Tag Archives: Imams

Imam Shafi’ee

Imam Muhammad Ibn Idress Shafi’ee was born in Ghazah, Palestine in the year 150 AH. Imam Shafi’ee was a descendent from the Hashimi family of the Quaraish tribe to which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) belonged. His father died around the time of his birth and his mother migrated to Makkah with Imam Shafi’ee when he was 2 years of age.

During his youth Imam Shafi’ee excelled in 2 activities: acquisition of deeni ilm and archery. By the age of 7 Imam Shafi’ee had memorised the Qur’an and at ten years of age he had committed the Mu’atta of Imam Malik to memory.

At the age of 13 with his mother’s permission Imam Shafi’ee departed Makkah arrived in Madinah at the door of Imam Malik.


His uncle, Muhammed Ibn Ali Ibn Shafi’ee
Imam Malik
Imam Muhammad ibnul Hassan Shaybanee
Imam Waqee’
Imam Sufyan ibn Uyaynah

Imam Shafi’ee is reported to have written over 150 books.

Imam Shafi’ee was an expert in both Hanafi and Maliki fiqh. From which came about the Shafi’ee fiqh, which was spread by his students.

Imam Shafi’ee is a great role model, for both men and women. Never did he speak a lie, and his hands reached out to the poor generously.

Imam Muhammad said about him: The door of Fiqh was shut to the people, Allah opened it because of Imam Shafi’ee.

Imam Shafi’ee died in Cairo, Egypt, on FRIDAY evening after Maghrib, in RAJAB, 204 A.H. after a short illness at the age of 54 years.

Imam Malik

Imam Malik’s Early Years

Abu Abdullah, Malik ibn Anas ibn Malik ibn Amer al-Asbahee was born in Madinah in the year 93 A.H. (714 CE). His ancestral home was in Yemen, but his grandfather settled in Madinah after embracing Islam.

Born into a well-to-do family, Imam Malik did not need to work for a living. He was highly attracted to the study of Islam, and ended up devoting his entire life to the study of Fiqh. Imam Malik received his education in what was the most important seat of Islamic learning, Madinah, and lived where the immediate descendants and the followers of the companions of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, were living.

It is said that Imam Malik sought out over three hundred Tabi’een or those who saw and followed the companions of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Imam Malik held the hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, in such reverence that he never narrated, taught any hadeeth or gave a fatwa without being in a state of ritual purity, Ghusl. Ismael ibn abi Uwaiss said, “I asked my uncle Imam Malik – about something. He had me sit, made ablution, then said, ‘Laa hawla wala quwata illa billah.’ He did not give any fatwa without saying it first.”

Also, Imam Malik saw fatwa as a sensitive, precise, and important action that can have far reaching results, and used to be extremely careful about giving it to the extent that if he was not sure about a matter, he would not dare to talk. Al-Haytham said, “I once was with Imam Malik when he was asked more than forty questions and I heard him reply, ‘I do not know,’ to thirty two of them.”

Yet, he was the man about whom ash-Shafi’ee said, ‘When scholars are mentioned, Malik is like the star among them.’ Malik said that he did not sit to give fatwa, before seventy of the Madinah scholars first witnessed to his competence in doing so.

Imam Malik became the Imam of the Madinah, and one of the most renowned Imams of Islam.

Imam Malik’s Famous Muwatta

He is the author of al-Muwatta’ (“The Approved”), formed of the sound narrations from the Prophet together with the sayings of his companions, their followers, and those after them. Malik said, “I showed my book to seventy scholars of Madinah, and every single one of them approved it for me (kulluhum wata-ani alayh), so I named it ‘The Approved’.”

Imam Bukhari said that the soundest of all chains of transmission was “Malik, from Nafi, from Ibn Umar.” The scholars of hadeeth call it the Golden Chain, and there are eighty narrations with this chain in the Muwatta. Malik composed al-Muwatta in the course of forty years, having started with ten thousand narrations until he reduced them to their present number of fewer than 2,000.

Like all scholars of Islam, Imam Malik was famous for his piety and integrity. He courageously stood up, and was prepared to suffer, for his convictions. When the governor of Madinah demanded and forced people to take the oath of allegiance to Khalifah al-Mansour, Imam Malik issued a fatwa that such an oath was not binding because it was given under coercion. He based this opinion of the hadeeth, “The divorce of the coerced does not take effect” (laysa ala mustakrahin talag). This resulted in many people finding courage to express their opposition, but Imam Malik was arrested, found guilty of defiance, and publicly flogged.

Imam Malik’s followers and disciples developed a Fiqh school, Madh-hab, based on his Ijtihad which came to be known as the Maliki Madh-hab. This Madh-hab spread in North Africa, al-Andalus, much of Egypt, and some of al-Sham, Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, and Khurasan. Today, Malikis are mostly found in North and West Africa, Egypt, Sudan and the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

On Monday 14th of Rabi-ul-Awwal 179 A H., Imaam Malik (R.A) took leave from this world in the city of Madinah and is buried in the famous al-Baqie cemetery.

Source: Madrassah In’amiyyah

Imam Abu Hanifah

Imam Abu Hanifah’s Early Years

Imam Abu Hanifah was born in Kufa, Iraq in the year 80A.H. He was the son of a Persian merchant and his full name is Nu’man bin Thabit ibn Zauti (more famously known in Islamic History as ‘Imam Abu Hanifah’ and ‘Imam A’zam’).

