The Light of Clarification
A Translation of Nur al-Idah,
A Classical Manual of Hanafi Law
Arabic Text (Matn) of the Nur al-Idah is Included, however, the Explanation Translated from Maraki al-Falah is in English Only
By Hasan ibn Ammar Abu al Ikhlas al-Misry Shurunbulali
Translated from the Arabic with Commentary and Notes By Wesam Charkawi
Hardback 485 Pages
ISBN : 9780646472751
Printed and Bound in the USA By Ligare Book Printers (7th Edition, 2014)
Commentary and Notes From Maraki al-Falah Included
About The Book
Nur al-Idah is a Hanafi text which includes vast areas of jurisprudence, namely, the rulings pertaining to worship. It leaves the student or general reader well prepared to deal with the majority of matters ranging from purification, prayer, funerals, zakah to hajj. It reveals in a small way as to why the Hanafi Madhhab is held in such high esteem from scholars all over the world. It is practical, sensible and can be used as a reference book. This book is based on the teachings of Abu Hanifa and his students, namely Imam Muhammad, Abu Yusuf and Zufar; and will provide the reader with a brief look as to why the Hanafi Madhhab is the most widely embraced in the world today.
Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said, “If in any matter there is agreement between three people, then one pays no attention to the verdict of anyone who disagrees with them.” Someone asked him, “Who are they?” He answered, “Abu Hanifa, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan.'
The Nur al-idah is a classical text on sacred law, and for generations has been one of the most widely taught texts used to transmit Hanafi fiqh. Generations of scholars and layman alike have been taught the Nur al-idah, which gives them sufficient grounding in the basic masa’il they encounter daily.
About This Edition
The translation of Nur al-Idah is displayed in bold while the commentary and explanation, the majority of which is from Maraky al-Falah is written in plain text. It has been the translators attempt to prepare the text of Nur al-Idah in a manner that can be read independently without reading the commentary. However, commentary is essential for further explanations of the actual text and for this reason it entails views from other Hanafi sources such as al-Ikhtiyar and al-Hidayah, as well as the position of other schools, such as the Shafi’i Madhhab. This is intended to give the reader a broader perspective on matters and demonstrate the similarity between the various schools of thought.
Referencing the text with evidence, namely, with Quran or hadith has been given on most issues and that areas where it is not, is either due to qiyas (analogical reasoning) or because of its unanimous agreement on that particular issue. A translation may simplify many things, though this will still require the complete and concentrated attention of the reader. Also, many examples and explanatory notes have been included. These are, for the most part intended to clarify what might otherwise have been an obscure or ambiguous passage in the original or as a result of the translation.
The main Hanafi books, such as The Hashia of Ibn ‘Abidin, al-Hidayah and al-Mabsut were referred to, as well as consultation from some of the most eminent scholars. The text also includes sample examination questions in an effort to help the reader view the laws in a different light and to enable him to deal with legal rules in a practical way.
About The Author
Abu al-Ikhlas al-Hasan b. `Ammar b. `Ali b. Yusuf Shurunbulali was born in a village in Upper Egypt in 994/1586, his father took him to Cairo at the tender age of six. He memorized the Qur’an and subsequently studied the Islamic sciences under numerous scholars, specifically Qur’anic recitation under Shaykh Muhammad al-Hamawi and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Masiri, and jurisprudence under Imam ‘Abdullah al-Nahriri, ‘Allama Muhammad al-Mahabbi, and Shaykh ‘Ali ibn Ghanim al-Maqdisi.
He then went to Azhar University, which at that time was the sanctuary for advanced students. He pursued higher education there and surpassed his peers, for he was foremost in his knowledge of juridical passages and maxims. Word spread of his rank and skill, and he eventually became one of the most renowned juristconsults of the entire Muslim world.
He assumed the post of professor at Azhar, whereby numerous aspiring students sat at his feet and benefited from his knowledge, many of whom themselves later developed into notable scholars of law. These included, from Egypt, ‘Allama Ahmad al-’Ajmi, Sayyid Ahmad al-Hamawi, Shaykh Shahin al-Armanawi, and from the Levant, ‘Allama Isma’il al-Nablusi (father of the illustrious saint and jurist, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nablusi). Moreover, the high demands and taxing lifestyle of his roles as professor, jurisconsult (mufti) and jurist, did not in the least take away from his occupation as writer.
He authored over sixty works, ranging from the aforementioned two commentaries, as well as his distinguished Shurunbulaliyya, to numerous smaller treatises covering an array of specialized legal matters.
Upon visiting Cairo, one contemporary described him as follows: “[He is] the shining lantern of Azhar and its brilliant star . . . He gives life to eager minds . . . [and] possesses a beautiful character and magnificent eloquence . . . He is indeed the most extraordinary jurist of his age.” His departure from this lowly abode took place on a Friday after the ‘asr prayer, the 21st of Ramadan, in the year 1069/1659. He was approximately 75 years old. May Allah Most High envelop him with His infinite mercy. Amin.
When examining the Imam’s life and career, one readily notes a unique success afforded to him by Allah, as manifested in the extensive use of his written works by scholars and students in seminaries around the world.
Historically, he is considered one of the finest scholars of the late Hanafi school with regard to his proficiency and expertise (malaka) in the field. Such an accomplishment can be attributed to a particular trait of the Imam, namely, sincerity (ikhlas). He was a member of the Wafa’i order, a branch of the Shadhili path of Sufism, and had truly perfected his intention through his spiritual training and ethic. He not only possessed ikhlas, but as indicated by his agnomen Abu ’l-Ikhlas, he perfected it.
He was “the father—or master—of sincerity.” This, then, could serve as the greatest lesson to be learned from the Imam; the believer must earnestly strive to attain unto perfect ikhlas in all his endeavors. As the esteemed Maliki jurist and saint Ibn ‘Ata’illah states in one of his famous aphorisms, “Actions are but erected forms; what gives them life is the presence of the secret of ikhlas in them.”
About Imam Abu Hanifa (R.H.A.)
Imam Abu Hanifa is an-Nu’man Ibn Thabit, the great imam, born in 80 A.H. in Kufa during the Khalifa of Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan. Abu Hanifa assumed the role of a merchant. During this time, he was not linked to the field of knowledge and did not know the men acquainted with it. One day a religious scholar [ash-Sha‘bi] noticed Abu Hanifa’s intelligence and cleverness and advised him to pursue the field of knowledge and attend his gatherings where he could derive benefit from the opinions of the scholars.
Ash-Sha‘bi said to him, “I discern alertness and energy in you.” This affected Abu Hanifa and caused him to adopt the advise and commence the pursuit of knowledge. He experienced the full Islamic culture of his age. He memorised the Quran, knew an extensive amount of hadith, grammar, literature and poetry. He then immersed himself to fiqh becoming of one the greatest scholars in Kufa.
Abu Hanifa quickly became known for his legal brilliance and problem solving and the strength of his arguments in directing those to the reality. Imam Malik was asked about Abu Hanifa in which he said ‹‹ I have not seen anyone like him, by Allah if he said that this pillar was made of gold, he would have brought an analogical proof proving the validity of his case ››.
Imam Shafi‘i said [Whoever intends to become an ocean in the jurisprudence, then he should venture to Abu Hanifa. I have not known a faqih like him]. Equally, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal would cry when remembering Abu Hanifa and would supplicate Allah’s mercy upon him. An-Nadhr said that (the people were sleeping with regards to jurisprudence until they were awoken by Abu Hanifa) ((Allah be pleased with him and his companions)).
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