Nahj al-Raghibin wa Sabil al-Muhtadin


This is a massive legal text concerning the laws of trade and transaction.  Much like his first work on fiqh, Idah al-Bab li Murid al-Nikah bi-l-Sawab, Shaykh Daud b. ‘Abd Allah al-Fatani drew from al-Nawawi’s Minhaj al-Talibin, and its commentaries Tuhfat al-Muhtaj by al-Haitami and Nihayat al-Muhtaj by al-Ramli. The composition of this impressive work marked a continuation in Shaykh Daud al-Fatani’s lifelong mission of translating significant portions of the Shafi‘i legal discourse into Malay.  Like his other extensive legal texts, they were reproduced sparingly but consistently due to the arduous task it required.


This work comprises two volumes. The first volume was completed in 1226 AH [1811] and the second one was finished “6 Jumada al-akhir 1232 AH” [23 Apr 1817] by Shaykh Daud b. ‘Abd Allah al-Fatani, in Mecca.


This book experienced its most frequent reproduction in the period from 1855-74.

9 known manuscript copies

Manuscript with dated colophons (5):

  1. 1814, Mar 13. Copied “hari Ahad 21 Rabi al-awwal 1229 AH.” PNM 2881(2): 111 ff., incomplete, bound in wood bark cover.
  2. 1855, Jun 24. Copied by ‘Abd al-Ghafur b. Shams al-Din, 8 Shawwal 1271 AH. PNM 2626: 114 ff.
  3. 1856/7. Copied by Ahmad b. Muhammad ‘Uthman al-Fatani, 1273 AH, in Mecca. KASZA MSP 3.
  4. 1865, May 5. Copied “pukul 5, hari Sabtu, 10 Jumada al-akhir 1281 AH.” PNM 2221: 181 ff., double red frame including commentary.
  5. 1873/4. Copied by Muhammad Amin b. Muhammad “berasal dari negeri Jerian Kampung Ternan,” 1290 AH, in negeri Canak daerah Kampung Tamparam. PNM 2804: 102 ff.

Manuscripts without colophons (4):

  1. IAM 195: 117 pp., incomplete.
  2. PNM 332: 51 ff., incomplete.
  3. PNM 2274: 107 ff., first half of mss has been badly damaged by worms.
  4. PNM 2719: 212 ff., black & red ink.

Published Editions

When printed editions appeared around the turn of the twentieth century, this text often included one of Shaykh Daud b. ‘Abd Allah al-Fatani’s other ambitious legal projects, Bughyat al-Tullab li-Murid Ma‘rifat al-Ahkam bi al-Sawab, in the margins. Claims that this text was published in Mecca, Istanbul, and Cairo around the turn of the 20th century have been made in secondary literature, but there are no known copies available in public repositories to confirm these claims.

  1. Undated. Bangkok: Muhammad al-Nahdi. Contains Bughyat al-Tullab li-Murid Ma‘rifat al-Ahkam bi al-Sawab in the margins.

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