Ma’arif al-Sunan sharh Sunan al-Tirmidhi by ‘Allamah Muhammad Yusuf Binnuri

Ma'arif SunanThe amazing commentary on the Sunan of Imam Tirmidhi by the great hadith master of our time, ‘Allamah Muhammad Yusuf al-Binnuri, considered by many the inheritor of the knowledge of Imam al-‘Asr ‘Allamah Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri, is now available online. This commentary, which unfortunately was left incomplete and only reaches the chapters on Hajj, is a detailed explication of ‘Allamah Kashmiri’s lectures and commentary on the Sunan. In it, ‘Allamah Binnuri details the unique legal argumentation that made the knowledge of ‘Allamah Kashmiri so outstanding amongst not only his peers but even his predecessors in the fields of hadith and fiqh.

The more recent edition published by Dar al-Tahqiq wa ‘l-Irshad in Karachi is a much cleaner copy but is not yet available in pdf form. This edition, published by the H.M. Saeed Company, is however the more common and in vogue edition of the book.

Ma’arif al-Sunan sharh Sunan al-Tirmidhi

25 thoughts on “Ma’arif al-Sunan sharh Sunan al-Tirmidhi by ‘Allamah Muhammad Yusuf Binnuri

  1. Salam

    Jazaks for sharing this. Is there anything authored for Hanafi’s as comprehensive as the ‘Tuhfa al-Ahwadhi’ of al-Mubarakpuri?

    I had assumed that Maarif al-Sunan would be as detailed as it and reply specifically to objections raised by it, but that did not seem to be the case, is this correct?


  2. Assalamu ‘alaykum,

    There are currently two works in progress by Hanafis on the Sunan al-Tirmidhi.

    The first is a completion of Ma’arif al-Sunan by a scholar in Faisalabad, Pakistan. I am not sure how far the author has gotten with his takmilah, but I know that he was still working on it five years ago when I was in Faisalabad.

    The difficult task ahead of anyone who wants to complete the Ma’arif is that it is more of a collection of ‘Allamah Kashmiri’s ‘ilm and lectures on the Tirmidhi than it is a full-blown commentary of Tirmidhi. Therefore, the Ma’arif does not follow the pattern of normal holistic commentaries that touch on all the aspects of the hadith, including the lughah and takhrij.

    The second work is one that is being done by Shaykh ‘Abdullah Ma’rufi in Deoband, India. I have only heard that he is working on a commentary but am not aware of any more details.

    Unfortunately, a comprehensive commentary on Tirmidhi by Hanafis has yet to be published.

    At the same time, the Ma’arif does touch upon the objections raised by ‘Allamah Mubarakpuri in his Tuhfah, specifically many objections that were leveled against ‘Allamah Kashmiri. If you peruse through the contents, you will notice that quite often ‘Allamah Binnuri refers to mistakes found in the Tuhfah.

    Lastly, the Ma’arif is unique in that it contains explanations and points not found in any other commentary of hadith. The arguments are unique and deep, which make the book, even in its incomplete form, a must read for a Hanafi student of hadith.


  3. Ws

    Jazaks for the clarification. I had purchased the Maarif a few years back and when flicking through it was looking for a full critique of the Tuhfa, which as you mention it is not written as, despite it referring to it at some points. I gave my edition to someone in Madrassa so this download is welcome.

    Also related to Hadith commentaries generally, was it not the tradition of the ulema to mainly narrate the books with brief comments here and there? I am asking this based on some briefish taqarir notes published on hadith works, coupled with other factors such as some ulema in the Middle East still teaching in this manner.

  4. Assalamu ‘alaykum,

    I believe that both the tradition of hadith commentaries (shuruh) and the tradition of writing marginal notes (hawashi) ran parallel to each other. The first significant work on any hadith collection was Khattabi’s Ma’alim al-Sunan. This work is considered more of a commentary than a hashiyah.

    Amongst the many causes for the emergence of such a large amount of voluminous commentaries from the Indian subcontinent was the need to prove the validity of the Hanafi body of rulings through hadith proofs. This, in addition to the effect of the Shah Waliyullahi tradition of concentration on the Qur’an and Hadith, Islam’s primary source texts, led to a shift from a satisfaction with shorter marginal notes and occasional discussion to more detailed and referenced commentary.

    Additionally, many of the hashiyahs on hadith books were compiled as aides for the reading of the hadith books. They could easily be included in the margins of the actual texts and therefore were easily accessible to the average student of hadith.

    Lastly, many hashiyahs were compiled from lecture notes and therefore were not meant to be thorough. They simply reflected the style of teaching hadith employed by that particular hadith master.

    This tradition of collecting the amali and making them into hashiyahs upon a hadith text continues even today and was the original cause for the compilation of Ma’arif al-Sunan, as the author felt that ‘Allamah Kashmiri’s amali entitled “‘Arf al-Shazi” required more clarification than was provided in the short amount of wording of the book. Therefore, he explained the meanings of “‘Arf al-Shazi” thoroughly through “Ma’arif al-Sunan”.


  5. Salam

    What I meant was that in the past perhaps the study of the six books of hadith might have taken place at quicker pace. The large well known commentaries are known, however was the actual method of teaching less rigorous but with a focus on making sure the copies the students had were accurate?

