Kitab al-Jami‘ is a comprehensive work on miscellaneous matters, particularly from the tradition of Madina as transmitted by Imam Malik. It was originally a part of the author’s Mukhtasar of the Mudawwana. although it became a work in its own right and there is evidence that the author also regarded it as such. There is an extensive treatment of ‘aqida, an examination of the contentious subject of bid’a – innovation in the deen, an exposition of the relative merits of hadiths and ‘amal – the practice of the People of Madina– and an outline of the sira of the Prophet, peace be upon him, as well as a large number of other matters. A great deal of the book is on the noble qualities of character as exemplified by men and women who held to them under extreme political pressure, in both wealth and poverty.
At 17 years of age, Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (310/922 – 386/996) wrote his famous Risala in response to a request from a friend for a book with which to “teach children the deen just as they learn the Qur’an” and that work went on to become one of the key reference works for those concerned about the school of the People of Madinah. He lived in Qayrawan during the shi’a Fatimid dynasty.