The Comprehensive Book (Kitab al-Jami‘) is a 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. 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 tyranny of the Fatimids.
Abdassamad Clarke is from Carrickfergus in Ulster and studied in Edinburgh and Cairo. Among his translations are the section of as-Suyuti’s The History of the Khalifahs dealing with the Khulafa ar-Rashidun, an-Nawawi’s The Complete Forty Hadith (Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd.), and The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom (Turath Publishing Ltd.). He is editor and co-author with the late Abdarrahman I. Doi of the second edition of Shariah – Islamic Law (Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd.). He lives with his family in Denmark.