Imam Nawawi’s classic manual of Islam, al-Maqasid, was first composed as a fiqh matn, or synopsis of the practical requirements of Islam—faith, purification, the prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage—for students to memorise. The handbook’s clear and concise style will help anyone seeking to learn the essentials of Islamic practice and spirituality from a reliable, traditional source. Although best known for his work on hadith, Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (d. 676AH/1277AD) was also the Imam of the later Shafi’i school of jurisprudence, and widely acknowledged as the intellectual heir of Imam Shafi’i. He was a great scholar and jurist who dedicated his life to the pursuit of Islamic learning.
Nuh Ha Mim Keller read philosophy at the University of Chicago and Arabic at UCLA. Since 1980, he has lived in the Middle East and studied Shafi’i and Hanafi jurisprudence, hadith, Sufism, and the tenets of faith under traditional shaykhs in Syria and Jordan.