al-Waraqat Translated by Hatem Bazian
TEXT OF ALWARAQAT – Book Sample
You might also be interested in reading commentary on the same book of al-Waraqat by Muhammad Nabeel Musharraf. Abu Aminah Ilias also made a translation of al-Waraqat called al-Waraqatu fi Usul al fiqh
Introduction – TEXT OF ALWARAQAT
41-Waraqat, a fifth century Islamic era text, was composed by Imam al-Haramayni al-Jüwajni((‘al-Haramayu is a title given to Abd al-Malik in dullah ibn Yasul ibu Muhammad, which means the Imam of the ‘Two Sanctuaries, Mecca and Madina. 4-Jūwayni spent four years teaching in the city of mecca, then moved to Madine engaging in teaching the formal Islamic sciences and issuing legal opinions, thus the title the Imam of’al-Haramayn)) (d. 478 H., 1085 CE), who, at his own time, was the foremost authority in uşūl al-fiqh and fiqh in the Shăfi school of law.
Imam al-Jūwa yii was only two generations removed from al-Imam al-Shafi ‘7 (d.208 H, 820 CE), which makes his contribution in the field of vșul very critical and comes at the initial stage of the codification process. Also, al-Jūwani is the primary uşūl teacher of al-Ghazăli (d. 505 H, 1111 CE), who, at his own time, was considered to be the Mlūjadid (the re-newer) of the faith and sciences and contributed works in various fields of Islamic learning.
A-Ghazali, who is more known for his Süti works in the West, is one of the foremost authorities in the field of usül and his book al-Mustasta continues to be a foundational work for advanced students in Islamic jurisprudence.
al-Waraqät was intended as an introductory text on usul for students of figh. Students were required to study the text with a scholar while in the process committing it to memory.
The text is concise and brief by design to make it easier for memorization and to compel the student to seek a scholar who can help in unlocking the meanings and providing essential commentary. 41-Jūwayni wrote al-Waraqāt in prose style and it was al-‘Imriti((Al-‘Imriti, al-Imām Yahia bin Nür al-dīn bin Müsa al-Shatin al-‘Ansari al-‘Azhari. Born in a small village in and educated in al-‘Azhar in the Shäis school of law. He was a well-known Shatin scholar and a grammarian and has to his credit a number of works including this poem in usül which he composed from the original prose of Imam al-Haraman. In addition to this one in usül he has composed another poem on Arabic grammar based on the text of al-Qurumia. )) who transformed it into verse in the 10th century Islamic era.
al-‘Imristi (d. 989 H., approximately 1600 CE) born and educated in Egypt and an adherent of the Shafi school has to his credit a number of texts that he transformed into verse making it easy for memorization. The translated text of al-Waraqát below is the verse version produced by al-‘Imrijti, and thus it adheres to poetry meters making easy to memorize in the Arabic language, which gets lost in the English translation.
The text is very structured and covers, in a brief fashion, all the elements involved in the science of usül. It consists of 215 lines of poetry divided into some 20 chapters with each chapter dealing with one aspect of usul. Presently, the text is still used in many Islamic universities and institutions around the Muslim world to introduce students to the field of uşül.
This has aroused my interest in translating it and then to begin work on an English translation of a complete commentary on the text, which will be forthcoming in the near future.
My hope in this undertaking is to provide the students of Islamic Studies and Islam in general an opportunity to study a text as it was and is being taught by those who adhere to this well-established tradition of learning.
The goal behind this effort is not as much a critique or analysis; rather it is a basic level introduction to students in the West of a text that serves as foundational work for a living religious and legal tradition. In reading the text we first begin to appreciate the intellectual vigor pursued in the production process, the organizational structure followed, and the scope of issues contained within, which taken collectively might help in deepening our understanding of the field of usül and those who are specialized in it.
Introduction to the text
|ذو العجز والتقصير والتفريط||قال الفقير الشرف العمريطي|
|1) Says the poor in lineage al-‘Imriti, the one marked by impotence”, deficiency, and shortcomings:|
|علم الأصول للورى وأشهرا||الحمد لله الذي قد أظهرا|
|2) Praise is to Allah who made apparent the science of al-usul for humanity and made it famous.|
|على زكي الأصل طه أحمدا||ثم الصلاة والسلام سرمدا|
The term impotence in modern English usage has been narrowly defined and is exclusively used to convey a sexual disorder’. However, the term itself is far more inclusive and describes a general state of inability. Man’s true relation to God is that of impotence, because God is the all-able while man is in a constant state of inability. Also, man’s perceived ability is only that, a perception that has no independent realily on its own. All creations perceived ability is contingent upon the One, God, who is all able and is the giver of all that can be considered ability in creation. I considered translating the term in Arabic to mean incompetence, but this option was limiting in its definition and has the further implication of man being able, but at the same time deficient, which represents a departure from the Islamic principles of theology. Language includes the indicators of a people epistemological constructs and translation from one language to another leads to the transformation, if not complete change of this epistemology. Translation places limits and restrictions on the transfer of epistemology and full meaning from one language to another……
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