ABOUT THE MINHAJ AL-WUSUL:
according to the strongest of opinions, the Minhaj al-Wusul ila 'Ilm al-Usul is one of those titles that evolved from Imam Fakhr al-Din's popular usul title; al-Mahsul fi 'ilm al-Usul. al-Mahsul was abridged by Imam Taj al-Din Muhammad b. Hussain al-Armawi (d. 656) titled al-Hasil. al-Hasil was further abridged as Minhaj al-Wusul ila 'ilm al-Usul by Imam al-Baydhawi (d. 685). It is an amazing title that abridges the science of Principles of Jurisprudence. Its concise nature has lead to many scholars to broaden it and as consequence it has enjoyed immense attention by the scholars of Usul al-Fiqh.
SOME OF THE POPULAR COMMENTARIES ARE:
--- Nihayat al-Sul fi Sharh Minhaj al-Wusul ila 'Ilm al-Usul; by Imam Jamal al-Din Abd al-Rahim b. al-Isnawi (d. 772)
--- al-Ibhaj fi Sharh al-Minhaj 'ala Minhaj al-Wusul ila 'Ilm al-Usul; by Imam Taqiy al-Din 'Ali Ibn 'Abd al-Kafi al-Subki (d.756)
--- al-Ibhaj fi Sharh al-Minhaj; by Imam Ahmed bin Ishaq al-Shayrazi (d. 863)
ABOUT THIS PRINT:
This print has some beneficial footnotes, as well as Hadith notations since it was edited by an expert of the Hadith sciences. It serves as a minor commentary as most of the ahadith have notes on their context and understanding by the editor.
ABOUT QADHI NASIR AL-DIN AL-BAYDHAWI:
He is 'Abdullah Ibn 'Umar Ibn Muhammad Ibn 'Ali, Nasir Al-Din Al-Shirazi Al-Baydawi, born in Bayda, near Shiraz, Persia. He was a Shafi'i scholar, judge an Quranic exegete whose commentary Anwar Al-Tanzil Wa Asrar Al-Ta'wl (The Lights of the Revelation and secrets of Interpretation) is so well known that whenever scholars mention 'The Judge' (Al-Qadi) in the context of Quranic commentary, it is Baydawi who is meant. He wrote a number of other scholarly works in tenets of faith, jurisprudence and arabic as well as history in Persian. After serving as a judge in Shiraz, he moved to Tabriz, where he died in 685 AH.
Many commentaries have been written on Baydawi's work. He was also the author of several theological treatises. His major work is the commentary on the Qur'an entitled Anwar al-tanzil wa asrar al-ta'wil (The lights of revelation and the secrets of interpretation). This work is largely a condensed and amended edition of al-Zamakhshari's. That work, which displays great learning, suffers from Mu'tazilite views which al-Baydawi has tried to amend, sometimes by refuting them and sometimes by omitting them.
ABOUT IMAM ZAYN AL-DIN AL-IRAQI:
The author is the scholar, the Imam Zayn al-Din Abd al-Rahim ibn Husain al-Kurdi al-Raziyani al-Masri al-Shafi`i, famous as al-Iraqi. The author’s lineage went back to Umar al-Faruq (Allah be pleased with him), but he wouldn’t mention it, out of scrupulousness. His ancestors lived in an area called Razayan, around Irbil (Iraq), and were known for their virtues, distinguished lives, and established miracles. Among them were scholars and righteous.
The author’s grandfather moved to Egypt, where this imam was born on the 21st of Jumada al-Ula, in the year 725 AH. He memorized the Qur’an by the age of eight, as well as al-Tanbih (in Shafi`i fiqh), and other works. After this, he studied fiqh and usul with Ibn Adlan, Subki, Asnawi, Ala’i, and Ibn Kathir. For a while, he delved deeply into the science of the Qur’anic recitations (qira’at), but al-`Izz ibn Jama`a told him, “This is a science in which there is much toil an little ultimate benefit. You have a sharp mind, so direct yourself to the science of Hadith.”
Thus, Iraqi devoted himself to the science of Hadith until he became an expert in it, and achieved distinction. He surpassed the people of his time, such that his own teachers would call him, “The Hadith Master of this Age” (hafidh al-waqt). Imam Sukbi refused to transmit hadith except in his presence. His fame spread far and wide, and he held a number of senior teaching positions. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said, “I didn’t see in all my teachers anyone who prayed better than him.”
He went to the Hijaz, Sham, Iraq and many other places. Among his popular scholars were: Taqiyudin 'Ali bin al-Kafi al-Subki, 'Alaa'udin 'Ali bin Uthman al-Turkmani, Taqiyudin Muhammad bin Abi Bakr al-Akhna'i. He has also left many students among them being: Burhanudin Ibrahim Sabat ibn al-'Ajmi, Burhanudin Ibrahim al-Abnasi, His son Waliyudin Ahmed al-Iraqi, Shihabudin Ahmed ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Nurudin 'Ali bin Abi Bakr al-Haythami and many more.
Some of his popular works are:
--- Ikhbar al-Ahya' bi Akhbar al-Ihya'; which is a takhrij and abridgement from al-Mughni 'an Hamal al-Asfar fi al-Asfar,
--- al-Taqyid wal Idah lima Utliqa wa Ughliqa min Muqadimat ibn al-Salah,
--- Takmilat Sharh al-Tirmidhi li Ibn Sayyid al-Nas,
He authored many works, including three hadith analyses of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya’. He wrote 1000-line poems in the sciences of hadith (which he authored a commentary upon), as well as in Prophetic biography, and in the rare words (gharib) of the Qur’an.
He passed away in the eighth of Sha'ban in 806.