His father – Thabit – was privileged to meet Hazrat Ali (R.A.) who had at the time, made Kufa his capital. Kufa, at the time of Imam Abu Hanifah was one the most important learning centres in the Islamic world and was blessed with the presence of over a thousand sahabah at one stage in its history.

Imam Abu Hanifah is himself also a Tabi’ee (One who saw and benefited from at least one Sahabi).

At the age of 20, Imam Abu Hanifah turned his attention towards the pursuit of advancing his Islamic knowledge.

Imam Abu Hanifah’s Teachers

Imam Abu Hanifah benefited from nearly 4,000 Sheikhs. Among his 1st and the most important tutors was Imam Hammad (Died 120 A.H.) whose educational lineage is linked with Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (R.A.). Such was his respect for his tutor, Imam Hammad that Imam Abu Hanifah says; whilst in my home I never even stretched my legs towards the house of my tutor, despite living 7 streets away.

Imam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) had joined his father’s business wherein he showed scrupulous honesty and fairness. Once his agent had sold a consignment of silk cloth on his behalf but forgot to mention a slight defect to the customers. When Imam Abu Hanifah learnt of this, he was greatly distressed because he had no means of the refunding the customers; so he immediately ordered the entire proceeds of the sale (30,000 Dirhams ) to be given in charity.

Imam Abu Hanifah was also keenly interested in education. He established a school at Kufa, which later became a famous College of Theology. Here he delivered lectures on Islamic Law and related subjects.

Fiqah or Islamic Law was systematically studied by his students under his expert guidance. A large number of his devoted and highly intelligent students worked under him for 30 years, and it is the labour of these students that gave us the Hanafi School of thought.

Imam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) was the 1st of the Imams to advocate the use of “reason” in the consideration of religious questions based on the Qur’an and Sunnah. He was also the 1st Imam to arrange all the subjects of Islamic Law systematically.

His most important work is the Kitab-ul-Aasaar which was compiled by his students – Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad.

In {146 A.H.} 763 A.C. Al-Mansoor – the Banu Abbas Khalifa of the Muslim Empire at Baghdad whose capital was Baghdad – offered Imam Sahib the post of Chief Qadhi of the state, but Imam Abu Hanifah declined to accept the post and chose to remain independent. In his reply to Al-Mansoor, Imam Abu Hanifah excused himself by saying that he did not regard himself fit for the post offered. Al-Mansoor, who had his own ideas and reasons for offering the post, lost his temper and accused Imam Abu Hanifah of lying.

“If I am lying,” the Imam said, “then my statement is doubly correct. “How can you appoint a liar to the exalted post of a Chief Qazi?”

Incensed by this reply, Al-Mansoor charged the Imam with contempt, had him arrested and locked in prison.

Even in prison, Imam Abu Hanifah continued to teach those who were permitted to come to him.

It was here in prison that Imam Abu Hanifah was administered a dose of poison in 150 A.H. Realizing that the end was near, the Imam prostrated in prayer and passed away in this condition in the month of Rajab, 150 A.H.

The news of his death soon spread throughout Baghdad. The whole town came out to pay their last homage to the greatest Imam of Islamic Law. More than 50,000 people participated in the first Janaza Salaat. People continued to flock and before the Janaza could be finally taken for burial, the Salaatul Janaza was offered 6 times in all. For days, people came in large numbers to pay their respects at the grave side.

Adapted from Domain of Islam‘s article on Imam Abu Hanifah

Imam Nawawi

IMAM NAWAWI [631 – 676 A.H]

Birth and Birth place:

The complete name of Imam Nawawi is Abu Zakaria Mohiuddin Yahya, son of Sharaf An-Nawawi, son of Murry, son of Hassan, son of Hussain, son of Muhammad, son of Juma, son of Hazam. Nawawi refers to Nawa, a place near Damascus, in the suburb of the city of Howran. One of his ancestors named Hazam had settled at this place. Imam Nawawi was born at Nawa in the year 631 A.H. His father, a virtuous and pious man, resolved to arrange for proper and befitting education as he had discovered the symptoms of heavenly intelligence and wisdom in his promising child at an early stage.

Shaikh Yasin bin Yousuf Marakashi, a saintly figure of Nawa says: “I saw Imam Nawawi at Nawa when he was a youth of ten years of age. Other boys of his age used to force him to play with them, but Imam Nawawi would always avoid the play and would remain busy with the recitation of the Noble Qur’an. When they tried to domineer and insisted on his joining their games, he bewailed and expressed his no concern over their foolish action. On observing his sagacity and profundity, a special love and affection developed in my heart for young Nawawi. I approached his teacher and urged him to take exceptional care of this lad as he was to become a great religious scholar and most pious saint of future. His teacher asked whether I was a soothsayer or an astrologer. I told him I am neither soothsayer nor an astrologer but Allah caused me to utter these words.” His teacher conveyed this incident to Imam’s father and he keeping in view the learning quest of his son, decided to dedicate the life of his son for the service and promotion of the cause of Islamic Faith.

