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By GF Haddad

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In the introduction to his book on the names of the Prophet ﷺ Al-Suyuti said: "It is my hope that Allah accept this book and that through this book I shall gain the Prophet's ﷺ intercession. Perhaps it shall be that Allah make it the seal of all my works, and grant me what I have asked Him with longing regarding the Honorable One."

- Some of his works listed
- hadith: Whoever says: 'I am knowledgeable'
- Back to Al-Jilāni

ʿAbd al-Rahman ibn Kamal al-Din Abi Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sabiq al-Din, Jalal al-Din al-Misri al-Suyuti al-Shafiʿi al-Ashʿari, also known as Ibn al-Asyuti (849-911), the mujtahid imam and renewer of the tenth Islamic century, foremost hadith master, jurist, Sufi, philologist, and historian, he authored works in virtually every Islamic science. Born to a Turkish mother and non-Arab father and raised as an orphan in Cairo, he memorized the Qur'an at eight, then several complete works of Sacred Law, fundamentals of jurisprudence, and Arabic grammar; after which he devoted himself to studying the Sacred Sciences under about a hundred and fifty shaykhs.

Among them the foremost Shafiʿi and Hanafis shaykhs at the time, such as the hadith master and Shaykh al-Islam Siraj al-Din Bulqini, with whom he studied Shafiʿi jurisprudence until his death; the hadith scholar Shaykh al-Islam Sharaf al-Din al-Munawi, with whom he read Qur'anic exegesis and who commented al-Suyuti's al-Jamiʿ al-Saghir in a book entitled Fayd al-Qadir; Taqi al-Din al-Shamani in hadith and the sciences of Arabic; the specialist in the principles of the law Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli, together with whom he compiled the most widespread condensed commentary of Qur'an in our time, Tafsir al-Jalalayn; Burhan al-Din al-Biqaʿi; Shams al-Din al-Sakhawi; he also studied with the Hanafi shaykhs Taqi al-Din al-Shamni, Shihab al-Din al-Sharmisahi, Muhyi al-Din al-Kafayji, and the hadith master Sayf al-Din Qasim ibn Qatlubagha.

He travelled in the pursuit of knowledge to Damascus, the Hijaz, Yemen, India, Morocco, the lands south of Morocco, as well as to centers of learning in Egypt such as Mahalla, Dumyat, and Fayyum. He was some time head teacher of hadith at the Shaykhuniyya school in Cairo at the recommendation of Imam Kamal al-Din ibn al-Humam, then the Baybarsiyya, out of which he was divested through the complaints of disgruntled shaykhs which he had replaced as teachers. He then retired into scholarly seclusion, never to go back to teaching.

Ibn Iyas in Tarikh Misr states that when al-Suyuti reached forty years of age, he abandoned the company of men for the solitude of the Garden of al-Miqyas by the side of the Nile, avoiding his former colleagues as though he had never known them, and it was here that he authored most of his nearly six hundred books and treatises.

Wealthy Muslims and princes would visit him with offers of money and gifts, but he put all of them off, and when the sultan requested his presence a number of times, he refused. He once said to the sultan's envoy: "Do not ever come back to us with a gift, for in truth Allah has put an end to all such needs for us." Blessed with success in his years of solitude, it is difficult to name a field in which al-Suyuti did not make outstanding contributions, among them his ten-volume hadith work Jamʿ al-Jawamiʿ ("The Collection of Collections"); his Qur'anic exegesis Tafsir al-Jalalayn ("Commentary of the Two Jalals"), of which he finished the second half of an uncompleted manuscript by Jalal al-Din Mahalli in just forty days; his classic commentary on the sciences of hadith Tadrib al-Rawi fi Sharh Taqrib al-Nawawi ("The Training of the Hadith Transmitter: An Exegesis of Nawawi's ʿThe Facilitation'"); and many others.

A giant among contemporaries, he remained alone, producing a sustained output of scholarly writings until his death at the age of sixty-two. He was buried in Hawsh Qawsun in Cairo. In the introduction to his book entitled al-Riyad al-Aniqa on the names of the Prophet ﷺ he said: "It is my hope that Allah accept this book and that through this book I shall gain the Prophet's ﷺ intercession. Perhaps it shall be that Allah make it the seal of all my works, and grant me what I have asked Him with longing regarding the Honorable One."

The editors of the Dalil Makhtutat al-Suyuti ("Guide to al-Suyuti's Manuscripts") have listed 723 works to al-Suyuti's name.1 Some of these are brief fatwas which do not exceed four pages, like his notes on the hadith "Whoever says: ʿI am knowledgeable,' he is ignorant"2 entitled Aʿdhab al-Manahil fi Hadith Man Qala Ana ʿAlim; while others, like the Itqan fi ʿUlum al-Qur'an or Tadrib al-Rawi, are full-fledged tomes.

