The Hidayah represents the refined, distilled and authentic version of a legal tradition developed over many centuries. It presents the corpus of Hanafi law in its approved and preferred form and forges an organic link with the other schools of law. There is no book that can match the power of al-Hidayah as a teaching manual. Education in Islamic law is not complete without this book. Accordingly, each and every madrassah, whatever its affiliation, imparts instruction in Islamic law through al-Hidayah. The book was designed by the author in such a way that it makes a vigorous interaction between teacher and student unavoidable. Each sentence presents a challenge both to the teacher and the taught. In this process, the student acquires a deep knowledge of the issues of fiqh and the methods of reasoning employed by Islamic law. The teacher, on his part, has a unique opportunity, while using the book in the class session, to give full expression to his skills and abilities.
The primary reason for its popularity is the reliability of its statements and the soundness of its legal reasoning. Most researchers and scholars first consult al-Hidayah before they move to another source. In the area of Muslim personal law, it has been the major source relied upon by courts in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. The need for this book, since the day it was written, led to the writing of well over forty commentaries and glosses on it, and this does not include the books written to document its traditions. This is rare not only for Islamic law, but for any field of knowledge.
In comparing the Mukhtasar of al-Quduri, the book in which al-Hidayah is based upon, we note the following differences:
--- Al-Quduri has errors that have been corrected in Bidayat al-Mubtadi (the matn, bold text of al-Hidayah)
--- Bidayat al-Mubtadi is based on Quduri but has 25% more text as it includes those rulings that were missed in Quduri
--- Bidayat al-Mubtadi states the rulings in a more comprehensive way so that the rule is clearly understood
--- Bidayat al-Mubtadi is organised in a better way
--- Bidayat al-Mubtadi has a commentary written by the author himself. This commentary is called the Hidayah. This is not the case with al-Quduri.
ABOUT THIS TAKHRIJ:
Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, the expert in Hadith in the 8th century hijri compiled this work tracing and authenticating the Ahadith employed in al-Hidayah Sharh Bidayat al-Hidayah. This in fact is not entirely new work as it is based on Imam Jamal al-Din Abd Allah al-Zayla'is work Nasb al-Raya. Ibn Hajar took upon himself, after being asked by his colleagues to shorten al-Zayla'is work but also to expand somewhat in areas wherein he did not manage to find source for certain Ahadith. This makes this text that much more beneficial. Imam Qasim Qulubugha later on wrote another finalisation based on the Dirayah. He added some extra ahadith that Ibn Hajar perhaps couldnt trace back or spand on it, and he also disagreed on certain rulings. Some of the finer point Imam Ibn Hajar followed the methodology of al-Zayla'i in this work are:
--- Trying to source all the transmissions mentioned in Hidayah
--- al-Zayla'i enumerated the ahadith but ibn hajar did not follow that course,
--- al-Zayla'i firstly authenticated and sourced fairly the Ahadith supporting the Hanafi school, thereafter the Ahadith against it, and this was followed by Ibn Hajar,
--- al-Zayla'i mentioned extensive information on each transmission, their transmitters, the meaning, the wordings but Ibn Hajar did not follow this method as the aim was to abbreviate the text, though he did add additional information on certain areas not touched upon by al-Zayla'i,
ABOUT THIS PRINT:
This print is based on three manuscripts, one of them being the handwritten copy of Ibn Hajar himself. It is extensively edited and has an extensive study on the book, its predecessor, the Nasb al-Raya and various other titles on the subject of Takhtij Ahadith.
ABOUT IMAM BURHAN AL-DIN AL-MARGHINANI:
His Burhān al-Dīn Abu’l-Ḥasan ‘Alī bin Abī Bakr bin ‘Abd al-Jalīl al-Farghānī al-Marghīnānī was an Islamic scholar of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. He was born in Marghinan near Farghana in 530/1135 (in Present Day Uzbekistan) He died in 593/1197. Imam al-Kawthari produced numerous works, in the way of his own books, as well as annotations of classical works. Al-Marghanini performed the Hajj and visited Medina in the year 544 AH.
Al-Marghinani's most important teachers were:
--- Najm al-din Abu Hafs Umar an-Nasafi, author of al-‘Aqa’id al-Nasafiyyah fi al-Tauhid;
--- Sadr al-Shahid Husam al-Din Umar bin Abd al-Aziz, the commentator of Adab al-Qadi, the most popular book of Imam Khassaf which contains the Islamic Legal and Judicial System.
---Al-Bandaniji, Imam Diya’uddin Muhammad ibn al-Husayn (the student of `Ala’uddin al-Samarqandi who was the author of Tuhfatul-Fuqaha’ and teacher and father in law of Abu Bakr al-Kasani (the author of Bada’i` al-Sana’i` fir Tartib al-Shara’i`).
Al-Marghinani wrote books such as:
--- Bidayat al-Mubtadi, Abu Bakr bin ‘Ali ‘Aamili wrote it into poetry. The work is chosen from Jami’ al-Saghir and al-Quduri.
--- Kifayat al-Muntaha, long commentary on Bidayatul Mubtadi in 80 volumes.
--- Kitab al-Muntaqa
--- Kitab at-Tajniis Wa al-Mazid
--- Kitab al-Manasik al Hajj
--- Nashr al-Madhahib
--- Mukhtarat an-Nawazil
--- Faraid al-‘Uthmani
--- Al-Hidayah ("The Guide"), a work on Hanafi law and an abridgement of his commentary on Muhammad al-Shaybani's al-Jami' al-Saghir. Started in 573 and finished after 13 years. It has been translated into many languages. Imam Shah Wali ullah’s brother Shah Ahlullah translated it into Persian.
He died on the 14th of Dhu'l-Hijjah in the year 593 AH one report indicates 596 AH and was buried in Samarqand.
ABOUT JAMAL AL-DIN ABD ALLAH AL-ZAYLA'I:
He is the Imam, the Hafidh, the Hadith expert, the Faqih, the Usuli, Jamalu Din Abi Muhammad 'Abdullah Ibn Yusuf Al-Zayla'i Al-Hanafi.
He authored numerous works among them is;
--- Takhrij Ahadith al-Kashshaf; Imam Al-Zamaghshari's Al-Kashaf and various other works.
--- Takhrij Ahadith al-Khulasah fi'l Fiqh al-Hanafi
--- Nasb al-Raya fi Takhrij Ahadith al-Hidayah.
He is from Zayla' which is located on the north of Somalia. He narrated hadiths from allot of Shuyukh which he travelled for extensively. Ibn Hajar said in his Al-Durar Al-Kamina Fii A'yaani Al-Miati Al-Thaminathat his Shaykh, Imam Al-'Iraqi said about Imam Al-Zayla'i: He focussed in the science of hadith and was an expert where he wrote the Takhrij Al-Hadith of Al-Hidayah and I wrote the takhrij of Ihya 'Ulumul din and we helped one and another in our respective works. Imam Suyuti said of him; He was the Hafidh of his time and he wrote the takhrij of hidaya and Kashaf which has no equal while Shaykh Muhammad Anur Al-Kahsmiri said; Jamalu Din Al-Zayla'i was the Shaykhs of the Sufi's in his time....as well as he was the Shaykh of Hadith scholars.
He passed away in Muharram 762 Hijri and was buried in Cairo.
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.