Life of Imam Abu Jafar al-Tahawi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

Life of Imam Abu Jafar al-Tahawi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

By  Mufti Saeed Ahmed Palanpuri رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

About the Author

Hadhrat Moulana Hafiz Mufti Saeed Ahmed Palanpuri رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ studied in the renowned Darul Uloom Deoband – India. Taught in Jamia Ashrafia – Gujuraat for 9 years and lectured in Darul Uloom Deoband for the last 47 years. He has tutored in every science of the Dars Nizaami and has become world famous for his discources and deliberations on Tirmidhi. An average of 1000 students attend these dynamic presentations daily. Students acknowledging his vast intense depths of knowledge generally refer to him as “Allamah” and “Bahr ulUloom”. Besides his tours of U.S.A, U.K, Canada, Zambia, Zimbabwe,Malawi, South Africa and Turkey, he has written extensively especially for the scholars.

He had full command over 5 languages i.e Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Gujuraatiand English.

Five of his works are used as standard text books in higher Institutes of Learning. He has penned works of reputable level on Tafseer, Ahadeeth, Principles of Tafseer, Principles of Ahadeeth, History of Ahadeeth compities, Syntax, Grammar, Etermology, Jurisprudence, Philosophy and logic.

His master piece is the 5 volume commentary of the magnum opus of Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah Dehlevi (A.R) “Hujjatullaah Baligha” –called Rahmatutalllah ul Wasiyah” each volume extending over 850 pages. He has accolades from most of academic sources of the world for these sterling services.

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HAYAAT (LIFE) IMAAM TAHAAWI R.A. (239-321A.H. / 853-933A.C.)

Name and Lineage

Name: Ahmad Kunniyah; Abu Ja’far. He is the son of Muhammad ibnSalaamah ibn Salamah ibn Abdul Malik ibn Salamah ibn Saleem ibn Sulaimaan ibn Habaab.

Nisbat: Azdi; Hajari; Misri; Tahaawi Azd is famous Clan in Yemen. Hajar is a branch of that clan. The otherfamous branch of Azd is Shanoo’ah. He is thus known as Hajari so as notto confuse his clan as Shanoo’i. His forefathers settled in Egypt after theMuslims conquered it. They settled in a village called Tahaa and aretherefore known as Tahaawi. He is also known as Jeezi because he lived ina place called Jeezah for a while.

Birth: He was born on the 11th of Rabee’ul Awwal. There is a difference of opinion regarding the year of birth either: 227a.h. as recorded in Miftahus Sa’aadah or 237a.h. as in Daa’iratul Ma’aarif & Tadhkiratul Huffaaz 238a.h. according to Ibn Khalliqaan 229a.h. according to Allamah Aini 239a.h. according to Ibn ‘Asaakir from Ibn Yunus

Ibn Yunus is considered an authority in his views regarding the people of Misr (Egypt). Ibn Nuqtah has also supported his view. Abdul Qaadir Qurashi in his Jawaahirul Mudhee’ah; Yaaqoot Hamawi in Mu’jamul Buldaan; Ibn Jawzi in Al-Muntazim and Ibn Hajar in Lisaanul Meezaan have all reported his year of birth as 239a.h. Suyooti in Husnul Muhaadharah and Shah Abdul-Azeez in Bustaanul Muhadditheen have also mentioned likewise. So have Ibn Katheer in Bidaayah and Ibn Taghzee in An-Nujoomuz Zaahirah. Dhahabi and Shah Abdul-Azeez have put his age at eighty, and he definitely passed away in the year 321a.h. On this calculation, his correct year of birth will have to be 239a.h.

His span of life and his contemporaries

Imaam Saahib was born in a most sublime era. It was a period abounding with Ilm of Fiqh and Hadeeth; adorned with great scholars. His life coincided to a large extent with that of the great Muhadditheen.

Muhaddith / Year of death / Imaam Tahaawi’s Age

Bukhaari –  256 A.H – 17

Muslim – 261 AH – 23

Abu Dawood – 275 AH – 36

Nasai – 303 AH – 64

Ibn Maajah – 273 AH – 34

Tirmidhi – 279 AH – 40

Ahmad ibn Hanbal –  241 AH – 2

Daarimi – 255 AH – 16

Ibn Khuzaimah – 311 AH – 72

 

Imaam Tahaawi has 30 Mashaaikh from whom Imaams Muslim; Abu Dawood; Nasai and Ibn Maajah also narrate. He has also narrated Hadeeth from Imaam Nasai.

Demise

Passed away on Thursday 14th Dhul Qa’dah 321a.h. and was buried in Quraafah in Egypt.He was then aged 80 or 82.

Maslak / Madh-hab

He first studied the Shaafi’ee Fiqh from his uncle Imaam Muzanee [175 –264 a.h. \ 791 – 878 a.c.] but became interested in the Hanafi Madh-hab and soon thereafter became an ardent Hanafi. His uncle Abu Ibrahee Ismaa’eel ibn Yahya Muzanee was a special student of Imaam Shaafi’ee and an outstanding Shaafi’ee scholar but he was unable to satisfy his nephew’s thirst for knowledge. As Imaam Tahaawi’s depth in Fiqh increased, his interest in the sciences of Usool (principle) and Istinbaat (law formulation) also increased. His uncle, despite being among the senior most Shaafi’ee Ulamaa of the time could not answer his queries from Shaafi’ee sources satisfactorily and soon began studying Hanafi text booksfor this reason. Tahaawi soon got to know about this.

In fact, Muzani benefited so greatly from the Hanafi Fiqh, that in many Masaa’il, he differed with his ustaad and opted for the Hanafi view and these were recorded in his kitaab ‘Mukhtasar Al-Muzani’. After this observation, Tahaawi himself began studying the works of the Ahnaaf. When his uncle came to know of this, he became angry and said to him:“By Allaah! You’ll not go very far in life! No work of worth will emanate from you.”

Tahaawi was very upset by this and so, he left him and began to study under Qaadhi Ahmad bin Abi Imraan Baghdaadi Hanafi who was a master in the Usool and Furoo’(secondary laws) of the Hanafi Madh-hab and was the then Qaadhi of Iraaq. Imaam Tahaawi’s longings were finally satisfied and he went on to become one of the great Hanafi scholars. This was the real cause for him changing his Madh-hab. Many hard line Shaafi’ees have written various other tales and have raised many allegations against him, Allaamah Zaahid Kauthari has dealt with this matter in detail in his kitaab‘al-Haawi’.

Praise and Accolades

The Ulamaa of Islaam have unanimously lauded him as one of Islaam’s great Scholars;

1. Allaamah Badrud Deen ‘Aini R.A. states:

“There is Ijmaa’(consensus of opinion) on Tahaawi’s Thaqaahat, Diyaanat,Amaanat and Fadheelatul Kaamilah [i.e. His being an authority; his reliability and trustworthiness and his perfect virtues and qualities in the field of Deen and Ilm]. He was an expert in recognizing Naasikh and Mansookh [former and latter commands, one abrogating the other] and in pinpointing Rasulullaah ﷺ final Amal.He was also a master in Illatul-Hadeeth [hidden clauses and finer details] as well as in reconciling and giving preferance to contradictory Ahaadeeth [Tatbeeq and Tarjeeh] after his death,there was none to replace him in the entire Muslim world!”

2. Ibn Yunus says:

“Tahaawi was a reliable trustworthy Faqeeh [Jurist] He was the last of a generation, No one like him was born thereafter.”

3. Ibn Abdil Barr Maaliki states: 

“Despite being of the Hanafi Madhhab,Tahaawi had a sound Knowledge of all the Madhaa-hib.”

4. Abul Mahaasin in his Kitaab ‘an-Nujoomuz Zaahirah’ has written:

“He was the Imaam of his age and totally peerless in fiqh, hadeeth,ahkaam, ikhtilaaful a’immah [the differences of the Imaams], as well as in lughat and nahw” His priceless works are a testimony tohis genius. He was among the greatest Hanafi Fuqahaa [jurists].

5. Allaamah ‘Aini at another juncture writes: “Among the Mutaqaddimeen [Old Ulamaa] Tabaraani, Khateeb, Humaidi and Ibn Asaakir ,while from among the Muta’akh-khireen [latterUlamaa] Mizzi, Dhahabi and Ibn Katheer among others have paid tribute to his sterling qualities. No just, wise person has accused him of any deficiency in the field of Ilm. Without doubt he was the Imaam of his time, having surpassed all of his contemporaries in the field of Hadeeth and reaching an astonishing depth in the field of Fiqh. If one studies his works and then compares it with those of his contemporaries, this matter will certainly come to light. Like very few others, he was able to master both Uloome Aqliyya and Naqliyya [Rational and Narrational arts]. Coming to the sciences of Riwayah; Hadeeth; Rijaal and Kathratul Asaaneed, his rank,grandeur and expertise is in no way less than that of Bukhaari,Muslim or anyone else. Infact, he has even surpassed them at times! The sheer vastness of his riwaayaats are a proof of this.”

6. Allamah Zaahid Kawthari has written;

“Imaam Tahaawi is amongthe great Mujtahideen. There can be no doubt in this. He has left the most memorable works in both Riwaayah (Hadeeth) and Diraayah(Fiqh) He is among the select few who were blessed with an expertise in both Uloomul-Hadeeth as well as Fiqh and Usoolul-Fiqh. Anyone who studies any of his Kitaabs will give testimony to this.

7. Imaamul Asr Allaamah Anwar Shah Kashmeeri:

“Imaam Tahaawi was the Imaam of the Ahnaaf of his time. In fact he possessed avery sound knowledge of the Madhaahib of various Imaams. To have such a vast insight into the views of so many of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een and their students is something very rare!! He narrates from Imaam Shaafi’ee and Ahmad ibn Hanbal with one Waastah (narrator) in between; from Imaam Maalik with two Waastahs and from Imaamul A’zam Abu Haneefah with threeWaastahs in his Sharh Ma’aani ul Aathaar.”

He is among the Mujtahideen of the first order, and according to Ibn ul Atheer Jazri, he is a Mujaddid. It is also my view that in Tashreehul Muhmal [explaining the unclear], Tanqeeh [cross examining]; Taudheehul Ghawaamidh [removing difficulties] and Tahqeeq [researching] he was a Mujaddid. His style of Bayaan [writing and explaining is totally unique].The Muhadditheen before him only gathered Ahaadeeth. He was the only one who went to great lengths in researching and conciliating them.

8. Allaamah Yususf Binnori:

“There was none to match him in his depth of Ilm. His memory was second to none, he was unmatched in the field of Rijaal [narrators of Hadeeth] He was an ocean of Riwaayah, and a mine of Ilm. He had an encompassing knowledgeof the Madhaa-hib of the A’immah together with their proofs and arguments.”

9. Our respected Ustaadh Allaamah Muhammad Ibraaheem Balyaawiused to say:

“Tahaawi is the barrister of the Ahnaaf.”

 

Asaatidhah (Teachers)

The list of his Mashaa’ikh is almost endless. In Sharh Ma’aani ul Aathaar alone he has narrated from 114 Asaatidhah. Some of his more famed Asaatidhah are:

1. Haaroon ibn Sa’eed Ali = Imaam Muslim, Abu Dawood and Nasai are also among his students.

2. Rabee’ ibn Sulaimaan Jeezi = Abu Dawood and Nasai are among his students.

3. Abu Ibraaheem Ismaa’eel ibn Yahya Muzani.

4. Yunus ibn Abdul A’laa Sadafi Misri. Muslim, Nasai and Ibn Maajah also narrate from him.

5. Ali ibn Sa’eed ibn Nooh.

6. Eesa ibn Ibraaheem Ghaafiqi.

7. Sulaimaan ibn Shu’aib Kaysaani.

8. Abu Qurah Muhammad ibn Humaid Ru’aini.

9. Maalik ibn Abdullaah Tujaibi.

10. Ibraaheem ibn Mazrooq.

Talaamidhah (students)

He had hundreds of students. Among them were:

1. Haafiz Abu Qaasim Sulaimaan ibn Ahmad Tabaraani – The author of Mu’jam al Kabeer, Mu’jam as Sagheer, Mu’jam al Awsat.

2. Haafiz Abu Sa’eed Abdurrahmaan ibn Ahmad Misri – Author of Taareekh Misr.

3. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Muqree – Raawi [narrator] of Sharh Ma’aani ul Aathaar.

4. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ja’far Baghdaadi famously known as Ghundar.

5. Ali ibn Ahmad Misri (His son).

6. Maslamah ibn Qaasim Qurtubi.

Naaqideen (critics)

Every great Aalim in history has had antagonists and critics. One group of critics are sincere in their motives and justified in their criticism. They put right the mistakes of the Aalim and are his well-wishers. Then there is a second group of critics whose critic is based on Hasad [jealousy] and enmity. The Haasideen are of two types:

1) Mahsoodul Aqraan i.e. when a person’s contemporaries hold Hasad against him.

