Islamic Academia: Book Reviews

Discussion in 'Islamic Education and Studies' started by Fajr, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. Fajr

    Fajr ذكرى للعابدين

    As-salamu `alaykum

    I thought it beneficial to have a thread where you recommend and give reviews on books in the Islamic Sciences (whether Fiqh, 'Aqidah, Hadeeth, 'Uloom al-Qur'an etc).

    Books can be in any language but if possible, please provide brief info on the publishers, authors and what kind of students the book will really benefit.

    Ps. Less of the argumentation and more of the academic discussions please :)
  2. Fajr

    Fajr ذكرى للعابدين

    Field: 'Uloom al-Qur'an

    الملخص المفيد في علم التجويد
    Al-Mulakhas al-Mufeed fi 'Ilm al-Tajweed [Arabic]

    By Ustadh Muhammad Ahmad Ma'bad
    - Teacher of Qur'an and Tajweed in Masjid al-Nabawi, Madinah

    Published by Dar al-Salam

    The format of the book is predominantly 'Questions followed by Exam style Answers', complete with examples and lines of poetry from the famous nadhms in tajweed (ihtijaj). Author has made a point of inserting exam style questions for the student to answer independently as well as condensing rules into diagrams and tables - towards the end of book, the 2 nadhms Matn al-Jazariyyah (by Imam Ibn al-Jazari) and Matn Tuhfat al-Atfal (by Imam al-Jamzuri) have been added as well as info on the Qir'at al-'Ashr and Mutashabihat al-Qur'an.

    I find it to be very beneficial for the student wishing to become proficient in tajweed, particularly in Qira'at Hafs `an 'Asim.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
    AbuMasood likes this.
  3. Captain Gora

    Captain Gora RefuteEverythingThatMoves

    This is a great thread.

    It would be very beneficial if the quality of the print would be discussed as well and if one has seen many, he would point out the best of them.

  4. Captain Gora

    Captain Gora RefuteEverythingThatMoves

    Field: Furu' al-Fiqh

    العرف الناشر في شرح و أدلة فقه متن ابن عاشر
    al-'Arf al-Nashir fi Sharh wa Adillat Fiqh Matn Ibn 'Ashir (arabic)

    by al-Mukhtar ibn al-'Arabi Mu'min al-Jaza'iri thumma al-Shinqiti

    Publisher: Dar Ibn Hazm
    300 pages

    Description: An explanation of the famous Maliki text for beginners al-Murshid al-Mu'in by Ibn 'Ashir al-Andalusi (d. 1040 H) which is a short poem covering the five pillars of Islam.

    The author has studied with the Mauritanians and you can see him mentioning his shaikh with great respect every now and then when discussing different issues, yet he is not from the muqallida Malikis and focuses alot on the evidences of the legal issues.

    He has dropped the 'Aqida part of the poem (which is Ash'ari) since "that part is differed over" as he put it.

    The language of the book is very readable and easy, and the author explains the vocabulary of the poem in both linguistic and legal terms and also goes on to clarify the gharib or strange seeming wordings of the proofs. Knowing the Shinqitis, he does all of this very well.

    The book has been recommended by Muhammad al-Hasan Walad al-Daddu, Salman al-'Auda and two other perhaps a bit less known Shinqiti scholars.

    Great print which includes a complete list of contents.
  5. al Fiqh al Islami


    by Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi

    Written by Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi, Al-Fiqh Al-Islami is an original masterly composition of the Fiqh (codified legal rulings) of Imam Abu Hanifah and his school of thought. For the first time in the English language, the detailed rulings of Hanafi Fiqh alongside the evidences from which they have been derived are presented with meticulous research and detailed references. Most importantly, current day issues have also been incorporated to make this book the first authentic, relevant and practical Hanafi work in the English language.
    “This book is sound in fiqh and reflects the thorough and accurate knowledge of its author. From my experience in the field of fiqh, I would judge that this book will have tremendous value for its users. May Allàh make this book of benefit to all who turn to it”.

    Dr. Hussam Al-Dean Farfour
    Vice-President, Al-Fath Islamic Association

    “The distinction of this book is that it explains the issues and rulings of the Shari’ ah in an easy style, providing the arguments and evidences for them. It directs the reader to the original sources of the law, which is a fundamental need of our time”.