Al-Tabarani stated that the hadith "Whoever says: ʿI am knowledgeable,' he is ignorant" is not narrated except through the chain containing al-Layth ibn Abi Sulaym, who is weak. Al-ʿAjluni in Kashf al-Khafa' states that this hadith is narrated by al-Tabarani in al-Awsat from Ibn ʿUmar rather than the Prophet ﷺ, and that al-Haytami said in his Fatawa Hadithiyya that it is actually a saying of (the Tabiʿi) Yahya ibn Kathir. For his part, Ibn Kathir cites it from ʿUmar in his Tafsir in commentary of the verse: { Have you not seen those who praise themselves for purity? } (4:49) Three narrations are indeed mentioned from ʿUmar in Kanz al-ʿUmmal, but all are weak. Al-ʿIraqi in his al-Mughni said that the part actually attributed to Yahya ibn Kathir is:

"Whoever says: ʿI am a believer,' he is a disbeliever," while al-Haythami in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id cites it from Yahya ibn Kathir with a weak chain as follows: "Whoever says: ʿI am knowledgeable,' he is ignorant, and whoever says: ʿI am ignorant,' he is ignorant. Whoever says: ʿI am in Paradise,' he is in the Fire, and whoever says: ʿI am in the Fire,' he is in the Fire." Al-Haytami further said: "It is established from countless Companions and others that they said they were knowledgeable, and they would not commit something which the Prophet ﷺ had blamed.

A greater proof yet is Yusuf's statement: { I am a knowledgeable guardian } (12:55)." However, the narration of al-Layth is confirmed by the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ: "Islam shall be on the rise until traders take to the sea [carrying it], and horses charge in the cause of Allah. After that a people will come and recite the Qur'an, saying: Who recites it better than us? Who is more knowledgeable than us? Who is wiser than us?" Then he turned to his Companions and asked: "Is there any good in such as these?" They said: "Allah and His Prophet know best." He said: "Those are from among you, O Umma! Those are fodder for the Fire."2b

What reconciles the two views is that the hadith of Ibn Abi Sulaym applies to those who claim knowledge either undeservedly, or proudly, and not to those who act out of sincerity and obligation. Ibn ʿAta' Allah said in his Hikam:

The root of every disobedience, forgetfulness, and desire is contentment with the self, while the root of every obedience, vigilance, and continence is your dissatisfaction with it. That you accompany an ignorant who is not pleased with his self is better for you than to accompany a knowledgeable person who is pleased with his self. And what ignorance is that of one who is dissatisfied with himself? And what knowledge is that of one who is satisfied with himself? Imam al-Shaʿrani in al-ʿUhud al-Muhammadiyya ("The Pledges We Made to the Prophet ﷺ") said something similar:

The Prophet ﷺ took our pledge that we should not claim to possess knowledge except for a licit cause, and that we should never say: "We are the most knowledgeable of people" - not with our mouths, and not with our hearts. How could we say such a thing when we know full well that in our country, let alone our region, there is one who is more knowledgeable than we? But if it is one day ordained for us to claim knowledge, then we must immediately follow this with repentence and ask forgiveness lest punishment descend on us. This is a problem which no wise person ever faces, for there is no science which one has looked up except the scholars of knowledge anticipated him and wrote books about it - scholars whose pupil he might not even deserve to be.

Al-Suyuti's student and biographer Shams al-Din al-Dawudi al-Maliki - the author of Tabaqat al-Mufassirin al-Kubra - said: "I saw the shaykh with my own eyes writing and finishing three works in one day which he himself authored and proofread. At the same time he was dictating hadith and replying beautifully to whatever was brought to his attention." Sakhawi reproached him his plagiarism of past books, and others said that the profusion of his works made for their lack of completion and the frequency of flaws and contradictions in them. This is a charge commonly laid at the door of prolific authors, such as Ibn al-Jawzi and Ibn Taymiyya. Note also that there was some animosity between al-Suyuti and his shaykh al-Sakhawi, as shown by the former's tract al-Kawi fi al-Radd ʿala al-Sakhawi ("The Searing Brand in Refuting al-Sakhawi") and his unflattering mention in the poem Nazm al-ʿIqyan fi Aʿyan al-Aʿyan.

His tasawwuf

His chain of transmission in tasawwuf goes back to Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qadir al-Jilani, and al-Suyuti belonged to the Shadhili tariqa, which he eulogized in his brief defense of tasawwuf entitled Tashyid al-Haqiqa al-ʿAliyya. In the latter book he states: "I have looked at the matters which the Imams of Shariʿa have criticized in Sufis, and I did not see a single true Sufi holding such positions. Rather, they are held by the people of innovation and the extremists who have claimed for themselves the title of Sufi while in reality they are not." In the Tashyid he also produces narrative chains of transmission proving that al-Hasan al-Basri did in fact narrate directly from ʿAli ibn Abi Talib - Allah be well-pleased with him. This goes against commonly received opinion among the scholars of hadith,3 although it was also the opinion of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.4

When one of his shaykhs, Burhan al-Din Ibrahim ibn ʿUmar al-Biqaʿi (d. 885), attacked Ibn ʿArabi in a tract entitled Tanbih al-Ghabi ila Takfir Ibn ʿArabi ("Warning to the Dolt That Ibn ʿArabi is an Apostate"), al-Suyuti countered with a tract entitled Tanbih Al-Ghabi fi Takhti'a Ibn ʿArabi ("Warning to the Dolt That Faults Ibn ʿArabi"). Both epistles have been published.5

