Taken from the Teacher’s Academic Web-Page of Shaykh Muhammad Salim Bazmul on Umm al-Qurra University https://uqu.edu.sa/page/ar/93215388
Translated by Salah al-Irani
Masjid Daar us Sunnah | http://www.DuSunnah.com | London
- - The best book on the subject of tafsir for the beginner student of knowledge is: Tafsir al-Baghawi.
- The best book on matters of creed which the Muslim needs is: Kitab at-Tawhid by Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab.
- The best explanation of Sahih al-Bukhari is: Fath al-Bari by Ibn Hajr.
- The best book on the methodology of calling to Islam is: Manhaj al-Anbiya fi ad-Da’watil ila Allah by Rabi ibn Hadi al-Madkhali.
- The best book on hadiths pertaining to conduct and mannerism is: Riyadh as-Salihin by an-Nawawi.
- The best book on the sciences of hadith is: Marifatu Anwa’i ‘Ulum al-hadith By Ibn Salah.
- The best book on Arabic terminologies and expressions is: Mu’jam Maqayis by Ahmad Ibn Faris al-Qazwini .
- The best book on the methodology of verifying manuscripts is: the book by ‘Abd al-Salam Harun, Tahqiq an-Nusus.
- The best book on the methodology of authoring knowledge-based research is: Kayfa Tak’tub Bahthan aw Risalatan by Ahmad Shalabi.
- The best book in refutation of the Shi’ah is: Minhaj as-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah by Ibn Taimiyyah (may Allah have Mercy on him).
- The best book on illustrating the guidance of the Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is: Zad al-Ma’ad fi Hadi Khairil-'Ibad by Ibn al-Qayyim.
- The best book on the laws of Islamic governance is: al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah by al-Mawardi.
- The best book on comparative Fiqh is: al-Awsat by Ibn al-Munthir & al-Mughni by Ibn al-Qudamah.
- The best book on the obscurities and intricacies of hadiths is a book entitled: Mushkil al-Athar by at-Tahawi.
- The best book on information regarding the companions is: al-Isabah by Ibn Hajr.
- The best explanation of al-Muwatta by Imam Malik is a book entitled: at-Tamhid & al-Istithkar both authored by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr al-Namri.
- The best book that focuses on the Prophetic biography is: as-Sirah by Ibn Hisham (d.218AH) which he summarised from ibn Ishaq’s (d.151AH) al-Maghazi was-Siyar (may Allah have mercy on them both).
- The best book on the concepts of syntax (and functions of the particles, conjunctions and prepositions) is Mughni al-Labib ‘an Kutub al-A’arib by Ibn Hisham an-Nahwi. He was ‘Abdullah ibn Yusuf ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Yusuf, Abu Muhammad, Jamal ad-Din (d.761AH).
- The best explanation of an-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith is: Ja’mi al-‘Ulum wal-Hikam by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali.
- The best book explaining al-‘Ilal (defects of hadith) is: Sharh al-‘Ilal as-Saghir of at-Tirmithi by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali.
- The best book on the narrations of the Companions is: al-Musannaf by ‘Abd al-Razzaq as-San’ani and al-Musannaf by Ibn Abi Shaybah.
- The best book in refutation of al-Kawthari is: al-Tankil bima fi Ta'nib al-Kawthari min Abatil by al-Mu‘allimi.
- The best book on the abrogating and abrogated verses of the Qur’an is: the book of Ibn al-Arabi al-Maliki and Ibn al-Jaw i al-Hanbali.
- The best book on the abrogating and abrogated hadiths is: al-‘I’lam al-‘Alam ba'dad Rusukhi bi Nasikh al- Hadith wa-Mansukhi by Ibn al-Jawzi.
- The best encyclopaedic book on the subject of Fiqh is: Mawsu‘at ul-Fiqh al-Kuwaitiyah, which is unparalleled.
