This book addresses three very thorny issues, where the author, Professor Bashar Awwad Marouf, was successful in providing effective solutions to these complex problems. These problematic issues are:
First: differences in book order and content between narrators of books authored in the second and third Hijri centuries; this despite the author being one and the same, and the narrators being his most trustworthy and competent students. Professor Marouf attempted to explain this phenomenon in the authorship movement of Muslim Arabs, and elucidate its reasons, and outcomes. He presented the “Muwaṭṭa’ ” of Imām Mālik b. Anas (d. 179AH / 795CE) as an example.
Second: examining the importance of the auditions recorded on the handwritten copies by eminent scholars, and whether these confer extra weight to the manuscript copy in terms of correctness of the information within, as well as determining its position vis-à-vis other copies, whether superior or otherwise. In addition, exploring the difference between audition of books by scholars, and a scholar reading and then adding commentary to a book, whether to correct or signal disagreement; and the resulting benefits of both these actions.
Third: the ways of dealing with the multiple versions of the same book in the process of conducting critical edition, and the best approach to be adopted.