Al-I‘tidal fi Maratib al-Rijal
by Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya
Book Review by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
This is actually a letter that Shaykh al-Hadith wrote in reply to seven questions posed by one of his students. The letter was written when the political fall out between the Muslim League and Congress was at its peak in pre-partition India, and a difference of opinion arose between Mawlana [Ashraf ‘Ali] Thanawi and Mawlana [Husayn Ahmad] Madani. Some Muslims were concerned about which path to choose in this difference between the seniors. Shaykh al-Hadith has explained the legislative (shar‘i) viewpoint of the difference in this letter, and detailed what the general masses should do in such circumstances. Apart from this, the general poor state of Muslims in the political and social arenas, and the issue of the ‘ulama differing has also been included [in this letter]. Shaykh al-Hadith has explained these issues in detail in his special style, which refreshes one’s faith and conviction. The book is actually a review of a temporary political issue. However, due to its encompassing discussions, it is a specific work that is beneficial in all ages.
(Rabi‘ al-Thani, 1392 AH)
Tabseray, (Karachi: Maktabah Ma‘arif al-Qur’an, Rabi‘ al-Awwal 1426/April 2005 ed.) p. 76