I thought it would be meaningful to share a piece of writing with keen bibliophiles that patiently, or in my case, impatiently wait to relish the fruits of the Tahawi Oasis. May Allah reward the contributors of this blog and further assist them in posting more wonderful threads that benefit students of knowledge amidst wide-spread confusion and ignorance. (Rabbana Zidna ‘Ilman Wa ‘nfa’na Bihi)
The piece I am sharing here is the Editor’s preface to Turath Publishing’s 40 Hadith collection on the Durud which is part of its 40 Hadith series.
To date, Turath has managed to publish only one collection, namely that attributed to Shah Wali Allah.
Whilst we’re at it I might as well point out that the 40 attributed to Shah Wali Allah with the Ahl al-Bayt isnad is in fact the 40 al-‘Alawiyyah by al-Jayyani. Al-‘Iraqi occasions with it in his al-Taqyid wa al-Idhaah and his Tarh al-Thathrib. Although I have not been able to identify exactly when this began, it had become the custom of Hadith scholars, at least by al-‘Iraqi’s time, to transmit this 40 to students.
With this in mind the 40 of Shah Wali Allah should thus imply “the 40 Hadith which Shah Wali Allah brought with him from the Hijaz and circulated in the sub-continent to such a degree that it became part of his legacy and ascribed to him.” May Allah grant our dear and beloved Shah the choicest of stations in the Hereafter and permit the Ummah to learn from his knowledge. He was most definitely as one scholar described: Had the Shah been born amongst the early generations he would have risen as one of the their leading jurist-consults. Sahabas like Ibn ‘Umar would be pleased with him.
Turath’s forthcoming collections from the 40 series include:
– Two by Mulla Ali Qari, one of which is a general selection whilst the other is on the topic of Qur’an.
– As-Suyuti. His is a general selection. (I can confirm this and the two above have gone off to the printers.)
– Ibn Hajar’s Imtaa’. In this collection, Ibn Hajar reports 40 Hadiths from 40 scholars who report through 40 different chains that go all the way back to 40 different Companions. Despite these subtleties that seem to be showcasing a great deal of expertise, the content is in fact very general and suitable for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It’s almost perennial I’d like to think. (I’m currently working on this)
– Ibn Asaakir’s Ummahaat. This is a 40 Hadith collection on the wives of the Prophet – Allah bless him and be pleased with his Companions. (currently being type-set and proof-read)
– Kattani’s Fazaa’il-e-Ahl-e-Bayt (translated but requires editing, proof-reading, type-setting and a critical review.)
– ‘Ajaluni’s 40. This collection records 40 Hadiths which appear as the first hadith in 40 different books (I shall be working on this after I’m done with the Ibn Hajar insha Allah).
– 40 on Durud, and it is for this collection that I wrote the Editor’s note. (It is currently being proof-read and type-set)
This 40 on the Durud is actually an amalgamation of two 40 Hadith collections by two remarkable scholars of the past century, Sheikh Abdullah ibn Muhammed ibn as-Siddiq al-Ghumari (d. 1993) and Hazrat Moulana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanvi (d. 1943). In this preface, I have reviewed in short the structure and nature of both books. Given the plethora of redactions and subsequent editions of Thanvi’s 40 carrying the same typographical errors, in addition to the wide-spread misconception of assuming Sheikh al-Hadith Moulana Zakariyya to be its author, I felt the need to expand the preface slightly more than usual. Hopefully and God willing, this preface will clear misunderstandings and set students and scholars in the right direction should they seek further academic enquiry.
There is more than one purpose for posting the preface here. Apart from advertising the book and introducing it, I thought the preface raises issues, especially in relation to Thanvi’s 40, that deserve a wider audience.
I think this should be enough to whet the appetite of anyone interested on this topic. I do not intend to repeat myself whilst introducing the preface here. Please do buy the book (!) as this will help fund other worthwhile projects.
Lastly, I would like to thank Turath Publishing, in particular Brother Yahya Batha a.k.a the ‘Amir-e-Karvaan’ for kindly allowing me to circulate this online. Allahumma Zid Fa Zid!