Ulum al Qur'an
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Abdullah b. 'Abbas (d. 68/687) is considered to be the most knowledgeable of the Companions in tafsir. [A book entitled tanwir al-miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas (Beirut, n.d.) is a complete tafsir of the Qur'an. all explanations of which are said to go back to Ibn 'Abbas. On the question of authenticity, see al-Sawwaf, op.cit. p. 140.] He has been called 'tarjuman al-qur'an', the interpreter of the Qur'an. Since he was related to the Prophet, being his cousin, and his maternal aunt Maimuna being one of the Prophet's wives, he was very close to the Prophet Muhammad and learnt much about the revelation. It is said that he saw the Angel Gabriel twice. Apart from his detailed knowledge of everything concerning tafsir, he is also given the credit for having emphasised one of the basic principles of 'ilm al-tafsir which has remained important to this day, namely, that the meaning of words, especially of unusual words in the Qur'an ought to be traced back to their usage in the language of pre-Islamic poetry. There is a long list of such explanations quoted by Suyutl. [Itqan 1 pp.120-33.]
The following is an example of tafsir from a sahabl, namely Ibn 'Abbas, confirmed by 'Umar:
'So celebrate the praises of your Lord, and ask for His forgiveness. Verily! He is the one who accepts the repentance and forgives' (110: 3).
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: 'Umar used to make me sit with the elderly men who had fought in the battle of Badr. Some of them felt it (did not like that3 and said to 'Umar: 'Why do you bring in this boy to sit with us, while we have sons like him?'
'Umar replied 'Because of what you know of his position' (i.e. his religious knowledge).
One day 'Umar called me and made me sit in the gathering of those people, and I think that he called me just to show them (my religious knowledge). 'Umar then asked them in my presence: 'What do you say about the interpretation of the statement of Allah'.
'When comes help of Allah, and the conquest . . .' (110: 1).
Some of them said: 'We are ordered to praise Allah and ask for His forgiveness, when Allah's help and the conquest (of Makka) comes to us'. Some others kept quiet and did not say anything. On that 'Umar asked me: 'Do you say the same, O Ibn 'Abbas?' I replied: 'No'. He said: 'What do you say then?' I replied: 'That is the sign of the death of Allah's apostle which Allah informed him of. Allah said:
'(O Muhammad) when comes the help of Allah (to you against your enemies) and the conquest (of Makka) (which is the sign of your death) - you should celebrate the praises of your Lord and ask for His forgiveness, and He is the One who accepts the repentance and forgives' (110:1-3). On that 'Umar said: 'I do not know anything about it other than what you have said'. [Bukhari, Vl, No. 494.]
Another short example is:
Narrated 'Ata': When Ibn 'Abbas heard:
'Have you not seen those who have changed the favour of Allah into disbelief?' (14: 28).
He said: 'Those were the disbelieving pagans of Makka. * [Bukhari Vl No. 222.]