CIF INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION

العقيدة الإسلامية الصحيحة

 

 

 


IMAMS OF AHADITH 
 
  

Written   By

 
Shaikh Mir Asedullah Quadri 

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  PREFACE

 

بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم  

 الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين

 
The Imams of Ahadith have undertaken the responsibility of narrating Ahadith of the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). They have done a great job in verifying the weak Ahadith from the strong,  inspecting their transmitters and differentiating between the authentic or weak. They have devoted their lives for this sacred mission and we are all indebted to them for their service to Islam. 
This book provides brief biographies of the following Imams of Ahadith (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہم اجمعين).
(i) Imam Bukhari
(ii) Imam Muslim
(iii) Imam Malik,
(iv) Imam Nasai
(v) Imam Abu Dawood
(vi) Imam Tirmidhi 
(vii) Imam Ibn Majah
 

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 IMAM BUKHARI (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)
 

Imam Bukhari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is one of the most distinguished scholars of Hadith in Islamic history.  His book Sahih Bukhari, accepted as the most authentic book of Hadith, is one of the greatest sources of Sahih Ahadith in Islamic literature. He was born on Friday, 13 Shawwal, 194 H (July 16, 810 AD) in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.   

 

ANCESTORS

Imam Bukhari's father Ismail ibn Ibrahim ibn Mughaira al-Ju'fî was  a also a Hadith scholar, and student of Imam Malik Ibn Anas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).  Ibn Hibban mentioned him in his book 'Reliable Narrators' (كتاب الثقات), and recorded that Isma’il  heard Ahadith from Imam Malik.  He also sat in the company of Abdullah Ibn Mubarak and others.  Hadith Scholars of Iraq related Ahadith from him. 

Ismail  was  an industrious and wealthy person who left a good deal of wealth at the time of his death.  He died when Imam Bukhari was an infant.  Thus, the responsibility of upbringing of the Imam was shouldered by his mother. 

It is reported that the grand father of Imam Bukhari, Al-Mughaira bin Bardizbah had settled in Bukhara after accepting Islam. Information about Imam's ancestors is sketchy except that his great grand father Bardizbah ibn Bazzabah and his ancestors were Persian, following the religion of their forefathers. 

 

EDUCATION

Imam Bukhari received early education in Bukhara.  He was famous for his exceptional memory right from his childhood.  He memorized Quran early and inherited interest in Ahadith from his father.  It is reported that by early teens he learned over 300,000 Ahadith and memorized Ahadith collections of Abdullah Ibn Mubarak, a companion of Imam Abu Hanifah,  and others. He also sat in the company of many Hadith scholars of his time to learn Ahadith. His teachers include, (i) Ishaq Ibn Rahway, (ii) Ali Ibn Madini, (iii) Dhihaak Ibn Mukhlid, (iv) Makki Ibn Ibrahim Khadhali, (v) Ubaidullah Ibn Musa Abasa, (vi) Abdul Quddoos Ibn Hajjaj, (vii) Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ansari, (viii) Shaikh ad-Dakhili, etc. 

Muhammad Abu Hatim ibn Idris al-Razi (811–890), a contemporary Hadith scholar of his time, who knew him personally, recorded the statement of Imam Bukhari about his early  education, as follows:

"I began to go regularly to Shaikh ad-Dakhili and others. One day, Shaikh ad-Dakhili was describing Ahadith to his students.  While describing the chain of a Hadith, he said 'Sufyan reported from Abu Zubayr from Ibrahim.'  On this I said to him, 'Abu Zubayr never related anything from Ibrahim'.  'On this the Shaikh rebuffed me.  I told him, 'please refer to your original copy, if you still have it.'  The Shaikh went and looked at it and then came back and said, 'alright then how it is supposed to be read, young man? I said, 'It is actually Zubayr ibn Uday, and he narrated the Hadith from Ibrahim. On hearing this, the Shaikh took his pen and corrected his book, saying, you are right.'

Muhammad Abu Hatim  recorded another incident,  as follows. 

"It was reported to me (Abu Hatim) by two Senior students who attended Hadith classes along with young (Imam) Bukhari.  They noticed that several days had passed the boy was attending the classes but was not writing anything down. They asked him about it.  He ( Imam Bukhari) told them, ‘You are here longer than me. Why do you not tell me what you have written?’ They did so, and the total came to over fifteen thousand Ahadith.  When they finished reading, the Imam repeated from memory every word of every Hadith they had read to him and asked them, 'Do you still think that I come here for nothing or that I am wasting my time?"

Another Hadith scholar Sulayman ibn Mujahid cited the following incident. 

"One day I was in the company of Muhammad ibn Salam Baykandi. He told me, 'If you had come a little early, I would have shown you the child who has seventy thousand Ahadîth in his memory. I was amazed. I stood up, and started looking for that child.  Shortly I found him. I asked, 'Are you the one who has memorized committed seventy thousand Ahadît?' Imam Bukhari replied, 'I have learned more Ahadith than this. I even know the place of birth, death and residence of most of those companions from whom the Ahadith are narrated."

When Imam Bukhari was 18 years old, he went for Hajj along with his mother and brother.  After Hajj, his mother and brother returned to Bukhara, but he stayed in Makka-al-Mukarrama for two years for further education.  From Makka, he went to Madina and stayed there for one year.  This was the time his great travels began in pursuit of Ahadith collection.  He traveled to Basra,  Balkh, Merv, Nishapur, Rayy, Baghdad, Kufa, Makkah, Madina, Wasit, Egypt, Damascus, Qaysariya, Asqalan, Palestine, Syria, etc., and wrote Ahadith narrated by over one thousand people.

