usul hadith works by sunni (barelwi) ulama

Discussion in 'Hadith' started by abu Hasan, Dec 21, 2022.

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  1. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    you are right. actually, the footnote is misleading because of its terseness. i will modify it. the child of a slave follows its mother (in its state - mukatab, mudabbar) if it is by a husband other than the slavegirl's master; and becomes free upon the death of the master. and if the child belongs to the master, it is free by birth. since the context was about umm-walad and "gives birth to her mistress/master", the footnote was written with that in mind.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2022
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  2. Umar99

    Umar99 Veteran

    @abu Hasan

    جزاك الله خيرا for your efforts in translating and annotating the great work of imam nawawi.

    in the footnote of hadith two, it is mentioned that children of slaves are free by birthright. i was under the impression that the general principle is that the children of a slave-woman are also slaves unless they are the children from her master. is this not the case, or have i misunderstood the footnote?
  3. Khanah

    Khanah Veteran

    I fully support quality translations into English for the common person. I am a common person who has benefited from such translations. If you think about it, others such as gibril haddad have been producing work and surely someone is reading them other than students of ilm. The wahabbis have bookstores filled with their translations and clearly they're doing very well. There is no doubt a desire from many common people to read more than basic texts although the fact that we are common people means the footnoting has to be fantastic for various reasons e.g. If we do not translate yad or if it's translated as hand (which public speakers will do often tbh), maybe an accompanying footnote with the athar of imam malik etc to really explain the position of the sunnis.

    Should there not be sufficient material in English, your only option is to learn Arabic or not access the works. Most people don't have the motivation to learn Arabic in reality.

    The types of works which should be translated is an issue in itself. Basic tasawwuf texts such as those of imam haddad which have been translated are clearly beneficial. But the slightly more intermediate texts being discussed in this thread also have a clear place. In fact, the translator should have the intention that someone will read this book, become so enthused with the knowledge he has received, so amazed by the intellect of the original writer, that he takes up ilm part time maybe. Sure, there are many people who would not understand these texts but not every book is for every person.

    The demand is there. One other point is we need to do a better job of publicising these translations. I'm aware of so many translations by wahabbis but fail to think of many by the sunnis off the top of my head.

    As for straight hadith translations, my personal opinion is that usually they should have some accompanying commentary as many people don't necessarily understand context, abrogation, aqidah issues (such as translation of istiwaa) and it helps prevent misunderstandings of the sacred texts.

    Slight tangent but also slightly related, apologies
  4. Hanafi Sunni

    Hanafi Sunni Veteran

    AlHamdulillah this book has been translated by mawlana kalim azhari and the translation has benefitted me a lot.

    May Allah bless our sunni ulama e kiraams efforts. Āmeen
  5. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    not my thread. anyone is welcome to post sunni works for everybody's benefit.

    jazakAllahu khayran for posting.
  6. Noori

    Noori Senior Moderator

  7. Noori

    Noori Senior Moderator

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  8. Abdullah91

    Abdullah91 Active Member

    @abu Hasan Mashallah a wonderful answer. I really enjoyed reading it. I can see where you are coming from and agree.

    Linked to this but slightly different, how should a student of knowledge or even a Madrassa graduate go about further reading? What is a good ratio between reading books in Arabic and reading English translations? If we focus on English too much the Arabic will never improve. If we focus on Arabic only we may miss out on a lot of knowledge we would have picked up easily from the English works. By the time one gets through an Arabic book (someone not fully proficient) he could have read three or four books in English.

    Your kind thoughts please.
  9. Noori

    Noori Senior Moderator

    some work on usul al hadith in Urdu language, most of them are brief, but two or three are really good works for beginners.

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    Usul jarh wa ta'dil is a very nice book

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    Hanif Rizwi's books has two parts, the first part is on hadith history and the second part is on usul al hadith

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    ma'arif e usul e hadith is also a very nice work in Urdu for beginners like me

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    a classic work indeed.

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  10. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    that is probably because translations are bland. they do not engage the reader and nudge them. as a translator, i should look at it from the reader's perspective. would i understand this without any explanation? this term, this phrase, this idiom - what does it mean?

    i do not claim to be perfect, but i try to translate and annotate with this in mind. for example, the upcoming translation of imam nawawi's arbayin has many footnotes. i have tried hard not to make it a full-fledged commentary and annotated ONLY where i have felt it to be necessary. in sha'Allah a commentary can come later. but in the spirit of easy-access (as imam nawawi intended) i have tried to keep it only to the matn. i apologise in advance if it turns out to be a poor translation, but i have shared my thoughts - so that other capable translators may pick up a hint or two.

    for example, here is a preview of one hadith and notes:
    [disclaimer: it is with reviewers still so please don't flay the translation yet].



    i have also tried hard to be as close to the literal word as possible - when an idiomatic translation would suffice. wa billahi't tawfiq.

    imam nawawi ends the book with a brief explanation of terms - that may seem useful for someone reading arabic. but i went ahead and translated it, hoping that some english-speaking reader may find it beneficial.

