Translated, Selected and Annotated
Abū Khuzaimah Anṣārī
ʿAudhu Billāhi min ash-Shayṭān al-Rajīm Bismillāh al-Raḥmān al-Raḥīm
Alḥamdullilāhi Rabbil ʿAlamīn, Waṣalatu Wassalām ʿAla Rasūlillahil Karīm, Wa ʿAla Alihī Wa Aṣḥābīhi Wa Man Tabiāhum Bi-Eḥsan Ilaʾ Yaum al-Dīn; Wa Baʿd
All Praise belongs and is directed to the Rabb of everything that exists, Praise and Salutations be upon His Final beloved Messenger, his revered family and his noble Companions and upon those who follow them in good until the end of times,
Shaykh Muḥammad ʿUzayr Shams in his introduction to the verification and checking of Ghayatul Maqṣad Fī Zawā’īd Musnad al-Imām Aḥmad by Shaykh Irshād ul-Ḥaq al-Atharī, wrote concerning the efforts of the Subcontinent scholars, their works and efforts on the Musnad of Imām Aḥmad. This was authored on the 9/1/1435H from pages ز to ف compromising 11 pages . Thinking of the benefits, I summarised the main points and omitted parts unrelated to the Ahl ul-Ḥadīth scholars. I also added relevant annotations where necessary and I will, In-Shāʾ-Allāh continue to develop this writing as time progresses. Any additional words by myself to the writing of Shaykh ʿUzayr Shams have been designated with parenthesis [xxx], for example, dates when scholars died or complete titles of book. Any further annotations by me are clearly demarcated with my name in parenthesis [Abū Khuzaimah Anṣārī xxx]. As updates continue, the annotations will continue at the end of this writing. Finally, where possible and available, I have added relevant photos.
 Ghāyatul Maqṣad Fī Zawāʾid Musnad al-Imām Aḥmad. 4 volumes, 1st edition (Lahore: Riyadh: Maktabah Bayt us-Salām, 1435H / 2014CE). Introduced by Shaykh Waṣīullāh ʿAbbās, Shaykh Abuʾl Ishbāl Ṣaghīr Aḥmad Shāghif al-Pakistani and Shaykh Muḥammad ʿUzayr Shams.
Abū Khuzaimah Anṣārī
Jumādā ath-Thani 1442H/ January 2021
Shaykh Muḥammad ʿUzayr Shams said,
From the scholars of the Subcontinent who first transmitted the Musnad of Imam Aḥmad and expounded its importance, was Shaykh Shāh Walīullāh al-Dehlawī (d.1176H) and he transmitted it through his chain. (Ittihaf an-Nabiyyah, 188-190, translated to Arabic by Shaykh Muḥammad ʿUzayr Shams (Lahore: al-Maktabah as-Salafiyyah, 1424)
[Abū Khuzaimah Anṣārī: Shaykh Muḥammad ʿAtāʾullāh Ḥanīf al-Bhojiyānī [d.1407H] /1987CE added beneficial notes to the Ittihāf, it was also printed some years ago in Peshawar, Pakistan]
Shaykh Nawāb Ṣiddīq Ḥasan Khān (d.1307H) discussed the Musnad in his book al-Ḥiṭṭah Fī Zikr as-Ṣiḥāh as-Sittah, 402-409 (Beirut: Dār al-Jīl, 1408H). This book was first published in 1283H. He discussed the importance of the Musnad, the number of Ḥadīth therein, the Thulāthiyāt in it, the reports added by his son, ʿAbd Allāh, its refinement and arrangement.
Shaykh Ṣiddīq Ḥasan Khān also made discourse about in his book written in Farsī, Ittiḥāf an-Nabulāʾ al-Muttaqīn Bi-Iḥyāʾ Māthir al-Fuqahaʾ al-Muḥaddithīn, 141-142, (Kanpur: al-Maṭbaʾ al-Niẓāmī, 1288).
Then Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Mubārakpurī (d.1353H) talked about it in his Muqaddimah Tuḥfatul Aḥwadhī, 88-91 (India: 1359H) while relying on the books of Shaykh Shāh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz and Shaykh Nawāb Ṣiddīq Ḥasan Khān as well as other books on Ḥadīth and Rijāl which discussed the Musnad, its conditions, it’s status amongst the books of Sunnah and the status of its aḥadīth.
