistan to explain selected verses of the Holy Qur'an to the general audience. This invitation was accepted by the author on the condition that he would not accept any remuneration for this service and that his lectures would be broadcast without any interference by the editing authorities. The permanent title of this weekly programme was "Ma'ariful-Qur'an" (The Wisdom of the Holy Qur'an) and it was broadcast every Friday morning on the network of Radio Pakistan.
‘This series of lectures continued for ten years upto the month of June 1964 whereby the new authorities stopped the programme for reasons best known to them. This series of lectures contained a detailed commentary on selected verses from the beginning of the Holy Qur'an upto the Surah Ibrahim (Surah no. 14).
‘This weekly programme of Radio Pakistan was warmly welcomed by the Muslims throughout the globe and used to be listened to by thousands of Muslims, not only in Pakistan and India but also in Western and African countries.
‘After the programme was discontinued, there was a flood of requests from all over the world to transfer this series in a book-form and to complete the remaining part of the Holy Qur'an in the shape of a regular commentary.
‘These requests persuaded the esteemed author to revise these lectures and to add those verses which were not included in the original lectures. He started this project in 1383 A.H. (1964) and completed the commentary of Surah al-Fatihah in its revised form and started the revision of Surah al-Baqarah. However, due to his numerous involvements he had to discontinue this task, and it remained unattended during the next five years.
‘In Shawwal 1388 (1969) the esteemed author suffered from a number of diseases which made him restricted to his bed. It was during this ailment that he restarted this work while on bed and completed Surah al-Baqarah in the same condition. Since then he devoted himself to the "Ma'ariful-Qur'an". Despite a large number of obstacles in his way, he never surrendered to any of them and continued his work with a miraculous speed until he accomplished the work in eight volumes (comprising about seven thousand pages) within five years only’.
The work consists of eight volumes. A detailed introduction, included at the beginning of the first volume, focuses on some of the basic issues of the Quran. Notable among them are the Wahy, the modes of descent, the chronology of the revelation of the Quran, the first revealed verses (ayah), Meccan and Medinan verses, the preservation of the Quran, the printing of the Quran, the sources of Tafsir, Arabic language etc. The work adopts a simple narrative style: first, several verses are provided in the original Arabic with their literal translation in Urdu; it is then followed by subject-wise discussion on almost every important issue. This narrative technique is repeated until the end. Below is the list of volumes and their contents:
- The first volume—Sura Al-Fatiha and sura Al-Baqara
- The second volume – from sura Al-Imran to sura An-Nisa
- The third volume – from sura Al-Ma'ida to sura Al-A'raf
- The fourth volume – from sura Al-Anfal to sura Hud
- The fifth volume – from sura Yusuf to sura Al-Kahf
- The sixth volume – from sura Maryam to sura Ar-Rum
- The seventh volume – from sura Luqman to sura Al-Ahqaf
- The eighth volume – from sura Muhammad to Surat al-Nas.
In the introduction of Ma'ariful Qur'an, the author has mentioned the sources he has taken help from in compiling this voluminous work. Some of them are:
- Tafsir al-Tabari, by Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir Tabari
- Tafsir ibn Kathir, by Ibn Kathir
- Tafsir al-Qurtubi, by Al-Qurtubi
- Tafsir al-Bahr al-Muhit
- Ahkam al-Quran Lil Jassas
- Tafsir al-Kabir, by Imam Fakhruddin Razi
- Dur al-Manthur, by Jalaluddin Al-Suyuti
- Tafsir al-Mazhari
- Ruh al-Ma'ani
Ma'ariful Qur'an not only includes the discussions and analysis of the Quran found in the authentic sources of Tafsir, it also tries to answer the contemporary questions and issues in a logical and scholarly manner, which is rather absent in other traditional Tafsirs. It is used as a good reference book on Islamic topics.
- "Maariful Quran - Complete Set (8 Volumes): A Detailed and Comprehensive Commentary of the Quran in English". PRWeb. Vocus, Inc. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- Mufti Muhammad Shafi. Ma'ariful Qur'an. Translated by Prof. Hasan Askari & Muhammad Taqi Usmani. Vol. 1; p. xv-xvi.
- Ma'ariful Quran Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine.
- Crescent. Crescent. September 2009. p. 14.