The Treasure of Exactitudes: On the Doctrine of the Great Imam Abu Hanifah al-Nuʿman Ibn Thabit


Kanz al-daqāʼiq (The treasure of exactitudes) is a summary of Islamic legal prescriptions according to the Hanifite school of sharia law. It covers many aspects of ritual and of personal life, such as purity during menstruation, as well as obligations and procedures pertaining to marriage, divorce, inheritance and other aspects of gender relations. The work also covers commercial transactions, contracts, and manumission of slaves. The table of contents is in matrix form for easy reference to the book’s many subjects. It is not clear whether the author, al-Nasafi (died 1310), also known as Abu al-Barakat al-Nasifi, was originally from Central Asia or from south-central Iran. He is known to have studied law with leading scholars and made the pilgrimage to Mecca, after which he traveled to Baghdad. One of his works, ‘Umdat ‘aqīdat ahl al-Sunnah (Pillars of Sunni belief) was edited and published in the 1840s by British scholar William Cureton (1808−64). There are four Sunni schools of fiqh (religious jurisprudence), all named for their respective founders, Abu Hanifah (circa 699−767), Malik ibn Anas (circa 711−795), al-Shafiʻi (767−820), and Ibn Hanbal (780−855). Each of these schools bases its codifications of law on the Qurʼan and the sunnah (sayings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad), supplemented by rules for interpreting these fundamentals as changing times or as new conditions may require. The four schools spread with the geographic expansion of Islam, and one or another became the principal school in different countries or regions. All are mutually recognized as authoritative. The manuscript was commissioned by or presented to the Egyptian Mamluk ruler Jaqmaq (died 1453). The title is contained in an ornate gilt medallion and the text is framed in red, accompanied by numerous marginal notes. There is water damage throughout and missing text has been repaired or replaced. There is no colophon giving date or place of copying.

Date Created

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Title in Original Language

كنز الدقائق : على مذهب الإمام الأعظم أبي حنيفة النعمان بن ثابت الكوفي رضي الله عنه

Type of Item

Physical Description

112 leaves : paper ; 30.2 x 21.5 centimeters


  1. Sarkis, Yusuf Ilyan, Mu’jam al-matbu’at al-‘Arabiyah wa-al-Mu’arrabah (Dictionary of Arabic imprints). (Cairo: Sarkis, 1928).

Last updated: February 2, 2016