2) Mahsoodul Akaabir i.e. when the seniors of the time are envious of him. Imaam Tahaawi also faced these conditions.

Imaam Baihaqi’s Tanqeed (criticism)

Abu Bakr Baihaqi has written in his Sunan Al Wustaa (unpublished todate): “When I began this Kitaab of mine, one of my students showed me a Kitaab of Tahaawi’s in which he has by his own opinion classed many Dha’eef Ahaadeeth as Saheeh and many Saheeh as Dha’eef.

Allaamah Abdul Qaadir Qurashi has written in reply: “By Allaah! Imaam Tahaawi is free from these accusations! Baihaqi has raised these objections on Sharh Ma’aani ulAathaar, and anyone who opens this Kitaab will see that his allegations are baseless.”

He wrote further: “I have turned Tahaawis works inside out and found nothing of Baihaqi’s comments to be true. On the contrary, our Shaikh,Allaama Ibn Turkmaani on studying the works of Baihaqi found him guilty of the very vices which he accused Tahaawi of!! He therefore wrote Al Jawharun Naqi in which he unveiled the errors of Baihaqi. He took Tahaawi to task on a certain matter while he himself was guilty of the same on several instances. It is Baihaqi’s habit to classify any Raawi in supportof his Madh-hab as Saheeh yet he will make Tadh’eef of the same Raawi when he narrates in support of the Hanafi Madh-hab. Our ustaadh has fully unveiled Baihaqi’s bias in this regard and his aforementioned kitaab is truly a momentous work.”

Allaamah Turkmaani’s Kitaab ‘Al Jauharun Naqifir Radd Alal Baihaqi’ is now quite freely available. This Kitaab together with three others:

1. ‘Al Haawi fee Takhreej Ahaadeethit Tahaawi’ of Abdul Qaadir Qurashi

2. ‘Nukhabul Afkaar fee Sharhi Ma’aanil Aathaar’ and

3. ‘Mabaanil Akhbaar fee Sharhi Ma’aanil Aathaar’ both written by Allaamah ‘Aini have sufficiently put Baihaqi’s allegations to rest.

Ibn Taymiyyah’s Tanqeed

Ibn Taymiyyah, in his famous kitaab, ‘Minhaajus Sunnatun Nabawiyyah fee Naqdhi Kalaamish Shee’ah wal Qadariyyah’ has written: “Tahaawi has not scrutinized his narrations the way the Muhadditheen do, as a result of which he has included all sorts of Ahaadeeth in his Kitaab. Then he gives preferance [Tarjeeh] to some Ahaadeeth over others by his own Qiyaas.Then many of the Ahaadeeth which he has taken to be Hujjat (proof) are infact Majrooh (commented upon) and not established. Tahaawi in each instance has narrated without delving into its Sanad. This is because he wasnot an Imaam in the field of Rijaal (narrators) to the standard of the Ahlul-Ilm even though he was an Aalim, Faqeeh, and Muhaddith who narrated extensively.’ (vol.4 pg.194)

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote such a severe Naqd of Tahaawi solely on account of his classing the Hadeeth of Asmaa’ – as Saheeh in which mention is made of the sun’s returning after sunset for Ali-. Although the content of the Hadeeth is not too clear, from a totally academic perspective, it cannot be refuted totally. The Muhadditheen in every age have discussed the sanad of this Hadeeth and after gathering its various roots have classed it as acceptable. Abu Abdullaah Nishaapuri has reseached it and found it to be correct, Allamah Suyooti has written on this and Qaadhi Ayaadh in ‘Ash-Shifaa bi Ta’reef Huqooqil Mustafaa’ has also classed it as Saheeh.

Coming back to ibn Taymiyyah, because the Sihhat (authenticity) of this Hadeeth is against his view, he conveniently nullifies it with his own brandof Qiyaas (reasoning) as is his habit.

As with regards to his allegation that Tahaawi is not aware of the Rijaal and their conditions, this is a shot in the dark and a feeble attempt to discredit the great Imaam. This is one of the great falls of Ibn Taymiyyah and his crowd, but this is a subject of its own.

In every chapter in his Kitaab, Tahaawi has discussed the Isnaad and Rijaal of his Ahaadeeth. All of his Kitaabs are freely available, pick up any one of them and see for yourself. Tahaawi is an acclaimed and accepted Imaam in the field of Rijaal.

When Karaabisi wrote his book of lies ‘Kitaabul Mudalliseen’ in which he attempted to discredit great Muhadditheen, then none other than Tahaawi refuted his book by writing ‘Naqdh Kitaabul Mudalliseen’. Now can a person unacquainted with this field ever manage to do this?

The fact of the matter is that Ibn Taymiyyah has this extremely immature habit of misconstruing and distorting matters due to his own misunderstandings, and he bears little respect for anyone save himself. If he in his limited understanding thinks a person to have erred in any matter,then he draws a complete analogy on this person and passes judgment accordingly. This is exactly what transpired here. Because Tahaawi classed a Hadeeth as Saheeh which he feels to be not, he draws a conclusion regarding Imaam Saahib that ‘Tahaawi classifies Ahaadeeth in the light of Qiyaas’. This method of his is illogical and totally absurd. To extract a Qaa’idah Kulliyyah [complete/blanket rule] from a single instance[Waaqi’ah Juz’iyyah] is nothing but stupidity.

Haafiz Ibn Hajar’s injustice

Who doesn’t know Haafiz Ibn Hajar, the great Muhaddith and commentator of Bukhaari, who has done exceptional service in the field of Asmaa’ur Rijaal [scrutinizing the narrators of Hadeeth] – but in the words of Allaamah Kashmeeri, who was no less a Muhaddith and Faqeeh in anyway: “Ibn Hajar has, on account of his prejudice, done more to discredit the Rijaal of the Ahnaaf than any other person.”

It was almost one of his objectives to defame any Hanafi narrator and tochalk up any Shaafi’ee narrator. He was blinded by this foolish prejudice in his attempt to prove his madh-hab over the others. On account of this, his own student Haafiz Sakhaawi saw it necessary to set the matter straight and in his commentary of ‘Ad Durarul Kaaminah’ wrote: “Ibn Hajar does not make Bayaan of [explain] the condition of any Hanafi Aalim without adding a lie of his own or concealing some true fact”

In this lowly objective of his, Ibn Hajar attempted to besmear Imaam Tahaawi’s lofty rank. In his Kitaabul Meezaan he has quoted the saying of Ibn Ahmar Taajir from Maslamah ibn Qaasim Andalusi’s Kitaabus Silah:“When I reached Egypt, I found that the people had accused Tahaawi of an extremely despicable action!”

Ibn Hajar goes on to elucidate: “This was either in regard to his judicial decisions or his ruling on the permissibility of the adultery of the slaves of the Ameer Tooloon!”

SUBHAANALLAAH!! What is Haafiz trying to do? Not only does he quote the liar Maslamah, but in his cheap attempt to discredit Tahaawi, he adds an unfounded detail of his own! He quotes Maslamah knowing full well his status – that in Meezaanul I’tidaal, Haafiz Dhahabi has mentioned him to be extremely weak and part of the Mushabbihah sect.

It is this very Maslamah who accused Imaam Bukhaari:

1. of believing the Qur’aan to be makhlooq [created] which is the belief of the Mu’tazilah sect, and

2. of bribing the son of Ali ibn Madeeni into giving him his fathers Kitaabul Ilal and then secretly copying it down.

In response to Maslamahs lies against Bukhaari, Haafiz comes to the forein ‘Tahzeebut Tahzeeb’. He writes: “I wish to point out the open errors of Maslamah in his slander against Imaam Bukhaari!

1. Regarding the allegation of the belief of Khalqul-Qur’aan, this is amost baseless and absurd lie. None before him has ever claimed such a thing.

2. Regarding the second allegation;

a. There is no need to refute it because it is a shot in the dark

b. This claim is without sanad and therefore not worth asecond glance

c. At the time when he alleges that this took place, Bukhaari was in his home town and not anywhere near Ibn Madeeni

d. Many people had studied Kitaabul Ilal from Ibn Madeeni. There was no need to steal it. There are several more reasons proving the futility of this claim, but this should suffice for now.”

There you have it, the same of Maslamah against Tahaawi is taken into account together with an unwarranted explanation despite it having no sanad, yet he comes to the fore in repelling the allegations against Bukhaari, and on account of having no sanad, he deems it not worth asecond glance. How strange? What people blinded by prejudices do in the name of Ilm!

Tasaaneef (writings)

All of Tahaawi’s works are Ilmi masterpieces, very beneficial, extremely well researched, authoritave and comprehensive and as such, have been well accepted by the Ulamaa of every age. Here follows a brief list of hisworks:

1. Mukhtasarut Tahaawi: this is one of the foremost Kitaabs on Hanafi Fiqh. It is written in the same style as Mukhtasarul Muzani is written in the Saafi’ee Fiqh. It has been published by Ihyaa Al-Ma’aarif an-Nu’maaniyyah in Hyderabad. Allaamah Abul Wafaa Afghaani edited it in 1370 a.h. It consists of about 478 pages. In this kitaab Tahaawi has gathered the Aqwaal (rulings) of Imaam Abu Haneefah and his students and has indicated towards Tarjeehaat(preferred views). Several Sharahs (commentaries) have been written on it. Among them are the Sharahs of Abu Bakr Jassaas Raazi; Abu Abdullaah Dhimyari; Shamsul A’immah Sarakhsi and Abu Nasr Ahmad Aqta’ (the commentator of Qudoori). Alaamah Isbeejaabi and Khajnady have also written sharahs on it. There areothers also.

Tahaawi wrote this kitaab after Muzani’s demise. He held thiskitaab in great esteem and would often say: “May Allaah have mercy on Abu Ibraaheem! If he was alive, he would have had to atone (pay Kaffaarah) for his vow” (Al-Meezaan vol 1 pg 275)[referring to his uncles words: ‘By Allaah … no work of worth willemanate from you’]

2. Bayaan Mushkilul Aathaar: in this he gathered all the seemingly contradictory Ahaadeeth and then conciliated them and extracted Ahkaam (laws) from them. This is his last written work and its manuscripts are in one of the old libraries of Istanbul in seven thick parts. Half of it was published from Hyderabad in four parts. The entire Kitaab is now available. The philosopher Ibn Rushd’s grandfather Abul Waleed had abridged it and had written a few objections as well. This manuscript is presently in Egypt. Allaamah‘Ainy’s ustaad Qaadhi Jamaaluddeen Multee revised this Talkhees and named it ‘Al Mu’tasar minal Mukhtasar’ in which he answered the objections. It was published in Hyderabad but sadly the authors name was printed incorrectly.

Allamah Kauthari said: Anyone who has seen Imaam Shafi’ees ‘Ikhtilaaful Hadeeth’ and Ibn Qutaibah’s Ta’weel Mukhtalaful Hadeeth’ should have a look at this kitaab. On comparing them you will see the rank and grandeur of Tahaawi in this field.”

Hadhrat Moulaana Badre Aalam has written: “He has explained very fine details in this Kitaab, by Allaah! In every chapter he has done wonders. I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere. Most certainly he is an Imaam among the great Muhadditheen and for centuries after, none like him was born.”

Tahaawi had arranged Sharh Ma’aani ul Aathaar according to the Abwaab(chapters) of Fiqh. This facilitated ease in usage. This Kitaab on the contrary was not arranged in Tarteeb (sequence) and is thus quite difficultto make out. May Allaah reward Qaadhi Jamaaluddeen who well arranged his Talkhees very formally, thus easing the way after difficulty.

Allamah Abul Waleed Baaji also wrote a Talkhees on this kitaab. Its manuscripts are in a British museum.

3. Aqeedatut Tahaawi.

Imaam Tahaawi (died: 321) was also an Imaam in the field of Kalaam [‘Aqaa’id/Beliefs]. The other two Imaams of Kalaam viz. Abul Hasan Ash’ari (died: 324) and Abu Mansoor Maatureedi (died: 333) were his contemporaries. Tahaawi had written this brief text [Matan] outlining the doctrines of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah. The full name of it is “BAYAANUI’TIQAADI AHLIS SUNNAH WAL JAMAA’AH ‘ALAAMADH-HABI FUQAHAAIL MILLAH, ABI HANEEFAH WAABI YOOSUF ALANSAARI WA MUHAMMAD IBNI HASAN” But it is famously known simply as Aqeedatut Tahaawi. He has simply and clearly explained the beliefs of the Muslims in it and itis taught in many Madaaris throughout the world as well as in the Arab countries.

