Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Abi Bakr Ansari Al-Qurtubi was a famous Interpreter of Quran, Hadith and Faqih scholar from Cordoba, Spain. He belongs to Maliki school of thought but not strict with it. He was most famous for his commentary of the Quran, Tafsir al-Qurtubi.

He was born in Córdoba, Spain in the year 1214 AD.  His father was a farmer and was killed during an attack by Christian Spaniards on 16th July, 1230. During his youth, Kurtubi helped the family livelihood by transporting soil used in pottery.

He spent initial years of his education in Cordoba from Abu Jafar Ahmed bin Muhammed Al-Kaysi, Rabi bin Abd-ul-Rahman bin Ahmad Al-Ashari, Abul Hasan Ali.  He also benefited from scholars such as Kutral al-Ansari

After Cordoba’s capture in 1236 by King Ferdinand III of Castile, he left for Alexandria, where he studied hadith and tafsir. He then moved to Cairo, and settled in Munya Abil-Khusavb, where he spent the rest of his life. Known for his modesty and humble lifestyle, he was buried in Munya Abi'l-Khusavb, Egypt in 1273. His grave was carried to a mosque where a mausoleum was built under his name in 1971, still open for visiting today.

He was very skilled in Quranic commentary, narrative, recitation and law; clearly evident in his writings, and the depth of his scholarship has been recognized by many scholars. In his works, Kurtubi defended the Ahl-e-Sunnat in his works, and criticized other sections such as Mutazila, Imamiyya, Rafiziya, Karramiya and reject their concepts and believes.

Though he is a Maliki, but he opposed sectarian bigotry and stated that he did not adopt imitation as a method. He was not against sufism and did not oppose the people of Sufism who followed the Book and Sunnah but he clearly showed his negative attitude towards the Sufis, whose views were based on ignorance and superstition.

Meanwhile, he also criticized the statesmen without hesitation, stated that the rulers of the time took bribes and argued that they acted illegally, ruled in exchange for benefits, and changed the religion of Allah

Imam Dhahabi described Kurtubi with his works, who showed that he was very well educated in fields such as tafsir, hadith, recitation, and fiqh, and other scholars used similar expressions about him.

The famous hadith scholar, Imam Dhahabi said about him, “he was an imam versed in numerous branches of scholarship, an ocean of learning whose works testify to the wealth of his knowledge, the width of his intelligence and his superior worth”.

He died on 29 April 1273 and buried at his town. His grave was transferred to his tomb in the mosque built in his name in 1971 and is still open to visitors


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