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2022
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  11. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    the target audience is both the literate common man and the student whose background is english.

    while the common man can benefit by reading and learning about the blessed words of the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam - sunnis will also have an answer to the onslaught of the "hadith-only" brigade.

    our intention is to bring them to the table and make them read it.

    why do lay people not read books? and how do we classify lay people?
    there are other threads where i have mentioned that our age is markedly different from the 1400 years preceding it. until the last century, scholars would know more about things, about the world we live in than worldly people - because only thye were men of letters; they were 'scholars'. and it was a position or a profession that was highly respected. kings, rulers, governors and the elite class patronised them and the general public (mostly illiterate) was in awe of them and respected them. but this was not for every graduate from a religious seminary. such respect would usually be accorded to outstanding ulama and talented folk.

    the religious scholar by and large has always been at the mercy of the public or rulers for his living. commanding respect of the awaam does not mean, they also earned well. being an imam at the masjid would pay zilch - and it is true even to this day in india/pakistan.

    the 20th century saw leaps and bounds in terms of literacy of the common man who had many options for 'education' - and that such an education would also pay well in the worldly sense. public education funded by governments made it easier for anyone to aspire for a higher education, and consequently a well paying job that would improve their living conditions. after a few generations, worldly education became the norm and religious education was an 'option' only for those who were well-off, but yet felt responsibility towards religion; or those who had no other option.

    the extremely mischievous kid, the orphan, the smallest child in a large and poor family, the child with a handicap, or generally children who couldn't afford worldly education. in fact, in UP - for a very long time (even now) graduation from a madrasah was considered as an equivalent to a degree to encourage people to not abandon religious schools completely.

    my experience is mostly about india (and i am wont to think pakistan is the same). i do not claim to speak about the entire world.

    i may also add that generally, the worldly educated - doctors, engineers, professors and professionals - are attracted to other sects compared to sunnis in the subcontinent. is it because their intellectual level is acknowledged by others, and we treat them as "awaam" who cannot tell the difference between shafiyi-hanafi? i do not know.

    but certainly, i do not think that the categorisation of "awaam ka'l an'aam" applied in the past to anyone who did not attend a religious seminary works anymore.

    anzilin'naasa manzilatahum. we must acknowledge the status of people and give them due respect.

    interestingly, we have come a full circle. secular education has also become ineffective at stimulating the mind - instead of producing thinkers and people with an ability to reason, we have graduates from colleges who are credulous and will believe anything in the name of science. a great population has lost the ability to critically examine and evaluate things and is addicted to social media - taking knowledge and forwarding without a deliberation. so it is not a rosy story on the other side either.

    coming back to our discussion of: 'who can benefit from a quality translation'?
    pardon my poor opinion - but most graduates from the madrasah among ajamis/non-arabs do not have the capability to read arabic books; and in india, even access to arabic books is not easy.

    between a graduate from a religious seminary and an illiterate or barely literate - there is a big chunk of 'educated' muslims and successful professionals, who are extremely intelligent, worldly wise and even bibliophiles. in comparison - call it my bad luck - i have met very few madrasa grads who are interested in reading or who show an avid interest in books or discuss about fields of knowledge.

    i think we must not ignore them - "either learn arabic and read these books, or stay out of this domain" is not a good strategy. there are plenty of translations available by other sects, and that is how they attract them.

    as the brother (and many others ask) what have WE done to satisfy their intellectual curiosity? especially those who can speak and read english flawlessly - and are intelligent enough to understand an argument and can even participate in a discussion - but are hampered by lack of access to quality and reliable material.

    so the short answer is: a quality translation, will not only benefit an english speaking secular-educated muslim, but also help the newly minted graduate, who seeks to develop his knowledge and skills.

    an even shorter answer: for the same reasons, ulama in translated arabic books into urdu.

    wa billahi't tawfiq.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2022
  12. Abdullah91

    Abdullah91 Active Member

    @abu Hasan thank you for the list. This brought up a few questions in my mind, some of which I have been pondering for a while. Also a few thoughts.