    Maulana Zahid al-Rashidi
    Secretary-General Pakistan Shari`at Council
  6. Fajr

    Fajr ذكرى للعابدين

    Field: Sulook

    روضة العقلاء ونزهة الفضلاء
    Rawdhat al-'Uqalaa' wa Nuzhat al-Fudhalaa'

    By Imam Abu Hatim ibn Hibban

    Publisher: Maktabah al-'Asriyyah, Beirut (2005)
    ~ 280 pages

    A very nice classical book by the muhaddith Ibn Hibbaan dealing with adab, character and sulook. He discusses the praiseworthy and blameworthy characteristics of ahl al-'ilm and 'aql. The best thing I find in this book is the way the author has managed to set out each topic: he brings ayaat first followed by ahadeeth followed by lines of famous poetry then by quotes of the scholars and righteous of this Ummah. He also writes a paragraph or two in each section with wisdom and dhabt & since he is a muhaddith, he provides the isnad of each hadeeth that he quotes as well as the sahib of each poem which he uses.

    Some topics covered include: virtue of seeking knowledge, peity, humbleness, companionship/brotherhood, remembering death, keeping away from foolishness and ignorance, from lies and enmity etc.

    This publication by maktabat al-'Asriyyah stands out from other publications as it's in a nice compact A5 size and in the footnotes, the ustadh Muhammad al-Fadhili has extracted the ahadeeth, stated the poetric metres (bahr) of each poem, given brief biographic info on each personality ('alam) mentioned in the book and explained away some difficult linguistic terms.

    Quality of print: Excellent

    A very beneficial read for everyone - particularly the student of knowledge who'll benefit from the statements & lives of 'ulema recorded in this book.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  7. hearandobey

    hearandobey الحمدلله

    BarakAllahu feeki sis, this is excellent.

    مباحث في علوم القران
    by Mannaa' al-Qattaan.
    Published by Mu'assasat al-Risalah.

    This books is excellent both in terms of content and quality of print (something Mu'assasat al-Risalah is quite known for). The book is about Uloom al-Quraan and it has everything from the definition of the terms such as qur'an, ayah, revelation and what happened, compilation, tafaseer, types of it etc. very comprehensive and I've seen many works refer to it and quote from it, including books in English such as "An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an" by Yasir Qadhi and Dr Bilal Philis' Usool al-Tafseer.

    This book is very useful for those that want a brief information and description of the classical tafaseer and their pros/cons.

    Definitely recommended for the beginner in this field.
  8. hearandobey

    hearandobey الحمدلله

    An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an
    by Yasir Qadhi
    Published by al-Hidaayah, Birmingham.

    I've only managed to look at two books on Uloom al-Qur'an in the English language so far, and they are this and Usool al-Tafseer by Dr Bilal Philips. I would definitely recommend this over Philips' one any day for several reasons. Firstly, this book is an excellent resource for the English speakers and Yasir Qadhi has translated and brought forth excellent quotes from ulama' that specialise in this field, namely al-Suyoti and al-Zarkashi. He discusses everything in its appropriate order and even discusses classical tafasir that were on the way of the salaf and those of the Mu'tazilah etc. He also devoted a section that dealt with the speech of Allah.

    The reason I wouldn't recommend that of Bilal Philips, all though I must admit I haven't had a complete look at it, is because straight from the beginning he brings forth so many names of imams and people from the salaf and I feel that for a beginner and especially an English speaker this can be really off-putting and in fact quite irrelevant really. There is still much benefit in Dr Philips' work and I think it maybe better to start off with Yasir Qadhi's one and then perhaps read Dr Philips' work after that.

    Quality of print is very good, the book is no less than £12 (at least in shops and sites where I've seen, Allahu a'lam). Down points? I personally do not like the double vowels: Allaah, Soofee, etc. perhaps Muslims will not find it annoying but I think that had this book had a bit more of an "academic touch" to it, then even non-Muslims could use it as a reference for quotes etc or why not even the Muslims that write thesis in English? Allah knows best.
  9. Fajr

    Fajr ذكرى للعابدين

    Field: Sciences of the Arabic Language [Balagha]

    البلاغة الواضحة
    Al-Balagha al-Wadiha [Arabic]

    By 'Ali al-Jarim and Mustafa Amin

    Distributors: Dar al-Ma'arif

    300+ pgs
    Edition: 1999

    An absolute must for the student wishing to explore language and literature. Topics covered run through the branches of bayan, badee' and ma'ani in the field of balagha. This book was designed for students in secondary school through to university level by two teachers well grounded in adab and lugha. Selling point is the plentiful examples and the simple sharh given as well as the great footnotes which expound on poets and authors mentioned in the text and give explanations to the gharib minal alfadh. Downside... you really need a teacher at times to explain away some of the qawa'id and poems.

