Arabic Commentaries and Resources for al-‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah – Shaykh Husain Kadodia

Here are some Arabic resources on al-Aqidah at-Tahawiyyah:

1- Sharh al-Ghaznawi

By Abu Hafs Siraj ad-Din Umar ibn Ishaq al-Ghaznawi al-Hindi d.773 AH.

The author restricted himself to what is required by a student, very rarely adding more than this, making it the most beneficial commentary for students. I highly recommend Ghaznawi’s Sharh, which could be taught in full in place of the matn, instead of just being used by the teacher during his mutala’ah. The book was printed ages ago in Qazan, Russia and was extremly rare. I managed to get a copy from Maktabah al-Azhar. This edition was based on the authors draft copy (musawwadah) and is thus shorter than his final copy.

It was then edited using three manuscripts of the authors final copy and printed by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Waqf, incorrectly attributed to Akmal ad-Din al-Babarti. Dr. Abd as-Sattar Abu Ghuddah, who is apparently an Ash’ari, spoiled this edition by filling it with pseudo-Salafi aqidah footnotes, from Ibn Abi al-Izz’s Sharh. His excuse when asked about it was that the dean of the institute refused to allow the book to be printed without the footnotes.

This edition was used by the Syrian Muhaqqiq Abd as-Salam Shannar when producing his edition, published by Dar al-Beiruti. His footnotes should be much better, as we have seen from his other aqidah tahqiqat. He also didn’t realise the incorrect ascription to al-Babarti.

The book was then edited by two Egyptians and printed by Darah al-Karaz of Cairo, correctly ascribed to al-Ghaznawi. They relied upon the incomplete Qazan edition, another manuscript of the draft copy, as well as a manuscript of the final copy, however this manuscipt is riddled with errors. Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera and I read through this entire manuscript together and found it to be terrible. This manuscript is the backbone of this print, rendering it one of inferior quality.

The best edition to use would probably be the Kuwaiti edition or the Syrian Dar al-Beiruti one, I haven’t compared them so cannot comment on how good a job the muhaqqiq of the Syrian edition did in copying the Kuwaiti one.

The Kuwaiti edition could be downloaded from here:

while the Darah al-Karaz edition is available here:

2- Sharh al-Maydani

By Abd al-Ghani al-Ghunayni al-Maydani d. 1298 AH.

It is extremly detailed and very high level, delving deep into many intricate aqidah issues. The biggest problem with his sharh is his great reliance on Sharh al-’Aqa’id an-Nasafiyyah of at-Taftazani and Ibn al-Humam’s al-Musayarah, both famed for the intricate and difficult to understand ultra-concise passages. Every few pages contains portions that will leave one baffled and force one to resort so commentaries of Sharh al-Aqaid and al-Musayarah to fully grasp them.Maydani also doesn’t discuss certain relevant issues, leaving one stranded. Then add to this his mixing between Ashari and Maturidi schools, seemingly attempting to harmonise differences without clearly stating the views of each clearly and you would understand the difficulty in relying solely on this commentary when teaching the Tahawiyyah.

His sharh was printed in 1970 by Dar al-Fikr, edited by Muhammad Muti’ al-Hafiz and Muhammad Riyadh al-Malih. They used three good manuscripts, but don’t seem to have used them very well, resulting in the book containing a large number of errors. We read through this edition as well with Mufti Abdur Rahman and found many errors, with it even missing lines at places.

Abd as-Salam Shannar then produced his edition from Dar al-Beiruti and admitted relying on the Dar al-Fikr edition, however he claimed to have used a manuscript in some difficult places. I have yet to see any sign of this, as his edition contains all the same errors as the Dar al-Fikr one.

A few brothers typed out the Dar al-Fikr edition and uploaded it. It can be downloaded from here:

A scanned version of it can be downloaded from here:

3- Sharh al-Qadi ash-Shaybani

By Qadi Isma’il ibn Ibrahim ash-Shaybani d.629 AH.

A concise commentary, discussing selected portions of the text, covering most of the important points. Printed by Dar ar-Rashid in Riyadh in 1413 AH using a number of manuscripts, then copied by Ahmed Farid al-Mazidi and printed by Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah in 1426 AH..

[It can be downloaded here]

4- Nur al-Yaqin fi Usul ad-Din

By Hasan Kafi al-Aqhasari al-Busnawi d. 1024 AH.

A detailed beneficial commentary, much more user-friendly than Maydani’s work and a suitable aid for the teacher. Its one downfall is the author’s extensive reliance on the problematic sharh of Ibn Abi al-Izz, quoting paragraphs verbatim from it, without attribution to him. He apparently was aware of the problems with that sharh, not relying on it in most of the problematic areas, however there do seem to be a few problematic quotes from it in this sharh.