    1. Who are the target audience for these translations? Especially the larger works like the seven or even mishkat and the usul books. Most lay people will not read these or if they do, be able to properly understand them.

    2. The large amount of translations in recent years is a good thing, however I have noticed it can weaken the Arabic of Tulab al-Ilm. They are not forced to master nahw and sarf like their teachers did. One of my teachers said when he was studying all he had access to was hans wehr dictionary! So they had to learn Arabic properly. Now even Darsi books are translated. I am not saying it is a bad thing but just want to know your thoughts.

    3. If the target audience of these books are the students of knowledge (mentioned in point 2), then we are aiming to get them to a level where they can read them in the original Arabic, so who will actually read these books once the tulab can access them in the original language?

    Btw I not against your suggestions and would love to see them in English. I have personally benefited from many English translations especially in my younger years (like ash-Shifa and Imam Ghazalis works).

    I am just thinking out loud and would love to hear your comments on the above.
  13. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    Attached Files:

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  14. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    i would love to see a lot more than ten, but unfortunately extant translations are rather shallow. translations should not be made just to mark on the scoreboard. almost all english translations of hadith works i have seen are by non-specialists - except one or two (such as shaykh gibril's work on mawDu'at and previous works on hujjiyyah of sunnah etc). when one reads a translation, it appears that an outsider to this science has translated words.

    a translator of hadith sciences should be equipped with knowledge of the hadith and its principles, its rijal, has ability to do takhrij - go to the source books, look up commentaries and choose apt words to capture the essence of the hadith. such a translator should also have an insatiable appetite for learning about ruwwat, biographies and histories.

    assuming that some of these conditions are met, it would be highly beneficial for ulama to translate:

    1. mishkat
    2. riyadu's salihin
    3. various arbayin - starting from nawawi's arbayin (in sha'Allah ridawi press title to be released soon)

    4. anwaru'l hadith (mufti jalaluddin amjadi)
    5. intikhab e hadith

    6. shamayil (by imam tirmidhi) - mawlana danyal had published a translation

    7. mukhtasar bukhari of ibn abi jamrah
    8. mukhtasar muslim by al-munziri
    9. adab al-mufrad
    10. sharh musnad abi hanifah (by ali al-qari)

    and of course, the motherbooks:

    1. bukhari
    2. muslim
    3. abu dawud
    4. tirmidhi
    5. nasayi
    6. ibn majah
    7. muwatta imam malik

    in usul,

    1. nukhbatu'l fikar with nuz'hatu'n nazar
    2. tadrib al-rawi
    3. muqaddimah ibn salah
    4. sharh bayquniyah by shaykh abdullah sirajuddin (i am told a translation exists)
    5. kifayah of khatib
    6. one of the many commentaries of nukhbah - try ali qari's commentary
    7. taysir of imam nawawi of c (covered under tadrib which is a commentary)
    8. qafw al-athar
    9. dibaj al-mudhahhab - tabrizi
    10. sharh tazkirah by imam sakhawi

    fat'h al-mughith of alfiyat al-iraqi by both the author himself and imam sakhawi. [both imams have commentaries with the same name; the latter is more popular].

    there are more than 200 books on usul hadith written by past ulama, if one wishes to choose from to write about or translate.

    as i have said above - mere translation of words will be insufficient. one needs to be at home with the subject and instinctively know which point is debated upon by later masters and the resolution of objections etc. as i said, a lot of reading and research is required - and most importantly - one should be familiar with hadith texts themselves - by reading hadith books regularly. one should immerse themselves in this fascinating subject.

    wa billahi't tawfiq.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2022
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  15. Abdullah91

    Abdullah91 Active Member

    @abu Hasan which ten books in Hadith/Usul al-Hadith would you love to see translated into English?
  16. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    as mawlana abdul hakim lamented, a lot needs to be done. what is available in this field is next to nothing. the same lack of material can be noticed in the anglosphere. very less material by sunnis in the field of hadith and sciences.

    wAllahu'l musta'aan.
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  17. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    actually, most of the urdu commentaries start with the usul hadith/terminology section. but there are separate works as well.

    mufti aslam raza has a bilingual work "tahsin al-wusul" in arabic and urdu, whcih was translated into english by a young UK scholar mawlana saiyed ali. highly recommended for beginners:

    mawlana siddiq hazarwi translated an arabic word - in about 300 pages:

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  18. Hassan_0123

    Hassan_0123 HhhhhhhM_786

    Have any of the Barelvi Ulema written regarding Usool Al-Hadith? Even if they're in Urdu

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