IMAM TIRMIDHI (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)
Imam at-Tirmidhi (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is one the distinguished scholars of Hadith. His book Jami at-Tirmidhi is among the six major books of Ahadith in Islamic literature. A brief description of his life and works is provided below for our readers.
Imam Abu Isa Muḥammad ibn Isa ibn Sawrah ibn Musa ibn al Ḍaḥḥak as-Sulami ad-Dharir al-Bughī at-Tirmidhi (أبو عيسى محمد بن عيسى بن سورة بن موسى بن الضحاك السلمي الضرير البوغي الترمذي), 824–892 / 209-279 AH (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) was born in a town called Bugh, in Tirmidh, Khurasan, the then Abbasid province. Tirmidh is currently part of Uzbekistan, bordering Afghanistan. He was born during the reign of Abbasid Caliph al-Ma'mun. His date of birth is not known, however, it is believed that he was born towards the end 209 AH (824 AD).
ANCESTORSImam Tirmidhi's ancestors belonged to Banu Sulaym tribe of Arabs. His name was Mohammad. Since he was the father of Isa, he was called as Abu Isa.In the olden days, Arabs used to call people along with their paternity lineage. Sometimes, this lineage was stretched to include several generations. Like Imam Abu Isa Muḥammad, ibn Isa, ibn Sawrah, ibn Musa, ibn al Ḍaḥḥak, as-Sulami ad-Dharir al-Bughī at-Tirmidhi, 'As-Sulaimi' represents, he belonged to Banu Sulaym Arab tribe. Al-Bughi and at-Tirmidhi represent, he was born in Al-Bugh town of Tirmidh. Since the Imam got blind in the last two years of his life, he was called as 'ad-Dharir' (blind).Very little is known about the early life or the profession of his parents, except that his grandfather Sawra was originally from Marw but later moved to Tirmidh.EDUCATIONRight from his childhood Imam Tirmidhi was famous for his exceptional memory. If he read or heard something, he would never forget it. Abbasid's province of Khurasan consisted of major learning centers and home of many Hadith scholars. Thus, the Imam had the opportunity to learn Ahadith from many teachers. Particularly his teacher Imam Bukhari had a profound effect on him. He mentioned Bukhari's name 114 times in his book Jami at-Tirmidhi. He used Imam Bukhari's books as a source while describing any discrepancy in the text or chain of Ahadith. He praised Imam Bukhari as the most knowledgeable person in Iraq or Khurasan in the science of Ahadith.It is reported that Imam Bukhari also held Imam Tirmidhi in high regard. Once he told Imam Tirmidhi 'I benefited from you more than you benefited from me'. Imam Bukhari also narrated Hadith from Imam Tirmidhi in his book 'Sahih Bukhari'.Imam Tirmidhi's others teachers include, (i) Imam Muslim, (ii) Imam Abu Dawood, (iii) Imam ad-Darimi, (iv) Abu Raja Qutaybah ibn Said al-Balkhī al-Baghlani, (v) Ali ibn Ḥujr ibn Iyas as-Sadi al-Marwazzi, (vi) Muḥammad ibn Bashshaar al-Baṣrī, (vii) Abdullah ibn Muawiyah al-Jumaḥī al-Basri, (viii) Abu Muṣab az-Zuhrī al-Madani, (ix) Muḥammad ibn Abdul Malik ibn Abi ash-Shawarib al-Umawi al-Baṣrī, (x) Ismail ibn Musa al-Fazari al-Kufi, (xi) Muḥammad ibn Abi Mashar as-Sindi al-Madanī, (xii) Abu Kurayb Muḥammad ibn Ala al-Kufī, (xiii) Ibrahīm ibn Abdullah al-Harawī, (xiv) Suwayd ibn Naṣr ibn Suwayd al-Marwazi, (xv) Muḥammad ibn Musa al-Baṣri, (xvi) Zayd ibn Akhzam al-Baṣrī, (xvii) Abbas al-Anbarī al-Baṣri, (xviii) Muḥammad ibn al-Muthanna al-Baṣrī, (xix) Muḥammad ibn Mamar al-Baṣrī, etc.
