Bidayat al-Mujtahid : Volume 1
Wa Nihayat al-Muqtasid
The Distinguished Jurist's Primer
Translator :Professor Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee
Reviewed by Professor Mohammad Abdul Rauf
Hardback ~ 660 Pages, First Edition (1994)
ISBN : 9781873938133
Publisher :Garnet Publishing, UK
About The Book
The well known Book on Khilaf, a discipline that records and analyses the differences among Muslim Jurists. This Book is part of a series of Arabic Works, made available in English by the 'Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization.
Ibn Rushd’s Bidayat al-Mujtahid (The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer) occupies a unique place among the authoritative manuals of Islamic law. It is designed to prepare the jurist for the task of the mujtahid, the independent jurist, who derives the law and lays down precedents to be followed by the judge in the administration of justice. In this manual Ibn Rushd traces most of the issues of Islamic law, describing not only what the law is, but also elaborating the methodology of some of the greatest legal minds in Islam to show how such laws were derived.
This text provides a still-relevant basis for the interpretation and formulation of Islamic law. Combining his legal and philosophical knowledge, Ibn Rushd transcends the boundaries of different schools and presents a critical analysis of the opinions of the famous Muslim jurists and their methodologies.
The legal subject areas covered include marriage and divorce; sale and exchange of goods; wages, crop-sharing and speculative partnership; security for debts and insolvency; gifts, bequests and inheritance; and offences and judgements.
'My purpose in this treatise is to lay down in it for myself, by way of remembrance, the issues (Masa'il) of the Ahkam that are agreed upon and those that are disputed, along with their evidences, and to indicate those bases of the disputes that resemble general rules and principles, for the Faqih (jurist) may be presented with problems on which the Shara' (law)is silent".
The issues are mostly those that are expressly stated in the Manthuq (unstated text of the Nass), or are closely related to those that are so stated. They are the issues agreed upon by the Muslim Fuqaha (jurists) since the generation of the Sahabah (Companions - God be pleased with them) till such time that Taqlid (following qualified scholarship) was rampant, or those over which a difference of opinion among them became widely known.' - Taken from the Preface by Ibn Rushd
Ibn Rushd was a Maliki Jurist (Qadi) but presents the views of other schools ( Hanifi, Shaf'ee, hanbali & Zahiri) with the usual Respect and objectivity. This book is among the best known example of the Shari'a science of Ilm al Khilaf (the knowledge of variant ruling).
It is one of the most well knows works of ilm-ul- Khilaf, a discipline that records and analyses the differences among Muslim Jurists.
Excellent English Translation.
About The Author
Qadi Ibn Rushd also Known as Averrooes in the West (510-595 AH / 1126 – 1198H), was an Andalusian-Arab philosopher and physician, a master of philosophy and Islamic law, mathematics, and medicine. He was born in Cordoba, Spain, and died in Marrakech, Morocco. His school of philosophy is known as Averroism.
Also known as Averroes or ‘The Commentator’, Ibn Rushd, came from a family of jurists and was born in Cordoba in Moorish Spain. He himself trained in law and medicine and later served as qadi or judge in Seville and Cordoba. In 1182 he was appointed physician to the court of caliph Abu Ya`qub Yusuf in Marrakesh and to his son, Abu Yusuf Ya`qub, in 1195 but was recalled shortly before his death.
In the field of medicine Averroës produced his Kulliyat fi al tib (General Medicine) between 1162 and 1169. He is however better known for his great commentaries on Aristotle but.
Al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-`Ulama' (15:452) quotes al-Abbar as saying: 'No one of his scholarly perfection, his erudition, or his high manners was ever raised in Andalus.'
Read More About Ibn Rushd.
About the Translator
Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Shariah and Law, Islamabad, Pakistan.
He obtained his law degree (L.L.B) from Punjab University in 1969. In 1983, he was awarded a gold medal for his performance in the L.L.M (Shariah) at the International Islamic University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, USA.
His published works include: Theories of Islamic Law, The concept of Riba and Islamic Banking, and General Principles of Criminal Law. He has also published several research articles on Islamic Law and has recently translated into English Al-Hidayah:A Classical Manual of Hanafi Law-VOL 1( Amal Press)
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