47 results in English
The Supreme Method and the Pure Source on the Rules of Notarization
Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyá al-Wansharīsī (1430 or 1431–1508) was a jurist and scholar of the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence. He was born in Jabal Wansharīs, but his family moved when he was a child to nearby Tilimcen in present-day western Algeria, where he studied and later taught Maliki law. His relationship with Tilimcen ruler Sultan Muhammad IV of the Banu Abd al-Wad dynasty soured under circumstances that are unclear, and he consequently fled to Fez, Morocco. With the help of his former student Muhammad ibn al-Gardīs, al-Wansharīsī was able ...
Treatise on Holy War
The first Persian printing press in Iran was established in 1816 in Tabriz, and the first book published by the press was Jihādīyyah (Treatise on holy war), written by Abu al-Qasim ibn 'Isá Qa'im'maqam Farahani (circa 1779–1835), the prime minister of Persia at that time. During the reign of King Fath Ali Shah (1772–1834, reigned 1797–1834), while the Qajar government was absorbed with managing domestic turmoil, rival European colonial powers sought to establish themselves in the region. The British competed for influence in the south ...
Book of Taxation
Kitāb al-kharāj (Book of taxation) is a classic text on fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), written by Abū Yusūf Yaʿqūb Ibrāhīm al-Anṣārī al-Kūfī (died 798; 182 A.H.) at the request of the Abbasid caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd (763 or 766-809). Abū Yusūf was the most famous student of Abū Ḥanīfa and along with his illustrious teacher is considered one of the founders of the Ḥanafī school of law. In the introduction to the book, Abū Yusūf describes how the caliph asked him to write a work treating the collection of al-kharāj (the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Mohammedan History
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Mohammedan History is Number 57 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published in 1920, after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Part I of the book is an overview of the history of Islam from the time of ...
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The Basis for Judges
Asās al-Quz̤āt (The basis for judges) is a lithographic book on Islamic jurisprudence, published in the late 19th century by the royal publishing house in Kabul. It was intended as a source for judges charged with applying the law on the basis of Islamic jurisprudence. The fine quality of the book and the binding reflect the importance given to law books in Afghanistan and other Islamic countries. Lithographic printing was invented in Europe in the late 18th century and spread widely on the Indian subcontinent from the early 19th ...
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Students' Guide
Zakarīyā ibn Muḥammad al-Anṣārī, a Shafi’i jurist, teacher, and Sufi, was born in Egypt and studied at al-Azhar, the Sunni Islamic center of learning in Cairo. Throughout his long career (he lived about 100 years), al-Anṣārī held many positions as judge and Sufi authority. He is recognized as a major figure in medieval Sunni jurisprudence. He studied under the greatest teachers of the age and influenced later generations, being referred to by the honorific Shaykh al-Islam. Manhaj al-Ṭullāb (Students' guide) is an abridgement of Nawawī’s Minhāj al-Ṭālibīn (Path ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Ascent to Success: Commentary on the Light of Clarity
Maraqi al-Falah Sharh Nur al-Idah (Ascent to success: Commentary on the light of clarity) is a handbook for worship according to the Hanafi legal tradition by Egyptian legal scholar Hasan al-Shurunbulali (1585 or 1586-1659). The work, frequently reprinted, is a comprehensive guide to the rituals prescribed by Abu Hanifa (699−767), the founder of the Hanafi school of Islamic law. Topics such as ritual purity, fasting, and pilgrimage are covered in great detail. Hanafi jurisprudence is the predominant tradition in Central and South Asia, Turkey, and many other regions. Al-Shurunbulali ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Ideal Way to Shed Traditions and Embrace First Principles
This printed work by Nūr al-Ḥasan b. Ṣiddīq b. Ḥasan Khan (also seen as al-Qannawjī) deals with taqlid (adherence to Islamic tradition) and ijthad (flexible interpretation of religious principles), issues that have occupied Muslim thinkers for 1,400 years. Al-Ṭarīqah al-muthlá fī al-irshād ilá tark al-taqlīd wa-ittibāʻ mā huwa al-awlá (The ideal way to shed traditions and embrace first principles) is in itself less important than the context in which it was published. The author was from the Muslim court of Bhopal in India. He was the son of a ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Judges’ Assistant for Issues Raised by Adversaries at Law
Mu’in al-Hukam fi-ma Yataraddudu bayn Khusmin al-Ahkam  (The judges’ assistant for issues raised by adversaries at law) is a handbook of Islamic law procedure. It was written in the 15th century by ‘Ali ibn Khalil al-Tarabulsi, also known as ‘Ala’ al-Din ibn al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Khalil al-Tarabulsi (or al-Tarabulusi), a Hanafi jurist in Jerusalem. After introducing his book with references to the singular importance of al-shari’ah (Islamic law) in the Qur’an and among the prophets, al-Tarabulsi proceeds to explain that he wrote in order to elucidate the ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Compendium of Faith
Muḥammad ibn Jaʻfar al-Izkiwī was a leading Muslim scholar who lived in about 900. His name, al-Izkiwī, suggests that he came from Izkī, one of the oldest cities and centers of learning in the interior of Oman. Jāmiʻ al-adyān (The compendium of faith), sometimes referred to simply as al-Jāmiʻ (The compendium) or Jāmiʻ Ibn Jaʻfar (Ibn Jaʻfar’s compendium), is his best-known work. Shown here is an 18th-century manuscript containing the first part of Jāmiʻ al-adyān. As the title suggests, the book summarizes a wide range of topics in Islamic ...
