MINHAJ ET TALIBIN – Book Sample
INTRODUCTION – MINHAJ ET TALIBIN
GLORY to God, the good, the generous, whose blessings are too manifold to be numbered; who poureth forth abundantly His grace and His justice, Who leadeth us in the right way; Who rnaketh to profit in the study of the divine law those His servants towards whom He showeth kindness, and whom He hath chosen.
To Him I offer praise the most high, the most perfect, the most pure, the most complete. I bear witness that there is none other god but He alone, whose power none shareth ; that He is the One that loveth to pardon. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His preferred and chosen Apostle. God grant him His grace and His blessing, and crown him in heaven with favour and honour.
Now, the best way to manifest obedience towards God and make right use of precious time is assuredly to devote oneself to the study of the law. And many of our learned men of blessed memory have already published with this object concise but exhaustive works, of which in my opinion the best is the Moharrar of the imam Abu Kasim er Rafii, an authority whose accuracy is beyond question.
It is a book of the very greatest usefulness, upon whose authority may rely not only the jurist anxious to ascert tin the veritable doctrine of our school, but also any other person who seeks to instruct himself by obtaining infor mation from it.
Rafii intended to include in his work nothing which had not already been established by the majority of authorities, and he may be said to have remained faithful to this programme, in spite of t ho great difficulty of carrying it out.
Its prolixity, however, is an obstacle to this work being learnt by heart, except perhaps by some persons who devote themselves exclusively to the study of law, and consequently it appeared to me to be useful to compose an abridgment of it, in length not more than about half of the original volume, but introducing-if God wil I-some improve ments.
Iu the number of those improvements should principally be men tioned the four following: In the first place, I have everywhere indicated the reservations, that are sometimes not indicated in the Moharrar. Secondly, it will be easy for me to quote from the Moharrar several passages in manifest opposition to the doctrine preferred in our school, as the reader will see, if it please God.
In the third place, I shall replace by others clearer and more correct all the little used expressions employed by Rafii, as well as those that might suggest erroneous ideas, either because he wished to be too explicit, or because he was not sufficiently so.
Finally, in cases where there is divergence of opinion among authorities I shall give an impartial exposition of the two opposing theories, the two sides from which one may consider the question in dispute, and the two methods of reasoning adopted in order to solve it ; and then I will also, where there is occasion for it, quote separately the decisions of our imam Shafii, and note the relative value of the different appreciations.
In order to avoid any subsequent misunderstanding I hereby notify the reader that in tho course of the work I shall employ the words el adhhar and el rnashur to designate the doctrine which appears to me preferrable, with this difference that I shall use el adhhar wherever the doctrine I reject is widely accepted, but otherwise el mashur. Similarly the words el asahh and es sahih will indicate what, in my opinion, is the better wa,y of regarding and resolving a question ; with this differ ence that whore there are to be found authorities of repute who incline to the contrary opinion, I shall use the word el asahh, but otherwise es sahih.
The word el rnazhab will indicate the system which merits the preference in our school ; while en nass will denote the personal opinion of our imam Shafii, even where his reasoning may appear to me to be weak, or in the case of an isolated decision. The word el-jedid means that in his first period, i.e. during his stay in Irak, Shafii was of · the contrary opinion; and the words el-kadirn anclfi kawl kadim indicate that the theory quoted was abandoned by that imam in his second period, i.e. during his stay in Egypt.
The expression kil lwza denotes that this way of regarding and resolving a question is not to be recom mended, and that most authorities come to another conclusion, whether tho method I disapprove is or is not defended by authorities of repute; and I employ the words fi kawl to mean that nearly all authorities have expressed the contrary opinion. And lastly, I must warn the reader that I begin all insertions of my own by the word kultu, and terminate them by the phrase wallaliu aalarn.
In case of words or orthographic signs that have been added intercalated, the reader may rely upon it that the matter was incontestable and the insertion absolutely necessary. Similarly, wherever he may meet with a form of glorifying God differing from that in the :Moharrar or other books upon jurisprudence, he may rest assured that I have verified it from the most authoritative collections of traditions.
And, finally, to some questions I have assigned another place in their section, without keeping to the order in the Moharrar, either because I thought them better placed so, or because I wished to be more concise. I have even taken the liberty to invert the order of whole
sections, in order to improve tho general arrangement.
In consequence of what I have said I hope that this abstract will be at the same time a veritable commentary upon the Moharrar; for, on the one hand, I have omitted absolutely none of the rules and controversies discussed in that work, however small their importance, and, on the other hand, I believe that I have considerably improv ed it.
Moreover, I have already begun a work which will contain a dis cussion of all the debatable points in thi s abstract , a work in which I explain why I have sometimes had to depart from the text of the Moharrar, and sometimes added a reservation or a conditional modi fication, etc. But in almost all cases these changes were absolutely necessary and indisputable.
God, the generous, is my sole helper ; in Him I put my t rust ; upon Him I lean. To Him I address my prayer, that He may cause to grow from my labom some benefit to my self and to all other believers ; that He may be satisfied with me, my friends, and all the faithful.
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