ABOUT THE BOOK:
al-Muqaddimah or 'Ulum al-Hadit is an introduction to the Science of Hadith. The Muqaddimah Ibn al-Salah (1181-1245) is composed work while serving as the head of the Dar al-Hadith al-Ashrafiya in Damascus, one of the most prestigious institutions for the study of hadith in the Islamic world. Here imam Ibn al-Salah provides a complete overview of the science devoted to the study of the words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, and also a guide to the terminology and techniques of the scholars of hadith as it summarizes most of the previous work on the subject and forms the basis of almost all later activity in the field. The book enjoyed immense popularity and influenced most subsequent writing on the subject.
Some of the numerous later works based on that of Ibn As-Salah are these:
01 -Al-Irshad, an abridgement of Muqaddimah, by An-Nawawi (d. AH 676),
02 -At-Taqrib, by An-Nawawi also which is an abridgement of the above mentioned book (Al-Irshad),
03- Tadrib Al-Rawi, by As-Suyuti (d. AH 911) which is an very valuable commentary on the latter book of An-Nawawi's At-Taqrib,
04- The following are all abridgements:
- Ikhtisar `Ulum al-Hadith by Ibn Kathir (d. AH 774);
- Al-Khulasah by Al-Taibi (d. AH 743);
- Al-Minhal by Badr Ad-Din ibn Jama`ah (d. AH 733);
- Al-Muqni` by Ibn Al-Mulaqqin (d. AH 802);
- and Mahasin al-Istilah by Al-Bulqini (d. AH 805 ),
05- Further explanation and notes on the book of Ibn Salah was made by:
- Nukat by Az-Zarkashi (d. AH 794);
- At-Taqyid wal-Idah by Al-`Iraqi (d. AH 806);
- and An-Nukat by Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani (d. AH 852).
06- There were other lengthy explanations and poem forms of the book all which are:
- Alfiyyat al-Hadith by Al-`Iraqi, a rewriting of Muqaddimah in the form of a lengthy poem, which became the subject of several commentaries,
including two (one long, one short) by the author himself,
- Fath al-Mughith by As-Sakhawi (d. AH 903);
- Qatar ad-Durar by As-Suyuti;
- and Fath al-Baqi by Sheikh Zakariya Al-Ansari (d. AH 928).
ABOUT THIS COMMENTARY:
This commentary is by Imam Zayn al-Din 'Abd al-Rahman al-Iraqi, the hadith master of his time who has penned various types of academic works on Ibn al-Salah's al-Muqaddimah ('Ulum al-Hadith). Perhaps by far this is largest commentary.
ABOUT THIS PRINT:
This print expands well over 1600 pages and contains extensive study on both books and their respective authors. This critical edition also compares various manuscripts as well referenced works that are constantly used by the commentator. The editor also reproduces the statements of contemporaries of the author and what they had to say about this work. Extensively edited, annotated and added many beneficial notes.
ABOUT IMAM ZAYN AL-DIN AL-IRAQI:
The author is the scholar, the Imam Zayn al-Din Abd al-Rahim ibn Husain al-Kurdi al-Raziyani al-Masri al-Shafi`i, famous as al-Iraqi. The author’s lineage went back to Umar al-Faruq (Allah be pleased with him), but he wouldn’t mention it, out of scrupulousness. His ancestors lived in an area called Razayan, around Irbil (Iraq), and were known for their virtues, distinguished lives, and established miracles. Among them were scholars and righteous.
The author’s grandfather moved to Egypt, where this imam was born on the 21st of Jumada al-Ula, in the year 725 AH. He memorized the Qur’an by the age of eight, as well as al-Tanbih (in Shafi`i fiqh), and other works. After this, he studied fiqh and usul with Ibn Adlan, Subki, Asnawi, Ala’i, and Ibn Kathir. For a while, he delved deeply into the science of the Qur’anic recitations (qira’at), but al-`Izz ibn Jama`a told him, “This is a science in which there is much toil an little ultimate benefit. You have a sharp mind, so direct yourself to the science of Hadith.”
Thus, Iraqi devoted himself to the science of Hadith until he became an expert in it, and achieved distinction. He surpassed the people of his time, such that his own teachers would call him, “The Hadith Master of this Age” (hafidh al-waqt). Imam Sukbi refused to transmit hadith except in his presence. His fame spread far and wide, and he held a number of senior teaching positions. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said, “I didn’t see in all my teachers anyone who prayed better than him.”
He went to the Hijaz, Sham, Iraq and many other places. Among his popular scholars were: Taqiyudin 'Ali bin al-Kafi al-Subki, 'Alaa'udin 'Ali bin Uthman al-Turkmani, Taqiyudin Muhammad bin Abi Bakr al-Akhna'i. He has also left many students among them being: Burhanudin Ibrahim Sabat ibn al-'Ajmi, Burhanudin Ibrahim al-Abnasi, His son Waliyudin Ahmed al-Iraqi, Shihabudin Ahmed ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Nurudin 'Ali bin Abi Bakr al-Haythami and many more.
