Book Review: Al-Arba’in 2 – Collection of Forty Hadiths on Concise Speech

Al-Arba'in 2 Collection of Forty Hadiths on Concise Speech

Title: Al-Arba’in 2 – Collection of Forty Hadiths on Concise Speech
Publisher: Turath Publishing (2009)
Author: Mulla Ali al-Qari
Translation: Safaruk Zaman Chowdhury
Commentary: Allamah Sindhi and Shaykh Nemat Ullah

Turath Publishing has a series of Arba’ins (a collection of forty Prophetic sayings) covering a range of topics. This book is the second one in this collection. The virtue of collecting, preserving and memorizing forty hadiths has been highlighted by a number of hadiths. The publisher, Brother Yahya Batha states in his preface:

The practice of gathering forty hadith derives from a hadith narrated through several Companions that puts the spiritual rank of religious scholarship within the easy reach of the ordinary believer with the words: “Whoever memorises forty narrations for my nation in matters of its religion, Allah will raise him up as a scholar and I shall be an intercessor and witness for him on the Day of Rising”

Additional hadiths pertaining to this virtue are included in the endnotes:

From Ali ibn Abi Talib (May Allah be pleased with him): “Whoever from my community preserves forty hadiths by which benefit is gained will be raised on the Day of judgement as one endowed with great knowledge (faqih).

From Ibn Masud (May Allah be pleased with him): “Whoever from my community preserves forty hadiths, Allah (Mighty and Exalted is He!) will bestow special favour on him, and it is said that he will be allowed to enter through any door of Paradise he wishes.

The following short biography of Mulla’ Ali al-Qari is an excerpt from Imam Abu Hanifa’s Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar Explained, published by the White Thread Press:

Ali ibn Sultan Muhammad al-Qari, more popularly known as Mulla Ali al-Qari, was an ascetic, hadith scholar, jurist, theologian, and author of what has been hailed as the most comprehensive Arabic commentary on the Mishkat al-Masabih entitled Mirqat al-Mafatih. He is also famous for his commentary on Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, called Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar (Gifts of the Blooming Gardens). Qari was born in Herat, Afghanistan, where he received his primary years of Islamic education. Thereafter, he traveled to Makka, where he studied under numerous scholars, including Shaykh Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Haytami al-Makki and Qutb al-Din al-Hanafi. He was called Al-Qari, “The Reciter”, because of his mastery of the science of Qur’anic recitation. Mulla Ali al-Qari remained in Makka, where he taught until his death in 1014/1606. His written works include a two-volume commentary on Qadi Iyad’s Al-Shifa’ (The Cure); a two-volume commentary on Imam Ghazali’s abridgement of the Ihya’ Ulum al-Din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences), entitled ‘Ayn al-Ilm wa Zayn al-Hilm (The Spring of Knowledge and the Adornment of Understanding); and a book on prophetic invocation, Al-Hizb al-A’zam (The Supreme Daily Dhikr).

In this particular collection of forty hadith, Mulla Ali al-Qari collects narrations that exemplify the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) capacity for concise speech. The hadith included in this book are often excerpts from larger hadith which are also included following the concise words. The book also includes a brief commentary on each hadith providing context and further elaboration for the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) words. The following excerpt is hadith number 23 from this collection:

Tie and rely.

Al-Mughirah ibn Abi Qurrah as-Sadusi related: I heard Anas ibn Malik say: a man asked: O Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), should I first tie it (meaning a camel) and then have reliance upon Allah or should I set it free and then have reliance upon Allah? [The Prophet] replied: “Tie [it] and then rely [upon Allah]” Bayhaqi

Comments: This indicates that one should avail oneself of the means while trusting Allah, without this negating one’s reliance on Him and the sirah stands testimony to this.

Allah says: “And so walk in its tracts, and eat of His provision” (Surah al-Mulk 15) and He says: “When the prayer is finished, scatter in the land and seek Allah’s bounty” (Surah al-Jumu’ah 11). The person who abandons the means that are easily available to him and lawful in the shari’ah has failed to recognize the wisdom of Allah in creating causes and effects, while those engrossed in the means and reliant on them are among those of whom Allah has said: “And most of them do not believe in Allah except that they attribute partners to Him” (Surah Yusuf 106)

Overall this book is a short read, however it is filled with knowledge and wisdom from the Prophetic words and the commentary of our great scholars of the past. May Allah bless all those who preserve hadiths and who assisted in making this book available. Ameen.

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