Review: Mu'in al-Fara'id

Mu'in al-Fara'id is a primer on mirath (inheritance law). Many madrasahs use this as a core text either in conjunction or as a precursor to more advanced work such as Siraji fil Mirath. The structure and methodology of the book are similar to Siraji. It provides easy to follow instructions with an emphasis on how to calculate inheritance rather than an in-depth focus on points of law. It outlines the reliable positions of the Ahnaf without delving in the differences of opinions.

The work was originally written in Urdu by Mufti Mahmud Hasan Ajmeri, 1309 - 1393 AH (1892-1973 CE), while in Rander. He served as a sadr mudarris and later shaykh hadith in Jami'ah Husainiyah Rander (Gujrat, India) for 26 years until the partition of India and Pakistan (1366 AH/ 1947 CE). This work is part of a series of primers such as Mu'in al-Aqa'id, Mu'in al-Mantiq, and Mu'in al-Hikmah which he wrote.

Jami'ah Husainiyah publishes Mu'in al-Fara'id. The author and the ulama at the Institute in subsequent editions have made improvements and corrections. May Allah Almighty reward them all.

The asabah order was somewhat unclear in the earlier edition. It suggested a full brother's son's son is superior to the consanguine brother's son which is not the case. This was corrected.

The calculation method in the book follows the classical techniques which utilise fractions with denominator formed of the common multiples of 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8. This is ideal for progression to and understanding of advanced classical work in the field.

The usage of Arabic terminology supports the transition to the classics although it feels cumbersome to the beginner. However, this was addressed with the inclusion of a glossary of terms in the later editions. Where the work differs from the classics is in the general language and the manner of explanation. The author adopts language which focuses on making the content understandable rather than strictly adhering to classical definitions and modes of explanation which some beginners may find hard.

The book is easy enough to follow, but even by the author's admission, it was intended to be studied with a teacher. Although additional exercises have been included, it is still insufficient. However, to add more examples will hamper the brevity of the book which is one of its strength. The author decides against a workbook as he argues teachers should make exercises to address the need of the student rather than follow formulaic examples. This is a very sensible approach which allows teachers freedom and develop mastery within pupils.

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Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
9 Muharram 1438
10 October 2016

Status: 
Draft