Sharh Muqaddimah It-haf al-Talib

Salam, The following is a brief commentary based very loosely on the authors ‘Sharh’ to Ithaf al-Talib. The original text is in bold, with the commentary/notes following thereafter, more detailed discussions and biographies are present as footnotes.

In the name of Allah
– Allah is the supreme name according to the most correct opinion[1].

The author started with the Basmalah followed by the Hamdalah following the example of the Quran and due to the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): ‘Every important matter which does not begin with Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim is cut off’[2]

the most Beneficient the most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, and Salutations and Blessings
– Due to His (taala) words: ‘Send salutatations and blessings upon him’[3]

upon our Master
-meaning the the best of creation

the Messenger of Allah.
– Referring to our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). A messenger is: a free male human given revelation of a sacred law and ordered to convey it to others

To proceed:
– A word used to move from one statement to another, it is desirable to use it in speeches and writings following the example of the Messenger of Allah (s)[4]

This is a Mukhtasar
– A mukhtasar is that which has a small number of words but a large amount of meanings.

on fiqh
– It deals with that which the responsible person must perform and that which he must avoid, its source/origin is the Quran, Sunnah, consensus and analogy. Its is the goal amongst the different sciences, the others being means, as by means of learning fiqh one comes to know the lawful and unlawful, and other legal rulings, it is the cause for the organisation of peoples lives.

according to the madhab
– That which is the strongest opinion according to the Mujtahid scholar after his having analysed the evidences

of the greatest Imam:
– The possesor of noble and praiseworthy virtues, Numan bin Thabit, whose kunyah is

Abu Hanifah (may Allah the exalted have mercy upon him)
– He was born in al-Anbar[5] and it is said in al-Kufah in 80(AH), he lived for 70 years and died in Rajab or Shaban in the year 150. According to the most correct view he died whilst in prison in Baghdad, due to his refusing to accept the position of Qadi. He was buried in the Khaizran graveyard.
His father Thabit was born a muslim, and was from the people of al-Anbar according to that which is reported from Muhammad bin Ishaq[6]
Al-Khatib[7] mentioned in his Tarikh that Abu Hanifah met four of the companions, they are: Anas bin Malik in Basrah, Abdullah bin Abi Awfah in al-Kufah, Sahl bin Sad al-Saaidi in al-Madinah and Abu Tufail Amir bin Wathilah in Makkah. He did not meet any of them except that he took from them. He took fiqh from Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman[8], Ata bin Abi Rabah[9], Abu Ishaq al-Sabiee[10], al-Haitham bin Habib[11], Muhammad bin al-Munkadir[12], Nafi’ the Mawla of Abdullah bin Umar[13], Hisham bin Urwah[14] Sammak bin Harb[15] and other major scholars from the generation of the Tabieen may Allah be pleased with them all.

From those who narrate from him and thus are his students are:
Abdullah bin al-Mubarak[16], Waki Ibn al-Jarrah[17], al-Qadi Abu Yusuf[18],Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Shaibani[19], Dawud al-Tai[20], Fudail Ibn Iyad[21], Bishr al-Hafi[22], Ibrahim bin Adham[23] and others.

His knowledge has spread far and wide, his virtues and excellent qualities are numerous and have been mentioned elsewhere in other works.

which the legally responsible person
– Meaning the one who has reached puberty and is sane

cannot do without
– Due to that which it contains from the important legal rulings of the religion and muslim belief

if unable to study
– Due to a lack of resolve

that which is more detailed than it.

I have summarized it
– Meaning selected it

from the books of our companions
– Meaning the authors of the works in the madhab such as the book al-Kanz[24], Mukhtasar al-Wiqayah[25], Ghurar al-Ahkam[26] and Tanwir al-Absar[27]

when I saw that there was a need for it.
-For some students due the lack of their desire or ability

I have named it Ithaf al-Talib. I ask Allah
– And no one other than Him, for he is all powerful to give, and other than Him have no power

glorified be He
– Transcending him from anyone else possessing benefit and harm

to benefit by it
– Meaning by this Mukhtasar, by learning it and understanding the legal rulings contained within it

all those desirous [of seeking knowledge and teaching]
– By understanding its meanings and acting according to what it necessitates