In his reply al-Suyuti states that he considers Ibn ʿArabi a Friend of Allah whose writings are forbidden to those who read them without first learning the technical terms used by the Sufis. He cites from Ibn Hajar's list in Anba' al-Ghumr, among the trusted scholars who kept a good opinion of Ibn ʿArabi or counted him a wali: Ibn ʿAta' Allah al-Sakandari (d. 709), al-Yafiʿi (d. 678), Ibn ʿAbd al-Salam after the latter's meeting with al-Shadhili, Shihab al-Din Abu al-ʿAbbas Ahmad ibn Yahya al-Malwi al-Tilimsani (d. 776), Siraj al-Din Abu Hafs ʿUmar ibn Ishaq al-Hindi al-Hanafi (d. 773) the author of Sharh al-Hidaya and Sharh al-ʿAyni, Najm al-Din al-Bahi al-Hanbali (d. 802), al-Jabarti (d. 806), the major lexicographer al-Fayruzabadi (d. 818), Shams al-Din al-Bisati al-Maliki (d. 842), al-Munawi (d. 871), and others. Of note with regard to the above is the abundant use of Ibn ʿArabi's sayings by al-Munawi in his commentary of al-Suyuti's Jamiʿ al-Saghir entitled Fayd al-Qadir, and by Fayruzabadi in his commentary on Bukhari's Sahih.

His Ashʿarism

Al-Suyuti was Ashʿari in his doctrine as shown in many of his works. In Masalik al-Hunafa' fi Walidayy al-Mustafa ("Methods Of Those With Pure Belief Concerning the Parents of The Prophet ﷺ") he says:

The Prophet's ﷺ parents died before he was sent as Prophet and there is no punishment for them, since (We never punish until We send a messenger (whom they reject)( (17:15 ). Our Ashʿari Imams among those in kalam, usul, and fiqh agree on the statement that one who dies while daʿwa has not reached him, dies saved. This has been defined by Imam al-Shafiʿi.. . . Some of the fuqaha' explained that the reason is, such a person follows fitra or Primordial Disposition, and has not stubbornly refused nor rejected any Messenger.6

Al-Suyuti was taken to task for his claim that he was capable of independent scholarly exertion or ijtihad mutlaq. He explained: "I did not mean by that that I was similar to one of the Four Imams, but only that I was an affiliated mujtahid (mujtahid muntasib). For, when I reached the level of tarjih or distinguishing the best fatwa inside the school, I did not contravene al-Nawawi's tarjih. And when I reached the level of ijtihad mutlaq, I did not contravene al-Shafiʿis school." He continued: "There is not in our time, on the face of the earth, from East to West, anyone more knowledgeable than myself in hadith and the Arabic language, save al-Khidr or the Pole of saints or some other Wali - none of whom do I include into my statement - and Allah knows best."7 He also said of himself: "When I went on hajj I drank Zamzam water for several matters. Among them: (I asked) that I reach, in fiqh, the level of Shaykh Siraj al-Din al-Bulqini and in hadith, that of the hafiz Ibn Hajar."8

Titles of some of al-Suyuti's works

Below are the titles of some of al-Suyuti's works in print kept in the Arabic collection of the University of Princeton in the State of New Jersey (USA). The most recent date has been given for works with more than one edition:

