Tafsir al-Qurtubi – one volume in English
02 Feb, 2014
The following is the first known English translation of the famous commentary on the Holy Qur’an, known as Tafsir al-Qurtubi. Only the first volume seems to have been translated and published. One of the objectives of this tafsir was to extrapolate juristic rulings from the Qur’an as well as providing the classically acknowledged exegesis of the Ayats (verses). The work also utilised other parameters linked to linguistics, as well as Hadith based evidences to substantiate certain verdicts held by some leading scholars of the past. It is a classic that has been acknowledged till this day.
A short biography of the author:
Imam Qurtubi is Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abu Bakr ibn Farah, Abu Abdullah al-Ansari al-Qurtubi, of Cordova (in present day Spain). A Maliki scholar and hadith specialist, he was one of the greatest Imams of Koranic exegesis, an ascetic who divided his days between worship and writing. Educated in hadith by masters like Ali ibn Muhammad al-Yahsabi and al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Bakri, he wrote works in the sciences of hadith and tenets of faith, though his enduring contribution is his twenty volume al-Jami li Ahkam al-Qur’an [The compendium of the rules of the Koran], from which he mainly omitted the stories and histories customary in other commentaries, and recorded instead the legal rulings contained in the Koran and how scholars have inferred them, together with canonical readings (qira’at), Arabic grammar, and which verses abrogate others and which are abrogated (nasikh wa mansukh). Scholars have used it extensively ever since it was written. It is related that Qurtubi disdained airs, and used to walk about in a simple caftan with a plain cap (taqiyya) on his head. He travelled east and settled in Munya Abi al-Khusayb in upper Egypt, where he died in 671/1273 (Quoted in the appendix to the Reliance of the Traveller, p. 1090, by Sh. Nuh Keller)
The full arabic work can also be downloaded here