Najmuddeen Abu Shujaa’ Bakras Naasiri Baghdaadi; Umar ibn Ishaaq Ghaznawi; Allaamah Mahmood Qawnooni; and Ali ibn Muhammad Sadr Adhra’ee all wrote sharahs (commentaries) on it but none have been published. Presently, only one sharah and one ta’leeq are available on this kitaab.

I. ‘Sharah Aqeedatut Tahaawi’ which consists of about 600 pages and is widely available in the Arab world. Its author is Ali ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Abil ‘Izz Hanafi. It is an extremely detailed Sharah. Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim’s texts have been quoted in it extensively, but for some reason without references.

II. ‘At-Ta’leeqaat At-Tayyibah’ This is the Haashiyah of Hadhrat Qaari Muhammad Tayyib (the principal of Darul Uloom Deoband)He has presented Naqli Dalaa’il for most of the kitaab i.e. Proofs from Qur’aan & Hadeeth.

Allaamah Abdul Wahhaab Subki has written: “Alhamdulillaah! The‘Aqaa’id of all four Madhaa-hib are the same except for those who inclined towards the Mu’tazilah and Mujassimah sects. The Jamhoor (general body of Ulamaa) of the Ahlus-Sunnah have unanimously accepted Tahaawi’s Kitaab. The Salaf and Khalaf (former and latter) are unanimous on it without exception.” This speaks volumes for Tahaawi’s position!!

4.) ‘Naqdhu Kitaabil Mudaliseen’: This is a Radd (refutation) of Abu Ali Hussain ibn Ali Karaabisi’s kitaab ‘Mudalliseen’ which is an extremely dangerous kitaab in which Karaabisi prepared all the material to undermine the Sunnah. He attempted to discredit all the narrators of Hadeeth who are not on his Madh-hab. Imaam Ahmad saw this Kitaab and that its author had made Ta’n (criticized) of Imaam A’mash and had classed Hasan ibn Saalih as Mu’tabar(reliable) and in support thereof said that if people class Hasan as a Khaarijee (dissenter), then Ibn Zubair must also be branded as such. Upon this Imaam Ahmad said: “This man [Karaabisi] has prepared such material for the opponents of Sunnah which they will not be able to resist. Save yourselves from this despicable book.”

The content of this book became a weapon for the misled factions(firaqe – baatilah) against the Ahlus-Sunnah and many naïve Muhadditheen have even quoted references from it. Imaam Tahaawi wrote a detailed Radd on it in which he refuted it line by line, thus putting this confusion to eternal rest.”

This Kitaab has not been published.

5.) ‘At Taswiyah Bayna Haddathanaa wa Akhbaranaa’: This is a Risaalah (treatise) regarding “Seeghatul Adaa’ i.e. which words are used when narrating Hadeeth and what they imply. This risaalah is in regards to the case where the student reads the Hadeeth to the Shaikh who affirms and then gives permission to relay the Hadeeth.There are three views as to which word he should use when narrating the Hadeeth.

1] Haddathanaa or Akhbaranaa both may be used. This is according to Imaam Maalik, Abu Haneefa, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad.

2] Only Akhbaranaa should be used. Haddathanaa is when the Shaikh reads.

3] Here the Hadeeth should be narrated with the words ‘Qara’tu Alaa Fulaan’ or Haddathanaa should be used, not Akhbaranaa. Tahaawi then proves the first opinion to becorrect by citing examples and in support thereof brought 7 Aayaat and 8 Ahaadeeth.

This kitaab is also unpublished, but Alaamah Ibn Abdil Barr Maaliki, in his most splendid Kitaab ‘Jaami Bayaanil Ilm wa Fadhlihi’ has included its subject matter in totality.

6.) Ikhtilaafil Ulamaa: This is an incomplete work regarding Khilaafiyaat (differences of opinion). Allaamah Kauthari has written: “I have not seen this kitaab but in Istanbul I have read its Talkhees (abridged version) which was written by Abu Bakr Jassaas Raazi. In this Kitaab, he has narrated the Madhaa-hib of the first generation of Mujtahideen: the four great Imaams and their students, Nakha’ee, Uthmaan Battee, Auzaa’ee, Thauri, Laith ibn Sa’d, Ibn Shubrumah, Ibn Abi Lailaa, Hasan ibn Hayy and others.”This is a totally priceless work! You are well aware how difficult it is in today’s time to search for the views of these great scholars invarious Masaa’il. May it be that some servant of Allaah digs up this Kitaab from somewhere or at the very least has Raazi’s Talkhees published.

7.) Ahkaamul Qur’aan: Qaadhi Ayaadh has written in Ikmaal that Tahaawi has a thousand pages of Tafseer to his credit. Most probably it is this Kitaab. This Kitaab is also Mafqood (untraced todate)

Besides the above, Tahaawi has several other works to his credit which Allaamah Kauthari has made mention of in ‘Al-Haawi fee Seeratit Tahaawi’ and Shaikh Muhammad Yusuf Kandhelwi has mentioned in the Muqaddamah of ‘Amaaniul Ahbaar’ and Moulana Abdur-Rasheed Nu’maani has listed in ‘Fawaa’ide Jaamiah’.

Because these kitaabs have been lost over time and there is no record of their actual content, we have not mentioned them here.

The Sharh Ma’aani ul Aathaar

Allaah has showered thousands of bounties upon his servants, the greatest of which is His sending thousands of Anbiyaa for the guidance and reformation of humanity. This chain of Nabuwwat has continued since the descent of Aadam  into the world and was completed through our leaderand master Hadhrat Muhammad  on whose hand Allaah has perfected and completed His message to mankind which will last till Qiyaamah.The Ilm which Allaah Ta’aala revealed to Rasulullaah ﷺ was of two types,

1] The Noble Qur’aan, which is the infallible word of Allaah in its wording and meaning.

2] All that emanated from Rasulullaah ﷺ  by way of word and action,which in essence was a practical demonstration of all which is in the Qur’aan. This half of Ilm is what is known as Hadeeth and Sunnah.

The honorable Companions of Rasulullah ﷺ had preserved this Ilm in its totality and they then transmitted it word for word to the Ummat after them. The pious Ulama of every generation thereafter protected this trust and recorded it in Kitaabs and in this way immortalized the Deen of Islaam.Rasulullaah ﷺ departed from this world but has left behind these two weighty things for the guidance of all to come till Qiyaamah. Then further,Allaah has protected this Ilm through the ages in such a miraculous way that if anyone really thinks about it he will have to submit that the Deen of Islaam is surely the one true way. In fact, the entire history of this protection of Deen is a living Mu’jizah (miracle) of Rasulullaah ﷺ.

In every age, according to the need and demand of the time Allaah Ta’aala made arrangements for the preservation of His Deen.

As and when the need arose, Allaah created men who would rise to the occasion and by His inspiration would accomplish the most astonishing feats. Since the dawn of Islaam, all the services rendered in various fields are clearly not the doings of men by themselves, but are certainly by the will and decree of The One Supreme and Majestic Being. Check pg 35 last 4 lines [poetry] from Mariful Ahadeeth – 9/10 Vol 1.

The Fitnah of Inkaar of Hadeeth

Among the many groups misguided splinter factions, there is one group whose claimis: “Only the Qur’aan is Hujjat (proof) in Islaam. The Nabi only came to spread the Qur’aan and we are only required to follow what is contained therein. Besides this, nothing else is a Hujjat in Deen. We are not responsible for following the Words and actions of the Nabi. The Ahaadeeth of the Nabi and His Noble character are not a basis for any law in Islaam.’

Rasulullaah ﷺ foretold the emergence of this group, Hadhrat ‘Irbaad ibn Saariyah  narrates that the RasulUlAllaah ﷺ once addressed us saying:

“And you will surely come across these nonchalant people, who while reclining on soft couches who will say to you; ‘only that which is ordained and forbidden in Qur’aan is from Allaah!’ but I am telling you on the Oath of Allaah that I have ordained certain matters and forbidden others. These are part and parcel of your Deen…” (Mishkaat pg29)

Hadhrat Miqdaam ibn Ma’dikarib  narrates that Rasulullaah ﷺ  said: “I have been given the Qur’aan and other commandments as well. Beware of  careless people who will tell you that ‘the Qur’aan is sufficient; follow what you find in it. That which is declared Halaal there in is Halaal, and Haraam is Haraam. There is nothing else.’ But I, to whom the Qur’aan was revealed is telling you that by the order of Allaah, that which the Rasul ﷺtells you is Halaal is also Halaal and what he tells you to be Haraam is also Haraam.”

True to the word, this group of Munkireene Hadeeth (rejectors of Hadeeth) reared its head in the second century of Islaam. Their claim was: “The Qur’aan is sufficient for us. The narrated Ahaadeeth are not reliable enough to be deemed a basis for Deen.”

Their objections where of two types:

1. Juz’ee (specific) i.e. they raised objections on the content of certain Ahaadeeth and as a result thereof declared the entire treasury of Ahaadeeth as unreliable e.g. some Ahaadeeth give the impression that the Qur’aan was interpolated; some create the impression that Wahy was a type of mesmerisation; some give the impression that Na’oothu Billaah Nabi  was inspired by the Ahlul-Kitaab (Jews and Christians); then some Ahaadeeth show that Rasulullaah ﷺ was affected by Sihr (witchcraft); some indicate that he  had plotted to assassinate his enemies while others show or support aggression and oppression etc. The reasons for all of these objections are a simple lack of correct knowledge or else obstinacy in ones incorrect self-opinion.

2. Umoomi (general) i.e. Rasulullaah ﷺ   had forbidden Sahaabah from writing Ahaadeeth and this condition remained through the period of the Khulafaae Raashideen. They then draw the conclusion that if Hadeeth was a Hujjat, then this would not have been the case.

Then secondly, there are contradictions in Ahaadeeth which also do not support Hadeeth as being Hujjat.

In reply to the objections raised by this sect, the Ulamaa have written many Kitaabs giving detailed answers to all of their allegations. They even began collecting compilations of Maudhoo’aat (fabricated Ahaadeeth) to prevent confusion and further accusations from arising. They then went on to write kitaabs explaining and reconciling Mushtabihaat (Unclear or seemingly contradictory Ahaadeeth) removing any sort of doubt or misunderstanding that could occur.

Among the foremost works in this line are the works of Imaam Tahaawi. In Mushkilul Aathaar, he gave answers to Mushtabih & Mushkil Ahaadeeth,and in Sharh Ma’aani, he reconciled Mukhtalif (contradictory) Ahaadeeth.

In the preface of Ma’aani, he wrote his Wajh Ta’leef (reason for writing the Kitaab): “One of the students asked me to write a compilation, and gather therein all the Marfoo’ Ahaadeeth on Ahkaam (laws) regarding which the Mulhideen (objectors) raise their cries on account of their apparent contradictions due to not knowing the principles of Naskh (abrogation) and Ilal (reasons) among others. He further requested me to divide the Kitaab into chapters for ease of use and to gather in each, all the conflicting narrations including the Naasikh and Mansookh (former and latter) together with the explanations of the Ulamaa and their deductions and then the established law in that Baab (chapter) in the light of Qur’aan, Sunnah,Ijmaa (consensus), and the Aqwaal (sayings) of Sahaabah and Taabi’een. In heed to the request of my friends, and after much effort you have before you this Kitaab …”

Consequent to these and other works of the type, the critics were silenced and the standpoint of the Ahlus-Sunnah was established and fortified.

Name of the Kitaab

Shaikh Abdul Fattaah Abu Ghuddah, the outstanding student of Allaamah Muhammad Zaahid Kauthari has written that he found a very old and Mu’tamad (reliable) Nuskha (copy) of the Kitaab in the Maktabah Mahmoodiyyah in Madeenah Munawwarah.

The name on the cover was: ‘Sharhu Ma’aaniul Aathar Al Mukhtalifah Al Ma’Thoorah’ and gauging from its content this name fits quite adequately. The Kitaab is generally known as Sharh Ma’aani ul Aathaar and Ma’aani ul Aathaar, and among our students simply as Tahaawi Shareef.

Wajh Tasmiyah (reason for naming the kitaab as such)

Allamah Sakhaawi states: “Athr literally means left-over but in the terminology of Sharee’at any Hadeeth may be called Athr, whether the Hadeeth is Marfoo’ or Mauqoof. Since this Kitaab contains both types of Ahaadeeth, it was named such.”

Hence the name of the kitaab in English would be: ‘An exegesis of the meanings of conflictory Marfoo (sayings of Rasulullaah ﷺ) and Mauqo of(sayings of Sahaabah and Taabi’een) Ahaadeeth.’ Generally people think it is a book relating to “Khilaafat” is erroneous. This is a general misunderstanding.

