Meaning of the term ‘Ta’weel’?

What is the meaning of the term ta’weel?

Ibn Katheer basically mentions that there are two meanings for the word ta’weel:

1) The true reality of things, and what they will turn out to be.

For example, Allah said:

“And he said, "O my father, this is the ta’weel (explanation) of my vision of before.”[1]

And He also said:

“Do they await except its ta’weel (result)? The Day its ta’weel (result) comes those who had ignored it before will say…” [2]

2) Explaining and describing.

For example, Allah said:

“Inform us of its ta’weel (interpretation).”[3]

Then Ibn Katheer gets down to the point: In Surah Aal ‘Imran, Allah says:

“As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an ta’weel (interpretation) [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] ta’weel (interpretation) except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord."” [4]

If the desired meaning of ta’weel in the above verse is the first meaning, then pausing after reciting Allah’s name is warranted { ‏وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ }, because only Allah knows the true reality of things. On the other hand, if the word ta’weel means the second meaning, then pausing after “and those firmly grounded in knowledge,” { وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ } is warranted. This is because the scholars have general knowledge of Allah’s statements and understand what they are addressed with, even though they do not have knowledge of the ultimate reality of things.”

And Allah knows best.


[1] [Surah Yusuf, 12:100]

[2] [Surah al-A‘raf, 7:53]

[3] [Surah Yusuf, 12:36]

[4] [Surah Aal ‘Imran, 3:7]

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