    There are also sets of questions and sample tests - some with answers, others without to test your understanding of the chapter covered.

    The current publication I have is the old one, but for some reason I prefer it to the newer more enhanced publication - the Shar'iyyah publication which has clearer formatting, more examples and questions.

    Quality of print: The Shar'iyyah print is excellent but this current older print is not too good (I still like it though).
    Umm Ubaid likes this.
  10. justabro

    justabro Salafi (Retd.)

    Biography: Syed Qutb

    سيد قطب
    من الميلاد إلى الاستشهاد

    Syed Qutb: From Birth Till Martyrdom

    By Dr. Salah al-Khalidi

    Publisher: Dar al-Qalam, Dimashq

    582 pages

    This book originated as part of Dr. al-Khalidi's Master's Thesis on Syed Qutb's theory on al-Taswir al-Fanni. Muhammad Qutb, who was part of the review committee, was so impressed with his biography and the style in which it was written, he said he deserved a master's just for it, not because the subject of the biography was his brother, but because of the way that he brought him to life.

    This biography was then published under the title Syed Qutb al-Shahid al-Hayy. Later on, al-Khalidi significantly reviewed and expanded this work based on new research into Syed Qutb's life, and republished it under this title.

    I have just finished it and all I can say is wow, Syed Qutb is a true hero, may Allah accept him amongst the martyrs! The book contains detailed account of his life, before his religious stage and after, as well as accounts of the time that he spent in prison all the way up to his execution.

    It also offers a thorough review of his works, published and unpublished, his writings from his Islamic stage and his writings from before it.
  11. Yasir

    Yasir لك الله يا مهبط الوحي

    لطائف المعارف فيما لمواسم العام من الوظائف
    Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif fee maa li Mawaasimil-‘Aam minal-Wadhaa’if

    al-Hafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali rahimahullah
    Tahqeeq: ‘Abdullah b. ‘Amir
    Publishers: Dar al-Hadith, Cairo

    In this excellent work, Imam Ibn Rajab has compiled the significance, duties, invocations and backgrounds of months and seasons in the Islamic calendar. The book is based around teaching sessions (majaalis) delivered by Ibn Rajab which superbly guide the reader through a detailed journey of the year with an abundance of wonderful advice, admonitions and reflection along the way.

    Quality of Print: Good, masha’Allah. The text is presented clearly in ~470 pages; dual coloured font has been used for headings.
    Price: £6.00!
  12. Yasir

    Yasir لك الله يا مهبط الوحي

    Could someone please recommend a good print of Fiqh as-Sunnah?
  13. Navaid Aziz

    Navaid Aziz Abu 'Abdir-Rahman

    As salaam 'alaikum,

    The new muasasah ar-risalah print that has takhreej of ahadeeth by Sh. Albaani, along with footnotes from tamaam ul minnah.

    Wallahu 'alam.

  14. justabro

    justabro Salafi (Retd.)

    Field: `Ulum al-Hadith

    الحديث الحسن لذاته ولغيره: دراسة استقرائية نقدية​

    Al-Hadith al-Hasan Li Dhatihi Wa Li Ghayrih: A Comprehensive, Critical Study

    Author: Dr. Khalid b. Mansur al-Durayyis
    Publisher: Adwa' al-Salaf, Riyadh

    5 vol., 2632 pages

    This is a very exhaustive research dealing with some of the most difficult and most important issues of Mustalah al-Hadith: the Hasan Hadith in its two forms.

    This research is very impressive. It is not like the typical cut-and-paste research papers written by most contemporary researchers. Most graduate students today simply do not produce high quality research (although there are signs things have been getting better in recent years, particularly in Hadith). Most papers will consist of just a collection of quotes with a few illustrative examples and move on. Not so al-Durayyis' work. He does exhaustive research beyond just collecting quotes from scholars. He actually studies the application aspect of the issues he covers.

    The book is divided into four chapters. In all honesty, each of this chapters on its own would be worthy of a Master's or PhD thesis.

    I will be posting a review with an overview of the table of contents on the Hadith forum, in sha Allah.
  15. Expergefactionist

    Expergefactionist hmmm... Staff Member

    This isn't available online is it?
  16. justabro

    justabro Salafi (Retd.)