1. Abwab al Saʿada Fi Asbab al-Shahada <1987> ("The Gates of Felicity in the Causes of the Witnessing to Oneness")
2. Al-Ashbah wa al-Naza'ir fi Furuʿ al-Shafiʿiyya ("Similarities in the Branches of the Law Within the Shafiʿi School")
3. Al-Ashbah wa al-Naza'ir fi al-ʿArabiyya ("Similarities in Arabic")
4. Al-Ahadith al-Hisan fi Fadl al-Taylasan <1983> ("The Beautiful Narrations Concerning the Merit of the Male Headcovering")
5. Al-Fawz al-ʿAzim fi Liqa' al-Karim <1994> ("The Tremendous Victory in Meeting the All-Generous")
6. Alfiyya al-Suyuti al-Nahwiyya <1900> ("The Thousand-Line Poem on Philology")
7. Alfiyya al-Suyuti fi Mustalah al-Hadith <1988> ("The Thousand-Line Poem on Hadith Nomenclature")
8. ʿAmal al-Yawm wa al-Layla <1987> ("Supererogatory Devotions for Each Day and Night")
9. Al-Itqan fi ʿUlum al-Qur'an <1996> ("Precision and Mastery in the Sciences of the Qur'an")
10. Anis al-Jalis <1874> ("The Familiar Companion")
11. Al-ʿAraj fi al-Faraj <1988> ("A Commentary on Ibn Abi al-Dunya's ʿThe Deliverance'," a work on hope and joy) 12. Al-Arbaʿun Hadith fi Qawaʿid al-Ahkam al-Sharʿiyya <1986> ("Forty Narrations on Basic Legal Rulings")
13. Asbab al-Nuzul <1983> ("Causes of Qur'anic Revelation" verse by verse) 14. Asbab Wurud al-Hadith <1988> ("Causes and Circumstances of Hadith")
15. Isbal al-Kisa' ala al-Nisa <1984> ("Women and the Donning of Cover")
16. Asrar Tartib al-Qur'an <1976> ("The Secret in the Ordering of the Qur'an")
17. Al-Aya al-Kubra fi Sharh Qissa al-Isra' <1985> ("The Great Sign: Commentary on the Story of the Prophet's ﷺ Night Journey")
18. ʿAyn al-Isaba fi Istidrak ʿA'isha ʿala al-Sahaba <1988> ("Exactitude Itself in ʿA'isha's Rectification of the Companions")
19. Azhar al-Mutanathira fi al-Ahadith al-Mutawatira <1951> ("The Most Prominent of the Reports Concerning the Narrations of Mass Transmission")
20. Al-Bahir fi Hukm al-Nabi Salla Allah Alayhi wa Sallam <1987> ("The Dazzling Light of the Prophet's ﷺ Rulings")
21. Al-bahja al-mardiyya fi sharh al-alfiyya <1980> ("The pleasing beauty: commentary on Muhammad ibn ʿAbd Allah Ibn Malik's ("d. 1274 CE")
Alfiyya or thousand-line poem on grammar")
22. Bulbul al-rawda <1981> ("Chronicle on al-Rawda, Egypt")
23. Bushra al-Ka'ib bi liqa' al-Habib <1960> ("The consolation of the sad with the meeting of the Beloved")
24. Al-Dibaj ala Sahih Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj <1991> ("Two-volume commentary on Sahih Muslim")
25. Al-Durar al-Muntathira fi al-ahadith al-mushtahara <1988> ("The scattered pearls of famous narrations")
; also published as al-nawafih al-ʿatira fi al-ahadith al-mushtahara <1992> ("The fragrant scents of famous narrations")
26. Al-durr al-manthur fi al-tafsir bi al-ma'thur ("The scattered pearls: A commentary of Qur'an based on transmitted reports")
27. Duruj al-munifa fi al-aba' al-sharifa <1916> ("The outstanding entries concerning the Prophet's ﷺ ancestors")
28. Fadd al-wiʿa' fi ahadith rafʿ al-yadayn fi al-duʿa <1985> ("The emptying of the vessel concerning raising the hands when making supplication")
29. Al-ghurar fi fada'il ʿUmar <1991> ("The blazing highlights of ʿUmar's merits")
30. Al-haba'ik fi akhbar al-malaik <1985> ("The celestial orbits or the reports concerning the angels")
31. Haqiqa al-sunna wa al-bidʿa aw al-amr bi al-ittibaʿ wa al-nahi ʿan al-munkar <1985> ("The reality of Sunna and innovation or the ordering of obedient following and the prohibition of evil")
32. Al-Hawi lil-fatawi fi al-fiqh wa-ʿulum al-tafsir wa-al-hadith wa-al-usul wa-al-nahw wa-al-iʿrab wa-sa'ir al-funun <1933> ("The collected legal decisions in jurisprudence, Qur'anic commentary, hadith, principles, language, and other sciences")
33. Al-hujaj al-mubayyana fi al-tafdil bayna makka wa al-madina <1985> ("The proofs made manifest concerning the superexcellence of Mecca and Madina")
34. Husn al-maqsid fi amal al-mawlid <1985> ("Excellence of purpose in celebrating the birth of the Prophet ﷺ")
35. Husn al-samt fi al-samt <1985> ("The merits of silence")
36. Ihya' al-mayyit bi fadail ahl al-bayt <1988> ("Giving life to the dead, or: the merits of the Family of the Prophet ﷺ ")
37. Ikhtilaf al-madhahib <1989> ("The divergences among the schools of law")
38. Al-iklil fi istinbat al-tanzil <1981> ("The diadem: the extraction of rulings from the revealed Book")
39. Inbah al-adhkiya' fi haya al-anbiya <1916> ("Notice to the wise concerning the life of the Prophets [i.e. In the grave]")
40. Al-iqtirah fi ʿilm usul al-nahw <1978> ("The authoritative discourse concerning the science of philology")
