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A Critical Edition of ʿUmdat al-Nāzir ʿalā al-Ashbāh wa’l-Naẓāʾir

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This book presents a critical edition of the twelfth/eighteenth century ah/ce manuscript on the subject of legal maxims ʿUmdat al-Nāzir ʿalā al-Ashbāh wa’l-Naẓāʾir. It was composed by the distinguished Ḥanifite jurist Abū ‘l-Suʿūd al-Ḥusaynī and is a commentary on an earlier seminal text Al-Ashbāh wa’l-Naẓāʾir’, authored by Ibn Nujaym in the tenth/sixteenth century. The volume is divided into three main parts, the first of which provides an historical and theoretical introduction to the genre of al-qawāʿid al-fiqhiyyah (legal maxims). The second part introduces the two texts and their authors, discusses their literary legacy within the Ḥanafī School of law and covers issues of editing, authenticity and provenance. Finally, the third part of the book consists of seven edited chapters of the ʿUmdat al-Nāzir ʿalā al-Ashbāh wa’l-Naẓāʾir. The first of these is the author’s introduction to his work followed by one for each of the first six qawāʿid. The work is important as a commentary on one of the most significant legal texts which revived interest in the subject within the Ḥanafī School of law after five centuries of stagnation. It is also the most copious of all the forty-four commentaries on Ibn Nujaym’s book and it is a combination of the commentaries of at least three well known Ḥanafite scholars. Because Abū’l-Suʿūd synthesises the most authoritative opinions from these commentaries, ʿUmdat al-Nāẓir serves as a definitive summation of the discourse on legal maxims within the school.

Published: Feb 19, 2018