An important classical basic work in Maliki fiqh is Mukhtasar al-Akhdari on ‘ibadat (taharah, salaat wa sawm). All students of knowledge who study the Maliki madhhab start with this short text (it is actually a children’s text). The mosque I go to is predominantly Moroccan. The Moroccans, especially the elderly people, follow the Maliki madhhab, which dominates West-Africa, North Africa, Egypt and Sudan. While I am still figuring out which madhhab to follow I decided to take a closer look, also to get a better understanding why the people in my mosque do certain things. I decided to take an online course with ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks from Medina Way (http://themedinaway.podbean.com/) on Maliki fiqh. I have completed the first lesson and it is already very interesting. The ustadh reads the text in Arabic and then translates and explains the text and homework needs to be done. Every weeks the lessons are send to you by mail. Not only do you gain in islamic knowledge (‘ilm) but also in your knowledge of the Arabic language. The Mukhtasar is a summary on ‘ibadat by ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Akhdari, a 10th century islamic scholar from al-Andalus / Algeria (?), who wrote several books, including on Arabic grammar (balagha) and logic (mantiq). The Mukhtasar is most unique in the chapter of sajdah sahw, there is nothing like it in other basic texts. What is also is striking is that the book just ends out of the blue, apparently al-Akhdari never got to finish the book. The Mukhtasar is taught all over West-Africa, Egypt and Sudan. Another striking feature is that the text starts with the purification of the soul instead of tahara, which is not common for a lot of fiqh texts. A copy of the Mukhtasar can be obtained from www.ahlalhdeeth.com. An English translation can be obtained from the website of ‘Aisha Bewley (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/ABewley/). Hamza Yusuf (see www.zaytuna.org) is also working on a translation of this monumental work together with Hisham Mahmoud. There is also a commentary on the Mukhtasar written by Shaykh Al-Hajj Saad bin Umar bin Sa’id Jalil Al-Futa Tori, a Malian scholar, who in 1971, wrote the commentary to address the issues of traditional scholarship and the relevance and reliability of traditional text, along with the proofs from the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
Here is the French translation of the Mukhtasar: http://www.islam-sunnite.com/article-1572312.html