About The Book
This book is a compilation of four books which deal with the lives and works of the four imams who founded the four great canonical schools of thoughts of Islamic Fiqh. The Book was originally written in Arabic by the great Egyptian scholar and theologian Muhammad Abu Zahra and is presented in English for the first time.
About The Author
Muhammad Abu Zahra (1898–1974) was an Egyptian public intellectual, scholar of Islamic law, and author. He also served as a member of al-Azhar's Academy of Islamic Research.
Abu Zahra was born on March 29, 1898 in El-Mahalla El-Kubra, the second largest city in the Nile Delta. In 1913, Abu Zahra completed high school and enrolled in the Ahmadi Madrasa in Tanta. In 1916, he scored highest on the entry examination for the judiciary institute in the Gharbia rGovernorate despite being several years younger and less experienced than his colleagues.Having been rooted in traditional Azharite education, and never having studied in Europe or in Egyptian Westernized schools, Abu Zahra has been criticized by Orientalists as having a superficial grasp of Western methods.
He taught at al-Azhar's faculty of theology and later, as Professor of Islamic law at Cairo University.Between 1933 and 1942, he taught courses on the history of religions, denominations and sects at Azhar, during which time his lectures on comparative religion and Christianity were given, though the latter wasn't published until 1965.
His more than forty books include biographies of Abu Hanifah, Malik ibn Anas, Al-Shafi'i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Zayd ibn Ali, Jafar as-Sadiq, Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-'Abidin, Ibn Hazm and Ibn Taymiyyah, as well as works on personal status, pious endowments (waqf), property, and crime and punishment in Islamic law.
About The Editor
Shaykh Abdalhaqq Bewley accepted Islam in 1968 and spent some years in Morocco studying Islam. Since that time he has worked with Shaykh Dr Abdalqadir as-Sufi on the establishment of Islam and Muslim communities, which has led to periods living and teaching in Nigeria, the US, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Spain, the Caribbean and the UK.
He is the author of Islam, its basic practices and beliefs, Zakat: raising a fallen pillar and a number of other works. In collaboration with his wife, the renowned translator Aisha Bewley, he has been responsible for The Noble Qur'an: a new rendering of its meanings in English, Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik and Muhammad: the Messenger of Allah (ash-Shifa) of Qadi Iyad.