For muʿtamad positions: ʿUmdat al-Salik or Kifayat al-Akhyar?

Q. Which should I read for muʿtamad positions: ʿUmdat al-Salik or Kifayat al-Akhyar? A. Ahmed bin Naqib al-Masri’sʿUmdat al-Salik is better if your goal is for learning the muʿtamad or official opinions of the Shafiʿi school. Taqi al-Din al-Hisni al-Husseini’s Kifayat al-Akhyar is better if you want to know the evidence and arguments behind the rulings, … Read more…

Comment: Nigeria: Babies used in suicide bombings, officials warn

In January 2014, I wrote “Islam’s ban on child combatants.” Sadly, extremist groups continue to use child combatants. Things appear to have taken a tragic turn for the worse. What’s worse than child soldiers? Suicide bombers using babies to sneak bombs past security. According to the BBC: Female suicide bombers in Nigeria are now carrying … Read more…

My English Shafi’i fiqh curriculum plan

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم Several people have asked me what order they should read my Shafi‘i books in, and whether the books I have done are part of some overall plan. I’m going to try to answer both of those questions. Yes, my books are part of a Shafi‘i fiqh curriculum that I have in mind. I’m trying to … Read more…

Using known fiqh issues to solve the unknown

One of the fiqh books I am working on is Ibn Daqīq al-‘Eid’s Tuḥfat al-Labīb, which appears to be the earliest commentary on Abū Shujā‘ al-Aṣfahānī’s Ghāyat al-Taqrīb (translated as The Ultimate Conspectus). His commentary provides evidence for most of the issues given in the book. He frequently presents alternative opinions within the school, differentiating between the opinions of Imam al-Shāfi‘ī (a “qaul”), and the opinions of the “colleagues” (the “aṣḥāb”) – early major Shāfi‘ī scholars (a “wajh”). Occasionally, he presents parallel paths of transmitted alternative opinions within the school (each path is a “ṭarīq,” which combine to form “ṭuruq”). There are even a few places where Imam al-Shāfi‘ī gives different answers to similar issues, and each of those answers will be transferred to the other and an additional opinion will then be extracted. The following examples show many of these things in action.

Read more…