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A Classical Manual of Hanafi Law – Nur al-Idah pdf

  • Book Title:
 A Classical Manual Of Hanafi Law
  • Book Author:
Hasan Shurunbulali
  • Total Pages
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  • Introduction
  • The Rules Pertaining To Fiqh
  • The Validity Of Following Qualified Scholarship
  • Imam Abu Hanifa
  • Imams Muhammad And Abu Yusuf
  • Hasan Shurunbulali
  • BOOK I – Purification
  • BOOK II – Prayer
  • BOOK III – Funerals
  • BOOK IV -Fasting
  • BOOK V Zakat
  • BOOK VI Hajj and Umrah
  • Glossary
  • Sample Examination Questions
  • Works Referred To


Nur al-Idah is a broadly taught Hanafi text which entails vast areas of jurisprudence, namely the rulings pertaining to worship. It leaves the student well prepared to deal the entirety of issues from purification to hajj. It reveals in a small way as to why the Hanafi Madhhab is held in such high esteem from scholars all over the world.

It is practical, sensible and can be used as a reference. This book is based on the teachings of Abu Hanifa and his students, namely Imam Muhammad, Abu Yusuf and Zufar; and provides the reader with an insight into one of the mosl widely embraced Madhhabs by judicial systems in the world today.

Format of The Text

This text of Nur al-ldah presents the Arabic followed by its English translation in bold text. Usually, explanation follows the bold text or is found within the bold text itself. This is because such explanation is from Maraky al-Falah, which is the explanation of Nur al-ldah. Both books are authored by the same person: Hasan Shurunbulali. It should be noted that such explanatory notes are not in bold text.

Moreover, it has been my attempt to translate the text of Nur al-Idah in a manner that can be read independently without reading the commentary or explanatory notes, although at times – interpretation is essential in understanding the meaning of the actual texl. & previously stated, interpretation and comments are by and large from Maraky al-Falah and at times from other Hanafi sources, such as Hashia ibn Abidin, al-lkhtiyar and al-Hidaya.

Indeed, a translation may simplify many things, though this will still require the complete and concentrated attention of the reader. Furthermore, the position of other schools, such as the Shafi’i Madhhab has been added in various places with the intent to give the reader a broader perspective on matters and demonstrate the similarity between the various schools of thought.

As any endeavour is undertaken in translating an Islamic law book, it is possible as with all things to overlook fine points. However, in stating this, the reader should keep in mind that every effort was exhausted in ensuring the translation is an accurate one. Any scenario which pased any shade of grey was immediately referred to numerous scholars and thoroughly investigated from the main Hanafi sources, such as Hashia Ibn Abidin, Bahr ar-Ra’iq, Badai’ as-Sanai’, and al­ Hidaya. Al times, such sources are referenced even when the matter is clear on

the basis of providing greater clarity and aiding the student to view the laws in a different light enabling him to deal with legal rules in a practical way. Lastly, the rule that is displayed in bold is the law. The other opinions mentioned in the annotations and notes are not to be followed. They have been provided to teach the reader fiqh (i.e. legal reasoning). Therefore, the text in bold is the governing and primary text.

Persons who are morally responsible (mukallid take one of the following rulings in the Hanafi Madhhab.

1- The Obligatory lfard]. For the majority of scholars, Jard and wajib are synonymous, and both convey an imperative and binding demand regarding the performance of an action. The obligatory is an act that is established by a decisive text (dalil qati? whose meaning is decisive and not open to the possibility of interpretation, such as the five pillars of prayer, and that which has been established by way of Sunna Muttawatir, such as the recitation of Quran in prayer.

The Hanafis however, have drawn a distinction between Jard and wajib. An act is deemed obligatory (Jard) according to the Hanafis if it is conveyed in a clear and definitive text of the Quran or sunna (known a.s dalil qali?. Though if the command to perform something is conveyed in a speculative text (dalil dhanni}, then the act is deemed necessary [wajib).

It is compulsory to perform that which is deemed obligatory. One who performs an obligatory act out of obedience to God is rewarded, while a person who abstains from an obligatory act without a valid excuse makes himself liable and deserving of punishment. The one who denies the binding nature of an obligatory act becomes an unbeliever if it is established through a clear and definitive text (dalil qati , but not if he disputes the authority of a command that is deemed wajib, although he becomes a transgressor.

A consequence of the distinction between Jard and wajih is that when the Jard is neglected in an act required by the Sacred law, the whole act is null and void. For example; if one leaves out the bowing or prostration of the obligatory prayers, the whole prayer is nullified, though if he leaves out the recitation of the Fatiha (which is wajib), the prayer is valid, but deficient.

2- The Necessary (wajib) according to the Hanafi school is that which is established by a firm command, but which has been established through a text that allows for the possibility of interpretation. This textual proof is called dalil dhanni. This type relates to acts such as sadaqah al-Fitr and the witr prayer.

Verily, these have been established by a speculative text [dhanni uxt) that is open to interpretation. If however, the subject thing is established with a definitive and clear proof (dalil qat’rl, such as with a Quranic verse or hadith Muttawatir, then it is deemed obligatory (lard) as previously mentioned. Denying that which is necessary is deemed as corruption (fisq), though not disbelief. To leave a wajib act is sinful.

