Al-Qayrawānī wrote the Risāla - also known as Bākūrat as-sa`d (the beginning of happiness) and Zubdat al-madhhab (cream of the Mālikī school) - in 938 at the age of 17, and later revised it somewhat for public diffusion. (19) Being a book of fiqh, or systematic understanding of Islamic revealed law (sharī`a) as taught in the Qur'ān and collections of Ḥadīth, the Risāla touches on the whole range of Islamic life, from dogmas of faith to details of table etiquette. As a summary of much longer works, it leaves much unsaid and has therefore been the subject of many commentaries. Yet in its conciseness it served its purpose well. It was designed primarily as a propaganda work of Mālikism against government propagated Fāṭimism, but subsequently enjoyed unabated popularity as a treatise of Mālikī law made simple.