Minhat al-Suluk fi Sharh Tuhfat al-Muluk w/ Marginal Notes by the Imam of Masjid Nabawiyy

masbukEver since I laid my hands upon the famous short Hanafi fiqh text al-Hadiyyah al-‘Ala’iyyah in 2005, I had been longing to find a similar beginner’s book on Hanafi fiqh that was worthy of translation into English and that shared al-Hadiyyah’s conciseness, flow, and choice of content. The special characteristic of al-Hadiyyah that I sought so intently for an English fiqh primer was its inclusion of chapters on etiquette in addition to the normal chapters on the acts of worship. This I believed, and still believe, is absolutely important for an introductory fiqh text.

Therefore, back in 2006 whilst studying hadith sciences under the great research scholar, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Halim Nu’mani, when I chanced upon a short fiqh text that fit such a description even better than al-Hadiyyah in the Jami’ah’s library, I was nothing short of elated.

The book, neatly bound and beautifully composed, claimed in the publisher’s introduction to be one of the mutun mu’tabirah in the Hanafi madhhab. Interestingly enough, I had never come across this matn before and was not aware of its inclusion by  scholars amongst the core Hanafi fiqh texts. Entitled Tuhfat al-Muluk fi Fiqhi Madhhab al-Imam Abi Hanifah al-Nu’man, the text was authored by none other than Imam Zayn al-Din Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Razi (died 666 a.h.), the famous author of the renowned dictionary, Mukhtar al-Sihah.

What was so special about the book was that despite its brevity and exclusion of the main chapters on mu’amalat, the book had added the following important chapters to the normal list of ‘ibadat, some chapters which, in my humble opinion, no beginning fiqh text should be without:

  • Jihad
  • Sayd wa ‘l-Dhaba’ih
  • Karahah
  • Fara’id
  • Kasb wa ‘l-Adab

Fortunately, I was able to purchase the Tuhfah from Mufti Husain Kadodia last year and while reading through the introduction more thoroughly, I noticed that the book had a commentary that had been written by the famed scholar, Imam Badr al-Din al-‘Ayni (may Allah have mercy on him). The title of the commentary was Minhat al-Suluk and because of the prestigious rank of Imam ‘Ayni, I was, of course, keen on finding out more about its availability.

Knowing that most such small commentaries on Hanafi texts remain yet unpublished, I didn’t keep much hope in finding the text in published form. At the same time, I was hopeful in being able to find at least a manuscript of the text from libraries in Egypt.

You can imagine my joy then, when during my Hajj trip this year, I stumbled upon a published version of Imam ‘Ayni’s commentary in the library of Masjid Nabawiyy. Beautifully printed in four volumes, the commentary included marginal notes by, surprisingly enough, the Hanbali Khatib and Imam of the Masjid Nabawiyy, Shaykh Abdul Muhsin al-Qasim. The marginal notes were entitled al-Masbuk and despite being simply tahqiq, ta’liq, and takhrij work, its title donned the cover of the four-volume set. While searching for the Minhat al-Suluk online, I was able to find a downloadable copy of the commentary with its marginal notes.

I highly recommend that readers take out the time to read through at least portions of the book and benefit from its style and content. It would be also extremely beneficial if the book be translated into English and included in the course material of introductory fiqh classes at weekend Islamic schools or maktabs.

al-Masbuk ‘ala Minhat al-Suluk fi Sharh Tuhfat al-Muluk

7 thoughts on “Minhat al-Suluk fi Sharh Tuhfat al-Muluk w/ Marginal Notes by the Imam of Masjid Nabawiyy

  1. Salam

    Jazak-Allah Khair for your excellent efforts.

    I don’t know if you have seen the hashiyah on Tuhfa al-Muluk by Dr Salah Abul Hajj which is very beneficial. There is also another edition with some very sparse notes by a Dr Nadhir Ahmad (I think).

    As for a comprehensive text the It-haf al-Talib by Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Mulla may perhaps be what you are looking for. It covers Aqidah-Taharah-Salah-Hadhr wal-Ibahah-Udhiyah-Tasawwuf. The author of the matn authored a commentary which was edited and published out of al-Ahsa. Extracts of it can be found on the blog.

    I was also shown some other very concise mutun which cover all of the chapters of fiqh which I hope to work on in the near future insha-Allah.

    The Hadhr wal-Ibahah text of al-Nahlawi would also be a welcome addition to the material available in the English language.

    Ws

    • Assalamu ‘alaykum,

      May Allah reward you for your useful comments.

      Is there any way to get a hold of Shaykh Salah Abul Hajj’s hashiyah or the other edition by Dr. Nadhir Ahmad? Shaykh Salah’s books are excellent and I am sure he has done an excellent job with the Tuhfah.

      As for the Ithaf, does it include chapters on Sawm, Zakat, or Hajj? Also, how can one attain a copy of the Hanafi texts that have been published from the noble scholars of al-Ahsa? Are they easily available?

      Lastly, I agree wholeheartedly that Imam Nahlawi’s book on Hadr wa ‘l-Ibahah or a book like it is an absolute must for the English-speaking audience. May Allah give us the tawfiq to undertake the task.

      Amin.

      Bilal

      • Salam

        I believe the easiest way to obtain Sh Salah Abul Hajj’s books would be via Amman.

        I heard someone mention that he has also published an editing of Umdah al-Riayah which is running into 15 vols (?!?) I queried the person who informed me about whether it is truely this size, but he seemed to reasonably sure that it was.

        As for the It-Haf, sorry, yes, I meant to write Fiqh al-Ibadat.

        The Ahsai books are notoriously difficult to get hold of. Their most recent publication is the poem on the branches of faith by one of the al-Mulla scholars from 400 years ago, commented on by a later scholar of the family. I don’t have a copy myself and am trying to work out how to get hold of it.

        I believe someone was planning on scanning and uploading a pdf of their families commentary on Imam al-Nabulsi’s poem Kifayah al-Ghulam (Aslein forum).

        Ws

  2. salamu `alaykum

    Sayyidi Bilal: Did you ever get a chance to get a hold of Dr. Salah’s commentary on the book? If you have not, I would be more than happy to send it to you from Amman.

    Also, I dont know if you have been informed of the publishing of Ibn Malik’s commentary on the Tuhfat al-Muluk, in two thick volumes. I have seen it regularly in book shops around here. I cant recall the publisher off the top of my head though.

    Wasalam
    Salman

  3. assalamu `alaykum

    Shaykh Salah’s edition of the Umdat al-Ri`ayah has been published by Dar al-Kutub `Ilmiyyah (though, the typing up of the work was done by Shaykh Salah himself). It is in 7 volumes I believe.

    Wasalam
    Salman

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