Al-Hidayah: The Guidance Hardcover – Apr 1 2006
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This publication of the Hidayah is the complete translation from Arabic written by al-Marginani, arguably being the most popular and important work in the entire fiqh literature.
The primary reason for its popularity is the reliability of its statements and the soundness of its legal reasoning. Most researchers and scholars first consult al-Hidayah before they move to another source. The need for this book, since the day it was written, led to the writing of well over forty commentaries and glosses on it, and this does not include the books written to document its traditions. This is rare not only for Islamic law, but for any field of knowledge.
The entire first "Book"(consisting of 6 chapters) deals with when and when not to "purify" oneself ("obligatory acts of 'Wudu'"), with which types of water, when (literally) to clean one's boots, and what things render one "impure." Things that can make one "impure" are ruled of two types---"visible and invisible."
Book II includes 23 chapters on prayer, covering the smallest of details. Nothing is left to chance or personal choice. This book closes with instructions on how to bury a so-called "shahid" (martyr), "killed by the polytheists," that is one who "falls within the meaning of the shuhada, according to Muhammad, and whose blood places them into "a state of purity."
The 7 chapters in Book three concern some of the rules concerning zakat, that is, obligatory annual donations, including those people who may not receive such charity, for example the "dhimmi" or second class non-Muslim persons.
Books 4 and 5 concern fasting and the pilgrimage to Mecca (where non-Muslims may also not go), while Book 6 concerns marriages, including the shari'a laws governing marriages of non-Muslims and slaves, who essentially have no rights. Book 8 covers divorces.
What is most interesting here, though, are the brief passages concerning treatment of non-Muslims, as well as the clear and unquestionable definition of jihad, which is defined simply as "war," and clearly isn't the 20th century invention of either the Muslim Brotherhood or al Qaeda.
In volume two of this medieval jurisprudence, which Muslims still follow today, al-Marghinan explains further that it is essentially okay to attack people who have been "invited to Islam" but refused to convert. These enemies are thus attacked because of their religious beliefs, and furthermore to "induce" them to convert rather than die:
"It is not lawful to make war upon any people who have never before been called to the faith, without previously requiring them to embrace it, because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call infidels to the faith, and also because the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the trouble of war...."
---Alyssa A. Lappen