The Overflowing River in the Science of Inheritance and Patrimony


This small book preserves both the Arabic original and the German translation of Al-nahr al-fāʼiḍ fī ʻilm al-farāʼiḍ (The overflowing river in the science of inheritance and patrimony) by Yemeni author ʻAbd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad al-Naqshbandi, also known as al-Makki or al-Makkawi. Written for beginner students in a question-and-answer format, the 16-chapter book also provides examples after each question for further elucidation, earning it praise from four Yemeni judges who wrote at the beginning commending its ease of use. The book covers the different aspects of inheritance in Islamic jurisprudence, with a clear focus on the interpretations of the Hanafi and the Shafi’i schools. Not much is known about al-Naqshbandi, other than that he was from a learned family in Aden and that his forebears were probably from Mecca. The Arabic original of this book was first published in 1886 by al-Haj Abbadi bookshop, the first of its kind to be established in Aden in 1884. The German translation was made by Leo Hirsch, a German Arabist and South Arabia scholar and traveler. Al-Naqshbandi and Hirsch met in Aden in 1888, and a friendship ensued. Known as the first European to penetrate the valley of Hadhramawt in 1893, Hirsch is also the author of Reisen in Süd-Arabien, Mahra-Land Und Hadramut (Journeys in South Arabia, Mahra and Hadhramawt), in which he described al-Naqshbandi as his “intelligent Arab” friend. In a note at the beginning of the book, al-Naqshbandi gives Hirsch the exclusive right to translate the book into “German or other European languages,” due to the latter’s “good command of Arabic and his intelligence.” But he reserves the right to English translation to himself. A revised and expanded version of the Arabic text with English translation was published in 1899, paired in the same volume with al-Naqshbandi’s work on “The Rights of Women and the Laws of Matrimony.” That work is also presented in the World Digital Library.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

F.A. Brockhaus, Leipzig

Title in Original Language

Der überfliessende Strom in der Wissenschaft des Erbrechts der Hanefiten und Schafeiten

Type of Item

Physical Description

121 pages ; 20 centimeters


  1. Robert D. Burrowes, Historical Dictionary of Yemen (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009).
  2. Al-majlis al-Yamani online forum:

Last updated: October 29, 2015