Mohammad Abu Hatim recorded a statement of Imam Bukhari, in this context,  as follows. 

"Then I spent five years in Basra with my books, going for Hajj (again), and then returning from Makkah to Basra. I never related a Hadith unless I knew the authentic from the doubtful, and until I had studied the books of the rational Jurists about this Hadith. I know nothing that is considered essential, whether be it in  regard to legislation, etiquette, society, or anything,  that cannot be found in the Book of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) or the Sunnah of His Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)."

A spectacular incident is reported that took place in Baghdad where the Imam had taken up temporary residence.  The people having heard of his accomplishments,  decided to test him. They chose one hundred different Ahadith, changed the chain of narration and in some cases altered the text.  These Ahadith were  read in front of the Imam by 10 people. He was asked to testify. A large crowd had gathered to witness the test.  After listening to each Hadith, the Imam gave a standard reply - 'not to my knowledge'. However, after completion of their recitation of all 100 Ahadith, the Imam repeated each text and testimonials which had been changed, followed by the correct text and testimonial.

 

WORKS

Imam Bukhari wrote his first book titled  'Prophet's ﷺ Companions and their immediate successors' (قضايا الصحابه و التابعين) in Makka al-Mukarrama when he was staying there after Hajj.  

Later, during his stay in Madina, he wrote his famous book titled 'The detailed History of Narrators' (التاريخ الكبير).   In this book he compiled the biographies of narrators of Ahadith from the time of the Companions until his time.

He studied the lives of narrators, to make sure they were trustworthy in their reporting. They should not change the wording of the Hadith or concoct from their minds.  If it came to his knowledge that the narrator is not trustworthy or an open sinner, he will not write down the Hadith unless there was another strong chain of narrators existed for that Hadith.  He studied where and when the narrators lived, in order to make sure that if someone narrates from someone else, they must both have been in the same place at the same time and have actually met and discussed the Hadith. 

He wrote three books about the narrators of Ahadith to establish the ability and trustworthiness of narrators in conveying the Ahadith. These are,  (i) The detailed history of Narrators (التاريخ الكبير), (ii) The Standard History of Narrators (التاريخ الاوسط), and (iii) The Brief History of Narrators (التاريخ الصغير).

Imam Bukhari made  stringent guidelines for acceptance of Ahadith. He was among the pioneering scholars who  used a systematic approach in analyzing and labeling Ahadith into  (i) 'Authentic' (Sahih - صحيح), (ii) 'Good' (Hassan- حسن), (iii) 'Perpetual' (Mutawatir - متواتر), (iv) 'Infrequent' (Ahaad - اَحاد), (v) Weak (Da'eef - ضعيف), and (vi) 'Concocted' (Mawdu - موضوع).  Later, these classifications became a standard which was followed and further developed by the later Hadith scholars. 

Imam Bukhari wrote several books, but his book Sahih Bukhari titled "The Abridged Collection of Authentic Hadith with Connected Chains regarding Matters Pertaining to the Prophet , His practices and His Times" (الجامع المسند الصحيح المختصر من أمور رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وسننه وأيامه) is most famous among them.  It is reported that it took him 16 years to complete this book.  Sahih Bukhari is accepted by all scholars as the most authentic book of Hadith.

The Imam mentioned how the idea came to his mind for writing Sahih Bukhari, as follows.

"Once, during one of our Hadith sessions when my teacher Ishaq Ibn Rahway remarked, 'it would be appreciated if someone could collect Ahadith that held strong and reliable testimonials and write them in  a book',  the idea came to my mind to compile authentic Ahadith in a book." 

What makes Sahih Bukhari so unique was Imam's meticulous attention to detail. He made far stricter rules than other Hadith scholars for accepting a Hadith as authentic.  His collection of Ahadith is a monumental achievement and an irreplaceable cornerstone of the Science of Hadith scholarship. Through his work, Hadith studies became a science with governing laws that protected the field from innovation/corruption.

Sahih Bukhari is divided into 97 books, each with numerous chapters within it.  After he finished the compilation, Imam Bukhari showed the manuscript to some of his teachers like Imam Ahmed, Ibn al-Madini, Ibn Ma'in, etc.

Over 80 guides have been written to explain  Sahih Bukhari.  The best among them are (i) Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani’s “Fath Al-Bari”, (ii) Shihab Ahmad Ibn Al-khateeb Al-Qastalani’s "Irshad As-Sari”, and (iii) Badr-ud-Deen al-Aini’s  “Umda-tul-Qari”. 

Imam Bukhari has written many books. These include (i) Sahih Bukhari, (ii) Tarikh-Al Kabeer (and Tarikh al-Awsat, and Tarikh as Sageer), (iii)  Khalq A’faal Ebaad, (iv) Kitaab al-Wuhdan, (v) Adab al-Mufrad, (vi) Kitaab Adh-Dhua’fa, (vii) Juz Raf al-Yadain, (viii) Juz Al-Qirat Kalful Imam, (ix) Tafseer Al-Kabeer, (x) Kitab Al-Ilal, (xi) Kitaab Al-Manaqib, (xii) Qadhaya As-Sahabah wa at-taba'in, (xiii) Kitab al-Ashribah, (xiv) Kitab al-Hibah, (xv) Kitab al-Mabsoot, etc.

Imam Bukhari  had a large number of students. It is reported that over 9000 people used to sit in his lessons when he taught his Sahih Bukhari. There used to be many travelers among this crowd who used to travel long distances to listen to his sermons. There are some well known names among his students like (i) Tirmidhi, (ii) Muslim, (iii) Nasa’i, (iv) Ibrahim Ibn Ishaq Al-Harawi, (v) Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Dolabi, (vi) Mansoor Ibn Muhammad Bazdoori, etc.  

