ABOUT THE TABAQAT AL-SHAFI'IYYAH:
The most extensive and beside the Jam` al-Jawami` the most famous works of Taj al-Din are his Tabaqt al-Shafi`iyya: Classes of Shafi`i – or biographies of illustrious Shafi`i jurisconsultants from the time of the great al-Shafi`i down to the author’s own time. Taj al-Din wrote three different works on this same subject, a large work called al-Tabaqt al-Kubra, a more condensed edition, called al-Tabaqt al-Wusta, and a still more condensed edition called al-Tabaqat al-Sughra. These Tabaqat by Taj al-Din have the fame of being the best biographies on Shafi`i scholars ever written.
al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, or the great Tabaqat, is a very copious work. The illustrious Shafi`i jurisconsultants, whose lives and works are treated, are divided into seven Tabaqat or classes:
- Those who were pupils of al-Shafi`i
- Those who died between 200 and 300 A.H.
- Those who died between 300 and 400 A.H.
- Those who died between 400 and 500 A.H.
- Those who died after 500 A.H.
- Those who died after 600 A.H.
- The last volume of the work, devotes 150 pages to one man, or to Taqi al-Din, the father of the author.
al-Tabaqat al-Wusta, or the middle (sized) Tabaqat, the same biographies as in al-Tabaqat al-Kurbra in abridged form, completed 754 A.H. The work, beside an index, consists of three parts:
- 1. al-Shafi`i and immediate pupils.
2. Those having the name Ahmad.
3. Those having the name Muhammad.
4. The rest in alphabetical order.
- Women, who had distinguished themselves in the knowledge of Shafi`i law.
- Traditions gathered from al-Tabaqat al-Kubra.
ABOUT THE TABAQAT AL-SUGHRA:
Tabaqat al-Sughra, or the small Tabaqat, completed 760, appears to be simply an abridgement of al-Tabaqat al-Wusta. The plan is practically the same; only al-Tabaqat is very condensed, consisting in fact mostly of names and dates. At the the last chapter is dedicated to Fuqaha amongst the females.
One of the best prints, if not the best. The editors have relied on four manuscripts to produce this as accurately as possible. The last volume contains an extensive index layout that consists of well over 240 pages so as to ease ones search for names or individuals mentioned therein.
ABOUT IMAM TAJ AL-DIN IBN AL-SUBKI:
His name was Imam Taj al-Din al-Subki (‘Abd al-Wahhab b. ‘Ali b. ‘Abd al-Kafi, Abi Nasr) was a Shafi‘i jurist who said about himself: “I am among those individuals who if they hear something virtuous endeavour to spread it; if they see something questionable endeavour to hide it; and if they witness good in people that would move eyes to tears, endeavour to attach their hearts to it.” . Taj al-Din al-Subki, the author of the Mu`id al-Ni`am wa Mubid al-Niqam, belongs to a large family of al-Subkis, whose members during the seventh and eighth century A.H. made themselves renowned, not only for their learning, high positions as qadis, jurisconsultants, professors, preachers, and writers, but also for their high personal qualities.
The author, Taj al-Din Abu Nasr `Abd al-Wahhab al-Subki, according to Ibn Ayyub, al-Ghazzi, and Ibn Shuhba was born in Cairo. Mubarak and al-Suyuti use the indefinite term, al-Misri, the Egyptian, and Ibn Hajar omits the place of birth altogether. The native biographers also disagree in regard to the year of his birth. Ibn Ayyub, Ibn Hajar, and al-Ghazzi give the year 727 A.H., Ibn Shuhba gives the same year but remarks that 'others say 728.' Mubarak and al-Suyuti give 729 A.H. as the year of the birth of Taj al-Din. Most authorities agree, however, that he was 44 years of age when he died, and as his death occurred 771, the year 727 is most likely to be regarded as the year of his birth.
Taj al-Din received his first education in Cairo. The native biographers always put his own father in the first place as the teacher of his son. A long list of teachers with whom Taj al-Din studied at Cairo is given: Yunus al-Dabusi, `Ali Yahya ibn Yusuf al-Misri, `Abd al-Muhsin al-Sabuni, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn `Abd al-`Aziz al-Sa`bi, Fath al-Din ibn Sayyid al-Nas, Salih ibn Muhaqar, `Abd al-Qadi ibn al-Mutuk, and the qadi `Abd al-Ghaffar al-Sa`di.
Some of his popular works are as follows: (This section is taken from "Taj al-Din al-Subki by David W. Myhram, provided courtesy Hani al-Khatib")
--- Jam` al-Jawami` fi Usul al-Fiqh, in seven books and introductions, completed 760 A.H. at Nairab near Damascus, a compendium of the principles of law. This is perhaps the most famous of the authors many works. It remains up to this day the standard work on Shafi`i law and is used as a textbook at the study of law at the great Islamic University of Cairo.
Taj al-Din himself wrote two books on the Jam` al-Jawami`:
--- Man` al-Mawani` `An Su’alat Jam` al-Jawami`, about 400 pages, written as a reply to the criticism on the Jam` al-Jawami` by Shams al-Din Muhammad al-Ghazzi (d. 808) in a work called al-Buruq al-Lawami` fi ma Urida `Ala Jam` al-Jawami`. Taj al-Din takes up and answers 33 (Paris MS gives only 32) questions, stated at the beginning of the book.
--- Sharh Jam` al-Jawami`, a commentary on his own legal work, completed in 770 A.H., or the year before Taj al-Din died.
--- Tawshih al-Tashih fi Usul al-Fiqh, completed in 761 A.H.
--- Tarshih al-Tawshih wa Tarjih al-Tashih, an enlarged edition of the former work.
