Al-Qawl al-Hasan: Defence of Atharus Sunan of Shaykh al-Nimawi
04 Nov, 2020
Many of us are aware of the pro Hanafi Hadith based work known as Atharus Sunan by Shaykh Muhammad Ali al Nimawi (d. 1322 AH/1904 CE). This work is quite popular even in our time with Urdu versions and subsequent commentaries on it also. The work was also translated into English and published by Turath publishing (2013) in London.
Atharus-Sunan in Arabic may be downloaded from – HERE
Muzzammil Husayn mentioned: “The late Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah (d. 1997) in his biography of ‘Allamah Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri (d. 1933) in Tarajim Sittah min Fuqaha al-‘Alam al-Islami quotes ‘Allamah Yusuf al-Banuri (d. 1977, the student of ‘Allamah Kashmiri) saying:
Mawlana Muhammad Zahir Ahsan al-Nimawi (d. 1322/1904), Allah have mercy on him, the famous hadith-scholar, author of Athar al-Sunan, would seek assistance from Shaykh [Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri] with regards to the ambiguities of hadith, by correspondence through letter-writing. He would seek help from him while writing his book Athar al-Sunan and he would present to him what he had written piece by piece. This is what I heard from the revered Shaykh [himself], Allah have mercy on him. He said in his book Nayl al-Firqadayn: “The deceased Shaykh [al-Nimawi] while writing that book would send it to me piece by piece, until I became an aide therein; and I added many things to it after him.” The Shaykh, Allah have mercy on him, at that time was a youth whose reputation was not [yet] manifest to the people while the hadith-scholar al-Nimawi was an experienced scholar, and in spite of this, this was his [manner of] interacting [with ‘Allamah Kashmiri], and this shows his intellectual humbleness and his estimation of men. Allah raise both their statuses. (Tarajim Sittah min Fuqaha al-‘Alam al-Islami, p. 29).”End of quote
There was a reply to the Atharus Sunan entitled Abkār al-minan fī tanqīd āthār al-Sunan by the Ahle-Hadith (ghayr muqallid) scholar known as Abdur Rahman al Mubarakpuri (d. 1934 CE). Some admirers of al Mubarakpuri have taken this as some sort of scholarly triumph over the original work by al-Nimawi. Shaykh Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri also compiled a follow up to Atharus-Sunan entitled al-Ithaf li Madhhabil Ahnaf which still remains in manuscript format. Images from this latter work may be seen – HERE
What many people do not know or like to admit if they are in the know is that al-Nimawi’s son did write a counter reply to al-Mubarakpuri’s Abkār al-Minan. The title of the counter reply is al-Qawl al-Hasan fi al Radd ala Abkār al-Minan. The evidence for this can be seen in the download link and the book seems to be still out of print. Our thanks go to Alijma Foundation for sending us the digital edition of this work.
To download the work please click – HERE