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Muntasir Zaman

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Book Review: The Reports of Abū Mikhnaf in al-Tabarī’s History: The Era of the Rightly Guided Caliphs

Book Review: The Reports of Abū Mikhnaf in al-Tabarī’s History: The Era of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, a Critical Appraisal Reviewed by Muntasir Zaman [Marwiyyāt Abī Mikhnaf fī Tārīkh al-Tabarī: ‘Asr al-Khilāfah: al-Dirāsah Naqdiyyah, by Yahyā ibn Ibrāhīm al-Yahyā, Riyadh: Dār al-‘Asimah, 2011, 528 pp., $9.50 (hardback), ISBN 978-603-8057-11-7] Introduction The rapid expansion of Islam’s borders...

The Science of al-Jarh wa al-Ta‘dīl: Separating Wheat from Chaff

The Science of al-Jarh wa al-Ta‘dīl: Separating Wheat from Chaff By Muntasir Zaman “And true virtue is what critics cannot help but acknowledge” goes the popular adage.[1] A case in point is where the renowned Orientalist Aloys Sprenger (d. 1893 CE) humbles his pen to write, “There is no nation, nor has there been any which like them [Muslims] has during twelve centuries recorded the life of...

The Isnād System: An Unbroken Link to The Prophet

The Isnād System: An Unbroken Link to The Prophet By Muntasir Zaman Pause for a moment, and ask yourself: what are the greatest accomplishments of the Muslim civilization? At first thought, a number of things will probably come to mind, ranging from mathematics to medicine to architecture—perhaps even coffee.[1] But unfortunately we tend to overlook one of the greatest accomplishments, if not the...

Sixty Years in The Making: A Closer Look at Shaykh ‘Awwāmah’s Edition of Tadrīb al-Rāwī fī Sharh Taqrīb al-Nawāwī

Sixty Years in The Making: A Closer Look at Shaykh ‘Awwāmah’s Edition of Tadrīb al-Rāwī fī Sharh Taqrīb al-Nawāwī By Muntasir Zaman When an expert assures you that he invested sixty years of experience in a given project, it should come as no surprise that such a work deserves undivided attention. That is the case with the latest edition of Imām Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūtī’s (d. 911 AH) magnum opus...

A Student’s Guide to Essential Works on Qur’ānic Exegesis

A Student’s Guide to Essential Works on Qur’ānic Exegesis By Mawlānā Yūsuf al-Bannūrī  Translator’s Preface Before you is an excerpt from “Yatīmat al-Bayān,” a forward by the critical hadith scholar Mawlānā Yūsuf al-Bannūrī (d. 1397 AH) to “Mushkilāt al-Qur’ān” which is a compilation of exegetical notes by ‘Allāmah Anwar Shāh al-Kashmīrī (d. 1352 AH). In this excerpt, Mawlānā Yūsuf al-Bannūrī...

Insights on the Usage of Computer Programs to Locate and Grade Hadīth

Insights on the Usage of Computer Programs to Locate and Grade Hadīth By Muftī ‘Abd al-Mālik al-Kumillā’ī [Translator’s Preface: The following is an excerpt from Muftī ‘Abd al-Mālik’s book “al-Madkhal ilā ‘Ulūm al-Hadīth al-Sharīf”[1] on the use of computer programs to locate and grade hadīths. In this excerpt, Muftī ‘Abd al-Malik, seeing the abuse of these programs, sets out to clarify several...

A Day in The Life of Hāfiż Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī

A Day in The Life of Hāfiż Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī By Shams al-Dīn al-Sakhāwī[1] [Translator’s Preface: “The beauty of the skies lies in the stars; the beauty of the earth lies in the pious.” The following is a description of a day in the life of the great Hadīth scholar Hāfiż Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī (d. 852 AH). This was documented by his close companion and student Shams al-Dīn al-Sakhāwī (d. 902...

On the Reward of Performing Two Sajdahs after the Witr Prayer Followed by the Recitation of “Subbūh Quddūs Rabb al-Malā’ikah wa al-Rūh” and Ayāt al-Kursī

On the Reward of Performing Two Sajdahs after the Witr Prayer Followed by the Recitation of “Subbūh Quddūs Rabb al-Malā’ikah wa al-Rūh” and Ayāt al-Kursī By Ibrāhim ibn Muhammad al-Halabī Translated by Muntasir Zaman [Translator’s Preface: The following is an analysis of a hadith concerning the supposed virtue of performing two sajdahs after the Witr prayer followed by the recitation of “subbūh...

Assessing the Status of Imām Abū Hanīfah According to the Methodology of the Hadīth Scholars

Assessing the Status of Imām Abū Hanīfah According to the Methodology of the Hadīth Scholars By Shaykh Shākir Fayyād With comments by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattāh Abū Ghuddah [Translator’s Preface: the following is a summary by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattāh Abū Ghuddah of a book which analyzes the allegation of weak memory leveled against Imām Abū Hanīfah. In this study, the author uses the methodology of the...

Laying the Foundation: A Historical Analysis of Kūfah’s Academic Development

Translator’s Preface The profound influence ones environment has in shaping his personality, worldview, and knowledge is a universally accepted fact. It is as the age-old proverb goes, “Tell me the company you keep, and I will tell you who you are.” As such, to appreciate the early Muslim scholars of ‘Irāq, in particular those of Kūfah, it is of paramount importance to understand the academic...

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