This is an excellent new translation of a classic Shafi'i Fiqh primer! It covers the entire spectrum of Islamic law according to the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence in a concise way. It also fills in the gap between very basic texts of fiqh to more intermediate works like Reliance of the Traveller.
But as with any book, the translator who is a specialist in Islamic law and is qualified to give expert legal opinions in Islamic law, makes it clear that:
"Since the earliest days of Islam, the preservation, explanation, and dissemination of religious knowledge has been the task of living human beings. Though the Qur'an, hadith, and other bodies of knowledge were recorded soon after the passing of the Prophet (salla llahu alayhi wa sallam), reliance has always been upon living human who know and practice, not inanimate pages that statically record. When Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) sent an official mushaf (compiled book of the Quran) to the various regions of Islam, each mushaf was accompanied by someone who has been assigned the responsibility to teach the masses its proper recitation and meanings. While pages can record meanings, pages cannot recite or explain what they record; pages cannot teach others to recite or explain properly, nor test, and - when needed - correct those who err or mistaken." (translator's preface, page ix)
Islamic legal manuals were never meant to be self-studied. It is important learn such texts with qualified teachers. In that way any rulings that need further clarification or explanation can be given as well as correct any mistakes that might have crept in by the translator or author.
I had the pleasure of studying the text (in its preliminary form prior to publication) under Shaykh Jamal ud-Deen Hysaw during 2011-2013.
This work is a must for students in Islamic law, in particular the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence.
The book is available on Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/The-Ultimate-C...ate+conspectus