Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller
|Author||Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri|
|Translator||Nuh Ha Mim Keller|
Umdat as-Salik wa 'Uddat an-Nasik (Reliance of the Traveller and Tools of the Worshipper, also commonly known by its shorter title Reliance of the Traveller) is a classical manual of fiqh for the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence. The author of the main text is 14th-century scholar Shihabuddin Abu al-'Abbas Ahmad ibn an-Naqib al-Misri (AH 702-769 / AD 1302–1367). Al-Misri based his work on the previous Shafi'i works of Imam Nawawi and Imam Abu Ishaq as-Shirazi, following the order of Shirazi's al-Muhadhdhab (The Rarefaction) and the conclusions of Nawawi's Minhaj at-Talibin (The Seeker's Road).
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Umdat as-Salik was translated into English by the American Muslim scholar Nuh Ha Mim Keller in 1991 and became the first translation of a standard Islamic legal reference in a European language to be certified by Al-Azhar. The translation comprises 26 sections titled according to the letters of the English alphabet, Book A, Book B, Book C, etc.
Books A through C contain introductory material forming a guide to fiqh compiled by Keller. Books D through O correspond to the original work of al-Misri, commencing with an "Author's Introduction". Following are translations of eight shorter works - Books P through V - which address topics such as personal ethics, character, and traditional Islamic Sufism, and include famous classical texts such as Al-Ghazzali's Ihya’ ʿulum al-din and Nawawi's Riyadh as-Saaliheen. Book W consists of extensive notes and appendices, Book X offers thumbnail biographies of hundreds of figures mentioned throughout the work, and Books Y and Z conclude it with a bibliography and indexes.
Certain sections of the book were left untranslated (although the original Arabic text is retained), as Keller considered them irrelevant to modern societies. These parts include a section on slavery, describing the rights and duties of slaves and their masters, as well as some smaller sections such as, for example, a discussion on fixing utensils using gold.
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