ABOUT THE BOOK:
Allah (swt) says in the Qurʾān ﴾Say: We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us﴿ (2:136). Therefore it is understood by the scholars of Islam that the ‘first obligation’ for a responsible adult is to know Allah. Abū Dāwūd narrates, in his Sunan, that the Messenger of Allah (swt) said, ‘The Jews split into 71 or 72 sects; the Christians split into 71 or 72 sects; and my community will split into 73 sects.’ Consequently, the Muslim community has diligently strived to preserve the correct theology of Islam, and this translated work is one exposition of the Sunni creed.
The author describes this treatise as ‘a work on the subject of what the morally responsible needs to know concerning the foundations of knowledge and its derivatives… along with pointing out some of its evidences in a concise manner’. So the work covers essential tenets of faith concerning Allah (swt), His Messenger (saw), the beatific vision of Allah in the Hereafter, predetermination, the natural predisposition to Islam, His angels and Books, the punishment in the grave, the Resurrection, Paradise and Hell, the law of obeying rulers, miracles of the saints, the Companions, the Prophet’s family and the caliphates of Abū Bakr, ʿUmar, ʿUthmān and ʿAlī (rad)
ABOUT IMAM ABU BAKR AL-BAYHAQI
He is al-Imam al-Faqih ash-Shafi'i, the Hadith memoriser Abu Bakr Ahmed b. al-Hussain b. 'Ali b. 'Abd Allah b. Musa al-Bayhaqi born in Khurasan in Shu'ban 384 Hijri. He initially took hadith studies at the age of fifteen in Khurasan from Abi al-Hussan Muhammad al-'Alawi and the likes of al-Hakim Abi 'Abd Allah the hadith master as well as the theologian Abi Bakr Furak. Then after he travelled to Baghdad, took much knowledge from its scholars then after moved to Kufa. After having also spend there sometime he moved on to the Hijaz and similarly studied there until he became an expert in Hadith, famed and sought after. After a while he returned to his hometown and many scholars came and sat to learn from him, this is where he initially started dictating his famous Shafi'i fiqh work on Hadith titled as Ma'rifat al-Sunnan wal Athar.
It has been said he did not have, nor heard/was transmitted to Sunnan al-Nisa'i, Ibn Maja and Tirmidhi. Although much of its transmissions can be corroborated from al-Hakim collection as seen from his Sunnan al-Kubra. He was jurist with firm principle of jurisprudence, an ascetic who abstained much of the world. Many scholars have studied under him, in their senior as well as junior years. He wrote several beneficial works amongst them being:
--- al-Asma' wal Sifat,
--- al-I'tiqad wak Hidaya ila Sabil ar-Rashad,
--- al-Ba'th wal Nushur,
--- Dala'il an-Nubawah,
--- al-Jami' li Shu'bil Iman.
--- Ithbat 'Adhab al-Qabr,
--- Hayatil Anbiya fi Quburihim,
--- al-Qudha' wal Qadr,
--- as-Sunan al-Kubra,
--- Ma'rifat Sunan wal Athar,
--- at-Targhib wal Tarhib,
--- al-Mabsut min Nasus al-Shafi'i,
--- as-Sunan al-Saghir,
--- al-Madkhal ila al-Sunan,
--- Fadha'il al-Awqat,
--- al-Arba'in al-Kubra,
--- al-Arba'in al-Sughra,
--- Manaqib ash-Shafi'i,
--- Manaqib Ahmed,
--- Fadha'il al-Sahabah,
--- Takhrij Ahadith al-Umm,
--- Bayan Khata' Man Akhta'a ash-Shafi'i,
and many other works. It has been said his work has reached thousand, mostly small epistles.
He said of himself: "My method of writing in my books, be they of the primary or secondary sciences, is that I want to abridge what have been said, according to its most correct/authentic version over the non authentic ones." He says elsewhere: "I am on the path of the Hadith scholars, I love to deduce that which has transmissions based on sound chains."
He was strong supporter and wrote much in defence of Imam Shafi'i and his school. Imam al-Haramain al-Juwayni said: "There is no one that subscribes to the Madhab of Shafi'i except they owe imam al-Shafi'i, except for al-Bayhaqi for al-Shafi'i owes debt to al-Bayhaqi in his defence and penmanship of the madhab."
He became ill and quickly died on Jumad al-Uwla in 458 at the age of 74 years old.