In a short period, Nawawi learnt to read the Holy Qur’an and by that time he nearly had attained puberty. Nawa had no academic or scholarly atmosphere and there were no religious academies or institutes where one could earn excellence in religious learning, so his father took him to Damascus, which was considered the center of learning and scholarship, and the students from far and wide gathered there for schooling. During that period, there were more than three hundred institutes, colleges and universities in Damascus. Imam Nawawi joined Madrasah Rawahiyah which was affiliated with the Ummvi University. The founder and patron of this Madrasah was a trader named Zakiuddin Abul-Qassim who was known as Ibn Rawahah. Madrasah was named after him. Noted and eminent teachers of the period taught in that Madrasah. Imam Nawawi says, “I studied in this institution for two years. During my stay in Madrasah Rawahiyah, I never had complete rest and lived on the limited food supplied by the institution.” As a routine he used to sleep very little at night. When it became irresistible as a human being, he would lean and slumber for a while against the support of books. After a short duration he would again be hard at his scholastic pursuits.

His Teachers and Guides:

During his stay at Damascus, he studied from more than twenty celebrated teachers. These teachers were regarded as masters and authority of their subject field and disciplines they taught. Imam studied Hadith, Islamic Jurisprudence, its principles, syntax and Etymology from great scholars of his time. Abu Ibrahim Ishaq bin Ahmad AI-Maghribi, Abu Muhammad Abdur-Rahman bin Ibrahim Al-Fazari, Radiyuddin Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Abu Hafs Umar bin Mudar Al-Mudari, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Isa Al-Muradi, Abul-Baqa Khalid bin Yusuf An-Nablusi, Abul-Abbas Ahmad bin Salim Al-Misri, Abu Abdullah Al-Jiyani, Abul-Fath Umar bin Bandar, Abu Muhammad At-Tanukhi, Sharafuddin Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad Al-Ansari, Abul-Faraj Abdur-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Ahmad Al-Maqdisi, Abul-Fada’il Sallar bin Al-Hasan Al Arbali etc.

His Students:

There were hundreds of Imam’s students, among them some notables are: Alauddin bin Attar, Ibn Abbas Ahmad bin Ibrahim, Abul-Abbas Al-Ja’fari, Abul-Abbas Ahmad bin Farah, Rashid Ismail bin Mu’allim Al-Hanafi, Abu Abdullah Al-Hanbali, AbulAbbas Al-Wasti, Jamaluddin Sulaiman bin Omar Az-Zar’i, AbulFaraj Abdur-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Abdul-Hamid AlMaqdisi, Badr Muhammad bin Ibrahim, Shamsuddin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr, Ash-Shihab Muhammad bin Abdul-Khaliq, Hibatullah Al-Barizi, Abul-Hajjaj Yusuf bin Az-Zaki etc.

His Desire and Crave for Learning:

Imam Nawawi had endless thirst for knowledge, and it can be guessed from his daily practice of studies. He used to read daily twelve lessons and write explanation and commentary of every lesson and also made important additions. Whatever the book Imam Nawawi read, he put down the marginal notes and explanations on that book. His intelligence, hard work, love, devotion and absorption in his-studies amazed his teachers and they become fond of him and began to praise and admire him. According to Imam Dhahabi, Imam Nawawi’s concentration and absorption in academic love gained proverbial fame. He had devoted all his time for learning and scholarship. Other than reading and writing, he spent his time contemplating on the interacted and complex issues and in finding their solutions. Allah had also conferred upon him the gift of fast memory and depth of thought, and he who makes the right use of this boon, there remains no doubt in his sagacity and discernment. Imam Nawawi made full benefit of his God given qualities and potentialities and earned the highest degree of honor.

Imam’s Simplicity and Niceness of Manners:

The learned persons, elite of the society and the public greatly respected the Imam on account of his piety, learning and excellent character. He used simple dress and ate simple food. Devout scholars do not care about worldly chattels, they give preference to religious and academic pursuits, propagation of Faith etc. They experience more heavenly delight and joy in such activities than those who seek satisfaction in luxurious foods, precious clothes and other worldly things. Imam Nawawi had a prominent place among the erudite notables of his age. He was God-fearing person having illustrious and glorious aims regarding propagation of Faith. Celebrated Sheikh Mohiuddin expresses his impression about Imam Nawawi as thus:
“Imam Nawawi had three distinctive commendable qualities in his person. If anybody have only one out of these three, people return to him in abundance for guidance. First, having knowledge and its dissemination. Second, to evade completely from the worldly inclinations, and the third, inviting to all that is good (Islam) enjoining Al-Ma’ruf [i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do] and forbidding Al-Munkar [polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden]. Imam Nawawi had all three in him.”

Imam Nawawi’s works and his death

The learned Imam had a very short life but even during this short period, he had written a large number of books on different subjects. Every work of the Imam is a masterwork and a treasure of knowledge. Hundreds and thousands of people benefit from these works.

Some of the Prestigious Works of Imam Nawawi are:

Commentary on Sahih Al-Bukhari, Al-Minhaj fi Sharh Sahih Muslim, Riyad-us-Saliheen, Kitab-ur-Raudah, Commentary on Mohadhdhab, Tahdhib-ul-Asma was-Sifat, Kitab-ul-Adhkar, Arba’een, At-Taqreeb fi Ilmil-Hadith wal-Irshad fihi, Kitab-ulMubhamat, At-Tibyan, Al-Idah fi Manasikil-Hajj, Sharh Sahih AlBukhari (Naqis), Sharh Sunan Abi Dawud (Naqis), Tabaqat Ash Shafi’iyah, Muhimmatul-Ahkam, Manaqib-ush-Shafi’i, Bustan-ulArifeen, Al-Khulasatu fil-Hadith, Mukhtasar At-Tirmidhi, A1Masa’il Al-Manthurah, Al-‘Umdah fi Tashihit-Tanbih and others.

