ABOUT NUKHBAT AL-FIKAR:
Nukhbat al-Fikr fi Mustalah Ahl al-Athar (نخبة الفكر في مصطلح أهل الأثر) translated as Chosen Thoughts of the Nomenclature of hadith Specialists is a classic of the 8th century AH (14th AD) in the field of Musthalah Hadith by Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani. The book is used as a manual for beginner textbook of the science in understanding Usul al-Hadith, hadith terminologies. Discussion includes various aspects of the science of hadith such as the chain of transmission, narrators, hadith classification etc. Nukhbatul Fikr is a primary text that is commonly used to introduce an individual to the Science of Hadith (Ulum al-Hadith) and the major terminology (Mustalah) associated with it. In effect it is a summary of the larger works preceding his time on how to understand the detailed rudiments to this nomenclature and its systematic application. This introductory text covers the types of chains of transmission (asanid), types of acceptable narrations (maqbul) and the types of rejected narrations (mardud).
The Nukhbat al-Fikar has received many commentaries and many abridgements as well as versifications. It has been said that while Ibn Hajar was alive, a student of his named ash-Shumunni sought his permission to write a commentary, which might have not impressed Ibn Hajar as he was recorded to have said; "The owner of the house knows best whats in it." and then wrote his popular commentary titled Nuzhat al-Nazar fi Tawdhih Nukhbat al-Fikar fi Mustalah Ahl al-Athar. Some of the most well known or used commentaries are as follows.
COMMENTARIES ON THE NUKHBAT AL-FIKAR:
--- Nuzhat al-Nazar fi Tawdhih Nukhbat al-Fikar fi Mustalah Ahl al-Athar; by Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, he wrote this commentary on 818 at the age of 41 years.
--- Natijat al-Nazar Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikar; by Kamal al-Din Muhammad ash-Shumunni (d. 821), also has a versification on the Nukhbat.
--- Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikar; by Abu Musa al-Marakashi (d. 823),
--- 'Inwan Ma'ani Nukhbat al-Fikar; by Ahmed b. Sidqah al-Qahiri (d. 905), also has a versification on the Nukhbat.
--- Natijat al-Fikar fi Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikar; by Muhammad Abd al-Ra'uf al-Munawi (d. 1031). He would also later compile a commentary on Ibn Hajar's Nuzhat al-Nazar
--- Muntaha al-Raghbah fi Halli Alfaz al-Nukhbah; by Muhammad al-Kharshi (d. 1101),
--- Natijat al-Nazar Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikar; by Ibn Himmat al-Dimishqi (d. 1175),
THOSE WHO VERSIFIED THE NUKHBAT AL-FIKAR:
--- Kamal al-Din Muhammad ash-Shumunni (d. 821),
--- Shihab al-Din al-Tufi (d. 893),
--- Burhan al-Din Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Maqdasi (d. 900),
--- Ahmed b. Sidqah al-Qahiri (d. 905),
--- Radhiya al-Din al-Ghazzi (d. 935),
--- Mansur al-Tiblawi (d. 1014),
--- Muhammad b. Isma'il al-San'ani (d. 1182), titled as Qasb al-Sukar fi Nazm Nukhbat al-Fikar, there after he wrote a commentary on his own versification titled as; Isbal al-Matar 'ala Qasb al-Sukar.
--- 'Abd Allah b. Umar al-Yamani (d. 1196).
THOSE WHO WROTE COMMENTARY ON NUZHAT AL-NAZAR:
--- Mustalihat Ahl al-Athar 'Ala Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikar; by al-Mulla 'Ali al-Qari (d. 1014),
--- al-Yawaqit wa'l Durar bi Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikar; by 'Abd al-Ra'uf al-Munawi (d.1031).
--- Qadha' al-Watar min Nuzhat al-Nazar; by Burhan al-Din al-Laqani (d. 1041), the author of the famed Ash'ari manual of Jawharat al-Tawhid.
--- Im'an al-Nazar bi Sharh Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikar; by Muhammad Akram al-Sindi.
THOSE WHO ABRIDGED NUZHAT AL-NAZAR:
--- Qafw al-Athar fi Safw 'ulum al-Athar; by Radhiy al-Din al-Halbi al-Hanbali (d. 971),
THOSE WHO WROTE HASHIYAH ON NUZHAT AL-NAZAR:
--- Hashiyat Qutlubugha titled as al-Qawl al-Mubtakir 'ala Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikar; by Zayn al-Din Qasim b. Qutlubugha (d. 879),
--- Hashiyat Ibn Abi Sharif; by Kamal al-Din Muhammad Ibn Abi Sharif (d. 907),
--- Manh al-Nughbah 'ala Sharh al-Nukhbat; by Radhiya al-Din Ibn al-Hanbali (d. 971),
--- Hashiyat Abi al-Hassan al-Ajhuri; Imam al-Ajhuri (d. 1077),
--- Hashiyat al-San'ani titled as Thamarat al-Nazar fi 'ulum al-Athar; by Muhammad b. Isma'il al-San'ani (d. 1182),
There are many contemporary commentaries on both the Nuzhat as well as Nukhbat written by array of scholars.
ABOUT THIS COMMENTARY:
This commentary is one of the finer modern commentaries available today. Written by Shaykh Abu Mu'adh Tariq b. 'Awadh Allah, an expert in hadith science. This commentary is purely from the Nukhbah rather than the Nuzhat.
ABOUT THIS PRINT:
This print has a basic intro but renders the entire Nukhbat al-Fikr at the front. Thereafter the commentator writes his own notes or comments below Imam Ibn Hajar's text/Matn which is highlighted in red colour.