ABOUT SHAYKH FOUDAH:
Shaykh Sa'id bin 'Abd AL-Latif Foudah is a gifted young Shafi'i, Ash'ari scholar of 'Ilm al-Kalam, Mantiq and Usul al-Fiqh, as well as one of the most meticulous experts of our times on the creed of Ibn Taymiyya. Born in 1967 in the city of Haifa, Palestine he moved at a very young age with his parents to Amman, Jordan where he still lives and teaches today. Shaykh Sa‘id Foudah has authored many books. From his published works are:
--- Al-Kashif al-Raghir ‘an ‘Aqa’id Ibn Taymiyya (regarding the creed of Ibn Taymiya),
--- Risalat fi Radd ‘ala Ibn Taymiyya (commentary on the book of Ikhmimi, concerning Ibn Taymiya’s belief in infinite regress),
--- Tahdhib Sharh al-Sanusiyya Umm al-Barahin (summary of the explanation of the creed of al-Sanusi) translated and printed under Sunni Publications.
--- Ta‘id al-Man iq (in support of logic),
--- Naqd al-Tadmuriyya (critique of Ibn Taymiya’s work on creed),
--- Al-Muyassar Sharh li-Matn al-Sullam al-Munawraq fi ‘Ilm al-Mantiq al-Akhdari (explanation of al-Sullam in logic),
--- Kitab Misba al-Arwah fi U'ul al-Din lil-Imam al-Baydawi. (editing of Imam al-Baydawi’s work in ‘Ilm al-Kalam).
--- Sharh al-‘Aqidat al-Tahawiyya (explanation on al-Tahawi’s creedal treatise),
As for the books that have yet to be published, they include:
--- Al-Kashif al-Raghir ‘an Mawaqi‘ al-Ghalat fi Katab al-Falaysuf Ibn Rushd (refutation of Ibn Rushd’s (Averoes) book Manahij al-Adilla),
--- Issues in the Science of Tawhid,
--- Al-Bidaya fi Usul al-Fiqh,
--- Synopsis of al-Ghazali’s ‘Incoherence of the Philosophers’,
--- Explanation of al-Ghazali’s al-Iqti'ad fi al-‘Itiqad,
--- Explanation of al-Muqaddimat al-Arba‘a of Sadr al-Shari‘ah,
--- Commentary upon al-Muhakamat of Mulla ‘Abdul Rahman al-Jami with al-Lara’i’s gloss
--- Numerous commentaries upon the Sharh al-Tawali’ of al-Asfahani upon al-Minhaj,
--- Commentary upon Tahdhib al-Mantiq wal-Kalam of Sa‘d al-Taftazani,
--- Commentary upon Sharh al-Muqaddimat of al-Sanusi,
--- Commentary and numerous critiques upon Bidayat al-hikma and Nihayat al-hikma of al-Tabataba’i the Shi‘ite philosopher,
--- Commentary and critique upon Sharh Hidaya al-hikma and Hayakal al-Nur of al-Suhrawardi (not to be mistaken with the Rufi al-Suhrawardi),
--- Gloss upon al-Juwayni’s Sharh al-Waraqat,
--- An Usul-based explanation of al-Nawawi’s forty hadith collection,
--- Explanation of al-Ghumari’s forty hadith collection.
Some of his essays are:
--- Refutation of Safar al-Hawali’s book (Manhaj al-Asha‘ira),
--- Refutation of some articles and essays of ‘Ali al-Halabi,
--- Al-Naqdal-Qawim (refutations of some of Ibn Taymiyya’s essays, such his essay concerning infinite regress of particulars, commenting on the Hadith of ‘Imran bin Husayn,
--- Minah al-Wadud fi Bayan Madhhab Wahdat al-Wujud (Some works of research dealing with Wahdat al-Wujud and the position of the Ash‘aris concerning it),
--- An essay concerning ta‘alluqat (conjunctions) in the Attributes of Allah,
--- An essay explaining the essay of Ibn Kamal Basha concerning the areas of difference between the Ash‘aris and Maturidis,
--- A refutation of Nas'r Hamid Abu Zayd (the neo-Mu‘tazilite who has been declared apostate by [even] the secular Egyptian court of law),
Some refutations of Christians,
--- Refutations of some of the philosophers such as; Kant, Hegel, and philosophies such as dialectic materialism.