A Critical Edition of 'Update al-Nāzir 'alā al-Ashbāh wa'l-Nazā 'ir

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Khadiga Musa
Monographs in Arabic and Islamic Texts [English and Arabic Edition]
  • Sheffield, England: 
    Equinox Publishing Limited
    , December
     320 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Issam Eido forthcoming.


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-Nāẓirserves as a definitive summation of the discourse on legal maxims within the school.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Khadiga Musa is Assistant Professor at the Prince Muhammad bin Fahd University, Saudi Arabia. She received her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her interest is Quranic Studies, Hadith Studies and Islamic Law. Published work includes an article entitled ‘Legal Maxims as a Genre of Islamic Law’ (Brill: Journal of Islamic Law and Society 21, 2014) and, ‘Hadith as Basis of Legal Maxims’ (ABC – CLIO: Muhammad in the History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopaedia of the Prophet of God, ed. Fitzpatrick, C. & Walker, 2013).

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