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The Abridged Manual in Muslim Hanafi Law

After the author's death, al-Mukhtasar became the standard text for primary Hanafi legal studies in the Fertile Crescent and beyond.

The advantage later texts possessed, having analysed evolving Hanafi law authorship in hindsight, was still not enough to replace al-Quduri's manual as the standard text.

One hundred years later, `Ala' 'l-Din Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Samarqandi (1144/539 A.H.)

despite being based in what is now known as Uzbekistan - far removed from Baghdad - admitted that this book was the standard for [aspiring] jurists.

This alone is proof of the manual's widespread acceptance within a relatively very short period. To this day, Mukhtasar 'l-Quduri remains the first step in Hanafi legal studies in many Islamic institutions across the world.

 

About the Author

Abu 'l-Husayn al-Quduri of Baghdad was born in 973 (362 A.H.). He memorised the Quran at an early age and thereafter engaged himself in the pursuit of knowledge.

He mastered all the fundamental disciplines of Islamic scholarship, including law, legal theory, exegesis, prophetic tradition and Arabic, which manifested later on in his writings.

Al-Quduri lived in what can be described as the golden era of Islamic legal documentation, which followed shortly after the establishment of the schools of law.

Baghdad was an epicentre of scholarly presence, in which he lived and was influenced by. As an expert in the legal field, the authority of Hanafi law in Iraq was vested in al-Quduri.

He was eloquent and persuasive, enabling him to become one of a select few who were able to rival scholars from other schools in public debates on the law.

He debated his Shafi`i counterpart and senior, Abu Hamid Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Isfara'ini (d. 1016/406 A.H.)

He also debated another of his Shafi`i contemporaries and his junior, Abu 'l-Tayyib Tahir bin `Abd 'llah al-Tabari (d. 1058/450 A.H.).

Al-Quduri passed away in Baghdad in the April of 1037, corresponding to Rajab 428 A.H. He was 65 years old.


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