Current projects

Am currently engaged in the following projects:

  1. The translation, with Jakob Werdelin and Suád Østergaard, of the Qur'an into Danish, the first part of which, comprising Surat al-Fatihah, Surat al-Baqarah and Surah Ali 'Imran, is ready for publication under the title Den Gavmilde Qur'an: En fremlægning af de tre første suraer. Havens Forlag.
  2. Kitab al-athar by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani being his transmission of the text of the same name of Imam Abu Hanifah. Turath Publishing. As was his custom with the Muwatta Imam Muhammad gives his comment on each text, affirming the Imam's judgements and sometimes taking his own independent position and quoting his own texts to support it.
  3. Athar as-sunan by Muhammad Dhahir Ahsan an-Nimawi on the hadith and fiqh of the prayer. Turath Publishing. Co-translator with Mawlana Inam ud-Din. It was part of a larger book on fiqh which the author never lived to complete. Interestingly he studies such subjects as saying 'amin' aloud, praying two raka'at while the imam is on the minbar, and moving one's foot against one's neighbour's foot in the prayer.
  4. Al-Qawa'id fi 'ulum al-hadith by Mawlana Dhafar Ahmad al-'Uthmani at-Tahanawi the student of Shaykh Ashraf 'Ali at-Tahanawi. Turath Publishing. In this definitive work the author gives a clarity that to our knowledge no other work in English on this subject has managed. The book is one of the introductions to I'la as-sunan.
  5. Sharh ma'ani al-athar by Imam at-Tahawi. Turath Publishing. This is the famous work by the Imam in which he rigorously studies all of the texts relating to each branch of fiqh and the positions of the Imams of the maddhabs with respect to those rulings.
  6. Editing the abridgement of At-Targhib wa't-tarhib originally by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani. This is Aisha Bewley's translation and she has posted a section of it on dhikr.
  7. Researches in the Salat: According to the Four Madhhabs. Researches in Rulings on the Prayer. By Muhammad as-Sabini. Al-Qalam Publications. The author, a contemporary scholar from Damascus, uses the work to illustrate the derivation of rulings from the principles of fiqh, while at the same time making judgements concerning the prayer clear.

Unpublished Translations

Please note that these translations are not 'finished' translations as such, and are provided for your interest. Any comments, corrections or suggestions you might have are very welcome:

English Dictionary of Qur'anic Arabic

This extract from the work in progress consists of all the entries for the letter Alif. I am following the Penrice Dictionary and Glossary of the Qur'an, revising it against Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, and other sources. The file here is in a PDF form, and you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read it.

From Is'af al-Mubatta fi Rijal al-Muwatta

Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti

This is Imam as-Suyuti's own introduction to his book on the Rijal or narrators of Imam Malik's Muwatta (the narration of Yahya ibn Yahya al-Laythi). See also Rijal: the narrators of the Muwatta Imam Muhammad by Ta-Ha Publishing Ltd.

From the Tafsir of Ibn Juzayy Kitab at-tashil li 'ulum at-tanzil

The Sciences of Tafsir

"The Sciences of Tafsir" is translated from Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi's Kitab at-Tashil li 'Ulum at-Tanzil".

"The author was born in 693 AH. His name was Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad, called al-Qasim, ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi, i.e. from the Arab tribe of Kalb, may Allah be pleased with him and make him contented, and make the Garden his shelter. He was al-Gharnati (from Granada in Andalusia, Spain) and thus European. Ibn Juzayy wrote widely on all the sciences of his day: hadith, fiqh, Qur'anic recitations and tafsir. He died fighting as a shaheed in the Battle of Tareef in the year 741 AH."
(from the introduction to "The Sciences of Tafsir")

The book includes his outline of all of the sciences of commentary on the Qur'an, and his commentary on the isti'adhah, the basmalah, the Fatihah, the last ten surahs of Qur'an from Surat al-Fil to the end, and the first ayat of Surat al-Baqarah.

