ABOUT MISHKAT AL-MASABIH:
Mishkat al-Masabih is an expanded version of Al-Baghawi's Masabih al-Sunnah by Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd Allāh Khatib Al-Tabrizi, while the Masabih al-Sunnah is a collection of hadith by the Persian Shafi'i scholar Abu Muhammad al-Husayn ibn Mas'ud ibn Mubammad al-Farra' al-Baghawi, from sometime before 516 H. An improved version of this work, Mishkat al-Masabih, has additional hadith, and was the work of another Persian traditionist Khatib Al-Tabrizi died 741 AH (1340 or 1341 CE) rendered this version of the original text more accessible to those not having an advanced knowledge of the science of hadith.
It contains between 4434 and 5945 hadith, divided into 29 books and is considered by scholars an important writing. Al-Tabrizi added 1511 hadith to the hadith contained in the collection Masabih al-Sunnah. Al-Baghawi classified many hadith as authentic when at times Al-Tabrizi did not agree. Al-Tabrizi expounded on the labels he placed on the hadith and re-classified many of them. He added a third section to Masabih al-Sunnah, which was already divided in two parts by Al-Baghawi. Al-Baghawi did not mention the isnad of the hadith he collected, Al-Tabrizi mentions the source from where the hadith is originally found making the text more reliable.
The Mishkat has enjoyed wide popularity in the world of Islamic learning since 516 AH when it was first compiled. Al-Tabrizi has identified at the end of every Hadith the source or sources from where the particular Hadith was taken. Thus, by doing so, he managed to overcome shortcoming of not mentioning the isnad (chain of authorities of the Hadith). Most of the Hadith are from the Sahih Sitta. (the six Authentic Hadith Books).
Some of the most well known or used commentaries are as follows;
--- al-Kashif 'an Haqa'iq al-Sunan; by Imam Hassan b. Muhammad al-Tibi,
--- Ikhtisar Sharh al-Tibi; by Imam al-Sayyid al-Jurjani
--- Minhaj al-Mishkat; by Imam Abd al-Aziz b. Muhammad al-Abhari,
--- Fath al-Ilahi fi Sharh al-Mishkat; Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami,
--- Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih; Imam Mulla 'Ali al-Qari,
--- Nujum al-Mishkat; Imam Sadiq al-Sharif,
--- Lama'at al-Tanqih; Imam Abd al-Haqq al-Dihlawi,
and many more others
ABOUT THIS COMMENTARY:
This commentary is a bundled text of perhaps all the commentaries that have preceded it based on the lessons of Shaykh Ahmed al-Sahranpuri.
ABOUT THIS PRINT:
This is a beautiful edition because it contains the labour of over 20 odd scholars and teachers with experience in teaching this text. They have added notes on Hadith terminologies based on Imam al-Dihlawi's work in hadith science. At the end of second volume there is an additional text by Imam al-Khatib al-Tabrizi's own work on narrator criticism. specially the ones mentioned in this text.
ABOUT IMAM AL-KHATIB AL-TABRIZI:
He is Wali al-Din Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. Abd Allah al-Khatib al-'Umri al-Tabrizi, named so after Tabriz. Not much about his early life is known except the short bits that has been relayed.
Some of the treasure troves he left behind are:
--- Mishkat al-Masabih:
--- Ikmal fi Asma' al-Rijal;
(الإِكْمَال فِي أَسْمَاء الرِّجَال)
He died sometime after 740 AH.
ABOUT IMAM SHAH ABD AL-HAQQ AL-DIHLAWI:
He is Imam Shah Abd al-Haqq b. Sayf al-Din b. Sa'd Allah al-Bukhari al-Dihlawi. Shah Abd al-‘Aziz was born in Delhi the year 985 AH / 1745 CE. He studied under his father Shah Wali Allah, and with his father’s famous students, Shah Muhammad ‘Ashiq and Mawlana Khwaja Aminullah. He was trained in fiqh by his father-in-law Mawlana Nurullah. In 1762, Shah ‘Abd al’Aziz succeeded his father in the Madrasah Rahimiyah and soon emerged as the leading Muslim scholar of his time. His students spread to every corner of India.