Published in Riyadh by Maktabah al-Ubaykan in 1417 AH, with a pseudo-Salafi editing, however the muhaqqiq seems to have did a good job and didn’t fill the footnotes with too much of their usual rebuttals.

5- Sharh Qari Muhammad Tayyib

By the principal of Dar al-Ulum Deoband d.1403 AH.

A beneficial commentary, with special attention to the Qur’anic verses proving each tenet of belief. It contains a number of beneficial discussions, not found in other available commentaries.

Printed a few times, amongst them the Deoband Gulista Kitab Gar edition of 2000. Recently translated into English by Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias and printed by Zamzam publishers of Karachi.

6- Izhar al-Aqidah as-Sunniyah bi Sharh al-Aqidah at-Tahawiyyah

By the leader of the infamous Ahbash, Abd Allah al-Harari d. 1429 AH.

Full of fawa’id and quotes from rare works, this detailed commentary is extremly beneficial and an example of Harari’s solid grounding in all fields especially ‘aqidah. While his constant attacks on the Wahhabis could be considered an added benefit to this work, his obsession with them seems to spoil it more than anything else.

Printed by his publishing house Dar al-Mashari’ with the last edition with additions probably being the 2007 one. Dar al-Mashari’ also printed a concise rendering of this commentary entitled Mukhtasar Izhar al-Aqidah as-Sunniyah in addition to another one entitled Ad-Durrah al-Bahiyyah fi Hall al-Alfaz at-Tahawiyyah.

There are a few other beneficial commentaries still in manuscript form, such as al-Qala’id fi Sharh al-Aqa’id by Jamal ad-Din al-Qunawi d.777 AH. It has been highly rated by many, with Allamah Kashmiri praising it as the best commentary of at-Tahawiyyah. A colleague here in South Africa is editing it, dua is requested that he gets the opportunity to complete it.

Husain Kadodia

Durban, South Africa

30 thoughts on “Arabic Commentaries and Resources for al-‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah – Shaykh Husain Kadodia

  1. Salam,

    Masha Allah that is really useful information that you are providing on the Ghaznawi sharh.

    I have gone through Shannar’s edition of what he calls Babarti’s sharh, but as you are pointing out is really Ghaznawi’s, and Shannar’s notes are quite good overall, as is his usual style and quality. However, Ghaznawi’s interpretation of some of the Ash`ari positions is quite misleading at times and one would hope that Shannar – who has published more than a few Ash`ari mutun and their shuruh – would have pointed those out, but unfortunately he doesn’t. Otherwise, it is a good edition. The sharh itself has become one of my favorite teaching texts and it is good to learn that it is Ghanzawi’s and not Babarti’s.

    Wa salam,

    • Salam,

      Shaykh Jawad, would it be possible to point out these specific points in which Ghaznawi mentions the Ash’ari positions incorrectly? It would help those of us who plan on or are already teaching the text to students.

  2. Salam

    The Shaykh Abdullah al-Harari commentary also has the additonal problem of his stance on some of the companions, and from what I recall Muawiyah (Allah be pleased with him) which the reader should be aware of.

    There is also the recent commentary of Shaykh Ahmad Jabir Jibran (Makkah) entitled something like ‘Futuhat al-Makkiyah fi Sharh Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah’. I have not been able to get hold of a copy but was told it was of medium size.

    There are also notes on the Tahawiyyah from Shaykhs Saeed Fawdah and Umar Kamil.

    Shaykh Hasan al-Saqqafs commentary on the Tahawiyyah needs to avoided as it contains nothing but a combining of his older works with the addition of his departing from Ahl al-Sunnah on a number of points, along with his usual rants.


  3. My impression of Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah is one more of carelessness, if not incompetence, than unscrupulous practices. However, your description of their edition of Sharh al-Qadi ash-Shaybani: …then copied by Ahmed Farid al-Mazidi and printed by Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah… seemed to place them more along the lines of Dar al-Fikr. I read its introduction, only quickly, but did not see any mention of this, how did you arrive at this conclusion?

  4. Jazaka’Allah Shaykh, I was wondering if you can produce a similar list of aqeedah related books for English readers :)

  5. Assalamu Alaikum

    It seems that White Thread Press is translating Maydani’s commentary, as it is under forthcoming works on their website. However, it has been there for several years, with no details on its progress.

  6. Assalamu ‘alaikum,

    Is al-Jawaahir al-Kalaamiyyah a popular sharh among the scholars of Damascus and elsewhere?


    • The Jawahir is not actually a sharh of any book but an independent work that is arranged in question-answer form for easy reading. I don’t know about Syria but Shaykh Taha Karaan of Cape Town, SA has included it in his excellent curriculum at Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah.

  7. Salam,

    My apologies for not responding earlier.

    The two places that Shannar should have explained the Ash`ari position in a clearer manner pertain to the passages on the sifat al-af`al. The author states that the sifat al-af`according to the Asha`ira are muhdath and rightfully denies this notion (p. 44 and 85 of the Shannar edition).

