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Recent books in Arabic – October 2009

Notes by GF Haddad


`Abd al-Qadir, `Abd al-Qadir Ahmad. San`at al-khatt wal-makhtut wal-waraqa wal-fahrasa fil-hadarat al-islamiyya wal-`arabiyya. Damascus: Dar al-Watha'iq, 1427/2006. 560 p. An excellent book on calligraphy, paleography, the printing arts, indexing, and librarianship in Islamic and Arabic culture to which a useful preamble would be Ahmad Qubaysi's book (see below).

----------. See also "Anonymous" in this list.

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq [radya Allahu `anh]. Diwan Abi Bakr al-Siddiq. Ed. Muhammad Sharad Hassani and Haydar Kamil Farhan al-Zarqani. Beirut: Dar wa-Maktabat al-Hilal and Dar al-Bihar, 2006. HB. 175 p. A fully vowelized and heavily annotated edition, yet unreliable and/or incomplete in its sourcing.

`Ali, Nasir Husayn. Sharh abyat Ma`ani al-Qur'an lil-Farra' wa-mawadi` al-ihtijaj biha. Damascus: Dar Sa`d al-Din, 1430/2009. HB. 384 p. Solid work that does everything the title promises and more.

Al-`Allush, Jalal al-Din. Diraasaat fil-tafsir wa-`ulumih. Damascus: al-Yamama (Mu'assasat Ibn `Aashur lil-Tawzi`), 1426/2006. 264 p. Comprises the foll. sections: al-Tafsir wal-ta'wil; al-tafsir l-mu`asir; Tafsir al-Tabari; a-Tafsir wa-manhajuhu `inda al-Shaykh Ibn `Ashur; al-ahruf al-sab`a; al-qiraa'aat al-qur'aniyya; ahkam al-isti`adha wal-basmala; Muqaddimaatli=-tafsir Surat al-Nisa' wa-Surat al-Ma'ida.

Anonymous. Isbal al-kisa' `ala `awraat al-nisa'. Ed. `Abd al-Qadir Ahmad `Abd al-Qadir. Damascus: Dar al-Watha'iq, 1427/2006. 208 p. A well-documented reference work on women's modesty and dress code. This is but a revised and expanded edition of the same work by the same editor who had previously published it in tandem with Khalid `Abd al-Karim Jumu`a at Kuwait's Maktabat Dar al-`Uruba, 1410/1990 (146 p.), under the name of al-Suyuti. It appears the doubting of the latter's authorship for this book is well-founded since its title does not appear in Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Shaybani and Ahmad Sa`id al-Khazandar's Dalil makhtutaat al-Suyuti wa-amakin wujudiha, 2nd ed. (Kuwait: Manshuraat Markaz al-Makhtutaat wal-Wathaa'iq, 1416-1995).

al-Ansari, Ibrahim Muhammad al-Zinjani. 19 nubu'atun Qur'aniyya. Beirut: Dar al-Safwa, 1427/2006. 184 p. A Shi`i tafsir mawdu`i or thematic study of Qur'anic eschatology in nineteen chapters. Its bibliography comprises "al-Tafsir li-Goldziher"!!

Basmahji, Sa'ir. Mu`jam mustalahat alfaz al-fiqh al-Islami. Damascus: Safahat lil-Tiba`a wal-Nashr, 2009. HB. 752 p. A solid reference work by a meticulous linguist who based himself on the previous dictionaries of al-Munawi followed by al-Nawawi, Zakariyya al-Ansari and others. Adds three useful appendixes on weights and measures as well as other topics. It is completed by Mahmud `Abd al-Mun`im's 3-volume Mu`jam al-mustalahat wal-alfaz al-fiqhiyya (Cairo: Dar al-Fadila), Sa`di Abu Habib's al-Qamus al-fiqhi (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr), Muhammad Rawwas Qal`ahji's Mu`jam lughat al-fuqaha' both in the bilingual and trilingual versions adding French (Beirut: Dar al-Nafa'is), and the classic al-Hudud al-kalamiyya wal-fiqhiyya by Ibn Sabiq al-Siqilli (d. 493) (Tunis: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami).

