Kiai Sahal Mahfudz: Al-Farâ’id Al-Ajîbah Fî Bayân I’râb Al-Kalimât Al-Gharîbah

Al-Farâ’id al-Ajîbah fî Bayân I’râb al-Kalimât al-Gharîbah is one of the books written by Mbah Sahal, a contemporary jurist expert from Kajen, Pati, Central Java, whose full name is KH. Muhammad Ahmad Sahal bin Mahfudz bin Abdussalam bin Abdullah. He was born in Kajen, Margoyoso, Pati, Central Java on December 17, 1937 and died at the age of 74 on January 24, 2014 in Pati, Central Java

Al-Farâ’id al-Ajîbah fî Bayân I’râb al-Kalimât al-Gharîbah  is a book in the form of nadham (Arabic poetry) which was later commented on by Mbah Sahal himself with the title of al-Fawâ’id an-Najîbah bi Syarh al- Farâ’id al-Ajîbah fî Bayân I’râb al-Kalimât al-Gharîbah. In this work he discusses the aspects of i’rab of odd words (gharib) commonly found in Islamic clasical book texts (kitab kuning).

This book consists of 89 stanzas, 11 verses containing introduction, 72 stanzas containing the subject matter of the discussion, and 6 stanzas as the closing. The subject matter is divided into three main themes.

The first subject (fashl) consists of 42 stanzas and contains 34 descriptions of i’rab of odd words (gharib). In the second subject (fâ’idah) it consists of 14 stanzas. Among them are dlamîr Sya’n at (إنّ/أنّ للتوكيد.) Whereas, on the third subject, it consists of 16 stanzas with the contents of 8 important rules (القواعد المهمة  which must be known by every santri.

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Explained in the colophon, the book is written on the 17th of Dhul Qa’ah 1380 H. Whereas, the Syarh (commentary) is completed on Wednesday, 8 Jumadal Ula 1381 H. In his words written,

[(اُبْدِى) اى اظهر (تَمَامَهَا) والغرض منه الاشارة الى تاريخ تمامها بحروف هذه الجملة اعنى ابدى فالالف بواحدة والباء باثنتين والدال بأربع والياء بعشرة فالجملة سبع عشرة واعنى بها اليوم السابع عشر (بِـ) الشهر الحادى عشر (ذِي القَعْدَة)… (شَغْفِي)….والقصد بشغفي ايضا الى السنة فالشين بثلاثمائة والغين بألف والفاء بثمانين اعني سنة الف وثلاثمائة وثمانين من هجرة سيد المرسلين صلوات الله وسلامه عليه…]
[وقد كان الفراغ منه بعد عصر يوم الاربعاء ثامن جمادى الاولى سنة 1381 الهجرية…]

[… the letter sign contained in the word ابدى indicates the perfect date of the text, i.e. the letter alif indicates the number 1, the letter ba‘ indicates the number 2, the letter dal shows the number 4, and the letter ya’ indicates number 10.  So, the number becomes 17.

What I mean is the 17th month of the 11th (Dhul Qa’dah). Whereas the meaning of the word شغفي shows the year. The letter syin shows the number 300, the letter ghain shows 1000, and the letter fa’ shows 80. I mean that in 1380, starting from the migration of the apostles of Rasuls shalawatullahi wa salamuhu alaih …]

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[The completion of this sharah at the time of Asr, Wednesday, 8 Jumadal Ula 1381 Hijriyyah …]

The work of mbah Sahal in the field of Arabic grammar (Nahwu) can be considered out of the mainstream. In general, the works of Mbah Sahal usually on themes of fiqh and ushul fiqh issues. Therefore, he is popular as an expert on fiqh (faqih). The title of contemporary jurisprudence was pinned to him.

His expertise in the field of fiqh – in addition to his character and charisma – made mbah Sahal trusted as a PBNU Rais Aam Syuriah since 1999 until the end of his life. And since 2000 he had been trusted as the General Chair of the MUI, Indonesian Ulema Council.

Mbah Sahal is one of the archipelago scholars who productively produced many writings, both in Arabic and Indonesian. His writing habits have been started since he was still in some pesantren in the archipelago.

His works, in addition to the books discussed in this paper, are among others, Tharîqat al-Hushûl alâ Ghâyah al-Wushûl, ats-Tsamarât al-Hâjayniyyah, al-Bayân al-Malma’ an Alfâdz al-Luma’ (Ushul Fiqh), Intifâkh al-Wajadain inda Munâdlarat Ulamâ’ Hâjain fi Ru’yat al-Mabî’ bi Zujaj al-‘Ainain, Faidl al-Hijâ alâ Nail ar-Rajâ (Fiqh), al-Murannaq,dan Izâlat al-Muttaham (Mantiq science), Anwâr al-Bashâ’ir (al-Qawa’id al-Fiqhiyyah).

In addition, Mbah Sahal also wrote Indonesian-language books, namely: Nuansa Fiqih Sosial (LKiS, 1994), Pesantren Mencari Makna (pustaka Ciganjur, 1999), Wajah Baru Fiqh Pesantren (Citra Pustaka, 2004), Dialog Dengan Kiai Sahal Mahfudh: Solusi Problematika Umat (LTN NU Jatim, 2003), and Insiklopedi ijma’ written together with KH. Ahmad Mustafa Bisri (Gus Mus).

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