Qawa’id Fi Ulum al-Hadith (Principles of Hadith)

The importance of hadith as the basis of Islamic law, theology and ethics cannot be underestimated. Alongside the Quran it constitutes the second source for Islamic shariah and ones practice. While no Muslim will challenge the authority of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as many have differing views with regards to ascertaining exactly what the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said and did. This difference is a consequence of the diverse methodologies employed in establishing the normative practices of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The spectrum of ideas and opinions encompass the entire scope of thought from outright rejection of hadith to a highly literal reading of it. This translation provides yet another approach to understanding hadith. The translated text is the introduction to a large multi-volume work in Arabic called I’la as-Sunan. The original work was a response to the ahle hadith allegation that the school of Imam Abu Hanifah is deprived of hadith. In this introduction, the author pens his methodology for writing the I’la as-Sunan. The author endeavours to deconstruct the false understanding that hadith science is absolute and fixed. He argues that since the science of hadith is not prescriptive in the shariah, no one group can lay claim to it or claim a universal understanding of it. This book will be of interest to students who have a penchant for abstract theories and methods and to the advanced students of hadith and Islamic thoughts.

About the Author

Mawlana Zafar Ahmad al-Uthmani, the illustrious nephew of Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf Ali at-Thanawi was born on 13 Rabi al-Awwal 1310/1892. Allah bestowed him with a remarkable memory and at a tender age he memorised the Holy Quran. From the age of seven he was studying mathematics, Persian and Urdu with Mawlana Yasin, the father of Mufti Shafi. He studied the Islamic sciences under various teachers including his maternal uncle Hakim al-Ummah in both Thana Bhawan as well as Kanpur. After receiving license in the sacred and rational sciences, he went to the Islamic seminary Mazahir Ulum and became a student of the hadith master and Gnostic Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. He received his license to teach hadith at the young age of 18. He then became a professor of Islamic sciences in various institutions including his alma mater Mazahir Ulum and Imdad al-Ulum in Thana Bhawan. He is the author of many books on the sacred sciences of which the I’la as-Sunan is his magnum opus.

Translators: Abdassamad Clarke and others

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Abdassamad Clarke is from Ulster and was formally educated at Edinburgh University in Mathematics and Physics, and in Cairo in Arabic and tajwid and other Islamic sciences. He accepted Islam at the hands of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi in 1973. In the 80s he was secretary to the imam of the Dublin Mosque, and in the early 90s imam khatib of the Norwich Mosque, where he is currently an imam and teacher. He has translated the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (jointly with Muhammad Abdarrahman), which was published by Turath Publishing at the end of July 2004 and a number of other works from Arabic: al-Qawl al-mu'tamad fi mashru'iyyat adh-dhikr bi'l-ism al-mufrad by Shaykh al-Alawi on the standing in Shari’ah of using the divine name in dhikr, which was published by Diwan Press as first part of The Two Invocations and since republished by Madinah Press, The History of the Khalifahs (the chapters on the Khulafa ar-Rashidun from as-Suyuti’s Tarikh al-Khulafa), the Complete Forty Hadith (translation of Imam an-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith along with the Imam’s explanation of their fiqh and linquistic usages) and Kitab al-Jami’ by Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (published as A Madinan View), Rijal – narrators of the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, all published by Ta-Ha Publishers of London, Kitab al-athar by Imam Abu Hanifah and transmitted by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (Turath Publishing 2006), The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom (a translation of Jami' al-'ulum wa'l-hikam by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, published by Turath Publishing 2007). In addition he has edited Aisha Bewley's translation of Ibn Hajar's abridgement of at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib, Ibn Taymiyyah's al-Kalim at-Tayyib both published by the UK Islamic Academy, Dr Asadullah Yate's translation of al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, published by Ta-Ha Publishing and a number of other works. He is currently engaged with Suád Østergaard on a translation of the Qur’an into Danish, the first volume of which translated in collaboration with Jakob Werdelin, comprising Surat al-Fatihah, Surat al-Baqarah and Surah Ali ‘Imran, was recently published as Den gavmilde Qur’an: en fremlægning of de tre første suraer by Havens Forlag of Copenhagen. Translations yet to be published include Traditions of the Sunnah (Athar as-sunan) by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Ali an-Nimawi (jointly with Mawlana In'amuddin), to be published by Turath Publishing Ltd. Among his unpublished translations are the Sciences of Tafsir comprising portions of Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi’s Qur’anic commentary at-Tashil li ‘ulum at-tanzil, in particular his introductory sections on the essential elements of the sciences necessary for tafsir. He is author of a number of children’s books, The Year of the Elephant, The Great Victory and The Last Battle all of which are on the sirah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as well as The Story of Stories about the Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, in which he drew a great deal on the commentary of Ibn Juzayy, may Allah be merciful to him. He has also a poem God is Dead published in the Minaret journal of Stockholm, Sweden, and an as-yet unpublished collection of short stories called Tales Are Like That, and a novel called The Wings of the Butterfly. Abdassamad is a teacher of both adults and children in Qur’an recitation (tajwid) and meanings, Arabic language and the deen in general, most recently having organised and taken part in a conference under the auspices of Islamic Events of London on the History of the Islamic Khalifate, and having given discourses in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Jena, Weimar, Copenhagen and the Midlands. 18 April, 2007 0:03

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