Meaning of Ta'weel
Fatwa No: 330607

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. What does Allaah mean by Ta'weel? Is it Tafseer (exegesis), or is it something else, like the true reality? Like, is the Ta'weel for prayer the prayer itself and how to pray? People are saying different things, so please explain.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

The term Ta'weel is used to denote different meanings, which Shaykh Ibn ʻUthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him explained, saying:

"Note: It is deduced that Ta'weel has three different meanings:

The first meaning is: Tafseer (explanation and elucidation), and this is the definition of the term according to the Tafseer scholars. This meaning is clear in the supplication of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, for Ibn ʻAbbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him: 'O Allaah! Grant him profound understanding of the religion and teach him the Ta'weel (Tafseer of the Quran).' This meaning is known by scholars in relation with the verses about the divine attributes of Allaah and others.

The second meaning is: the reality of how something will occur and its result. This meaning is deduced from the usage of the word Ta'weel in the Quran and Sunnah. For instance, Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means):

- {Do they await except its Ta'weel (result/fulfillment)?} [Quran 7:53]

- {That is good (advantageous) and better in Ta'weel (in the end).} [17:35]

Ta'weel of the verses about the divine attributes of Allaah, in this sense, means to be aware of the true reality of these attributes, and this knowledge is exclusively possessed by Allaah.

The third meaning is: figurative interpretation, that is changing the meaning of the words and interpreting them in a way that does not conform to their literal meaning. In other words, taking a word away from its apparent meaning. This definition is held by the late scholars of ʻIlm Al-Kalaam (Scholastic theology) and others. This type can be divided into two categories: praiseworthy and blameworthy. If there is a textual proof to support it, then it is praiseworthy. For instance, Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {So if you recited the Quran, seek refuge in Allaah from Satan, the expelled (from His mercy).} [Quran 16:98] The intended meaning of the verse is, 'When you wish to recite the Quran, (first) seek refuge with Allaah from Satan...' If there is no textual proof to support it, then it is blameworthy, such as interpretation of the Istiwaa' of Allaah over The Throne as to denote seizing and controlling, and His Hand as to denote His power and grace, and the like."

This quotation clearly answers your question.

Allaah knows best.

Related Fatwa