    This 5-part article: Tafarrud al-Rawi al-Saduq Bayn al-Qabul wal-Tawaqquf is actually section 6 of Ch. 4 from his thesis:

    It is quite lengthy and it is one of the highlights of his book
  17. Expergefactionist

    Expergefactionist hmmm... Staff Member

    wow! Do you think I should still get the book? Is there anything else in the book I am missing out on?
  18. justabro

    justabro Salafi (Retd.)

    See here:

    I'm listing the table of contents and planning to add my own comments. It's definitely a must have. The article I linked to is probably the highlight of volume 4 (which is devoted to the understanding of Hasan Li Dhatih), but volume 5 is jampacked with fawa'id as well, and it is all about Hasan Li Ghayrih.

    You will not find anything like his list of shurut and mawani' for taqwiyah bil-turuq anywhere else. Taqwiyah bil-turuq is basically built on qara'in much like i'lal, and that makes it difficult to list them all or to identify a simple process. It is quite impressive.

    The first two volumes are about all those who used the term Hasan before ibn al-Salah came up with Hasan Li Dhatih and Hasan Li Ghayrih and those became standard (except al-Tirmidhi).

    The third volume is all about al-Tirmidhi's usage of Hasan, particularly "Hasan" and "Hasan Gharib". He goes through every single hadith and he has given charts for the Hasan and Hasan Gharib hadiths giving his observations concerning each hadith in brief. It's very impressive istiqra'. It's not perfect but given the number of topics he covered, I think he set a very high standard of research.

    I think it's a must have.
  19. أبو نافع

    أبو نافع Formerly - Abu_Abdallah

    Masha'Allah book! That IS research!!! Barakallahu fik, brother Justabro, for the details!

    تحفة المستفيد في الجرح والتعديل ودراسة الأسانيد

    Title: تحفة المستفيد في الجرح والتعديل ودراسة الأسانيد Tuhfat al-Mustafid fi al-Jarh wa al-Ta'dil wa Dirasat al-Asanid
    By: ماهر منصور عبد الرزاق Maher Mansur 'Abd al-Razzaq (teacher at al-Azhar and Ibn Su'ud)
    Publishers: Dar al-Yaqin, al-Mansurah (Egypt)
    Pages: 286 (258 + 28 indices)

    This is an excellent introductionary book on the science of al-Jarh and al-Ta'dil and the evaluation of Isnads. It deals with all important issues on this science and what is needed to evaluate chains, in a succinct but also detailed manner. It deals with: the principles of crediting and criticizing narrators (qawa'id 'ilm al-jarh wa'l-ta'dil), how to evaluate the chain and the way to judge a hadith. The main chapters are:

    [First Part]

    One: Principles of al-Jarh and al-Ta'dil 3-18
    Two: Birth of al-Jarh and al-Ta'dil and the First who spoke of it 18-23
    Third: The conditions of a critic or crediter [who are involved in judging narrators] 23-29
    Fourth: The attribute of one whose narration is to be accepted or to be rejected 29-82
    Fifth: Ranks of al-Jarh and al-Ta'dil 82-98
    Six: Particular technical terms of certain Imams in al-Jarh and al-Ta'dil 98-109

    [Second Part]

    One: Definition of al-sanad and the meaning of 'Dirasat al-Asanid' 109-112
    Two: Importance of the Isnad and the Muhaddithun pre-occupation with it 112-116
    Three: The Fundamental sub-sciences dealing with the study of the Isnad (large section, dealing with: 116-145

    al-Mudabbaj and the narrating of contemporaries;
    Narrating of Fathers from Sons;
    The Sabiq and the Lahiq;
    al-Wahdan or the one from whom none narrates but one;
    Science about the one who is mentioned by several different names or attributes;
    Knowledge concerning the Asma and the Kuna;
    Knowledge concering the Alqab;
    al-Mu'talif and the Mukhtalif with respect to Asma, Alqab en the Ansab;
    al-Muttafiq and the Muftariq with respect to Asma, Ansab and similar;
    Knowledge about the Mutashabuh, and so forth..

    Fourth: Books on al-Jarh and al-Ta'dil 145-172
    Five: Steps for studying the Isnad and judging it 172-220
    Six: Examples dealing with Isnads studied from the famous books 220-259

    Good read!

    Buy? See:
  20. justabro

    justabro Salafi (Retd.)

    Ahlan wa sahlan!! Barakallahu fik. Long time no see, dear brother.

    I have finally finished my survey of the contents in this thread with a few comments (provided in red):

    and would like to eventually get around to discussing them

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