Imâm Muslim ibn Hajjâj reported that in 250 AH, Imam Bukhari arrived in Nishapur.  After hearing the news of his arrival, people were jubilant.  Muhammad ibn Yahya adh-Dhuhlî was the ruler of Nishapur.  He led a huge crowd of people to the outskirts of the city to receive Imam Bukhari.  Imam Muslims wrote,  'I had never seen such a reception ever given to a scholar or a ruler'.  

In Nishapur, Imam Bukhari began giving lectures on Ahadith. A crowd used to gather to listen to his lecture. However, his popularity became an eye sore to some people in Nishapur.  They started to insinuate the ruler about the Imam. Gradually the ruler started suspecting about the Imam.   The conspirators sent a person to attend Imam's lectures and find something to defame him.  This man asked Imam, whether Qur'ân was created or not created. The Imam knew the intention of the questioner.  He paused for a while but the person insisted for his reply.  On this, the Imam said 'Quran is the word of Allah and is not created.  Then the man posed certain more questions to confuse the issue.  On this, the Imam explained 'our (human) actions are created and our pronunciation of Quranic verses is one of our actions.'

This statement of Imam was conveyed to the ruler who had believed that 'even the pronunciation of Quran was eternal'.

It is clear that the difference of opinion was not on the essence that the Quran is the word of Allah.  Adh-Duhli, the ruler, and some people following the Hanbali school of thought in Nishapur considered that the pronunciation of the word of Allah is also not created, while Imam Bukhari, Muslim and others considered the pronunciation is created because it is part of one's acts.  

After this, a mass propaganda campaign was initiated against the Imam and people were made to believe that Imam considers the word of Allah as created. The ruler openly disconnected his ties with the Imam and stopped people from attending Imam's lectures. When things went out of control, the Imam decided to leave Nishapur to his home town Bukhara. 

The Imam received a mammoth welcome in Bukhara on his arrival. He established a school there and started teaching Ahadith.  However, he faced rivalry in Bukhara as well.  Some people started spreading false stories about him.  The Governor of Bukhara was incited to act against the Imam.  The Governor asked the Imam to come to his home everyday and teach his son.  The Imam replied, 'I do not want to abuse knowledge and carry it to the doorstep of the ruler'. If anybody wants to learn, they should come to my school.'  On this the Governor said, he cannot let his son sit with commoners in the school and the Imam should teach his son alone. The Imam did not agree.  On this, the Governor became angry. A fatwa was issued by a group of Ulema against the Imam to banish him from Bukhara.

 

DEATH 

The Imam was distressed to leave his home land.  He decided to go to Samarkhand.  On his way he was told that the people of Samarkhand were divided about him.  He stopped his journey at a village called 'Khartang'.  He spent two months there and became ill. When people of Samarkhand knew that the Imam had stayed back from travel to their city, a large delegation from Samarkhand came to pursue him to travel to Samarkhand.  But by this time, he had become very week from his ailment. 

He died on the night of Eid al-Fitr, the first night of Shawwal in the year 256 AH (870 AD). He was 62 years old.  He was buried in Khartang. (Tadhkira-tul-Huffaz 2/122, Shadhrat adh-Dhahab 2/135, Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 9/47, Al-Wafiyaat 1/55, etc.

It is claimed that Imam Bukhari was a follower of  Hanbali school of thought.  Some people claim he was follower of Shafi'i school of thought. Ad-Dhahabi said Imam Bukhari was a mujtahid, a scholar capable of making his own ijtihad.

It is reported that when Imam Bukhari went to Nishapur, Imam Muslim came to him and kissed his forehead and said, 'O Teacher,  O leader of the Muhadditheen, give me permission to kiss your feet.' Imam Tirmidhi said, 'in the field of narrators I have not seen anyone more knowledgeable than Imam Bukhari'. Ibn Khuzaimah said, 'I have never encountered anyone more knowledgeable than Imam Bukhari in Ahadith.

 

 

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IMAM  MUSLIM (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

 

Imam Muslim (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is one of the most distinguished scholars of Hadith in Islamic history.  His book Sahih Muslim is accepted as one of the most authentic book of Ahadith and a great source of Sahih Ahadith in Islamic literature. He was born in Nishabur town, in Khorasan, the then Abbasid province.  Nishapur is currently located in Northeastern Iran. His date of birth is not known and there are differences of opinions among scholars in the year of his birth.  Some consider the year of his birth is 202,  others consider it to be 204 or 206 AH.  His year of birth as 206 is based on the opinion of a majority of scholars in view of the fact that he died at the age of 55, in the year 261 AH.

 

ANCESTORS

Imam Muslim belonged to Banu Qushayr tribe of Arab clan Rabi'ah. After the great Islamic conquests, various families of Banu Qushayr migrated from Arabian peninsula and settled in the new provinces.  Some migrated to the West, and others to the East.  Among these migrants, there was one Zurarah, who had served as provincial governor. His son Amr, and grandson Humayd Ibn Amr migrated to the East and settled down at Nisabur.  Kawshadh al-Qushayri al-Nisaburi, the great grand father of Imam Muslim, was a descendant of Muhayd Ibn Amr.  It is reported that Imam's father Al-Hallaj was also a Hadith scholar.   

 

EDUCATION

Imam Muslim received early education in Nishabur.  He had an exceptional memory  and  inherited interest in Ahadith from his father Al-Hallaj who was also a Hadith scholar.  Nishapur was home of many prominent Hadith scholars like Imam Rahawey, Imam Zuhri, Imam Bukhari and others. Imam Muslim had the opportunity to learn in the company of these great scholars. 

