He is Abu’l-Hasan Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn
Ja`far ibn Hamdan al-Quduri al-Baghdadi, the Hanafi jurist, born 362 AH.
Al-Quduri is an ascription to the selling of pots (qudur).
Abu’l-Hasan al-Quduri took
his knowledge of fiqh from Abu `Abdillah Muhammad ibn al-Jurjani, from
Abu Bakr al-Razi, from Abu’l-Hasan al-Karkhi, from Abu Sa`id al-Barda`i
from `Ali al-Daqqaq, from Abu Sahl Musa ibn Nasr al-Razi, from Muhammad
ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani, from Abu Hanifah, from Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman,
from Ibrahim al-Nakha`i, from `Alqamah, from `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (may
Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his
Household and grant them all peace).
Al-Quduri was one of the ashab al-tarjih (jurists who weighed and analyzed the strengths of differing verdicts in the madhhab). The leadership of the
Hanafis in `Iraq came to rest with him, and his renown rose. His mention recurs in the well-known Hanafi books al-Hidayah and al-Khulasah.
He died on 15th Rajab 428 AH in Baghdad, and was buried in his home, but was later transported and buried beside Abu Bakr al-Khawarizmi, another Hanafi jurist.
between the Hanafis and Shafi`is.
for his son,
and other works.
Perhaps al-Quduri’s most famous work, Al-Mukhtasar
is also known as al-Kitab. The number of issues it addresses
is 12,500, spanning the entire spectrum of fiqh, for the book covers not
only matters of worship, but also business transactions, personal relations
and penal and judicial matters. Abu `Ali al-Shashi said about the
book, “Whoever memorizes this book is the best accomplished of our associates
in memorization, and whoever understands it is the best accomplished of
our associates in understanding.”
As is common with fiqh summary texts (mutun,
singular : matn), the book generally does not make a point of providing
evidences and derivations of the regulations. The bases and reasonings
behind the verdicts presented can be pursued in more advanced books of
the madhhab, and also require some knowledge of usul al-fiqh. The
traditional method of learning is for young people to first study (and
often memorize) a basic matn, then later go back and study each
issue in more detail, and/or along with the evidences.
It is related that when al-Quduri wrote this book,
he carried it with him to the Ka`bah, and hung it from its curtains.
He asked Allah the Exalted to bless him in it, and this prayer was apparently
fulfilled. The book is recognized and respected as a reliable book of the
school, and has had various commentaries written on it. Along with
Muhammad ibn al-Hasan’s Al-Jami` al-Saghir, it formed the nucleus
of al-Marghinani’s widely-renowned Al-Hidayah – which itself was
commentated on by numerous scholars, among the more famous of them Hafiz
Badr al-Din al-`Ayni (the author of the commentary on al-Bukhari `Umdat
al-Qari) in Al-Binayah, and Hafiz Kamal al-Din Ibn al-Humam
in Fath al-Qadir. It has been said that Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah,
the Hanbali scholar, used Al-Mukhtasar as his primary reference
for the Hanafi school’s positions. Upto this day, the book enjoys
a wide acclaim, still forming a part of the teaching curriculum in many
traditional madaris, and with prominent and accomplished contemporary
scholars continuing to recommend and approve it as a teaching text.
Despite the undisputed respectability of Al-Mukhtasar,
we should bear in mind that perfection belongs only to Allah. While
the book is, on the whole, free from serious blunders, the author in some
places will present a verdict which may not be the soundest position on
the issue under examination. In some such places, I have inserted
the more authentic view within brackets or braces, while in others I have
left al-Quduri’s text unchanged. Al-Quduri often mentions differing
views on an issue, and in these cases, it should be borne in mind that
the mere fact that a scholar has given a particular verdict does not mean
it may be legitimately followed. Sometimes, even a reputed scholar
may have made a mistake, or not been in possession of all the evidence.
Hence, wherever al-Quduri presents more than one view on a matter, further
investigation is needed to determine which is the authentic or more authentic
view — which is to be followed. Another point to be borne in mind is that
al-Quduri generally does not distinguish between unrestricted permissibility
and validity (but with an accompanying sin), and similarly between impermissibility
and that prohibition which invalidates the deed in question, and between
desirability and obligation.
In view of the preceding points, the translation
presented on this web-site is not meant to be a final authority; but is
intended merely as a quick-reference resource. As for studying from
and verifying its content, this is best done through studying the text
with a qualified and dependable scholar, and/or referring to one of the
reputable commentaries such as `Abd al-Ghaniyy al-Ghunaymi’s Al-Lubab
fi Sharh al-Kitab, as well as to other dependable books of the madhhab.
Such studying is also essential to ensure one does not misunderstand any
of the text.
Finally, it should be noted that I have often re-arranged
Quduri’s text — sometimes liberally — in order to fit into the particular
logical / intuitive framework that I feel comfortable with. I have
also added many sub-headings which the author himself did not have, my
aim again being to present the information in an easily-digestible form.
[NOTE : Some of the above information (especially the biographical
notes) has been taken from the preface to the edition of Mukhtasar al-Quduri
edited by Shaykh Kamil Muhammad Muhammad `Uwaydah, Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah,