ABOUT THE BOOK:
This is work is a collection of Ahadith and statements from the Salaf transmitted with its chain by the auther in regards to the Attributes and Names of Allah. It has been useful manual for scholars and students alike throughout the ages. As this work deals with the nature and qualities of Allah, Imam al-Bayhaqi does not only suffice himself with transmission, but also with explanation and elucidation on difficult points about certain traditions he brings forth. Imam Dhahabi said of this work; "Nothing like it has been transmitted" Imam al-Subki said: "I know not of its similitude."
The book has an extensive index. The various chapter deal in the names of Allah, the ones documented in the Qur'an, the authentic Ahadith, the consensus of the Ummah. The various names of Allah that have Shubah. Then broken down are some of these Names and Attributes.
ABOUT IMAM AL-BAYHAQI:
He is al-Imam al-Faqih ash-Shafi'i, the Hadith memoriser Abu Bakr Ahmed b. al-Hussain b. 'Ali b. 'Abd Allah b. Musa al-Bayhaqi born in Khurasan in Shu'ban 384 Hijri. He initially took hadith studies at the age of fifteen in Khurasan from Abi al-Hussan Muhammad al-'Alawi and the likes of al-Hakim Abi 'Abd Allah the hadith master as well as the theologian Abi Bakr Furak. Then after he travelled to Baghdad, took much knowledge from its scholars then after moved to Kufa. After having also spend there sometime he moved on to the Hijaz and similarly studied there until he became an expert in Hadith, famed and sought after. After a while he returned to his hometown and many scholars came and sat to learn from him, this is where he initially started dictating his famous Shafi'i fiqh work on Hadith titled as Ma'rifat al-Sunnan wal Athar.
It has been said he did not have, nor heard/was transmitted to Sunnan al-Nisa'i, Ibn Maja and Tirmidhi. Although much of its transmissions can be corroborated from al-Hakim collection as seen from his Sunnan al-Kubra. He was jurist with firm principle of jurisprudence, an ascetic who abstained much of the world. Many scholars have studied under him, in their senior as well as junior years. He wrote several beneficial works amongst them being:
- al-Asma' wal Sifat,
- al-I'tiqad wak Hidaya ila Sabil ar-Rashad,
- al-Ba'th wal Nushur,
- Dala'il an-Nubawah,
- al-Jami' li Shu'bil Iman.
- Ithbat 'Adhab al-Qabr,
- Hayatil Anbiya fi Quburihim,
al-Qudha' wal Qadr,
- as-Sunan al-Kubra,
- Ma'rifat Sunan wal Athar,
at-Targhib wal Tarhib,
- al-Mabsut min Nasus al-Shafi'i,
- as-Sunan al-Saghir,
- al-Madkhal ila al-Sunan,
- Fadha'il al-Awqat,
- al-Arba'in al-Kubra,
- al-Arba'in al-Sughra,
- Manaqib ash-Shafi'i,
- Manaqib Ahmed,
- Fadha'il al-Sahabah,
- Takhrij Ahadith al-Umm,
- Bayan Khata' Man Akhta'a ash-Shafi'i,
and many other works. It has been said his work has reached thousand, mostly small epistles.
He said of himself: "My method of writing in my books, be they of the primary or secondary sciences, is that I want to abridge what have been said, according to its most correct/authentic version over the non authentic ones." He says elsewhere: "I am on the path of the Hadith scholars, I love to deduce that which has transmissions based on sound chains."
He was strong supporter and wrote much in defence of Imam Shafi'i and his school. Imam al-Haramain al-Juwayni said: "There is no one that subscribes to the Madhab of Shafi'i except they owe imam al-Shafi'i, except for al-Bayhaqi for al-Shafi'i owes debt to al-Bayhaqi in his defence and penmanship of the madhab."
He became ill and quickly died on Jumad al-Uwla in 458 at the age of 74 years old.