The publication of this volume represents a significant landmark in the history of Islamic literature in English. There has until now been a dearth of translations of classical tafsir literature into English. With the first volume of this abridged translation of Imam al-Qurtubi's al-Jami' li-ahkam al-Qur'an ("The Compendium of Legal Rulings of the Qur'an"), an important step has been taken towards remedying this situation. It gives English-speaking readers access to one of the great classical commentaries, containing a wealth of authoritative traditional exposition of the Sacred Text.
Comprehensive interpretation of the Holy Qur'an requires consideration of every aspect -- spiritual, legal, linguistic, social, and others. While his Tafsir covers them all, Imam al-Qurtubi was especially concerned to bring out the legal implications of the Qur'anic text, and his work emphasizes the practical applications of the Revelation. This gives it particular relevance to those interested in learning how the Qur'an informs the daily life of the Muslims, on both the individual and communal level. The author also explains the diversity of the various readings (qira'at) and explores the alternative interpretations that can be derived from them?