One of the most enjoyable books I have read that discusses the virtues of each month and the good actions specific to each. A perfect book for khatibs and imams. This edition does include useful notes but unfortunately does not have a complete takhrij.
Over the past two years, Madania Publications has revamped their publishing by making the change to publish books with better material quality and style (glossy cover, better print, proper margins, less misprints, attractive cover images, etc.). This is very well appreciated as Islamic literature in the English language, usually translated works, often lacks the aesthetic quality which western readers are acquainted with. Therefore, readers make the mistake of dismissing the book simply due to the publication’s poor material quality and style. As a consequence, they are deprived of the academic and spiritual treasures of past and present scholars.
Madania Publications’ latest release is the well-known treatise of Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhlawi (ra) entitled The Inseparability Of Shari’a & Tariqa. Readers may be acquainted with a previous English translation and publication of this work by Darul Ishaat.
Previously on at-Tahawi, we had provided an e-copy of this book: “Shari`ah and Tariqah: Inseparable and Indivisible” – Available for Download
The ISBN for the Madania Publication is 978-1-936157-03-7, and consists of 221 pages. A brief overview of the book is provided below:
- How did Islamic law develop?
- What are the Foundations of Islamic Jurisprudence?
- What is the relationship between Shari’a and Tariqa?
- What is taqlid and does it still hold relevant in our time?
- Which sciences must be mastered before one can interpret the Qur’an and Hadith
I have just received the book “al-Adkhar” by imam an-Nawawi from Dar al-Minhaj (http://www.alminhaj.com/) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I bought it from HUbooks in the UK (http://www.hubooks.com/). Last year I got another copy of the same book from a bookseller in the Netherlands but from a different publisher: Dar al-Fajr li’t-Turath, which is behind al-Azhar University in Cairo (as it says inside); it can be bought at Kitaabun in the UK. What struck me immediately are the big differences between these versions:
1.) The volume or size. The version from Dar al-Minhaj has 736 pages and the version from Dar al-Fajr (in short) has only got 459 pages. That is a huge difference (almost 300 pages) and I wonder how this is possible. What happened? The Dar al-Minhaj version is twice the size -and weight- of the Dar al-Fajr version. Only a careful study of the books will reveal this. Noteworthy is the Dar al-Minhaj version has more and extensive footnotes (with the commentary of Ibn ‘Allan) but this doesn’t explain the difference of almost 300 pages.
2.) The print – style. While the Dar al-Minhaj version is printed in a classical style with a black cover with golden letters etc. the Dar al-Fajr version seems to be ‘popularized’ by the bright colours (turquoise, green and yellow) and funny Arabic letters in calligraphy to make it more attractive for the eye but it looks cheap actually. (They did the same with their version of the Muwatta of imam Malik.)
3.) The Dar al-Fajr version has a tahqiq -as it says on the cover- done by a certain muhaqqiq called Hamid Ahmad at-Tahir al-Basyuni (?). The Dar al-Minhaj version has no (complete) tahqiq (although at the end there seem to be some remarks on the authenticty of several ahadith under the title al-Fawa’id al-Bahiyyah wa an-Nukta al-Mardiyyah ‘ala al-Adhkar an-Nawawiyyah). What one immediately notices in the footnotes is the reference to shaykh al-Albani in the Dar al-Fajr version. The muhaqqiq seems to rely on him for grading some of the ahadith quoted in the book. Could this tahqiq be a reason for the difference in pages? When one does a search on the internet one comes across articles that speak of tampering with this book for example where it concerns visiting the grave of the Prophet s.a.w.s. and probably this is not the only issue.
4.) Both books begin and end with the same things, apart from some distinctive things like a biography of imam an-Nawawi in the Dar al-Fajr version and scans from the handwritten copy of the book in the Dar al-Minhaj version.
5.) The big benefit of the Dar al-Minhaj version is that is has full tashkil which facilitates reading.