After spending 28 years of age, Imam Nawawi returned to his hometown. Soon after his arrival at Nawa, he felt ill and died. Imam Nawawi is still living in the hearts of Muslims. His works are of everlasting value. May Allah bless Imam Nawawi.
Source: Central Mosque

Shah Wali-U Allah

Shah Wali-u Allah was born on 4th Shawwaal, 1114 / 21 February 1703 1703 at Phulat in Delhi. His ancestors had migrated from Arabia to Iran for reasons not known. Later on when the invasion of the Tatars caused widely spread terror and destruction in Iraq and Iran, the forefathers of the Shah are said to have migrated to India and found their settlement here at Rohtak village. His grandfather was a gallant soldier in the Mughal army and a deep lover of the Qur’aan. Shaykh Abdur-Rahim was Shah Wali-u Allah’s father, the pupil of a great scholar and sufi – Zahid Herawi. Abdur-Rahim was famous for his profound knowledge of the traditions and Islamic jurisprudence. That is why he was offered the service in the government to revise Fataawa Alamgiri which he undertook at the instance of his mother. He was also famous for found his seminary, Madrasah-e-Rahimiyyah in Delhi the forerunner of the present Darul Uloom Deoband. Shaykh Abdur-Rahim had interests in mysticism yet he did not ignore the practical aspects of life. In the home of such a pious and learned father, the Shah grew up to great heights of eminence.

At the age of five, the Shah had his first lesson at school. After two years he learnt reading and writing. He learnt the Qur’aan by heart upto the age of ten. At the age of fourteen years he read a part of Bauzayi and the major part of Mishkawah. He got the graduation from Rahimiyyah college at the age of fifteen. The prescribed syllabus of the college laid great stress on the Qur’aanic studies with lesser aid from commentaries and the Shah himself felt thankful to God for being provided with opportunity to lecture on the lessons of the Qur’aan which opened the doors of its knowledge for him. The other sciences like the Hadith, Fiqh, logic, etc. were also learnt by the Shah. He became the teacher of this very college of his father at the age of seventeen. Only two years later, his father died and the management work of the school fell upon him. The Shah took up the task with devotion and attained the help of the old graduates of the college. He prepared his lectures after extensive study on various Islamic disciplines and sciences. and provided guidance on the problems of varied nature. While sitting on the grave of his father in pious meditation, he sought solutions of the spiritual problems. ‘When I sat meditating,’ he reports, ‘at the grave of my father, problems of Tawhid (oneness of God) were solved. The path of the divine attraction (Jazb) was opened; and a large share of Saluk (spiritual journey) fall to my lot, and inspirational knowledge (Uloom-e-Wajdaniyyah) thronged the mind with it.’ Through his study of standard Fiqh literature and Hadith books, the Shah came to the conclusion that the institution of Fuqaha-e-Muhadditheen (jurisprudents who drew heavily upon traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was an adequate one that he would adhere to in his future life.

Shah Wali-u Allah’s journey to Hijaaz in October 24 1730 / 8 Rabi-as-Thaani 1143 proved a turning point in his career. It was the time when the Indian subcontinent was undergoing a deep crisis consequent upon the declining fortunes of the Mughal empire. Under such conditions there was growing an indifference towards religion. The sectarian conflicts had become the order of the day. Sufism had generated and various evils had crept into the society as a result of the practices of the false Sufis. The sensitive mind of the Shah was deeply moved by the deplorable situation prevailing in India and his journey to Hijaaz had much to do with this preoccupation of the scholar. In Hijaaz, the Shah stayed for about two years, performed Hajj twice at Makkah and also spent sometime at the Prophet’s tomb in Madinah. Besides acquainting himself with the general condition of the Muslim world during his stay in Hijaaz, the Shah also received lessons on the Qur’aan and the Hadith and thereby was able to attain considerable guidance in the spiritual matters. He read from the scholars of repute, Muatta of Imaam Maalik with Shaykh Wafadullah and Bukhari of Imaam Bukhari with Shaykh Taj-al-Din Hanafi, the Mufti (juri consultant) of Makkah. At Madinah, the Shah attended to Shaykh Ibrahim Kurdi, an eminent traditionist and sufi, and revised all famous books on Hadith under his guidance. Shaykh Abu Tahir, another great theologian in Madinah, also guided the Shah in the science of Hadith.

It can hardly be denied that Shah Shah Wali-u Allah’s sojourn to Hijaaz proved to be a landmark in his spiritual development. He himself mentions many spiritual blessings and experiences in His Fuyuz al-Haramayn. He received them in a series of visions at the precincts of the holy Ka’abah and the holy tomb of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). In these visions include the task of the revival of Islam entrusted to the Shah by the grandsons of the prophet, the intelligibility of the most controversial problems of ontological versus phenomenological monism, clearance of doubts on the controversial issues relating to solidarity and development of the Muslim institutions. A.D. Muztar has eloquently described this enlightenment of Shah Wali-u Allah in the following words:

The prophet cleared his doubts concerning them in a series of visions. For example, the prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) told Shah Wali-u Allah.