[1] This is the view of the majority of the people of knowledge, due to its greatness it was mentioned by Allah 2360 times in the Quran according to some. It has also been said that the supreme name (Ism al-Adham) is al-Hayy al-Qayyum, this was the view of a group of scholars including Imam al-Nawawi. A large group also said that the gratest name was La ilah Illah Anta Subhanaka Inni Kuntu Min al-Zalimin.
Ibn Abidin said in his Hashiyah (1/7) that Imam Abu Hanifah said that Allah was the supreme name, and this was the view of al-Tahawi, many of the scholars and the majority of the gnostics (arifin).
[2] Al-Jami al-Saghir with Fayd al-Qadir (5/13, n. 6284) what it means is that it will be lacking in barakah (blessings).
[3] The full verse is: […]
Know that sending salutations upon Him(s) is compulsory (wajib). There are varying opinions as to when it is compulsory. One: After the last tashahhud of every prayer according to the Shafi scholars. Two: After accepting Islam during ones liftetime, atleast once. Three: Everytime He (s) is mentioned, this was the view of al-Halimi from the Shafis, al-Lakhami from the Malikis, al-Tahawi from the Hanafis, and Ibn Battah from the Hanbalis. Four: In every gathering. Five: At the beginning and end of every supplication/dua. See Sharh al-Safawi Ala al-Zubad.
[4] Al-Bukhari (1061) Muslim (876)
[5] In present day Iraq, for further information refer to Mujam al-Buldan of Yaqut al-Hamawi (1/305)
[6] Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar al-Muttalibi. He was a Muhaddith,Hafidh, knowledgeable of Arab history and reported their poetry. He died in the year 151. al-Dhahabi mentioned that he was a trsutoworthy narrator. See Mizan al-Itidal (2/468-475) and Mujam al-Muallifin (9/44)
[7] He is Ahmad bin Ali bin Thabit better known as al-Khatib al-Baghdadi. He was a mUhaddith, historian. Born in the year 392 and it is said 391,he was raisedin Baghdad, he travelled to learn hadith and passed away in Baghdad in the year 463. His Tarikh al-Baghdad is printed in 14 volumes. See Mujam al-Muallifin (2/3) al-Ialaam (1/172)
[8] Hammad bin Abi Suleiman, the mawla of Ibrahim bin Abi Musa al-Ashari, he was from al-Kufah and a jurist. He was a trustoworthy Mujtahid Imam. See al-Kashif (1/349) of al-Dhahabi and al-Khulasah al-Khazraji (92)
[9] Ata bin Abi Rabah, Abu Muammad al-Qurashi. He took from Aishah and Abu Hurairah. He lived till he was 80 and passed away in the year 114 or 115. See al-Kashif (2/21), al-Khulasah (p.266)
[10] He is Amr bin Abdullah Abu Ishaq al-Hamdhani al-Sabiee. One of the major scholars, he took from Jarir, Udayy bin Hatim, Zayd bin Arqam and Ibn Abbas. He lived till he was 95,and passed away in the year 127. al-Kashif (2/82)
[11] He is al-Haitham bin Habib al-Sairafi al-Kufi, he narrates from Ikrimah, Hammad bin Abi Suleiman, Muharib bin Dithar and al-Hakam bin Utaibah. Imam Ahmad praised him. See Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (11/91)
[12] Muhammad bin al-Munkadir bin Abdullah bin al-Hudair al-Taymi al-Madani, the Hafidh. He narrates from his father, Aishah, Abu Hurairah, Abu Qatadah, Abu Ayyub an Jabir. See al-Kashif (2/224)
[13] He is Nafi Abu Abdullah al-Faqih, he narrates from his Mawla Ibn Umar, Abu Hurairah and Aishah. He was one of the major Imam’s of the Tabieen. See al-Kashif (2/315)
[14] Hisham bin Urwah Abu al-Mundhir, and it is said Abu Abdullah al-Qurashi, he narrates from his uncle Ibn al-Zubair and his father. Abu Hatim said: He is trustworthy and an Imam in hadith. See al-Kashif (2/337)
[15] Sammak bin Harb Abu al-Mughirah al-Dhuhli, one of the scholars of al-Kufah. He narrates from Jabir bin Samurah and al-Numan bin Bashir. He said: I met 80 of the companions. See al-Kashif (1/465) and al-Khulasah of al-Khazraji (p.155-156)
