His complete name along with his agnomen (Kunyah) and lineage is: Abu l-Ḥusayn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Ja‘far ibn Ḥamdān al-Baghdādi al-Qudūrī al-Ḥanafī.
The most commonly used and famous opinion regarding his Kunyah is that it is Abu l-Ḥasan. However, the correct (ṣaḥīḥ) opinion is that it is Abu l-Ḥusayn as recorded in Madīnat al- ‘Ulūm and Ansāb al-Sam‘ānī.
Imām Qudūrī (raḥmatullāhi ‘alayh) was born in Baghdād in the year 362 AH / 973 CE.
The Nisbah ‘al-Qudūrī’
The word al-Qudūrī originates from the root letters Qidr, which linguistically mean pots/utensils. The author of Madīnah al-‘Ulūm states that Imām Qudūrī’s family owned a business of manufacturing or selling pots/utensils. The other possibility is that he resided in a town called Qudūrah. Hence, he was attributed to that place.
Imām Qudūrī studied Fiqh and Ḥadīth under Abū ‘Abdillāh Muḥammad ibn Yaḥyā ibn al-Mahdī al-Jurjānī (d. 397 Hijri), a student of the great & eminent jurist of the Ḥanafī Madhab, Imām Abū Bakr al-Jaṣṣāṣ al-Rāzī (d. 370), who took from Abu l-Ḥasan al-Karkhī (d. 340), from Abu Sa‘īd al-Barda‘ī (d. 317) from Abū ‘Alī al-Daqqāq, from Abū Sahl Mūsā ibn Naṣr al-Rāzī from Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī (d. 189) from Abū Ḥanīfah (d. 150), from Ḥammād ibn Abī Sulaymān (d. 120), from Ibrāhīm al-Nakha‘ī (d. 96), from ‘Alqamah (d. 62) and Aswad, from ‘Abdullāh ibn Mas‘ūd (d. 32) (raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum) from the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). He would also narrate aḥādīth from Muḥammad ibn ‘Alī ibn Suwayd and ‘Ubaydullāh ibn Muḥammad al-Jushanī.
Ibn Kamāl Bāshā has categorised him as being from the Aṣhāb al-Tarjīḥ (jurists who weighed up and analysed the strengths of differing verdicts in the Madhab) due to his deep understanding of Fiqh and his firm grasp on the Ḥanafī Madhab & its evidences. However, other scholars have objected to this categorisation and have classified him as a Mujtahid Muqayyad (restricted mujtahid) or Mujtahid fi l-Madhhab (Mujtahid in the Madhhab) as they considered him to have surpassed the likes of Qāḍi Khān etc. After a thorough read (Mutāla‘ah) of his works like the Mukhtaṣar, Tajrīd and Sharh Mukhtaṣar al-Karkhī one can affirm and testify to his elite scholarship and his high rank in the Ḥanafī Madhab.
Imām Qudūrī authored many books. Hereunder are few,
– Al-Tajrīd – In which he has mentioned the differences of the Ḥanafī and Shāfi‘ī Madhab in Masā’il. This book is in seven volumes.
– Al-Taqrīb – This book covers the points of difference between Abu Ḥanīfah and his students without including proofs. He then authored a sequel, al-Taqrīb al-Thānī, in which he mentions the proofs.
– Sharḥ Mukhtaṣar al-Karkhī
– Sharḥ Adab al-Qāḍi
Out of all his works, his Mukhtaṣar gained the most popularity and acceptance among the people of knowledge. It became one of the few Ḥanafī Mutūn taught in many institutes around the world. Approximately 30 commentaries have been written on it up until now in both Arabic and Urdu. Al-Marghīnānī, the author of al-Hidāyah, a prominent Ḥanafī jurist, also chose to incorporate Imām Qudūrī’s Mukhtaṣar as part of his Matn (Text), al-Bidāyah, on which he wrote his renowned Sharḥ, al-Hidāyah. Al-Kafawī (raḥimahullāh) praised Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūrī with the following sentiments,
المختصر المبارك المتداول بين ايدي الطلبة نفع الله به خلقا لا يحصون
“The auspicious primer, in wide circulation amongst the seekers [of knowledge]. Allāh has benefited by it an uncountable multitude.”