Period of Compilation

Abdul Qaadir Qurashi has written in Jawaahirul Mudhee’ah that Ma’aaniul  Aathaar was Tahaawis first major written work and Mushkilul Aathaar was his last, yet strangely, Ma’aani does not seem to be the work of a novice.Instead it has been written in the firm confident style of an experienced writer.

Importance/Rank of the Kitaab

Ma’aaniul Aathaar is a well-recognized Kitaab which holds a distinguished position among the kitaabs of Fiqh in that it is an amalgamation of Hadeeth and Fiqh. It has been well accepted by both the Fuqahaa as well as the Muhadditheen.

Ibn Hazm Zaahiri has placed it on par with Abu Dawood and Nasai [ref.Maa tamassu ilayhil Haajah] Ameer Itqaani says: “If anyone wishes to gauge Tahaawis rank then he should take a look at Ma’aani. If he has any standing himself, he’ll realize that Tahaawi is no ordinary person.” Let alone the Hanafi Madh-hab, you’ll not find a kitaab like this among the works of any Madh-hab!!

Allaamah Badruddeen ‘Ainy has written: “Tahaawis writings are among the finest of its kind and are mines of information. Ma’aani stands out from all of them. If any rational person takes a look at this he’ll certainly find it to be equal to, if not better than any of the other major Hadeeth Kitaabs. Its style and format are most unique. Only a biased, obstinate person of superficial knowledge will dispute this. It has a clear Fawqiyyat (grade)over Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah and the like. Anyone with a wideknowledge of the kitaabs of Hadeeth will testify to this. This brings us to the stubborn Muta’assib (one blinded by bias); for this illness,unfortunately (for which), there is no cure.

Among the outstanding features of Ma’aani is that the Wujooh Istimbaat(reason/manner of deducing the law) and Mu’aaradhaat (contradictions or cross comparison of dalaa’il) are fully explained. Even Naasikh &Mansookh (abrogations) have been discussed at length together with proofs[not just claims]. This is a sign of fully comprehending Hadeeth in the ircorrect context (Ma’rifatul Hadeeth), or else many have gathered treasuries of Ahaadeeth but are unable to reconcile them satisfactorily due to a deficiency in Fiqhul- Hadeeth.

Some people feel that Ma’ani cannot be counted among the first two categories of Hadeeth Kiaabs because some of its narrators are Dha’eef or not of the highest degree in Thaqahat. The answer to this is simple. All the Sunan Kitaabs are of the same condition i.e. they contain the Dha’eefRiwaayaat, to the extent that some of the Riwaayaat of the Sunan have been labeled as Baatil and Maudhoo’. Then the Kitaabs of the thirdcategory like Daar Qutni, Baihaqi and Daarimi, stand no comparison to Tahaawi.

Allaamah Kashmeeri has stated: “Tahaawis Kitaab is next to Abu Dawood. All of his Ruwaat (narrators) are Mash-hoor and Ma’roof (recognized andfamous) even though some of them are Mutakallam Feeh (commentedupon) yet even these narrators are Ma’roof. After Tahaawi comes Tirmidhiand then Ibn Maajah.”

Be it as it may, Tahaawi is in no way less than the Sunan Arba’ah (Nasai,Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah) In fact Ibn Hazam Andaloosi has given it preference over Mu’atta Imaam Maalik in his kitaab Maraatibud Diyaanah and Shah Abdul Azeez has given Mu’atta Imaam Maalik preference over Saheehain in “Ujaalahe Naafi’ah”

Kawthari has summed it up: “To gain insight in Fiqh and expertise in Ijtihaad, there is no Kitaab parallel to Tahaawi. Irrespective of how many objections the objectors render.”

Reason for this Kitaab remaining in the shadow ofothers and not gaining as much popularity

Ma’aaniul Aathaar had remained unknown for several centuries. As the other kitaabs written in the same period grew in popularity and fame, it remained in the shadows, to the extent that many never knew that such a kitaab even existed!

Allaamah ‘Aini has given the reason for this: “Up until now, people have not fully realized the grandeur and importance of this kitaab and for this reason it has remained an untouched mine of Ilm for so long. The main reason for this is that unlike the other kitaabs of Hadeeth, no one has had the good fortune of coming forward and exposing the wonderful and unique nature of this kitaab. This kitaab was neglected for so long that people had almost forgotten its existence and there was a fear that this priceless work of Hadeeth and jurisprudence would be lost forever. The latter day scholars can be held responsible for this, that instead of serving this magnificent work, which is of so much more benefit and which is so much more authentic (being a compilation of Hadeeth) they placed emphasis on other inferior kitaabs and attempted producing works of their own which in no way could stand comparison to Ma’aani. Then to add to this, several Muta’assib (biased) opponents of the Hanafi Madh-hab wrongly attacked both Tahaawi and his kitaabs in an effort to undermine the Ahnaaf. Almost all of their objections were unfounded and unjustified,yet no one came forward to reply to their lies or to set the record straight. Infact a concerted effort was made in some ways to even prevent the spreadof Ma’aani so as to prevent people from accessing it! Strangely, all of thiswas done in the name of Ilm!? But Allaah planned otherwise, and who canever oppose the Will of Allaah? And so He created men of worth whobegan working on Ma’aani, and hardly had they begun, that the virtue andprecedence of the kitaab was acclaimed in all circles!

The style of Tahaawi’s writings

The works of Tahaawi stand apart from the works of his contemporaries.The kitaabs written in that period are available in dozens today: SihaahSittah; Daarimi; Musnad Ahmad; Musnad Abu Dawood Tayaalisi;Musnnaf Abdur Razzaaq; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah; yet all of these kitaabs are only a compilation of Ahaadeeth or at most, the authors have gathered them in chapters (abwaab) None of them went into Bahth(discussions) or Tahqeeq and Tadqeeq (detailed research) etc. On the contrary, all of Tahaawi’s works are full of Naqd; Nazr; Radd and Qadh i.e.detailed discussions on the condition of the Hadeeth and its narrators,objections and answers, conflicting views etc.

He gathered all types of Ahaadeeth in every chapter: Marfoo’; Mauqoof;Mursal; Munqati’; together with the Aathaar (sayings) of the Salaf and Akaabir Ulamaa (the senior Ulamaa among the Taabi’een and their students) and after all this he presents the summary of the Mas’alah and the final and most correct verdict.

[For details regarding the above-mentioned terms, refer to our kitaab‘Khairul Usool’]

This is a most unique feature in his Kitaabs. Allaamah Kauthari gives the reason for this: “… Tahaawi was propelled by his inner zeal and restlessness, together with his deep Tafaqquh (insight) to gather extensively. He therefore gathered all types of Ahaadeeth on each chapter,from Marfoo’ to mauqoof to mursal and munqati’ riwaayaat, and together with this the aathaar of the aslaaf and akaabir with as many sanads as possible, then he searched and cross researched until he reached the mostsatisfactory conclusion. This is in contrast to those who simply suffice themselves on one or two riwaayaat which they deem to be Saheeh. Thesepeople are unable to fulfill the right of Ilm and fall short in all regards. Thisis because they are unable to trace the truth of the matter because of thelack of substance before them. Then due to variations in Riwaayat bil Lafzand Riwaayat bil Ma’na (word for word and figurative expressions) andIkhtisaar (Ahaadeth narrated in brief or a portion thereof) and Ilal (clauses)etcetera they are handicapped further…”

What services are the Kitaabs of Imaam Tahaawi inneed of?

Imaam Tahaawi was unprecedented in his style, and since the matters he has discussed are so intricate, you will find two ‘short comings’ in his works. At times he goes into extreme detail so much so that something that could be said in a few lines might cover a full page or two, while at times a matter that may need more detail might just be covered briefly, to the extent that he sometimes just makes Ishaarah (an indication) to something and moves on. In this way a novice may miss certain finer points altogether.

For this reason the works of Tahaawi are in need of two services:

1] To summarize those discussions which have gone into Itnaab(undue detail);

2] To explain in detail those instances which have been touched only on the surface.

If these two things can be worked on, it will be very much easier to understand the kitaab easily and its general Ifaadiyyah (benefit) will bemuch more.

The third service it needs is the rectification of typographic errors. Both Mushkilul-Aathaar and Ma’aaniul-Aathaar are plagued with printing errors.This needs immediate attention. The Egyptian publishers, for some reason had not published any of Tahaawis works until very recently, and all of his kitaabs which were printed in India were done very haphazardly and were not proof-read by the Asaatidhah of the Kitaab. Errors of this type are a huge inconvenience for students and teachers alike.

May Allaah reward Moulaana Hakeem Ayoob Sahaaranpuri who had done the Tasheeh in this regard of all the Rijaal and Isnaad, (Narrators and Chains) but the Tasheeh (corrections) of the Matan (text) still needs to be completed.

A humble but important service

One further work needs to be carried out which will require the skill of a talented Muhaddith. Tahaawi has arranged Ma’aani according to the Abwaab of Fiqh but at times, for some reason, brought a Hadeeth in a certain chapter which is not directly related to it. These Ahaadeeth need to be gathered separately to facilitate ease in reference. Here are a few examples:

1) The Hadeeth “a Muslim can never become Najas (polluted) is in the chapter regarding the purity of water.

2) The Hadeeth where a Bedouin urinated in the Masjid is also in this chapter.

3) The Hadeeth of Qiraat in Fajr Salaat is in the chapter of the time for Fajr Salaat.

4) The Ahaadeth of Jamaat for Esha and Maghrib, the warnings for neglecting Fajr and Jumu’ah, the virtues of Maghrib and Esha, and the meaning of Qunoot have all come in the chapter of Salaatul Wustaa.

5) The Hadeeth of a person performing a Fardh Salaah behind one performing a Nafl is in the chapter of the time for Maghrib.

6) The Hadeeth “Those of knowledge and virtue should stand closest to me” is in the chapter of Takbeer for Rukoo’ and Sajdah.

7) The Ahaadeeth of Tashahhud and Salaam are in the chapter of the Azkaar of Rukii’ and Sajdah.

8) The Hadeeth of unconsciousness in Sha’baan and Ramadhaan is in the chapter of Shakk (doubt) during Salaah.

Khusoosiyaat (special features) of Ma’aaniul Aathaar.

Ma’aani is a kitaab full of special features. Below are but a few, the more discerning scholar is sure to find more.

1) It contains many Ahaadeeth which are not in any of the other kitaabs of Hadeeth.

2) Tahaawi narrates one Hadeeth through several Sanads/chains which is called Kathratul Asaaneed, due to which:

a. The authenticity of it’s Ahaadeeth are increased.

b. A Hadeeth which may have a Dha’eef (weak) sanad in another Kitaab will be found here with a strong sanad.

c. Muhadditheen have at their fingertips of many isnads for one Hadeeth without having to search for it.

d. All the Ahaadeeth are free of Tadlees i.e. there is clear mention of having heard the Hadeeth from one’s Shaikh.

e. While other kitaabs may contain Ahaadeeth which may have been understood incorrectly, there remains no possibility here.

f. Many Ahaadeeth which are in other kitaabs with Mursal;Mauqoof or Munqati’ Sanads will be found here with Muttasil or Marfoo’ Sanads.

g. In Ma’aani, the Raawi’s (narrators) names are mentioned in full together with their nisbat (tribal name). In this way,Raawis are clearly recognized and not confused for others with similar names. This is not so in other Kitaabs, whereby novices very often mistake raawis of similar names.

h. Ahaadeeth which are Mujmal (in brief) in other Kitaabs will be found Mufassal (completely) here. In many cases the Sababul Wurood (instance/cause for the Hadeeth) is also mentioned.

i. Sometimes a Taabi’ee narrates one Hadeeth twice from one Sahaabi, one riwaayah will be Marfoo’ and the other Mursal and at times, a Raawi narrates from a Taabi’ee twice. Once Mausool and once Mursal. In these instances, Tahaawi mentions its detail clearly so that all doubts of Idhtiraab,Wasl and Shakk are removed.[Refer to our Kitaab ‘Khairul Usool’ for details regarding technical terms]

3) Generally the Matan (text) of the Ahaadeeth of Ma’aani is relayed in full. From this, the Tafseer of Mujmal, Tafseel of Mukhtasar andTaqyeed of Mutlaq etc. can easily be researched.

4) The Kitaab is full of Aathar (sayings) of Sahaabah, Taabi’een and the Aimmah (Imaams) of the 1st and 2nd generations. Very few other Kitaabs contain so many Aathaar, which are indispensable for understanding Hadeeth.

5) Tahaawi narrates the verdicts of the Aimmah regarding Ahaadeeth and Rijaal extensively. This lends great strength to the overall value of the Kitaab.

6) He also extracts very fine and intricate details from Ahaadeeth which no other Muhaddith even indicated towards.