[16] Abdullah bin al-Mubarak bin Wadih Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Hanzali, the Sheikh of Khurasan. His students include: Ibn Mahdi, Ibn Maeen and Ibn Arafah. He was born in the year 118 and passed away in Ramadan 181. See al-Kashif (1/591)
[17] Waki Ibn al-Jarrah Abu Sufyan al-Ruwasi, one of the major scholars. His students include: Ahmad, Ishaq and Ibrahim bin Abdullah al-Qassar. He was born in 128 and passed away on the day of Ashurah in 197. See al-Kashif (2/350)
[18] He is the Imam, Allamah, Jurist (Faqih) of the Iraqi’s, Yaqub bin Ibrahim al-Ansari al-Kufi. The student of Abu Hanifah. He narrates from Hisham bin Urwah, Abu Ishaq al-Shaibani, Ata bin al-Saaib and their level. Those who narrate from him include: Muhammad bin al-Hasan, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Bishr bin al-Walid, Yahya bin Maeen, Ali bin al-Ja’d, Ali bin Muslim al-Tusi. Ibn Maeen said: Abu Yusuf is from the people of hadith and people of the sunnah. See al-Tadhkirah of Hafidh al-Dhahabi (1/293) and al-Intiqa of Ibn Abd al-Barr (p.329)
[19] Muhammad bin al-Hasan bin Farqad al-Shaibani, the author of the six works which are called the Zahir al-Riwayah which transmit the relied upon positions of the Hanafi madhab. Ibn Abd al-Barr quoted al-Shafi as saying: I have not met a man more intelligent than him. Al-Intiqa (337).
He was raised in al-Kufah, he studied with Abu Hanifah, Misar bin Kidam and Sufyan al-Thawri. He also narrated from Malik bin Anas and is one of the narrators of his Muwatta, al-Awzai and Qadi Abu Yusuf. He came to Baghdad where people came to study from him hadith and fiqh. His students include: Imam al-Shafi, Abu Suleiman al-Jawzjani, Abu Ubaid al-Qasim bin Salam and others. See Tarikh al-Baghdad (2/172)
[20] He is Dawud bin Nasr al-Tai, the jurist and ascetic, he narrates from Abd al-Malik Ibn Umair,Humaid al-Taweel, Ibn Abi Laylah, Amash and others. His students include: Ibn Uyaynah, Ishaq bin Mansur al-Saluli, Waki and Abu Nuaym. He was declared trustworthy by Ibn Maeen and was included by Ibn Hibban in the trustworthy narrators. Muharib bin Dithar said: If Dawud had been in the previous communities Allah would have informed us about him. See al-Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (3/203).
[21] Fudayl bin Iyad al-Tamimi al-Khurasani the ascetic. His students include: Yahya al-Qattan, Ibn Mahdi and others. He was trustworthy and praised greatly. He lived over 80 years and passed away in Muharram 187. See al-Kashif (2/124).
[22] He is Bishr bin al-Harith bin Abd al-Rahman bin Ata bin Hilal al-Marwazi, the well known trustworthy ascetic. He passed away in the year 227 at 67 years of age. Se Taqrib al-Tahdhib (p.122)
[23] Ibrahim bin Adham Abu Ishaq al-Balkhi, the ascetic. He passed away in the year 162. See al-Kashif (1/208)
[24] Kanz al-Daqaiq, one of the relied upon texts in fiqh. It is by Imam Abu al-Barakat Abdullah bin Ahmad al-Nasafi (d.710). See Kashf al-Zunun (2/1515).
[25] Mukhtasar al-Wiqayah known as al-Nuqayah, by Sadr al-Shariah Ubaidullah bin Masud al-Mahbubi al-Hanafi (d.750). See Kashf al-Zanun (2/2021)
[26] Ghurar al-Ahkam fi Furu al-Hanafiyyah is a text by Mulla Khusrau (d.885), he also authored a commentary to it called Durar al-Hukkam. See Kashf al-Zanun (2/1199)
[27] Tanwir al-Absar wa Jami al-Bihar fi al-Furu by Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Tumurtash al-Ghazzi (d.1004) he also authored a commentary to it called Fath al-Ghaffar. See Kashf al-Zanun (1/501)

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