Reliance of the Traveller: Don’t Leave Home Without It!

Our longtime reader and commenter Yokel sends this note about his experience in a culturally enriched London bookshop:

I was in London yesterday and passed an Islamic bookshop on my way. Not being in a rush, I sauntered in while carrying the ham sandwich I had just bought in a shop nearby. I was greeted by a native English-speaker (from her lack of Urdu intonation), hijabbed, but not niqabbed. She appeared to be alone in the shop, though her man was probably in the back room.

I asked for a copy of Reliance of the Traveller*, in the translation approved by Al-Azhar. “Oh, we haven’t had that in for a very long time. I think it is out of print,” she said.

“Well”, says I, “I’ll have to look on Amazon, then.”

“You might just be lucky and find a secondhand copy,” came her reply.

And so I left to open and eat my ham sandwich.

Of course, searching on Amazon UK for Reliance of the Traveller gives me a page with nine entries for Reliance and seven other books, mostly by Counterjihad authors such as (in order of appearance): Stephen Coughlin, Mark Durie, Bat Ye’or, Nonie Darwish, Paul Revere.

So she turned down a cash sale in an attempt to keep a kafir ignorant! Words fail me. OK, they don’t; but they are not printable in polite company.

Obviously, the best way to be certain you can find a copy of Reliance in an Islamic bookstore is to put on a fake beard (no moustache), wear a nightgown, and paint a zebiba on your forehead using eye shadow. Kuffar who are skilled at mimicry could also adopt a “Bangla” accent to help clinch the deal.

*   ’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper. It is commonly referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when cited in English.

The Revised Edition (published 1991, revised 1994) is “The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ’Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices”, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. The publisher is listed as amana publications in Beltsville, Maryland.

This is an authoritative source on Sunni Islamic law, because it is certified as such by Al-Azhar University in Cairo. There is no higher authority on Sunni Islamic doctrine than Al-Azhar; it is the closest equivalent to the Vatican that can be found in Islam.

25 thoughts on “Reliance of the Traveller: Don’t Leave Home Without It!

  1. The cheapest copy I found on Amazon was around $27. When I can afford it I’ll order it to further my understanding about Political Islam and add potential essays to gatesofvienna blogspot.

  2. Yes, that is the price. Or around that. It is essential reading. We bought it some years ago, back when the B was gainfully employed.

    The book’s publication is surely subsidized. It is beautifully bound and the paper is thick – acid-free, iirc. It’s worth more than they charge for it.

    The best way to read it is to open it to any page and just read for a while. After you’ve familiarized yourself with the format it becomes easier to locate specifics, but in the beginning what will strike you is how thoroughly juridical this so-called “religion” truly is.

    • Have just orderd one for a birthday present Will order another one later,
      Amazon charges US1o to send each item.

  3. Ahhh, but you must read it in the original Klingon. Otherwise you lose it’s true meaning.

    • NO! That is the point of wanting this particular edition. It is the English translation that has been certified by Al Azhar as being correct and true to the Sharia. They cannot play that game if you refer to this edition.

  4. Dymphna I never sent you that copy of Readings in Medieval Historiography and I apologize. The extra copy fell apart due to cheap binding, and I just cannot find it. I always try to keep my word and in time I will send you a copy.

    • Bit of a pain to print out though, and as far as I am aware hasn’t been word recognised to make it searchable using your favourite pdf reader.

      On Amazon, the cheapest I saw was just under £30 including carriage to a UK address. The most expensive was £400!

      • The PDF copy that I have is searchable.

        I have a hard copy and a PDF copy of Reliance of the Traveller, and find that I use the PDF more often than hard copy simply because the search facility makes it so easy to use.

        • There is also a.TXT version available, which allows for very fast searches. And I have it in a Word document as well.

          The copyright holder is currently having these unauthorized copies expunged from the Web, but you can still find them at some sites.

      • Since it’s freely available on the net, here is the copy I made of it:
        pass: “gates of vienna” without the quotes and spaces.

        It’s properly formatted and easy to search. I made it for my own library. All-English, Arabic bits left out (I don’t speak Arabic). Feel free to share it.

        NOT included from the original:
        – facing Arabic text
        – Chapter w1 (transliteration of dhikr and supplications)
        – Chapter w2 (index for tape recording dhikr and supplications)
        – Chapter x (Biographical Notes)

  5. My favourite chapters are E. Wudu, F.Salat & J. Hajj & Umra. Hilariously good reasons to NEVER wish to be a Muslim. Life is too short to waste on that rubbish!

