Abstract and Keywords
This chapter provides a straightforward analysis of the major early existing commentaries (and related works) prior to al-Ṭabarī with a focus on their purpose and objectives. These include literary texts ascribed to revered figures such as Mujāhid ibn Jabr (d. 104/722), Muqātil ibn Sulaymān (d. 150/767), and Sufyān al-Thawrī (d. 161/778). Examining the historical significance of the early tafsīr texts and the elaborate processes which defined their composition, the chapter also reviews their transmission and dissemination. To this end, some discussion will need to follow regarding ‘resurrected’ books, the integrity of existing works and the protracted debates about these issues.
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