41. Al-izdihar fi ma ʿaqadahu al-shuʿara' min al-ahadith wa al-athar <1991> ("The flourishes of poets related to the Prophetic narrations and sayings of the Companions")
42. Jamʿ al-jawamiʿ al-maʿruf bi al-jamiʿ al-kabir <1970> ("The collection of collections, known as the Major Collection")
43. Jamiʿ al-ahadith al-jamiʿ al-saghir wa zawa'idi <1994> ("The Minor Collection and its addenda")
44. Jany al-jinas <1986> ("The genera of rhetoric")
45. Jazil al-mawahib fi ikhtilaf al-madhahib <1992> ("The abundant gifts concerning the differences among the schools of law")
46. Al-kanz al-madfun wa al-falak al-mashhun <1992> ("The buried treasure in the laden ship: An encyclopedia of Islamic history")
47. Kashf al-salsala ʿan wasf al-zalzala <1987> ("The transmitted expositions concerning the description of the Earthquake of Doomsday")
48. Al-Radd ʿala man akhlada ila al-ardi wa jahila anna al-ijtihada fi kulli ʿasrin fard <1984> ("Refutation of those who cling to the earth and ignore that scholarly striving is a religious obligation in every age")
49. Kitab al-shamarikh fi ʿilm al-tarikh <1894> ("The book of date-heavy stalks: a primer on historiography")
50. Kitab al-shihab al-thaqib fi dhamm al-khalil <1992> ("The piercing arrows, a commentary on ʿAli ibn Zafir's ("d. 1226? CE")
"The Healing of the Parched concerning the castigation of one's dear friend," a book on the ethics of friendship")
51. Kitab al-tabarri min maʿarra al-maʿarri wa Tuhfa al-zurafa' bi-asma' al-khulafa' <1989> ("Poetry on the names of the Caliphs")
52. Kitab al-tadhkir bi al-marjiʿ wa al-masir <1991> ("Book of the reminder of the Return to Allah")
53. Kitab asma' al-mudallisin <1992> ("The book of narrators who omit certain details while narrating")
54. Kitab bughya al-wuʿa fi tabaqat al-lughawiyyin <1908> ("The must of the sagacious concerning the biographical layers of lexicologists and philologists")
55. Kitab hamʿ al-hawamiʿ sharh jamʿ al-jawamiʿ fi ʿilm al-nahw <1973> ("The rushing floodgates, or commentary on the Collection of collections on the science of philology")
56. Kitab husn al-muhadara fi akhbar misr wa al-qahira <1904> ("The excellent lectures concerning the chronicle of Egypt and Cairo")
57. Kitab itmam al-diraya li qurra' al-nuqaya <1891> ("The perfection of knowledge for the elite among readers")
58. Kitab lubb al-lubab fi tahrir al-ansab <1840> ("The kernel of kernels concerning the editorship of genealogies")
59. Tazyin al-mamalik bi manaqib sayyidina Malik <1907> ("The adornment of slaves with the virtues of Imam Malik")
60. Kitab tuhfa al-mujalis wa nuzha al-majalis <1908> ("The jewel of every fellow student and the pleasant gatherings")
61. Laqat al-marjan fi ahkam al-jann <1989> ("The gleanings of coral: rulings concerning the jinn")
62. Lubab al-nuqul fi asbab al-nuzul <1981> ("The best of narrations concerning the circumstances of revelation")
63. Al-lumaʿ fi khasa'is yawm al-jumaʿ <1986> ("The merits of The day of jumʿa")
64. Ma rawahu al-asatin fi ʿadam al-maji' ila al-salatin <1992> ("The reports concerning not appearing at the courts of rulers")
; together with Dhamm al-maks ("The blame of taxes and tolls")
65. Manahil al-safa fi takhrij ahadith al-shifa <1988> ("The Springs of Purity: Documentation of the hadiths mentioned in Qadi ʿIyad's ʿThe Healing'")
66. Manaqib al-khulafa' al-rashidin <1890> ("Virtues of the well-guided Caliphs")
67. Manhaj al-sawi wa al-manhal al-rawi fi al-tibb al-nabawi <1986> ("The straight path and quenching spring: the Prophet's ﷺ medicine")
68. Al-maqamat al-sundusiyya fi al-nisba al-mustafawiyya <1916> ("The resplendent stations concerning Prophetic ancestry")
69. Al-masabih fi sala al-tarawih <1955> ("The lanterns of the "prayer of rests" [Tarawih]")
70. Masalik al-hunafa' fi waliday al-mustafa <1993> ("Method of those of pure religion concerning the parents of the Prophet ﷺ ")
71. Al-mataliʿ al-saʿida sharh al-suyuti ʿala al-alfiyya al-musamma bi al-Farida fi al-nahw wa al-tasrif wa al-khatt <1981> ("Suyuti's commentary on his own thousand-line poem entitled "The unique pearl" on philology, conjugation, and calligraphy")
72. Matlaʿ al-badrayn fiman yu'ta ajrahu marratayn <1991> ("The rising of the two full moons: those who are rewarded twice [i.e. Sincere Christians who accept Islam]")
73. Miftah al-janna fi al-iʿtisam bi al-sunna <1993> ("The key to paradise which consists in clinging to the Sunna of the Prophet ﷺ ")
74. Mufhimat al-aqran fi mubhamat al-qur'an <1991> ("The elucidations of the peers for the obscurities of the Qur'an")
75. Al-muhadhdhab fi ma waqaʿa fi al-Qur'an min al-muʿarrab <1988> ("The emendation concerning the foreign words and phrases in the Qur'an")
