Fatwa: # 42513
Category: Beliefs and Practices (Aq...
Country: United States
Date: 9th May 2019


The Hanafi work الكافي


When ابن عابدين refers to الكافي in رد المحتار, is he referring to a work of امام نسفي?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

الكافي  in رد المحتار could refer to one of two books:

  1. i.          الكافي للحاكم الشهيد – The famous Hanafi jurist who passed away in 334 AH. Ibn Nujaym, ibn Abideen and others relate that الكافي is a compilation of all the books of ظاهر الرواية. This is what is famously thought of the book, but in reality it is a summary of the matn of الأصل with some additions from the other books of Imam Muhammad. المبسوط للسرخسي is a commentary of الكافي, but not word for word, rather like how بدائع الصنائع is a commentary of تحفة الفقهاء. 
  2. ii.         الكافي شرح الوافي للإمام أبي البركات حافظ الدين النسفي – The famous Hanafi jurist and author of كنز الدقائق and المنار in usul, passed away in 710 AH. الكافي is a commentary on his own matn الوافي, which is a book of فروع in the Hanafi madhab. It has not been printed, although some work on it has been done. His كنز الدقائق is based on his matn الوافي and is a summary of it. Ibn Nujaym also relied uponالكافي  in البحر الرائق since one of the best ways to understand a matn is to see the sharh of the author himself if he has one. For example, in one place ibn nujaym says: 

هَذَا هُوَ مُرَادُ الْمُصَنِّفِ كَمَا أَفْصَحَ عَنْهُ فِي الْكَافِي فَلَا حَاجَةَ حِينَئِذٍ إلَى مَا ذَكَرَهُ الزَّيْلَعِيُّ كَمَا لَا يَخْفَى.


When ibn Abideen refers to الكافي without any قيد, it most likely meansالكافي شرح الوافي of Imam Nasafi. See the following examples:

  • •           (قَوْلُهُ وَغَيْرِهَا) كَالْخَانِيَّةِ وَالْكَافِي.
  • •           تَبِعَ فِي هَذَا صَاحِبَ الدُّرَرِ وَهُوَ مُخَالِفٌ لِمَا فِي الْهِدَايَةِ وَالتَّبْيِينِ وَالْكَافِي وَغَيْرِهَا، مِنْ أَنَّ اعْتِبَارَ الْمَاءِ فِيمَا لَوْ جَعَلَ الْمُسْلِمُ دَارِهِ بُسْتَانًا قَالَ فِي الْكَافِي: لِأَنَّ الْمُؤْنَةَ فِي غَيْرِ الْمَنْصُوصِ.
  • •           كَمَا فِي الْمَبْسُوطِ وَالنَّظْمِ وَالْهِدَايَةِ وَالْكَافِي وَالْقُدُورِيِّ وَالْمُضْمَرَاتِ وَالزَّاهِدِيِّ وَالنُّتَفِ وَغَيْرِهَا.
  • •           فَلَا يَكُونُ مُتَقَوِّمًا عِنْدَهُ بَحْرٌ عَنْ الْكَافِي.

On some occasions he explicitly mentions that he is referring to الكافي شرح الوافي, for example:

  • •           وَكَذَا كَلَامُ الْكَافِي النَّسَفِيِّ وَالِاخْتِيَارِ وَالْفَتْحِ وَغَيْرِهِمْ، وَذَكَرَ فِي الْبَحْرِ تَوْفِيقًا بَيْنَ الْقَوْلَيْنِ.


However, normally he makes an explicit mention when he refers to الكافي للحاكم الشهيد, or there is an indication to this effect:

  • •           وَعِبَارَةُ الْحَاكِمِ فِي الْكَافِي مِنْ الْأَشْرِبَةِ.
  • •           ثُمَّ رَأَيْت فِي إكْرَاهِ الْكَافِي لِلْحَاكِمِ الشَّهِيدِ مَا هُوَ صَرِيحٌ فِي الْجَوَازِ.
  • •           قُلْت: وَفِي الْكَافِي لِلْحَاكِمِ الشَّهِيدِ وَإِذَا زَوَّجَ الرَّجُلُ ابْنَتَهُ فَأَنْكَرَتْ الرِّضَا فَشَهِدَ عَلَيْهَا.
  • •           قَالَ فِي الْكَافِي لِلْحَاكِمِ: وَالْمُبَارَأَةُ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الْخُلْعِ.
  • •           وَيُشِيرُ إلَى هَذَا قَوْلُ الْحَاكِمِ فِي الْكَافِي.
  • •           وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ مِنْ كُتُبِ مَسَائِلِ الْأُصُولِ كِتَابُ الْكَافِي لِلْحَاكِمِ الشَّهِيدِ، وَهُوَ كِتَابٌ مُعْتَمَدٌ فِي نَقْلِ الْمَذْهَب.
  • •           وَمِنْهَا مَا فِي الْكَافِي لِلْحَاكِمِ الشَّهِيدِ الَّذِي هُوَ جَمْعُ كَلَامِ مُحَمَّدٍ فِي كُتُبِهِ ظَاهِرُ الرِّوَايَةِ حَيْثُ قَالَ.
  • •           فَهَذَا نَصُّ الْكَافِي، وَهُوَ الْجَامِعُ لِكُتُبِ ظَاهِرِ الرِّوَايَةِ فَالظَّاهِرُ أَنَّ مَا فِي الْمُتُونِ رِوَايَةٌ أُخْرَى، أَوْ هُوَ مَحْمُولٌ عَلَى مَا إذَا لَمْ تَقُمْ قَرِينَةٌ ظَاهِرَةٌ.


When ibn Abideen is arguing تصحيح on a mas’alah, or claiming fatwa is on a certain opinion, he is generally quoting from الكافي شرح الوافي:

  • •           وَصَرَّحَ كَثِيرٌ كَصَاحِبِ الْمُحِيطِ وَالْفَوَائِدِ الظَّهِيرِيَّةِ وَالْكَافِي بِأَنَّ الْفَتْوَى عَلَى قَوْلِ أَبِي يُوسُفَ، وَالْإِفْتَاءُ بِقَوْلِ الْإِمَامِ أَوْلَى لِأَنَّهُ أَحْوَطُ وَإِنْ كَانَ غَيْرُهُ أَرْفَقَ. اهـ.
  • •           وَقَالَ فِي الْكَافِي: وَعَلَيْهِ الْفَتْوَى فَأَنَّهُ اعْتَبَرَ فِيهِ الْعُرْفَ، وَلَكِنَّ هَذَا عُرْفٌ عَمَلِيٌّ، فَلَا يَصِحُّ مُقَيَّدًا.

In conclusion, whenever ibn Abideen refers to الكافي without any قيد, similar to ibn Nujaym, it more than likely refers to الكافي شرح الوافي. If he meansالكافي للحاكم الشهيد, there will normally be an explicit mention, or an indication to this effect.


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Faizal Dhada

Student, Darul Iftaa



Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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