Al-Haafidh Ibn Kathir Al-Qurashi | Trans: Shaikh Abu Talhah | Salafi Publications
Before you is the translation of the book Al-Fusul Fi Siratir-Rasul (Chapters from the Life of the Messenger) by the great Imaam, Al-Haafidh Ibn Kathir (may Allāh have mercy upon him). It was translated over a number of years by the erudite translator of English descent; the Shaikh, Abu Talhah Dawud Burbank, who passed away with his wife whilst performing Hajj with the brothers from Salafi Publications in 2011 CE — may Allah have mercy upon them both. The process of preparing this book for publication took a number of years, however we are honoured to finally be able to present this translation to the respected readers, and we hope that Allah causes it to be a means for good, and that He rewards both the original author and the translator for their enormous efforts.
The translator has added extensive notes where appropriate to clarify authenticity of narrations, provide useful definitions, or points of benefit derived from the Sunnah and the works of the scholars. These have been placed at the back of the book in a section entitled Endnotes and breadcrumbs have been placed in the pages of the main translation section, which point the reader to the corresponding endnote and its page number.
It is important to note that this book was translated many years ago, and the station of some of the people referenced in the footnotes and endnotes may have changed since that time. Certain individuals which the translator used as references were at the time deemed people who were strong in creed and upon the correct path, however they have since strayed from the correct path — may Allah guide us and guide them. In any case, it is advised that the Muslim maintain upmost vigilance as it relates to whom he or she takes their knowledge from. As is reported from the great Imaam, Muhammad Ibn Sireen (may Allāh have mercy upon him): “Indeed this knowledge is religion — so be aware of whom you take your religion from.” With that we leave the respected reader to embark upon the study and reflection over this tremendous work.
About the Author:
Al-Haafidh Imaaduddin Abul-Fida’ Isma’il Ibn Kathir (may Allāh have mercy upon him) was born in Mijdal, a village to the east of Busra — which is a town in the province of Damascus, in the year 701 H, where his father was a Khatib. After the death of his father he moved, along with his brother Kamaluddin ʿAbdul-Wahhab, to Damascus, in the year 707 H.
He memorised the whole of the Qur’an at the age of ten, and he read the different recitations, and he excelled in tafsir. He married Zaynab the daughter of Al-Hafidh Abul-Hajjaj Al-Mizzi, and he closely accompanied him and learned from him. He gave great attention to the science of hadith, and qualified under him in it.
He also accompanied Shaikhul-Islam Taqiyyuddin Ibn Taimiyyah and was a special student of his and defended him, and he followed him upon many of his opinions.
He gave attention to memorising the texts; and to awareness of the chains of narration, the hidden defects in narrations, the narrators, and to history, to the extent that he excelled in all of that whilst he was still a youth. He delivered verdicts, taught and debated. He excelled in Fiqh, Tafsir, and Arabic Grammar. He closely studied the narrators and the hidden defects in narrations.
He became the shaikh of the Salihiyyah School after the death of Adh-Dhahabi, and the shaikh of Darul-Hadith Al-Ashrafiyyah for a short while after the death of As-Subki. Then this was taken from him after it was seized by Kamaluddin Al-Maʿarri.
He (may Allāh have mercy upon him) was upon the ʿAqidah of the Salafus-Salih (the Pious Predecessors). This is proven by his tremendous Tafsir, which is the most excellent tafsir that has made the ʿAqidah of the Salaf manifest.
Ibn Kathir (may Allāh have mercy upon him) died on the day of Thursday, the 26th of Shaʿban, in the year 774 H, in Damascus, and he was buried therein.
About the Translator:
Abu Talhah Dawud Burbank was born on 20 October 1963 in Coalville, Leicestershire England into a Christian family. He converted to Islam at the age of 19 whilst studying at the University of Leicester, after reading from a copy of an English language translation of the Qur’an.
In the mid-1980s he traveled to Saudi Arabia and started his studies at the Islamic University of Madinah, where he met Shaikh Abu Uwais ‘Abdullah Ahmad (may Allāh have mercy upon him) and the two became close companions. Whilst in Madinah, he learned the Arabic language and identified and benefitted from the major scholars of the Sunnah, such as Imams Ibn Baz, Ibn ‘Uthaimin, Rabi’ Al-Madkhali, Hammad Al-Ansari, Muhammad Aman Al-Jami, and others.
When he returned from Saudi Arabia, he immediately started to propagate the knowledge of the pure and correct methodology, focussing on clarifying and refuting the deviated ideologies of the misguided sects. His translations, along with those of Shaikh Abu ‘Iyad Amjad Rafiq, gave English-speaking Muslims the clarification they so desperately needed to discern true Salafiyyah from versions falsely ascribed to it. From the books he translated were: Explanation of the Creed of Imam Al-Barbahari, The Methodology of the Prophets in Calling to Allah by Shaikh Rabi’, Foundations of the Sunnah of Imam Ahmad (co-translated with Shaikh Abu ‘Iyad), and much more besides.
He was from the founders of Salafi Publications in 1997, and one of its pillars in the years after. He gave regular lectures for many years at the Salafi Masjid on Wright Street in Birmingham, UK, along with his close companions Shaikh Abu Hakim Bilal Davis, and Shaikh Abu Khadeejah ‘Abdul-Wahid.
He was intelligent, an astute translator and educator, and an expert in the sciences of Hadith. He was respected by many scholars and recommended by them, such as Shaikh Rabi’ Al-Madkhali, Shaikh ‘Ubaid Al-Jabiri, Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salam Burjis, and others.
He was from the most shy of people, from the most humble and with the least concern for the world and its glitter, and he would put every effort into meticulously following the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), knowing fine details of how the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)) walked, talked, ate and behaved.
Abu Talhah Dawud Burbank and his wife; Umm Talhah, both passed away on Tuesday 1st November 2011 (5th Dhul-Hijjah 1432H) in Saudi Arabia whilst on their way to perform Hajj. May Allah shower them both with His abundant Mercy.