Imam Tirmidhi traveled to many places in pursuit of Hadith collection. He went to Hijaz, Basra, Kufah, Baghdad, Ray, etc., and collected Ahadith from over 200 scholars. In addition, he was well versed in Fiqh, Islamic History, Arabic and other related sciences. He is well known for his expertise in deducing Fiqh rulings from Ahadiths. He had many well known students like Haysam ibn Kulaib, Abul Abbas, Muhammed ibn Ahmed, etc.
Some scholars consider that the Imam Tirmidhi followed Shafii school of thought, while others regard him as a jurist (Mujtahid).
WORKSImam Tirmidhi wrote many books, like (i) Al-Ilal al-Kubra, (ii) Al-Ilal as-Sughra, (iii) az-Zuhad, (iv) Ash-Shamail an-Nabiwiyyah wa al-Fadhail al-Mustafwiyya, (v) Al-Asma wal Kuna, (vi) Kitab at-Tariq, etc.But his book 'Al-Jami al-Mukhtasar min as-Sunan an Rasulillah wa al-Ma'refatu as-Sahih wa al-Ma'lul wa man alaihi al-amal' (الجامع المختصر من السنن عن رسول الله ﷺ ومعرفة الصحيح والمعلول وما عليه العمل), also known as Jami at-Tirmidhi is most famous among all his works.Jami Tirmidhi is also known as Sunan at-Tirmidhi. It contains about 4,400 Ahadith, spread over 46 books. It is one of the six major books of Ahadith. In Jami Tirmidhi, the Imam placed a heading first, then described one or two related Ahadith. Then he gave his opinion on the status of the Hadith. He also mentioned legal opinions of other scholars about the Hadith. He focused on Ahadith that were used by jurists for their legal opinions. Thus Jami became the oldest text dealing with differences of opinions among various fiqh schools.Many commentaries of Jami at-Tirmidhi have been written, like (i) 'Aarizat al-Ahwazi' in Arabic by Qadhi Abu Bakr Ibn Arabi, (ii) 'Qoot al-Mughtazi' by Jalauddin Suyuti.DEATHImam Tirmidhi died on Wednesday, 13 Rajab, 279 A.H (October 8, 892 AD). He was buried on the outskirts of Sherobod, 60 kilometers north of Tirmidh, Uzbekistan.It is reported that he had lost his eyesight in the two years before his death. Ad-Dahabi wrote 'his blindness is reported to have caused in view of his excessive weeping during night vigils on his prayer mat showing his extreme servitude to Al-Mighty Allah. He also cried a lot on the death of Imam Bukhari.Many scholars have praise Imam Tirmidhi, as follows.(i) As-Sama`ani said, 'there is no dispute that Tirmidhi was one of leading Imams of Hadith.(ii) Abu Sa'd Al-Idrisi said, 'Muhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi, the blind memorizer of Hadith, is one of the leading scholars of the knowledge of Hadith. He compiled books like 'Al-Jami', 'At-Tawarikh', and Al-`Ilal, in a proficient and scientific way'.(iii) Ibn Al-Athir Al-Jazari said, 'He was one of the prominent memorizing scholars of Hadith. Also, he was well aware of Fiqh.'(iv) Abu Al-Fida said, 'He was one of the well-known proficient scholars of Hadith.'(v) Ibn Kathir wrote, 'He was one of the Imams of this matter (Hadith) during his time.'(vi) Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Hajjaj Al-Mizzi wrote, 'He was one of the prominent memorizing Imams of Hadith by whom Allah has benefited Muslims.'(vii) Amr ibn Alak wrote, 'When Muhammad ibn Ismail Al-Bukhari died, he did not leave behind anyone in Khurasan like Abu Isa at-Tirmidhi, in terms of knowledge and God-fearing.'
(i) Books of Ahadith