Imam al-Kawthari

2) from Akmal al-Din Muhammad al-Babarti (d. 796) who took fiqh from Qawwam al-Din Muhammad al-Kaki (d. 749) who took fiqh from al-Husayn al-Saghnaqi (d. 711) who took fiqh from Hafiz al-Din al-Kabir Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Bukhari (d. 693) who also took fiqh from Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Sattar al-Kardari (d. 642) Al-Kardari took fiqh from the author of the Hidaya, Imam `Ali ibn Abi Bakr al-Marghinani (d. 593) who took fiqh from al-Najm Abu Hafs `Umar al-Nasafi (d. 537) who took fiqh from the two Pazdawi brothers, Fakhr al-Islam (d. 482) and Sadr al-Islam (d. 493), the first of whom took fiqh from the Sun of Imams al-Sarkhasi (d. 483) the author of the Mabsut, who took fiqh from the Sun of Imams al-Halwa’i (d. 448) who took fiqh from al-Husayn ibn Khidr al-Nasafi (d. 423) who took fiqh from Muhammad ibn al-Fadl al-Bukhari (d. 381) who took fiqh from `Abd Allah ibn Muhammad al-Harithi (d. 340) who took fiqh from Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Hafs (d. 264) who took fiqh from his father Abu Hafs al-Kabir (d. 217) who took fiqh from the Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani (d. 189) the companion of Imam Abu Hanifa – Allah be well-pleased with him -, while Sadr al-Islam took fiqh from Isma`il ibn `Abd al-Sadiq who took fiqh from `Abd al-Karim al-Pazdawi (d. 390) who took fiqh from the Imam of Guidance Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (d. 333) who took fiqh from Abu Bakr al-Jawjazani who took fiqh from Abu Sulayman Musa ibn Sulayman al-Jawjazani who also took fiqh from the Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani. Al-Shaybani took fiqh from the founder of the madhhab Imam Abu Hanifa al-Nu`man (d. 150) who took fiqh from Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman (d. 120) who took fiqh from Ibrahim ibn Yazid al-Nakha`i (d. 95) who took fiqh from [1] `Alqama ibn Qays (d. 62), [2] al-Aswad ibn Yazid (d. 75), and [3] Abu `Abd al-Rahman `Abd Allah ibn Hubayyib al-Sulami (d.74 or 73)

`Alqama and al-Aswad took fiqh from `Abd Allah ibn Mas`ud (d. 32) – Allah be well-pleased with him -, while al-Sulami took fiqh from Sayyiduna `Ali – Allah be well-pleased with him – who was martyred in Kufa in the month of Ramadan of the year 40. Both Ibn Mas`ud and Sayyiduna `Ali took from the Seal of Prophets and Leader of the Radiant-faced ones, the Master of the First and the Last among angels, jinn, and human beings including Prophets and Messengers: who was taken to the Highest Company in the late morning of the Second Day of the week, the 13th of the month of Rabi` al-Awwal in the year 11, the blessings and greeting of Allah upon him, honor, generosity, and mercy, and upon his excellent and chaste Family as well as his pure and Godfearing Companions.2

A tireless scholar, there is apparently no field of the Islamic sciences in which al-Kawthari did not have a well-founded claim to authority. He edited and brought back into circulation countless classical books of fiqh, hadith, and usûl after he moved to Cairo. A staunch Ash`ari, he held an extremely critical view of anti-Ash`aris, considering Ibn Taymiyya an unmitigated anthropomorphist. Among the books he authored as listed by his student Ahmad Khayri:

* Bulugh al-Amani fi Sira al-Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani, a biography of the foremost Hanafi authority after Imam Abu Hanifa.

* Al-Fara’id al-Wafiya [or: al-Fawa’id al-Kafiya] fi `Ilmay al-`Arud wa al-Qafya (“The Abundant Peerless Matters in the Two Sciences of Prosody and Rhyme”), published without the name of the author.

* Fiqh Ahl al-`Iraq (“The Jurisprudence of the Iraqi Scholars”), less than a hundred pages in length, it is one of the great works on the remarkable character of Hanafi fiqh and its school and contains useful definitions of key concepts such as analogy (qiyâs), scholarly exertion (ijtihâd), and discretion (istihsân) as well as biographical notices on the most eminent figures of the Hanafi school. It was meticulously commented upon by Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda.

Excerpts:

– (In praise of al-Zayla`i) “If the students of fiqh find one among the hadith masters who is profoundly learned and truly insightful without being taken over by vain lusts – let them hold onto him tooth and nail, for such a type is, among them, as rare as red sulphur.”

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