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The Life and Works of Hāfiẓ al-Zayla‘ī, Author of Nasb al-Rāyah

The Life and Works of Hāfiẓ al-Zayla‘ī, Author of Nasb al-Rāyah By Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwāmah Translated by Muntasir Zaman Name and lineage He is the Imām, prolific Hadith memorizer, and authority, Jamāl al-Dīn Abū Muhammad ‘Abd Allāh ibn Yūsuf ibn Yūnus Ibn Muhammad al-Zayla‘ī[1] al-Hanafī, one of the leading Hadīth experts of the 8th century, which brimmed with experts of Hadīth who revived the...

Distinctive Traits of the Islamic System of Inheritance

Distinctive Traits of the Islamic System of Inheritance By Mufti Taqi Uthmani Translated by Muntasir Zaman Islamic law has put in place a fair and wise system of inheritance. The Qur’an and Sunnah have meticulously elucidated the subject without leaving it to human reasoning, which is unable to fully grasp the profound wisdom only encompassed by Allah Most High. We, therefore, find that the...

Book Review: Abū Bakr al-Bayhaqī’s al-Madkhal ilā ‘Ilm al-Sunan

Book Review: Abū Bakr al-Bayhaqī’s al-Madkhal ilā ‘Ilm al-Sunan By Muntasir Zaman [Al-Madkhal ilā ‘Ilm al-Sunan, by Abū Bakr al-Bayhaqī, 2016, 1st ed. Muhammad ‘Awwāmah, pp.969 + 94, vol.2, $35 (hardback), ISBN 978-9933-503-59-8] Covering nearly one-hundred topics, it is no wonder the disciplines of Hadīth are one of the few sciences that are ‘ripe’ (nadaj) and ‘roasted’ (ihtaraq), that is...

The Life and Thought of Imām Zāhid al-Kawtharī

The Life and Thought of Imām Zāhid al-Kawtharī  By Muntasir Zaman  “What cosmic soul is imprisoned in that human body?” mused the learned Abū Zahrah (d. 1974) in utter admiration—indeed, “it is the soul of al-Kawtharī!” he proclaimed. [1] In recent memory, relatively few scholars have managed to synthesize expertise in, not merely acquaintance with, the vast majority of Islamic sciences. Shaykh...

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...

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