Imam Muslim was a great admirer of Imam Bukhari, and learned a great deal in his company during Imam Bukhari's stay in Nishapur. His other teachers include,  Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Qutaiba bin Said, Abdullah bin Maslama, Imam Rahawey, Imam Zuhri, Ubaidullah Al-Qawariri, Harmalah bin Yahya, Shuwayh Ibn Yoonus, etc. 

Imam Muslim was a distinguished student in his youth.  It is reported that Imam Ishaq bin Rahawey, his teacher, once said about him, 'I wonder what this boy is going to be in future'. Abu Saimah who was a colleague of lmam Muslim during the period he compiled 'Sahih Muslim', praised him for his noble character and dedication to work. 

Imam Muslim traveled far and wide to collect Ahadith.  The pursuit took him to many places, like Hijaz, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, etc.

Many students learned Science of Hadith from Imam Muslim. They include  Abu Hatim Razi, Musa bin Harun, Ahmad bin Salamah, Abu Isa Tirmidhi, Abu Bakr bin Khuzaimah, Abu Awanah, etc. It is reported that Imam Muslim was inclined to Shafii school of thought.

 

WORKS

Imam Muslim has written many valuable books on Ahadith.  These include,  Kitab al-Musnad al-Kabir Ala ar-Rijal, Jami Kabir, Kitab al-Asma wal-Kuna, Kitab al-Ilal, Kitab al-Wijdan, etc. Most important among these is his book 'Sahih Muslim' (الجامع الصحيح لمسلم) which is considered to be the second most reliable book of Ahadith. It is reported that Imam collected over 300,000 Ahadith and after a thorough examination retained only 4000 for his book.  He  wrote an illuminating introduction in his book, in which he detailed the principles he followed in selecting  Ahadith for his book 'Sahih Muslim'. 

Imam Muslim compiled only those Ahadith that have been  transmitted by an unbroken chain of narrators whose trustworthiness is unanimously accepted. 

He took particular care in describing the exact words of the narrators and clarified  even the minutest difference in the wording of their reports.  Imam Bukhari, while describing the chain of narrators, sometimes mentions their kunya and sometimes gives their names. This is particularly true in case of the narrators of Syria.  This creates a sort of confusion, which Imam Muslim has avoided.  He also kept in view the difference between two well known modes of narration, 'Haddathana' (he narrated to us) and Akhbarana (he informed us). The first mode is used when the teacher is narrating a Hadith and the student is listening to it, while the second mode of expression implies that the student is reading the Hadith before the teacher. This reflects his utmost care in the transmission of a Hadith.

The book Sahih Muslim was explained by Imam an-Nawawi, and Imam Abu Amr Ibn Salah.  In addition, many guides have been written to explain Sahih Muslim.  

 

DEATH

Imam Muslim died on 25 Rajab, 261 AH (May 4, 875 AD) at the age of 55 years and was buried in Nasarabad, a suburb of Nishaaur. In this short span of time, his service to Islam and Muslim is unparalleled. He remained absorbed in his pursuit and nothing could distract his attention from his pious work.
 
 

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IMAM  MALIK (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

 

Imam Malik (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is one of 4 major Fiqh scholars and founder of Maliki school of thought in Islamic Jurisprudence.  Maliki school of thought is popular in North Africa, Egypt and in some parts of Yemen, Syria and other places.  He is also one of the greatest scholars of prophetic traditions.  His book titled 'Muatta' (الموطأ) is the pioneering work in Sahih Hadith collection.  He was born in Madina in 93 AH (711 AD).   His father  was Anas bin Malik (not the Sahabi) and his mother's name was Aaliyah bint Shurayk al-Azdiyya.

 

ANCESTORS

Imam Malik belonged to al-Asbahi tribe of Yemen.   His great grandfather Abu Amir relocated from Yemen to Madina after accepting Islam in 2nd Hijri (623 AD). His grandfather Malik bin Abi Amir was a student of Khalifa-e-Rashid, Amir al-Momineen Hadhrat Umar bin al-Khattab (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).  It is reported that he was part of the team under Hadhrat Uthaman (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), responsible for collecting the parchments upon which Quranic texts were originally written. 

 

EDUCATION

Imam Malik memorized Quran in his youth.  He learned recitation of Quran from Abu Suhail Nafi bin Abdur Rahman, from whom he also received Ijaza.  It is reported that both Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik were the students of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). 

Imam Malik learned from many teachers.  Some of his teachers are : (i) Nafi' bin Abdur Rahman, (ii) Abul-Zanaad Adbullah bin Zakwaan, (iii) Hishaam bin Urwah bin Zubair, (iv) Yahya bin Sa'eed al-Ansaari, (v) Abdullah bin Dinaar, (vi) Zaid bin Aslam,  (vii) Muhammad bin Muslim bin Shihaab al-Zhuhri,  (viii)  Abdullah bin Abu Bakr bin Hazm, (ix) Sa'eed bin Abu Sa'eed al-Maqbari, (x)  Sumayy, (xi) Ayyub Sakhtiyaani, (xii) Abdur-Rahman bin al-Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr,  (xiii) Thawr bin Zaid Dabli, (xiv) Ibrahim bin Abi Ablah al-Maqdisi, (xv) Rabi'ah bin Abu Abdur-Rahman, (xvi)  Humayd Taweel, etc.  

Imam Malik's memory was extraordinary. He said, 'anything I would record in my memory would never be forgotten again'.

After an extensive study during his 20s and 30s, the Imam became a famous teacher in Madina.  He started teaching in the Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) mosque. It is reported that he used to sit on the pulpit of the mosque with Quran in one hand and his collection of Ahadith in another hand and he used to give fiqh rulings based on these  sources. He considered that after Quran and Sunnah,  the practices of the people of Madina during the first century AH (his life time) should be seen as an important third source for Islamic fiqh.