Shaykh Muḥammad ʿAtāʾullāh Ḥanīf al-Bhojiyānī [d.1407H] made academic discussion in Urdu in attributing the Musnad to Imām Aḥmad, while refuting the enquiries of Tamanna al-ʿAmadī. This was published in the al-ʿItiṣām magazine published in Lahore, volume 7 issue number 28 in 1956, 55-63 and it was reprinted in 2010, 173-199. Shaykh al-Bhojiyānī was preceded by Shaykh al-Albānī (d.1420H) in his book, al-Dhab al-Aḥmad ʿAnn Musnad al-Imām Aḥmad, in which he refuted the queries of Ustādh ʿAbd al-Quddūs al-Hāshimi, where he questioned the attribution of the Musnad to Imām Aḥmad.
Shaykh ʿAbd ar-Raūf Ẓafar wrote about the Musnad of Imām Aḥmad in Urdu book, ʿUlūm al-Ḥadīth – An Academic, Intellectual and Historical Analysis’, 402-411. (Lahore: Nashriyāt, 2006)
Ḥāfiẓ Zubayr ʿAlī Zaʾī [d.1435H] wrote a paper on the status of Imām Aḥmad according to the Scholars of Ḥadīth, meaning the Muḥaddithīn and defended the Musnad. Refer to his Maqalāt, 1:339-403. (Lahore: [Maktabah Islāmiyyah] 2010).
[Abū Khuzaimah Anṣārī: This has been translated into English and will be published in due course, In-Shāʾ-Allāh]
ʿAbd al-Ḥakīm al-Naṣīrābādī (d.1337H) arranged the Aḥadīth in the Musnad according to the chapters in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī in 7 volumes. Then the aḥadīth in it were referenced by al-Muḥaddith ash-Shaykh Aḥmad Ḥasan ad-Dehlawī (d.1338H), who was the author of Tanqīh al-Ruwāh Fī Takhrīj Āḥadīth al-Mishkāt. Then Shaykh Abū Saʿīd Sharf ud-Dīn ad-Dehlawī (d.1381H) began penning an explanation of it and annotations which was to be printed through Jamʿiyyah Ahl ul-Ḥadīth of Delhi. The first 56 pages were printed in 1936CE when the printing began but this stopped for unknown reasons, neither do we know where the manuscript is, while it has been said, it is in a private library in Delhi.
Shaykh Khālid as-Salafī authored Tahdhīb al-Musnad in 6 volumes and his methodology was to organize the name of the Companions from the various Masānīd in the Musnad alphabetically and then list all the Ḥadīth of a Companion through his chains and words in one place. He also collated and differentiated between the Masānīd of Companion whose narrations would be mention in the Musnad of another Companion. He also organized the aḥadīth of the Musnad of a Companion under chapter headings. Indeed, the author exerted great effort in organizing and adding chapters in this work on the Musnad. He compiled this work by changing the photocopied edition of the Musnad published by al-Maymaniyyah.
Shaykh Khālid as-Salafī also authored, Miftāh al-Musnad, which was printed in Pakistan in one volume of 653 pages. It is essentially an index of the Aḥadīth in the Musnad organized under chapter headings. This is then followed by the name of every Companion who narrated something concerning the said chapter, while cross referencing all the places the ḥadīth has been transmitted in the Musnad and in the Tahdhīb Musnad (of the same author). This index is very beneficial as it saves a lot of time trying to find aḥadīth with specific words or similar narrations in the Musnad which may have differing words. I have not found an index book like this that with any edition of the Musnad and therefore it should be reprinted in the Arab countries so that the students of hadith can benefit from it.
Then Shaykh ʿAbd Allāh Nāṣir ʿAbd al-Rashīd al-Reḥmānī indexed the ḥadīth in the Musnad and he called it, al-Manhaj al-Asʿad Fī Tartīb Āḥadīth Musnad al-Imām Aḥmad. This was printed in 1411H by Dār Ṭaybah, Riyadh in 4 volumes. The author categorized his work into 3 categories,
First: Aḥadīth that were statements of the Messenger of Allāḥ Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam which he organized alphabetically.
Second: Aḥadīth associated with a statement for example the aḥadith which mention the Messenger of Allāh Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam commanded us or he forbade us from, or if something was unlawful, cursed or a covenant or a concession, or a promise or information, of attributes or characteristics, or a prohibition and other similar things. So, such aḥadīth were mentioned that first talked about a command, then a prohibition and so on.
