Abul Hasan al-Quduri

(b. 362 H. – d. 428 H. in Baghdad)

He is Abul Hasan Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Ja`far ibn Hamdan al Quduri al Baghdadi, the Hanafi jurist.

Biography of Imam al-Quduri - continued

Imam 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.

His death and burial place

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.

Main isnad

Imam Abul Hasan al Quduri took his knowledge of fiqh from

1 - Abu `AbdiAllah Muhammad ibn al Jurjani, from
2 - Abu Bakr al-Razi, from
3 - Abul Hasan al Karkhi, from
4 - Abu Sa`id al Barda`i from
5 -`Ali al-Daqqaq, from
6 - Abu Sahl Musa ibn Nasr al-Razi, from
7 - Muhammad ibn al Hasan al-Shaybani, (1) from
8 - Abu Hanifah, from
9 - Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman, from
10- Ibrahim al-Nakha`i, from
11-`Alqamah, from
12-`Abdullah ibn Mas`ud from
13- the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllah `aleihi wa sallam)

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Books of Imam al-Quduri

Among his writngs are:
  1. al Mukhtasar, the fiqh summary bearing his name (also known as al-Kitab)
  2. Sharh Mukhtasar al Karkhi
  3. al-Tajrid, in seven volumes, encompassing the disagreed issues between the Hanafis and Shafi`is
  4. al-Taqrib, also in issues of disagreement, a summary which he compiled for his son
  5. other works.

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An introduction to Mukhtasar al Imam al-Quduri

Perhaps Imam 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 Imam 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. Up to this day Al-Mukhtasar 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.

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1. Introdution to Suheil Laher's partial translation of Mukhtasar al-Quduri, based on the preface to the edition of Mukhtasar al Quduri edited by Shaykh Kamil Muhammad Muhammad `Uwaydah, Dar al Kutub al `Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1997/1417.

© Damas Cultural Society 2007
Latest update: 2007-12-11