Imam Malik's students were in  thousands who related Ahadith from him. Ibn Kathir, Dhahabi and Qazi Iyadh mentioned that over 1,300 students narrated Ahadith from Imam Malik. Dar Qutni, Abu Bakr Khateeb al-Baghdadi and others mentioned that over 1000 students have narrated Ahadith from him.

His prominent students include,  (i) Imam Muhammad, (ii) Imam Shaf'ii, (iii) Abdullah bin Mubarak (iv) Laith bin Sa'ad, (v)  Shu'bah, (vi)  Sufyan ath-Thawri, (vii) Ibn Juraij, (viii) Ibn Uyainah, (ix) Yahya al-Qattan, (x) Ibn Mahdi, (xi) Abu Aasim al-nabeel, (xii) Abdur-Rahman Auwzaa'ee, (xiii) Zhuhri Abul-Aswad, (xiv) Ayyub Sakhtiyaani, (xv) Rabi'ah al-Ra'ii, (xvi) Yahya bin Sa'eed Ansari (xvii) Muhammad bin Abi Zi'ab, (xviii)  Ibn Jareeh, (xix)  A'amash, (xx)  Abu Suhail, (xxi) Nafi' bin Malik, etc. 

 

Imam Malik compiled a Hadith collection titled al-Muwatta (الموطأ). This was the first book in the category of 'Sahih'.  Imam Malik stated that he showed his book to seventy scholars in Madinah, all of whom approved it. Thus he gave it the name al-Muwatta, (الموطأ), meaning 'The Approved'.

   

DEATH

 

Imam Malik fell ill when he was 86 years old.  The illness continued for  three weeks, at the end of which he died on 11 Rabia I, 179 AH (June 3, 795 AD). He was buried in  Jannatul-Baqi.

  

SCHOLARS VIEWS

Following are some of the scholars' opinions about Imam Malik.

(i) Imam Abu Hanifah said, 'I have never seen anyone more fast understanding, correct answering, and test-taking than Imam Malik'.

(ii) Imam Shaf'ii said,  'Knowledge is encircled by three men: Malik bin Anas, Sufyaan bin Uyainah, and Laith bin Sa'ad'.

(iii) Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal said,  'I was asked whose Hadith should be memorized by heart, if from anyone? I replied Malik bin Anas'.

(iv) Imam Bukhari said,  'I was asked what is the most authentic chain of narrators. I replied from Malik from Nafi' from Ibn Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہم)'.

(v) Imam Nasai said,  'after the Tabi'een, the most understanding, reliable, trustworthy, person in Hadith is Imam Malik. 

 


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IMAM  NASAI (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

 

Imam Nasai (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is one the great  critic  and a key figure in Muslim Hadith scholarship. His book Sunan an-Nasai (Sunan as-Sughra) is among the six major books of Ahadith in Islamic literature. His date of birth is not known. And  there are differences of opinions in the year of his birth. However, a majority of Ulema consider that he was born in 214 AH (829 AD).   

 
EDUCATION
 
Very little is known about the early life or about the parents of Imam Nasai, except that he was from Persian origin. Khurasan was the center of learning during his time  where many Hadith scholars lived those days. Imam Nasai had the opportunity to learn in their company.
 
Right from his childhood Imam Nasai was famous for his exceptional memory.    He started learning at a very young age.  It is reported that when he was 15 years old,   he started traveling to other places of learning in pursuit of collecting Ahadith.  He first reached Baghlan (currently in Afghanistan) and spent more than a year learning Ahadith in the company of Hadith scholar Qutaybah Ibn Said.  Later he traveled to Hijaz, Iraq, Syria Egypt, and other places.  In Egypt he stayed for a long time.
 
Among his prominent teachers were (i) Qutaybah ibn Sa`id, (ii) Is-haq ibn Ibrahim, (iii) Is-haq ibn Rahuwayih, (iv) Imam Abu Dawood, (v) Imam Bukhari, (vi) Shaikh Ali ibn Tahawi, (vii) Imam Abu Ja'afar Ahmad at-Tahawi, (viii) Abu Bakr Bindar, (ix) Hisham ibn Ammar, (x) Muhammad ibn An-Nadr, (xi) Suwaid ibn Nasr, (xii) Ziyad ibn Ayyub, (xiii) Sawwar ibn Abdullah Al-Anbari, (xiv) Utbah ibn Abdullah Al-Marwazi, (xv) Muhammad ibn Muthanna, (xvi) Ali ibn Hujr, (xvii) Muhammad ibn Bishar, (xviii) Hisham ibn Amar, (xix) Isa ibn Zaghbah, (xx) Mohammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi, (xxi) Abu Karayyab, (xxii) Suwaid ibn Nasr Shahdhan, (xxiii) Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Mohammad, etc.
 
Imam Nasai was a  trustworthy among scholars; well-established in Hadith scrutiny and its narrators and was fully aware of the juristic rulings and explanation of the Ahadiths.  Imam Al-Hakim wrote, 'the sayings of Imam An-Nasai relating Ahadith in issues of fiqh are many, and one is astonished about the perfection of his statements.'   
 
Among notable students who took Ahadiths from him were (i) Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Salamah Al-Azdi, (ii)  Ahmad ibn Muhammad Al-Hashimi, (iii) Sulaiman ibn Matir Al-Lakhmi at-Tabarani, (iv) Abu Uthman Nisaburi, (v) Hamzah ibn Muhammad Al-Kinani (vi) Abu Bishr ad-Dulabi, (vii) Ibn Adi, (viii)  Ibn Jausaa, (ix) Abu Younus, (x) Imam Uqaili, (xi) Ibn al-Akhram, (xii) Abu Awanah, (xiii) Mohammad ibn Muawiyah Andalusi, etc.
 
