Friday, December 24, 2010

Inderpat (Actually Fatawa Tatar Khania) Redux

 (We have made our miserable attempts to introduce some historical and geographical  context to Fatawa Tatar Khania. This was for the purpose of introducing following excerpts from an article in December 2010AC issue of Nida-e-Shahi (see here for the contents of a sample issue) p.55. For those of us who do not have the benefit of Dars-e-Nizami this article introduces one of the books beyond Bukhari and Muslim.)

On First Complete Publication of the Rare Book of Hanafi Jurisprudence
“Fatawa Tatar Khania”
A Dignified Function Held at Madarsa Shahi

In the nearly one and the half century long history of the great center of learning, Jamia Qasmia Madarsa Shahi, Moradabad, the date 23 Ziqadah 1431 AH (accordingly November 1, 2010 AC) will surely be written in the golden letters because here today the release ceremony of the remarkable, rare and unavailable book of Hanafi Jurisprudence Al-Fatawa Al-Tatar Khania (authored by Allama Farid-ud-Din Alam ibn Al-Ala Ad-Dehlawi, d. 786 AH) took place in the presence of senior Scholars and Muftis. Remember that this extensive tome based on 23 volumes was till now only available in the MS (manuscript) form in various libraries of the world and was not published in complete form. This has been published by Mufti and Traditionist Hazrat Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Sahab Qasmi after painstaking research and investigations of days and nights for three long years. In this thousands of juristic matters are contained and it is based on references to ten thousand traditions.

Overview of the Book and the References
: This dignified function started with the recitation of the Holy Qur'an in the Hameedi Hall of the Jamia. After that introducing Fatawa Tatar Khania and the work done on that Mufti Shabbir Ahmed Qasmi said that the compiler of the book was a resident of Delhi. Earlier this place was called Inderpat which probably was located where we now have the central office of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind and Masjid Abd-un-Nabi. A nobleman of the court of King Tughlaq by the name of Tatar Khan requested the honourable Scholar to compile a book which collects the important and essential Jurisprudence. Thus this Scholar collected essential elements, in my knowledge, from 130 books of Jurisprudence to compile this book. He based this book on Al Muheet Al Barhani. In the times of Muslim rulers the second big work was done in the times of Hazrat Shah Aurangzeb Alamgir (RA) which is called Fatawa Alamgiri. That collection is published for around fifty years and Muftis have been benefiting from it but Fatawa Tatar Khania had not been printed and published and is now being published in complete form for the first time in the world. But its importance can be guessed from the fact that inspite of this book being in the form of MS only great authors have given references to it in their books – and they obtained its copies by making long journeys and benefited from it and copied its narration in their books.

In the research and compilation of this book we have taken help of five MSS and one published copy:
1. Constantinople (Istanbul) MS: In our view this is the most authentic MS based on eight thick volumes which had been obtained by the hard work of a learned Maulvi of Madarsa Shahi Inam-ul-Haq of Hyderabad.
2. MS of Raza Library of Rampur: This too is an authentic manuscript which is based on two volumes of large size.
3. MS of Salar Jung Library Hyderabad: This is a MS with very good handwriting but because of missing text in between the places the topics becomes incoherent, therefore it was not followed much.
4. MS Khuda Baksh Library Patna: This manuscript too has many mistakes. So the humble self did not trust this one too.
5. MS An-Nashashbi: This manuscript has very peculiar script which is rather difficult to follow.

Apart from this we have also used a lot the published version by Qazi Sajjad Husain Sahab (RA). He probably had the Salar Jung MS in his pursual.

Apart from clarification of this book we have done two things:
1. We have numbered every problem (mas-ala) whose number goes to 33878 and each number has several problems/matters. This takes the problems addressed to thousands.
2. For matters that are definitive for them numerous traditions and aasar (Sunnah of the beloved Prophet (PBUH) and the statements of the Companions (RA)) have been completely entered in the margins.

Most of the aasar of Companions (RA) and Tabayeen (RA) have been copied from three books:
1. Author Abd-ur-Razzaq: This author is counted among early traditionalists and is a teacher of the
teachers of Imam Bukhari (RA).
2. Author Abi Bakr Bin Abi Sheba: He too is among early traditionalists. Many references have been given from this book because of the fact that the author is a staunch critic of Abu Hanifa (RA) and his jurisprudence. In fact he even wrote a book by the name Kitab-ar-Radd Ala Abi Hanifa. It has ona sided arguments – a thing that is against justice!
3. Similarly we have frequently quoted aasar from Imam Behaqi (RA)’s Sunan Kubra for he too had an orientation against Imam Abu Hanifa (RA).

Today some deprived people make a propaganda for Imam Abu Hanifa not knowing Traditions (Hadis) though more than four thousands traditions are attributed to Imam Sahab (RA). Recently a Darul-Uloom educated colleague of ours Maulana Latif-ur-Rehman Behraichi has published a collected in four volumes entitle “Musnad Imam Abu Hanifa”. In any case we have tried in our attempts on the margins the Hanafi Matters are clarified in the light of the arguments from traditions and aasar to remove the misconceptions. By all Praise to Allah more than ten thousands traditions and aasar have been entered in these references.