On this page I will post own research conducted on several topics; mainly in English but also in Dutch. Since I’m a beginning researcher I will use the book by Ahmad Von Denffer (Research in Islam; Basics, principles and practical suggestions; a Handbook for Muslims and Young Researchers, The Islamic Foundation, Leicester – reprinted – 1996) as a guideline and almost stick completely to the suggested assignments. Although the book is a little outdated (originally from 1983) it is still useful in my humble opinion. My purpose in doing this is twofold:
– to develop and train my research(ing) skills and gain in knowledge; and
– to serve Allah and his people(s), i.e. the ummah, but also non-muslims, actually the whole of mankind.
1.) Reading – list on the topic “Women in Islam“
A lot of books are written on this popular and (forever?) actual subject, my list is by no means complete.
2.) Selection of five useful books about “Marriage and Divorce in Islam“
Knowledge of marriage (and divorce) is personally obligatory (fard ‘ayn) for every muslim who want to engage in/intends to marriage. Marriage can’t be seen separate from divorce from a fiqhi point of view. Download the following pdf-document: useful-books-on-marriage-and-divorce-in-islam
Furhtermore there is an online course (Family Law) which deals with the fiqh of marriage from the American Open University (http://www.aou.edu/) and the course material is written by Jamal al-Din Zarabozo, although not clear is from the viewpoint of which madhhab this material is written, it looks interesting: http://www.java-man.com/Pages/Marriage/Marriage.html
3.) Analysis of the ‘Preface’ to A. Guillaume’s book The Traditions of Islam.
Downlad here: preface-a-guillaume-the-traditions-of-islam
According to Wikipedia Alfred Guillaume [1888-1965] was a well known islamic scholar (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Guillaume). I doubt if he was an islamic scholar but a scholar on islam he was for sure; the German Wikipedia has a little bit more nuance (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Guillaume) on this aspect. Guillaume is especially known for his translation of the Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, an early biography on the life of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s.. The book The Traditions of Islam: An introduction to the study of the Hadith Literature can be downloaded from the following link (including a zip-file with the complete book): http://www.answering-islam.org/Books/Guillaume/Traditions/index.htm.
The preface makes clear that in his time no or hardly any [English] translations of ahadith collections existed; the infamous Concordance by Wensinck was still in preparation. He stresses the importance of the hadith literature. His references were the very well known Ignaz Goldziher and Kanzu’l-‘Ummal and the Mishkat al-Masabih. According to Guillaume it would be difficult to overestimate the value of the Mishkat as a synopsis of the hadith literature. (A description of the Mishkat will follow – in the future – below). He praises the below mentioned professor Margoliouth for his advice.
4.) The introduction by G. Margoliouth to Rodwell’s translation of the Qur’an.
You can download the introduction here: the-koran-by-jm-rodwell-introduction-g-margoliouth
The translation of the Qur’an by Rodwell can be downloaded (as a zip-file) from: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Islam_%28Bookshelf%29
Before one reads this introduction some background information on Rodwell’s translation of the Qur’an and G. Margoliouth (1853-1924). Read the following (3) commentaries:
– The Koran (1861) is the name of a translation of the Qur’an written by John Medows Rodwell, a non-muslim. It uses a chronological method of sorting verses in the Koran and is noticeably skeptical of islam. Rodwell’s translation has not aged well with time and many find it inferior to other, more modern translations. However, in its time, the Rodwell version was considered to be accurate in spite of its faults. A century later, David Lean’s 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia used the Rodwell translation in the episode in which Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) and Feisal (Alec Guinness) alternately recite verses from what Rodwell calls “The Brightness” sura (ad-Duha). (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Koran_(Rodwell)
– Questions the authenticity of the traditional Sura order and invents a new so called chronological Sura order. In the Introduction he refers to the prophet as the crafty author of the Qur’an; indicates the Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian and other sources of the Qur’an; advises missionary activists how to carry out their work and hold the prophet a victim of self-deception, a cataleptic subject from his early youth…liable to morbid and fantastic hallucinations (p.14). Suffers from a number of mistakes of mistranslation and misinterpretation. For example, (al-Mudathir LXXIV:39) is translated as ‘they of God’s right hand’, (al-Kauthar CVIII:2) as ‘Pray therefore to the Lord and slay the victims’. Explains the use of the word abd (al-Alaq XCVI:10) in the Qur’an thus: ‘Since it was the slaves who had embraced Islam, the Qur’an uses this expression’. (Source: http://www.alhafeez.org/rashid/qtranslate.html)
– (..) The Koran by J.M. Rodwell published in 1861 which was the first attempt by any translator to put the surahs into some sort of chronological order. Ultimately this effort has detracted from the value of the books those familiar with the transmitted form of the text or brought up on the Arabic original will have difficulty locating specific passages. This problem is compounded by the author’s decision only to number the tenth consecutive verse of each surah. The translation also suffers from inaccuracies in the use of tenses and particles – but scores in its choice of words to convey the meaning of the original Arabic. It is this writer’s opinion that Rodwell’s translation is one of the best to come from an English author. Apart from its minor grammatical defects it is a fine work and a pleasure to read. (Source: http://www.answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/Vol1/5d.html)
A short biography of John Medows Rodwell can be found in the article Iqbal and Rodwell’s Translation of the Qur’an by dr. S. Javed, see the following link: http://www.allamaiqbal.com/publications/journals/review/oct01/08.htm). On G. Margoliouth no info can be found on the internet other than his date of birth and the fact he edited the translation by Rodwell.
To return to the introduction by Margoliouth (most probably of Jewish origin, at least this is what I suspect given his last name), one of the most remarkable things after reading the text is that Margoliouth is of the opinion that Muhammad s.a.w.s. wrote the Qur’an himself, i.e. he is the author.
5.) Research paper on Mishkat al-Masabih
6.) Short review on the booklet Growing up in Islam by T.B. Irving
7.) Topical study on du’a
8.) Brief description of the Kanzu’l-‘Ummal
The Kanzu’l-‘Ummal is the largest ahadith collection that exists, it has more ahadith than the Musnad by imam Ahmad bin Hanbal. A brief description is given.
Download here: brief_description_of_the_kanz_ul-ummal
9.) Brief description of the Masabih al-Sunnah
10.) Description of the Ratib of imam al-Haddad
11.) Fiqh al-aqaliyyat
A while ago I collected a lot of material (literature, articles etc.) on the fiqh for muslim minorities / muslims living in non-muslim countries (fiqh al-aqaliyyat) with the intention to do a PhD but on my way I realized that I needed more and profound knowledge of the Arabic language before engaging into this topic at all. Nevertheless I gathered a lot of interesting things I want to share with all those interested in this topic.
There is an interesting lecture by the way on this topic by shaykh Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti (in Arabic) which can be downloaded from the following link (Marifah):
12.) De correcte uitspraak van de shahadah volgens het klassiek Arabisch (en de Shafi’i madhhab)