Versions of the book “al-Adhkar” of imam an-Nawawi

I have just received the book “al-Adkhar” by imam an-Nawawi from Dar al-Minhaj (http://www.alminhaj.com/) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I bought it from HUbooks in the UK (http://www.hubooks.com/). Last year I got another copy of the same book from a bookseller in the Netherlands but from a different publisher: Dar al-Fajr li’t-Turath, which is behind al-Azhar University in Cairo (as it says inside); it can be bought at Kitaabun in the UK. What struck me immediately are the big differences between these versions:

1.) The volume or size. The version from Dar al-Minhaj has 736 pages and the version from Dar al-Fajr (in short) has only got 459 pages. That is a huge difference (almost 300 pages) and I wonder how this is possible. What happened? The Dar al-Minhaj version is twice the size -and weight- of the Dar al-Fajr version. Only a careful study of the books will reveal this. Noteworthy is the Dar al-Minhaj version has more and extensive footnotes (with the commentary of Ibn ‘Allan) but this doesn’t explain the difference of almost 300 pages.

2.) The print – style. While the Dar al-Minhaj version is printed in a classical style with a black cover with golden letters etc. the Dar al-Fajr version seems to be ‘popularized’ by the bright colours (turquoise, green and yellow) and funny Arabic letters in calligraphy to make it more attractive for the eye but it looks cheap actually. (They did the same with their version of the Muwatta of imam Malik.)

3.) The Dar al-Fajr version has a tahqiq -as it says on the cover- done by a certain muhaqqiq called Hamid Ahmad at-Tahir al-Basyuni (?). The Dar al-Minhaj version has no (complete) tahqiq (although at the end there seem to be some remarks on the authenticty of several ahadith under the title al-Fawa’id al-Bahiyyah wa an-Nukta al-Mardiyyah ‘ala al-Adhkar an-Nawawiyyah). What one immediately notices in the footnotes is the reference to shaykh al-Albani in the Dar al-Fajr version. The muhaqqiq seems to rely on him for grading some of the ahadith quoted in the book. Could this tahqiq be a reason for the difference in pages? When one does a search on the internet one comes across articles that speak of tampering with this book for example where it concerns visiting the grave of the Prophet s.a.w.s. and probably this is not the only issue.

4.) Both books begin and end with the same things, apart from some distinctive things like a biography of imam an-Nawawi in the Dar al-Fajr version and scans from the handwritten copy of the book in the Dar al-Minhaj version.

5.) The big benefit of the Dar al-Minhaj version is that is has full tashkil which facilitates reading.

So we can conclude there is most probably some content missing from the Dar al-Fajr version. This is a task for the researchers amongst us. Questions that need to be answered are: what exactly is left out in the Dar al-Fajr version and most importantly why? It doesn’t seem to do justice to the original work by imam an-Nawawi rahimahullah. The danger is not that someone undertook a tahqiq of the book but the fact that the muhaqqiq ‘filtered’ the book or made a mukhtasar of it, fooling people to believe it is the actual book, and leaving things deliberately out.

To end: there are more versions of this magnificent book. One of these versions is the one by Dar al-Bayan at-Turath which can be downloaded here: http://read.kitabklasik.co.cc/2009/12/al-adzkar-al-muntakhabah-min-kalami.html  This version has 533 pages. Still less than the Dar al-Minhaj version. And there is the version by Dar Ibn Hazm which contains 741 pages (See here: http://www.albalagh.net/bookstore/?action=view&item=0782).

A very small part of the book has been translated to English, including audio, and can be downloaded for 1 pound on the Deenport and Kitaba website.

Last but not least: an English translation of this book will be published soon by Turath Publishing. It is also said shaykh Nu Ha Mim Keller is working on an English translation, w’Allahu ‘alam.

12 responses to “Versions of the book “al-Adhkar” of imam an-Nawawi

  1. Assalamu Alaykum

    I would desist from claiming that an editor has omitted portions from a book without proof.

    This is clearly not the case here, the reason for the difference in page numbers is the font size and page borders.
    There are complete prints of al-Azkar, with tahqiq in under 400 pages.

    An easy method to understand it, would be to download a copy of al-Azkar in .doc format, then play around with the borders, fonts and font size.
    Rest-assured, you would be surprised at the difference it causes.

    So please, don’t make claims like “So we can conclude there is most probably some content missing from the Dar al-Fajr version.” without proof.

    Husain

  2. Wa aleykum salam wa rahmatullah,

    Jazak Allah for your beneficial remark. You are correct. I should have formulated it more carefully, forgive me. I should have formulated it into a question. But I assume you are right and know better insha’Allah. I have no proof for my statements.

    Ma’as-salamah,

    H.

  3. As salamu alaykum,

    Also Sh. Abdulqadir al Arnaut (rah) was falsely accused of a tahrif, since it was not he who made the tahrif. The shaykh (rah) wrote himself about this incident.

    Was salaam.

  4. As-salaamu ‘Alaikum

    don’t underestimate the number of pages added by larger font sizes and more spacing, a feature of most Dar al-Minhaj texts.

    Was-salaam

  5. To add examples to Mawlana Husain’s comment, look at Al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab (Mukhtasar al-Quduri) of ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Ghunaymi al-Midani. Earlier popular editions of the book were published in a single volume. The newly-released edition with the tahqiq of Shaykh Dr. Sa’id Bakdash is in 6 volumes! My Tafsir al-Qurtubi, published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-’Arabi is in 10 volumes (and I like it) while the edition with the tahqiq of Shaykh ‘Abdullah ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Turki (pub. Mu’assasah al-Risalah) is in 24 bulky volumes! The ediiton of Al-Adhkar that I have is published by Dar al-Kalim al-Tayyib. It is in 512 pages and has the tahqiq of Shaykh Muhy al-Din Mustu. I like it.

  6. Mawlana Bilal, While the 10-volume Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-’Arabi edition that I have is nice and compact, it hardly has any tahqiq in the form of footnotes (or endnotes). The 24-vol Mu’assassah al-Risalah edition appears to be thoroughly edited with plenty of footnotes (mostly takhrij). The much larger sized font of this latter edition may not be appreciated by many (I personally don’t like overly large fonts). If I could go back in time, I would definitely buy this 24-vol edition, although, as I’ve said, I’m not unhappy with the edition that I already have. Similar is the case with the new 7-vol Tafsir Ibn Kathir published by Dar Ibn al-Jawzi (S Arabia). Due to what Mawlana Husain saheb has said regarding this edition of Ibn Kathir, I will, insha Allah, be buying it during my stay in the Haramayn during Ramadan this year.

  7. For your interest, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Turki has also edited Tafsir Ibn Jarir al-Tabari. This has been published in 25 volumes with his tahqiq from Cairo. I have the 16-vol Dar Ihya al-Turath edition, which I like.

  8. The Dar al-Minhaj edition (which is available in PDF) is probably the best out there. They relied on 5 manuscripts, the first of which is from Ibn Attar’s own dictation which he received from Imam Nawawi and is the earliest complete vowelled manuscript. The second manuscript was also read to Ibn Attar.

    I also hear the Dar Ibn Kathir ed. is good. There is also an ed. which was edited by Shaykh Abd al Qadir Arna’ut (don’t know publisher).

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