Manhaj al Sālikīn 

The Path of the Wayfarer 

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TRANSLATOR’S INTRODUCTION

 

Studying fiqh is a duty upon every believer in order to ensure that their worship is sound and correct according to the dictates of Islamic teachings. Often, we find ourselves in situations where we do not know whether certain acts have invalidated our acts of worship or whether certain aspects of our worship are recommended or obligatory etc. People then often share these concerns with others often to be confounded by a barrage of different views and opinions. Learning fiqh in an organised and structured manner helps a person to deal with such predicaments. It should therefore be of no surprise that having a deeper understanding of the Religion is from the signs that Allāh (ﷻ) wishes good for a person. Hence, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If Allāh (ﷻ) wishes good for someone, he grants him fiqh (a sound understanding) of the religion.”[1] When explaining this ḥadīth, Ibn Ḥajar (rḥ) mentioned following, “The implied meaning of this ḥadīth is that the one who does not learn the fiqh of the religion i.e. does not learn the governing principles of Islām and those subsidiary matters associated with those principles, has been denied goodness. Abū Yaʿlā narrated another weak version of the ḥadīth of Muʿāwiyah with the additional sentence, “Allāh (ﷻ) has no concern for the one who doesn’t learn the fiqh of the religion.” (Although weak) Its meaning is sound, since the one who does not learn the affairs of his religion and is not a scholar of fiqh nor a student of it, can be correctly described as being someone who good was not intended for.”[2]

Manhaj al Sālikīn is a basic text that introduces the topic of fiqh for the layperson. It certainly will not answer all of one’s fiqh related questions, nevertheless, it is a good place to start from. It is a text I began translating well over a decade ago as well as being my first major translation project and so it suffered from many shortcomings, errors and typos as one would expect. I have since gone over the translation and have had it checked by numerous friends and colleagues to try and sift out all of the errors. May I also take the opportunity to declare that all previous versions of this translation that were handed to other teachers and students for the purpose of their classes, are now obsolete and should not be used.

It should be noted that although the text is primary based upon the mathhab of Imām Aḥmad (rḥ)[3], the author has chosen on a number of occasions to depart from the mathhab in favour of what he believes to be more correct. This can make it somewhat difficult for the student of the mathhab to deal with. For that reason, I personally believe that this text is more suited for the absolute layman who does not intend to really study fiqh beyond this text. In such a case, I believe this text does a good job of teaching the basic and required information that every layperson ought to know. As for the more avid seeker of knowledge, one way they can deal with this predicament is by referring to a ḥanbalised version of the text that was recently published by Sheikh Muḥammad ʿAbdul Wāḥid al Ḥanbali al Azhari, “Taḥqīq al Raghābāt bi Ḥanbalah Manhaj al Ṣālikīn wa Ziyādāt.”[4] Otherwise, it is probably best to refer to other available texts in ḥanabli fiqh that have been published in English such as:
 

  • “An Epitome of Ḥanbali Substantive Law.” By Yūsuf ibn ʿAbd al Hādi al Ḥanbali, Dar al Arqam, 2018.

  • “Ḥanbali Acts of Worship.” From Ibn Balbān’s The Supreme Synopnis (Akhṣar al Mukhtaṣarāt), Islamosaic, 2016.

  • “Supplement for The Seeker of Certitude” Worship from Zād al Mustaqniʿ by al Ḥajjāwi, Islamosaic, 2016.

  • “Qaddūmi’s Elementary Ḥanbali Primer” a translation of “al Ajwibah al Jaliyyah fi al Aḥkām al Ḥanbaliyyah.” 2013.

  • Bidāyat al ʿĀbid” By al Baʿli, Two Palm Press, 2016.

  • “Fiqh of Worship” (from ʿUmdah al Fiqh by Ibn Qudāmah), IIPH, 2011.

 

[1] Bukhāri

[2] Fatḥ al Bāri 1/165

[3] Sheikh al Saʿadi wrote to his student Sheikh Ibn ʿAqīl the following, “We have summarised it (i.e. Manhaj al Sālikīn) to the extent that it has become shorter than the Mukhtaṣar of Al Muqniʿ (i.e. Zād al Mustaqniʿ), Akhṣar al Mukhtaṣarāt and al ʿUmdah…” All of these texts are standard Ḥanbali texts. See al Ajwibah al Nāfiʿah p.97-98.

[4] Published by Dār al Nūr al Mubīn, Amman, Jordan. 2019