Bullata, `Isa. I`jaz al-Qur'an al-Karim `abra al-tarikh. Beirut: al-Mu'assasat al-`Arabiyya lil-Dirasat wal-Nashr, 2006. HB. 367 p. A somewhat mistitled anthology of texts on Quranic inimitability by al-Khattabi, al-Rummani, al-Jurjani, al-Baqillani, Qadi `Abd al-Jabbar, al-Suyuti, and three contemporaries (Mustafa al-Rafi`I, Bint al-Shati', and Sayyid Qutb) selected and introduced by the University of McGill professor of Arabic literature.

al-Farahi, `Abd al-Hamid (1863-1930 CE). Mufradaat al-Qur'an. Ed. Muhammad Ajmal Ayyub al-Islahi. Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, 2002. HB. 478 p. A contemporary gem among Quranic lexicons and a peer of no less than al-Raghib al-Asfahani's same-titled classic by the late superlative Indian linguist and author of Nizam al-Qur'an wa-ta'wil al-Furqan bil-Furqan. The latter parallels al-Shinqiti's masterpiece Adwa' al-bayan fi idah al-Qur'an bil-Qur'an.

----------. al-Ra'y al-sahih fi man huwa al-dhabih. Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 1420/1999. 164 p. A study of riwaya and diraya deciding the strongest case over the issue whether the sacrificial son was Isma`il or Ishaq.

Ghanim, Khalid al-Sayyid Muhammad. Al-Zaraadashtiyya tarikhan wa-`aqidatan wa-shari`atan. Damascus: Khatawat lil-Nashr wal-Tawzi`, 2006. 400 p. An Azhari study of Zoroastrianism and Mazdeism from an Islamic perspective.

Ghawri, Sayyid `Abd al-Majid. Mu`jam al-mustalahaat al-hadithiyya. Damascus and Beirut: Dar Ibn Kathir, 1428/2007. 895 p. HB. By a prolific Indian scholar, the most expansive of several such reference works on hadith science to date, it contains gems and commands our first consultation when looking up terminology before the works of more senior scholars such as the similarly-titled smaller precedents by our teachers Nur al-Din `Itr and Abu al-Layth Khayr Abadi as well as `Abd al-Rahman al-Khamisi. Yet occasionally disappointing from the viewpoint of thoroughness and comprehensiveness, as might be gleaned from a glance at the entry "la asla lahu."

Habannaka al-Maydani, `Abd al-Rahman Hasan. Maaarij al-tafakkur wa-daqa'iq al-tadabbur. 15 vols. Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 1427/2006. HB. A monumental commentary of the Qur'an by the late great Riyadh-based linguist and usuli of Damascus, arguably more authoritative than al-Zamkhshari, more accessible than al-Baydawi, more thorough than al-Shinqiti's Adwa' al-bayan, and both more original and more consistant than al-Zuhayli's al-Tafsir al-munir.

Handawi, `Abd al-Hamid. Jami` al-bayan fi Mufradat al-Qur'an. 4 vols. Riyadh: Maktabat al-Rushd, 1428/2007. HB. A solid edition of three books presented in successive order: Raghib's Mufradat, Ibn `Aziz a-Sijistani's (d. 320) Gharib al-Qur'an, and Ibn al-Ha'im's (d. 815) al-Tibyan fi tafsir gharib al-Qur'an.

al-Haytami, Shaykh al-Islam Shihab al-Din Abu al-`Abbas Ahmad b. Muhamad Ibn Hajar. Tuhfat al-zuwwar ila qabr al-Nabi al-Mukhtar. Ed. Ahmad Farid al-Mizyadi. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, 1427/2006. 144 p. An under par edition of a rare classic on Prophetic visitation literature, a companion volume to the same author's al-Jawhar al-munazzam fi ziyarat al-qabr al-mukarram. The hadiths mentioned therein should be studied in light of the documentation of the hadith master Ibn al-Mulaqqin's al-Badr al-munir in its massive Riyadh edition as other discussions of the same prove incomplete.

Ibn Habib al-Mardasi al-Andalusi, `Abd al-Malik (d. 283). Kitab Tibb al-`Arab. Ed. Badr al-`Amrani al-Tanji. Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 1428/2007. 158 p. Meticulous and well-indexed first edition of a rare early classic by a scholar Suhnun called: "The erudite scolar of Andalusia, nay, by Allah! the Imam of the world." This book joins a series of generally well-prepared editions on what Ibn Muflih called the saydaliyya Muhammadiyya and which to Muslim physicians and scholars have devoted volumes, many of them in print.

