Finishing Sharḥ al-Waraqāt before editing Zād al-Mustaqniʿ

Last week I started reviewing my old translation of Zād al-Mustaqniʿ and spent a day getting it ready for editing. I put off working on Zād since it needs a large chunk of time and attention, and there are a few shorter projects much closer to being publishable. I need to get those finished before I can concentrate on Zād. The project at the top of the list is al-Maḥallī’s commentary on Imām al-Ḥaramayn al-Juwaynī’s Al-Waraqāt fī Uṣūl al-Fiqh, which is in its final stages.

Here’s a small piece from my introduction:

Studying Jurisprudence

Students of jurisprudence read through a series of texts with their instructors. The first text usually reads like a list of definitions and rules, with occasional examples. Each book in the series adds more definitions, rules, and examples – as well as variant opinions, and argumentation to champion one opinion.

One of the first books of jurisprudence taught to students is the Waraqāt of Imām al-Juwaynī (d. 468AH). The text is limited to definitions and rules – with very few examples and explanation – making it a perfect book for memorizing the very basics. But it requires a commentary, so it is often taught with a short interlinear commentary by Jalāl al-Dīn al-Maḥallī (d. 864AH). Al-Maḥallī’s commentary fleshes out the basic text with explanation, arguments behind its opinions, and numerous examples. Al-Maḥallī’s commentary has several derivative works for students interested in something more expansive. One of the better known derivatives is Ibn Qāsim ʿUbādī’s interlinear commentary which covers each word of al-Maḥallī’s commentary. Two less known derivatives include meta-commentaries by Aḥmad bin Muḥammad al-Dumyāṭī and by al-Jāwī. Both of them draw on material from Ibn Qāsim and other sources. (For comparison, these last two books, printed on the same sized paper, are 24 pages and 184 pages, respectively.) In addition to al-Maḥallī’s commentary and its derivatives, there is also the commentary of an earlier scholar Ibn Firkāh (d. 690AH), which is thorough, detailed, and lucid.

This translation is an English rendering of Imām al-Juwaynī’s Waraqāt with Jalāl al-Dīn al-Maḥallī’s complete interlinear commentary. The Arabic text from Waraqāt is included at the beginning of each section.

I found a small error while sharing those paragraphs. Maybe it’s time to start sharing small pieces of what I am working on.

The Waraqāt work is in its final stages. All that’s left is deciding how to deal with an outstanding editorial issue, give it a final read, assign it an ISBN, typeset it, and upload it to CreateSpace. And deal with the cover. I dread this last part.

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