1. The order of succession of the Khulafa-e-Raashideen (the four immediate successors of the prophet) had taken place under the will and pleasure of God. It was best suited to the interests of Muslim community and so far as the personal excellence of these four companions of the prophet was concerned, all of them were blessed with qualities and stations special to each of them. The contentions over the attributive supremacy of Ali on the one hand and of Abu Bakr and Umar (Shaykhayn) on the other, were just useless and needless. Such a controversy was apt to create hatred and disharmony among the Muslims.

2. All the mystic orders, such as (Chishti, Naqshabandi, Qadiri, Suhrawardi, etc.) were equally acceptable to God. Nor was the prophet of God especially inclined towards any particular order. One may follow any or all of them with the only proviso that they were followed for the sake of God Almighty.

3. None of the schools of Jurists, Maaliki, Hanafi, Shaaf’ee and Hanbali, excelled the other. All of them were fundamentally the same. Therefore, all were equal in the eyes of the Prophet … It was further revealed to him that in conveying his message to the nation and share their responsibilities; he benign and compassionate in his speeches and writings; and pray for what was good for the people in their world life and the life hereafter.

After the Shah’s return to Delhi, he addressed himself to the task of bringing about the revival of Islamic sciences for the general good of Muslims. He made useful reforms in the studies at Rahimiyyah college in order to impart such teaching and training to the pupil as could enable them to relate true religious education to the practical needs of the people. The wrong beliefs and customs, associated with Islam, were reformed through the Shah’s translation of the Qur’aan into Persian which made the people to understand its actual message. His Tafhimat-I-Ilaahiyya and Hama’at played a great role in clearing off the doubts about the innovations in Sufism. The interpretation of Islamic system comprising beliefs and Ibaadat, social, political and economic matters, was made by the Shah under the new and growing exigencies of his time. Al-Badur al-Bazigah, Hujjatul Allah al-Baaligha, al-Insaaf fee sabab bayaan al-Ikhtilaaf, etc. clearly demonstrate the deep concern of the Shah in bringing about the revival of Islamic sciences in accordance with the needs of the Muslim society in the Indian context.

The resurgence of Islamic political thought marks an outstanding feature of Shah Wali-u Allah’s Islamic revivalism. The Ummah in general and the Indian Muslim in particular were exposed to the internal and the external threats. The so often controversies over the standpoints of the Shi’as and the Sunnis, luxurious and lethargic habits in the Mughal bureaucracy in the capital, rapid growth of the Maratha power, the Jats, the Sikhs and above all the intrusion of the Western imperialistic influences had undermined the solidarity of the Indian Muslims. Their disdain and disunity was further affected by their indulgence in the conflicts of sectarian, jurisprudential schools of law, heterodoxy and orthodoxy nature. The Shah sensitively reacted to these problems of political confusion and instability of Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. He attempted considerably for the purification and the revitalisation of this political deterioration. His expositions on the political thought mark his rational approach to human history and his critical interpretation of the classical history of Islam.

Political Thought of Shah Wali-u Allah – an Analytical Study
Abdur-Rashid Bhat
source: Madrassah In’aamiyyah

Imam ibn Majah

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Majah (r.a) – [209 – 273 A.H.]

Imam Ibn Majah was born in the city of Qazvin in the northern Persian province of Dailam. After gaining ahadith from the many great religious scholars of his city, he travelled to seek knowledge at the young age of 21. Imam Ibn Majah is said to have visited Basrah, Kufah, Baghdad, the Hijaz, Makkah, Syria and Egypt to hear and gather ahadith.

Amongst his teachers were Jabbara ibn al Mughlis, Ibrahim ibn al-Munzar, Hisham ibn Umar and more Abu Bakr ibn Shaibah.

His status
Ibn Khallikan writes that Imam ibn Majah held the position of an Imam in the subject of hadith.
Abu al-Ali Khalili says he was a great scholar of Qur’anic exegesis, ahadith and history.
Adh Dhahabi stated that he was a hafiz and warehouse of Prophetic knowledge.

Imam ibn Majah is known to have authored 3 books, popularly known Sunan ibn Majah, at-Tafsir and at-Tarikh.

Imam Ibn Majah departed from this world during the blessed month of Ramadan 273 A.H. in Qazvin, the city of his birth.

May Allah Ta’ala fill his Qabar with Noor.
Source: Scholars of Hadith by Syed Bashir Ali

Imam an-Nasa’i

Ahmad ibn Shu’aib an-Nasa’i (r.a) – [215 – 303 A.H.]

Imam an-Nasa’i was born in the town of Nasa’ in the Persian province of Khorasan. After gaining hadith from the teachers his own city, Imam an-Nasa’i travelled through Khorasan, Iraq, the Hijaz Syria and Egypt gaining ahadith. Egypt was where Imam an-Nasa’i settled and established his center for teaching and studies here.

Imam an-Nasa’i was said to have exhausted many of his days and nights in prayers, repeatedly performed Hajj and also joined the Muslim army to participate in battle. He was very particular of the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), had a hatred for deviation and avoided the circles of kings and nobles.