76. Muʿjiza maʿa karama fi kitab al-Sharaf al-muhattam : fima manna Allah taʿala bihi ʿala waliyyihi Ahmad al-Rifaʿi <1965> ("The miracle and gift concerning the book of "The paramount honor" [by al-Rifaʿi] and what Allah has bestowed in it upon His Friend Ahmad [ibn ʿAlu] al-Rifaʿi [d. 1182 CE]")
77. Mukhtasar sharh al-jamiʿ al-saghir li al-munawi <1954> ("The abridged commentary of the minor collection by al-Munawi")
78. Muntaha al-ʿamal fi sharh hadith innama al-aʿmal <1986> ("The goal of all practice, or the commentary on the hadith: Actions are according to intentions")
79. Musnad fatima al-zahra' radiya allah anha wa ma warada fi fadliha<1994> ("The narrations traced back to Fatima the Radiant and the reports concerning her virtues")
80. Mustazraf min akhbar al-jawari <1989> ("The graceful reports concerning women slaves")
81. Mutawakkili fima warada fi al-Qur'an bi al-lugha al-Habashiyya wa al-Farisiyya wa al-Rumiyya wa al-Hindiyya wa al-Siryaniyya wa al-ʿIbraniyya wa al-Nabatiyya wa al-Qibtiyya wa al-Turkiyya wa al-Zanjiyya wa al-Barbariyya ("My reliance concerning what has been mentioned in the Qur'an in Ethiopian, Farsi, Greek, Hindi, Syriac, Hebrew, Nabatean, Coptic, Turkic, African, and Berber")
82. Nashr al-ʿalamayn al-munifayn fi ihya' al-abawayn al-sharifayn <1916> ("The proclamation to the two outstanding worlds [mankind and jinn] concerning the ressuscitation of the Prophet's ﷺ parents")
83. Natija al-fikr fi al-jahr bi al-dhikr <1950> ("The conclusion of reflection upon loud remembrance of Allah")
84. Nazm al-iqyan fi aʿyan al-aʿyan <1927> ("Who's who in the ninth Hijri century")
85. al-Nukat al-badiʿat ʿala al-mawduʿat <1991> (Suyuti's critique of Ibn al-Jawzi's collection of forged narrations) 86. Nuzha al-julasa' fi ashhar al-nisa' <1986> ("The recreation of student gatherings concerning famous women poets")
87. Nuzha al-muta'ammil wa-murshid al-muta'ahhil: fi al-khatib wa-al-mutazawwij <1989> ("The recreation of the fianc� and the guide of the married")
88. Nuzha al-ʿumr fi al-tafdil bayna al-bid wa al-sumr <1931> ("The recreation of life about establishing preference between the white and the black in complexion")
89. Nuzul ʿIsa ibn Maryam Akhir al-Zaman <1985> ("The descent of ʿIsa ibn Maryam at the end of time")
90. Al-qawl al-jali fi fada'il ʿali <1990> ("The manifest discourse on the virtues of ʿAli ibn Abi Talib - Allah be well-pleased with him -")
91. Al-rahma fi al-tibb wa al-hikma <1970> ("Arabic medicine and wisdom")
92. Al-rasa'il al-ʿashr <1989> ("The ten epistles")
92. Rasf al-la'al fi wasf al-hilal <1890> ("The stringing of the pearls in describing the new moon")
93. Al-rawd al-aniq fi fadl al-siddiq <1990> ("The beautiful garden of the merit of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq - Allah be well-pleased with him -")
94. Risala al-sayf al-qatiʿ al-lamiʿ li ahl al-iʿtirad al-shawa'iʿ <1935> ("Epistle of the sharp and glistening sword to the Shiʿi people of opposition")
95. Al-riyad al-aniqa fi sharh asma' khayr al-khaliqa sallallahu ʿalayhi wa sallam ("The beautiful gardens: explanation of the names of the Best of Creation [the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ ]")
96. Sawn al-mantiq wa al-kalam ʿan fann al-mantiq wa al-kalam <1947> ("Manual of logic and dialectic theology")
97. Shaqa'iq al-utrunj fi raqa'iq al-ghunj <1988> ("The citron halves: or, the delicacy of women")
98. Sharh al-sudur bi sharh hal al-mawta wa al-qubur <1989> ("The expanding of breasts or commentary on the state of the dead in the grave")
99. Sharh al-urjuza al-musamma bi ʿuqud al-juman fi ʿalam al-maʿani wa al-bayan <1955> ("The commentary in rajaz ["surging"] meter entitled: The pearl necklaces related to the world of meanings and precious discourse")
100. Sharh shawahid al-mughni <1904> ("Commentary on the proof-texts of ʿAbd Allah ibn Hisham's ("d. 1360CE")
Mughni al-labib or "The sufficient knowledge of the sensible one"")
101. Shurut al-mufassir wa adabuh <1994> ("The criteria to be met by commentators of Qur'an and their ethics")
102. Siham al-isaba fi al-daʿawat al-mustajaba <1987> ("The arrows that hit their target: About the prayers that are fulfilled")
103. Subul al-jaliyya fi al-aba' al-ʿaliyya <1916> ("The manifest paths concerning the lofty ancestors [of the Prophet ﷺ ]")
104. Taʿaqqubat al-Suyuti ʿala mawduʿat Ibn al-Jawzi <1886> ("Suyuti's critique of Ibn al-Jawzi's collection of forged narrations")
105. Tabaqat al-mufassirin <1976> ("The biographical layers of Qur'an commentators")
106. Tabyid al-sahifa bi manaqib al-imam abi hanifa <1992> ("The whitening of the page: or, the virtues of Imam Abu Hanifa")
