Shu'ayb inb Muharram ibn 'Ali, Abu Usama al Arna'ut, born in Damascus in 1928, two years after

his father's emigration for religious reasons from Shkoder, Albania. He is a scholar of hadith, Hanafi law, Koranic exegesis and Arabic grammar and lexicology who has edited many classic works from old manuscripts. Educated in Damascus, he studied Hanafi jurisprudence with shaykhs such as Abd al-Razzaq al Halabi, Nuh al-Albani, Sulayman al Ghawji, and others, and hadith terminology under Abdullah al Habashi, Shaykh al Kallas, and Salih al Farfur, with the latter of whom he also read the eight volume Hanafi Hashiya radd al muhtar of Ibn Abidin during the course of seven years, and the Koranic commentaries of Zamakhshari and Nasafi. Among the better known scholars of his profession, he has edited, annotated, and judged the hadiths of more than eighty works to date, of which the most famous is perhaps the five volume Zad al ma'ad[The provision for the return] by Ibn Qayyim al Jawjziyya, though the feels that his most important scholarly contribution lies in the editing of three works: Sharh al sunna [The explanation of the sunna] by Imam Baghawi, which presents the primary Koranic and hadith textual evidence for rulings of Sacred Law; Sharh mushkil al athar [The explanation of problemated hadiths] by Imam Tahawi, which explains the accord between ostensible contradictions among hadiths in therms of which ones are understood, abrogated, or conditioned by others or by the Koran; and al-Ihsan fi taqrib Sahih ibn Hibban [The proficiency: on facilitating the "Rigoroulsy authenticated hadith collection" of Ibn Hibban. The preparation of these works, each of which has sixteen volumes, was by no means a mere exercise in editing. With Ibn Hibban, for example, the original text consisted of eight volumes, to which Shaykh Shu'ayb supplied the equivalent of eight additional volumes of his own notes and commentary. In our times, as Shaykhs qualified to teach the classic works of the Islamic sciences grow steadily fewer, Shu'ayb's hope is that such expanded and annotated editions will to some extent fulfill the educational needs of the Muslims who read them.

Though he will probably be remembered for his work in hadith, he strongly believes that Muslims should take their religion from those with the best understanding of the primary texts of the Koran and prophetic traditions, at their forefront the Imams of the four schools. "They are explainers, not popes"he says, "but in each of their schools there afterwards followed a hundred or more scholars who refined and added to their work, men whose stature in Islamic knowledge was like mountains, any of whom could put fifteen of the scholars available today in his pocket."

He presently lives in Amman, where he supervises the research staff and library of the Mu'assasa alRisala publishing house.

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