Tr. Annabel & Ali Keeler
Tafsir Al-Tustari, presented here in complete English translation for the first time ever, is the fourth work in The Great Commentaries on the Holy Qurâ€™an series. The series aims to make widely available leading exegetical works in translation for study and research in unabridged form, which are faithful to the letter and meaning of the Arabic.
The Tafsir Al-Tustari is the earliest surviving Sufi commentary on the Qur'an. This commentary is one of the few authenticated works in Tustari's name, and is a key source for understanding the mystical thought and teachings of this important and influential Sufi. In addition to insights into the spiritual significance of almost 1000 verses of the Qur'an, this commentary includes numerous references to traditions of the Prophet, explanations of the ethical and mystical dimensions of the religious life, stories of the prophets, and anecdotes about earlier mystics. The translation has the benefit of reference to three good manuscripts in addition to the printed edition of the text, and is generously augmented with explanatory footnotes throughout. The book will not only provide its readers with an invaluable introduction to the Sufi tradition of Qur'anic interpretation, but also acquaint them with spiritual doctrines that were to become fundamental to the later development of Sufism.
This is the first complete translation into English of any Sufi Qur'an commentary, and will be a substantial and much-needed primary resource for the study of the Qur'an, Islamic mysticism and the history of Islamic thought. Whilst there is an increasing number of works by the great Sufi masters available in Western languages, there has been no complete Sufi commentary available in English translation, in its entirety, until now.
Sahl al-TustarÄ« laid the foundation for many later Sufi thinkers, including AbÅ« á¸¤Ämid al-GhazÄlÄ« (d. 505/1111), ShihÄb al-DÄ«n SuhrawardÄ« (d. 587/1191), and Ibn Ê¿ArabÄ« (d. 638/1240). His commentary, known as TafsÄ«r al-TustarÄ«, or TafsÄ«r al-QurÊ¾Än al-Ê¿Aáº“Ä«m, is important as one of the earliest Sufi commentaries and for the way in which it presents connections between verses and topics that may initially appear unrelated, but are revealed through TustarÄ«â€™s insights to be profoundly linked. These inner meanings are the heart of Sahl al-TustarÄ«â€™s commentary, which also includes numerous sayings of Sufi masters-all seamlessly interwoven into his explanation of these 1000 verses.