Imam Nasai is reported to be the follower of Shafii school of thought.  Some scholars have claimed that he followed Hanbali school of thought. Some others have regarded him as a Mujhtahid (Jurist).
 
 
WORKS
 
Imam Nasai wrote many books like (i) Sunan al-Kubra, (ii) Sunan al-Sughra (Sunan an-Nasai), (iii) Amal Yawmi wa al-laylah, (iv) Kitab Dufai wa al-Matrukin, (v) Khasais Hadhrat Aliؓ, (vi)  Musnad Hadhrat Aliؓ ,  (vii) Al-Jarh wa at-ta'dil, (viii) Musnad Imam Malik, (ix) Fadha'il-e-Sahabah, (x) Kitab at-Tameez, (xi)  Kitab al-Ikhwat, (xii) Musnad Mansoor ibn Dharaan, (xiii) Mashaikh an-Nasai, (xiv) Ma Aghrab Shubah ala Sufyaan wa Sufyan al Shubah, (xv) Asma ar-Rawaah, (xvi) Manasik al-Hajj, (xvii) Tasmiyyah fuqaha al-Amsar Minas-Sahabah fiman Ba'duhum at-Tabaqaat, (xviii) Tasmiyyah min lam Yaru Anhu Ghair Rajul Wahid, etc.
 
Most famous among his works is 'Sunan as-Sughra' popularly known as Sunan an-Nasai. It is one of the six major books of Ahadith taught around the world. In compilation of this book, he followed the criteria of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim.  It contains about 5700 Ahadith. spread over 52 Chapters

There are many commentaries on an-Nasa’i.  Most famous among them is written by Imam Suyuti titled 'Zahr ar-Raba alal-Mujtaba'.

Many scholars have praised Imam Nasai, as follows.

(i) Imam Suyuti said, ' he was Qadhi, Imam, Hafidh, Shaikh al-Islam and a famous scholar.

(ii) Imam Darqutni said, 'Abu Bakr ibn Haddad Shaf’ii was a scholar of Hadith and he would never narrate a Hadith from anyone except from Imam Nasa’i, and say, ‘I have made him evidence between myself and Allah'.

(iii) Hafidh Muhammad bin Muzaffar said,  'I heard from my teachers testifying that to Imam Nasai’s prayed excessively in day and night'.

(iv) Ad-Dahabi said, 'he was the greatest  Jurist than all the Shuyookh of Egypt and was more knowledgeable about Ahadith and their narrators.

(vi) Imam Hakim said, 'Imam Nasa’i was more Faqih than the Shuyukh of Egypt of his time. He was well acquainted with authentic Ahadith and their narrators and I refer to his book as Sahih. 

(vii) Abu Abdullah bin Mandah said, there are four scholars who extracted the authentic Ahadith from the faulty and the errors from the correct ones  Bukhari, Muslim, and after them Abu Daawood and  Nasa’i'.

 

DEATH

It is reported that when Imam Nasai was 88 years old, he went to Damascus, Syria and he read his book Khasais-e-Hadhrat Ali (رضئ الله تعالی عنه), which is the collection of Ahadith in praise of Hadhrat Ali (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) in Umayyad Mosque. On hearing these Ahadith, the Muawiyeen demanded him to read Ahadith in praise of Muawiya (رضئ الله تعالی عنه).  On this the Imam informed them that there is not a single authentic Hadith in praise of Muawiya (رضئ الله تعالی عنه).  On hearing this from the Imam, Muawiyeen mobbed and leached him. He was fatally injured in the attack.  It is reported that he asked his students to take him to Makka al-Mukarrama as he may not survive the attack.  He died in Makka on Tuesday, Safar 13, 303 AH (August 27, 1915 AD).  He was buried in Makka by his students.
 
 
 

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IMAM  ABU DAWOOD (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

 

Imam Abu Dawood (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is one the distinguished scholars of Hadith in Islamic history.  Imam an-Nawawī said, all scholars are unanimous on the rank and virtue of Imam Abu Dawood. His book Sunan Abu Dawood is among the six major books of Ahadith. 

Imam Abu Dawood was born in  202 AH (816 AD). As his name shows, he belonged to Azdi Arab tribe. Though he was born in Sijistan, he spent most of life in Basra which was the seat of Islamic learning during that time.

 

ANCESTORS

Imam Abu Dawood's ancestors belong to Azdi tribe of Arabs. Since the Imam was father of Dawood, he was known as Abu Dawood (father of Dawood).   His name was Sulaiman. In the olden days, Arabs used to call eeach other with names along with paternity lineage. This lineage was stretched sometimes to include several generations. The birth place was also included in the name. Like Imam Abu Dawood Sulaiman, ibn Ash'ath, ibn Ishaq, ibn Bashir, ibn Shaddad, ibn Umar, ibn Imran al-Azdi Sijistani. 
 
 
EDUCATION

Right from his childhood, Imam Abu Dawood was praised for his exceptional memory, sound mind and intellect.  He would read a book just once for the contents to be recorded in his memory word by word for ever.  It is reported that he studied in the company of over 300 teachers.  Prominent among them were Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yahya ibn Min, Uthman ibn Abu Shaybah, Is-haq ibn Rahawayh, Sulayman ibn Harb, Abu Al-Walid At-Tayalisi, Qutaybah ibn Sa`ad, Said ibn Mansur, Abu Jafar An-Nufaili, Zuhayr ibn Harb, Abu Ismail Al-Bukhari, etc.  