Imam Nasa’i’s status
Ibn Khallikan writes ‘He was the Imam of hadith of his age.’
Daraqutni says ‘He was more distinguished than all the muhaddithun of his time.’
He is well known for Sunan an-Nasa’i which is a collection of 5751 sound ahadith. In it he also describes the flaws of a hadith, exposes any disagreements on the title, names and kunyat of narrators and clarifies the variations between different versions of a hadith.

His teachers are many, the first being Muhaddith Qutaibah ibn Sa’id al Balkhi. Some others are Ishaq ibn Rahawaih, Muhammad ibn Nasr, Muhammad ibn Bishr and the famous Abu Dawud.

His students came from all over the Muslim world, and some of the more famous of them are Ali ibn Jafar at-Tahawi, Abul Qasim at-Tabrani, Muhammad ibn Mu’awiyah al Andalusi, Abu Jafar at-Tahani and also his own son.

Imam an-Nasa’i travelled to Damascus, Syria in 302 A.H. where he noticed people displaying some hostility towards Hazrat Ali (R.A). He therefore wrote a book to honor the character of Hazrat Ali (R.A) and started lecturing from it in a Masjid. He had only read a few lines when he was accused of being a Shi’i and was beaten badly by a crowd, such he received severe injuries to his body. In this state he requested some admirers to take him to Makkah, and it was after reaching Makkah Imam an-Nasa’i passed away.

Source: Scholars of Hadith by Syed Bashir Ali

May Allah Ta’ala fill Imam an-Nasa’i’s Qabar with Noor, Ameen.

Imam Tirmizi

IMAM TIRMIZI (R.A) 209 A.H. – 279 A.H.

Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) was born during the reign of the Abbasid Khalifa Mamoon al Rasheed. The Abbasid Caliphate, despite its brilliant contributions to Islaam, brought along with it many thorny problems. Greek Philosophy had a free flow into the Islamic world. This was fully sanctioned by the government until eventually it declared the Mu’tazila school of thought as the state religion. Anyone who opposed the Mu’tazila school of thought would be opposing the state. With the influence of Greek philosophy infiltrating within the people, many Muslims began attempting to reconcile between reason and revelation. As a result they deviated themselves and misled many innocent weak Muslims away from Allah and His Rasul [sallallahu alyhi wasallam]. Many scholars of Islaam had come to the fore in order to defend the Shariah. Forgeries and interpolations in Hadith by rulers who wished to fulfil their personal motives was common. In the first century Umar bin Abdul Aziz(R.A.) initiated a movement for the compilation of the Mubarak Hadeeth of Nabi [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] as there was a fear of it being lost. Eventually this gigantic task was undertaken by six towering scholars of Islaam. One of them was …….. Imaam Abu Isa Muhammed ibn Isa Tirmizi (R.A.)

Having grown up in an environment of learning, together with possessing many great qualities naturally drove Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) to dedicate his life totally towards the field of Hadith. He obtained his basic knowledge at home and later travelled to far off lands in search of this great science. He studied Hadith under great personalities such as Imaam Bukhari (R.A.), Imaam Muslim (R.A.) and Imaam Abu Dawood (R.A.). In some narrations Imaam Bukhari and Imaam Muslim (R.A.) are his students as well. Once Imaam Bukhari (R.A.) mentioned to him “I have benefited more from you than you have benefitted from me.” Moosa ibn Alaq (R.A.) once said : “When Imaam Bukhari passed away, he left no one in Khurasaan who compared with Abu Isa Tirmizi (R.A.) in Ilm, memory, piety and abstinence.” According to Abdullah ibn Muhammed Al-Ansaari (R.A.), Imaam Tirmizi’s Al-Jami is more beneficial than the works of Bukhari and Muslim (R.A.) since their compilations can only be understood by a very deep sighted scholar whereas Al Jami can be understood by both the scholar and the lay man. Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) said that he compiled this book and presented it to the learned of Hejaaz, Iraaq and Khuraasaan and they were pleased with it. Who ever has this book in his home, it is as though he has the Prophet [sallallahu alyhi wasallam] speaking to him there.

His remarkable memory:
Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) had an exceptionally remarkable memory. If he heard something once he never forgot it. Once on his way to Makkah, Imaam Tirmizi(R.A.) met a Muhadith from whom he had previously copied two chapters of hadith. Thinking that he had the notes with him he asked the Muhadith if he would allow him to read out these two chapters so that he may correct any errors. After realizing that he did not have those notes with him he took a blank piece of paper and read out the entire two parts from memory. When the Muhadith realized what he was doing he rebuked Imam Tirmizi (R.A.) saying: “Have you no shame, Why are you wasting my time.” Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) assured him that he had committed all the ahadith to memory. The Muhadith was not convinced, even though he recited all the Ahadith from memory. Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) requested him to recite to him some other Ahadith. The Muhaddith recited 40 ahadith which Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) repeated without making a single error, thus showing his remarkable power of committing Ahadith to memory.

