Biographies of the great scholars of Muslim Hanafi law

Ibn Abi al-Wafa', Muhyi al-Din Abi Muhammad 'Abd al-Qadir. Al-Jawahir al-mudiyah fi tabaqat al-Hanafiyah.

Yemen, [1686/87 CE =] 1089 H.

Folio (215 x 315 mm). 194 ff. Arabic manuscript on paper. Black naskh script with important words and phrases picked out in red. 18th century full brown calf, rebacked and spine replaced in 20th century, ruled in blind, central medallions stamped in blind.


A complete manuscript of this much-referenced history of Hanafi jurists by Ibn Abi al-Wafa' (1297-1373 CE). "Al-Jawahir al-mudiyah" was and remains an important source of information for later Muslim legal scholars and historians, as the work provides an encyclopedic summary of the lives and achievements of such important figures as Abu Hanifa (699-767 CE), founder of the Hanafi legal school, and the leading Hanafi scholar Al-Bazdawi (ca. 1010-89 CE), who was awarded the title "Fakhr al-Islam" ("the pride of Islam"). However, the text also covers many lesser-known scholars, about whom fewer biographical notes survive. In many cases, Ibn Abi al-Wafa's work is the primary source on the lives of many Hanafi jurists.

The first half of the manuscript lists biographies of Hanafi jurists in alphabetical order, while the second half lists those of Hanafi scholars whose names were unknown, or who were better known under their titles, teknonyms, or nicknames. Ibn Abi al-Wafa', born in Sa'ban and a student in both Cairo and Mecca, sourced his work from numerous earlier biographers across Muslim literature; his resulting compilation is an indispensable distillation of what was known in the 14th century of each major figure in the long history of the Hanafi school, which had its start in the Muslim Golden Age.

Bound at the beginning of the manuscript is a partial copy of the Book of Wisdom by the third caliph of Islam, Ali ibn Abi Talib (ca. 600-661). The proverbs associated with Ali ibn Abi Talib are variously referred to as the Wise Sayings or Wisdom of Ali.


Binding professionally rebacked; a few minor paper repairs with no loss of text. Quite well preserved.


GAL II, 80, no. 10.

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