Ismaili law is a largely unexplored field of study. Al-Qadi Abu Hanifa al-Nu‘man is generally considered the founder and greatest exponent of Ismaili Jurisprudence. Many of his works have been lost, and information on some others is scattered; yet other works remain in manuscript form, and only a few have been published.
The present book is a critical edition and translation of al-Nu‘man’s Minhaj al-fara’id, based on its three known copies. It deals with the law of inheritance, one of the most complex in Islamic law. This book determines the time of the composition of the Minhaj al-fara’id, the development and the originality of Ismaili Jurisprudence, and its relation to other schools of law.
In comparing the Minhaj with two published works (the Da‘a’im al-Islam and Kitab al-iqtisar) as well as a manuscript (Mukhtasar al-athar) of al-Nu‘man, a significant doctrinal evolution clearly emerges, reflecting his early Maliki training and then his work under four Fatimid Imams.