Ulum al Qur'an
CONTENTS ONLINE LIBRARY
Some Muslim scholars have warned against Tafsir. Ahmad b. Hanbal, e.g. has said: 'Three matters have no basis: Tafsir, malahim (tales of eschatological nature) and maghazi (tales of the battles)'. [Ibn Taimiya, muqaddima fi usul al-tafsir, Kuwait, 1971, p.59.]
By this is meant that there is much exaggeration and unsound material in these fields, but it does not mean that neither of them ought to be considered. This is clear from another version of the same verdict, in which the word isnad is used for 'basis'.