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Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik (English, Arabic and Arabic Edition) Hardcover – July 1, 1997
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Text: English, Arabic (translation)
Original Language: Arabic
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was a one (or so) inch tear on the lower front edge of the binder, which was easily remedied
with a 2 inch piece of clear packing tape. :-) Otherwise, book was absolutely pristine! Beautiful gold embossed
front cover. Have already have spent many hours reading..fascinating book.
To comment on some of the post 9-11 reviews of this book several things to be pointed out:
1. Reliance of the Traveller is a Classical Manual on Islamic Jurisprudence. With that being said, the original was written in the 14th century. When one understands this socio-political-historical reality, one can understand the sections on Jihad. I would suggest readers to look at the very academic essay of Professor Sherman Jackson called "Jihad and the Mordern World". This essay points out quite accurately, that prior to the founding of the UN and International law, nation-states were in a perpetual state of warfare with one another with occassional peace treaties (usually when one side is defeated and terms are imposed). So classical jurists of this era and prior were of the position that the only way a Muslim could practice their religion without obstruction is to by Muslims. We can easily see examples of what happened to religious minorities in Europe and other parts where they were either forced to convert, keep their religion secret, or executed. So with this premise of constant warfare and protection of religion, the section of Jihad in Reliance of the Traveller can be understood. But if one has consulted scholars of today like Sh Muhammad al Afifi al Akiti of Oxford (who wrote "Defending the Transgressed:Censurin the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians") and Imam Zaid Shakir (who wrote the article "Jihad is not perpetual warfare" (search on google to get the pdf copy of this article)) because of international law and the premise of peaceful relations as a norm, the commandment of setting off perpetual jihad is no longer relevant in this day and age. However, defensive jihad is still applicable.
2. As for section on lying, it was an appendix to the book, not part of the original legal manual. If one actually read the whole section, the norm is Lying is unlawful in Islam. Lying is also not permissible during court cases. What Imam Nawawi says about permissible lying is in relation to war and oppression. When one is trying to hide a family or person from a tyranical ruler (eg hiding jews from Nazi death squads) one can lie so one can save such people from harm. Or deceiving enemies in war (in relation to tactics, like what US did in WW2 when they used Gen Patton as a decoy on D-Day). So there is situations when one can lie but its for a greater purpose not for the sake of lying or moral bankruptcy. It is to bring about good and to save innocent people from harm.
3. The post 9-11 reviews of this book just proves that one cannot learn simply from a book. In traditional Islamic studies, one learns the text with a qualified teacher who not only explains the book (terminology, etc) but also lays out the context and applicability of certain rulings nowadays. Just as these reviewers say about what they see in the Qur'an, they lack context and understanding of Islamic law.