    Shannar has quite a few footnotes on p. 45 (there is no comment on the passage on page 85) but none of them address the issue in a manner that is sufficient.

    Shannar should have noted that the Asha`ira maintain that all of the sifat of Allah are qadim, including the sifat al-af`al. However, they distinguish between the ta`alluq of the sifat and speak of a ta`alluq that is tanjizi and a ta`alluq that is suluhi. It is only the ta`alluq al-tanjizi that is muhdath, not the ta`alluq suluhi, and certainly not the sifa itself. Bajuri, in his commentary on the Jawhara and his commentary on Sanusi’s Umm al-Barahin (both of which Shannar edited), discusses this at length. It is unfortunate that this was overlooked given that it was a prime opportunity to get past the misreading of other madhahib’s writings.

    Otherwise, like I noted earlier, Shannar’s edition is a good solid text to work with.

    Would it be at all possible to get a scan of Qari Muhammad Tayyib Sahib’s Arabic commentary on the Tahawiyya?

    Wa salam,

  8. as-salamu alaykum,

    Shaykh Abdullah al-Harari’s small explanation Ad-Durr al-Bahiyyah was simply the transcript of the explanation of At-Tahawiyyah he gave while visiting Turkey. I took that book from one of his students I met in Virgina, USA. The Mukhtasar of al-Izhar I also took from one of his top students [Shaykh Samir Al-Qadi]. I found all of them excellent books for the seeker of knowledge from the beginner to the intermediate to the advanced. Specially considering that most of the larger explanation (al-Izhar) is quotes from earlier scholars. And the later scholars he quotes from, are scholars who were of high rank such as Mawlana Anawr Shah Al-Kashmiri and Al-‘Allamah Muhammad Amin Ibn ‘Abidin.

    As for the refutation of the wahhabis included in his book(s), I see no problem with it. Especially considering that they are the most dangerous deviant group that Ahlus-Sunnah is facing in this era. If one looks at the books of Creed and Usul authored during the time of the Mu’tazilah, one would see that the scholars put alot of effort in refuting them. So, I personally don’t see why Shaykh Al-Harari (may Allah have mercy on him) would be viewed any differently.

    Also, he position on Mu’awiyyah from what I have found is just restating what other scholars like Imam Abul-Hasan Al-Ash’ariyy stated. Plus, what is apparent from the hadith of the Prophet is that those people who were going to kill ‘Ammar Ibn Yasir would be sinful people and we all know that it was Mu’awiyah’s army. Suffice it to say, we (Ahlus-Sunnah) are not Shia so we treat the companions with love and respect but at the same time, we don’t believe they were infallible as many hadith clearly state.

    may Allah have mercy on all of us.

  9. al-salam alaykum,

    Do you know where I can get a PDF of just the matn al-‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyah in Arabic?

    Jazakum Allah khayran


  10. Assalam Alaykum
    “They relied upon the incomplete Qazan edition, another manuscript of the draft copy, as well as a manuscript of the final copy, however this manuscipt is riddled with errors. Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera and I read through this entire manuscript together and found it to be terrible. This manuscript is the backbone of this print, rendering it one of inferior quality.”

    My name is Muhammad Nassar and as you can guess from my name, I’m one of the two Egyptian editors of Ghaznawi’s Sharh. I have taken enough care to deliver an error-free text., and done this to the best of my efforts, given the poor quality of the manuscrips. I verified the correct attribution of the sharh to Ghaznawi. the co-editor, Sheikh Hazim Al-Kilani, teacher at the free studies programme at Al-Azhar, has been generous with comments. I haven’t seen Shannar’s edition, but guessing from his editing of Sharh Nasafiyya and Maydani’s Sharh, I believe Shiekh Hazim may be more thorough. In All cases I would be grateful if I got your notes on where I have made mistaken textual choices. I will get back the pdf copy of Abu Ghudda for useful comparisons. I only discovered its benefits for my edition two months after the book release. Its incorrect attribution to Babarti meant we did not put it into our consideration when editing the book. Later I discovered to my total amazement that they were one and the same book.


  11. Muhammad Nassar, you should contact Shaykh Husain Kadodia directly, since it seems that you both have mutually beneficial information.

  12. Muhammad Nassar contacted me via this blog, subsequent to which I provided him with a list of some of the errors in his edition of Ghaznawi’s work.
    I haven’t heard from him since.

    Husain Kadodia

  13. There is now a new ed. of the Darat al-Karaz ed. with the same two editors, this time published by Dar al-Ihsan (2016). In the introduction they added as one of their comparison sources the Kuwaiti ed. I hope they made use of the errors that Mufti Husain sahib emailed but if they did, there was no mention of that. They don’t seem to have changed the two manuscripts they used as their asl, though.

    Imran Ahmed

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