Reliance of the Traveller

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Umdat al-Salik wa Uddat al-Nasik
Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller
AuthorAhmad ibn Naqib al-Misri
TranslatorNuh Ha Mim Keller
SubjectShafi'i Fiqh
PublisherAmana publications

Umdat as-Salik wa 'Uddat an-Nasik (Reliance of the Traveller and Tools of the Worshipper, also commonly known by its shorter title Reliance of the Traveller)[1][2] is a classical manual of fiqh for the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence. The author of the main text is 14th-century scholar Shihabuddin Abu al-'Abbas Ahmad ibn an-Naqib al-Misri (AH 702-769 / AD 1302–1367). Al-Misri based his work on the previous Shafi'i works of Imam Nawawi and Imam Abu Ishaq as-Shirazi, following the order of Shirazi's al-Muhadhdhab (The Rarefaction) and the conclusions of Nawawi's Minhaj at-Talibin (The Seeker's Road).

Keller translation[edit]

Umdat as-Salik was translated into English by the American Muslim scholar Nuh Ha Mim Keller in 1991 and became the first translation of a standard Islamic legal reference in a European language to be certified by Al-Azhar. The translation comprises 26 sections titled according to the letters of the English alphabet, Book A, Book B, Book C, etc.

Books A through C contain introductory material forming a guide to fiqh compiled by Keller. Books D through O correspond to the original work of al-Misri, commencing with an "Author's Introduction". Following are translations of eight shorter works - Books P through V - which address topics such as personal ethics, character, and traditional Islamic Sufism, and include famous classical texts such as Al-Ghazzali's Ihya’ ʿulum al-din and Nawawi's Riyadh as-Saaliheen. Book W consists of extensive notes and appendices, Book X offers thumbnail biographies of hundreds of figures mentioned throughout the work, and Books Y and Z conclude it with a bibliography and indexes.

Certain sections of the book were left untranslated (although the original Arabic text is retained), as Keller considered them irrelevant to modern societies. These parts include a section on slavery, describing the rights and duties of slaves and their masters, as well as some smaller sections such as, for example, a discussion on fixing utensils using gold.

Main sections of the Keller translation[edit]

  • A. Sacred Knowledge (pg. 1)
  • B. The Validity of Following Qualified Scholarship (pg. 15)
  • C. The Nature of Legal Rulings (pg. 27)
  • D. Author's Introduction to 'Umdat al-Salik (pg. 47)
  • E. Purification (pg. 49)
  • F. The Prayer (pg. 101)
  • G. The Funeral Prayer (pg. 220)
  • H. Zakat (pg. 244)
  • I. Fasting (pg. 277)
  • J. The Pilgrimage (pg. 297)
  • K. Trade (pg. 371)
  • L. Inheritance (pg. 460)
  • M. Marriage (pg. 506)
  • N. Divorce (pg. 554)
  • O. Justice (pg. 578)
  • P. Enormities (pg. 649)
  • Q. Commanding the Right and Forbidding the Wrong (pg. 713)
  • R. Holding One's Tongue (pg. 726)
  • S. Delusions (pg. 777)
  • T. A Pure Heart (pg. 796)
  • U. The Gabriel Hadith (pg. 807)
  • V. Belief in Allah and His Messenger (pg. 816)
  • W. Notes and Appendices (pg. 826)
  • X. Biographical Notes (pg. 1019)
  • Y. Works Cited (pg. 1116)
  • Z. Indexes (pg. 1128)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Nuh Ha Mim Keller (1368). "Reliance of the Traveller" (PDF). Amana Publications. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  2. ^ Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Nuh Ha Mim Keller (1368). "A Classic Manual of Islamic Scared Law" (PDF). Retrieved 14 May 2020.