Some of his popular works are:
--- Ikhbar al-Ahya' bi Akhbar al-Ihya'; which is a takhrij and abridgement from al-Mughni 'an Hamal al-Asfar fi al-Asfar,
--- al-Taqyid wal Idah lima Utliqa wa Ughliqa min Muqadimat ibn al-Salah,
--- Takmilat Sharh al-Tirmidhi li Ibn Sayyid al-Nas,
He authored many works, including three hadith analyses of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya’. He wrote 1000-line poems in the sciences of hadith (which he authored a commentary upon), as well as in Prophetic biography, and in the rare words (gharib) of the Qur’an.
He passed away in the eighth of Sha'ban in 806.
ABOUT IMAM IBN AL-SALAH:
Abū `Amr `Uthmān ibn `Abd al-Raḥmān Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn al-Kurdī al-Shahrazūrī born in 577 commonly known as Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ, was a Kurdish Shafi'i hadith specialist and the author of the seminal Introduction to the Science of Hadith. He was originally from Sharazora region in Sulaymaniyah province in Iraqi Kurdistan, was raised in Mosul and then resided in Damascus, where he died.
He first studied fiqh with his father in Shahrazur, located in the south-eastern part of what is currently referred to as Iraqi Kurdistan. He then occupied himself in Mosul for an unknown period of time, studying under a number of local religious scholars. He studied in a number of cities, including: Baghdad, Hamedan, Naysabur, Merv, Aleppo, Damascus and Harran. Ibn Khallikan said that he had heard that Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ had repeatedly read al-Muhadhab, one of the primary texts of the Shafi'i Madhab, "before his mustache had grown." He read Sahih al-Bukhari upon two of his teachers, al-Mayyad ibn Muhammad al-Tusi and Mansur ibn 'Abd al-Mun'im al-Furawi, as well as Al-Sunan al-Kubra, by al-Bayhaqi, upon the latter.
While Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ was most recognized for his contribution to the field of hadith, he was well-grounded in a variety of disciplines. Ibn Khallikan described him as being from amongst the exemplary scholars of Quranic exegesis, hadith and jurisprudence, participating in a number of religious disciplines and producing sound religious verdicts. Al-Fasi described him as being "a master in both jurisprudence and hadith, and other than that." He was also described by al-Dhahabi as "strong in the Arabic Language" and as "the Shaykh of the Shafi'i scholars." Ibn al-Hajib described Ibn al-Salah as being broad in his knowledge of both primary issues (al-usul) and peripheral (al-furu`).
Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ held several positions throughout his life, primarily in the field of education. He taught at the Salahiyyah School in Jerusalem, and then, following the destruction of its city walls, moved to Damascus and taught at the Rawahiyyah School for some time following its inception. Following the foundation of Dar al-Hadith Ashrafiyyah, he became its Shaykh and was the first to teach and give verdicts there in the year 530 AH. It was here that he dictated his work Introduction to the Science of Hadith to his students. He was then appointed a teacher at the al-Shamiyyah al-Sughara School. Ibn al-Salah had a number of students, some of whom achieved prominence in their own right; from them are Ibn Khallikan, Ibn Razin, Kamal Ishaq, Kamal Salar, Shams al-Din `Abd al-Rahman Nuh al-Maqdisi, and Shihab al-Din Abu Shamah.
Ibn al-Salah had a number of works the most notable named below in addition to others on individual issues.
- al-Muqaddimah; Introduction to the Science of Hadith – perhaps his best known work;
- Ishkalat 'ala al-Wasit; also called Mushkil al-Wasit – which comprised brief comments on various subjects primarily in the first fourth of al-Wasit in Shafi'i fiqh which appeared in a large, single volume.
- Al-Amali – the transcription of the hadith he read aloud to his students, complete with the chains of narration;
- Siyanah Sahih Muslim – an explanation of Sahih Muslim of which only the beginning segment is published which al-Nawawi referred to in his own explanation,
- al-Fatawa; Numerous fatawa, or religious rulings, described by Abu Shahbah as having "much benefit"
- Fawa`id, or benefits, from his travels which consisted of a number of volumes of unusual points of interest in various disciplines which he collected during his travels to Khurasan,
- Adab al-Mufti wa al-Mustafti—The Etiquette of the One Giving a Verdict and of the One Seeking a Verdict,
- Nukat `Ala al-Muhadhdhab,
- Tabaqat al-Fuqaha al-Shafi`iyyah a collection of lesser known Shafi`i scholars of jurisprudence which al-Nawawi abridged and added to. Ibn al-Salah died before completing this work. I is now completely published with Nawawi's and al-Mizzi's additions by Dar al-Fathi.
Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ died on Monday, September 18, 1245 CE/643 AH, at the age of 66. His funeral prayer was performed at the congregational mosque of Damascus, to a crowd so large it required a second prayer to accommodate. He was buried in the Sufiyyah graveyard, now the location of a hospital, a mosque and other buildings.