----------. Wasf al-Firdaws. Ed. `Abd al-Latif Hasan `Abd al-Rahman. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, 1427/2006. 112 p. One of the earliest hadithic volumes compiled in exegesis of "Paradise, which He has described to them" (Q 47:6) and in elaboration of the Prophetic hadith whereby "everyone will know his dwelling in Paradise better than they know their dwelling in this world" (Sahih al-Bukhari), together with similar monographs by Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Abu Nu`aym, al-Qurtubi, Ibn al-Qayyim, several by al-Suyuti, and others.

Ibn Ishaq. Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya. Ed. Ahmad Farid al-Mizyadi. 2 vols. in one. 2nd ed. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, 2009. HB. 735 p. A passable edition based on the surviving Turkish and Egyptian mss. and completed with Ibn Hisham's riwaya in his epitome.

Ibn al-Jazari, Shams al-Din Abu al-Khayr Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad. Ghayat al-nihaya fi tabaqat al-qurra'. 2 vols. Ed. G. Bergstraesser. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, 1427/2006. Unameliorated reprint of the 1932-35 Cairo edition with the original footnotes on manuscript variants of this ultimate biographical reference work of the masters of canonic readings, Qur'an memorizers, teachers, and transmitters by the celebrated hadith master of Damascus, with fresh (or original?) typographical blunders (e.g. kuna is spelled kina throughout).

Ibn al-Mubarrid al-Salihi, Yusuf Ibn `Abd al-Hadi. al-Ightirab fi ahkam al-kilab. Ed. Muhammad Hasan Isma`il. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, 2006. 150 p. The most thorough study of issues concerning dogs in the law in 100 chapters by the erudite Hanbali jurist and sufi of Damascus.

Ibn al-Zubayr al-Thaqafi al-Gharnati, Abu Ja`far Ahmad b. Ibrahim (627-708). Milak al-ta'wil al-qati` bi-dhawi al-ilhad wal-ta`til fi tawjih al-mutashabih al-lafz min ay al-Tanzil. Ed. `Abd al-Ghani Muhammad `Ali al-Fasi. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, 1427/2006. HB. 536 p. The magnum opus of the Andalusian arch-master at the summit of his powers and the last word on the exegetical sub-genre of mutashabih al-lafz, hastily typeset with close to zero footnote and but a three-page preface.

al-Jar Allah, `Abd al-Salam b. Salih. Naqd al-Sahaba wal-Tabi`in lil-tafsir: Dirasa nazariyya tatbiqiyya. Riyadh: Dar al-Tadmuriyya, 1429/2008. HB. 559 p. A precious book that illustrates how much the golden age of exegesis presumably inaugurated by al-Tabari owes, in fact, to the dynamics of previous ages where both the riwaya and diraya of the genre were far more fully developed than we might think.

Jumu`a, Ahmad Khalil. `Ulama' al-Sahaba. Damascus and Beirut: al-Yamama, 1427/2006. HB. 1024 p. An important contribution to biographical and intellectual history documenting twenty male Companions in depth and addressing relevant contemporary questions. I expect a companion volume documents `A'isha and the scholarly Sahabiyyat, may Allah be well-pleased with all of them.

Jumu`a, Husayn. Jamaaliyyat al-khabar wal-insha': Diraasa jamaliyya balaghiyya naqdiyya. Damascus: Manshuraat Ittihad al-Kuttab al-`Arab, 2005. 230 p. A study on the esthetics of enunciative and originative statements by a Syrian specialist of Arabic poetry. This book may be helpful in the study of i`jaz and balaagha.

Khalidi, Salah `Abd al-Fattah. al-Qabasat al-saniyya min sharh al-`Aqidat al-Tahawiyya. Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 1421/2000. HB. 400 p. Excerpts from Ibn Abi al-`Izz's commentary on the Tahawiyya, entirely based on al-Arna'ut's edition of the latter and offering nothing that is not found therein.

al-Maqqari al-Tilimsani, Abu al-`Abbas Shihab al-Din Ahmad b. Muhamad b. Ahmad (d. 1041). Fath al-Muta`al fi madh al-Ni`al. Ed. Ahmad Farid al-Mizyadi. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, 1427/2006. HB. 320 p. A disappointing edition of the most exhaustive monograph on this branch of Shama'il by the great Algerian sufi musnid, muhaddith, historian, jurist, and poet. Contains illustrations. A similar work was authored by the Indian teacher of some of our hadith teachers, Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandahlawi.