ABOUT IMAM IBN HAJAR AL-'ASQALANI:
His name was Al-Hafidh Shihab al-Din Abu'l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Muhammad, better known as Ibn Hajar due to the fame of his forefathers, al-Asqalani due to his family origin, born 18 February 1372 – 2 February 1449, 852 A.H., was a medieval Shafi'i Sunni scholar of Islam who represents the entire realm of the Sunni world in the field of Hadith, also known as Shaykh al Islam. He authored some 50 works on hadith, history, biography, tafsir, poetry, and Shafi'i jurisprudence, the most valued of which being his commentary of the Sahih of Bukhari, titled Fath al-Bari.
He was born in Cairo in 1372, the son of the Shafi'i scholar and poet Nur al-Din 'Ali. Both of his parents died in his infancy, and he and his sister, Sitt al-Rakb, became wards of his father's first wife's brother, Zaki al-Din al-Kharrubi, who enrolled Ibn Hajar in Quranic studies when he was five years old. Here he excelled, learning Surah Maryam in a single day and memorising the entire Qur'an by the age of 9. He progressed to the memorization of texts such as the abridged version of Ibn al-Hajib's work on the foundations of fiqh.
When he accompanied al-Kharrubi to Mecca at the age of 12, he was considered competent to lead the Tarawih prayers during Ramadan. When his guardian died in 1386, Ibn Hajar's education in Egypt was entrusted to hadith scholar Shams al-Din ibn al-Qattan, who entered him in the courses given by al-Bulqini (d. 1404) and Ibn al-Mulaqqin (d. 1402) in Shafi'i fiqh, and Abd al-Rahim ibn al-Husain al-'Iraqi (d. 1404) in hadith, after which he travelled to Damascus and Jerusalem, to study under Shams al-Din al-Qalqashandi (d. 1407), Badr al-Din al-Balisi (d. 1401), and Fatima bint al-Manja al-Tanukhiyya (d. 1401). After a further visit to Mecca, Medina, and Yemen, he returned to Egypt. Al-Suyuti said: “It is said that he drank Zamzam water in order to reach the level of al-Dhahabi in memorization—which he succeeded in doing, even surpassing him.”
In 1397, at the age of twenty-five, he married Anas Khatun. She was a hadith expert in her own right, holding ijazas from Hafiz al-Iraqi. Khatun gave celebrated public lectures to crowds of ulema, including al-Sakhawi. Ibn Hajar went on to be appointed to the position of Egyptian chief-judge (Qadi) several times.
Ibn Hajar authored more than fifty works on hadith, hadith terminology, biographical evaluation, history, Quranic exegesis, poetry and Shafi'i jurisprudence.
--- Fath al-Bari – considered the most prominent and reliable commentary on al-Bukhari's Jami` al-Sahih: In 1414 (817 A.H.), Ibn Hajar commenced the enormous task of assembling his commentary on Sahih Bukhari. Ibn Rajab had begun to write a huge commentary on Sahih Bukhari in the 1390s with the title of Fath al-Bari. Thus, Ibn Hajar decided to name his own commentary with the same title, Fath al-Bari, which in time became the most valued commentary of Sahih Bukhari. When it was finished, in December 1428 (Rajab 842 A.H.), a celebration was held near Cairo, attended by the ulema, judges, and leading Egyptian personalities. Ibn Hajar read the final pages of his work, after which poets recited eulogies and gold was distributed. It was, according to historian Ibn Iyaas (d. 930 A.H.), 'the greatest celebration of the age in Egypt.'
--- al-Isaba fi tamyiz al-Sahaba – the most comprehensive dictionary of the Companions.
--- al-Durar al-Kamina – a biographical dictionary of leading figures of the eighth century.
--- Tahdhib al-Tahdhib – an abbreviation of Tahdhib al-Kamal, the encyclopedia of hadith narrators by Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Mizzi
--- Taqrib al-Tahdhib – the abridgement of Tahthib al-Tahthib.
--- Ta'jil al-Manfa'ah – biographies of the narrators of the Musnads of the four Imams, not found in al-Tahthib.
--- Bulugh al-Maram min adillat al-ahkam – on hadith used in Shafi'i fiqh.
--- Nata'ij al-Afkar fi Takhrij Ahadith al-Adhkar
--- Lisan al-Mizan – a reworking of Mizan al-'Itidal by al-Dhahabi.
--- Talkhis al-Habir fi Takhrij al-Rafi`i al-Kabir
--- al-Diraya fi Takhrij Ahadith al-Hidaya
--- Taghliq al-Ta`liq `ala Sahih al-Bukhari
--- Risala Tadhkirat al-Athar
--- al-Matalib al-`Aliya bi Zawa'id al-Masanid al-Thamaniya
--- Nukhbat al-Fikar along with his explanation of it entitled Nuzhah al-Nathr in hadith terminology
--- al-Nukat ala Kitab ibn al-Salah – commentary of the Muqaddimah of Ibn al-Salah
--- al-Qawl al-Musaddad fi Musnad Ahmad a discussion of hadith of disputed authenticity in the Musnad of Ahmad
--- Silsilat al-Dhahab
--- Ta`rif Ahl al-Taqdis bi Maratib al-Mawsufin bi al-Tadlis
Ibn Hajar died after Isha prayers on February 2, 1449 at the age of 79. His funeral in Cairo was said to have been attended by an estimated 50,000 people, including the sultan and the caliph.