Because of Ramadhan I was going through the chapter on fasting in the Maliki fiqh-book the Risalah of Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani, rendered to English by F. Amira Zrein Matraji. Although the translation is not really great the nice thing about this book is you can read the English text which is accompagnied by the Arabic text WITH TASHKEEL. This makes reading the Arabic text easier, it builds your vocabulary and understanding of Arabic and you get familiar with fiqhi terms. In short this is very beneficial. I was inspired to do this after listening to a short explanatory course / lecture on the chapter of fasting by Rami Nsour from the Tayba Foundation (http://www.taybafoundation.org/instructors.html). It is said Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani was the “little Malik”, the second most important scholar in the Maliki madhhab after imam Malik. He wrote the Risalah when he was only seventeen years old and the text was originally meant for children and comes after having studied the Mukhtasar of al-Akhdari in the traditional Maliki curriculum. The lecture by Rami Nsour is very beneficial and once again proves you need to read and study a fiqh text with a teacher else you will misunderstand and wrongly apply some of the issues.
Here are some resources on Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani and the Risalah:
– The lectures (3) by Rami Nsour can be downloaded and listened to here: http://andalus.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/fiqh-of-fasting/ Enjoy!
– The translation mentioned above can be bought here: http://www.sunnipubs.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=60&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=26&vmcchk=1
– Here is his biography: http://www.sunnahonline.com/ilm/seerah/0067.htm and here too: http://kitaabun.com/shopping3/article_info.php?articles_id=14&osCsid=b0d
– Another translation of the Risalah: http://www.iiu.edu.my/deed/lawbase/risalah_maliki/index.html
– A translation of another book by Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani on ‘aqidah called “A Madinah View”: http://www.lamppostproductions.com/node/194#