While praising Abdullaah, one of the sons of Al-Imaam Ahmad, Abul-Husayn Ahmad bn Ja’far bn Al-Munaadee said: ‘There was none that had numerous narrations than Abdullaah bn Ahmad from his father; he heard al-Musnad from him which is thirty thousand hadith so also was at-Tafseer which is one hundred and twenty thousand (narrations)…’ he mentioned many other books too. But the one of curious interest is that Book of Tafseer! Has anybody ever come across it?
Al-Imaam Adh-Dhahabee, in Siyar, answered: ‘We never ceased to hear about this mighty book of ‘Tafseer’ for [al-Imaam] Ahmad from many tongues of the students of knowledge while their major source has been the report from Ibn Al-Munaadee…but we have never seen anybody told us about this book of Tafseer, not even a part of it or a manuscript. If there has been some existence from it, even a fraction of it, they would have transmitted it to us and the students of knowledge would have accorded it their respect…Ibn Jareer and those who came after him would have copied from it in their books of Tafseer. By Allaah, it is strange that al-Imaam Ahmad would have a book of Tafseer as large as this – 120,000 hadith, as voluminous as Musnad even bigger in manifolds…it would have been well arranged and articulated…this book of Tafseer in my opinion does not exist. Baghdad has never ceased to be a home of Khulafaa, dome of Islam, home of hadith and an abode of traditions, [al-Imaam] Ahmad had never ceased to be extolled in that city and other ones, he had senior students, followers of the followers and so on…Tafseer of Ibn Jareer was popular in Baghdad, scholars would vie for having a copy, and riders would take it about the place, we do not know any other Tafseer similar to it, not even a thousand before it, even though it is just twenty volumes…’
Adapted from Siyar ‘Alaamin Nubalaa  of al-Imaam Adh-Dhahabee.
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