Mardini, Fatima Muhammad. al-Tafsir wal-mufassirun. Damascus: Dar Ghar Hira' and Bayt al-Hikma, 1430/2009. HB. 188 p. A rather laconic survey of the types of exegesis and their authors in the history of the genre. A preamble to, more than a sufficiency from larger similarly-titled works, notably the late Muhammad Husayn al-Dhahabi's masterpiece.

al-Mas'ul, `Abd al-`Ali. al-Qiraa'aat al-shaadhdha: Dawabituha wal-ihtijaj biha fil-fiqh wal-`arabiyya. Riyadh and Cairo: Dar Ibn al-Qayyim and Dar Ibn `Affan, 1429/2009. HB. 448 p. A good companion to Mu`jam al-qiraa'aat and other works on (non-)canonic variants and phonetics which, as its title indicates, is both part of and transcend Quranic studies but, alas, improperly indexed.

al-Mutayri, `Abd al-Muhsin b. Zayn. Da`awa al-ta`inin fil-Qur'an al-Karim fil-qarn al-rabi` `ashar al-Hijri wal-radd `alayha. Beirut: Dar al-Basha'ir al-Islamiyya, 1427/2006. HB. 476 p. A helpful critical history of the various failed onslaughts against the Qur'an by freethinkers, missionaries, Orientalists, and modernists and of refutation literature beginning with Ibn Qutayba's Mushkil al-Qur'an, although similar responses were circulated before him (now all lost) by Muqatil, Sufyan b. `Uyayna and the Basrian grammarian Qutrub.

al-Qasimi, Muhammad Jamal al-Din. Tabaqat Mashahir al-Dimashqiyyin min ahl al-qarn al-rabi` `ashar al-Hijri. Ed. Mahmud `Abd al-Qadir al-Arna'ut. Damascus: Dar al-Bayruti and Dar al-Balkhi, 1427/2006. 124 p. An all-Damascus fresh edition of a small but rare book by the famous Salafi-Sufi exegete on the important personalities at whose hands were formed the teachers of our Damascene teachers such as the Shattis, Khanis, Baytars, `Attars, al-Hamzawi, al-Ustuwani, `Ala' `Abidin and, in Egypt, Muhammad Mustafa al-Tantawi. A must companion to the 3-volume 14th-century series by our teacher Dr. Muhammad Muti` al-Hafiz among other works on the same period and region, among them the must-have al-Usar al-Dimashqiyya by the new headmaster of Abu al-Nur Institute in Damascus, Dr. Muhammad al-Sawwaf and the disappointing Nazm al-durar fi rijal al-qarn al-rabi` `ashar by Yunus al-Shaykh Ibrahim al-Samarra'i (Beirut: al-Dar al-`Arabiyya lil-Mawsu`aat, 1426/2006).

al-Qaysi, Ahmad Manaf Hasan. Athar `Abd Allah b. `Umar fil-tafsir. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, 2006. HB. 342 p. An impressive study that leaves the reader with a much heightened sense of the importance of Ibn `Umar in the exegetical sciences, the sources and chains of his tafsir that have reached us (much like the reliable editions or reconstructions already published of the tafsirs of Mujahid, Sufyan al-Thawri, Malik, al-Shafi`i, and others), and the varieties of tafsir that existed already in the time of the Companions. An important book that is readable in tandem with al-Jar Allah's Naqd.

Qubaysi, Ahmad. Kayfa jumi`a al-Qur'an: Marahil al-tadwin. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr al-Lubnani, 2007. HB. 175 p. In five chapters: Harakat al-ta'lif wal-tarjama; al-warraqa wal-warraqun; mawadd al-kitaba `inda al-`Arab; al-makhtutat al-`arabiyya; al-athar al-fanni fil-makhtutat al-`arabiyya. A useful introduction to book culture in Islam.

al-Raghib al-Asfahani, Abu al-Husayn al-Qasim b. Muhammad b. al-Mufaddal. Mufradaat alfaz al-Qur'an. Ed. Safwan `Adnan Dawudi. 4th ed. Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 1430/2009. HB. 1008 p. The most thorough and reliable edition of this classic by the great Ash`ari linguist, whose tafsir also received a recent but partial edition by a doctoral graduate.