7) Together with the Aqwaal and Dalaa’il (verdicts and proofs) of the Hanafis, the Aqwaal and Dalaa’il of the other A’immah are relayed in mounds. There is no hint of Ta’assub (bias) or hiding daleels of others on account of it as is the habit of so many others.

8) Tahaawi has not only made Takhreej (narrated) of Ahaadeeth. Instead, he has discussed each ones Sanad, Matan, Riwaayah andDiraayah totally and then finally, he draws a conclusion from all of this. Never does he pass a verdict on the basis of one Hadeeth as so many others do. This manner of his creates an expertise and depth in Tafaqquh (correct understanding). His Kitaab is truly unique in this regard. It overflows with the Usools (principles) of Ijtihaad.Very few other kitaabs of the Muhadditheen have combined all of this.

9) Every chapter of Ma’aani is a battleground of Ilm. Various conflicting viewpoints are presented, together with their proofs and objections and answers. Then a general crit of the entire discussion and then finally a conclusion by giving Tarjeeh (preference) to one Qowl or Madh-hab. The outstanding characteristic of Tahaawi is that nowhere in any of his Kitaabs has he degraded or insulted any of the Imaams, neither directly nor indirectly. So many great Ulamaa have fallen prey to this most terrible sickness. Even Bukhaari and Tirmidhi ‘soiled’ their Kitaabs with “qaala ba’d hunnaas” and “Inda as-haabir ra’i” He has presented his Kitaab with utmost justness and fairness, he has not hidden the proofs of others nor tried to justify his wrongs nor pull or twist Daleels or make Tadh’eef and Tautheeq to suit his own end and to establish the Hanafi view, or try to discredit anyone in his attempt to prove his view as the great Ibn Hajar did time and again in all of his works. This trait of Tahaawis speaks volumes about his Taqwa and purity of heart. When discussing the Madhaa-hib, he simply used the term ‘dhahaba qowmun’ i.e. one group of ulamaa have this opinion. He took no names and degraded no one. Even when mentioning the views of the Ahnaaf, he used the same term.

Nazrut Tahaawi: A most unique Usool in TarjeehulAhaadeeth.

Tahaawi’s principles of Tarjeeh (accepting one Hadeeth over another) are very much different from those of the other Muhadditheen and Mujtahideen. Many people, due to not understanding his manner of Tarjeeh’ (Ibn Taymiyyah in particular) have fallen into misunderstanding in this regard and have criticized Tahaawi of accepting Ahaadeeth on the basis of personal opinion. Many of these ‘enlightened scholars of superficial knowledge’ use the term ‘Ashaabur rai’ and ‘Ahlur rai’ in a degrading manner for the Ahnaaf on this account. It is thus necessary to discuss this matter in detail.

Regarding this term ‘Ahlur rai’ (the people of opinion), this was a laqab (term) used to praise Imaam Abu Haneefah and his Jamaat during the first period of Ilm and Ijtihaad i.e. during the first century in the time of the students of the Taabi’een [Imaam Abu Haneefa himself being a Taabi’ee] This was in fact a term of honour ‘Ashaabu Ra’yis Sadeed’ meaning those with the most correct view. This pertained especially to those Masaa’il which were not clearly mentioned in Hadeeth, that in such instances, the Ahnaaf generally reached the most correct and well researched conclusion which the Ummat at large could follow. Unfortunately, in this belated age, there are those deceiving liars (under the false banner of ‘Salafi’) who have attempted to use this term to its opposite effect i.e.‘Those of personal opinion’ These ‘men of little understanding’ have propounded this to such an extent that the original meaning of this term has been almost completely forgotten. Allaamah Ibn Hajar Makki Shaafi’ee has written a detailed treatise on this in his book ‘Al Khairaatul Hisaan’.Like this there is another futile attempt by these chaps to discredit Imaam Abu Haneefa. They say that he only knew 17 Ahaadeeth! This is a total laugh. This was originally also among the outstanding features of Abu Haneefah that he had 17 Masaaneed of Ahaadeeth i.e. 17 chains (sanads) for his ahaadeeth!!! This is such an honor that no other Muhaddith or Mujtahid can lay claim to! Khwaarizmi has gathered these in his ‘Masaaneed Imaam A’zam.

Allaamah Muhammad Zaahid Al Kawthari has discussed this matter in his ‘Al Haawi fee Seerat Imaam Tahaawi’ which we will reproduce here together with a few explanatory notes where necessary.

He writes: “Tahaawi has used a most wise and rational method in Tarjeeh.Unlike others, who merely suffice on scanning the Rijaal (narrators)…”

Generally the Muhadditheen accept or reject a Hadeeth solely on its classification. This is a closed-eyed principle among them: scan the sanad;kalaam on rijaal; saheeh or dha’eef; end of story.

Even Imaam Shaafi’ee and Ahmad have gone this way. The Ahnaaf and Maalikiyyah take it a bit deeper.

“… a person can only see as far as his eyes will permit him …” [urdu couplet]

 

Imaam Maalik’s Usool is of ‘Ta’aamul Ahlul Madeenah’ i.e. the practice of the people of Madeenah. According to him even if no Saheeh Hadeeth is found, the general practice of the people of Madeenah is a sufficient proof. The gauge and standard according to Tahaawi and the other Hanafis is as follows: (in the words of Kauthari)

“He first studies the Mas’alah deeply. Then gathers all the proofs relatingto it from Hadeeth and Sunnah, and gathers all other Masaa’il which are based on the same foundations…”

This is done by using the Tanqeehaat Thalaathah (three Illats/clauses)

1) Takhreejul (sourcing) Manaat

2) Tanqeehul (deliberating) Manaat

3) Tahqeequl (researching) Manaat

Manaat/Illat is that Wasf (clause) upon which a Hukm (law) is based [TheMadaar Alaih or Baa’ith of the Hukm] Allamah Shabbeer Ahmad Uthmaani has explained these three things in the Muqaddimah(introduction) of ‘Fathul Mulhim’ vol.1 pg.89:

1) Takhreejul Manaat is to make apparent or investigate the wasf (clause) to which a hukm is related. i.e. to uncover the Madaar Alaih of a hukm. (Madaar Alaih: that principle upon which a law is based.) The Mujtahid will then draw an analogy between the Mas’alah in question and the Nass (Nass refers to Qur’aan and Hadeeth\Sunnah) on account of this wasf(quality). Since this wasf cannot be separated from either of the two, and there are no Mu’aaridh (contradictions) between them the law for both would be quite similar. E.g. in the Hadeeth ‘Kullu Muskirin Haraamun’ Every intoxicating substance is Haraam, the Wasf or Madaar for Hurmat (prohibition) is an intoxicant.

2) Tanqeehul Manaat according to the Ulamaa of Usool is in the case of uncertainty or where there exists several possibilities (Imkaan). If there is an apparent Wasf or a possibility of extracting several Awsaaf (Plural of Wasf) then the Mujtahid will have to decide whether to accept this Wasf or whether to leave the Madaar (basis) of the Hukm an Aam Illat (general clause) and in the case of several possibilities,which to accept and which to reject. In short Tanqeehul Manaat will be a step deeper than Takhreej, it will constitute a concerted effort in determining the Illat and eliminating all else. E.g. Hadeeth has it that a Bedouin intentionally cohabited with his wife while fasting in Ramadhaan. Rasulullaah ﷺ ordered him to observe Kaffaarah. Now the question arises as to whether the Illat for Kaffaarah is only intercourse as in this Hadeeth or whether eating and drinking intentionally will also necessitate Kaffarah.

3) Tahqeequl Manaat will come about in the case where the Illat of the Hukm is defined through Nass (text) or Ijmaa’(consensus) and it is accepted by Ittifaaq (unanimously) but the Mujtahid is in a dilemma as to whether that Illat will fit in the Mas’alah which is under discussion or not. E.g. will a person who steals the kafan (burialcloth) off a dead body be termed a Saariq (thief) whose hand should be cut or whether his crime is of a lesser degree. In the case of a Saariq the Illat for cutting of the hand is Saraqah (stealing) but in the case of the other person will this Illat also apply or not. [excerpt from Fathul Mulhim]

It is also possible that in certain instances two or even all three types may be found together. In that case the mujtahid will have to make Takhreej of several possibilities from Nass. Then he will have to determine the correct Wasf by way of Tanqeeh and then he will have to apply this onto the Mas’alah in question as Tahqeequl Manaat. E.g. in the mas’alah regarding which things break wudhu, the Aayat of Qur’aan has it: ‘or if any of you have to approach a low lying place (relieves oneself)’

From this Aayah several possibilities emerge which could be the Illat for Wudhu breaking:

1. The intention of going to the toilet

2. The need for relieving oneself

3. Actually going to the toilet

4. Just entering the toilet

5. Uncovering ones satr

6. Passing urine or stool

7. Passing any Najasat from Sabeelain (the front and back passages)

8. Passing Najaasat from any one of the passages

9. For any type of Najaasat to touch the body

10. For any type of najaasat to flow from any part of the body.

According to the Ahnaaf, the Illat for wudhu breaking is the flowing of any najaasat from any part of the body.  According to them, this Illat will encompass all the others. Only taking ‘maa kharaja minas sabeelain’(whatever comes out of the two passages) into consideration is not sufficient.

This will now become the Usool (principle) in this Mas’alah and since it is an all- encompassing Usool, it will take the shape of Tawaatur (consensus). Now if any single person narrates anything contrary to this, then we will not accept it because his singular narration (Khabr Waahid) cannot stand in opposition to a firm Usool which is extracted from Nass and encompasses many Awsaaf.

E.g. Muhammad ibn Ishaaq narrates from Sadaqah ibn Yasaar who narrates from Aqeel ibn Jaabir who narrates from Jaabir : We were with Nabi  on the expedition of Dhaatur-Riqaa. In this battle, one Muslim mistakenly killed a non-Muslims wife. He took a qasm (oath) that he will avenge her.After the battle, he followed the Muslims. The Muslims had camped at a certain place and this Sahaabi volunteered to stand guard for the night together with one other. When they stood guard, then the Ansaari took the first session and stood in Salaah while the Muhaajir layed down to rest. The non-Muslim observed all of this and then seeing his opportunity shot an arrow at this Sahaabi who simply pulled the arrow from his body and continued his Salaah. The Kaafir shot another two or three arrows into this Sahaabi who calmly completed his Salaah and then woke his companion.

On seeing his condition he said: “Subhaanallaah! Why didn’t you wake me earlier?” He said: “I was reciting Surah Kahf and did not like to complete my Salaah before completing the Surah. But then the thought crossed my mind that my death could endanger the life of Rasulullaah ﷺ, so I completed the Salaah.”

Abu Dawood has brought this Hadeeth in the chapter ‘Wudhu minad Dam(does bleeding break wudhu), Ahmad has narrated it in his Musnad, IbnHibbaan, Ibn Khuzaimah and Haakim have all classed it as Saheeh,Bukhaari has mentioned it ‘Ta’leeqan bi Seegha Tamreedh’ (i.e. without a sanad with a bit of weakness) in the chapter ‘man lam yaral wudhu illaaminal makhrajain’ (the proof of those who say that wudhu only breaks by najaasat flowing from the two passages’)

The Ahnaaf on the contrary say that this Hadeeth has only this one Sanad and Ibn Ishaaq is Mutakallam Feeh i.e. not a narrator of the highest order,then Aqeel is Majhool (unknown) no one besides Sadaqah has narrated this hadeeth from him.

Imaam Malik and Imaam Shaafi’ee deduce from this Hadeeth that only that which comes out of the two passages breaks wudhu. In fact, according to Maalik, only that which normally comes out of the passages breaks wudhu,so that if blood comes out of one of them, even then wudhu will not break!

The Ahnaaf say that any Najaasat coming out of the body will break wudhu. The action of this Sahaabi will have to be interpreted somehow.Further, the sanad of this Hadeeth is weak and its content is contrary to a solid usool which is extracted from Qur’aan. Had this Hadeeth not been contrary to the usool, then despite its weakness, it would have been accepted because a Dha’eef Hadeeth is given preferance over opinion.

Allaamah Kauthari, commenting further states: “Tahaawi has applied this Usool of his in a most wonderful way, and contrary to Ibn Taymiyyahs misconception, this is not a matter of giving Tarjeeh by Qiyaas (analogy)but in fact he judges one Hadeeth in the light of another.”

He then goes on: “Imaam Tahaawi has not gone into Tanqeed (criticisms) of the narrators because the field of Jarh and Ta’deel itself is so full of differences of opinion to the extent that many righteous and upstanding narrators have also not been spared from criticism. For this reason the kitaabs of Karaabeesi and Ibn Abi Khaithamah, and even the sayings of Ibn Ma’een and Ibn Madeeni have given strength to the opponents of the Ahlus-Sunnah, that on the account of their Jarah the narrations of great Ulamaa have been questioned! This can be amply gauged from the books of Abu Qaasim Ka’by and Ibnul Ibaad.”