Shaikh Abd al-Ḥamīd al-Lakhnawī, a Ḥanafi scholar from the subcontinent, who also authored a gloss on Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūrī titled; al-Ḥal al-Darūrī li-Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūrī, said regarding this work,
كانه بحر زاخر، وغيث ماطر، جامع صغير، ونافع كبير، احسن متون الفقه وافضلها واتمها فائدة واكملها، طارت عليه رياح القبول وصار متداولا بين العلماء الفحول. حتى اشتهر في الامصار والاعصار كالشمس على رابعة النهار
“It appears as if an overflowing ocean, a pouring rain, a small vessel, a great boon. It is the nicest primer of Fiqh and the most virtuous of them, the most complete of them in benefit and the most accomplished of them. The winds of acceptance have flown over it and it has been circulated widely amongst the outstanding scholars, such that it has become popular in all towns and in all times, like the sun in the middle of the day.”
Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūri is spread out over 63 chapters starting from Ṭahārah up until Farā’iḍ. i.e. the book encompasses all the relevant chapters and discussions of Fiqh on account of which it was unanimously accepted in the circles of the elite scholars. In short, this book, Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūrī, is a reliable and authentic text in the Ḥanafī Madhab. One should study this text under a competent scholar and benefit from this Classical Fiqh Manual.
Commentators (Shurrāḥ) of Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūrī
* Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn Naṣr (d. 474 AH). He was famously known as al-Aqṭa’. He resided in Baghdād and studied under Imām Qudūrī.
* ‘Abd al-Rab al-Manṣūr Abu l-Ma‘ālī. His commentary was called, Zād al-Fuqahā. He died at the end of the sixth century.
* ‘Abd al-Karīm ibn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn ‘Alī al-Ṣabbāghī. He was the student of Abu l-Yusr al-Bazdawī and the Ustādh of Najm al-Dīn al-Zāhidī the author of al-Qunyah, another reliable text in the Ḥanafī Madhab.
* ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn Makkī Ḥisām al-Dīn al-Rāzī the author of Khulāsah al-Dalā’il wa Tanqīḥ al-Masā’il. (d. 598 AH).
* Shams al-A’immah al-Kardarī (d. year 642 AH). His commentary is called, al-Mujtabā.
* Muḥammad ibn Rasūl ibn Yūnus. His commentary is called, al-Bayān fi Sharḥ al-Mukhtaṣar.
* Yūsuf ibn ‘Umar ibn Yūsuf al-Ṣūfī author of Jāmi’ al-Muḍmarāt commentary on Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūrī.
* Al-‘Allāmah Qāsim ibn Quṭlūbughā (d. 879 AH). His book is called, al-Taṣḥīḥ wa l-Tarjīḥ ‘ala l-Qudūrī.
* Abū Bakr al-Ḥaddādī (d. 800 AH). His commentary is called, al-Jawharah al-Nayyirah. This book is an abridged version of his al-Sirāj al-Wahhāj.
* ‘Abd al-Ghanī ibn Ṭālib al-Maydānī (d. 1297 AH). His commentary is titled, al-Lubāb fī Sharḥ al-Kitāb.
The final two commentaries listed above are outstanding commentaries of Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūrī and have been printed with the taḥqīq of Dr Sā’id Bakdāsh. And without a doubt, these two commentaries are probably the best commentaries on Mukhtasar al-Qudūrī. Dr Sā’id Bakdāsh’s tahqīq just adds more colour to it, making it a beneficial read for the student and the teacher.
Demise and Burial
He passed away in the year 428 AH / 1037 CE. When he passed away he was initially buried in his house, later he was buried next to the Ḥanafi Jurist, Abu Bakr al-Khwarizmi.
21 Shawwāl 1437 / 26 July 2016
Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūrī. Maktabat al-Bushrā.
Al-Lubāb fī Sharḥ al-Kitāb Li-l-Maydānī. DKI Print.
Al-Madhab al-Ḥanafī. Maktabat al-Rushd.