The Formation of the Classical Tafsīr Tradition

The Qurʾān Commentary of al-Thaʿlabī (d. 427/1035)


This work is both an introduction to the genre of classical tafsīr and a detailed study of one of its major architects, al-Thaʿlabī (d. 427/1035). The book offers a detailed study of the hermeneutical principles that governed al-Thaʿlabī's approach to the Qurʾān, principles which became the norm in later exegetical works. It is divided into three main sections; the first outlines the life and times of the author; the second is a detailed study of his major exegetical work, al-Kashf; the third charts a brief history of the genre of tafsīr through documenting the reactions of later exegetes to al-Kashf. This work brings together material never examined before and tries to offer a new way of understanding the history of classical Qurʾān exegesis.

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Walid A. Saleh, Ph.D. (2001) in Religious Studies, Yale University, is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Toronto. He is a specialist on tafsīr and the Qurʾān.
'Saleh's thorough analysis of what should now be seen as one of the most important works of tafsīr is already an extremely valuable contribution.'
Herbert Berg, Int. Journ. Middle East. Stud., 2005.
'...the best traditions of Yale scholarship.'
H. Masud Taj, The Muslim World Book Review, 2004.
'His book is a valuable contribution, a much needed step forward in a sadly neglected field.'
Stefan Wild, Royal Asiatic Society, 2005.
All those interested in scripture and its place in religious traditions.
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