Imam Abu Dawood accompanied Imam Ahmad for many years. This companionship  helped him acquire the knowledge of Fiqh in addition to Hadith. He compiled a book on the questions and replies from Imam Ahmad titled 'Masail Ahmad'. It is reported that after compilation of his book 'Sunan Abu Dawood', he presented it to Imam Ahmed, who praised it.   

Imam Abu Dawood visited Islamic learning centers in pursuit of collecting Ahadith.  In 220 AH he traveled to Baghdad when he was 18 years old.  Two  years later he moved to the Levant.  Then he went to other places like  Hijaz, Tarsus, Egypt, Basra, Syria, Nishapur, Marv, etc.

Many students learned Science of Hadith from Imam Abu Dawood. They include Abu Isa at-Tirmidhi, Abu Abdur-Rahman An Nasa’i, Ibn Arabi,  Abu Bakr Al-Khallal, Ismail ibn Muhammad As-Saffar, Abu Bakr ibn Dawud Al-Asfahani, Abu Uwanah Al-Asfarayini, Muhammad ibn Nasr Al-Mirwazi, Abu Bakr Yahya As-Suli, etc.

 

WORKS

Imam Abu Dawood has written many valuable books. These include, (i) Al Marasil, (ii) Masail al Iman Ahmad, (iii) An Nasikh wal Mansukh, (iv) Risalah fi wasf kitab as sunan, (v) Az Zuhd, (vi) Ijabatan Sawalat Al Ajurri, (vii) Asilahan Ahmad bin Hanbal, (viii) Tasmiyat al Akhwan, (ix) Kitab al Qadr, (x) Al Bath wan Nushur, (xi) Al Masail allati halafa alaiha al Imam Ahmad, (xii) Dalail an-Nubuwah, (xiii) Fadail al-Ansar, (xiv) Musnad Malik, (xv) Ad Dua, (xvi) Ibtida al-wahy, (xvii) Akhbar al Khawarij, (xviii) Alam an-Nubuwah, (xix) Sunan Abu Dawood, etc.

 

It is reported that he selected 4,800 Ahadith in his Sunan from over 500,000. It is a major source of knowledge about the legal points of views held by Imam Malik, Sufyan Al-Thawri and Al-Awza'i.  It serves as an arbiter for disagreement among jurists. 

Hadith Scholar Al-Khattabi said, 'Sunan Abu Dawud is an excellent book. No such parallel work has been produced so far in religious sciences.  It has gained popularity among people. It has a decisive position among various scholars and jurists. All have benefited equally from it. The people of Iraq, Eygpt, Maghrib and most of the countries depended upon it'.  Ibn al-Jawzi said, 'Abu Dawud was an eminent doctor of Hadith and an outstanding scholar. No one has compiled a book like his Sunan'.  Ibn Kathir wrote, 'Sunan Abu Dawud is considered to be a famous and popular work among scholars'.

Many scholars have written interpretive explanations of Sunan Abu Dawood; like (i) 'The landmarks of Sunan' by Abu Suleiman Al-Khattabi (d 388 AH), (ii)  'Explanations of Sunan' by Imam al-Suyuti (d 911 AH), (iii) 'Clarifications about Sunan' by Shaikh al-Sandi (d 1138 AH), etc.

 

DEATH

Imam Abu Dawood died on Friday 14th Shawwal 275 AH (February 18, 889 AD). at the age of 73 in Basra.  He was buried next to the grave of Sufyan al-Thawri.

Some scholars say that Imam Abu Dawood followed Hanbali school of thought, while some others say that he followed Shafii school of thought. It is reported that after his death, his son Abu Bakr Dawood walked on his fathers footsteps. Many scholars praised Imam Abu Dawood, as follows.

(i) Abu Bakr Al-Khallal said, 'Abu Dawood was a superior scholar of his time.  Nobody excelled in recognizing the verification of sciences as Abu Dawood did. He was an outstanding devout person'.

(ii) Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Yasin Al-Harawi said, 'Sulayman ibn Al-Ashath was one of the Huffaz of the Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)  Ahadith. He was at the peak of virtuousness, abstinence, rightness and devoutness.'

(iii) Ibrahim Al-Harbi said, 'The Hadith has been made pliable for Abu Dawud similarly as the iron was made pliable to Prophet Dawood (عليه السلام)'.

(iv) Musa ibn Harun Al-Hafiz said, Abu Dawud was created in this life for Hadith, and in the hereafter for Paradise. I have not seen someone better than him.'

(v) Abu Hatim ibn Hayyan said, 'He (Abu Dawud) was one of the leading persons of this world in matters of Fiqh, knowledge, memorization, asceticism, devoutness and proficiency. He compiled and defended the Sunan.'

(vi) Al-Hakim said, 'There is no disagreement that Abu Dawood was the among leaders of scholars of Hadith during his time.'

 

 

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IMAM  TIRMIDHI (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

 

Imam 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. He was born  in a town called Bugh, in Tirmidh, Khurasan, the then Abbasid province.  Tirmidh is currently part of  Uzbekistan, bordering Afghanistan.  The Imam 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). 

 

ANCESTORS

Imam 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.   
  
 
EDUCATION
 
Right 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).  

 
WORKS
 
Imam 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. 
 
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. 
 
 
DEATH
 
Imam 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 last 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.'

 

 

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IMAM  IBN MAJA (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

 

Imam Ibn Maja (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is one the great Hadith scholars. He was a respectable critic in the field of Ḥadīth. He also wrote a comprehensive exegesis of the holy Quran.  In addition, he was a great historian whose rank has been acknowledged by  scholars all through the history of Islam.   His Hadith book Sunan Ibn Maja is among the six major books of Ahadith in Islamic literature. 

