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Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Hardcover – July 1, 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Language Notes

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

  • Hardcover: 1232 pages
  • Publisher: Amana Corporation; Revised edition (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915957728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915957729
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover
Speaking as an American student of Islamic law, I highly recommend this translation for other students. What the translator says about specialists in universities is true of my acquaintance, and so it should be: the Western academic student of Islamic law is no more a man of religion (in this case a mufti qualified to answer Muslims' religious questions) than the historian of medieval physics is a physicist. The old Egyptian edition of _`Umdat al-salik_ included commentaries from two shaykhs, which Keller seems to have translated along with the main text, scrupulously identified. Since a handbook like this was largely an outline for lectures, the commentaries are often essential to understanding the text. A fine piece of work for which all English-speaking students of Islamic law may be grateful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is accepted Islamic text and law. We bought it to know exactly what their books says. It is filled with hate. We've highlighted up so many things in this book that are examples of Islamic law/teachings that are anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-women, etc. This is a good text to have on hand to counter (with their own text) those who tell you that Islam is a religion of peace. It's the furthest thing from it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been studying Islam for years. This book contains what is more commonly known as "Sharia Law". I think this religion is hate-filled BS. I like this book (along with my Koran) because it allows me to educate people as to what Islam REALLY is. It's not the so called "religion of peace". Quite the contrary. If you don't want to be a liberal regurgitator of false Islamic propaganda, get this book.
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This big, 900-page book appears to be "just another religious book," but it is certainly not that. It appears with the "imprimaturs" of Imam Durubi (Syria), Mufti Salman (Jordanian Armed Forces), Dr. Alwani (President of the International Institute of Islamic Thought), and Muhammed Umar of Al-Azhar University.

It is a detailed description of sharia law, to my knowledge unavailable anywhere else, and it is mind-numbing. Another reviewer commented that it was not Constitutional. That is surely correct, but we can say much more: it is completely incompatible with democracy. Remember this about sharia: it will typically be imposed by an Islamic government, and that means that EVERYBODY is bound by it. Any attempt to change your religion gets you the death penalty. Actually, it's worse than that:

"Apostasy from Islam is 'the ugliest form of unbelief' for which the penalty is death ('When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed').
(Reliance o8.0 & ff.)

"Apostasy occurs not only when a Muslim renounces Islam but also, among other things, when a Muslim appears to worship an idol, when he is heard 'to speak words that imply unbelief,' when he makes statements that appear to deny or revile Allah or the prophet Mohammed, when he is heard 'to deny the obligatory character of something which by consensus of Muslims is part of Islam,' and when he is heard 'to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law.' (Reliance o8.7; see also p9.0 & ff.)

(By the way, I am extremely grateful to Andrew J.
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