Bilal Ali is a student of the sacred Islamic sciences with a special interest in Hadith, Hanafi law, and Education. He works currently as a researcher, translator, and instructor in Arabic and Islamic studies at Darul Qasim (Lombard, IL) and Darul Hikmah (Westmont, IL) and serves as Chairman for the Muslim spiritual health institute, Khalil Center.
Book Review: ‘Muwatta’ al-Imam Malik: Riwayat al-Shafi’i ‘an Malik’, al-Banjari, Muhammad Lutfi, Karachi: Majlis al-Da’wah wa al-Tahqiq al-Islami, 357 pages
By Maulana Zeeshan Chaudri
The Muwatta’ of Imam Malik (d.179) requires no introduction as 100s of books have been written over the centuries studying various aspects of the goldmine. This collection of Malik demonstrates the juristic acumen and expertise of the mujtahid of Medina. Interest in the book has transcended madhhab affiliations with even one of the famous transmission of the book coming via the student of Imam Abu Hanifah (d.150), Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani (d.182). Malik’s Muwatta’ had many transmitters and it became a debate amongst later Hadith experts as whose transmission from Malik was the most superior?Read More »
Title: Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith
Author: Atabek Shukurov An-Nasafi / Sulaiman Ahmed (translator)
Publisher: Avicenna Academy, UK
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Pages: ix + 311
The book is allegedly an attempt at revival of hanafi methdology in hadith. However, in reality far from representing the hanafi school’s actual approach it is an attempt at putting a ‘scholarly’ garb on compromising hadith as a source of Islamic law and etiquette in view of the pressing polemics and criticism coming from a different world-view.
The following list a selection from notes that were compiled for one of the appendices to the forthcoming (in shā Allāh) translation of Imam ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq al-Dihlawī’s Muqaddamah fī Uṣūl al-Ḥadīth. The list has had to be refined, edited, and truncated for publishing purposes. I thought the rough notes would still benefit certain interested readers, so I have produced a portion of them below. Readers should note that spellings, dates, etc… are being revised and are not yet reflected in this post:
Shāh ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq al-Dihlawī represents an important link in a long chain of Ḥanafī hadith scholars, one that begins with Imam Abū Ḥanīfah and his students and continues to this day. The last hundred plus years, however, has born witnes to an unfortunate confusion about the status of the scholars of the Ḥanafī school of law in relation to their knowledge and prowess in the field of hadith and hadith criticism…
As the new Islāmic academic year approaches, students of knowledge are moving into the higher years at every Islāmic institute of learning (dār al-ʿulūm). Many are prone to becoming overwhelmed by the volume of their studies and speed of their teachers’ lectures. At this point, they fall prey to making a ‘rookie mistake’ they later realise and regret. That is, the error of taking inefficient notes.
Every dār al-ʿulūm has a broad range of students taking notes. Some, in the process of attempting to write every word emanating from the teacher’s mouth verbatim, miss the core content of the lecture. Others, on the other hand, give up writing completely and hope to rely on a classmate’s notes. As with everything in life, success lies in creating a balance.Read More »
Professor Guillaume is not merely offering a translation of the received text of the biography of Muhammad, as recorded by Ibn Hisham from al-Bakka’i, from Ibn Ishaq. His work is a translation of his own reconstruction of Ibn Ishaq ….
… one gathers from the concluding words on page v that the translator hopes that his translation will ‘help to further cooperation and friendliness between my country and the Islamic world.’ This is an aim which is, of course, more expedient than academic, but it is nevertheless a commendable one, formulated as it is by a student of Islam who is at the same time an Anglican clergyman. It is difficult, however, to see how a profane transformation of the received text of the life of Muhammad such as is attempted by Professor Guillaume is likely to commend itself to the Islamic world.Read More »
Fārūq, Muḥammad, Janāb Gurū Nānak Jī ؒ awr Islām, Maktaba Maḥmūdiyya, UP (1431/2010), 80 pages, paperback.
Review by Shahin-ur Rahman
Concise and easy to read, this succinct treatise on comparative religion offers a profound insight into the life of Gurū Nānak, who is believed to be the founder of the Sikh religion. Targeting the objective Sikh observer, the author presents a well-referenced Urdu biography of Gurū Nānak, proving him to be not only a Muslim, but a knowledgeable Muslim leader.
It should be known that the objective of the book was not to celebrate Gurū Nānak and boast that he adhered to the same religion as the author does. Rather, quite the opposite is true: the author’s intent behind this work was to bring forth anecdotes of Gurū Nānak’s biography, which can assist the objective researcher in identifying the true teachings of Gurū Nānak as he himself taught. This would, in turn, be a means of guiding the Sikh brethren to reconsider their perception of Sikhism, and, thereby, adopt the religion that Gurū Nānak had truly preached. This is evident from the ‘food for thought’ at the end of the booklet, where the author requests the Sikh brethren to read this book side by side with the original sources and compare the two to reach an unbiased conclusion.Read More »