  6. Anyone who wants to understand Sharia Law should make the investment in this book. You can then see the Islamic requirements in black and white: Christianity and Judaism are “remnant cults” which are no longer valid (w4.1(2)), unrelated males may see only a woman’s hands and face (m2.8(1)), it is unbelief (kufr) to imitate non-Muslims believing their ways to be superior (e4.1(2), in a city, group prayers must be held in public places so that people can see Muslims showing obedience to Allah (f12.1), wife beating (m10.12), child rape (m3.12(2)).

    Many of the provisions are NOT translated into English because they are so barbaric, so having a non-Muslim friend who can read Arabic is helpful. Paragraph o3.7 about retaliation, for example, says that if someone is injured and later dies, the proper retaliation is to injure the person first and then kill him if he doesn’t die naturally. Gruesome!

    • Just an idea. There is something to be said for making a document (a short one) of selected important extracts, as you mention above, and including r8 Permissible Lying, the steps of Commanding The Right And Forbidding The Wrong, and “killing someone who deserves to die” (o8.4).

      This need not be a long or wordy document. If available via counter-Jihad websites it could reach many people.

      Maybe this could be something you could care to undertake?

      • If there were an actual Anti-Islam Movement, it would not only do that, it would also produce its own translation with accredited Arab translators vetted by impartial academics, etc. — since this Reliance is translated by the carrot-top Muslim convert, “Nuh Ha Mim Keller” (the last name there, shades of the blind woman who could see better than him whose eyes work but who has become blinded by Allah, but I digress…).

        It would then produce translations of similar writings from the other three schools of Islamic “jurisprudence” — since Reliance is based only on one of the four schools, the Shafi school (the dominant school of Egypt and of Al-Azhar).

        Perhaps some day, before Mohammedans destroy the West, we will have an actual Anti-Islam Movement…

        (For the problems of Keller’s translation of Reliance, see a comment of mine here about a year ago — )

        • There is also a problem with translation of the Arabic word ‘ghiba’ into the English ‘slander’.

          Slander in English is a legal term and has a precise legal meaning. In essence: slander is to say something about someone which is (a) not true and which (b) damages that person’s reputation.

          The explanation of ghiba which is given in Reliance of the Traveller makes clear that ghiba is not what the English speaking world defines as slander.

          I will not say that the translation of ghiba as slander is a deliberate mistranslation designed to subvert the true meaning of the word slander in English, because I have no evidence to support such an assertion. However, I will say that it is a very poor translation and potentially misleading.

          Reliance of the Traveller is a useful book, but it should not always be taken at face value.

          • “I will not say that the translation of ghiba as slander is a deliberate mistranslation designed to subvert the true meaning of the word slander in English…”

            Given what Mark Durie has analyzed about the Muslim convert Keller’s translation (follow my link in my previous post), and given the fact that Keller is a Muslim (which should be damning enough and if it isn’t in the Counter-Jihad, that’s an indication of the West’s doom in my book, for we need to cultivate a healthy sense of prejudice against all Muslims if we are going to survive this 21st century), we should reasonably assume that is exactly what Keller is doing.

            “Reliance of the Traveller is a useful book, but it should not always be taken at face value.”

            What’s ironic about Reliance and English translations of Koran, Hadiths, Tafsirs, etc. is that even though they are all likely inflected by the various flavors of taqiyya for the jihad-of-the-pen, they still cannot help but damn Islam. This is only imaginative conjecture on my part, but I reasonably assume this curious phenomenon happens because the Muslim handling his preciously holy documents for translation cannot help but feel obligated to honor Satan even while he is doing his best to dissimulate (and, after all, what better way to honor Satan than to indulge in various permutations of the Lies of which he is Father…?).

    • Yes. The translator also declined to translate various passages dealing with slavery.

      Gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘translator’.

  7. “Reliance of the Traveller” makes a very influential loan, or gift if you can manage it. It is far easier to use than the difficult Koran. Arranged by subject, it quotes the Koran where needed, and has a useful index.

    With a little time and application the free download could be split into component chapters filed individually. This would save the nuisance of having to scroll through over a thousand pages each time you want to consult it. Electronic text has the advantage of not weighing anything, and not taking up luggage space.

    Maybe a spirited expert could do this subdividing work and arrange for the result to be downloadable via a kind host site. Just a thought.

  8. Dymphna, Does your copy of “Reliance of the Traveller” have an alphabetical index allowing you to look up any topic? What does it say about isbaal? The more I think about it, the more incensed I am with CAIR. Here our country is in the midst of an isbaal crisis, and CAIR is spending none of their Wahhabi money on TV ads to warn their fellow Americans that isbaal will send you to the Fire. What kind of patriotism is that?

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