107. Al-tadhyil wa al-tadhnib ʿala al-Nihaya fi gharib al-hadith wa-al-athar <1982> ("Marginal annotations on Ibn al-Athir's ʿThe goal'")
108. Tadrib al-rawi fi sharh taqrib al-nawawi <1994> ("The training of the hadith transmitter: an exegesis of Nawawi's ʿThe facilitation'")
109. Tahdhib al-khasa'is al-nabawiyya al-kubra <1989> ("The emendation of al-Suyuti's book entitled ʿthe awesome characteristics of the Prophet ﷺ '")
110. Tahdhir al-khawass min akadhib al-qussas <1932> ("Warning the elite against the lies of story-tellers")
111. Takhrij ahadith sharh al-mawaqif fi ʿilm al-kalam <1986> ("The documentation of the hadiths mentioned in "The commentary of the stopping-places in dialectical theology," a work by al-Qadi ʿAdud al-Din ʿAbd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad Ayji al-Shirazi ("d. 756")
112. Tamhid al-farsh fi al-khisal al-mujiba li-zilal al-ʿarsh <1990> ("The characteristics that guarantee the shading of the Throne")
113. Tanbih al-ghabi fi takhti'a ibn ʿArabi <1990> ("Warning to the ignorant who imputes error to Muhyi al-Din Ibn ʿArabi [a reply to al-Biqaʿi's ʿWarning of the ignorant that Ibn ʿArabi is a disbeliever]'")
114. Tanwir al-hawalik sharh ʿala muwatta' malik <1969> ("The enlightenment of intense blackness: commentary on Malik's "Trodden path"")
; together with Isʿaf al-mubatta' fi rijal al-muwatta' ("The succor of the stalled concerning the narrators of Malik's "Trodden Path"")
115. Tanwir al-miqbas min tafsir ibn ʿabbas <1951> ("The enlightenment of torchlights from the Qur'anic commentary of Ibn ʿAbbas")
116. Tanzih al-anbiya' ʿan tashbih al-aghbiya' <1916> ("Declaring the Prophets far above the comparisons ignorant people make of themselves with them")
117. Taqrir al-istinad fi tafsir al-ijtihad <1983> ("Establishing authoritative ascription in the course of scholarly striving")
118. Al-taʿrif bi adab al-ta'lif <1989> ("The etiquette of authorship")
119. Tarikh al-khulafa <1993> ("History of the Caliphs")
120. Tartib suwar al-qur'an <1986> ("The disposition of the suras of the Qur'an")
121. Tasliya al-aba' bi-fuqdan al-abna' al-musamma al-Taʿallul wa al-itfa' li-nar la yutfa' <1987> ("The consolation of parents who have lost their children, also known as: The extinction of the fire that cannot be extinguished")
122. Tawq al-hamama <1988> ("The flight of the dove")
123. Ta'yid al-haqiqa al-ʿaliyya wa tashyid al-tariqa al-shadhiliyya <1934> ("The upholding of the lofty truth and the buttressing of the Shadhili sufi path")
124. Al-taʿzim wa al-minna fi anna abaway rasul alla fi al-janna <1916> ("That the Prophet's ﷺ parents are in Paradise")
125. Tuhfa al-abrar bi nukat al-adhkar li al-nawawi <1990> ("Commentary on Nawawi's "Supplications"")
126. Tuhfa al-ʿAjlan fi Fada'il ʿUthman <1991> ("The merits of ʿUthman ibn ʿAffan")
127. Tuhfa al-Nujaba' <1990> ("The gem of patricians [a work on language]")
128. ʿUqud al-Zabarjad ʿala Musnad al-Imam Ahmad <1987> ("The chrysolite necklaces on Imam Ahmad's collection of narrations traced to the Prophet ﷺ")
129. ʿUqud al-Zabarjad fi Iʿrab al-Hadith al-Nabawi <1994> ("The chrysolite necklaces on the grammatical analysis of the Prophet's ﷺ narrations")
130. Al-Wasa'il fi Musamara al-Awa'il <1986> ("The means for conversation with the ancients")
; also published as al-Wasa'il ila Maʿrifa al-Awa'il <1990> ("The means to the acquaintance of the ancients")
131. Wusul al-Amani bi Usul al-Tahani <1987> ("The attainment of one's hope in the etiquette of well-wishing")
132. Al-Zajr bi al-Hijr <1950> ("The reprimand by means of the reminder of what is unlawful")
133. Zubda al-Laban Fawa'id Lughawiyya wa Hadithiyya <1989> ("The cream of the milk: miscellaneous benefits related to language and hadith")
134. Akhlaq Hamala al-Qur'an <1987> ("Manners of the carriers of Qur'an")
135. Badhl al-Himma fi Talab Bara'a al-Dhimma ("Directing one's energies to pursue clearness of conscience")
; contained in the collective volume entitled: Thalath Rasa'il fi al-Ghiba <1988> ("Three epistles on slander")
136. Al-la'ali' al-Masnuʿa fi al-Ahadith al-Mawduʿa <1960> ("The artificial pearls or forged hadiths")
137. Daqai'q al-akhbar fi dhikr al-janna wa al-nar <1961> ("The subtleties in the reports that mention Paradise and the Fire")
138. Al-ithaf bi hubb al-ashraf <1900> ("The present concerning love of the nobility [i.e. Descendants of the Prophet ﷺ ]")
139. Hay'a al-saniyya fi al-hay'a al-sunniyya <1982> ("Treatise on astronomy")
Main sources: Ibn Fahd, Dhayl Tadhkira al-Huffaz p. 6-10; al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa', introduction p. 5-10; Nuh Keller, Reliance of the Traveller p. 1100.


