Summer English Reading List 2016

My  English summer reading list is relatively shorter this year. I’ve been concentrating much of my time on Arabic hadith works and getting around to finishing some research assignments. However, in my free time, I’ve been perusing some of the following books with a hope to complete some, write a review of at least one, and at least skimming another.

The Accessible Conspectus by Shaykh Musa Furber

For centuries, Abu Shuja al-Asfahani’s legal primer Matn al-Ghayat wa-l-Taqrib (The Ultimate Conspectus) has been a standard text for introducing students of the Shafii school of Islamic law to the full range of basic legal issues. Students will often start their studies by reading it from a basic commentary with their instructor. Many students will read it again from more advanced commentaries as they progress in their mastery of the subject. This volume presents an amiable commentary that makes Abu Shuja’s primer accessible to new students. It uses contemporary language and examples to help readers build a sound foundation in Islamic law. The Accessible Conspectus is a perfect companion to The Ultimate Conspectus. Continue reading

A Suggested Curriculum of Study for the Hanafi Student of Hadith

In our shaykh Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm al-Nuʿmānī’s invaluable foreword to Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī’s Mirqāt al-Mafātīḥ – modestly entitled al-Biḍāʿat al-Muzjāt li man Yuṭāliʿu al-Mirqāt (Scanty Merchandise for the One who Studies the Mirqāt) – the erudite hadith scholar Imam ʿAbd al-Bārī ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-Anṣārī al-Laknawī is quoted from a passage of his prolegomena to his al-Taʿlīq al-Mukhtār ʿalā Kitāb al-Āthār. In the lengthy passage, al-Laknawī provides the following suggested curriculum of study for the “Ḥanafī muḥaddith”: Continue reading

Summer Reading List 2015

Upon several enquiries into what I’ve been reading this summer, I quickly put together a list of (i) what I have already read, (ii) what I am currently reading, and (iii) what I plan on reading before the end of the summer. This summer I am not teaching so I have been able to give more time to reading than normally my schedule can afford.

I have only included books that I am reading casually and have thus excluded reference works, hadith commentaries, tafsīr books, etc… that I am using for research purposes. Most the books will be read – or have been already – cover to cover, although some I may be reading only partially. One may notice the preponderance of English works. This year, for several reasons, I am doing much less Urdu and Arabic leisure reading. Descriptions for the books below are not my own. Continue reading

A Reading List of English Books in Hadith Studies

Over the past few years, a significant number of friends and students have requested a list of suggested book readings for my various classes on Hadith Studies. Others over the past few years have asked my opinion about certain works or whether they are appropriate for the level of the enquirer. Recently, I was reminded of a promise to compile a short list of works I would consider useful reading material for a student and have thus decided to take out a few minutes to compose this post, keeping in mind the various levels of readers and the need for conciseness. Continue reading