Discerning and Specifying the Circumstances of Revelation of the Noble Hadiīth


Al-Bayān wa-al-taʻrīf fī asbāb wurūd al-ḥadīth al-sharīf (Discerning and specifying the circumstances of revelation of the noble hadith) is a textual and contextual interpretation of the hadith (the statements and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), written by Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Kamal al-Din al-Husayni al-Dimashqi (1644 or 1645−1708). Hadith plays an important part in Islam, and the Prophet’s utterances and activities are integral to its scriptural tradition. In the introduction to the work, the author states that in some cases the circumstances of a hadith are clear from the hadith itself, but in others they must be inferred. Hadith of the latter type are the subject of al-Bayan wa-al-ta’rif. The book quotes the hadith, adding commentary about the situational context of each. Selections are drawn from the kutub al-sittah (six canonical collections) recognized by Sunni Muslims. The book takes its place on the small shelf of similar studies by al-‘Ukbari (1143 or 1144−1219), al-Bulqini (1324−1403), and al-Suyuti (circa 1445−1505).  Also known as Ibn Hamzah al-Husayni, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Kamal al-Din al-Husayni al-Dimashqi was born in Damascus. He traveled to Egypt and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, where he studied under some 80 teachers. In Cairo he was appointed head of the Ashraf guild (an association of those claiming descent from the Prophet), before he returned to Damascus where he held administrative and judicial positions. This edition of Bayan wa-al-ta’rif was published by Muhammad Tahir al-Rifa’i and printed at al-Baha’ Press in Aleppo in 1911. The two volumes bound as one are organized alphabetically by the first word of the canonical hadith.

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Al-Bahā’ Press, Aleppo


Title in Original Language

كتاب البيان والتعريف في أسباب ورود الحديث الشريف

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Physical Description

2 volumes in one book ; 25 centimeters


  1. On wurud al-hadith (circumstances of hadith): Al-Ghazali, Muhammad. Within the boundaries of Islam. Selangor, Malaysia, Islamic Book Trust, 2010, p. 25.

Last updated: February 18, 2015