Book Spotlight: Forty Divine Narrations

Forty Divine Narrations is the translation of the renowned ḥadith text of Imām al-Qāḍī Yūsuf al-Nabhāni (1849–1932), a Shāfiʿī jurist and Levantine gnostic. In it, he has compiled forty integral aḥādīth [prophetic narrations], on topics ranging from the core fundamental monotheistic belief of Islam to remedies of one’s affairs in accordance to the sharīʿah and wonderful reminders of the nature of an aspirational Muslim.

Each one of the narrations are termed as Ḥadīth al-Qudsī [Divine Narration] — a term used in the study of Prophetic narrations to describe those Divine statements aside from those contained in Revelations, which are manifested on the tongue of His Prophet.

This is the first work of an ongoing series of collections of “Forty Narrations” compiled by Imām al-Nabhāni. Each volume contains the arabic matn of the narration alongside a simple English translation. When read daily, these narrations form a few moments of reflection or meditation for the reader. The second volume in this work is due to be published late 2019.

Imām Yūsuf b. Isma’īl b. Yūsuf b. Isma’īl al-Nabhānī was born in Ijzīm in 1849.  In his formative years he studied the Holy Qur’ān with his father Imām Isma’īl al-Nabhānī, later travelling to al-Azhar University in Egypt to continue his studies for approximately 6 years.

He travelled thereafter learning the spiritual sciences stopping at spiritual centers across the Levantine.  Gaining ijāzāt in numerous spiritual orders like Idrīsiyyah, Rafā`iyyah, Khalwatiyyah, Shādhiliyyah, Naqshbandiyyah and Qādiriyyah.  He then found settlement in Beirut, Lebanon working as a Judge (Qāḍī).

He authored over 100 books upon many areas of religious sciences some of which are taught and studied by scholars and students alike.

To conclude, Imām Kattānī said “he was the [Imām] Būṣīrī of his time, eloquent poet, prolific author and a pearl of his time”.  An individual who was truly a master of many sciences and marvellous scholar. The Imām passed away in Beirut in the beginning of Ramaḍān in 1931.

"Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave."

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)