Another incident has been recorded by Hakeemul Ummat (R.A.) in his Al-Misk-us-Zaki, depicting the profound memory of Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.). He writes:”Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) had lost his sight towards the latter portion of his life. Once whilst on a journey, at a certain point he bowed his head. When asked as to why he did this, he replied: “Is there not a tree here whose branches hang over in such a manner that it harms those who are passing by.” They answered in the negative. He was quite shocked when he heard this as he distinctly remembered there being a tree and was worried as to whether his memory was failing him or not. He stopped the caravan immediately and asked his companions to enquire from the locals whether a tree had existed there or not. “If it is established that no tree existed then I will stop narrating the Hadith of Nabi [sallallahu alyhi wasallam] due to my weak memory.” On inquiry it was shown to them that a tree had previously existed over there but due to it being a hindrance to travelers it was removed.”

Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) had a large number of students from all over the world. The most famous amongst them were Haysam ibn Kulaib (R.A.), Abul Abbaas (R.A.) and Muhammed ibn Ahmed (R.A.) Shah Abdul Aziz (R.A.) describes Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) in the following words: “His memory was unique and his piety and fear of Allah Ta’la was of a very high caliber. He would cry so much out of the fear of Allah, that towards the end of his life he lost his sight.”

According to Ibn Taimiya (R.A.) and Shah Waliullah (R.A.), Imaam Timizi (R.A.) was an independent Jurist (Mujtahid). Hazrat Moulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (R.A.) is of the opinion that he was a Shafi.

In the year 279 A.H. in a village called Bawag at the ripe age of 70 , Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) left this temporary abode for the ever lasting life of the hereafter. May Allah Ta’ala fill his Qabar with Noor. Aameen. The enormity of his sacrifices and the extent to which he served Deen can never be fully comprehended.

Many books of hadith were compiled before Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) decided to compile His Al-Jami. Dawood Tayalisi (R.A.) and Ahmed ibn Hambal (R.A.) had compiled books consisting of both authentic and weak Ahadith. Later Imaam Bukhari (R.A.) compiled his Sahih Bukhari and omitted all weak narrations from it. His main objective was to derive masail / laws from the relevant Ahadith. Later Muslim (R.A.) compiled his book concentrating mainly on the Isnaad (different chain of narrators). Hazrat Imaam Nasai’s aim was to mention the discrepancies of the hadith whilst Abu Dawood (R.A.) prepared such a book which became the basis for the Fuqaha. Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) had combined the styles of Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and Nasai (R.A.) by mentioning the discrepancies regarding the narrators and also making his compilation a basis for the Jurists.
Extract from Life and works of Imam Tirmizi (RA) from Central-Mosque.com

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Imam Muslim


His name was Abul-Hussain Muslim-bin-Habaj al Nishapuri. He was born in a distinguished family of Arab Muslims in Khorasan which. was a famous town of Russia. Imam Muslim was born in 817 A.D. corresponding to the Islamic year 204 A.H. His forefathers occupied prominent positions during the time of the four Caliphs. He travelled to many places with the object of learning Hadith, and after completing his studies in the various centres of learning, he settled at Nishapur. He spend the rest of his life teaching Hadith.

Imam Muslim started his studies at the very early age of fourteen years. In the year 218 A.H. the atmosphere in Nishapur, his birthplace, was of a religious and knowledge type. Nishapur had great personalities in this period such as lmaam Rahiwe and lmaam Zohri. After travelling widely in search of Hadith, he settled in Nishapur as mentioned above. Imam Muslim was much impressed by the vast knowledge of Imaam Bukhari (R.A.), in the field of Hadith and the deep insight he possessed on this subject. He therefore attached himself to Imaam Bukhari (R.A.) up to the end of his life. Imam Muslim was also an admirer of another great teacher of Hadith, Muhammed bin Yahya al Dhuli. He attended his lectures regularly. He visited Baghdad several times and had the opportunity of delivering lessons there. His last visit to Baghdad was two years before his death.


Imam Muslim (R.A.) apart from attending the lessons of Imaam Bukhari regularly, also attended the lectures of lmaam Ahmad bin Hambal, Abdullah al Qarri, Qutaiba bin Said, Abdullah bin Maslama and other great Muhadith.


Imam Muslim (R.A.’s) most noted students are Hatim Razi, Ahrnad bin Salmah, Abu Isa Tinnizi, Abubaker bin Khuzaima and other great scholars.

Imam Muslim R.A. adhered strictly to the path of righteousness. He was in fact a great saint of a very high calibre. His excellent character can be well judged from the simple fact that he never ever indulged in backbiting, a very common human failing. He had a remarkable memory. Ishaq bin Rahwi said of Imam Muslim; ” I wonder what this person is going to be?” This was said in his youth. Ishaq Kausar once addressed lmam Muslim (R.A.) and said; “Your presence in the Muslim community will always keep it in the good. ” Abu Saimah who was a colleague of lmam Muslim was so attached to him that while lmaam Sahib was busy compiling the Sahih Muslim, he remained in lmaam Sahib’s company for fifteen years. He never told a lie nor did he ever use vulgar words.

Sheikh Abdul Latief says Imaam Tirmidhi and Imam Muslim were followers of the Shafee school of thought, although they were both Mujtahids. Moulana Abdur-Rashid says that Imaam Muslim was a Maliki. The fact is what was said by Sheikh Tahir Jazari that Imam Muslim is not a Maliki nor a Hanifi nor a Shafi, but his compilation of the sahih Muslim shows that he was more inclined towards the Shafee school of thought.