The omission of wajib components of prayer does not nullify prayer provided it is omitted absentmindedly and provided two forgetful prostrations are performed at the end of prayer. If a wajib component of prayer is intentionally omitted, then one is required to repeat his prayer in order to mend the defect.

The Mandub (Recommended Act) or Sunna

The manduh (recommnuled act) is divided into three parts; a) sunna mu’akkada, namely, the emphasised sunan, b) the sunna whose acts have been sanctioned by the Sacred law (nafila), though they are not emphasised, and c) sunna zawa’id which refers to the acts and conduct performed by the Prophet as a human being such as his style of dress and choice of food.

  • The Emphasized Sunna [sunna mu-akkada) is that which our blessed Prophet ((God bless him and granJ him peace)) or the Companions did most of the time with respect to worship and did not leave it except on a rare occasion. Examples include the congregational prayer, the adhan and iqama as well as all matters of worship which the Prophet was diligent upon. This sunna is also termed Sunna al­ Huda.

The one who performs an emphasized sunna is rewarded while leaving it is not punishable, though is worthy of blame and reprimand. Customarily leaving a sunna is sinful, because it entail ‘turning away’ from the Messenger of Allah whom we have been commanded to follow.

If a person gives up such acts totally, he is liable to lose his moral probity (‘ada/al,) which may result in the rejection of his testimony. If a town collectively decides to give up these recommended acts, then they expose themselves to legal and military action. Nott; the congregational prayer according to tht Hana.ft Madhhab is an emphasized sunna, whereas the majority maintain that it is a communal obligation. Ahmad iJm Hanhal maintained that it is obligatory on each person to attend tht congregational prayer.

  • The Recommended Sunan (najila), which is not emphasised (and wluch is also tmned mustahah (dtsirahk), meritorious and voluntary) is that which the Prophet did one or more times and then discontinued, and did not diligently perform, such as the four rak’ahs prior to the ‘isha prayer, and all other voluntary acts, such as donating charity to the poor, fasting on the Monday and Thursday of each week((Usul al-Fiqh al-Islam, Wahbi az-Zuhayli 84)). The ruling for one who performs acts of this kind is that he is deserving of reward, while leaving it is not sinful or blameworthy because it is not part of his lawgiving.

Sunna Zawa’ld are the acts of the Prophet pertaining to his ordinary daily tasks as a human being, such as his dress, choice of food and drink as well as his dealings and conduct with his family members. These are acts considered as part of an individual’s perfection by following the Prophet in such things. The rule for such acts is that one who adopts them with the intention of following the Prophet, is an excellence and is to be rewarded. This indicates one’s love for the Prophet. But someone who does not follow the Prophet in such matters is not considered a wrongdoer and is not blameworthy in any way because they are not in the degree of the sunan al-Huda (emphasised) as mentioned previously.

A question from these categories is the following; Is it necessary to fulfil a nafl act that was commenced but was not completed or is it not necessary? The jurists differed on this point. Imam Shafi’i said; one is not required to perform the nafl he commenced and neither is he blamed for its discontinuation, because the nafl was legally introduced with that quality, and this does not impose the act upon a person. Therefore, one is rewarded for its fulfilment and is not blamed for its omission, And as long as it was introduced into the law with that quality. then it is necessary that it remains as such even after it is commenced. He added that; it

cannot become a requirement because the reality of something does not change by being commenced; and that il is preserved in its quality, which is nafl, whether he completes it or nullifies it.1

Abu Hanifa maintained that; nafl that is commenced becomes a requirement to fulfil. For example; if a person begins a voluntary fast, but then ruins the fast, he is required to make up that day even though it was voluntary. He held that if one commenced a voluntary prayer or fast, he is required to accomplish it; and if he does not, then he will become liable to fulfil it as qada (makeup). Abu Hanifa used the following proof; Allah said [..and make not vain your deeds).2 Abu Hanifa also

maintained that a nafl can change into wajib when one promises such an act. For example, if one says, ..I vow by God, that I will perform two rak’ahs of prayer,” then he is required to perform them. Hence, the rak’ahs were voluntary, but became wajib with the vow.

  • The Permissible (mubah) is what the Law-giver has neither requested nor prohibited, so the person who does it, is not rewarded or punished. Though such acts are rewarded if the person intended good. It is also called halal. The muhah mentioned in the text is usually expressed in words like, “It is of no harm tu perform …” or “It is no sin for you,” and so on.
  • The Somewhat Disliked [makruh tanzih] is that which we have been commanded to leave, even though it is not sinful; meaning the law giver has interdicted but not strictly forbidden. One who leaves it is rewarded. while one who does it has acted sub optimally and is not deserving of punishment. Examples of such things that apply to this category is the wudu from the leftover water of a cat or predatory animal. Ibrahim as-Salkini says, “To leave that which is in indicative of the sunna or that which is recommended – is somewhat disliked [makruh tanzih).
  • The Prohibitively Disliked (reprehensible) or unlawfully disliked (makrol, ta/zrim] is the opposite of wajib according to the Hanafls. It ls an act that we have been firmly commanded lo leave through a text which is open to the possibility of interpretation. Denying such a command is misguidance and worthy of punishment, but not disbelief. Performing such an act is sinful. The above division of makruh is based on the Hanafi opinion, while the majority of jurists place makruh tahriman into the category of forbidden insofar as it is a demand for omission expressed in binding terms.

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