The following files are PDF - Portable Document Format - files which can be read by the Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is given away by Adobe on many CDs on the covers of computer magazines, but otherwise is available from Adobe themselves. If you have the Acrobat Plugin, you can read these documents on screen with your browser. If you do not, it should save it on to your hard disk so that you can read it later. I have used this format since it allows me to publish a document with a mix of English and Arabic in it. The book was written and the layout done with Nisus Writer on a Macintosh, but PDF is readable on almost any computer.

The Commentary on the Fatihah from the Sciences of Tafsir (84Kb). The Sciences of Tafsir (661Kb). This latter contains almost the entire first introduction on the sciences necessary for tafsir, the commentary on the seeking refuge, the basmalah, the last ten surahs, the Fatihah and on the first ayat of Surat al-Baqarah, with a considerable amount of explanatory notes and footnotes.

The following files require no plugins:

Taqwa - Fear of Allah

Dhikr - Remembrance of Allah

Tawhid - the Unitary Knowledge

Hamd - Praise

Sabr - Patience

From "al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah" of Ibn Juzayy

The Imamate - the Khalifate

Awqaf or Hubus - Endowments

From the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun

The Fatimi (Mahdi)


This excerpt is an incomplete translation of the section which Ibn Khaldun devotes to the subject of the Mahdi, and comprises in full his study of the ahadith on him.

If we examine first the 'aqidahs which are acknowledged, such as those of at-Tahawi, an-Nasafi, or Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (in his Risalah and the Kitab al-Jami') we find that none of them mention the Mahdi as a fundamental part of the 'aqidah of Islam, whereas all do indeed mention the return of 'Isa, peace be upon him, and the descent of the Dajjal, except in the Risalah, whose 'aqidah is brief.

When we turn to the works of ahadith, we find that Malik in Muwatta, and al-Bukhari mention nothing of the Mahdi at all, although Muslim does mention a hadith that in later times there will be an unnamed noble and generous khalifah. It is inconceivable for these great Imams to have neglected something which is a fundamental pillar of the 'aqidah.

The significance of this section is not to deny that there may be at some point in the future of Islam a great rightly-guided Khalifah, but that it is not a fundamental part of the 'aqidah and that it is a deviation of Islam to 'wait for the Mahdi' in order to establish Islam, wage jihad or restore the Khalifate.

In the later part of this section Ibn Khaldun devotes some space to Sufi writings on the Mahdi, and on some of the historical personages particularly in North Africa who rose in revolt proclaiming themselves to be Mahdis. Ibn Khaldun writes that if there is to be a Mahdi he will have to appear according to the dynamics of political power outlined in the Muqaddimah, and not as in the apocalyptic fantasies of some sources.

This section is by no means the last word on this matter, and Ibn Khaldun's chapter has met with criticism from other hadith scholars throughout the ages, but that is also of the nature of these sciences, since there are few scholars who have escaped criticism for some position they have taken. Some of the criticisms made of him are utterly baseless, such as that he was not a scholar of hadith. This is blatantly untrue since he was educated thoroughly in hadith and indeed later in Cairo taught both fiqh and hadith, and numbered among his pupils the great Ibn Hajar (not necessarily in the science of hadith) who is unquestionably one of the greatest authorities on the subject.

However, this chapter has particular interest for us because of the huge significance that the prophetic ahadith on the Mahdi are given in the time in which we live, and as a corrective to the transformation of the Mahdi into "al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar" (the Awaited Mahdi) whom one of our acquaintance wittily renamed "al-Mahdi al-Muntadhir" (the Waiting Mahdi).

The Introduction to al-Mawadd al-Ghaythiyyah by Shaykh al-Alawi of Mostaghanem

This is Shaykh al-Alawi's introduction to his commentary on the Hikam of Abu Madyan al-Ghawth, may Allah be pleased with both of them. [50Kb]

The Opening of Shaykh 'Abd al-'Aziz ad-Dabbagh, may Allah be pleased with him, from al-Ibriz - Pure Goldby Sayyidi Ahmad ibn al-Mubarak, a pupil of the Shaykh.

An unusually matter of fact description of the Shaykh's spiritual opening.

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