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05 August 2020 / 15. Zil-Hajj 1441

Book Review: Islamic Laws - Vol 1 by Ayatullah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani


The announcement of the publication of this work was awaited eagerly. A twenty years wait for a new edition raises the question if the wait was worthwhile.

The original translation of 1994 has stood the test of time and the many well thumbed copies no doubt are still in use. However as this translation is based on the thirty first edition of the original Persian work published in2014, the numbering of the rulings are not in sync. As a matter of fact the numbering of the rulings begin to change from around ruling number 4.

This new translation however raises the bar. The translator Al Haj Mohamed Ismail tells us in the preface that his approach has been to ensure that the work enhances the readers understanding of the rulings. The translator has certainly succeeded in that endeavour.

The consistency in the use of the technical terminology and use of a flowing idiomatic style enables the reader to better comprehend some of the technical rulings. The use of footnotes and annotations by the translator facilitates a better understanding and appreciation of some of the complex rulings.

A master stroke by the publishers and undoubtedly by the translator has been the inclusion of the Arabic text where appropriate e.g. the recitation at a burial. The font that has been selected for the Arabic text is easy on the eye. The inclusion of a Glossary and a Table of Weights and Measures is very useful indeed.

If any disappointment can be levelled it would be that the work is not complete compared to the 1994 edition. The current translation stops at Section8 – Hajj. That means seven sections remain to be translated.

 It is understood that a second volume covering the remaining seven sections is in the offing. 

As to the opening question whether the wait was worthwhile the resounding answer must be in the affirmative. Furthermore every household should carry this latest version of the work.

Book Review by: Taha Dharsi

To purchase the book please visit the WF online bookshop. 

This incredible book is now available in an ebook format! Click here to download it.

  

 


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