The reason for differences in this field is due to differences in the standards of the Naaqideen (critics). Some are extremely hard in their judgments while others are extremely lax. E.g. one person went to learn Hadeeth from someone. On reaching there he found the person holding an empty bucket,calling out to his horse in an attempt to catch it. On seeing this that person immediately returned from there saying: “If he can lie to a horse, then he can lie to anyone!” Look, on such a seemingly trivial matter, he wrote this Muhaddith off and refused to accept anything from him while another person would find nothing wrong in his action. The second reason for differences in this matter is that different critics would have seen different actions of a certain narrator. One might have seen him do good and thus declared him Aadil (trustworthy) and another may have seen him do something wrong and thus declared him otherwise.

Then things like personal enmity or love; Ta’assub (bias) etc. all play a big role in this field. Then latter scholars relay whatever the Naaqideen have said or written and add to the dilemma. Finally the only route is that the later scholars give Tarjeeh to all that is in accordance with their Madhaahib and declare its Isnaad to be Saheeh and write off all that is opposition to them, all of this by quoting the verdicts of Naaqideen as and when it suits them [as we have seen of Ibn Hajar at the start of this kitaab]

“Tahaawi has thus, instead of going this weak route, opted for a more solid approach to the matter. He thus followed the principle of the Ahnaaf, which is a most wonderful manner of reaching a correct conclusion i.e. looking at each riwaayat in the light of the Usool of each Baab”

A person who only basis his decisions on Naqd of Ruwaat can never come to a satisfactory conclusion and is bound to err or get stuck or confused in many Mukhtalaf Feeh Masaa’il (Masaa’il where differences occur)

Allaamah Kauthari goes on: “Tahaawi’s method is most wonderful. Unfortunately, most of the Muta’akh-khireen have forgotten this way,whereas this method of Tarjeeh goes so much further than just a superficial Naqd of Ruwaat in giving Tarjeeh!? Only a student with a deep understanding of Fiqh will truly appreciate this. These students are sure to increase their Isti’daad (capabilities and depth in Ilm) multifold by studying Tahawis kitaabs. As for the superficial ‘scholars’, they will never ever reach the realities of Ilm!”

So it is a matter of honour that this forgotten approach was revived in this Daarul Uloom Deoband of ours! When Sayyid Rashid Ridha, the great Allaamah of Misr [Egypt] visited Daarul Uloom, then in the welcoming jalsah (congregation), Allaamah Kashmeeri explained this method of studying Hadeeth and Fiqh (as in contrast to the general way prevalent among the Arabs) Sayyid Rashid was most fascinated with this and was totally taken aback!!

A special attention was reserved for Tahaawi’s works in our Madaaris where it used to be taught with extra care and devotion. Unfortunately we have not maintained this to its right and although not totally forgotten, it is generally neglected. Nowadays it is just about taught only in namesake as a form of Barakah.

The author of ‘Anwaarul Baari’ Sayyid Ahmad Ridha Bijnori’s opinion was: “Sharah Ma’aani should be taught in our Daura Hadeeth the way Bukhaari and Tirmidhi is taught: in full detail with Tahqeeq and Tadqeeq.Only those endowed with insight and deep understanding will understand the real need for this. Ma’aani needs to be taught with full references from its commentaries. The final year students must study ‘Jawharun Naqi’;‘Jaami’ Masaaneed Imaam A’zam’; the Kitaabs of Imaam Abu Yusuf and Imaam Muhammad together with ‘Umdatul Qaari’ and ‘Uqood Jawaahirul Manfiyyah’ if they hope to gain anything in the Ilm of Hadeeth.”(Muqaddimah Anwaarul Baari)

Coming back to Kauthari: “Tahaawi’s not going into Ruwaat is in no way due to his being unaware in this field as some ‘unaware’ fellows claim. Rather, he was an Imaam in Asmaa ur Rijaal. When he makes Kalaam on Muta’aaridh (conflicting) Riwaayaat, then one is astonished at his extensive knowledge in this line. His ‘Al Kitaabul Kabeer’ is a master piece in Asmaa’. Most of the kitaabs on Rijaal written after him contain extensive references and excerpts from it.”

Kauthari concludes: “Tahaawis giving preference to a riwaayat on accountof it being Muwaafiq(in accordance) to an Usool Jaami’ah(comprehensiveprinciple) over one which is not is not, as some others claim, Tarjeeh basedon opinion or Qiyaas, but on account of the second riwaayat being Shaadh (rare – see ‘Khairul Usool’) and not having anything to support it. This is called Akhdh bil Qawi(basing ones verdict on the most sound and solid daleel)

And finally, in none of his Kitaabs has Tahaawi totally neglected making Kalaam on Rijaal. Open Ma’aani or Mushkilul Aathaar and see for yourself.”

In every chapter, Tahaawi presents this Usool of his as “Nazrut Tahaawi”. After bringing all the Ahaadeeth and discussing them where necessary, hepresents this ‘Nazr’ in which he explains the Jaami’ Usool and basis of the Mas’alah in question. Here, by way of example we present the first of these‘Nazrs’ that he has explained in his Kitaab:

Is the Soor of a cat (left over water from which a cat has drank) clean(suitable for wudhu) or impure? After gathering many Ahaadeeth on the topic, Tahaawi explains that the Asl (original) in this chapter is that theHukm of Soor is the same as that of meat, because saliva either emanates from the meat of an animal, or because it touches the meat. Thus we find that the soor of camels, goats, sheep and cows are unanimously declared as Paak/pure and their meat is also paak and thus permissible for consumption. The meat of the pig and dog is impure and for this reason its soor is as well. Then the meat of donkeys and animals of prey is Makrooh Tahreemi because its consumption has been forbidden in Hadeeth. Thus the soor of these will also be Makrooh.

Based on this Asl, Tahaawi has not accepted the Hadeeth of Abu Qataadah“… it is not Najas (impure) as cats are domestic animals …” after discussing the weakness in its Sanad, he declares this Hadeeth as Marjooh and gives preference to the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah  “If a cat drinks from a container, then wash it once or twice in order to purify it.”

But because he presented the Usool right at the end of the chapter in the form of Qiyaas, it seems as if it is an Aqli Daleel (logical proof), whereas this has not got anything to do with Tahaawis rationale. It is in fact the real basis of this Mas’alah which needs to be understood at the very onset.

Tahaawis two special Istilaahaat (terminologies):Naskh and Tawaatur.

Many of the Istilaahaat of the Mutaqaddimeen differ very much from those outlined by the Muta’akh-khireen. For example, we all know that the term Mursal is Muta’ayyan (fixed) for that Hadeeth in whose Sanad only the Sahaabi is left out. In other words, Mursal is that Hadeeth where a Taabi’eesays “Qaala Rasulullaah ﷺ…” while the rest of its Sanad is Muttasil(complete). According to the Mutaqaddimeen however, Mursal had a much wider meaning in that Munqati’ and Mu’dhal (see ‘Khairul Usool’) Riwaayaat would all fall under its purport.

Tahaawi is also among the Qadeem (old) scholars. For this reason, some of the terms used by him need to explained in context to prevent misunderstanding.

1] Naskh:

The word Naskh has two meanings in the Arabic language:

1) Yubtilu or Yazoolu i.e. to completely vanquish or obliterate.‘Nasakhatish shamsuzh zhilla’ would thus mean ‘The sun has completely effaced the shade. In this way any medicine which removes sickness is called Nushkah.

Allaah Ta’aalah mentions in the Qur’aan in Surah Hajj, Aayat number 52:6 

“Fayansakhullaahu maa yulqish shaytaanu…” which would mean:“… and so Allaah totally effaces the doubts caused by the whisperings of shaytaan”

2) Yantaqilu i.e. to move something. ‘Nasakhtul Kitaaba’ would thus mean ‘I moved or copied the Kitaab’. Similarly in Meraath(inheritance) ‘Munaasakhah’ means ‘to move the share of one inheritor to another’

Among the Mutaqaddimeen the word Naskh had a wide meaning.Taqyeedul Mutlaq (adding a clause to an ‘open’ law) ; Takhseesul ‘Aam (confining a ‘general’ law to a more specific end); Ta’weeluzh Zhaahir (interpreting an apparent verse into context) etc. would all be deemed Naskh. Tahaawi used it in an even broader sense.

Allaamah Yusuf Binnori states: “Tahaawi uses the term Naskh in the most broad sense imaginable. He even uses it for anything whose opposite has been proven even though both things may be Muhkam[established] It is necessary to keep this in mind while studying hisKitaabs.” [Ma’aarifus Sunan vol.1 pg.291]

At another juncture he writes: “Naskh is of three types:

1) Naskh of the Mutaqaddimeen;

2) Naskh of Tahaawi which he uses for a latter view which is contrary to the former, even though both may be Muhkam. In this way Tahawi calls Raf’ul Yadain (raising of the hands during Salaat) Mansookh;

3) Naskh of the Muta’akh-khireen. [Ma’aarifus-Sunan pg.252]

Note: Naskh according to the Muta’kh-khireen is when the duration of the preceding [Saabiq] Hukm elapses and as a result the latter [Mu’akh-khar] Hukm replaces it in such a way that it is no longer permissible to practice upon the former [Saabiq]

2] Tawaatur (consensus)

According to the Muta’akh-khireen, there are few conditions for tawaatur to be established:-

1) For a big group to have narrated it.

2) The number should be so great and from such a wide spectrum that there should be no possibility of accusation of any type of scheme.

3) This number should be maintained in every generation. At no point should it decrease.

4) The last narrator must have seen or heard it personally.

 5) The khabr (information) must give the benefit of Yaqeen i.e. theremust be no doubt regarding it.

These are the five conditions for Tawaaturul Isnaad. Apart from this there are three more types of Tawaatur: Tawaaturut Tabaqah; Tawaaturul Amal; Tawaatur Qadrul Mushtarak. Generally the Muhadditheen use the word Tawaatur for Tawaaturul Isnaad only. Tahaawi on the other hand uses it for any Hukm which is relayed continuously or in abundance and he uses it on all four types.

We will not go into the detailed explanation of Tawaatur and its types here for that is not the object of our discussion.

Tabaqaat (categories) of Fuqahaa (jurists) andImaam Tahaawis Maqaam (position)

Before coming to Tahaawis rank, it is necessary to know the different levels of the Fuqahaa. These categories are according to rank and mastery. There are seven Tabaqaat which we will briefly outline hereunder:

1. The Mujtahide Mutlaq.

He is an expert in all the sciences. He has his own Usools which he draws from Qur’aan and Sunnah. Through these he extracts Furoo’i Masaa’il (secondary laws).

2. The Mujtahid fil Madh-hab or Mujtahide Muntasab.

He follows an Imaam in his Usools but derives some of his own laws in the light thereof. He may thus differ with the Imaam in some of his Furoo’i Masaa’il.

3. Mujtahid fil Masaa’il.

He is Taabi’ (follower) to an Imaam in Usool and Furoo’ but is able to make Ijtihaad in Ghair Mansoos Masaa’il i.e. those Masaa’il which are not clearly mentioned in Nass.

4. Ashaabut-Takhreej.

These have not reached the level of Ijtihaad but has deeply researched the Usools and Ma’aakhadh(origins/proofs) of the Madh-hab so that he understand and can explain the finer matters of Masaa’il and those Aqwaal(views) of the A’immah which are Mujmal or Mubham(unclear)

5. Ashaabut Tarjeeh.

They can give preference to some Aqwaal over others.

6. Ashaabut Tameez.

They can differentiate between strong and weak riwaayaat and apparent[zaahir] and strange [Naadir] aqwaal.

7. The Aam Fuqahaa.

i.e. the general jurists who have Ilm of Fiqh but have not reached any of the above stages.

Then comes the delicate question of who fits into which category? In this regard there can be no final decisive verdict. Generally the Fuqahaa are judged according to the standard of their writings but then this, more often than not does not give a very accurate reflection of the author himself. Can the Maqaam of Mufti Kifaayatullaah be gauged from his Ta’leemulIslaam? For this reason, the categorization of Ibn Kamaal Pasha has always been disputed. He has placed the four Imaams and some of their contemporaries in the first category. In the second, he has placed Imaam Abu Yusuf, Muhammad, and some of the other students of Imaam Abu Haneefah. In the third he has placed Tahaawi, Khassaaf, Karkhi, Halwaa’i,Sarakhsi, Bazdawi and Qaadhi-Khan. In the fourth he has placed Jassaas-Raazi and the like. In the fifth category he has placed Qudoori and Magheenaani while in the sixth he has the authors of Kanz, Mukhtaar,Majma’ and Wiqaayah, and he has placed the other famous Fuqahaa in the seventh.