Allamah Nabawi (R.A.) says that the Ummat have accepted the Bukhari Shareef and Muslim Shareef as the Kitabs, which follow the Quraan, in authenicity although the Bukhari is regarded as holding a higher position than the Sahih Muslim for specific reasons, the sequence applied in the Muslim is much better than that of Bukhari. It is known as Al-Jamah as Sahih because it contains the eight different subjects on Hadis.

Imam Bukhari (R.A.) concentrated his efforts on compilation of authentic hadith as well as deduction of Laws from Hadith. This is the most difficult part to understand in the Bukhari. How he deduced Laws from the Hadis, Imam Muslim concentrated his efforts only on compilation of authentic Hadith.
source: inter-islam.org

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Abdullah ibn Mubarak

by Sh. Zakariyya Khan

Throughout the history of Islam there have been renowned personalities who have dedicated their life to the preservation of Islam against the tide of disbelief and deviation. In the early period of Islam, the preservation of the Hadith (traditions) was an indispensable element, which needed to be preserved in order to safeguard the deen (religion). Thus, Abdullah Ibn Mubarak was one of these personalities who ensured that Islam was presented to us today in the same form it had been 1400 years ago.

Abdullah Ibn Mubarak was born in 118 hegira / 726 CE, in the town of Marwa. In his childhood he studied elementary subjects, such as writing and arithmetic, which were considered as essential. Thereafter, his life took an unusual turn, thus, he became occupied in the pleasures of the world. He lived a luxurious life of jest and play, until one night, when he received a wake up call from Allah Ta’lah. As a routine custom one-day he invited his friends for a party in his orchard, here, they played and joked until they were overpowered by sleep. However, unlike before, in his sleep he saw a bird perched on the tree reciting a verse in which Allah Ta’lah sends an admonition to his servants:

Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe to be affected by the reminder of Allah, and that, which has been revealed of the truth. (Quran 57:16)

The message carried by this majestic verse was so profound that it led Abdullah Ibn Mubarak to discard the comforts of this temporary world in order to search for eternal bliss. He instigated his thoughts into actions by, firstly, breaking the musical instrument he had in his hand and this was his first step in Zuhad (asceticism).

Abdullah Ibn Mubarak was now on a new path in search of sacred knowledge, especially Hadith (traditions). He travelled the entire Islamic world in order to preserve Hadith, until Abu Usama declared that ‘I have not seen a person searching for Hadith throughout the corners of the world like Abdullah ibn Mubarak. Consequently, he became the undisputed authority in the science transmitting Hadith (traditions). He attained such a lofty rank that the critics of this science unanimously agreed on the fact that he was of a sound nature and a possessor of an extraordinary memory. To achieve such acceptance is unparalleled in the history of Islam; however, this status was necessary for a person who was to be the torch barer of the Hadith. The renowned scholar of critical analysis of transmitters, Yahya Bin Maeen, has wonderfully illustrated his noble traits:

He (Abdullah ibn Mubarak) was intelligent, cautious (in narrating Hadith), trustworthy and a true scholar of Hadith. It is sufficient to know (his status) that many narrated from him, thus he is one of the narrators of Imam Bukhari and the rigorous conditions applied by Imam Bukhari in the verification and sound nature of a narrator is all well known, therefore there is no reason to expound on it.

Hence, he was a firm pillar in the establishment of Hadith, so whenever there was a narration he would take extreme measures to ensure the authenticity of Hadith before he would narrate it. This is why his legendary statement still resonates today in the hearts and minds of the scholars of Hadith that ‘Isnad (the chain of narration) is a part of Deen (religion), if there was no Isnad, then everyone would say what they desired’. Thus, everyone, including the king knew his extreme precaution. Thus, the Abbasi King Haroon Al-Rashid once retorted to an atheist that was brought on trial, who had claimed to have fabricated over one thousand Hadith, none of which were established;

‘What is your rank in compression to Ishaq Al-Farazi and Abdullah ibn Mubarak? O Enemy of Allah! They will separate them through a sieve, letter for letter (from the collection of Hadith)’.

Not only did Abdullah ibn Mubarak gain proficiency in Hadith, but also in Fiqh (jurisprudence) he was a master in his field. The fact that he studied under the greatest living jurists of his time, including men like Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik and Sufyan Thawri, shows that he had developed an appreciation of this science.

He was also praised for being a prolific writer in his time; Imam Dhahabi states that his books include Kitab Al-Arbaeen, Kitab Tareek, Kitab Jihad and Kitab Zuhad wa Raqaiq. Unfortunately all of his written works are not published today.

One of his greatest assets was his Zuhad (asceticism) and the desire for the hereafter. Even though, he had an annual yearly income in excess of one thousand Dinars. All of which he spent in the path of Allah. This is exemplified in his excursions to Makkah for Hajj, while on the journey he would lavishly spend on his associates and fellow travellers despite the fact that he was continuously fasting.

Finally, in the year 181 hegira / 797 CE, during the month of Ramadan Abdullah ibn Mubarak departed the world while striving hard in the path of Allah. The endeavours he took during his life are numerous and cannot be covered here. However, a glimpse into the life of this great Imam testifies how taking precaution in the narration and narrators preserved the Hadith from being marred with taint. We are therefore indebted to the service rendered by our pious predecessors who fulfilled their rights upon us and especially Abdullah ibn Mubarak.
Source: LUISOC