The Third: Are the aḥadīth related to actions, in which the Companions mentioned the actions of the Messenger of Allāh Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam. These are organized first on the Masānid of the Companions and then on subject matters.
There are cross references to the Maymuniyyah edition by volume and page number, to the edition of ʿAllāmah Aḥmad Muḥammad Shākir [d.1377H] and to the edition of al-Fatḥ ar-Rabbānī of [Aḥmad ʿAbd ur-Raḥmān Bannāʾ] al-Sāʿātī [d.1378H].
The first thing printed of the Musnad was from India, a small part with medium sized letters in 280 pages. It was printed by al-Matbaʿa al-Ḥaydiriyyah in Bombay in 1308H from the first book to the Musnad of Sa’īd b. Zayd b. ʿAmr b. Nafil just like the al-Maymuniyyah edition which was 190 pages and was printed in 1313H.
Darussalam in Lahore reprinted the Musnad with grading of the ahadith which were summarized. Shaykh Khubayb Aḥmad worked on this, who is a close student of Shaykh Irshād ul-Ḥaq al-Atharī.
Idārah Anṣār as-Sunnah who are based in Lahore, translated the al-Fatḥ ar-Rabbānī in Urdu under the supervision of Shaykh ʿAbd us-Sattār Ḥammād.
The book, al-Ikmāl Fī Zikr Man Lahu Riwāyah Fī Musnad Aḥmad Min ar-Rijāl Siwa Min Zukira Fī Tahdhīb al-Kamāl of Ibn Ḥamza al-Ḥussaynī (d.765H) which was checked by al-Ustādh ʿAbd Allāh Sarwar and printed in Riyadh in 1412H. Shaykh Fayḍh al-Raḥmān al-Thawrī [d.1417H] also added some beneficial notes to this book and its manuscript is in Jalālpūr (Pakistan).
[Abū Khuzaimah Anṣārī: This manuscript has now been printed, so the Ikmāl with the notes of Shaykh Fayḍh al-Raḥmān al-Thawrī was printed with the great effort of Shaykh Muḥammad Rafīq al-Atharī as recent as 1441H / 2020CE, who also penned a biography of Shaykh Fayḍh, from Atharī Idārah Nashr wa-Talīf Dār al-Ḥadīth al-Muḥammadiyyah, Jalālpūr, Multan, Pakistan)]
The book, Khaṣāʾiṣ al-Musnad of Abū Mūsā al-Madīnī (d.581H) which was published by al-ʿAllāmah Muḥammad Shākir in his introduction of the Musnad. This was reprinted with the checking of the two Ustādhs ʿAbd ar-Raūf Ẓafar and Nighat Ḥashimī which was printed in Bhawalpūr (Pakistan) in 2000CE.
This book, Ghāyatul Maqṣad Fī Zawāʾid al-Musnad of al-Haithamī [d.807H] was printed by Shaykh Irshād al-Ḥaq al-Athari.
[Abū Khuzaimah Anṣārī: The Ghāyatul Maqṣad is 4 volumes printed by Maktabah Bayt us-Salām, Lahore: Riyadh, 1435H / 2014CE. The Ghāyatul Maqṣad are Zawāʾid, or narrations that are in Musnad Aḥmad but not in the 6 canonical books of Ḥadīth. The Ghāyatul Maqṣad of Imām al-Haythamī therefore essentially form a portion of his Majmaʿ az-Zawāʾid which was at the behest and instructions of his teacher, Shaykh Zayn ud-Dīn al-ʿIrāqī (d.806H).
The Ghāyatul Maqṣad Fī Zawāʾid al-Musnad al-Imām Aḥmad was checked and annotated by Shaykh Irshād ul-Ḥaq al-Atharī and this is yet another remarkable checking of the Shaykh, who has already checked works like, Musnad Abū Yaʿlā, Muʿajam Abū Yaʿlā, Musnad as-Sirāj, al-ʿIllal al-Mutanhiyyah of Ḥafiẓ Ibn al-Jawzī and many more.
Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaq al-Ḥashimī also devoted great time and effort to the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and he authored no less than three detailed works on it, Sharḥ Musnad al-Imām Aḥmad, Fahrisah Musnad al-Imām Aḥmad and Tarājim Rijāl Musnad Aḥmad. (Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaq al-Ḥashimī, ʿAqīdah al-Firqatun al-Nājiyyah, 32, printed in KSA: No Publisher, 1382H)]