Imam Ibn Majah was born in Qazwin, Khurasan, during the reign of Caliph al-Ma'mun. His date of birth is not known. It is believed that he was born in 209 AH (829 AD).  The name 'Ibn Maja' is believed to be the 'alias' (assumed name) of his father. 

 
EDUCATION
 
Very little is known about the early life of the Imam, except that he was from Persian descent. Qazwin was an important place of learning during his time.  Thus, the Imam had an opportunity to learn Islamic sciences.  He memorized Quran early and studied religious sciences like Fiqh, Hadith, Tafsir, etc, by the time he was about 19 years old. Since he had a special attachment towards prophetic ﷺ traditions, he started attended circles of Ahadith learning in Qazwin under Hadith scholars.  
 
In 230 AH (845 AD) when he was 21 years old, the Imam started traveling to other places of learning in the Islamic caliphate.  He visited Basra, Kufa, Baghdad, Damascus, Makkah, Madinah, Egypt, Khurasan, etc. Wherever he went, he learned in the company of famous scholars living there.   His teachers include, (i) Ibrahim ibn Al-Mundhir Al-Hizami, (ii) Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Numayr, (iii) Harmalah ibn Yahya, (iv) Al-Hafizh Al-Hilwani Al-Khallal, (v) Ismail ibn Musa Al-Fazari, (vi) Jabarah ibn Al-Mughallas, (vii) Abdullah ibn Muawiyah, (viii) Hisham ibn Ammar, (ix) Muhammad ibn Rumh, (x) Dawud ibn Rashid, (xi) Musab ibn Az-Zubairi, (xii) Abu Bakr ibn Abu Shaybah, (xiii) Abu Musab Az-Zuhri, (xiv) Hafizh Ali ibn Muhammad at-Tanafisi, (xv) Hafizh Amr ibn Rafi Al-Bajali,  (xvi) Ismail ibn Tawbah,  (xvii) Aḥmad bin Abi Bakr al-Awfi,  (xviii) Muḥammad bin Abu Khalid al-Qazvīnī, (xix) Nasr bin Ali Nishapuri etc.  He  also learned under many students of Imam Malik.    

After arduous journeys that took more than fifteen years, Ibn Majah returned to Qazwin and devoted his time in writing books and compilation of Ahadith. He also taught Ahadith to a large number of students who used to come from far off places to learn  and narrate Ahadith from him.  His students include (i) Muhammad As-Saffar, (ii) Ishaq ibn Muhammad, (iii) Sulaiman Al-Qazwini, (iv) Ibn Sibawayh, (v) Ali ibn Ibrahim Al-Qattan, (vi) Ali ibn Said Al-Ghaddani, (vii) Ibrahim ibn Dinar Al-Jarshi, (viii) Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Salamah, (ix) Jafar ibn Idris,  (x) Ali bin Abdullāh al-Falani, (xi)  Abu Ya'la al-Khalīlī, (xii) Abu Amr Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Ḥakim al-Madanī al-Iṣfahānī, (xiii) Muhammad Ibn Isa Abhari, (xiv) Abu Tayyib al-Baghdadi, (xv) Abu Amr Ahmad Ibn Hakim (xvii) Ishaq Ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini (xviii) Suleman Ibn Yazeed Fami (xix) Ahmad Ibn Ibrahim, (xx) Ahmad Ibn Rooh al-Baghdadi, (xxi) Ali Ibn Sa'id al-Askari, etc.

 

WORKS

Imam Ibn Majah wrote many books, three of them are known.  He wrote Tafsir of Quran in which he described Ahadith and comments of Sahabah and their successors. His book 'at-Tariq' is regarded as manifestation of his great scholarship and learning.  Ibn Kathir called it a complete history while Ibn Khalkan, the famous historian, called it Tarikh Milh  (very good history book).  All books written by the Imam have been lost except his famous Sunan Ibn Maja.

Sunan Ibn Maja is one of 6 major books of Ahadith in Islamic literature.  The sunan received praise from many scholars.  It contains 37 books, 1560 chapters and 4341 Ahadith.  It contains Ahadith that are not found in other 5 major books of Ahadith. 

Many books have been written to explain Sunan Ibn Maja, like  'Misbaah az-Zajajah Ala Sunan Ibn Maja' by Imam Suyuti.

 

DEATH

Imam Ibn Maja died on Wednesday, 22nd Ramadhan, 273 AH (February 19, 887 AD) in Qazwin.  His brother Abu Bakr led his funeral prayer.  It is reported that brother Abu Abdullah and his son Abdullah Ibn Mohammad Ibn Yazid placed his body in the grave.  He was buried in Qazwin. The famous poet of Qazwin, Muḥammad bin Aswad al-Qazvīnī eulogized saying, 'the loss of Ibn Māja weakened the column of the throne of knowledge and has shook up its pillars'.

Many scholars have praised the services of Imam Ibn Maja, as follows.

(i) Abu Ya`la Al-Khalili said, 'Scholars are in agreement that Ibn Majah is a trustworthy scholar whose views are valid for argument. He has full awareness about Ahadith.  He had expertise in other areas as well, like Tafseer al-Quran and Islamic History.

(ii) Ad-Dahabi wrote - 'Muhammad ibn Yazid is a great Hafiz of Ahadith and a great interpreter of Quran.  He was an honest critic in Hadith literature and his knowledge was vast. He was a peerless scholar of Qazwin.'

(iii) Ibn Hajar said, 'Ibn Maja was one of the leading scholars, and a Hafiz of Hadith. He wrote in hadith, tafsir and history.

 

 

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