1 Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Shaybani and Ahmad al-Khazindar, eds. Dalil Makhtutat al-Suyuti, 2nd ed. (Kuwait: Manshurat Markaz al-Makhtutat, 1995).

2 Narrated from ʿUmar by al-Bazzar with a sound chain as stated by al-Haythami.
+ 2b

3 See, for example, al-Sakhawi's words in his Maqasid, in the entry khirqa.

4 Ibn Abi Yaʿla, Tabaqat al-Hanabila (1:192): "My father (al-Qadi Abu Yaʿla) narrated to me in writing: ʿIsa ibn Muhammad ibn ʿAli narrated to us: I heard ʿAbd Allah ibn Muhammad (Imam Abu al-Qasim al-Baghawi) say: I heard Abu ʿAbd Allah Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal say: ʿal-Hasan did narrate (qad rawa) from ʿAli ibn Abi Talib.'" ʿAbd al-Razzaq in his Musannaf (7:412) narrates that ʿAli even consulted al-Hasan in a certain judicial case. For the listing of the chains of transmission establishing that al-Hasan narrated from ʿAli see al-Suyuti's Ta'yid al-Haqiqa al-ʿAliyya wa Tashyid al-Tariqa al-Shadhiliyya and Ahmad al-Ghumari's al-Burhan al-Jali fi Tahqiq Intisab al-Sufiyya ila ʿAli.

5 Al-Biqaʿi, Masraʿ al-Tasawwuf, aw, Tanbih Al-Ghabi Ila Takfir Ibn ʿArabi, ed. ʿAbd al-Rahman al-Wakil (Bilbis: Dar al-Taqwa, <1989>); al-Suyuti, Tanbih Al-Ghabi Fi Takhti'a Ibn ʿArabi, ed. ʿAbd al-Rahman Hasan Mahmud (Cairo: Maktaba al-Adab, 1990).

6 It is related that some of the Ashʿari imams such as al-Qurtubi, al-Subki, and al-Shaʿrani said that Abu Talib, the Prophet's uncle, was also saved, according to Shaykh Ahmad Zayni Dahlan in his epistle Asna al-Matalib fi Najat Abi Talib (Cairo: Muhammad Effendi Mustafa, 1305/1886) who cites Imam al-Suhaymi and the Hanafi Mufti of Mecca Shaykh Ahmad ibn ʿAbd Allah Mirghani to that effect. They mention, among other evidence, the narration of al-ʿAbbas - Allah be well-pleased with him -: Ibn Saʿd said in his Tabaqat al-Kubra (1:118): ʿAffan ibn Muslim told us: Hammad ibn Salama told us: From Thabit [ibn Aslam al-Bunani]: From Ishaq ibn ʿAbd Allah ibn al-Harith [ibn Nawfal] who said: al-ʿAbbas said: "I said: ʿO Messenger of Allah, do you hope anything for Abu Talib?' He replied: ʿI hope everything good from my Lord.'" The above narrators are all trustworthy and their transmission is sound, except that the meaning of the hadith is unspecific. Further, al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir (for verses 6:26 and 9:53) and Ibn al-Subki in Tabaqat al-Shafiʿiyya al-Kubra (1:91-94) hold different positions than those ascribed to them above, and the sound evidence to the contrary is explicit and abundant but Allah knows best.

7 Al-Suyuti, al-Radd ʿala man Akhlada ila al-Ard (p. 116).

8 Al-Suyuti, Husn al-Muhadara fi Akhbar Misr wa al-Qahira (p. 157).

Allah's blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions.

GF Haddad ©

xL =broken link 2020-10-01; amalpress.comSuyuti's book

For an update and expansion of the text see: The Remembrance of God, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Sajeda Maryam Poswal, Gibril F. Haddad; publ. xL =broken link 2020-10-01; amalpress.com amalpress.com

Written by one of the most celebrated and prolific scholars of the Islamic civilisation, this treatise was written in response to a questioner in regards to remembering God (dhikr) aloud and in a group. In his response, al-Suyuti responds citing twenty five Prophetic traditions that in his estimation, not only justify collective dhikr, but highly recommend it....



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link-in This text as pdf

link-out Remembrance of God By Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti [kitaabun.com]

Written by one of the most celebrated and prolific scholars of the Islamic civilisation, this treatise was written in response to a questioner in regards to remembering God (dhikr) aloud and in a group. In his response, al-Suyuti responds citing twenty five Prophetic traditions that in his estimation, not only justify collective dhikr, but highly recommend it.

There is a growing need for the translation of texts that reflect the vastness of traditional Islam. This work allows English speakers the opportunity to experience the classical scholarship of the erudite imam, al-Suyuti. With additional appendices and a detailed biography of the author, this book contains much benefit and is sure to validate a practice that Muslims have taken part in for centuries. (By Yahya Rhodus)

link-out The Remembrance of God by Jalal Al-Din Al Suyuti [archive.org]

The Remembrance of God by Jalal Al-Din Al Suyuti, Translated by Sajeda Maryam Poswal, Revised with Notes, Biography & Appendices by Gibril Fouad Haddad.

This sixteenth century fatwa or legal opinion was written in response to a question concerning the permissibility of practising the remembrance of God (dhikr) aloud and in a group. Its author Jalal Al-Din Al Suyuti was a giant among the contemporaries. He was a hadith master and polymath who authored works in virtually every Islamic science.


* Living Islam – Islamic Tradition *