TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING THE QUR'AN is a fresh and highly readable English rendering of Tafhim al-Qur'an, Sayyid Mawdudi's monumental and masterly Urdu translation and commentary. Here is a Tafsir with a difference, by a scholar of an entirely different sort. An immense wealth of profound understanding of the Qur'an is here, so is a vast treasure of knowledge and deep insights, illuminating historical accounts and philological discussions, and a highly systematic exposition of social, political, economic and legal teachings.
But what makes this Tafsir unique is that it translates the Qur'an into a book to be lived by, a mission to be lived for, and a duty that a reader can no longer evade or postpone. This rare quality is imparted not only by the depth of his scholarship and style of exposition but also because Sayyid Mawdudi lived by what he expounded, as his life abundantly proves.
This Tafsir answers contemporary questions and makes the Qur'an fully relevant to the concerns of our day, yet it loses nothing of its timelessness nor sacrifices any of the traditional understanding. It demonstrates the unity and coherence of the Qur'an by centring everything in it on its message, like gems hung on a single string. Each Sarah is prefaced by an account of its background and teachings: Maps and indexes add greatly to the understanding. To sum up: in this Tafsir, Sayyid Mawdudi is offering us what we need most to understand and live by the Qur'an.