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This is a great commentary on a great book. Jamaal Zarabozo is to be congratulated for producing such a scholarly work. He is also to be thanked for giving the English speaking students of Islam the chance to taste the flavor of in-depth knowledge of hadith, a flavor that has been up to now the prerogative of speakers of Islamic languages, especially Arabic.
He is also to be commended for choosing al-Nawawi's Forty Hadith because they are known to be among the most important sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him). In-depth knowledge of them is thus sure to give the reader, even if he or she is a novice, a comprehensive view of the most fundamental Islamic beliefs and principles. No wonder that this book has been for hundreds of years among the most popular of Islamic books in the Muslim world... There are many commentaries on this book from which Br. Zarabozo has definitely benefited; but his is not a mere translation or summary of those commentaries -- it is an original commentary the English speaking reader will find more useful and interesting than mere translations of those traditional commentaries.
The advantage of this book comes out clearly in the original method the author followed in his study of these prophetic sayings... the author delves into the main business of studying the hadith in great detail and depth. Every phrase of the hadith is studied linguistically, logically, jurisprudentially, legally, and so on. The author uses his vast knowledge of the sources to put before the reader almost all that scholars old and new had to say on matters related to the hadith and almost all the lessons that they had deduced from it. But he does not only quote and translate; he also adds, discusses and evaluates.
He gives you all the important interpretations of different parts of the hadith text and the arguments of the scholars who suggested them. This gives the reader the chance to penetrate the minds of those great scholars and to familiarize himself with their reasoning and argumentation...
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