ABOUT USUL AL-SHASHI:
This is a well-known usul compendium, popular especially in South Asian madrasahs, is entitled Usul al-Shashi. It has been recently published twice under the names of two different fourth century Hanafi jurists, one being Abu ‘Ali Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Shashi (d. 344/955), a disciple of the famous Abu -Hasan al Karkhi and the other, Abu Ya’qub Ishaq b. Ibrahim al-Shashi (d. 325/936). The more older editions of this compendium published in South Asia, either do not provide any clue about its author, or sometimes name a certain Nizam al-Din al-Shashi or sometimes Abu Ya’qub al-Shashi as the author.
Brockelmann, under the title of Abu Ya’qub al-Shashi, notes that there is an usul manuscript ascribed to him in the libraries of Egypt, Petersburg and Rampur. Before Brockelmann, Goldziher had expressed doubt about the date of death of this Shashi, assuming that the ascription of this work to him might be correct. This was assumed on the basis of the fact that the text of Usul al Shashi contains a reference to a fifth century Shafi’i jurist Ibn al-Sabbagh (d. 477/1084). The work also contains two quotations from Abu Zayd al Dabusi, whose work of usul also forms part of this study. Brockelmann, however, shifts the doubt from the author to the text, thereby arguing that this text should belong to someone else. He proposed two alternative names to which, in his view, this compendium belongs; the first jurist is Badr al-Din al Shashi al-Shirwani who was active around 752/1351 or 852/1448, in whose name is the text is registered in the Peshawar Fihrist. The other name, which is probably correct, is Nizam al-Din al-Shashi (a 7th/13th century scholar), whose name is found in the Bankipore catalogue.
A widely accepted in the Dars Nizami syllabus used in South Asian seminaries.
How is one to wade through the apparent welter of irreconcilable primary Islamic sources? What is one to do when faced with opposing practices of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) on the same issue? When is a practice deemed necessary or recommended? These are some of the topics discussed in usul al-fiqh. Loosely translated as principles of Islamic jurisprudence, usul al-fiqh is the legal theory which underpins Islamic positive law and practical ethics. The book Usul ash-Shashi is an isagogic opuscule on legal theory according to the Hanafi School of Law. It is widely favoured and accepted in the darse niazmi syllabus of South Asian seminaries and their sister institutions outside of the Asian Subcontinent despite little being known of its author. The translation will appeal to a wide readership in particular to elementary students of Islamic law and to those that are interested in legal theory.
POPULAR COMMENTARIES OF USUL AL-SHASHI:
--- Sharh Kitab al-Shashi; by Imam Muhammad b. al-Hassan al-Khawarazimi (d. 781),
--- al-Ma'dan Sharh Usul al-Shashi; Safiy Ibn al-Nadhir al-Radulawi (d. 819),
--- Fasul al-Hawashi li Usul al-Shashi; by Imam Allahdad !,
--- Dibajat fusul al-Hawashi li Usul al-Shashi; by Muhammad Sami' Allah
--- Miftah al-Fasul Sharh Fasul al-Hawashi li Usul al-Shashi; by Sabghatillah,
--- 'Umdat al-Hawashi Sharh Usul al-Shashi; by Muhammad Faydh al-Hassan al-Gangohi,
--- Ahsan al-Hawashi 'ala Usul al-Shashi; by Muhammad Barakatillah al-Lacknawi,
--- and many more