Because he based his categorization on their writings, he has erred in several of them.

Allaamah Abdul Hayy Lukhnowi has placed Tahaawi in the second category [Fawaa’idul Bahiyyah] while Shah Abdul Azeez has placed him in the first [Bustaanul Muhadditheen]

Because Tahaawi based the whole of Ma’aani only on Takhreej, Tarjeeh and bayaan of Furoo’i Masaa’il, Pasha placed him in the third group,whereas his Maqaam as a Faqeeh, Muhadith and Mujtahid is far beyond that. To accept the views of either Allaamah Abdul Hayy or Shah Saahibwould be more in order.

The position of Ma’aani-ul-Aathaar among the Kitaabsof Hadeeth.

The Kitaabs of Hadeeeth have also been categorized according to their authenticity and Reliability. Istidlaal (proofs) from a higher ranking kitaab would thus be considered more weighty while from a ‘lower’ kitaab proportionately lower.

Here again comes the question of standards. There are several standards for classing kitaabs which have been set out by different Ulamaa.

The first Mi’yaar (standard)

Any Kitaab, which sets a precedent for those coming after it, will be given a superior rank. Based on this, Ibn Hazam has placed Mu’atta Imaam Maalik above Bukhaari, and Bukhaari above Muslim. Ulamaa have not supported this view since it is not very clearly defined and its results are disputable.

The second Mi’yaar

The Jaami’iyyat, Ifaadiyyat and Husnut Tarteeb of the kitaab is taken into account i.e. a kitaab which covers a broad range of topics in a systematic concise manner. Based on this, some of the Ulamaa of Andalusia have given Muslim a rank over Bukhaari because of its format. Imaam Muslim has arranged his kitaab beautifully, it is easy to source a Hadeeth,Ahaadeeth of one topic are in one place, the various Turuq (chains) of one Hadeeth are gathered at one place etc. Bukhaari on the other hand is almost the total opposite. Those who have studied it will know better. Allaamah Sakhaawi has opposed this Mi’yaar. He says that according to this Mi’yaara Juzwi Fadheelah (partial virtue) of one Kitaab over another can be ascertained but the full object cannot be gauged. [Ref. Fat-Hul Mugheeth]

The third Mi’yaar

Tajarrud wa Ikhtilaat i.e. A kitaab which only contains the Ahaadeeth of Rasulullaah ﷺ will be given preference over a Kitaab which contains the sayings of Sahaabah, Taabi’een and others together with Ahaadeeth Nabawiyyah. On this standard too people have placed Muslim above Bukhari since Bukhaari has included many Ta’leeqaat (ahaadeeth without sanad) Aathaar of Sahaabah and Taabi’een and his own Taraajim(chapters). For this very reason Mu’atta has been placed behind Saheehain because Maalik has included Musnad Ahaadeeh (see Khairul Usool), Balaaghaat (At times Imaam Maalik says ‘Balaghani …’ i.e. this hadeeth has reached me… without mentioning its source, but he has its sanad in his mind. These are known as Balaaghaat of Maalik.), Aathaar of Sahaabah and Taabi’een and his own Ijtihaad in his Kitaab. Ibn Salaah has refuted this view in his ‘Muqaddamah’ (pg.8) He says: “The inclusion of these things in no way harms the general status of the kitaab” In fact, it may enhance it instead! For example, after relaying the Hadeeth: “…from Sufyan, from Zuhri from Mahmood ibn Rabee from Ubaadah  that Rasulullaah ﷺ  said: “There is no Salaat for the one who does not recite Surah Faatihah …” Imaam Abu Dawood brings the explanation of Sufyaan ibn Uyaynah ‘haadhaa liman yusallee wahdah’ ie. This Hadeeth is in regard to the person performing Salaat on his own.

The fourth Mi’yaar

Tashaddud (Severity) in Sharaa’it (conditions) and for the entire Kitaab tobe based on those Sharaa’it. On this standard people have given Bukhaari the number one spot. Bukhaaris conditions for accepting a Hadeeth are extremely strict, he only accepts Mu’an’an (See Khairul Usool) Riwaayaat when the two Raawis are proven to have met while Muslim accepts it if the lifespans of the two Raawis coincide. In this way, there is no possibility of Tadlees ( See Khairul Usool) in any of Bukhaaris Ahaadeth.

Nawawi states: “this severe shart (condition) of Bukhaaris has caused his Kitab to gain a rank over Muslim, even though Muslim has severely criticized this shart in the introduction to his Kitaab because Mu’aasarat(coinciding lifespans) are sufficient for Ittisaalus Sanad (for the chain to be complete). As regards to the possibility of Tadlees, Muslim has gathered several Turuq (chains) for all his Ahaadeeth and thus there remains none.”

Be it as it may, this Mi’yaar is also not satisfactory enough to be the final word on the matter, because just as ‘lightness’ in Sharaa’it would open the door to weak and fabricated narrations entering the kitaab, extremely severe Sharaa’it would prevent many Saheeh narrations from gaining entry into the kitaab. e.g. In vol.1 pg.174 Baabut Tashaddud; Imaam Muslim has narrated the Hadeeth “…when the Imaam recites (in Salaat) then remain silent.” The sanad is: “From Jareer, from Sulaimaan Taimi, from Qataadah,from Yoonus…” One of the students objected that in this Hadeeth,Sulaimaan is alone i.e. he is the sole narrator of the Hadeeth in his generation, Imaam Muslim immediately responded: “Do you seek a narrator with a better memory than Sulaimaan?!”

In other words, although he is alone, he is a most reliable person of the highest order, hence his being alone will not affect the Hadeeth in the least.The student then asked: “What is your opinion regarding the Hadeeth: ‘The Imaam is to be followed, so when he recites, remain silent.’? Imaam Muslim said: “It is Saheeh” The student then said: “Why did you not include it in your Kitaab then?” Imaam Muslim’s reply is to be remembered. He said: “I have not included all the Ahaadeeth here which I know to be Saheeh. I have only gathered those upon which there is general consensus on its Sihhat.”

Muslims Shart of ‘Ittifaaq on its Sihhat’ is a very severe Shart, hence many Saheeh Ahaadeeth have not been included in his kitaab. For this reason it has been said, and the hard line protagonists of Saheehain should take special note, ‘Apart from those in Saheehain, there are almost two or three times the amount of Saheeh Ahaadeeth which have not been included in these two Kitaabs.’ The kitaabs of Istidraak (See Khairul Usool) have beenwritten because of this.

The fifth Mi’yaar

Sihhat of Isnaad and Thaqaahat (reliability) of Ruwaat. On this basis also,Bukhaaari has been given a rank above Muslim. The Mutakallam Feeh Ruwaat (those narrators regarding whom there is some difference of opinion) of Muslim are double those in Bukhaari. Muslim has 620 ruwaat who Bukhaari has not narrated from, of which, 160 are mutakallam feeh;while Bukhaaari has 435 such ruwaat of which 80 are mutakallam feeh.This is the generally accepted Mi’yaar in classifying Kitaabs according to their Sihhat.

However, this Mi’yaar is only of use in the case of those Kitaabs whose content and objective is one. For example, Bukhaari, Muslim, Ibn Hibbaan,Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Sakan etc. have ben compiled with the sole purpose of gathering only Saheeh Ahaadeeth.

The Kitaabs of Sunan have been compiled with the intention of gathering the Daleels of the Fuqahaa. These are two completely separate types of Kitaabs. To gauge both on one standard will not be fair. The Fuqahaa use Saheeh Ahaadeeth to prove their Masaa’il, if these are not available,then they accept Hasan and even Dha’eef Ahaadeeth at times, for this reason, the Kitaabs of Sunan e.g. Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood etc. will contain all types of Ahaadeeth. Even Mursal Riwaayaat will be included in the Sunans because Mursal Riwaayaat are also accepted by the Fuqahaa.

Hence Abu Dawood gathered these Maraaseel separately as an addendum to his Sunan.

Then you come to kitaabs with an even wider objective than the Sunan. Tahaawis Kitaabs fall into this category. The objective of Ma’aani is both,Tamhees, Naqd, and Tahqeeq of Masaa’il and Madhaahib (i.e. deep research and cross examination) In this case, the Mi’yaar will have to be totally different altogether, because here, every type of Daleel will have to be included even the Dalaa’il of other Madhaahib no matter how they may be. The object here is Istiqsaa i.e. to gather all the Ahaadeeth related to the chapter. In the Sunan this is not so. Therefore it is possible for Kitaabs suchas Ma’aani to have more Mutakallam Feeh Rijaal than the Sunans. In Ma’aani, you will have to judge on the strength of the Ahaadeeth upon which Tahaawi bases his final decision and the strength of the Dalaa’il of the Ahnaaf. The condition of the Dalaa’il of the other Madhaahib is for the followers of those Madhaahib to check. It will be your duty to an eye on this while studying the Kitaab.

Shuroohaat (commentaries) and Hawaashi (footnotes)of Ma’aani-ul-Aathaar

As we have already mentioned, Ma’aani was a forgotten treasure for so many years.

Allaamah Ibn Abdil Barr Maaliki (368a.h.) did a Talkhees (Abridgement) on it but did not complete it. This is probably among the oldest works on it. For almost 300 years thereafter no work was done on it. Hereunder we present a brief rundown on the commentaries written on it.

1. Sharh Manbijee

Written by Haafiz Muhammad Manbijee (698a.h.) This is probably the first Sharh written on Ma’aani. He is also the author of ‘Al Lubaab fil Jam’I baynas Sunnati wal Kitaab’Allaamah Kauthari has written that the manuscript of this Sharh is in the Library Aaya Soofia.

2. Mabaaniul Akhbaar fee Sharhi M’aaniul Aathaar

3. Nukhabul Afkaar fee Tanqeeh Mabaaniul Akhbaar feeSharhi Ma’aaniul Aathaar

Both these were written by Allaamah Mahmood ibn Ahmad ibn Moosa ibn Ahmad ibn Hussain ibn Yusuf ibn Mahmood Qaadhi ul Qudhaat Badrud Deen ‘Aini (762-855a.h.)

He taught Ma’aani for many years in Madrassah Mu’ayyadiyyah,which was the Madrassah of the Sultaan Mu’ayyad. The Sultaan had developed great love for Ilm in his old age. He had built a special hall (dars-gaah) for the teaching of Ma’aani and the other Kitaabs of Hadeeth. Allaamah ‘Aini was specially requested to teach Ma’aani. He acceded to the request and went on to teach it for many years. During this period he wrote these two Sharhs and ‘Maghaani Alaa Rijaalit Tahaawi’ which we will discuss later.

He first wrote Mabaani in which he did not touch upon Rijaal at all.He wrote Maghaani alongside it in which he discussed only Rijaal. Kauthari wrote that he saw ‘Aini’s handwritten copy in Daarul Kutb Misriyyah in six thick volumes. Allaamah Muhammad Yusuf Kandhelwi wrote that he saw a copy in Hyderabad consisting of 90 booklets. By his estimation it would comprise 14 or 15 printed volumes.

After this, “Aini wrote a Tanqeeh (crit) of Mabaani in the form of Nukhab in which he included the Khulaasah (crux) of Maghaani.

These manuscripts are also in Daarul Kutub Misriyyah, consisting of eight volumes. Allaamah Kandhelwi made a photocopy of it and donated it to the Library of Mazaahirul Uloom. I have seen this copy but it is not very clear. Aini’s handwriting is not very legible,add this to the passage of time and that part of the original was eaten away by termites, taking benefit from the Kitaab is quite a task.

With great effort, two copies were prepared from this original and written out neatly. One copy is in Mazaahir and the other is in Madrassah Kaashiful Uloom in Nizaamuddeen in Delhi.If someone has it published it would be an immense favour upon the Ummatsince this work of ‘Aini’s is in no way less than his work onBukhaari.

4. Amaaniul Ahbaar fee Sharhi Ma’aaniul Aathaar

Written by the great Muballigh Allaamah Muhammad Yusuf ibn Muhammad Ilyaas ibn Muhammad Isma’eel Kandhelwi (JumaadalOola 1335 – 29 Dhul Qa’dah 1384 /1965) This is a most outstanding Sharh. He has covered everything from Hal of Alfaaz,(explanation of difficult words) Tahqeeq of Ruwaat, (details of narrators) Hal of Nazrut Tahaawi, (explanation of Tahaawis research) the Dalaa’il of the Hanafi Madh-hab plus the finer points and rare wisdoms which gleam from the Ahaadeth.

