ABOUT THE BOOK:
The book is about clear prophetic guidance on the necessity of observing according to the Qur'an and Sunnah, and avoiding the argumentation, while on the path of the guidance of the Salaf al-Salah. It is about forbidding the cohabitation and mixing with the people of innovation. It also includes clear call of the Imams of Ijtihad to those that follow them to be diligent observars pf the Qur'an and Sunnah, especially in regards to matters that they as humans seemed to have erred, when the evidence is examined.
In this work the ascetic Imam al-Sha'rani explains how the great four Imams and those like them in the best always held firm to the Qur'an and Sunnah and that their schools of thought were always inline with the above two sources. They were always diligent against opinions and arguments that were not rooted in the text, closely imitating the Prophet ﷺ.
In this work he dedicates a huge chapter specially defending imam Abu Hanifa and his school of thought about the issues in regards to him being labelled as the Imam of Opinion. He firmly ascertains that the Imams positions and school of thought is based on Qur'an and Sunnah just like the other Imams.
اشتملَ الكتابُ على توجيهات نبوية ساطعة في وجوب الاعتصام بالكتاب والسّنّة، والتّنفير مِن الرّأي والجدال، والاهتداء بهدي السّلف الصَّالِح، والنّهيّ عن مجالسة أَهل البدع ومخالطتهم. وفيه أيضاً بيانُ حثِّ الأئمَّة المجتهدين لكلِّ مَن قَلَّدهم على اتِّباع الكتاب والسنّة، وبيانُ تَبرّيهم مِن أقوالهم إذا خالفت الشريعة.
وقد بيَّن الإمام الشعراني فيه أنّ أئمة الإسلام وعلماءه الكبار كالأئمة الأربعة وغيرهم ملتزمون بكتاب الله وسنة رسوله عليه الصّلاة والسّلام، وأن مذاهبهم غير خارجة عن الشّريعة المطهَّرة، بل هي منسوجة منها، ومتصلة بها، ووضّح أن كل ما سيرد في الكتاب من ذم للرأي وأهله لا ينطبق على أحد منهم؛ لأنهم واقفون عند حدود الشرع، متَّبعون هدي النبي صلّى الله عليه وسلّم. وقد خصص فيه فصلاً كبيراً مهماً للدفاع عن الإمام أبي حنيفة رحمه الله، ودفع الشبهات الواردة حول مذهبه وتفنيدها، وإثبات أنَّ مذهبه مبنيٌّ على الكتاب و السّنّة كسائر الأئمة المجتهدين.
ABOUT IMAM 'ABD AL-WAHHAB AL-SHA'RANI:
Abd Al-Wahhab b. Ahmad al-Misri al-Sha'rani was a scholar of Hadith, Fiqh, Tasawwuf born in Qalqanshada, near Cairo, Egypt in 898/1493. He died in Cairo in 973/1565.
Although disciplined and an expert of all four schools of law, he was a Shafi'i scholar and prolific author of works in Sufism, Sacred Law, and tenets of faith. He was also a sheikh and adept in Sufism, being counted among its outstanding Arab spokesmen, showing the unity between law and way, in works that have remained popular to this day. Imam al-Sha'rani primary objective was to bring people back to the essence of putting Islamic teachings into practice, and thus he focussed on tasawwuf (Islamic spiritual behaviourism), relying heavily on the instructions of his teachers and spiritual guides. Imam ash-Sha'rani's zawiyah (spiritual and academic centre), financially and politically independent, was a centre of academic and spiritual excellence, popular with students and disciples and a retreat for the tired and hungry.
Amongst his works are:
--- al-Mizan al-Kubra (The supreme scale),
--- His seminal work, in which he compares the rulings of all four Sunni schools of Sacred Law as if they were a single school. He considered the differences, according to their difficulty, as either strictness ('azima) or dispensation (rukhsa).
--- al-Tabaqat al-Kubra (The supreme levels),
--- Lata 'if al-minan wa al-akhlaq (Subtleties of gifts and character),
--- Lawaqih ai-an war al-qudsiyya (The fecundating sacred illuminations),
--- Kitab al-yawaqit wa al-jawahir fi bayan 'aqa'id al-akabir (The book of rubies and jewels: an explanation of the tenets of faith of mystic luminaries),
--- Mukhtasar al-I'tiqad lil Imam al-Bayhaqi,
--- Risalat al-Anwar fi Adab as-Suhbah ‘inda’l-Akhyar; translated by Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Kiani as; Etiquettes of Companionship: an English translation of Adab as-Suhbah.
Imam ash-Sha'rani passed away on 12th Jumada al-Ula, 973AH/1565CE and was buried inside his zawiyah.