- The best books on matun al-hadith are the six books of the Sunnah: Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan an-Nis’ai, Sunan Abi Dawud, Sunan at-Tirmithi and Sunan ibn Majah.
- The best Musnad is: al-Musnad by Ahmad Ibn-Hanbali
- The best book which combines the six hadith books is: Jami al-‘Usul with the checking of ‘Abd al-Qadr al-Arna’ut.
- The best book on the laws of Funerals is: Ahkam al-Jana’iz by al-Albani.
- The best book in explaining the "rare" or one-chained hadith is: al-Nihayah fi Gharib al-Hadith wa al-Athar by Ibn al-Athir.
- The best explanation of Sunan Abi Dawud is: ‘Awn al-Ma’bud by Shams al-Haqq ‘Athim Abadi.
- The best explanation of Sunan at-Tirmithi is: ‘Aridat al-Ahwadi by Ibn al-Arabi and Tuhfat al-Ahwadi by al-Mubarakfuri.
- The best book on hadiths pertaining to Islamic rulings is: al-Mantaqa min al-Ahkam by Majd ad-Din ‘Abd as-Salam ibn Taymiyah and Bulugh al-Maram by Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani.
- The best books on the exegesis of hadiths that pertain to Islamic rulings is: Al-Badr al-Tamam by Sharaf ad-Din al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Maghribi al-Yemeni. It has been summarized by ‘Abd al-Razzaq as-San’ani in Subl as-Salam, which is also an explanation of Bulugh al-Maram. Another exceptional book on this subject is Nayl al-Awtar by ash-Shawkani.
- The best explanation of Mishkat al-Masabih is composed by Mulla Ali al-Qari and Mar’at al-Mafatih by Abul-Hasan ibn ‘Ubaydullah ibn al-‘Allamah Muhammad ibn ‘Abd as-Salam al-Mubarakfuri.
- The best book on Hanafi Fiqh is Bada'i? as-Sana'i? fi Tartib ash-Shara'i by al-Kasani (d.587AH); and al-Hidayah by al-Marghinani (d.593AH), along with its explanation by ibn al-Hamam al-Mowsum in Sharh al-‘Ajiz al-Faqir Fat-h al-Qadir ‘Ala al-Hidayah by Ibn al-Hammam (he reached the Chapter of Guardianship, and death over took him before he could complete. It was completed by others. And the explanation of al-Binayah ‘ala al-Hidayah by al-‘Ayni is praised.
- The best books on Maliki Fiqh are he books by al-Qadi ‘Abd al-Wahhab ibn ‘Ali ibn Nasr al-Tha’labi al-Maliki, Abi Muhammad (d.362AH), and specifically the books al-Ma’una fi al-Fiqh and al-Talqin [fi al-Fiqh al-Maliki] and al-Kafi by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr al-Namari (d.463AH).
- The best book on Shafi’i Fiqh is: al-Umm by ash-Shafi’i (d.204AH) and its abridgement [al-Mukhtasar] by his student al-Muzani. And its explanation Nihayah al-Muttalib [fi Darayatil Math-hab by al-Juwayni (d.478AH)] which [al-Ghazzali (d.505AH)] the author of al-Basit relied on and abridged in al-Wasit. He then abridged al-Wasit in al-Wajiz [both by the same author of al-Basit, al-Ghazzali (d.505AH)]. Then ar-Rafi‘ai (d. 623AH) summarised al-Wajiz with al-Muharir with two explanations [Fat-h al-‘Aziz Sharh al-Wajiz and Sharh as-Saghir] which were abridged thereafter. One of them was abridged by an-Nawawi in ar-Rawdatul Talibin. After them, Nihayatul Muhtaj by ar-Ramli and Tuhfatul Muhtaj by Ibn Hajr al-Haytami.
