ABOUT THE BOOK:
A collection of 45 letters written by Imam al-Kawthari replying to and or asking questions to al-'Allamah Muhammad Yusuf al-Binnuri. These letters were compiled just before WWII, during WWII and after it spanning over 14 years. Imam al-Kawthari first visited Imam al-Binnuri in 1936 and short after they have been conversing ever since until Imam al-Kawthari passed away.
These letters seemed to be replies of previous written inquiries by Imam al-Binnuri and some are just similar ones to al-Binnuri. The editor has verified the letters, offered commentary on issues related to incidents and added biographies of mentioned individuals be they known or unknown.
Muhammad Zahid ibn Hasan al-Kawthari al-Hanafi al-Ash`ari (1296-1371), the adjunct to the last Shaykh al-Islam of the Ottoman Caliphate and a major Hanafi jurist praised by Imam Muhammad Abu Zahra as a Reviver (mujaddid) of the fourteenth Islamic century. He studied under his father as well as the scholar of Qur'an and hadith Ibrahim Haqqi (d. 1345), Shaykh Zayn al-`Abidin al-Alsuni (d. 1336), Shaykh Muhammad Khalis al-Shirwani, al-Hasan al-Aztuwa'i, and others. When the Caliphate fell he moved to Cairo, then Sham, then Cairo again until his death, where the late Shaykhs `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda and `Abd Allah al-Ghumari became his students. Following is his prestigious chain of transmission in fiqh:
Imam al-Kawthari (d. 1371) took fiqh from his father, and also from the hadith master Ibrahim Haqqi (d. 1345) and from Shaykh Zayn al-'Abidin al-Alsuni (d. 1336). Al-Kawthari's father took fiqh from the hadith master Ahmad Dya' al-Din al-Kamushkhanawi al-Naqshbandi (d. 1311) the author of the hadith index Ramuz al-Ahadith. who took fiqh from Sayyid Ahmad al-Arwadi (d. 1275) who took fiqh from the hadith master Muhammad Amin, Ibn `Abidin (d. 1252), whose chain is given elsewhere.
Imam al-Kawthari produced numerous works, in the way of his own books, as well as annotations of classical works. Among them are:
- Al-Juwayni's "Al-`Aqidah al-Nizamiyah"
- Al-Bayhaqi's "Al-Asmaa' wa al-Sifat"
- Al-Baghdadi's "Al-Farq bayn al-Firaq"
- Ibn al-Jawzi's "Daf` Shubah al-Tashbeeh"
- Ibn Qutaybah's "Al-Ikhtiliaf fi al-Lafz wa al-Radd `ala al-Jahmiyyah
- al-Baqillani's, "Al-Insaf fi-ma Yajib I`tiqaaduh"
- Nazrah `Aabirah fee Mazaa`im Man Yunkiru Nuzool `Isa Qabla al-Akhirah
( a profound scholarly refutation of heretic beliefs which denied Jesus' second coming)
- Qawaid `Aqaa'id al-Batiniyah
- Kashf Asraar al-Baatiniyah wa Akhbaar al-Qaraamitah
- al-Tabseer fi al-Din wa Tamyeez al-Firqah al-Najiyah
- al-Tanbeeh wa al-Radd `alaa Ahl al-Ahwaa' wa al-Bida`
In Hadith and its sciences:
- Al-Qaysarani's, "Shuroot al-A'immah al-Sittah" and al-Hazimi's
"Shuroot al-A'immah al-Khamsah"
- al-Qasim ibn Qutlubgha's, "Bughyat al-Alma`i fi-ma Faata min Takhreej
Ahadith al-Hidayah lil-Zaylai"
- Imam al-Shafi`is "Ahkaam al-Qur'an"
- Fiqh Ahl al-`Iraq wa-Hadeethuhum
- Al-Ishfaq `alaa Ahkaam al-Talaaq
- Ibn Hazm's "Maratib al-Ijma`"
In History and Biographies:
- Kitab Baghdad
- Bulugh al-Amaanee fee Seerat al-Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan
- Al-Hawi fee Seerat al-Imam Abi Ja`far al-Tahawi
- Husn al-Taqadi fee Seerat al-Imam Abi Yusuf al-Qadi
- Al-Imta` bi Seerat al-Imaamayn al-Hasan ibn Ziyad wa Saahibihi
Muhammad ibn Shuja`
- Lamahat al-Nazar fee Seerat al-Imam Zufar
- Al-Dhahabi's "Manaqib al-Imam Abi Haneefah wa Saahibayhi Abi Yusuf wa
- Maqaalaat al-Kawthari
- Tahreer al-Wajeez fima Yabtagheehi al-Mustajiz
He passed on to his Lord, patient, thankful and praiseful, as the sincere and righteous pass on. May Allah be pleased with him and make him pleased.
He is the Sayyid Muhammad Yusuf bin Muhammad Zakariya bin Mir Muzamil his lineage going back all the way to al-Hussain bin Ali bin Abi Talib. He was born on Thursday night the seventh of Rabi' al-Thani in the year 1328 in Bishawar currently located in Pakistan. He initialy started his knowledge in his locality of Bishawar taught initialy by his uncle Shaykh Fadhl al-Samdani al-Binnuri and many others. He then after travelled extensively all over India and also studied at Darul Ulum al-Deoband. He studied there for two years and benefited from the likes of al-'Allamah Shabir Ahmed al-'Uthmani and Al-Allamah Muhammad Anur Shah al-Kashmiri.
He has varies books and epistles among which are:
- Balghat al-Arib fi Masa'il al-Qiblat wal Maharib; answering those who raised objections to the Qibla's of Masajid in India. This has an introduction and a forward by Imam al-Kawthari.
- Nafhatul 'Inbir fi Hayati Imam al-'Asar ash-Shaykh Anur; a biographical work of al-Kashmiri,
- Fasl al-Khitam fi Mas'alat al-Fatiha Khalf al-Imam; a short excerpt from his commentary of Sunnan al-Tirmidhi,
- Ma'arif al-Sunnan; Commentary of sunnan al-Tirmidhi,
- 'Awariful Minan: Muqadimat Ma'arif al-Sunnan; not printed as it might have been incomplete,
- al-Qasa'id al-Binnuriyyat; collection of Arabic proses,
- al-Ustadh al-Mawdudi washay' min hayatih wa afkarihi.
He travelled extensively, specialy for Umra and Hajj and has met many Arab and other national scholars who spoke highly of him and even have studied with him and he as well studied from them.
He passed away on Monday the third of Dhilqa'dah in the year of 1397 Hijri which was 17th of October 1977.