Some of the treasure troves he left behind are:
--- Lam'at al-Tanqih fi Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih
--- Asma' al-Rijal wa'l Ruwat al-Madhkurin fi'l Mishkat;
--- Jama' al-Barakat fi Muntakhib Sharh al-Mishkat;
--- Fath al-Manan fi Ta'yid Madhhab al-Nu'man;
--- Bustan al-Muhadithin in Persian.
He died on Monday 23rd of Rabi' al-Awal 1052 AH / 30th of May 1642 CE.
ABOUT IMAM AHMED ALI IBN LUTF AL-SAHARANPURI:
He is Mawlana Ahmad ‘Ali ibn Lutf Allah al-Hanafi al-Maturidi al-Saharanpuri, among the special students of the great hadith scholar of Delhi, Shah Muhammad Ishaq ibn Muhammad Afdal al-Dehlawi al-Muhajir al-Makki, who was the great-grandson of Shah Wali Allah al-Dehlawi. al-Saharanpuri was born and raised in Saharanpur (UP, India). After initial studies in Saharanpur, he went to Delhi and studied under Mawlana Mamluk ‘Ali and received ijaza (permission) in hadith from Shaykh Wajih al-Din al-Saharanpuri, who narrated from Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hayy ibn Hibat Allah al-Burhanwi, who took from Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir ibn Wali Allah al-Dehlawi.
He then travelled to the blessed city of Makka and performed Hajj. There, he studied the Sihah Sittah (the six authentic collections of hadith) under Shah Muhammad Ishaq al-Dehlawi and received ijaza from him. He then went to Madina and attained the blessings of residing in the city of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace ). Upon returning to India, al-Saharanpuri devoted his life to serving and teaching hadith, the lessons of which he conducted with extreme diligence. In 1291 AH, he was appointed vice-principal of the famous seat of learning, Mazahir al-‘Ulum in Saharanpur. Thereafter, in 1294 AH, he was appointed head teacher there. He occupied himself with business while continuing to teach. He owned his own publishing house, named Matba’ Ahmadi, and compiled various marginal footnotes on several books of hadith.
Some of his works are;
--- Hashiyat al-Saharanpuri ala al-Jami' al-Sahih:
Footnotes on Imam al-Bukhari’s Sahih, which he was the first to do in India. These footnotes were thereafter completed by his student, Mawlana Muhammad Qasim al-Nanautwi, the founder of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband. He also spent many years in correcting it (tashih) and then published it with a magnificent forward written by himself.
--- Hashiyat al-Saharanpuri 'ala al-Jami' al-Tirmidhi
--- Hashiyat al-Saharanpuri 'ala Mishkat al-Masabih.
--- Hashiyat al-Saharanpuri 'ala Sharh Sahih Muslim lil Nawawi:
He is known to be the first to have published the Sahih of Imam Muslim together with its commentary by Imam Nawawi. Even to this day, those who study various hadith collections in the madrasas of the sub-continent and elsewhere use copies which contain the footnotes of Imam Ahmad ‘Ali al-Saharanpuri.
--- al-Dalil al-Qawi Ala Tark Qira’ah lil Muqtadi’
As a great jurist and scholar of hadith, he was a beacon of truth, trust, piety and purity. Despite being a person of wealth, he was known for his humbleness and considered himself worthless. Due to these lofty qualities of his, the hearts of the elders of Deoband were full of love and respect for him. Accordingly, he was invited to lay the foundation of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband’s first building, which is known as Nawdarah. He received ijaza in tasawwuf in the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi tariqa from the famous hadith scholar, Shah ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Mujaddidi al-Dehlawi.
Among his students were:
--- Mawlana Qasim al-Nanautwi (founder of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband),
--- Mawlana Y‘aqub al-Nanautwi,
--- Mawlana Ahsan Hasan al-Nanautwi,
--- Mawlana Muhammad ‘Ali al-Mongeri (founder of Nadwat al-‘Ulama in Lucknow),
--- Mawlana Nur Muhammad al-Haqqani (author of the immensely popular Nurani Qa‘ida).
The Indian Mutiny of 1857 caused Imam Ahmad to return to his hometown of Saharanpur, where he took up a teaching position in the famous Madrassah ‘Mazahir al-Ulum’. Imam Ahmad ‘Ali was struck with paralysis towards the end of his life and left this mortal abode on the 6th of Jamadi al-Awwal 1297 AH.