Mirqat al-Mafatih by ‘Ali ibn Sultan Muhammad al-Qari (d.1014/1605) is the most
comprehensive and excellent Arabic commentary on Mishkat al-Masabih*1. He came to be popularly known as Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari and belonged to the Hanafi School. He was born in Herat, Iran, where he received his basic Islamic education. Thereafter, he travelled to Makkah al-Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia, and studied under the celebrated scholar Shaykh Ahmad ibn Hajar Haythami Makki. Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari eventually decided to remain in Makkah al-Mukarramah where he taught, died and was laid to rest. It ought to be noted here that his commentary was the first one to have been written by a Hanafi scholar. In this commentary, the author touches upon the authenticity of the Ahadith based upon the opinions of the early Hadith scholars. He also points out that since al-Tabrizi was a Shafi’i scholar he had restricted himself to include only those Ahadith which were important and relevant to legal deductions and teachings according to the the Shafi’i School.
In this commentary, al-Qari refutes the Shafi’i juridical opinions and puts forth the Hanafi opinions. In certain instances he questions whether the Ahadith were of weak (Da’if) ranking or alternatively he gives his reasons as to why a particular Hadith cannot be accepted to be a source for a specific Shafi’i ruling. Thus, he added in his commentary such Ahadith from which Hanafi legal deductions are made.