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Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik Hardcover – July 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1232 pages
  • Publisher: Amana Pubns; Revised edition (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915957728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915957729
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Arabic (translation)
Original Language: Arabic

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
41
4 star
7
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
4
See all 52 customer reviews
The book is very well laid out and comprehensive.
Seeker of Knowledge
It shows me why a person can be a pious Muslim or a patriotic American but not both.
Jan McDaniel
This book is a complete rule book for Islamic Law.
julieofaz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Siemion on March 3, 2013
As other reviews already mentioned, this is the classic book on Islamic law. It was given to me by a Muslim. It is a very troubling book in many respects, and it certainly makes me doubt the sanity of those who read it and find it "inspirational." In a great feat of irony, the Muslim gave it to me thinking that it might help me to covert to Islam. However, after reading that my daughter might have to be killed (assuming we were living under sharia) should she renounce Islam, I thought better of converting. Furthermore, the books gives a litany of reasons for which one may be considered to be an apostate.

I understand the appeal to such a life. One is relieved of having to decide anything for himself. Every act throughout the day is painstakingly detailed: what to say in such a case, and how to say it; what to do in such a case and how to do it; what to think in such a case, and how to think it. If ever there were a manual for Borg, this would certainly be an excellent candidate. For example, before praying, one must say "Allahu Akbar". It must be pronounced exactly right, otherwise the prayer is invalid. Furthermore, "One's prayer is not legally considered to have begun if one omits any of its letters, pauses between the two words, adds the letter waw between them, or says 'Allahu akbaar' with a long a between the final b and r." (p. 129).

Now imagine over 1000 pages of this picayune and there you have the "Traveller".
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By TheWatchman on July 11, 2010
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With ample credentials laid out in the front of the book from numerous Islamic scholars, this book acts as a sober warning to all who love western freedoms that Islamic Sharia Law is incompatible with the US Constitution or ANY other form of government. A MUST READ!!!
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190 of 244 people found the following review helpful By Jan McDaniel on May 19, 2010
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I give this product one star because I deeply disagree with its content, but urge non-Muslims to become familiar with it.

This book contains the legal rulings of the Shafii school of Islamic law. It contains a legal description of mainstream Islam, a codification of the culture of the Islamic Middle East.

It makes clear to me that there is an unbridgeable gap between the legal and cultural standards of Islam and America. That means that the more Islamic America becomes, the less American it is.

It shows me why a person can be a pious Muslim or a patriotic American but not both. A person who follows the interpretation of the Koran found in this book cannot share American attitudes toward women, sexual preferences, secular government, equality of opportunity for all regardless of religious belief, military defense of America against Muslim enemies and, above all, freedom of speech.

In short, Islamic law as described here does not pass Constitutional scrutiny. Islam, as described by this book, is a political system within a religion and should be considered a competitor of our liberal democratic system, not a component of it.
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65 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 1999
I began translating Reliance of the Traveller in Jordan, out of personal need for a shari'a manual, to know and practice Islam in my own life. Making it available to others was an afterthought that came to me after I had set out to produce a work in which I could look up the questions that I needed to know without having to memorize it all. I had moved to Jordan in 1980, and lived near Amman in Suwaylih, with many students and teachers of the University of Jordan's shari'a college. That first year, I heard a lot of well-meaning religious advice that one might have preferred to know rather than be told, a perhaps not unfamiliar feeling to many new Muslims. During this period I began to translate the meanings of the Qur'an using other English translations, and then read through the Muhammad Muhsin Khan's interpretation of Sahih al-Bukhari, trying to record every Islamic ruling I could find in the hadith. In the end, I realized that there was a tremendous number of questions in my life that I did not have Islamic answers for.
At the end of summer 1981 I moved to Huwwara, a village in the north of Jordan, both to improve my spoken Arabic and to work on a master's degree in educational psychology while teaching English at the University of Yarmouk, in nearby Irbid. The move to the north led to my meeting people who knew traditional Islamic ulama in Damascus, among them, Sheikh 'Abd al-Wakil al-Durubi, who I made the acquaintance of in his bookshop off the courtyard of the Darwishiyya mosque, where he was imam.
In Sheikh 'Abd al-Wakil, I felt I had found someone who really knew Islam, and he was the one who eventually inspired me to try to translate a fiqh manual.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Work-a-day Joe on October 23, 2011
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If you want to know what Islam actually teaches its adherents, you need to read this book, not the fluff that was printed up for a Western audience, like "Islam for Dummies". Do NOT turn to books that Muslims do not use to teach themselves. Read their own authoritative books to know what they teach themselves. This is a first-hand, original, authoritative source on Islamic law (sharia) and Islamic doctrine (ijma).

This book is the official English translation of the Umdat al-Salik, the only authoritative Sharia manual for the Shafi'i madhab. While there are four Sunni madhabs (legal schools and two Shia), they all agree on their ijma and sharia. Only their fiqh differs. An example of that difference:
A- Ijma is universal among all four Sunni madhabs (Shafi'i, Hanafi, Malaki, Hanbali), and therefore all agree that the zakat (alms payment) is obligatory on all Muslims and on the eight priorities that zakat collections must support. [ROTT book H, Zakat, esp. h8.7 - 8.18]
B- Sharia among the four madhabs also agrees that the top priority among those eight is the seventh: support for jihad. [ROTT h8.17] Sharia enforces that doctrine with penalties if it is not upheld. [ROTT, h1.1]
C- Shafite fiqh offers slight variations from the Hanafite, Malakite, or Hanbalite fiqh with respect to the payouts based on who is deemed to qualify as a jihadi, and who therefore may receive remuneration from zakat for their jihadi expenditures. [ROTT h8.17]

Unless you have a need for one specific fiqh manual over another, I recommend Reliance of the Traveller over its parallels in the other madhabs for the following reasons:
1- The Hanafi manual, Al-Risala is a 2-volume set, and therefore costs more.
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