----------. Tafsil al-nash'atayn wa-tahsil al-sa`adatayn. Short lessons on man's place in creation by the Ash`ari master drawing from the Qur'an, the Sunna, and Arabic poetry in an erudite Sufi vein reminiscent of Ibn al-Jawzi's reflexions in Sayd al-Khatir, Ibn al-Qayyim's Fawa'id, and, closer to our times, the Khawatir diniyya of Sayyid `Abd Allah al-Ghumari.

al-Sa`fi, Walid. al-`Ajib wal-gharib fi kutub tafsir al-Qur'an. Damascus: Safahat lil-Tiba`a wal-Nashr, 2007. HB. 768 p. A deceptively-titled, voluminous, vowelized, well-footnoted, verbose, disorganized and confusing assemblage of tidbits from Muslim sources and nonsense from anthropology, literary theory, mythology etc.

al-Shilli al-Yamani, al-Sayyid Muhammad. Kitab al-Sana' al-bahir bi-takmil al-Nur al-safir fi akhbar al-qarn al-`ashir. San`a': Maktabat al-Irshad, 1425/2004. HB. 256 p. A continuation of and companion to al-`Aydarus's biographical dictionary of the scholars of the tenth Hijri century.

al-Siyawasi, Shihab al-Din Ahmad b. Mahmud (d. 860/1455). `Uyun al-tafasir lil-fudala' al-samasiya. 4 vols. Ed. Baha' al-Din Daratma. Beirut: Dar Sadir, 1427/2006. HB. A medium-sized exegesis that epitomizes the classical tafsirs such as al-Samarqandi, al-Zamakhshari, al-Baghawi, al-Qurtubi and others, authored by an Anatolian scholar to serve the needs of his non-Arab students and superbly edited with abundant, meticulous yet concise footnotes by an Istanbul scholar who documented the hadiths, identified and sourced the tafsir cross-references, and gave the manuscript variants.

al-Sulami, Abu `Abd al-Rahman Muhammad b. al-Husayn. Ziyaadaat Haqa'iq al-tafsir. The Minor Qur'an Commentary. Ed. Gerhard Böwering. 2nd ed. Beirut: Dar al-Mashreq, 1997. HB. 256 p. A complement to al-Sulami's Haqa'iq al-Tafsir which was first brought out in 2001, a Sufi classic on the Qur'an together with similar works by al-Tustari, al-Qushayri, Ruzbahan's `Ara'is al-Bayan, al-Naysaburi's Ghara'ib, and the monumental Arabic and Persian Ruh al-Bayan by the Turkish Shaykh Isma`il Haqqi al-Brusawi (d. 1127/1715).

al-Suyuti, Jalal al-Din `Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Bakr. I`jaz al-Qur'an wa-asrar al-tanzil al-mawsum Fath al-Jalil lil-`abd al-dhalil. Ed. `Abd al-Qadir Ahmad `Abd al-Qadir. Damascus: Dar al-Watha'iq, 1427/2006. 80 p. A treatise by the Mujaddid of his age on 120 types of the genera of rhetoric found in a single verse of Surat al-Baqara (2:257).

----------. al-`Ujalat al-hasna fi sharh Asma' Allah al-husna. Ed. Muwaffaq al-Shaykh. Damascus: Dar al-Islah, 2007. 64 p. A beautifully concise glossary of the 99 Names that complements several similar works inprint, the most comprehensive and treasurable of which being al-Qurtubi's al-Asna fi sharh Asma' Allah al-husna, although its excellent Tanta edition is based on an incomplete manuscript.

al-Sumaydi, Mahmud Muhammad Dawud. Manhaj al-Qur'an al-Karim fit tahs.in al-Umma min al-furqa wal-ikhtilaf. Damascus: Dar al-Nahda, 1429/208. 336 p. A study of the varieties of differences and their respective statuses in the law by a Baghdadi scholar.

Tahhan, Muhammad Ruslan. A`lam al-Sahaba al-ladhina wallaw Dimashq. Damascus: Dar al-Basha'ir, 2008. 133 p. A study of the four Companions who governed Damascus successively: Yazid b. Abi Sufyan, Abu `Ubayda Ibn al-Jarrah, Mu`adh b. Jabal, and Mu`awiya b. Abi Sufyan, Allah be well-pleased with them.

Tayyara, Nadya. Mawsu`at al-i`jaz al-Qur'ani fil-`ulum wal-tibb wal-falak. Abu Dhabi and Damascus: Maktabat al-Safa' and al-Yamama lil-Tiba`a wal-Nashr, 1428/2007. 2 vols. in one. 380 p. + 574 p. HB. The most comprehensive reference work to date on the possible correlations between Qur'an and Sunna texts to the findings of modern science including zoology, pharmacology, dietetics, embryology etc.


Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions, and may Allah Most High have mercy on all the above-named, reward them with Paradise, and resurrect us in the company of His friends.


GF Haddad Brunei Darussalam
[SP 2009-10-20]

 

 

 

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