Al-Farq bayn al-Firaq : Arabic, New,
*[A4] Hardback - 436 pages,
by Imam Abu Mansur Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi [d.429h],
Tahqiq by Muhammad Fathi,
Published by Dar al-Salam, Cairo.
Al-Farq bayn al-Firaq wa Bayan al-Firqah al-Najiyah : This work outlines the doctrinal positions of various sects and divisions within Islam. Written as an explanation of the hadith regarding the Muslim ummah being divided into 73 sects, the book explains the hadith, lays out the various beliefs of the 72 "misguided" sects and ends by explaining the beliefs of traditional mainstream Sunni Islam. Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi states :
--- "It is obligatory to declare as unbeliever someone who says that Allah has limits." The anthropomorphist creed is that "Allah has limits that He knows of."
--- "Ahl al-Sunna reached consensus that Allah, the Flawless, the Exalted, is not bounded by location." He then reports the saying of `Ali, radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, : "Allah created the Throne as an indication of His power, not for taking it as a place for Himself."
--- "Know that Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a are divided in eight groups of people... the sixth group being the Sufi Ascetics (al-zuhhad al-sufiyya), who have seen things for what they are and therefore have abstained, who have known by experience and therefore have taken heed truly, who have accepted Allah's allotment and contented themselves with what is within reach."
The book also outlines the doctrinal positions of sects which are not deemed to be included under the hadith.
About Imam Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi :
He is `Abd al-Qahir ibn Tahir ibn Muhammad, Abu Mansur al-Naysaburi al-Tamimi al-Baghdadi al-Shafi`i al-Ash`ari (d. 429), al-Ustadh, the Imam, jurist, scholar of principles and kalam, man of letters, poet, prosodist, grammarian, and mathematician, praised by Shaykh al-Islam Abu `Uthman al-Sabuni as "one of the Imams of the principles of the Religion and foremost authorities of Islam by consensus of its most eminent and competent scholars."
He is Imam al-Bayhaqi's senior and the exact contemporary of Abu Dharr al-Harawi and Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni among the third-generation Ash`ari imams. He came to Naysabur with his father and spent his entire fortune in support of the scholars of knowledge until he became able to teach in seventeen different disciplines. He was Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini's senior student and, together with Abu Sahl al-Su`luki, they staunchly defended the position related from al-Shafi`i that "the Book cannot be abrogated by the Sunna." Abu Mansur succeeded Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini as headmaster in the mosque of `Aqil, where al-Bayhaqi, Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri and Nasir al-Marwazi studied under him. He narrated hadith from al-Isma`ili and Abu Ahmad ibn `Adi.
Among his works:
---1. Ahkam al-Wat' al-Tamm, also known as Iltiqa' al-Khitanayn, a book on sexual ethics and pertaining laws in Islam, in four volumes.
---2. Bulugh al-Mada min Usul al-Huda,
---3. Fada'ih al-Karramiyya,
---4. Fada'ih al-Mu`tazila,
---5. al-Fakhir fi al-Awa'il wa al-Awakhir,
---6. al-Farq Bayn al-Firaq, his major heresiological reference,
---7. Ibtal al-Qawl bi al-Tawallud,
---8. al-`Imad fi Mawarith al-`Ibad, on inheritance laws.
---9. al-Iman wa Usuluh,
---10. al-Kalam wa al-Wa`id,
---11. Manaqib al-Imam al-Shafi`i,
---12. Mashariq al-Nur wa Madarik al-Surur fi al-Kalam,
---13. al-Milal wa al-Nihal, a heresiological reference-work,
---14. Mi`yar al-Nazar,
---15. Nafy Khalq al-Qur'an,
---16. Naqd Abi `Abd Allah al-Jurjani fi Tarjih Madhhab Abi Hanifa, in which he states that Imam al-Shafi`i authored a book in refutation of Brahmans in which he adduces the proofs of Prophethood,
---17. Nasikh al-Qur'an wa Mansukhuh,
---18. al-Qadaya fi al-Dawr wa al-Wasaya,
---19. Sharh Hadith Iftiraq Ummati `ala Ihda wa Sab`in Firqa,
---20. Sharh Miftah Ibn al-Qass on Shafi`i fiqh,
---22. Tafdil al-Faqir al-Sabir `ala al-Ghani al-Shakir,
---23. Tafsir al-Qur'an,
---24. al-Tahsil fi al-Usul,
---25. al-Takmila fi al-Hisab,
---26. Ta'wil Mutashabih al-Akhbar,
---27. Usul al-Din, in reference to the verse of istiwa' one of the mutashabihat or Qur'anic ambiguities,
Toward the end of Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi's life the Turkmen dissension forced him out of Naysabur to Isfarayin, where he died and was buried next to his teacher Abu Ishaq.
NB: Above research courtesy of Shaykh G.F. Haddad.
More Arabic books,
More Islamic Studies : Darsi Kitabs.
*Dimensions : 24.5 x 17.8cm.