    Looking through the accounts of some hadith scholars ijazat, some of them appear to have read the books of hadith in a short space of time, which would indicate that there was not much commentary involved.

    Likewise I have been told that Shaykh al-Ahdal in Sana when teaching the books of hadith comments here and there as opposed to a rigorous Sharh.


    Reflecting on the madhabi slant to teaching one can see that the detailed commentaries

  6. Assalamu ‘alaykum,

    The history of lengthy hadith lectures seems to have begun with the lessons of ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri. Before him, even his own teacher, Shaykh al-Hind Mahmud al-Hasan (may Allah have mercy on all of them), would suffice with short explanations and concentrate on explaining the ghara’ib. He would avoid lengthy fiqh discussions unless absolutely necessary.

    The reasons behind ‘Allamah Kashmiri’s lengthy discourses have much more to do with circumstance and situation than simply the fact that his knowledge was so vast that he could fulfill the right of lengthy commentary.

    However, time has shown that the format of his lectures have contributed greatly to the scholarship of the subcontinent and have helped distinguish the hadith scholarship of the subcontinent and of the Hanafi scholars from others.

    Some teachers in the subcontinent, however, still suffice with a simple reading of the hadith and such was the style of the late Shaykh al-Hadith wa ‘l-Tafsir Mawlana Muhammad Na’im (may Allah have mercy on him), who graced North America with a year of hadith lessons before he passed away two years ago.

    I personally believe that rigorous commentaries become more necessary only when comparative fiqh discussions do not accompany the study of Hanafi fiqh.

    In my humble opinion, a good reading of Fath Bab al-‘Inayah and at least a partial self-study of Nasb al-Rayah and I’la al-Sunan while studying fiqh texts makes lengthy discussions during Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud lectures unnecessary.

    This allows for more concentration on the asnad, the gharib al-hadith, takhrij, mukhtalif al-hadith, mushkil al-hadith, etc…

    At the same time, I do not agree with sufficing with short or partial reading of the hadith texts, as I feel that it hampers a student immensely. At least a full reading of the major books amongst the six, or a full reading of a wider collection like the Miskhat, should accompany one’s studies.

    You might want to take a look at Shaykh Manazir Ahsan Gilani’s book on the curriculum of Islamic studies in the subcontinent, particularly the chapter on how hadith was taught pre-‘Allamah Kashmiri, i.e. Shah Waliullah’s methods, etc…


  7. Salam

    Jazak-Allah khair. This was precisely what I was looking for. If you could possibly scan the chapter of this book it would be very interesting, especially in the context of the West where students may not be able to devote themselves to full time study but still wish to read the books of hadith.


  8. Assalamu alaikum

    Nasb ar Rayah is considered a book of proofs for the Hanafis? I thought that it was simply takhrij on the hadith in Al Hidayah.

  9. Molana Mufti Muhamma Zahid, Sheikh al-hadith at Jamia Islamia Imdadia, Faisalabad, Pakistan is working on “Takmila Ma’arif al-Sunan”. The first volume is his work appeared about two years ago. Many more are expected as there is a long way to go.

  10. Assalamu Alaikum

    Jazakallahu Khairan for the links provided.

    The volume 5 in reality is volume 3. Therefore there are two volume 3’s. It would be nice if that could be sorted out.


  11. assalaam

    I am Hanafi, intrested to buy TUHFATUL AHWAAZI for research reas0n only, what can u advice me?

    what is the madhab of this author?

    • The author did not adhere to a madhhab. In fact, he was quite anti-madhhabi and in particular shows incredible distaste for the Hanafis.

  12. The Takmila Ma’arif as sunan of Maulana Muhammad Zahid, who is the Sheikh al-hadith at Jamia Islamia Imdadia in Faisalabad, Pakistan can be purchased here:
    It was written at the behest of Mufti Taqi Saheb. The entire first volume with 700+ pages covers only the Kitab al-Jana’iz, so you can imagine how thorough Maulana Zahid is.

    • Al-salam ‘alaykum,

      By methodology, what exactly are you looking for? The ideological tradition of the author or the method of hadith commentary, or something else?

      Bilal Ali

  13. Salam moulana. Are you aware of Moulana Binnori and his intro to nasb Al rayah?
    Are you aware of who the publisher was?

  14. The initial publisher was Majlis ‘Ilmi. The Nasb al-Rayah was initially published with a muqaddamah by Shaykh Zahid al-Kawthari with notes and comments of Mawlana Yusuf al-Binnuri.

    To answer Braun Hal, there is no English translation of the Ma’arif.

    Bilal Ali

  15. Is it still available with the latter`s work on it? Shaykh Kawthari’s, I am aware is fiqh ahl al Iraq wa hadeethuhum, but it has been printed separately ,so does any edition have Shaykh Yusuf’s notes on it?

    • Does Shaykh Awwamah’s edition contain Shaykh Binnori’s ifadat? I believe Shaykh Awwamah’s work isnt a mustaqil tahqeeq, rather it was a revision of a previous edition, in which he corrected quite a few errors.

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