living islam _ Islamic tradition

| keywords| : publication style, quality

Concerning Two Publishers

As-Salamu `alaykum:

--- NN wrote:

Many have noticed that since 2003/2004, Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya's new publications are much less bad-closer to being mediocre or even reasonable than to being disastrous. Thoughts?

Yes. The high quality and extremely few mistakes of their recent re- edition (with new typesetting) in a single volume of Muhammad Fouad `Abd al-Baqi's edition of _Sahih Muslim_ supports this observation.

Furthermore, I have compared the two-column editions of _Sahih Muslim_ by Beirut's Dar Ibn Hazm and Ryadh's Dar al-Salam to the single-column edition of Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya and found that the latter did a superb deliberate job of avoiding the greatest widow/orphan [see definitions at] type of typographic enormity in Islamic texts such as:

- splitting the name "`Abd Allah ibn Fulan" by ending a line with `Abd and starting the next line with "Allah ibn Fulan."

- splitting the construct "Rasul Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Sallam" by ending a line with Rasul and starting the next line with "Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Sallam."

As early an authority as Ibn al-Salah in `Ulum al-Hadith warned against such no-nos. Students of `ilm, letter-writers, and the quasi- `awamm of the Arabic publishing world are strenuously instructed to avoid them. Yet here you have two out of three major worldwide Arab Muslim publishers doing nothing to avoid them but rather displaying these mistakes page after page in their new editions of the _Kutub al-Sitta_.

If _Sahih Muslim_ represents at all a pattern in that competitive re- edition, it seems, suprisingly, that the palm for best quality here goes to Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya.


[SP; 2005-09-21]


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