Commentary on “Madārij al-Kamāl”
ʻAbd Allāh ibn Ḥumayyid al-Sālimī (circa 1869–circa 1914) was a leading Omani Ibadite (also seen as Ibadhite and Ibadi) scholar and poet, who was born in the town of Al-Ḥoqain in the Rustāq region of the interior of Oman. Ibadism is an Islamic denomination that traces its roots to the seventh century, at the time of the Sunni−Shiite schism. It is named after Abdullāh ibn Ibāḍ, one of the founding scholars of the doctrine. Today’s adherents of Ibadism are found primarily in Oman, in addition to other ...
The Most Truthful Method of Distinguishing the Ibadites from the Kharijites and The Gift from Heaven on the Judgment of Shedding Blood
Sālim ibn Ḥammūd ibn Shāmis al-Siyābī (1908−93) was an Omani scholar, poet, historian, and judge. He was born in Ghāla, in the state of Bawshār in eastern Oman. A self-taught scholar, al-Siyābī memorized the Qur’an at age seven and went on to study Arabic language classics, including Ibn Malik’s Alfiyah, a 1,000-line poem about Arabic grammar rules. Al-Siyābī was also a prolific writer, and was the author of as many as 84 works, according to Sultān ibn Mubārak al-Shaybānī, who categorized al-Siyābī’s body of work ...
Fundamentals and Rules by Imam al-Nawawi
This short manuscript, Usul wa Dawabit lil-Imam al-Nawawi (Fundamentals and rules by Imam al-Nawawi), by the leading Shafi’i jurist known as al-Nawawi (1233−77), outlines the principles to be applied and the procedures to be used in personal conduct and ritual. The tract is divided into several parts. The first defines the limits of human action and argues against the “exaggerations” of the Mu’tazalite school of philosophy and its deviance from text-based orthodoxy. The work then covers rules for everyday living, including business transactions, marriage contracts, and gender ...
Correction of “The Method,” i.e., “Minhaj al-talibin” by al-Nawawi
This manuscript comprises five volumes of a six-volume work (volume two is missing) on Islamic law. It is a practical manual for judges of the Shafi’i legal tradition. It offers principles and precedents, with few of the linguistic and other digressions often found in legal writing. The work covers many topics including treatment of prisoners of war, alcoholic drinks, and chess. The manuscript is ascribed to jurist ‘Umar ibn Raslan al-Bulqini (1324−1403), but it may have been written by another of the several scholars of his family, there ...
Untitled Outline in Verse of Islamic Obligations
This untitled Arabic manuscript is an urjūza (versification) of Muqaddimat Ibn Rushd (Ibn Rushd’s introduction). It is a work on Mālikī Islamic jurisprudence by Ibn Rushd al-Jadd (the grandfather), otherwise known as Abū al-Walīd Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad (circa 1058−circa 1126), not to be confused with his famous grandson, the philosopher Abu al-Walid Ibn Rushd (1126−98). This versification, commonly known as Naẓm muqaddimat Ibn Rushd (The versification of Ibn Rushd’s introduction), is ascribed to ʻAbd al-Rahman ibn ʻAlī al-Ruqʿī al-Fāsī (died in Fez, in present-day Morocco, circa ...
