Al-Maqasid: Nawawi’s Manual of Islam

maqasid

Translated by: NUH HA MIM KELLER

Imam Nawawi’s classic manual of Islam, al-Maqasid, was first composed as a fiqh matn, or synopsis of the practical requirements of Islam—faith, purification, the prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage—for students to memorise. The handbook’s clear and concise style will help anyone seeking to learn the essentials of Islamic practice and spirituality from a reliable, traditional source. Although best known for his work on hadith, Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (d. 676AH/1277AD) was also the Imam of the later Shafi’i school of jurisprudence, and widely acknowledged as the intellectual heir of Imam Shafi’i. He was a great scholar and jurist who dedicated his life to the pursuit of Islamic learning.

Al-Maqasid: Nawawi’s Manual of Islam is widely considered the best medium-size handbook available in English for teaching the basics of Islam from a traditional perspective. This new edition has been revised and updated with a full complement of notes on a number of contemporary Muslim issues, and three major essays have been appended. The prayers and invocations given in the text have been fully transliterated and their Arabic texts printed in the back. With its almost one hundred new pages, this second edition includes an extensive subject index that lets readers easily locate the answers they are looking for about Islam.


About the Author

NUH HA MIM KELLER was born in the northwestern United States in 1954. He read philosophy and classical Arabic at the University of Chicago and UCLA, and became a Muslim in Cairo in 1977. He was a disciple in the Shadhili order of the Sufi master and poet Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri of Damascus from 1982 until the latter’s death in 2004, and was authorized as a sheikh in the order by Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman in 1996. He has studied Shafi‘i and Hanafi jurisprudence, hadith, and other subjects with traditional scholars in the Middle East, and in the 1980s, under the tutelage of Islamic scholars in Syria and Jordan, produced Reliance of the Traveller, the first translation of a standard Islamic legal reference in a European language to be certified by al-Azhar, the Muslim world’s oldest institution of higher learning. Among his other works and translations are Becoming Muslim, Sufism in Islam, al-Maqasid: Imam Nawawi’s Manual of Islam, Invocations of the Shadhili Order, Port in a Storm: A Fiqh Solution to the Qibla of North America, and an illuminated calligraphic edition of Dala‘il al-Khayrat. He has travelled and lectured on Islam extensively, and he writes and teaches in Amman, where he has lived since 1980.

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