ABOUT AL-ITQAN FI 'ULUM AL-QUR'AN:
Al-Itqan fi `Ulum al-Qur'an is perhaps the most outstanding work of its kind in the field of Qur’anic Sciences. Exhaustive in its sources and its subjects, thoughtfully and lucidly written, the work is also well arranged. Readers will be taken by the depth, breadth, scope and mastery of the author while noting how much Muslim scholars have devoted to the study of the Qur’an and how varied and diverse were the fields in which those studies were made. A must to the specialist of Quranic Studies, the work is highly recommended to the initiate. The work found its way to many circles both near and far in the Islamic world. It was first published in the years 1271, 1278, 1279, 1306, 1317 and 1318 AH, in two volumes.
The work before you, from Jalaluddin Al-Suyuti’s Al-Itqan fi `Ulum al-Qur'an, is a celebrated polymath considered indispensable linguistic and stylistic tools for comprehending the meanings of the Qur'an an. Among the chapters of the book are:
--- Sabab al-Nuzul.
--- Nasikh and Mansukh.
--- The Deflection ( al-Imala) the Opening ( al-Fath) and that which is in between.
--- Rhetorical Devices.
--- The Exegetes.
--- The Literal and the Allegorical.
--- Brevity and Prolixity.
--- Muqaddam and Mu`akhkhar.
--- The Particles.
--- The Etiquettes of Writing.
--- Miracles of the Qur`an.
ABOUT THIS ENGLISH VERSION:
Allah describes the Qurʾān as the ‘guidance to mankind, and the Criterion (of right and wrong)’ (2:185). Islamic scholars have therefore sought to explain the sciences associated with correctly understanding the revelation. This discipline has come to be known as ʿulūm al-Qurʾān, or ‘sciences of the Qurʾān’, and includes many subjects, such as the nature and order of revelation, explanations of the types of expressions used in the revelation and how the sacred text is to be correctly recited. Imam Jalāl ad-Dīn as-Suyūṭī wrote one of the leading comprehensive manuals on ʿulūm al-Qurʾān, entitled al-Itqān fī ʿUlūm al-Qurʾān. The text here translated is a summary by Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Arqahudān of many major topics covered in the Itqān.
ABOUT IMAM JALAL AL-DIN 'ABD AL-RAHMAN AL-SUYUTI:
He is Abu al-Faḍl ‘Abd al-Raḥman ibn Abi Bakr ibn Muḥammad Jalal al-Din al-Khuḍayri al-Suyuti was an Egyptian religious scholar, juristic expert and teacher, and one of the most prolific Arab writers of the Middle Ages, whose works deal with Islamic theology. In 1486, he was appointed to a chair in the mosque of Baybars in Cairo. He adhered to the Shafi'i Madhab and is one of the latter-day authorities of the Shafi'i School, considered to be one of the Ashabun-Nadhar (Assessors) whose degree of ijtihad is agreed upon. An alternative spelling of his name is Jalaluddin.
Al-Suyuti was born on 3 October 1445 AD / 1 Rajab 849 AH in Cairo, Egypt. His mother was Circassian and his father was of Persian origin, while Al-Suyuti says that his ancestors came from Al-Khudayriyya in Baghdad. His family moved to Asyut in Mamluk Egypt, hence the nisba "Al-Suyuti". Al-Suyuti's father taught Shafi'i law at the Mosque and Khanqah of Shaykhu in Cairo, but died when Al-Suyuti was 5 or 6 years old. Al-Suyuti studied various subjects, including: Shafi'i and Hanafi jurisprudence, traditions (hadith), exegesis (tafsir), theology, history, rhetoric, philosophy, philology, arithmetic, timekeeping (miqat) and medicine. He started teaching Shafi'i jurisprudence at the age of 18, at the same mosque as his father did. In 1486, Sultan Qaitbay appointed Al-Suyuti shaykh at the Khanqah of Baybars II, a Sufi lodge. Al-Suyuti himself was a Sufi of the Shadhili order.
At one point, Al-Suyuti was named the Mujaddid of the 9th century AH. He also claimed to have become a Mujtahid (someone with the authority to personally interpret sources in order to give legal statements) in jurisprudence, hadith studies, and Arabic language. This caused friction with scholars and ruling officials, and after a quarrel over the finances of the Sufi lodge, he retreated to the island of Rawda in 1501. Al-Suyuti has written about diverse subjects in many works, over 700 according to the Dalil makhtutat al-Suyuti ("Directory of al-Suyuti's manuscripts"), although numbers vary from over 500 to 981 according to a study from 1995. However, some of his works are just short pamphlets, including legal opinions. The first book he wrote was Sharh Al-Isti'aadha wal-Basmalah in 866H, when he was seventeen years old. Ibn Imad writes: "Most of his works become world famous right in his lifetime. His ability to write was phenomenal. His student Dawudi says: "I was with the Shaykh Suyuti once, and he wrote three volumes on that day. He used to dictate annotations on Hadith, and answer my objections at the same time. He was the most knowledgeable scholar in his time of the Hadith and associated sciences, knowledge of the narrators including the uncommon ones, the text of the hadith Matn, its chain of narrators isnad, the derivation of ruling from Hadith. He has himself told me, that he had memorized One Hundred Thousand Hadith."
Al-Suyuti listed 283 of his own works in Ḥusn al-muḥaḍarah. In addition to the topic of religion, al-Suyuti wrote about medicine as well. Like the medicinal works of Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi, al-Suyuti's book was almost exclusively based on Prophetic medicine rather than a synthesis of both Islamic and Greek medicine like the works of Al-Dhahabi. Al-Suyuti's work focused primarily on diet and natural remedies for both serious ailments such as rabies and smallpox and simple conditions such as headaches and nosebleeds; he also touched on the toic of the cosmology behind the principles of medical ethics.
Some of his more famous works were:
--- Tafsir al-Jalalayn تفسير الجلالين, "Commentary of the Two Jalals"); a Qur'anic exegesis written by Al-Suyuti and his teacher Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli.
--- Al-Itqān fi ‘Ulum Al-Qur’an (translated into English as The Perfect Guide to the Sciences of the Qur'an,
--- Al-Tibb al Nabawi الطب النبوي, "Prophetic medicine")
--- Al-Jaami' al-Kabir الجامع الكبير
--- Al-Jaami' al-Saghir الجامع الصغير
--- Dur al-Manthur درالمنثور in Tafsir
--- Alfiyyah al-Hadith
--- Tadrib al-Rawi تدريب الراوي both in hadith terminology
--- Tarikh al-khulafa; History of the Caliphs; The Khalifas who took the right way, a partial translation of the History of the Caliphs, covering the first four Rashidun caliphs and Hasan ibn 'Ali
--- Tabaqat al-huffaz, an appendix to al-Dhahabi's Tadhkirat al-Hufaz,
--- Nuzhat al-julasāʼ fī ashʻār al-nisāʼ نزهة الجلساء في أشعار النساء
--- Al-Khasais-ul-Kubra, which discusses the miracles of Islamic prophet Muhammad
--- al-Muzhir (linguistics)
Al-Suyuti died on 18 October 1505.