Fatwa on the Millennium
Kashf ‘an mujawazat hadha al-ummah al-alf (Fatwa on the millennium) is a portion of a more comprehensive genealogical work, Lubb al-Lulab fi Tahrir al-Ansab (The essence of constructing genealogies). It treats the Last Days in Sunni eschatology. The fatwa (legal opinion) was stimulated by a question brought to the author, al-Suyuti (1445−1505), regarding the resurrection of the Prophet Muhammad within a thousand years of his death. Al-Suyuti states that many people are interested in the question of the millennium. He dismisses this belief, saying that it ...
Letter to the Warring Tribes
Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. In this work, the author, a scholar and religious leader, urges warring factions to make peace and live in peace. He supports ...
The Shares According to Siraj
Sirāj al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad 'Sajāwandī was a 12th-century Hanafi jurist whose treatise on the laws of inheritance is regarded as the most important work in this field. This edition of his influential work was published in Lahore, Pakistan (then a part of British India), in 1886 or 1887. The English philologist and jurist Sir William Jones (1746-94) published the first English translation of this work in Kolkata (Calcutta), in 1792. Islamic inheritance law is a complex and refined system of rules that developed over several centuries, and that is ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Friendly Gift on the Science of Arithmetic
This treatise deals specifically with basic arithmetic, as needed for computing the division of inheritance according to Islamic law. It contains 48 folios and is divided into an introduction, three chapters, and a conclusion. The introduction discusses the idea of numbers as an introduction to the science of arithmetic. Chapter I discusses the multiplication of integers. Chapter II is on the division of integers and the computation of common factors. Chapter III deals extensively with fractions and arithmetic operations on them. The author, an Egyptian jurist and mathematician, was the ...
The Gift of the Followers of the Path of Muhammad
Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. This work is about the Songhai Empire, one of the most important states in West Africa during the 14th and 15th centuries ...
A Summary Explanation of the Pronouncements of the Scholars and Theologians
Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. In this work, the author examines theologians' and scholars' approaches to various issues in Islamic law and society and offers an explanation ...
Askiyah's Questions and al-Maghili's Answers [al-Maghili's Tract on Politics]
Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. This treatise is about the Songhai Empire, which flourished in West Africa during the 14th and 15th centuries. It consists of the ...
Life of Animals
This manuscript is a copy of the long version of al-Damīrī’s Hayāt al-hayawān (Life of animals), an encyclopedic work that was widely disseminated in the Islamic world in three versions or recensions—long, intermediate, and short. Muhammad ibn Musā ibn Isā Kamāl al-Din Ibn Ilyās ibn Abd-Allāh al-Damīrī (circa 1342–1405) was an Egyptian tailor who became an author and scholar. Building upon earlier work on animals by Jāhith (780–868), al-Damiri combined the Arabic and Persian literary tradition of animal tales with the legacy of Greece and Rome ...
The Commentary on “The Little Sparkles on the Science of Calculation”
The treatise in this manuscript is a commentary on a mathematical treatise by Šihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Ibn al-Hā’im (circa 1355–1412). Ibn al-Hā’im taught mathematics and Islamic jurisprudence, subjects on which he wrote extensively. The erudite Badr al-Dīn Muhammad Sibt al-Māridīnī (circa 1423–1506), who was at the time working as muwaqqit (timekeeper) at the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, composed this short commentary less then 60 years after the death of Ibn al-Hā’im. Following widespread tradition in Islamic lands, Sibt al-Māridīnī included in the title ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Little Sparkles on the Science of Calculation
The treatise preserved in this manuscript, Al-Luma‘al-yasīra fī ‘ilm al-hisāb (The little sparkles on the science of calculation), deals with Muslim inheritance. Of the social innovations that came with the Islamic conquest, the introduction of the system of fara'id (shares) for inheritances was one of the most radical and socially advanced. The fourth surah of the Qur'an, verses 11–12, criticizes the traditional pre-Islamic system of agnatic succession, under which only men could inherit property, and provides for a proportional division among all the heirs, women included ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Commentary on "The Little Sparkles on the Science of Calculation"
The system of fara'i(shares) for inheritances is considered to be one of the most advanced innovations introduced by Muslim conquerors in Middle Eastern and North African societies. The exact calculation of shares of inheritance is a complex chapter in Islamic law, and it is not surprising that Muslim intellectuals and scientists developed a system of mathematical tools in order to master "the science of the shares" (‘ilm al-fara'i). An important contribution to this field can be found in the work of Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Ibn ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Sketch of the Islamic Law
This manuscript work in two volumes was translated and edited by Ma Boliang (1640–1711), an influential Islamic scholar from Jining, Shandong Province. It deals with the basics of Islam and instructs readers on how to identify unorthodox ideas and deeds. To accommodate some readers, Ma also provided Arabic letters for a few of the most important expressions and terms as well as Chinese characters. The work became very popular in the Muslim community, which constituted a large minority population in China. It has a preface and a postscript, but ...