So we can conclude there is most probably some content missing from the Dar al-Fajr version. This is a task for the researchers amongst us. Questions that need to be answered are: what exactly is left out in the Dar al-Fajr version and most importantly why? It doesn’t seem to do justice to the original work by imam an-Nawawi rahimahullah. The danger is not that someone undertook a tahqiq of the book but the fact that the muhaqqiq ‘filtered’ the book or made a mukhtasar of it, fooling people to believe it is the actual book, and leaving things deliberately out.
To end: there are more versions of this magnificent book. One of these versions is the one by Dar al-Bayan at-Turath which can be downloaded here: http://read.kitabklasik.co.cc/2009/12/al-adzkar-al-muntakhabah-min-kalami.html This version has 533 pages. Still less than the Dar al-Minhaj version. And there is the version by Dar Ibn Hazm which contains 741 pages (See here: http://www.albalagh.net/bookstore/?action=view&item=0782).
A very small part of the book has been translated to English, including audio, and can be downloaded for 1 pound on the Deenport and Kitaba website.
Last but not least: an English translation of this book will be published soon by Turath Publishing. It is also said shaykh Nu Ha Mim Keller is working on an English translation, w’Allahu ‘alam.
The author writes,
“During my student years when I was studying Mishkat Sharif, I read the famous hadith of Jibrael. He came to the Blessed Prophet (S) to teach the Ummah the basics of Deen. After Iman and Islam we read:
ما الاحسان قال أن تعبدوا الله كانك تراه
‘What is Ihsan?’
The Blessed Prophet (S) replied, ‘To worship Allah I as if you see him.’
Ihsan is also known as tariqat, tasawwuf, and suluk, all of which are embodied in thedefinition of ihsan. Then, as I continued studying different books of ahadith, the inseparable nature of Shari’ah and tariqat became so strong in my heart that if I heard anything against it, I considered it ignorance and indifference towards the subject. Likewise, if I ever heard anything against the pureand pristine Shari’ah, which is derived from the Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Blessed Prophet (S) which is the most authoritative exposition of the Qur’an, and then fiqh which is the pith of both the Qur’an and Sunnah, I disregarded it and thought it unworthy of my time.”
Complete Arabic Text with Facing English Translation
Translated by Mashhad Al-Allaf, Revised and Edited by Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf
Imam Ghazali’s Bidayat al-Hidaya is a highly motivational manual detailing the fundamentals of acquiring guidance through God-consciousness (taqwa). Imam Ghazali argues that just as there is an end to this noble objective there is also a beginning to it, which must be made firm for one to achieve success. He then goes on to expound the fundamentals of this “beginning.” While being concise and to-the-point the manual is laid out in the form of a detailed daily timetable providing the reader strong inspiration and much heart-rending counsel. The three sections of this book are on obedience, refraining from disobedience, and the etiquette of companionship with the Creator and with creation. One of Imām Ghazālī’s final works, it embodies a lifetime of learning, experience, and spirituality and can be taken as an introduction to his larger works.
This translation published for the first time with facing Arabic text also includes many notes and transliteration for the supplications contained within.
“An excellent translation of an important book on the fundamentals of Muslim piety and etiquette. With an accessible English translation alongside the original Arabic text, this introductory work will be useful for readers interested in
exploring the realities of Islamic piety, students of Arabic and educators alike.”
jonathan ac brown University of Washington
“This welcomed translation provides Ghazali’s manual The Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidaya) to serious students, seekers, and scholars and combines contemporary fluency with respect for sacred Islamic tradition.”
Marcia Hermansen Loyola University Chicago
Dr. Mashhad Al-Allaf holds a doctoral degree in Modern Philosophy: Science & Metaphysics (1995). His bachelor’s and master’s degrees concentrated on the Philosophy of Science. He has taught at Washington University, St. Louis University,
and Webster University and is the author of several works, including The Basic Ideas and Institutions of Islam (2008), Locke’s Philosophy of Science and Metaphysics (2007), and The Essential Ideas of Islamic Philosophy (2006). He is the co-author of the forthcoming Islamic Philosophy of Science and Logic (University of Pittsburgh). His current research focuses on integrative studies and multiculturalism, as well as Engineering Ethics, Biomedical Ethics, Love and Romance in Islam, and Islamic Theory of Science