FAQs & Fatwas Islamic Studies

I Want to Go Overseas and Study. What Should I Study as a Maliki?

The Question:

Salam alaikum Shaykh Suhaib,

I have only recently come across your lectures and writings but I benefit from them. Your knowledge of fiqh, and down-home wit, really is beneficial. You don’t come off dry. I have some questions about seeking ilm of Maliki fiqh. I have been struggling with my din and finances for years, one step forward, another back – but for years I have been moved to study ‘ilm and become an ‘Alim. A Moroccan brother recommended to me seeking independent non-government aligned Ulama in the Atlas mountains. He distrusts the madressas that are close to the Makhzan. Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?

My goals are to study and learn Murshid al-Muin, al-risala Ibn Abi Zaid, Mukhtassar Khalil, and then Mudawwana. What books in Mantiq, Sarf, and Hadiths would be part of a sound Maliki education?

Your brother in Islam,

The Answer:

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

For a good understanding of al-Qayrawin I would recommend getting in contact with Sh. Abdullah Ali at Zaytuna and Lampost productions. He has a degree from there and could give you a good feeling for the place. My advice is to do both. The university system is not as bad as people think. At the same time, a true student of knowledge is going to put in work and sit with the scholars. I would say that both have pluses and minuses, so it is good to have access to both.

As for the Maliki School you are missing the most important book in the madhab:

Sharh al-Saghir of Sidi al-Dardi is seen my most scholars as more
important for the mufti than the mukhtasir of Imam al-Khalil. I would encourage you to get to that text by doing the following:

Matn Ibn Ashir [read both explanation of al-Mayarah]

Matn al-Ashmawiyah [explanation of al-Azhari]

Risalah of Abi Zaid [explanation of al-‘Adawi]

Sharh al-Saghir [explanation of al-Sawi]

Mukhtasar al-Khalil [explanations of al-Hatab and al-Dasuqi]

al-Bayan wa Tahsil [Ibn Rushd]

al-Dhakhira [al-Qarafi]


al-Waraqat [explanation of al-Hatab]

Muraqi Sudud [explanation of the author or al-Shanqiti Mohamamd al-Amin]

Jam’i al-Jawam’i with the explanation of Hululu al-Maliki



Qatra Nada

al-Nawu al-Wadi 2 volumes

Alfiyah tubnu Malik [Sharh Ibn al-Aqil then Aqrab al-Masalik]


Bina al-Af’al

Laymiya al-Afal [Explanation of Ibn Nadhim]


Balagha al-Wadiha

Matn al-Samarkandi

Bughya al-Idah


Maqamatu al-Hariri

M’alaqat al-Sab’i

The book of al-Mubarad


Sharh al-Sulam [al-Akhdari]

Sharh al-Quduri


The end of Matn ibn Ashir

Risalah al-Mustarshidin

Quwat al-Qulub

Risalah al-Qushayriyah

the Ihya

Qawa’id al-Tasawuf of Sidi Zaruq


Know dear brother, that your claim to be a serious student of knowledge means nothing if you have not memorized the book of Allah. Make that the first and the last of your aspirations.

1. Matn Tuhfatu al-Atfal

2. Matn al-Jazariyah

3. Matn al-Shatibiyah

May Allah make you from the scholars.


About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

Add Comment

  • Salam ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullah.

    There is a common misconception that the book’s name is Quwat al-Qulub. It’s actually Qoot al-Qulub.

  • […] microblogging software, version 0.9.0rc2, available under the GNU Affero General Public License. …I Want to Go Overseas and Study. What Should I Study as a …Salam alaikum Shaykh Suhaib, I have only recently come across your lectures and writings but I […]

  • as-salaamu’alaikum,

    Imam Suhaib, I’m currently overseas studying Arabic Language and Qur’an but am having troubles with memorising the Qur’an. It is taking longer for me than the other students. I was intially thinking it was from my sins but now starting to think it is from my age (29) or lack of intellect.

    Do you have a study regime I could follow to memorise the Qur’an (In shaa Allaah)?

    I currently do 1 hour of memorisation & 1 hour of revision. The rest of my time in the day is spent on my Arabic studies.

    Jazaakumullaahu khayran

    Isa (Australia)

Leave a Comment