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The Collection of Symbols: Explanation on Prevention in Matters of Guidance
Jāmi’ al-Rumūz: Sharh Mukhtaṣar al-Wiqāya (The collection of symbols: explanation on prevention in matters of guidance) by Shams al-Dīn Muhammad al-Quhustānī (died circa 1546) is a commentary on Mukhtaṣar al-Wiqāya fi Masa‘il al-Hidaya (Brief explanation of the book on prevention in matters of guidance to the true path) by Ubayd Allāh ibn Masūd Mahbūbī, who died in 1346–47. Al-Quhustānī was a scholar of the Hanafi Madhab (one of the four Sunni schools of fiqh, or religious jurisprudence) and a mufti in Bukhara (present-day Uzbekistan). The work ...
Explanation of “The Reward of the Omnipotent”
This volume includes a commentary on Fatḥ al-Qadīr (The reward of the omnipotent) by Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Waḥid ibn al-Humām (circa 1388–1459) and several other works. Ibn al-Humām was a well-known scholar of the Hanafi Madhab (one of the four Sunni schools of fiqh, or religious jurisprudence) from Alexandria, Egypt. He was an imam and expert in the principles of fiqh and of hadith (the body of traditions relating to the Prophet Muhammad). The other works in the volume include Kashf al-Rumūz wa-al-Asrār (The exploration of signs and secrets ...
Commentary on "The Intersections of the Seas", Volume 2
Majma` al-Anhur fī Sharh Multaqā al-Abḥur (Commentary on "The intersections of the seas") is a commentary by 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad Shaikh-Zādeh (died 1667) on Multaqā al-Abḥur (The intersections of the seas) by Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Halabi al-Hanafi (died 1549), an important Islamic jurist who was born in Syria and studied and worked in Cairo and Istanbul. The work deals with issues of jurisprudence disputed among scholars of the Hanafi Mahdab (one of the four schools of law within Sunni Islam). The commentary analyzes the terms and concepts, explains their ...
Brief Explanation of the “Safeguards of Transmission” of Guidance to the True Path
Mukhtaṣar al-Wiqāya fi Masa‘il al-Hidaya (Brief explanation of the “Safeguards of transmission” [of hadith] of guidance to the true path) by Ubayd Allāh ibn Masūd ibn Mahmud ibn Ahmad al-Mahbūbī (also known as Sadr al-Šhari’a; died 1346) is an abridgement of Wiqayat al-Riwayah (Safeguards of transmission), by Sadr al-Šhari’a’s grandfather, Mahmud ibn Sadr al-Shari'ah al-Awwal, Ubayd Allah al-Mahbūbī (died 1274). Al-Mahbūbī was an eminent scholar of natural science, religion, and jurisprudence who died in Bukhara in present-day Uzbekistan. The book describes the daily practices of ...
The Keys to the Heavens: An Explanation of “Islamic Law”
Mafâtîh al-Jinân: Šharh Šhir’at al-Islam (The keys to the heavens: An explanation of “Islamic law”) is a commentary on the work Šhir’at al-Islam (Islamic law) by Mohammad ibn Abu Bakr al-Jughi (1098–1177). Al-Jughi was known as Imam Zadeh, a scholar and an imam in Bukhara (present-day Uzbekistan). The commentary, by Ya’kub ibn Sayyid ali al-Burssawi (died circa 1524), is an extensive book that discusses belief, manners, and daily practices in an Islamic framework. The work consists of 61 sections, called books. Special attention is paid ...