--- Raf` al-Hajib `an Mukhtasar ibn al-Hajib, a commentary on the work by Jamal al-Din ibn al-Hajib (d. 646), containing the principles of Malikite law, and being an abridged edition of that authors larger work al-Muntaha. Brockelmann does not mention this commentary, neither among the works of Taj al-Din, nor among the other commentaries on this work. Taj al-Din refers to this work of him in the Mu`id al-Ni`am wa Mubid al-Niqam. On this work by Taj al-Din notes have been written by `Izz al-Din Ibn Jama`a (d. 819) and by the brother of the author Baha’ al-Din al-Subki (d. 773).
--- Tarjih Tashih al-Khilaf, 1600 verses of the measure rajaz, in which Taj al-Din, following the outlines made by his father and also adding a new chapter, corrects the mistakes made by al-Nawawi in his works on al-fiqh.
--- Sharh Minhaj al-Usul Ila `Ilm al-Usul, a commentary on the work of al-Baydhawi (d.685). Taj al-Din refers to this work in the Mu`id al-Ni`am as a work of his own. Brockelmann does not mention this book among, the works of Taj al-Din. According to Ibn Ayyub the work had been begun by the father of Taj al-Din and then completed by himself.
--- Sharh al-Saif al-Mashur fi `Aqidat al-Usul Abi Mansur al-Maturidi, a commentary on the work of that Hanafite jurisconsultant.
--- Sharh Tanbih fi al-Fiqh lil-Shirazi, Taj al-Din being one of the numerous commentators on this work.
--- Qasida on al-Ash`ari, 56 verses of the measure kamil, explaining the differences between the principles of Abu Hanifa and those of al-Ash`ari.
--- Kitab al-Fatawi, an edition of a work of his father, containing answers to questions of law.
--- Kitab al-Ashbah wal-Naze’ir; a work on legal questions, according to Ibn Najim (d. 970), the best work written on the subject.
--- al-Qawa`id al-Mushtamila `Ala al-Ashbah Wal-Naza’ir, a work by Taj al-Din, mentioned by Ibn Shuhba and Ibn Ayyub, but whether this is a different work from al-Ashbah itself the editor has not been able to determine.
--- Jalab Halab (?) – written J-l-b H-l-b – also given by Ibn Shuhba and Ibn Ayyub, consists of answers to questions on law, raised by Shihab al-Din al-Adra`i from Halab (d. 783).
--- al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, or the great Tabaqat, is a very copious work. The illustrious Shafi`i jurisconsultants, whose lives and works are treated, are divided into seven Tabaqat or classes.
--- al-Tabaqat al-Wusta, or the middle (sized) Tabaqat, the same biographies as in al-Tabaqat al-Kurbra in abridged form, completed 754 A.H. The work, beside an index, consists of three parts.
--- al-Tabaqat al-Sughra, or the small Tabaqat, completed 760, appears to be simply an abridgement of al-Tabaqat al-Wusta. The plan is practically the same; only al-Tabaqat is very condensed, consisting in fact mostly of names and dates.
--- Kitab Manaqib al-Shaikh al-Imam Abu Bakr ibn Qauwam, an eulogy over the virtues and good deeds of the pious Abu Bakr ibn Qauwam (584-656 A.H.). It is in fact an extract from a work by the nephew of Abu Bakr, Muhammad ibn Qauwam (d. 718), to which Taj al-Din had prefaced an introduction. It may have had a place in al-Tabaqat al-Kubra.
--- Qasida of the measure kamil, an eulogy on al-Ash`ari, the theologian, philosopher, and jurisconsultant (d. 324) and the validity of his doctrines.
--- Qasida, 22 verses of the measure basit, dedicated to Salah al-Din al-Safadi (d. 764)
--- Tashhidh al-Adhan, a revised edition of his fathers work on traditions Qadr al-Imkan fi Hadith al-I`tikaf.
--- Tarshih al-Nahw, a treatise on Arabic grammar.
--- al-Alghaz, a book on the science of enigmatical language. Hajji Khalifa does not give the exact title of Taj al-Din’s book but takes it up among works on `Ilm al-Alghaz. Ibn Shuhba names Taj al-Din’s book Alghaz. It may be the Qasida of which there is a MS in Leiden, "carmen hoc aenigmata continet."
--- Qasida, 37 verses of the measure wafir, on the significations of the word `ain.
--- al-Durar al-Lawami`, according to Ibn Shuhba, a work by Taj al-Din.
--- al-Ta`un, a treatise on the plague, where Taj al-Din discusses the question whether it is consistent with true piety to attempt to evade the plague or not.
--- Ad`iya Ma’thura [not Mantura, as Brockelmann has it, ed.], the invocations with which Taj al-Din closed his large biographical work al-Tabaqat al-Kubra.
--- A Prayer, composed by Taj al-Din in Cairo 764 A.H. and published by Taj al-Din al-Malihi.
--- A Certificate, given by Taj al-Din 767 A.H. in Damascus to Muhammad ibn `Ali al-`Asha’ir in regard to the mastery of his work Jam` al-Jawami`.
--- Mu`id al-Ni`am wa Mubid al-Niqam.
Selective excerpt and rearranged text taken from: Taj al-Din al-Subki by David W. Myhram, provided courtesy Hani al-Khatib on:
which is from al-Subki, Taj al-Din `Abd al-Wahhab ibn `Ali, Kitab Mu`id An-Ni`am Wa-Mubid An-Niqam (The Restorer of Favours and the Restrainer of Chastisements) the Arabic text with an introduction and notes edited by David W. Myhram, 1st AMS ed. (New York: AMS Press, 1978). Reprint of the 1908 ed. published by Luzac, London, which was issued as v. 18 of Luzac’s Semitic text and translation series. [ISBN: 0404112919]