Unfortunately the author’s lifespan ‘did not play its part’, he passed away at the age of 49 and this incomparable work was left incomplete. From the beginning till the end of Kitaabus Salaat has been published in four volumes. The introduction spans 40 pages and is a priceless mine of information. The author has mentioned 12 khususiaat (special features) of his Kitaab after this. Would that some gifted servant of Allaah complete this Kitaab, but to do it on the pattern of ‘Hadhratjee’ would not be an easy task at all.

5. Majaaniul Aathaar min Sharh Ma’aaniul Aathaar

Written by Moulaana Aashiq Ilaahi ibn Soofi Muhammad SiddeeqBulandshahri Madani.

The first part has been published but I have not yet studied it.

Hawaashi/Ta’leeqaat (explanatory notes)

Sharahs are of two types:

1) Mamzooj: Detailed Sharahs which explain the entire Matan (text) of the Kitaab in detail.

2) Sharah bil Qowl: Explanatory notes or footnotes. The Shaarih makes brief notes wherever necessary. These are known as Ta’leeqaat or Haashiyahs.

6. Haashiyah of Wasi Ahmad Surti

This is an extremely brief Haashiyah which is of very little academic use. The author was born in Surat but then settled in Kaanpur. He began his studies under Ml. Lutfullaah Kotli and then studied the Hadeeth Kitaabs under Moulaana Ahmad Ali Sahaaranpuri. He then returned to Kaanpur and then finally settled in U.P. He was very opposed to the so-called Ahlul Hadeeth sect. At one stage he even passed the Fatwa of Kufr on them and used to have them evicted from the Masaajid. He wrote a book ‘Jaamiush Shawaahid li Ikhraaj Ghairil Muqallideen minal Masaajid’ in support of his verdict. He wrote Haashiyahs on Tahaawi and Nasa’i. Allaamah Abdul Hay Hasani has correctly written: ‘These Haashiyahs show his lack of substance in the field of Hadeeth.’[Nuzhatul Khawaatir vol.8 pg.517]

Talkheesaat (abridgments)

7. Talkhees Ibn Abdil Barr

Allaamah Abu Umar Yusuf ibn Abdillaah ibn Muhammad ibn Abdil Barr Qurtubi Maaliki (368-463a.h.) condensed Ma’aaniul Aathaar. He developed a great respect for Tahaawi after studying Ma’aani. He refers to it in many of his written works. His Kitaab‘At Tamheed limaa fil Mu’atta minal Ma’aani wal Asaaneed’ is replete with references from Tahaawi.

8. Talkhees Zayla’I

Allaamah Jalaalud Deen Abdulaah ibn Yusuf Zayla’I Hanafi(demise-762a.h.) the author of ‘Nasbur Raayah li Takhreej Ahaadeethil Hidaayah’ also did a Talkhees of Ma’aani. The manuscripts are in Maktabah Rawaaqul Atraak in Azhar and there is a copy of it in Maktabah Koopreilly Aastaanah.

9. Talkheesut Tahaawi

This is a very concise Talkhees and has been printed in the Haashiyah of the Calcutta edition of the Kitaab. Moulaana Muhammad Aslam did the first part and Moulaana Hussain Ali the second. This is an extremely brief work and is of little value.

Takhreejaat

Many times, when a Hadeeth is presented from Tahaawi then people say:“Show us a Hadeeth from Bukhaari or Muslim.” Even though most of the narrators of Tahaawi are the narrators of the Sihaah Sittah and other famous Kitaabs of Hadeeth. For this reason it was necessary to do a Takhreej i.e. to cross-reference the Ahaadeeth and Ruwaat of the Kitaab. Allaamah Kandhelwi has paid special attention to this in Amaani. Besides this several other Kitaabs have been written on this.

10. Al Haawi fee Takhreej Ahaadeth Ma’aanil Aathaar litTahaawi

Written by Allaamah Muhammad Abdul Qaadir ibn Muhammad Qurashi(696-775a.h.) He is the student of the author of ‘AlJauharun Naqi fir Radd Alaa Sunan Baihaqi’ Allaamah Abul Hasan Ali Maardeeni ‘Ibn Turkmaani’(683-750a.h.)

He has made mention of this work in his kitaab ‘Jawaahirul Mudheeah’ that a prince once complained to Shaikh Ibn Turkmaani:“whenever we present any Hadeeth from Tahaawi, then people seek a riwaayat from Saheehain.” The Shaikh said: “Just say to them that most of the Riwaayaat of Tahaawi are in Saheehain and the Sunan.”Upon which the prince said: “Could you not then gather it for us?”

He thus instructed his student to carry out this task. The prince assisted Allaamah Qurashi by arranging for many rare kitaabs which were needed for references and research such as ‘Tuhfatul Ashraaf bi Ma’rifatil Atraaf’ and ‘Tahdheebul Kamaal fee Asmaair Rijaal’ of Imaam Mizzi(654-742)

Qurashi began this work in 740a.h. His Shaikh gave him a list of the names of all the Rijaal of Tahaawi to assist him in his task. Kauthari has written: “Qurashi first discusses the Sanad of Tahaawis Hadeeth and then he makes its Takhreej from the Sihaah Sittah or other famous Hadeeth Kitaabs. Part of this kitaab is in the Daarul Kutub Misriyyah.”

Translations

11. Translation into Urdu

This translation was published with the Arabic Text in 1913 in Lahore by Shaikh Ilaahi Baksh Lahori. The actual translator is not known. The Almanac of Urdu books has Ilaa Baksh as its translator but this is not so as can be asserted from the kitaab itself. Sayyid Mahboob Rizwi in the monthly magazine of Daarul Uloom Deoband Vol 6 no 25 has mentioned this Kitaab with Moulwi Ahmad Ali the Khateeb of Jaami’ Masjid Lahore as the translator but was unable to furnish any details or references. A copy of this isin the library of Deoband.

Mutafarriqaat – Miscellaneous works on Tahaawi

12. Maghaaniul Akhyaar min Rijaal Ma’aaniul Aathaar

Written by Allaamah ‘Aini as has passed in our mention of Mabaaniand Nukhab above.

Kauthari says he saw it in two volumes and the Author of Kashful Astaar saw it in three volumes in Madeenah Munawwarah and even did a Talkhees of it. An incomplete copy is in Daarul Kutub Misriyyah and a complete copy is in Maktabah Rawaaqul Atraak Azhar. This Kitaab has not been published.

13. Kashful Astaar An Rijaal Ma’aaniul Aathaar

Also Known as ‘Al Hayaat limaa fit Tahaawi minar Ruwaat’written by Abu Turaab Shah Rushdullaah Sindhi who was known as Saahibul Ilmir Raabi’ While searching for Allaamah Qaasim’s ‘Al Eethaar’ in Madeenah, he came across Maghaaniul Akhyaar by chance. He did a Talkhees of it (condensed it) but due to shortage of time only included those Raawis who are not mentioned in‘Taqreeb’ and ‘Tahdheeb’ (the names of two kitaabs) This was in the year 1323a.h. He later copied the Ibaarat of Taqreeb regarding the rest of the Ruwaat and took a little from Tahdheeb also. He also took from other kitaabs and completed it in 1326. Hadhrat Mufti Shafee’ Saahib got a copy of it and published it in 1349 but this kitaab has not been printed since.

14. Al Eethaar bi Rijaali Ma’aaniul Aathaar

Allaamah Zainud Deen Qaasim ibn Qutloobughaa Hanafi (the student of Ibn Hajar) wrote this. The author of Kashful Astaar tried to find this Kitaab but could not. It is also mentioned in ‘ArRisaalatul Mustatrifah’

15. Taraajimul Ahbaar min Rijaali Ma’aaniul Aathaar

Written by Moulaana Hakeem Sayyid Muhammad Ayyoob ibnHakeem Muhammad Ya’qoob (born in 1318) On the instruction of Allaamah Khaleel Ahmad and with the encouragement of Shaikh Zakariyya he began researching the Rijaal of Tahaawi in 1341 and completed this valuable compilation in 1371 comprising four thick volumes. It has recently been published fully. The Haal of each Raawi has been taken from Taqreebut Tahdheeb with additions from Tahdheebut Tahdheeb. Then the Aqwaal of other Ulamaa of Jarah and Ta’deel has been included. He has also included detailed lists of the Asaatidhah and Talaamidhah (teachers and students) of the Ruwaat. He has also mentioned the number of Ahaadeeth of each Raawi.

16. Tasheehul Aghlaatil Kitaabiyyah Alwaaqi’ah finNusakhit Tahaawiyyah

This is also an important two-volume work by the above author. While researching the above work, he made note of the mistakes in various editions of the Kitaab and corrected them. The first part was published in 1369 and the second in 1393.

17. Al Mir’aat liman fee Ma’aaniul Aathaar minar Ruwaat

This is also another of Hakeem Saahibs valuable works but it has not yet been published.

I have a copy of it by me. This is in fact a Muqaddimah to the above-mentioned two works but it is not yet complete. In one chapter, by way of example he has gathered about 400 ‘Dha’eef’ Ruwaat whose narrations appear in the Sihaah Sittah. Imaam Tahaawi has narrated from 112 Mashaaikh in Ma’aani of whom 41 are Mutakallam Feeh. Of these 13 are not mentioned in the kitaabs of Rijaal leaving 28. He gathered all these Raawis in a separate chapter and mentions their Riwaayaat. Then in another chapter he gathered all the ruwaat of Ma’aani who the Ulamaa have not spoken about (i.e. they excercised Sukoot) –there are 17 like this. In another chapter he gathered the Dha’eef Asaatidhah of Tahaawi.There are 7 of them. He also listed their Riwaayaat. In each case he has given reference of the chapter and page number.

Besides these Hakeem Saahib has also written a treatise in which he has researched Tahaawis date of birth named ‘Al fathus Samaawifee Tahqeeq Maulidut Tahaawi’ I have also benefited from this Kitab. He has mentioned Tahaawis correct date of birth as 239ah

18. Kitaabu Tasheeh Ma’aaniul Aathaar

Written by Abu Hussain Muhammad ibn Muhammad baahili Maaliki. Its copy is in Bangkok. Kauthari said that he did not come across it.

19. Al Mutribul Mu’rib AlJaami’ li Asaaneedi Ahlil Mashriqwal Maghrib

Written by the then Khateeb of Masjidun Nabawi Abdul Qaadir ibn Khaleel Madani who was known as ‘Kadak Zaadah’ He made a Talkhees of all the Sanads of Tahaawi which Sakhaawi had made mention of. In this kitaab he gathered all the Sanads of his Asaatidhah to Sakhaawi and then to Tahaawi [Amaani pg.65]

20. Ithaaful Maharrah bi Atraafil Asharah

Ibn Hajar has gathered the Atraaf of Ma’aani in this Kitaab. The author of Amaani had come across it in the library Aasifiyyah in Hyderabad [Amaani pg 65].

21. Al Haawi Alaa Mushkilaatit Tahaawi

This is a collective work of the Great Asaatidhah of Mazaahir viz. Shaikhul Hadeeth Moulaana Muhammad Zakariyya, Moulaana Abdurrahmaan Kaamilpuri, Moulaana Abdul Lateef, Mufti Sa’eed Ahmad Ujraarwi and Moulaana As’adullaah. This ‘garden of roses’ has just recently been published in Pakistaan.

Editions of the Kitaab:

Ma’aani was first published in the year 1300a.h. by Qaadhi Binyaameen of Lukhnow under the auspices of Muhammad Abdul Waahid Khan of Mustafaa’I Publishers. This copy was prepared from the Nuskhas (handwritten copies) of Moulaana Abdul Hayy Lukhnowi, Moulaana Abdul Qaadir Badaayooni and Moulaana Nadheer Hussain Dehlawi. Moulaana Wasiy Ahmad Surti and Moulaana Abdul Ali Madaarisi compared the three copies and prepared the final script for printing. It was published with Moulaana Wasiy Ahmads Haashiya. Moulaana Muhammad Hasan Sambhali’s Haashiyas were also included at some places. At the end Moulaana Sambhalis Addendums/Appendices were also added. This is the most reliable edition of the Kitaab.

The second edition was that of Sheikh Ilaahi Bakhsh of Lahore. Mufti Kifaayatullaah, Moulaana Abdul Ghani and Sayyid Asghar Ali, all of Delhi, prepared the third. This copy was printed by Kutub KhaanaRaheemiya Delhi in 1348a.h.

This is also a very reliable copy.

The Kitaab was then printed in Calcutta and then finally in Deoband. The Deoband edition has many typographical errors and has been re-typesetted, due to which referencing has become a problem.

It was then printed in Egypt in 1386a.h. The paper and binding etc. are of a very high quality but none of the mistakes from the Indian editions have been rectified

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Translation Edited byMufti Afzal Hoosen Elias1426/2005

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