Two Works on Islamic Beliefs and Practices
This codex comprises two works on Islamic beliefs and practices by the Ottoman writer Aḥmet bin Muḥammed Şemsī Pāşā, who died in 990 AH (1580 AD). These works are entitled Tercümet ül-Viḳāye (The translation of “Wiqāyat al-Riwāyah”) and I’tiḳādiyāt (Beliefs), as inscribed in the headings on folios 2b and 29b, respectively. Both texts were copied in black Nasta’līq script in the 10th century AH (16th century AD). On folio 2a is a note of approval by the famous Ottoman jurist Abū al-Su’ūd (Ebussuud) Efendi (died 982 AH ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Thesis on the Mirror of the Hearts
Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi (died 1166) was a philosopher, Sufi mystic, and the earliest known poet to write in a Turkic dialect. He was born in the city of Isfijab (present-day Sayram, in Kazakhstan) but lived most of his life in Turkestan (also in southern Kazakhstan). He was a student of Arslan Baba, a well-known preacher of Islam. At a time when Farsi dominated literature and public life, Iassavi wrote in his native Old Turkic (Chagatai) language. He was known during his lifetime as a holy person and people from all ...
The Beginning for the Studious and the End for the Selective
Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Rushd (also known by the Latinized version of his name, Averroes, 1126–98 AD; 520–95AH) was a Muslim polymath and the preeminent philosopher of Arab Spain. He was born in Cordoba to a well-respected family that was known for its public service. Although best known in the West for his commentaries on Aristotelian philosophy, Ibn Rushd wrote works on a wide range of subjects, from astronomy to Islamic jurisprudence to music theory. He defended reason and philosophy against disparaging religious scholars such as Al-Ghazali, arguing ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The Meccan Revelations
Muḥyiddin ibn Arabi (1165–1240 AD, 560–638 AH), also known as al-Shaykh al-Akbar (the Great Shaykh), was a Muslim mystic and philosopher of Andalusian origin. He was born in Murcia but his family later moved to Seville. Ibn Arabi’s life was divided almost equally between West and East. After traveling extensively in North Africa, he embarked on a spiritual journey from his native Spain. He arrived in Mecca in 1202, where he spent three years. He then spent years traveling in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and Turkey. He died ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The Greater "Life of Animals", Volume 2
Kamal ud-Din Al-Damiri (circa 1341–1405 AD, 742–808 AH) was a tailor-turned-scholar. He was born in Cairo and spent most of his life in Egypt. Hayat al-Hayawan (Life of animals) is his best-known work. It is found in two versions, referred to as the greater and the lesser. It includes more than 1050 entries on animals, arranged according to the Arabic alphabet. Some of the entries are long, others are shorter or duplicates. The longest entry, for example, is for the lion, and runs to 11 pages. Other entries ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The Greater "Life of Animals"
Kamal ud-Din Al-Damiri (circa 1341–1405 AD, 742–808 AH) was a tailor-turned-scholar. He was born in Cairo and spent most of his life in Egypt. Hayat al-Hayawan (Life of animals) is his best-known work. It is found in two versions, referred to as the greater and the lesser. Shown here is the greater version. It includes more than 1050 entries on animals, arranged according to the Arabic alphabet. Some of the entries are long, others are shorter or duplicates. The longest entry, for example, is for the lion, and ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The Greater “Life of Animals”
Kamal ud-Din al-Damiri (circa 1341–1405) was a tailor-turned-scholar. He was born in Cairo and spent most of his life in Egypt. Hayat al-Hayawan (Life of animals) is his best-known work. It is found in two versions, referred to as the greater and the lesser. Shown here is the greater version. It includes more than 1050 entries on animals, arranged according to the Arabic alphabet. Some of the entries are long, others are shorter or duplicates. The longest entry, for example, is for the lion, and runs to 11 pages ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Poem
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. In Qasīdah (Poem), Sayyid al-Mukhtār ibn Aḥmad ibn Abī Bakr al-Kuntī al-Kabīr instructs students of Islamic law about ...
Commentary on the Work “Examples of Legal Hypotheses”
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. Islamic inheritance law is a highly regulated system in which individuals receive legacies depending upon their degree of relationship ...
The Ladder of Ascent in Obtaining the Procurements of the Sudan: Ahmad Baba Answers a Moroccan’s Questions about Slavery
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. Ahmad Baba ibn Ahmad ibn Umar ibn Muhammad Aqit al-Tumbukti discusses slavery as it existed in West Africa during ...