Virtues of the Imam Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal by Ibn al-Jawzī

This is perhaps one of the most important translation so far in the Library of Arabic Literature Series which offers bilingual editions of key works of classical and premodern Arabic literature as well as anthologies and thematic readers. Philip F. Kennedy, the General Editor of the Arabic Literature Series, notes the purpose of the series is to include “texts from the pre-Islamic era to the cusp of the modern period, [encompassing] a wide range of genres, including poetry, poetics, fiction, religion, philosophy, law, science, history, and historiography. The admirable himma of  the  translator  is  immediately  apparent  in the “Introduction”: “Leaving aside the matter of length, this book was not particularly difficult to translate” (xvii). Even if it is not an understatement, Michael Cooperson is to be congratulated for translating this work by the indefatigable Abūl-l-Faraj ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAlī b. Muḥammad al-Jawzi (d. 597/1200), the outstanding scholar of the twelfth century who wrote over 400 works in fields as diverse as Hadith, Tafsīr, History, Linguistics, and Fiqh. One hundred chapters and over 150,000 words of Munāqib Abī ʿAbd Allāh Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Ḥanbal pulsate with energy;… Read full review

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