The Sunni Shafi school of Islamic Law holds its own in the Far East, in Malayasia, Indonesia, in the South East with western coast of India, at Sri Lanka, in East Africa, in Tanzaia, Uganda. Ethiopia, Kenya, at South-East Africa, at Horns of Africa. In Somalia, Eritrea, around the Red Sea in regions of both shores at Yemen and others, and its followers are found in a predominant position in lower Egypt, in Saudi Arabia, and there are its followers in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Central Asia, Iran, Iraq, the United Arab Emirate, India and Pakistan. The school makes a choice between reason and Author Name(s)ity of the Hanafi and Maliki schools with major leaning towards the Hanbali school of law. It possesses features of progress and intensive methodologies for bringing the law at par with a changing society.
The present book, as per its title, is a translation of Mukhtasar fil-Risalah or Taqrib of a pre-eminent jurist Abu Shuja (d. abpout 500H) of the school. This work can be rightly termed a code of law containing all salient elements of the law compiled in a most concise and lucid manner at one place. In 1859, a French translation and in 1897 a German translation of the book were published. In 1286 H. at Delhi, this work was published alongwith a commentary by maulvi Sayyid’Abd Allah at Matba’-i-Ahmadi and the commentator was Maulana Subhan Bukhsh. As no other work existed after the English translation from French of Imam Nawawi’s Minhaj al-Talibin (published in London in 1914), I thought to bring out the English translation of the Mukhtasar.
This English translation is of the Delhi edition of the book and I have rearranged the sections and given serial numbers to them as Articles and Books in the shape of a code. The original book—al-Mukhtasar—is contained in the Articles and the commentary on each Article follows the text of each Article as 1, 2, 3, 4, etc for easy understanding of the text given in the Articles. For the guidance and assistance of the legal profession, students, legislators and social scientists, I have collected and given the cases decided by superior courts in Africa and Asia on their extent of availability, in each Article after the commentaries.
My aim and objective behind this English translation is to help an understanding and restatement of the Islamic laws. I hope it will lead us to observe to what extent we have diverged from the purity in law administration in countries with a Muslim majority. As a result of the onslaught of colonialism, the predominated countries, have received Western principles. For this reason, I have avoided to refer to these enactments; nevertheless, I hope, this small book will point out what areas have been corrupted and how they can be purified. I owe a gratitude to the publisher, Sh. Shahzad Riaz, who having a high degree of zeal to serve Islam, has given special time and to bring out this book in an impressive form.
I am conscious of my imperfections and if any mistakes are found in the translation and edition, these may be pointed out to me through my publishers for correction and improvement in the next edtion of this book.
Anwar A. Qadri