- The best books on Hanbali Fiqh are: al-Muqni’ and al-Kafi both authored by ibn Qudamah (d.623AH). The most important explanations of al-Muqni’ are: al-Mubdi’ fi Sharh al-Muqni' by Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah ibn Muflih al-Hanbali, Abu Ishaq (d.884AH) and al-Insaf fi Ma'rifati al-Rajih min al-Khilaf ‘Ala Math-hhab al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal by ‘Ali ibn Sulayman al-Mardawi, Abul Hasan (d.885AH). And from the best books of the math-hab are: Kashaf al-Qin‘a and Daqa’iq ‘Uli al-Noha li Sharh al-Muntaha commonly known as Sharh Muntaha al-Iradat by Mansur ibn Yunus ibn Salah ad-Din ibn Hasan ibn Idris al-Bahuti al-Hanbali (d.1051AH).
- The best book on al-‘Usul Fiqh is: ar-Risalah of ash-Shafi’i (d.204AH) for the non-beginner student. And the best books for a beginner student of knowledge are those authored by Abu Ishaq ash-Shira i (d.476AH), specifically al-Lum’a [fi Usul al-Fiqh] upon which Abu Walid al-Baji based his book, Ihkam al-Fusul fil ‘Usul; and the book ar-Rawdatul Nathir by ibn Qudamah which has been summarised in al-Mustasfa [by al-Ghazzali and Muthakirah ‘Ala Rawdatul Nathir Usul al-Fiqh by al-'Allamah Muhammad al-Amin al-Mukhtar al-Jakni, ash-Shanqiti, the author of Adwa al-Bayan. It contains precious edits and audits. May Allah reward him with good.
- The best book on Takhrij al-Furu' 'Ala al-Usul is: the book of [Shihab ad-Din Mahmud a -Zinjani Takhrij al-Furu''Ala al-Usul; and the book Miftah al-Wusul ila Bina al-Furu''Ala al-Usul by al-Talmasani; and Ahkamull-Ahkam Sharh Umdatul Ahkam by ibn Daqiq al-‘Eid. And ash-Shanqiti placed great concern on this subject in 'Adwa al-Bayan. May Allah have mercy upon them all.[/list]
I will end with the following conclusions:
Firstly: I have mentioned these books based upon my knowledge and study of them, however with some of these works, I have followed the statements of the people of knowledge regarding them.
Secondly: Mentioning the best book on such a thing is similar to the statements of the muhadithin: “The most correct thing in this subject [is such and such]”. I do not mean by mentioning the best book on such a thing – that everything it contains is correct. Certainly, Allah (Azza wa Jall) has refused perfection except for His (Subhana Wa ta'alaa) Book. And the praise is given for whose good has outweighed its bad.
Thirdly: If any author of the aforementioned books fell into error, then the correct position that we hold towards him is that he is a person of knowledge. We take that which he was accurate in and leave that which he erred in. And we presume that he has two rewards in that which he is correct and one reward for that which he as erred in.
Fourthly: Some of the aforementioned books are suitable for both the beginner and advanced student of knowledge, whilst some others are not suitable except for the advanced. If the student of knowledge reads a book and does not understand it, he should search for a shaykh to explain it to him. If he does not find a shaykh, he should look for another book on the subject which is easier for him.
Fifthly: There is no problem if one finds a shaykh from Ahlus-Sunnah, who is firmly grounded to teach him any of these books or other titles. Since the basis is of studying is at the hands of the shaykh and not the book.
Lastly, the best of books after the Book of Allah (Subhana Wa ta'alaa) and the books of the Prophetic Sunnah are those based upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah. They do not oppose the Islamic legislation nor aid innovations, and they follow the reliable proof without straying from the path of the Salaf.
Any of these books which are related to instrumental knowledge, it is sufficient to familiarize oneself with its fundamentals, and there is no need to delve heavily into them. Such as the knowledge of language, al-‘Usul, expressions, grammar [an-Nahw], terminologies [al-Mustalah] and the like. The intended acquisition is knowledge of the explanation of the Qur’an and the meanings of the noble hadiths, and to implement them, so as to obtain happiness in this life and the next.